There are many things I am grateful for in life and being able to do sport is one of them. I am very blessed to have the opportunity to race all over SA and sometimes overseas too. This year with a new job and more pressure and time in the office I have decided to just back off a little and take things as they come. This has resulted in me getting around 8hrs a week of training in, its not a lot but its consistant and I haven’t been sick or too badly injured which has been good.
I have managed to average around 30km per week of running, with a odd 50km week when I was lucky. So when it came time to run the Penninsula 42km to qualify for 2 Oceans and Comrades I was going to have my work cut out for me.
I never go into a race without a plan. I plan the pace and my nutrition according to that pace, I am very lucky to have raced for many years and know my body well and know what it can do. Then of course the equipment I use is always the best that I can get. Oakley sunglasses are a must, they keep your eyes relaxed and help you not tense up due to squinting with the sun in your eyes. The new Orca compression 226 shorts are the only things I am running in at the moment, loving the side pockets on these for gels. My shoe choice has also changed to PUMA Faas 800, they are 120g lighter than my shoes I have been running long in and make a huge difference.
So my plan was to go through the 21km mark in 1hr 45min and then hopefully pick it up for the 2nd half a little, I know negative splits are hard to achieve but start slow and finish fast was the idea. I wanted to run 24min per 5km as well, with a gel every 40min and coke only from 25km with a cataflam at that same water table as well. I don’t run on pain killers but I have found a cataflam to help a lot and just take the edge off when it starts to get real around 32km mark.
I managed to do all of this according to plan, the only glitch was running about 8km with Gwen van Lingen who won the 2 oceans before and chatting along at a pace that was a little fast for my plan , but felt good to open up a little. I did realize it and told her to go on and settled back into my pace.
With the last 8km to go I had 8min in the bag and was feeling good, this is also more or less the exact moment I hit a wall and really had to dig deep to finish strong, also the part of the course that starts to go uphill as well, I finished in 3hrs 28min and am very happy with a well-planned run and a new PB. The goal is to go under 3hrs by the end of the year, to run a sub 5hr 2 Oceans 56km and then to try and run 9hrs30min for Comrades.
I ran 21.1km in 1hr43’ and My 5km splits for the run were: