2 weeks 2 days to go until race day. The start of this saga feels so long ago. With such a short time to go before it is race time, the thoughts running through my head are up and down. Having Easter just passed I had to splurge out at least a few chocolate eggs. Last Sunday was suppose to be a long day, however, I felt pretty flat. So flat that I questioned, really why am I doing this?
I found that question gets frequently asked to me when I tell people what I am training for. I usually answer ‘why not?’ Running is not only good fitness, but it gives you ‘me time’ and time to think. Think about life, about work, about relationships pretty much about everything. I went and saw my physio last week, Michael at Head to Toe Healthcare in Hampton, I told him I have slight knee pain when after a while of running. I expressed to him, we only have 3 weeks to and we need to do what it takes to get rid of this pain, and this pain can not come up in the race. Michael replied with a laugh, “ You are going to hurt during the 100km race Gines, its only a matter of time when the pain will set in, our bodies are not made to run a 100k.”
Recently I finished the book, Born to Run by Christopher McDougall. It is about a hidden tribe full of super athletes. In this tribe there are ultra up to the age of 75 years old. Tonight I went down the track with a friend to do some sprint work, 180 second repeats. As we were training, a group of older runners were starting to warm up on the track. These runners would have been close to my parents age. In between our sets we asked them what group they were, they were the local ‘Masters running club,’ which is a 30+ club, that hold training and races of Wednesday nights. These runners for their ages were in very good shape.
Coming to our last set, we kindly asked what lanes there using for the rest of the races, in response we got, “Just the first 3 lanes, we have a one mile race in a few minutes, do you want in?” I was surprised they asked as they looked a closed knit group of runners that kept to themselves. I thought ‘why not’ and answered, ‘Sure, let’s race!” While lining up, thoughts were racing through my head, ‘just did 3min sprints x 4, wrecked, but I need to run hard to gain the respect of these old runners.” The only way to do that was to make sure they did not make a mistake by inviting me. The gun went out off, they set a pretty quick pace, with the leader breaker away within 400m. It came to the final lap, where I gave it all I had. I was currently sitting it second position, with the leader 80m in front. ‘You gotta love the chase,’ the final 100m I felt like my lungs were going to collapse, but I finished first.
After a friendly chat with the runners after the race, they invited to keep coming and racing with them, which I will take them up on. It got me thinking, ‘why am I running this crazy race?” I like training hard and pushing myself to see what I can achieve. There it was, ‘I want to see what my body is physically capable of, lets find out what it can do.” 2 weeks 2 days to go.