What a year!! Comrades 2016, it felt although my heart was breaking – I couldn’t run due to a severe injury and I knew that my marriage was in trouble. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that a year from then – things would’ve changed so so much.
Whilst the rest of my life was falling apart – or maybe falling into place – it just depends on the day or the mood I’m in, I kept on running. And running and running and running.
And my times improved and improved and improved – one week two personal bests on a 21km. Two Oceans – 16 minutes off my previous best time… and the list can go on and on. General wisdom is that you shouldn’t race Two Oceans if you want to run Comrades.
But this has been the year where I threw all the normal wisdom and advice and believes out of the window and just did what I wanted, when I wanted and when I felt like it.
Road trip down to Durban with my brother – multiple stops, and a beer or two. What wonderful bonding time with the brother I’ve neglected for 24 years – how I regret that time lost. Anyway – we talked and played music and discussed our hurts and fears.
Got to Durban – and I had two beers – did the adult thing and went home to sleep.
Saturday morning – went to the Parkrun in Durban, walked up and down the promenade – not resting my legs or anything.
Breakfast was a beer and a hot dog!!!
A few more drinks with friends at the Comrades expo, lunch on the beach with my brother, shopping, visiting my aunt and cousin and her adorable baby.
And finally at 7 the evening I was back in the flat. I went straight to bed but then my brother came and he was sitting next to me and playing music. So sweet – he played me “I’ve got you babe” from Sonny and Cher – and it was his promise that he won’t let me down the following day.
And then it was Comrades day…
I won’t bore you guys with the detail. Ask if you want and I’ll tell you all about the nitty gritty…
I did start the race with tears streaming down my face – this was now the last thing I had to do on my own. And my intention was to sweep away the old memories, tread new footsteps for new memories and sprinkle fairy dust to make the new memories all glittery.
I had to make a pitstop at about 5km’s – the morning constitutional didn’t want to work before – but Helen I did have tissues with me!!
It was a long, hard, brutal, hot, humid day. The hills going up to Pietermaritzburg are never ending. I swore at myself and kept on asking myself why I do it and why I keep on coming back.
Halfway and I was on track for a personal best – I went through crying and laughing and thinking – I can do this on my own – I don’t need anybody and I’m not lazy $^&&^*(&%^%$ without any drive.
Saw my family just after halfway and they just chased me on – saying I look amazing and I should just keep going.
Inchanga – sorry – just one word – a bloody moer of a hill. My wheels came off here but I just forged ahead.
And the rest of the day was spend in a blur of random thoughts:
Eat, drink, drink more, ahh Creme Soda, fuck I’m tired, I really don’t want to run anymore, come on you can do it, another hill, shouldn’t there be only 5 hills, I’m tired, can I stop, keep going, this is downhill, run, run, run, walk, walk, walk, eat, drink, come on, you have a point to make, show him, show the world, use this a way of thanking everybody for their support, eat, drink, one foot in front of the other…
Talked to people, stopped next to the road to talk to friends, kept running, made a peace offering to somebody that was nasty to me a few years back and kept running.
Got to Polly’s and realised that I have my personal best in the bag – but I wanted it to be a proper one so I just started to run even harder.
Finished and my baby brother which is much bigger than me, grabbed me in a bear hug and just hugged and hugged me and laughed and laughed, and just said “Well done Sis but I’m so glad you you weren’t faster..” Yes the challenge was that if I beat his Comrades time, he would run with me next year.
He ran only one Comrades when he was 20 – his time – 10:28 – my time 10:34. So for now he is safe and he can support me again but next year is coming and I’m better on the downs…. so the challenge is still there.
So the figures:
Previous best on an up: 10:52
Previous best on a down: 10:45
Age category placing: 309
Gender placing: 808
And yesterday I was sore and today I’m sore but I did it.
And like my boss said in jest this morning – divorce is good for you and to be honest – I have to agree even with all the nonsense – I’m know I can do this…
Thank you all my bloggies – for your support and love and virtual hugs…. you are part of me and part of why I know I can just keep going.