Oh yes! I ran/walked a 15km race.
One of the fitness and weight loss goals that I set myself last year is to run a half marathon in about March/April of this year. The Varsity Kudus 15km is the first race on the race calendar in our area and is a popular choice to start the year. Many of my previous running mates run the race so that was a little motivation to get me to the start.
It’s been years since I’ve run this race and the first time that I’ve run this route. It was brutal. Lots of really steep hills in the last 6km! And many thought that I was crazy to attempt it given that I have had very little training in the last 8 weeks. In fact, the longest training run I have done in the last 8 weeks is 4km. And I had picked up a knee injury post that 4km, which has not quite healed. So 15km certainly seemed a stretch too far.
My husband hasn’t missed a Varsity Kudus race in about 15 years and didn’t have a pilot so he decided that he would run with me, to help me through the race. I haven’t piloted my husband for years and years! And I’ve never enjoyed piloting him because I believe that the pilot should be stronger than the blind runner. And its been decades since I was the stronger runner! But he has this idea that he can help me through a tough run. I have never had the heart to tell him that it makes the run harder for me. In any case, he was very patient with all my walking, I guess he didn’t have a choice!
I was really pleased to see that I could still run 10km in much the same time as two months ago. My lack of training though showed in the last 5km. My glutes were the first to complain, at about 9km, but they settled down. Then my calves tightened but they held up. I began to worry when my shins started hurting. I’ve had shin splints before and it’s extremely painful to carry on with painful shins. Strangely enough, my knee only started to take strain in the last 3km. But by then, I knew that I was going to finish the race. So it was just a matter of nursing my knee through to the end. I was passed by so many walkers in the last kilometer. That steep uphill was nearly the death of me!
Two days later and I am still quite stiff but no injuries! That is quite a remarkable result.
We finished the race 20 minutes later than target, but we finished within the cut off time and for now that is enough.
I still plan to run a half marathon in about April. I will have to run another two 15km races before I attempt that. Toughing out a 15km is one thing, but a half marathon can be a beast, because the wall tends to hit you at 18km. Then that last 3km becomes very long and very painful.
Watch this space!