Skip to main content

PE City Marathon ~ A Personal Best

Racing against yourself, without a coach, is intimidating. After all, I'm not 18 anymore!

Back in the "good ole days", in my final years of school when I was super-fit, I could do a very quick 5km. I don't know how quick, but well below 20 minutes. These days I can't run that pace for 400m!

Image result for but did you die running memeSo after the Washie 100 in July and a month off of running, I decided that I could squeeze in a marathon PB while training for the Addo 100 miler next year March. Brave? Stupid? We'll see. My marathon PB came during the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon in 2015. 3 hrs 47. Nothing sparkling, but at least they had recorded times at the marathon mark! I had already "blown" and it took me another 2 hours to cover the last 14km. #ButDidIDie?

Having trained a good few people to their first marathons, some PB's and first-marathon-back-from-injury, I knew about all the ways to fit in the "quality" without the "quantity". A tired Washie body (that wasn't so young anymore) also made sure I didn't add excess miles.

I guess that was the key for me...

it may not be in 5 years time if I want to go faster, but for 2018, it was gold advice.

The PE Friendly City Marathon is one of the longest standing marathons in town. It has always been a "fast" marathon and very popular for runners qualifying for good seeding at Comrades (90km) and Two Oceans (56km); two of South Africa's biggest sporting events, and the reason ultra running is so big in South Africa. South African records have been challenged and set on this race. But not in December, and not on the new course. It is still conducive to good times, especially because you have the support on the route of fellow runners pacing faster times.

Race day strategy was: get to the start early with a friend staying over. Go out at even pace, moderate effort. Work with a bus if possible. The first half is mainly uphill until 25km. Then it is flat and downhill to end. The crux of the course is in the middle kilometers. There is a short, sharp hill, followed by reversing back down that hill... then you climb for 3km past the halfway mark. Run hard, but not too hard for 8-10km, and race the last 5km home.

Image may contain: 5 people, sky, outdoor and natureRace day weather played a little havoc with that plan. It was humid and warm, but with a strong Easterly breeze. That meant I HAD to work with a bus at least on the way out. Fortunately there were some experienced runners there that shared the load. Toward half way I started pulling them along and the bus split up... so I had to work a little harder than I hoped through the crux. With the wind eventually turning behind us, but the heat up, I couldn't run much harder through those last 15km... in fact, I had to haul arse the last 3km to meet my goals...

My big goal was never going to be possible on the day, but my major goal of sub 3.30 was got, but 5.6 seconds! 3hr29min54.4".

Click here for the Strava Activity:


Popular posts from this blog

The Truth of the Trail: Karkloof 100

I said to Andrew & Deon, "On the long trail, either you are truthful, or you are dead. And perhaps this is why we are a close community of people who know and believe in each other. We root for each other's success because we relate so honestly."

Friday night at 8pm, the gun was worked into the theme tune to the Greatest Showman. We Karkloof 100 milers were off, not quite like prey in front of lion... but the atmosphere was just as charged! An amazing show to send us on our way. It had been hot all Friday. Dry heat. It was due to get as hot on Saturday.

AMUK update: I had aced Addo. UTD and me... let's call it a tie (although I might flatter myself here). And Mac Mac bit my bullet... I finished, but it took everything I had. 14 weeks later, I'd recovered mostly, but not been able to maintain 100 mile fitness. I was as ready as I could be...

Rene & Frikkie (official and unofficial AMUK wayfinders) were prepped and looking good. There was no hope for me to …

Addo 100 - Race Report #RunAMUK for #RazeABar

A week after completing the Washie 100 miler I started training for my 2nd miler... I couldn't walk, but in my head it started. It was a kind of running “I am because we are” (loose translation of an African philosophical idea labeled “uBuntu”). Truth be told, it probably started when I ran my first official 5km run or parkrun many moons before that!
uBuntu philosophy leads to other African proverbs like, “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go with friends”. Race medals need friends, too, right? From a road 100 miler I needed to add a bush 100… and of course there are many around the world as one of the faster growing sports. The more 100 milers the better, right…? And of course me going far at Washie meant a great team of unicorn support on that road, and many miles training with mates leading up to Addo! Go together…
There were a lot of lessons I needed to learn at Washie. Teamwork, nutrition, hydration, training the right amount (not too much is as damaging…

Mac Mac Ultra 100: Ear worms and elevators!

What are the effects you can expect from doing 100 miles on foot? Hunger. Tiredness. Hallucinations. Blisters. Bruises. Toenail funerals. Sleep monsters. And others... Nobody mentions EARWORMS... [definition: a catchy song or tune that runs continually through a person's mind. I might amend that...]

Legends are made from stories. Sometimes they are true. Sometimes they have music.
Make sure you pick a good tune if you choose an earworm as a pet. The Cranberries version of "Zombie" is a good tune. For the first 15 hours. Thereafter... you're the zombie! But, I'm ahead of myself. There were three sections to my Mac Mac adventure: the first part where I felt good: 11 miles. The second part where I wondered if I'd make it: 70 miles. The last part that I'll just call "Zombie": 19 miles.
Ideal race preparation goes "smoothly" and is "stress free". A few niggles that hampered recovery and training in the 2 weeks leading up to the r…