With a week of running in the bag came the relief of knowing I can do 12km, but the anxiety that comes with finishing a 21km race still lingers in my chest.
The road ahead is a long one, but I have made progress.
A week ago I thought I was absolutely insane for signing up to run – there was no way on Earth I could imagine it becoming easier, especially since the distance becomes longer each week. Nonetheless, one week in, it turns out that there might be something enjoyable about this sport.
Besides the fact that I get to sneak in a block of chocolate guilt-free these days, I am also enjoying getting to know my running buddies, even though our hangouts mean sweat and struggle.
I also get to rub shoulders with experienced runners like Khalid Galant from the Drug Free Sport Unit at the Sports Science Institute of South Africa (SSISA). A guy who knows his stuff!
Khalid has been a recreational athlete ever since he can remember. He has also completed three Two Oceans Half Marathons and, this year he aims to meet his personal best. He aims to make sub2 (run 21km in under 2 hours)
Like me, Khalid is part of the OMTOM Inspiration challenge, and is lucky enough to have the SSISA to help him achieve his goal. More from Khalid in the video at the end of this blog.
My visit to the dietician
I had mixed feelings about meeting with a dietician. On the one hand I was excited to hear about what I could (had to) eat, and if there was a chance to shed a few kilos, but I was also a bit afraid that I’d have to make major changes and stick to a strict eating plan consisting of only greens and grills.
I also didn’t want to hear that I’d have get rid of my unconditional love for pizza.
To my surprise, the meeting went well. Sarah Chantler, one of the dieticians from Shelley Meltzer at SSISA, put me at ease when she said that I wouldn’t have to make any big changes to my current diet. In her opinion I had already been making ‘better’ choices.
Sarah worked out an eating plan that included most of the foods I’d usually eat, and I was surprised that I didn’t have to cut out any food groups. She simply taught me how to make up my meals on days that I train versus days that I don’t.
- SISSA's Kathleen Mc Quaide on what to eat if you're training
- To carbo-load or not?
Visiting a dietician was really beneficial, especially since I am new to running and need to know how to fuel my body correctly on days that I do long runs.
I only had a day to be blown away by my new diet plan before I got to be flabbergasted by the podiatrist.
Visiting a podiatrist
Dr Chris Delpierre from SSISA assessed my feet after the 12km run. It was the first time in my life that I’ve felt comfortable with someone else touching my feet and clipping my toenails. This doctor impressed me.
He filmed my feet while I ran and then played back the footage to me in slow motion. At a first glance he could tell me just where I might experience discomfort when I run and he knew just where my foot might need extra support. His analysis was spot on and I left, running shoe prescription in hand and a lot more confident. .
- How to choose your running shoes (infographic)
- Shoes can make or break your run
I was also extremely fortunate in that Adidas is sponsoring my shoes for the marathon! Here are my new beauties, which I received today. I'm sure they will shave minutes off my finishing time!
More on my podiatry assessment in the video
Be sure to follow me on Twitter @Yentl_Barros, as well as my team mates Martin - @Martinbeta1 and Bronwyn - @BronskiBean
Be inspired during the 2015 Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon
#OMTOMInspiration is a joint venture between the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon, the Sports Science Institute of SA (SSISA), Runner's World and Health24.com.
Follow all OMTOM updates and remember to add the hashtag #OMTOMInspiration!
On Twitter @Health24com, @2OceansMarathon, Runners World and @Sportscience_sa
Yentl's journey this far:
My 8 week journey to the 21km Two Oceans Marathon - Week 1
My 8 week journey to the 21k Two Oceans Marathon - Week 0
Tips on running:
Useful tips for first-time runners
Your running shoes and kit - get it right
Hill training doesn't have to be dreadful