What person is crazy enough to set their alarm for 04:30 on a public holiday, I mean seriously one should be catching up on sleep? Sportsmen & women that’s who, no rest for the wicked as they say. The past week of training for me has been non-existent and I’m pretty sure I strained my hip flexor on my first 10km run in Krugersdorp just over a week ago. I rested my muscles for a few days after race then did another run last Sunday, needless to say I aggravated the muscle again during the run and have been resting it up until the Cradle run on Friday morning. I have noticed it starts acting up from just after the 5km mark, this may have been a case of going too far too soon with regards to the distance I am running. I also now know which muscles to focus on more in the gym in my strength training. My next road race is only in 2 weeks time so I have some time to rest and hopefully recover properly.
The start was cold (about 9 Degree’s) and the sun was still hidden behind the mountains and everyone was still hiding in their cars to keep warm. The race was scheduled to start at 07:00 but due to all the cars streaming in at this time the organizers decided to delay the start 20 – 30 mins. Once the race started everyone set off, jogging at this point was almost impossible as there was just so many people taking off at the same time, it was more like a walk / jog / walk / jog until everyone had the opportunity to disperse. Not sure why they decided to start the 21 & 10km runners together though? Given the fact that the start headed straight into quite a steep hill and that there was so many people trying to run (or in this case walk) up this hill I added almost a full 2 mins onto my pace. After we got out the main gate (about 2km later) and onto the main the road, the group was able to open up fully and everyone was able to find their pace that they normally run at.
The route the organizers had planned is one I know very well as it is where I do nearly all my cycling. The race proceeded to head downhill from the main gate right up to the 5km point where the 10km runners turned around and then were forced to run back up the hill which we had just run down (I swear races were they plan this is just evil!). Looking back at my pace for the first 5km I must say I was very happy with it and my running up to this point definitely seems to be improving. As I mentioned at the start after the 5km point is where all my trouble’s start, as running from this point turns out being more of a run / walk / run / walk depending on the pain. I have discovered that I am a rather strong hill climber(all 410m of it) and am able to keep quite a nice pace when they pain wasn’t too intense, hopefully once my hip has recovered fully I will find out just how long I will be able to hold that pace.
The hill going back up to the lodge is not one of my favourite hills, even when i’m cycling I sometimes dread going up it. The last stretch from the 9km was quite nice as it was all downhill right up to the finish line. Looking back it was not such a bad race even with all the walking I did I came across the finish line with a time of 01h17m12, my pace for the race wasn’t too bad either finishing with a pace of 7:30 min/km.
Until next time