Two weeks of rest after my 62km's meant that I could go and run a 10km race on Sunday. This was a strange space for me once again, as I found myself slipping back into 'couch potato' days and thinking, '10km's is far, will I be able to do it?' I tested my doubts the day before while walking the dogs. I had short bursts of a jog, and found myself heaving and wheezing, almost as if I was confirming that the past 4 years have indeed been a dream, I couldn't possibly be a 'runner'. The dogs were wheezing just as much as I was, so my alter ego said in a stern voice 'it helps when you breathe while you run'. I walked back home and decided to still test the reality of running 10kms the next day, after all I had promised my friend I would be there.
Getting my running things together was strange, and I thought my vest looked odd, but it took a long moment to realise that I had taken my licence number off it, while I was doing the Comrades, so I had to hunt the numbers out and pin them on again. I am also used to efficient hubby who thinks ahead and plans things like top layers of clothes for cold mornings, but hubby is working on that thingimajig, the football, so in the end I forgot my outer layer. Luckily this race started later, at 8am, so the cold on my arms was only while we waited for the start to happen.
A much smaller field in general arrived at the race, and the organisers had done a nice thing by giving the walkers and us separate starting times, which helped congestion, and another good thing is that they separated the genders, which meant us girls could take our time in starting, and not be jostled while applying our make up when the gun goes off! The men are mostly quicker off the mark, however this RAC start is on a rather steep uphill, and with Comrades creaking in everyone's joints, the pace did seem a little slower.
At the top of this hillstart, I felt my muscles in my butt complain, but it was on both sides, and not the Comrades hip pain, but after loosening up on the nice downhill, the complaints stopped. In fact I ran very comfortably, and with all the catch up we had to do, it was only at the 6km marker board, that I realised how quick the time seemed to have gone. We have run this route many times, but it was interesting to notice that the mean hill at about 7 km's didn't feel so mean. It was a lovely morning for a run, with the sun high, but a cool breeze and I enjoyed eavesdropping (when my friend was drinking her water), and heard about other runner's Comrades experiences.
We were welcomed back into the stadium with some nice cheers, as I was wearing my SA flag shorts to keep the vuvuzela's blowing. Even nicer, was the hot breakfast and fresh coffee waiting for us at the gazebo. I managed to remember my chair, so I had a nice 'seat and eat' while watching some heroes of the day finish their race. Two 80 year old gents finished, and the one chap didn't look a day over 60, he was celebrating his 80 birthday that day, I hope when I get to that age, I will be sitting down with a nice cup of tea and birthday cake. Mind you, 80 is the new 60 these days!
So the running rest was broken, however it may have been a once off, because a cold front of note has gripped the land, and the thought of going outside to run against that icy wind is not attractive at all. Instead I will sit and write about it, makes it feel 'real'!
Keep it real!