With the Easter weekend, comes the Two Oceans Marathon in Cape Town and for those who read my blog will know that this has been a major goal for me this year, not only to finish my second Two Oceans half marathon, but to finish it in a better time than last year.
My training has been excellent for this race, I’ve done some great strength and speed work at Boot Camp, but what I did underestimate was doing those extra couple of long runs which I needed in my legs come race day.
For various reasons, the longest I had run in a few months was the Constantia Village 15km race a couple of weeks before Two Oceans. I missed a couple of the long training runs which my group run on a Saturday and I really paid for that on Saturday.
I was cruising along in the race, Edinburgh and Southern Cross Drive had nothing on me, until I hit the 17km mark and that’s when my right leg started feeling like someone had klapped me with a baton.
This is when the psychological part of running kicks in. There was every chance that I would be forced to pull out at this point but I grit my teeth and stuck it out (the support on the sidelines from all the well-wishers made it so much easier). The stretch towards the finish at UCT is a bit of a blur because I was fighting hard, but when I crossed the finish line, I was absolutely ecstatic and had smashed my personal best time as well as took 8 minutes off my 2012 Two Oceans, finishing in 2 hours 50 minutes. That pesky cut-off gun-wielder was nowhere in sight this year.
To end off a couple of ‘Thank yous’.
Firstly, to the Slug & Lettuce in Newlands, thank you for the VIP treatment you gave my running group before the start, you have no idea how much that helped.
Then, thank you to my sponsors Puma, who kit me out in the best running gear, to USN for all my supplements and a huge thank you to the people at Sports Science Institute. The Boot Camp training played a huge role in me reaching my goal and bettering my times.
Finally, I want to say thank you to my wife who has to put up with all my training and was there at the finish line to greet me and bring me warm clothes – having that support means everything to me.
This is my ecstatic look…