So I’ll get straight to it. I went out too fast.
You’d think after all these years I wouldn’t fall for this rookie error of judgement. I’ve been running well, I’m pacing myself well, my times have been good, I’ve done two 10km under 47 minutes and I was going for a sub 46 minute finish. My time trial time the other week told me I could do it, and I knew this would be a flat course (I ran it last year) and a good opportunity. I spent some time last night looking at the km splits required so I was prepped.
Spar Ladies is an enormous race (about 22,500 over the 10km and 5km fun run), but they allow club runners in at the front so you don’t get caught with the walkers. I got there early, but I felt quite tense during the wait at the start as I was concerned about the size of the field and getting away quickly. I made my biggest mistake when I stopped thinking about my race plan and focused on how I was going to dodge the slower runners as the race got underway. I hit the 2km mark at 8:26 which is way above my pay grade and much faster than the 9 minute split I should have been running at this point. Even this early into the race I knew I’d stuffed up my chances. I did slow down a bit but by then I’d wasted my energy, I went through 5km at 22:07 (PB), but still 20 seconds too fast. I knew I had to hold it together during the 6th and 7th km but I just couldn’t do it, felt really foolish as I could see myself slowing down, and I didn’t have energy to push in the 8th and 9th either. Super disappointed as I watched the 45:59 turn over on my watch and I only had 150m to the finish. Final time 45:15. That is still a PB, and 30 seconds off the last one is an enormous improvement over the distance, but I wasn’t happy. The fact that I was more than 2 minutes slower on the second 5km says it all, 30 seconds gained at the 2km mark cost me the 30 seconds I needed at the end. It was a hard lesson and a good reminder.
Route: Cape Town Stadium – Beach Road – Promenade – Beach Road – Somerset Road – Cape Town Stadium
Distance: 10km plus 2km warm up
For additional punishment the ‘killer week’ had me running 22km today so I had to add another 10km to the end of the race. I looked like a tool pounding up Kloof Nek from Greenpoint in my AAC race vest with my Spar numbers still pinned to me, especially when a random running stranger stopped me at the tap at the top and asked me ‘what are you doing up here?’ (her mother was running the 5km race). I mentioned the C word and she nodded knowingly and said ‘I’m doing that too’, so there are other idiots out there apart from myself.
Route: Cape Town Stadium – Somerset Road – Buitengracht Street – Kloof Nek – My house
Distance: 10km (total 22km)