On Saturday it was the Rafi’s Friendly City Marathon and it was my first big race for the year. After the marathon in December I was not holding out much hope for it…
I trained a tiny bit more this time with a couple of runs around the 30km mark, but I also realised that before my last one I did everything wrong so this time I made sure my race prep was better. I ate properly the entire week leading up to it and especially the day before. For me this means staying off the grains, eating more fats and making sure I get loads of green veggies in. I also made sure that I was off my feet for most of Friday.
My other plans was to implement a run/walk strategy right from the start. They had a water point every 3 km and I planned to walk every single one of them, right from the third kilometer, whether I felt I need to or not. I also planned on walking the two hills. My plan in the December marathon was the total opposite. I planned on running until 21km and then seeing what happened.
So, how did it go? ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC!
I could not have asked for a better marathon. Not only did I get a personal best of over 21 minutes, I got a better seeding for Comrades (so now my sister and I are in the same batch) and better that all of that I loved every minute of it. There was not a minute in the race where I felt like it was too far or I was aching. There were a few points where I was counting down till the next water point so I could walk, but they seemed to come pretty quickly.
Right from the start I walked every water point. It was so tempting to run the first few, especially the 3km one as I felt fine but I stuck to my plan. The first time I walked not at a water point was on the first hill and that was in the last 10 km. I had planned on walking that anyway. I think my last 5 kilometers were about the quickest of the entire race. I cannot believe the difference from the marathon 2 months ago! It just shows what a difference a clear plan and good race prep can do.
I now feel so much more confident for the rest of my goals for this year. My next major one is at the end of the month – the Addo Elephant Trail Run 44km. At least with this, it’s a trail run so I will be taking my camera and appreciating the amazing scenery of the Eastern Cape.