With less than a week to go before the Two Oceans 56km Ultramarathon, I thought it a good idea to go for a leisurely drive along the route for a more visual reminder of what to expect.
It was the perfect clear and sunny day for a coastal drive. I dragged along fellow runner Andre with his valuable Two Oceans experience and we set out for a leisurely cruise along the Cape coast.
A visual reminder I surely got.
Wrapped in a serious kick in the gut reality check.
Sprinkled with breathtaking scenery.
Wannabe Zen master Nita is of the opinion that this race is not for the fainthearted. Amateur runner Nita just thinks it's f*king far and those hills are f*#%*ing steep. (Sorry mom.) Fifty six kilometres in theory is one thing. In reality it looks a little different.
That being said, I'm ready for the beautiful monster!
Having severely neglected my blog during the preparation for this major event, I took some live footage (albeit with my little Canon's rather crappy video feature) in an attempt to redeem myself. I think it will clearly explain why this race is known as the world's most beautiful marathon. Apart from that, it also serves as proof that a certain degree of insanity is in fact a prerequisite for participation. I transformed said scenes into the following superbly dorky video. Enjoy the beautiful views, see 2 seconds of me trying to appear optimistic but in fact just looking understandably stressed, and a heck of a lot of fit-inducing shaky route footage.
A few notes:
* (Unfortunately for some) much of the limited narration is in Afrikaans. I tried switching over to English every now and then but to be honest, I was a little bit distracted by an overwhelming gut wrenching fear.
* The distances mentioned are approximations. Don't hold me to it.
* The sound of the wind is indeed annoying, yes. Please refer to the "amateur" part of "Unofficial and totally amateur".
* No pedestrians, cyclists, tourists or other animals were injured in the making of this video. My confidence took a little hit though. But it's not critical.
* The killer soundtrack is copyright stuff. YouTube seems ok with it but I feel obliged to mention that this video is under no circumstances intended for commercial use.
* The footage belongs to me (I'm in it so I have pretty solid proof). Share it if you will but please refrain from misusing or taking credit for it. And a link back to this site is always appreciated. Muchos gracias :)
It dawned on me today how weird + crazy + ridiculous + ironic it is that the main reason I started this blog less than a year ago, was to serve as a source of motivation in preparation for and anticipation of my first full marathon. I trained diligently for 14 weeks, logged the training kms meticulously and recounted the little details of the progress I was making.
Fast forward 5 months down the line and here I am about to embark on the 2nd. But like many a poor second child, it has received much less attention than the metaphorical first born.
And it definitely does not deserve any less. It's certainly not like the novelty has worn off to any degree! I don't think anybody can run a non-chalant 42 kilometres. Well, no average joe at least.Not without paying a hefty price in pain. It's a distance that deserves respect. And it's a distance that you should respect your legs for carrying you accross and therefore prepare for it adequately.
Which is perhaps where I'm feeling a little nervous. Sure, I have trained but have I trained sufficiently? It certainly was not as diligent as before. Though, in fairness, this time training built on the foundation of having trained for and run a marathon already. So perhaps, like parenting, the knowledge of what to expect makes up a little bit for less than first-time-round preparation?
It's not so much that I am doubtful that I can run it. Moreso about the condition my body will be in after I've run it!
So, dear Kango marathon, my friend.
I've drowned my system in Energade Megaload for the past 2 days.
Please treat the legs well.
May the force be with us!
Start time is Saturday at 6am. The cut-off time is 11am (5-hours). Weather forecast predicts 19-29 degrees Celcius between these times. Route is point-to-point, supposedly flat to slightly downhill and very scenic.
Right! I'll see you stooges on the other side of the weekend.
I'm weirdly proud to admit that the following is the running sh*t I say:
* I got a bit of a niggle
* Anything related to carboloading (heck yeah!)
* Walkers should really start at the back, hey!
* I'm waiting for satellites (bwahaha! you and me both, other lady)
* I can't have a big one (no bro though!), I'm running tomorrow
* Yeah, what was your time, eh?
Got more in my running repertoire than I thought. And I'm not even counting the stretches.
It started out as an innocent get-together with a mate. "Let's go have a drink after work. I'll meet you at 6pm?" he suggested.
I hesitated. "But...the other lady....she'll be waiting for my call...", I thought.
Then, as if on cue, Temptation waltzed into the room, flipped his middle finger in Responsibility's direction, then casually strolled to the far end of the cerebral cortex, ignoring every red flag and light along the way, and pushed Conscience to the floor. "6pm? I'll see you then!" I heard the little bastard answer through my mouth.
And so it started.
First the drink after work.
A barbecue with friends the next evening.
Then a Wednesday night at the movies.
And before I knew it my mind was jumping to possible excuses every time the phone rang, in fear that it would be the other lady, wanting to know what had happened to me.
Thanks to a chesty cold – with timing even more impeccable than Murphy could have hoped for - I’ve been M.I.A. from the running scene with marathon D-day lurking around a dangerously close corner. And for a moment there, I thought it was the end of the world. As I know it, in any case. Except I did not feel fine.
But after a solid two weeks of uncontrollable coughing, zero exercise and stuck in my dark bottomless abyss of self pity (hey, everybody hurts some time), I received a thumbs up from the doctor yesterday. After a sucky few days of endless fretting that the months of winter-training might very well have been in vain, I walked away from that medical centre, R275 for 15 minutes poorer, but shiny and happy once more! It’s a medically confirmed all systems go for the Cape Town marathon. Lets get this show on the road, put this man on the moon!
Tonight, I’d like to dedicate this blog post to the 6453 midges and other bugs that died during my forest run this afternoon. It saddens me that the Winelands region’s insect population had to take such a severe hit directly because of my humble attempt at fitness.
Life is unfair sometimes.
Even if you’re fit, I don’t believe an amateur can ever run a completely effortless long run.
It’s not supposed to be easy. If it was, half the world would be out there doing it.
(But you’re not, are you you lazy gits!**)
Even though the other lady and I used to natter away quite effortlessly during our runs (well, to be honest, the poor soul spends more time listening to me natter than she natters herself), the significantly longer time on the road these past few weekends have naturally resulted in increasing stints of silence.
Quite a few runners I've read about or spoken to are able to temporarily zone out for an indefinite period of time. I've not mastered this skill...and believe me, when facing 3+ hours on the road, the ability to space out for even a fraction of that time truly is a luxury.
Now before any knickers get knotted, there's no need for worry. Or jubilation if - for whatever inexplicable reason - me being up the spout would elicit such a reaction.
My oven is still very much empty.
Well, unless a modern-day 2.0 version of immaculate conception has recently been released without my knowledge...
There is no bun in the oven.
There is, however, one in my stomach.
And it's not alone.
It's hanging with its buddies - sandwich, biscuits, chocolate muffin, cupcake and the rest of the I-looked-sweet-and-edible-even-in-the-slightest gang. They're all in there. Gorged.
Did not pass oven, did not collect R200.