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Offline Kerritz

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1220 on: September 15, 2019, 09:09:40 am »
Good going Heather through halfway  :thumleft:
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Offline halfjob

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1221 on: September 15, 2019, 11:54:29 am »
well done Heather :ricky: :ricky: hope you aren't too sore tomorrow :laughing4:
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Offline Kerritz

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1222 on: September 15, 2019, 12:04:20 pm »
well done Heather :ricky: :ricky: hope you aren't too sore tomorrow :laughing4:

Well done was following your progress together with those of some friends and family. You can be very proud of yourself.

@halfjob tomorrow will still be OK Tuesday and Wednesday will be a problem for sure.  :biggrin:
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Offline halfjob

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1223 on: September 15, 2019, 12:32:33 pm »
yip i remember when i ran comrades...was the second day when it klapped me properly :imaposer: :imaposer:
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Offline Sardine

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1224 on: September 15, 2019, 03:02:57 pm »
Thanks guys!
My goal was to finish. Bonus that I made it in under 5:30.

I am already feeling stiff, and have had a nice hot bath. I know the worst is still to come.
My niggly knee is going to be fun...

But I am so glad I was able to take part!
 
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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1225 on: September 15, 2019, 03:12:51 pm »
Thanks guys!
My goal was to finish. Bonus that I made it in under 5:30.

I am already feeling stiff, and have had a nice hot bath. I know the worst is still to come.
My niggly knee is going to be fun...

But I am so glad I was able to take part!

Crazy person. Nevertheless...

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Offline Oubones

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1226 on: September 15, 2019, 06:46:27 pm »
Well done!
Hot bath relax and you will be fine!
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Offline Sardine

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1227 on: September 15, 2019, 06:59:36 pm »
I had a solid nap. Body feels a little better. Well, from my head to my waist. My legs arenít too happy. Both knees have decided ďnopeĒ. But, itís the same sort of discomfort and pain I experienced after descending from the summit of Kilimanjaro. And I did whole dayís hiking downhill like that. So this should be nothing in the grand scheme.


Offline Wayne

Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1228 on: September 15, 2019, 09:00:34 pm »
Well done. Probably to late now but they say a bath with Epson salts helps for the legs.

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Offline Mr Zog

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1229 on: September 16, 2019, 01:43:12 am »
Very well done Heather!

Just keep drinking lots of fluids the next few days so your body can more easily expel the toxins (by-products of the run, cellular-level stuff) and you will be fine.  :thumleft:
Young enough to know I can, old enough to know I shouldn't, stupid enough to do it anyway.
 
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Offline EssBee

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1230 on: September 16, 2019, 01:20:36 pm »
Well done, Heather!
 
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Offline >>ThumpįC

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1231 on: September 16, 2019, 04:39:38 pm »
well done Heather,!!
I like your spirit.
Boys will be Boys.
And girls are darn thankful for that
 
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Offline Sardine

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1232 on: September 18, 2019, 07:44:42 am »
Below, my rambling account of my first marathon.

---

14 September

I was a bundle of nerves. So much so, everything started to ache and it felt suspiciously like the on set of flu. But I willed myself to believe it was just the pre-race jitters.

15 September
Surprisingly, I slept quite well and felt relatively fresh when my alarms went off at 4am. I had a weak cup of coffee to try kick start the body, and had a few spoonful of my overnight oats. My first time making them. Yum! So convenient. I saved the rest for the drive, and headed off.

The roads were relatively quiet, and I got into Cape Town a little after 5am. I found a parking spot near the big circle so it was a short walk to the start pen. My oats were devoured, and I began sipping on my water and Rehidrat mix. In the past I have always felt I have skimped on the electrolytes, so I didn't want to make the same mistake.

Walking to the start area, I "met" two other guys. One was running barefoot  :eek7: and the other was a very nice, but chatty oke. I think it was his first marathon but he was seeded a few pens ahead of me (I was in G for [G]awesome). I also think he was quite nervous because he kept asking the same questions within a minute of getting the answer.

I wish them luck and headed to my pen. Riiiiiiiigggghhhhhtttt at the back.
And now, the wait.

Thank goodness I bought some arm warmers at the expo- there was a light but cool breeze about. As the sky started to lighten, the temperature dropped.

I paced and walked up and down the stairs. People started arriving in drips and drabs.

1hr to go.
The sounds of the twittering birds have been replaced by excited chatter as more and more people arrive. The start pens are filling up, and the cool crisp air is filled by the smells of Deep Heat.

30min to go.
Had another pee. A lot of people are here now, but still the temperature is plummeting. I wish everyone would stop moving and swirling the cold air around!

15min to go.
I have to pee. Again.
Loving these arm warmers! I have discreetly tried to huddle up next to some people to try and stay warm.

7min to go.
I have suddenly been hit with a thought... "What the heck am I doing here?!" A marathon, are you freaking crazy, woman?!
...
I managed to squash the thought. That sort of thinking could ruin the run for me.
I just looked back and saw the 6h30 pace marker. Yessss! A good start that I have managed to place myself ahead of him. (The race cutoff is 6:30)

A few minutes to go.
The excitement is tangible. Someone starts talking but we can't really make it out. Then they sing the national anthem. I am not one of those people who stands with my hand on my chest to sing the anthem, but I felt pretty proud right then, surrounded by thousands of people, singing South Africa's anthem. It felt like we were all united there. And I shared a laugh with the lady next to me when half of us got the time wrong.

But sjoe, as we sang "Sounds the call to come together, and united we shall stand " I choked up. And everyone pretty much shouted "let us LIVE and strive for FREEDOM".

And then, the crack of the start gun went off. And we were off. Kind of.
We stepped forward has a group, not much shoving and pushing fortunately, and walked.

It took 5 minutes just to cross the Start line!  :lol8:

Once we crossed the start we were able to spread out and I broke into a jog. For the week leading up to the event I walked every day. But on Thursday I discovered the place I was staying at had a treadmill. So, after dinner I went for a treadmill walk but got bored, and decided to jog. I had @Tom van Brits 's voice in my head telling me not to overdo it and that I should be resting! But I'm glad I did because I discovered a very short, fast stride that was both comfortable and sustainable. So I did that on the treadmill for 10 minutes.

And that is the stride I applied that cool Sunday morning. The sky light, the air filled with the smell of the sea as we rounded the bend and ran along the ocean. Men scattered everywhere peeing in bushes, and on the beach  ???

As we came to the corner by the Shell garage before turning right on to the M6 to follow the promenade, there was a drumline doing their thing. I love the sound of dreams and they were playing fantastically.

Not long after that, at 21 minutes in, the front-runners came whizzing past in the opposite direction. They were probably around 8km in by that point. Holy smokes! We all screamed and shouted and clapped and cheered them on.

I had set my watch to buzz every 6km, and the first 6km came and went. I was feeling good. My starting pace was great - I didn't feel out of breath. I was warming up nicely. I had marked a few people I wanted to keep up with. I passed the 6h pace marker, surrounded by a group of walkers. It was tempting to stick with them as the gees was just awesome, and some other ladies who were running at my pace said they had run with the lady leading the group and she was really good. But, I had a rhythm so I decided to stick to it.

One oke was running for... damn. I can't remember. It might have been an animal group. But anyway, he had a big wooden chair/basket-like contraption on his back. Kudos to him! I kept him in sight and missioned on.

The first water station was around 5km in. I had my Camelbak with 500ml of Rehidrat, and would rely on the water stations for plain water. I grabbed a little baggy and a Bar One. Then at the next table I saw the had bananas so I ditched the Bar One and grabbed a banana.

My bladder was already sloshing around like a ship in the Bering Sea, but the queue's for the bathrooms were long. So I pushed on.
We got to the end of the promenade and turned left before Bantry Bay, to loop back through Sea Point and Green Point along Regent Road (I think). The turn takes you uphill a bit, and then it's downhill past all the shops. I decided to walk the hill, everything I had read popping up in my head "rest on the hills, walk when you can, don't push too hard to early".

Normally I feel disappointed in myself when I walk unless I absolutely have to. Not this time.

From here it was a nice jog downhill to recover fully, and I took in the sights and sounds. I really miss living out that way. I used to walk and cycle that road every day.

We cut back to the promenade just after the Sea Point Swimming Pool, and I spied some Portaloo's without a queue. So I dashed over for my technical stop, and I was on my way again.

At 10km we were on that over-pass thing by the section of road they never finished. And I looked at Table Mountain and thought "How lucky am I to see that mountain while running on this section of road?!"

I passed a chap from the Strand running club. Not sure what condition he had but he had a bit of an odd run. I kept pace with him for a bit, contemplating offering him an energy gel as he looked like he was already straining. But, he seemed focused and in the zone, and I opted to carry on.

From here we hit Long Street. Again, it was so cool to experience all the shops and buildings from this perspective. Sure, they were all closed, but I enjoyed the feeling.
Some ladies were dishing out date balls and I took one without thinking. It was only after I had scoffed it (and it was good) that I realised I probably shouldn't have had it. And I was right. Not long after that my body wasn't happy from the sugar, and richness of it. I got more water in the hopes it would settle my stomach.

I had also grabbed a bag of dried fruit, even though I didn't want it. Idiot. So I ran with fruit for a good 5km- I didn't want to toss it on the ground and waste it. I eventually found a table to leave it on so another runner could grab it if they needed it.

13km in, we hooked a left and had a nice downhill rest section along Plein Street. I'm just looking at the map now and I see we passed a waffle place. Swak! I will check it out next time.

It was incredible. There was no city noise. No buzz of traffic. No hooting and shouting. Just the sound of shoes hitting tar, and the breathing of hundreds of runners. That alone is an experience.

We left Plein Street and ran along Keizersgracht Road for a short stretch, past Groote Schuur and then cross over the N2.
It was pretty sad, from the pride I felt during the singing of the Anthem to the complete scumminess and filth of this area. I felt ashamed.

But then we entered cleaner, greener suburbs... Newlands first I think. Yes, I have lived in the Western Cape for close on 20yrs and I don't know the suburbs...

I think it was as I neared the half way mark that my knee started acting up. And I had to pee. Again.
So I made a technical stop, using the time in the queue to stretch a bit. And then it was onwards and upwards.

I was trying to ration my snacks. While there were bananas and sweets at the water stations, my stomach was not happy. So I had to find a balance between getting energy, and not over-doing it. It was a fine line.

Looking at the route on Endomondo, I see we passed the University, and turned back towards the city just before Cavendish Square. I didn't even realise it.

I passed a guy who only had one arm. And another who only had one leg. Respect! At some point a lady arrived next to me and kept my pace. We ran together for I don't know how long. Not speaking, just silently keeping each other company. She would stop to stretch and I would carry on, and when I slowed down to rest, she would pass. And so we carried on. It is quite comforting.

There was also a band playing which was awesome. Music does so much for the motivation!

We were in Rondebosch now, and I could see runners approaching from the opposite direction. That hit me mentally as now it was like "I have to run there, and then run back again" and it felt like I wasn't moving forward. It was also around this point that I crossed the 24.5km mark. I was in unknown territory: I had never run this far before.

My leg was sore. The wind had picked up. I wasn't physically tired, but I wasn't feeling great. My stomach was also churning.

But, on I pushed. I sent my family messages whenever I crossed the sections where your time gets recorded. And I also messaged them every now and then just to give myself a distraction.

At the 30km mark I sent a message to them saying "Starting to hurt. Bad stomach cramps."
What had just felt like gas started to feel like something more, and I found myself wondering if I would have to make a little more than a technical stop. In a bush. Without toilet paper.

Runners are gross.  :lol8:

Two park runs left. Just two. I can do that. Right? Yes. Of course I can!

I was determined not to let The Wall get me. But I was taking strain. While the Rehidrat helped, I needed salt. All of the water stations had water and coke, but very few had Powerade. Eventually I got a cup of Powerade in me and that helped the energy, though not the stomach.
I needed food. Proper food. Not an energy bar. I knew there was a Woolworths stand somewhere. But where?!

By now I was playing leap-frog with another lady, and I used that to distract myself from the discomfort in my leg and pain in my stomach.

Details here are sketchy - I can't remember the exact sequence of events.

But, I got my Woolworths food at last. Boiled potatoes covered in salt. Holy cow. They were amazing. I think I quite literally stuffed them into my mouth. And I grabbed a delicious hot cross bun. Yesssssssss! This is it. I can do it.

I will NOT hit The Wall. I will jump OVER it!

7km to go. As some ladies passing me said "It's nothing. 7km is NOTHING in the grand scheme of things".

We were in Woodstock. I hardly noticed the rubbish and smell of urine. A lady said "You can do this Heather" I got such a fright. Who is addressing me by name?!

Another lady, leaning over the fence along the route shouted "You got this babes! Heather, you can do this. You got this!" she said it with such conviction, such sincerity, as if she knew me. Wow. It spurred me on.

5km. Just one park run. I was really having to push now. And push. And push. I couldn't run for long otherwise my stomach protested.
My sister sent my videos of my niece cheering me on, and I had to choke back the tears. But it helped motivate me.
About 3km to go, we crossed under the N2, and I came upon the 5:30 pace marker.

I walked with the group for a bit and then decided no. I can do better. I have the energy, I have more than enough energy. I wasn't tired. I wasn't out of breath. I was just in so much discomfort. So I broke into a jog, determined to open a gap between me and them. Walk-jogging up Strand street. Up and over the foot bridge that crosses the... I forget the road. The one by Truth Coffee.

I was back on familiar turf. A little downhill section to rest. 41km.
Almost there.

My watch was over reading by almost 1km. It knocked me mentally. I focused on the route markers (which were weirdly set up in my opinion- they would say 41km ahead, and then 20m later, 41km. What was the purpose of the "ahead" one?

We were on the path that forms part of the Green Point park run.  I was updated my Mom- she was waiting by the finish line.

People were cheering.
I was under the big traffic circle, one more uphill and then the home straight. 42km.
And I was like yes! Only 500m left. Half a kilometer. You can do it!

A right turn, and the finish line was in sight.
One final push. I managed to break into a run, my legs relishing being stretched out a little more. I powered over the finish line but didn't have the strength to raise my arms triumphantly for the photo.

And I slowed to walk. Waited in line to get my medal. My muscles felt like they were contracting. My body was tingling. I couldn't feel my face.

Medal received, it's weight comforting around my neck, I walked around like a spastic spider. My body had shut down. Moving was painful but I knew not moving would be worse. I eventually found my Mom. She missed me crossing the finish line. Oh well. I gingerly made my way to the Deep Heat tent, but the queue was so long. Screw it. I lay down on the grass in the shade, my Mom breaking out the Deep Freeze. It felt so good to not be on my feet.

I had done it. I didn't feel giddy with joy. I didn't feel this massive sense of accomplishment. I just felt tired. Drained. Fatigued. And to think, it wasn't even 1pm. I still had the whole afternoon to do stuff.

They say finishing a marathon changes you.
This wasn't nearly as mentally or physically tough as I expected. Maybe I was delirious at some point, but I have had to physically push myself harder in the past. Maybe those past events just prepared me so well for the mental onslaught of a marathon?
I do however feel great knowing that I have done a marathon. Like summiting Kilimanjaro, I feel like I can look at obstacles and say "why not".
Maybe the enormity of what I have done is yet to hit me.

---
After my rest my Mom headed home and I headed to Franky's Diner to get the chicken mayo sandwich I have been craving since leaving the Western Cape. My stomach still churning, I saved the sandwich for later and drove home.

Twit. Marathon is 42.2km, not 42.5km.

I had a nice hot bath, and felt ok. But for once I decided to give in and didn't object when my sister said "go lie down".
I passed out for about 2hrs. It was such a good nap.

I surfaced for dinner and a chat with the family. And was lights out again by 8pm. I slept surprisingly well.

---

On Monday I said good bye to everyone, and headed to the airport. Walking up and down the stairs in the terminal helped ease the stiffness of my muscles, though my hip is still quite bad.
I expected Tuesday to be agony but it has been alright.

Today I also feel ok, though I think my leg is still swollen and I am too scared to try put a shoe on.
But, I am going to see a biokineticist today. I have decided I want to keep running. I want to keep pushing myself. I don't know if I will do a marathon any time soon, but I am keen to try a multi-day trail run.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2019, 07:46:14 am by Sardine »
 
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Offline Oubones

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1233 on: September 18, 2019, 09:31:48 am »
Thanks for the detailed write-up and for taking us with.
I have never done a round run, except for a 5km run where we were to late to get a scuttle at the finish so went straight to the start and then I ran back to go and get the car! :peepwall:
I can just imagine how intimidating it must have been to know you have to come back here while on your way to the halfway mark! Especially as it was your first.
I am proud of you and you did really well!
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Offline Sardine

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1234 on: September 18, 2019, 04:56:58 pm »
Thanks for the detailed write-up and for taking us with.
I have never done a round run, except for a 5km run where we were to late to get a scuttle at the finish so went straight to the start and then I ran back to go and get the car! :peepwall:
I can just imagine how intimidating it must have been to know you have to come back here while on your way to the halfway mark! Especially as it was your first.
I am proud of you and you did really well!

Thank you Ou Bones. Fortunately it wasnít an out-and-back route. That absolutely kills me mentally.
I did a couple of runs like that while training in Somerset West. It was horrible.

Offline Mrs. Zog

Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1235 on: September 18, 2019, 08:00:29 pm »
You are amazing, I am in awe of you!

I ran a half marathon years ago and I struggled. I can't imagine doing a full marathon. Awesome achievement!
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Offline Tom van Brits

Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1236 on: September 19, 2019, 03:24:40 am »
Very well done Sardine, I knew you have what it takes  8)  :laughing4: :thumleft:

I can't wait to get back to SA to do my 2 x favorite runs;
1) 5k parkrun
2) 21 Km half marathon
3) 1 x ultra a year

Hope to read of more running achievements of you here!!  :laughing4:
 
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Offline Kerritz

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1237 on: September 23, 2019, 09:40:08 am »
LOL.....spastic spider.....very funny!  :spitcoffee:

Well done and thanks for sharing your story. I hope your leg heals well so that you can continue to run.
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Offline Sardine

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1238 on: September 24, 2019, 05:47:21 pm »
Weather was beauts in Grahamstown this morning, but when we phoned PE it was on the deck.
Yeeha. We got the details of the weather and determined we could still go (we have to meet certain criteria to do the instrument approach. If you canít meet the criteria, you require two alternate aerodromes.)

We entered the cloud and punched through to surf the tops at 9000ft. Then it was in the cloud for the descent and approch, ATC advising that two aircraft ahead broke cloud at 60-100ft above the Decision Altitude- the point on the approach where, if you donít have the runway visual, you must conduct a missed approach.

Well, this should be fun.

The approach to runway 26 takes you 8 miles out to sea and I got a fright when i glanced outside and saw a massive oil tanker. We were at 2000ft above the water but that tanker looked so close.

We broke cloud about 100ft above the Decision Altitude and landed on a rather wet runway.

The rain had stopped by then and the day went on to clear up (mostly). Lekker!  :ricky:
 
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Offline TeeJay

Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1239 on: September 25, 2019, 05:40:24 am »
I think you know what you're doing  :imaposer:

Good job  ;)
Eat life!