I had a 12 km run on the agenda for Saturday and despite having seven days' worth of sleepless nights over the logistics, everything went really well! I planned on running a local 10 km trail race and then adding an extra two kilometres at the end, and it all worked out perfectly.
The trail run took place at Marrick Game Farm, which is located about 10 km out of town. If ever I had any doubt in my mind that trail running is the way to go, then this run confirmed it: It was incredible! I just love leaping over Aarvark holes and dribbling through Steenbok middens mid-run.
It was a smallish race, but well attended by local standards. My car's thermometer read 2.5 degrees just before the start - brrr! - and my running form actually felt quite off for the first few kilometres as a result of the cold. I literally felt like I was stomping my legs down, and couldn't do anything about it, however hard I tried, ha!
Things warmed up soon enough, though, and the run turned into one of those runs where everything just clicked. My eyes just couldn't get enough of the scenery and the kilometres ticked by uncharacteristically quickly for a trail race - it was definitely one for the books.
|Not taken on race day (it's winter now, so it wasn't as green), but just to give you an idea of Marrick's beauty. [Source.]|
|Some more Marrick beauty (not taken on race day). [Source.]|
It was also one of those "follow the yellow arrows" runs, which has a way of challenging me on a whole different level (I wasn't blessed with a built-in compass), especially when the field is so small that you can't see the runner in front of you. But all went well in the end and I'm happy to report that I followed the route to a T - yay!
Since I wasn't planning on racing the run, I only took a peek at my watch at about 9.5 km and couldn't believe my eyes... I was expecting to see 54:something, since that's about the pace I thought I'd run, but instead my watch read 51:something - what?! My 10 km PR is 51:17, so I was really, really thrilled! All those double stroller training runs must finally be paying off (either that, or it's the amount of excess sugar that I consumed last week...) - I'm soooooo happy!
I finished in 52:37 - second lady home and I think 5th or 6th overall. My heart sings - not because of an unexpected good (for me!) time, or placing, but because my running is going really well at the moment, despite a gazillion other challenges. Consistency and hard work always pays off in the end - never, ever doubt that!
I ended the morning with an extra, easy 2 km and a huge grin on my face. Running the race with a thankful, happy heart!