Well, March came and went, not very eventful but I was well aware that a steady March was on the cards with no racing, just a sprinkling of speedwork and a couple of 30km weekend runs. 489 km for March and the year to date total reaching 1,239 km. Turns out that was just what the doctor ordered, I was probably just as nervous as the next runner at the thought of tackling Ou Kaapse Weg and the alternative route with Chapmans Peak being closed for the 2015 Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon. The “profile pic” doing the rounds on Twitter and Facebook didn’t help matters either, quite scary.
The Two Oceans silver medal is regarded as one of the toughest out there, and I have had a couple of close shaves in recent years so I was taking nothing for granted.
We flew down to Cape Town, arriving at 11 am, had lunch and went to the expo to register. A brief visit to save the legs for the next day and an early supper at my sons flat. A simple meal of roast chicken and vegetables and 500 ml of 32Gi Endure which I had been hydrating with twice a day since Thursday morning. I woke up at 4 am, had a coffee, banana and a hot cross bun. At 5:30 am I had another 500 ml of Endure and we made the short drive across to the start.
When the fish horn sounded and the gun fired to get the race under way we were on our way. I settled into a pace close to 4 mins/km which I managed to maintain throughout the race, averaging 4:09 for the 56 km and improving on my 2014 time by almost 3 minutes, my time of 3:52:40 giving me 2nd Master and 84th overall.
I stuck to my favourite shoe for the race, the Adidas Supernova Glide 7, running in a brand new pair which I received on Thursday, walked in on Friday and raced in on Saturday. They were super responsive, comfortable and supportive especially on the tricky “cambered” sections on route. I ran on water only for the first 18 km then took a 32Gi Accelerate tab every 4 km thereafter. At 28 km I took a 32Gi G-Shot and proceeded to run up Ou Kaapse Weg really well, concentrating and working really hard with an eye on my Polar Heart Rate Monitor – I must have passed at least 30 runners going up and felt strong at the top. I went through the 42 km mark in 2:53 and did the last 14 km in a shade under one hour, another G-Shot at 46 km ensured a strong finish on the undulating home stretch!
We flew back home early on Sunday morning to enjoy a family Easter lunch and then headed off to Ballito on Monday for a recovery training week and some relaxation on the beach, sneaking in 105 km for the week.
April is going to be a crucial training month with no “racing” for me, the focus being increased mileage (mainly as a result of a long weekend run) and a bit of quality (speed and hills) – try to stay clear of “sick people” (flu), if it means being anti-social, some runners will do anything to have a injury/illness free April, so do what you got to do and all the very best with your training!