On Saturday 7 April I run my first half marathon, after 6 months training as part of the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon Superstars programme.
After doing the 12 week Optifit programme, we were pretty much left to our own devices, and I took up the offer of a free membership to Mr Price Celtics, the running club.
This has meant that I still have a structure to my training, joining in on some club runs, and entering some races. I have done two 15km races in the last two months, which has increased my confidence.
I ran my first race in club colours at the Koeberg 15km in the Nature Reserve, and did a time of 1 hour 45 mins, which is a 7 mins a kilometre pace. I am hoping to achieve this pace for Two Oceans so as to get a sub 2 hours 30 mins race time, but must focus on the achievement itself I think and not get too obsessed with times.
Have a goal time
Having a goal time helps motivate and structure your training, but it can work against you if you get to a point in the race where you realize you are not on target and will not achieve your goal.
It takes your strength of mind then not to get deflated and flake out for the end of the race, so if I land up at Kirstenboch (16km) and I am beyond an hour and 50 minutes, I will simply tell myself that 2 hours 45 is fine, as doing this race at all represents a huge achievement for me.
From sitting on my couch, to Run/Walk for life to Superstar in 18 months, I want to thank Liesche from Run/Walk for Life, Stefanie Schultzen, marketing manager of the Old Mutual Two Oceans marathon, Kathy McQuaide of the Sports Science Institute and Juliet, Simone and Alexi who ran the Optifit programme.
Dave Spence, our virtual coach and the other 6 Superstars who helped motivate and encourage along the way. Nike kitted me out with running gear, I received a Runners’ World Subscription, and a Powerade supply.
What a team to have behind you. Other runners are out there getting up at 6am on their own and heading out for a training run. Thanks to Celtics for their free membership, I will be continuing running and entering races, but at this stage don’t think I want to push on and train for a marathon; unlike Michelle Bakker, who is doing her first Ultra Marathon on Saturday after being a Superstar a few years ago. If it was not for her, I would never have started this journey at all.