Fifth race of 2011: Worcester (30km)

I’m not quite sure how this happened. Getting up at 3:30am on a Saturday morning to drive out to the country for a race wasn’t exactly on the schedule. The crowd wanted to go, so I said yes to the crowd because it was easier than doing 30km by yourself (which indeed I did do by myself as I was with the 3:30 marathoners again). I do love them because they all have nice comfortable cars which I get lifts in, and they are fab company at our raucous breakfasts afterward.

So I’d heard that country races were different: 1. There was literally nobody there – I’m used to races with at least a thousand people, but this morning I could have lined up at the tape, 2. I have never seen water tables like this – it was a full on party at every station with fancy dress (I even saw a man in a ladies one-piece bathing suit), blaring music and vuvuzelas that you could hear from 3km away (the Worcester valley is pretty quiet at 7am), yelling and screaming every time I approached – due to the fact the field had stretched out so much you could hardly see the person in front of you. At one point I had 5 people in a line holding out water sachets just for me.

Needless to say I don’t think I have ever smiled so much on a race before.

Race notes
Route: Leave Worcester, up some hills, down some hills and back to Worcester
Time started: 06:30
Total time: 2:48
Total distance: 30km
Weather conditions: Overcast
Temperature: 20˚
Runner’s condition: Didn’t try too hard and still got a (semi) decent time


Death by wheeled vehicle?

The bloody wind was so strong this morning I couldn’t keep my eyelids open. I actually had that flapping face thing going on that you usually associate with sky divers. Of course this was fartlek day so running into the wind felt like I was pulling a car. Speaking of which I couldn’t run properly because I thought I was going to be blown under a taxi.

Running notes
Route: My flat to Keizersgracht Street for the 40 mins fartlek session and back
Time started: 07:00
Total time: 40 mins
Total distance: 5km
Weather conditions: Gale force wind


Club run

Running notes
Route: Kloof Nek car park to the Lower Cable Station turn at the end of the tarmac on Tafelberg Road and back
Height climbed: 180m
Time started: 17:45
Total time: 1:25
Total distance: 12.5km
Weather conditions: Warm
Temperature: 25˚
Runner’s condition: Fine


Lovely Sunday morning run

And its even better when you get to drive up the hill. Given the stupid amount of running yesterday, I parked at the Nek and ran Signal Hill. Nice.

Running notes
Route: Signal Hill and back
Time started: 10:15
Total time: 43 mins
Total distance: 7km
Temperature: 20˚
Runner’s condition: Was a lovely morning and no niggles from yesterday


Sense of humour failure up Constantia Nek

So I’ve been psyching myself up this week for the ‘big one’, the mother of all training runs that happens every year and makes me want to vomit at the thought of it, yes its ‘Nek to Nek’ time.

Its a 46km training run which follows the course of The Two Oceans Marathon and supposedly is good practice, or a good way to kill yourself depending on which way you look at it.

So today, over the course of the five hours it took me to finish, the temperature rose violently from about 20˚ at 6am to at least 33˚ at 11am when yours truly was ready to quit 2km from where the car was parked. Surprisingly after last week’s hideous 25km training run experience I was feeling pretty good running up Chapman’s Peak and down into Hout Bay, but then the sun got me – I went so red that the others thought I was seriously sunburnt (I knew I wasn’t because I’d slapped on the block at 5am). It had got to the stage where I was dreading running in the sun between patches of shade as the heat was so strong.

As Gregg coaxed me up with the typical ‘just another km, just another 5 minutes’ type pep talk that I give to novices, the twisting turns of Constantia Nek proved too much and I just gave up and walked. The knowledge that I was the last and the most crap of the group didn’t help. As we arrived at the car park, it was obvious the others had been there a while and were now lounging under a tree. Turned out that of the 25 that started at 6am, 14 bailed and called their wives and girlfriends for a pick up. Ha! felt a bit better after that.

Running notes
Route: Constantia Nek down through Ladies Mile to Main Road, Muizenburg, Kalk Bay, Fishhoek, Sun Valley, Chapman’s Peak, Hout Bay and up to Constantia Nek
Time started: 6:10am
Total time: 5:20
Total distance: 46km
Weather conditions: Scorchio
Temperature: 33˚
Runner’s condition: Slightly nauseous at the end from all the coke I bought at the petrol stations along the route.



8km time trial

No not quite, but I did do 8km, just not very quickly.

Running notes
Route: Flat up to Roeland Street and left onto De Waal Drive then back
Time started: 06:15
Total time: 45 mins
Total distance: 8km
Weather conditions: Beautiful sunrise
Temperature: 20˚
Runner’s condition: Knackered