So I ran Soweto!
Yes, I really really did! If it weren’t for my stiff and tired legs, I’m not sure I’d quite believe it!
On Saturday, the night before the race, the magnitude of what I was about to do suddenly hit me….
On the 6th January this year, I tipped the scales at 118kg’s and couldn’t even walk down the road and here I was on the eve of completing my first half marathon, 32kg’s lighter and fitter and healthier than I’ve been in more than a decade! And I realized what an incredible privilege the last 10 months have been. That my transformation has been so much more than just physical and I’ve learned so many amazing lessons about myself, about my determination, my staying power and the great big set of balls I have, I feel like I’ve transformed not just my body but my mind too.
I hardly slept on Saturday night, I was soo nervous for the race and eventually I got up at 3h30 because I couldn’t stand to lie in bed and stare at the clock a second longer. So I tiptoed downstairs, drank a couple of cups of coffee and ate a banana and then got my kit together and got ready to go. I’m so grateful to Samantha Curley-Young who stayed with me for the duration of the race, she helped keep me going and helped me set my pace and she knew just when to push me when I thought I couldn’t anymore. We also drove together, along with Jenty to the start which did help calm my nerves a little because by the time she arrived to fetch me, I was so adrenalin drunk I couldn’t even respond to messages on my phone.
The race itself was VERY well organized! I loved it. No unnecessary delays, no hanging about, we just got out there and got the job done!
At about 8km’s I had a serious attack of the nerves. I kept asking myself what the hell I was actually doing! I wasn’t even half way through and why the hell did I sign up for this! Thankfully that sensation of OMG I can’t do this, why am I doing this and the panic that accompanied it was short lived and I felt I ran really well from the 5km mark to about the16/17km mark, I felt strong, I was able to run for much longer stretches and at a good pace! This half marathon saw me beat my PB’s on a 5km & a 10km so I knew I was doing well.
But at 17km’s I “hit the wall”. It hurt. It hurt so much I didn’t think I could do it. If it weren’t for the fact that we only had 4km’s left to do, I swear I would have bailed! I just kept telling myself I’d come TOO far to quit now! Sam was there cheering me on, along with some chirps about queue the Rocky music and some bad singing and air punching from some smart Alec who ran past us and gave us a good laugh and I managed to keep going. By the time we reached the finishing field, I had a severe stitch, I was in extreme pain and I could only just manage a shuffle! But I crossed the finish line and as soon as I heard my ChampionChip beep on the mat, I burst into tears!
The tears were so much more than just relief. They were tears of joy and happiness. I did it! I ran a half marathon! I proved to myself and to everyone who made fun of me at the beginning of this year, that I could do it. That I wasn’t the fat chic anymore.
And then I cried and cried and cried! And then I had champagne with Sam, Jenty and Jenna as we celebrated our achievement!
My official race time is 3:00:18 but I prefer my Nike running app, which said I ran a sub 3!
The best/worst part… now I want to do it again!
Next up…. Half Ocean!