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Comrades Marathon 2010!!!!! I DID IT!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Here's a link to my race videos :

You'll get a feeling of the wonderful atmosphere en route.
Very difficult to see me - I think I only spotted myself on one of them - was wearing a blue cap with SA flag and my team's brand new team outfit - look out for orange lime green and blue!
My race number : 59653

Ok, this I wrote the week after Comrades when I was still full of ‘directly-post-Comrades elation’:

Comrades was an AMAZINGLY AWESOME experience, on so many levels…..

In the months leading up to Comrades I would cry just reading the word ‘Comrades’ out of sheer fear (approaching the race not as a novice I knew exactly was I was facing, and I was scared sh1tless!), but now post-Comrades I just want to cry out of sheer joy!!!! I am still walking on air…This joy is also a lonely experience as few people can comprehend what I actually feel…only fellow Comrades runners can truly understand.

It is just beyond explaining really…and as I was running I just kept thinking that every able-bodied runner should get their butts over here to experience this most amazing of events…the Comrades Marathon. (So start training and get your butt over here to run, you hear me?!)

Firstly a image will be forever be burnt into my soul is the sight of the road just before Camperdown which rolls up and down over the hills and it is completely filled with thousands and thousands of people for as far as I could can see, stretching way into the horizon…. totally breathtaking…and all of these people share a common goal …all battling the same battle…all moving on, and on, and on towards Durban. Just amazing!!!!

Today, 25 June:
Well, first week post Comrades I was completely ecstatically happy (as you can read above) and then the second week after Comrades the notorious post Comrades depression set in….not a nice place to be, let me tell you. BAD, BAD, BAD!!!!!
But thankfully the World Cup was there to lift the spirits again….And now today I can hardly believe that a month has gone by since I finished Comrades…..feels like a life time ago now....

I’m struggling to get back into a normal exercise routine, and right now I’ve also come down with a bug and am coughing my lungs out at night until vomiting (think I picked something up from the crowd watching the soccer).
So I’ll probably need another week off until I’m better.

Tried to run 5Ks a week after Comrades but it was terrible slow and painful, and then read that Comrades runners should take at least 2 weeks of complete rest before getting going again….will remember that for next time.
I did a 10 K fun run (Run/Walk for Life 10K at the botanical gardens) 2 Saturdays ago and that went better.
In July I have got a few exciting races lined up so must really get my act together and get going again...when I'm better again.

Anyway here is my (much abbreviated) Comrades experience:

Never though I'd say this, but: I thoroughly ENJOYED IT!

Let me just say logistics were a nightmare, and actually I just wanted to get the day over so that I could 1) eat a proper meal (anything that didn’t involved eating only simple carbs), and 2) SLEEP.
Didn't get much sleep leading up to the big day and had to get up at 2AM that morning to leave at 3AM to not get stuck in the Durban to Pietmaritzburg traffic. So it was going to be a very LOOOOOOOONG day….

I think running Comrades for a second time made a big novice nerves, and I knew that I would (very probably) finish so I could 'relax' a bit and just run and take in the atmosphere. Mostly I was relieved (ecstatically happy actually) that my guts stayed intact and I didn't suffer any problems along the way.
I was extremely worried that my stomach would start acting up as it usually does on really long runs (I had a bad and painful Two Oceans 56K (my last long run) with bloating and cramping so was understandably very nervous).

The first of the race I ran very conservatively, and tried to stay comfortable and stuck to my usual Gus, water and Coke.
I used a new drug (Imodium PLUS instead of plain Imodium) which promised to stop cramping and bloating and it DID!!!
So I was really happy that by the time I reached half-way at Drummond I was diahorrea, and stomach-cramping and bloating free. From Drummond on I started for the first time ever eating some solids offered at the watering points….and when they didn’t affect my stomach at all, I was in full party mode from that point on and was running from watering point to point sampling what was on offer…..lots of chocolates (mostly mini Bar Ones), biscuits and salty baby potatoes. I also had 2 Power Bars which were really good.
What a revelation EATING during a race for the first time ever was for me, and I was able to run the second half of the race at exactly the same pace as the first.

I finished in 11 hours and 36 minutes (only 6 minutes faster than 10 years ago) – not fast but I felt really comfortable the whole way.
Crossing the finishing line was the happiest moment of my life – I felt so strong and so good, and still full of energy! Just amazing!

A few minutes later, though, I felt so so BAD….your blood pressure plummets after stopping so abruptly and all you want to do is collapse into a heap onto the ground, which is exactly what most runners do ……bodies covered the stadium all over the place, it looked like a battlefield. It was a very long and dizzy walk back to the car, and eventually we got back to our hotel in Umhlanga after about a 30 minute drive. I left a crusty ring of sweat marks on the car seat.
I was too nauseous to eat anything, even though I had looked forward to eating a proper meal the whole day. Drank a chocolate milk, bottle of beer (I’m a post race beer convert – really is the best thing) and a glass of champagne to celebrate! And that was me done – passed out!!! Some well deserved sleep eventually!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I'm so happy for you and also seeing you back on SP,
    I'm still very much off track after that accident...


    I've been thinking about you on the day a lot. It has been a really long day, glad you enjoyed this extreme experience.

    Dreams can come true. Especially if you are working hard towards them as you did.
    Love the videos.
    3962 days ago
  • CINDYC53
    So amazing. CONGRATULATIONS!! You are awesome. I enjoyed every word of your blog. I've never run a marathon, but I've watched friends and been with them after - and nothing compares to what you did. Thanks for sharing it with us! This is an accomplishment you can enjoy forever!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3969 days ago
    Fantastic! The race has an amazing history and you have added to it. You need to chronicle the last year in a book! Hope your cough goes away soon!
    3969 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4811290
    in one word: AMAZING!! I was waiting anxiously to read about your experience with the Comrades marathon. You did it, and wow you finished STRONG!!
    I admire you, your strength, perseverance and courage it's amazing!!

    3969 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5915724
    Congratulations on your great achievement! Your blog makes me want to train for and run this one! All the best!
    3969 days ago
    Congratulations; what a terrific event. This sounds like an awesome experience for any runner!
    3969 days ago
  • SHEILA1505
    Huuuuuuuuuuge hugs - well done for writing about all the emotions and post race depression too - as you say, thank goodness we have had 2010 to get us through part of the winter - great to see some patriotism etc

    3969 days ago
  • MUSIC66
    that great.
    3969 days ago
    So glad to have you back again! I am also very glad I'm too old to be tempted to do anything like that race! You are awesome! Well done.
    3969 days ago
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