Monday, 25 August 2014

Cloud Nine

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!


18 comments:

  1. It's great to hear that your running is going so well! Congrats on your 2nd place finish!

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    1. Thanks so much, Tina! I can't get this smile off my face...! :)

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  2. Oh what a feeling! And in addition, I like your writing style. I think it's similar to mine.

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    1. Yes, indeed!

      I had a peep at your blog - love it and will be a regular reader from now on! :)

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  3. Well done to you! Great race

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    1. Thanks so much, Cat - soooo happy! :)

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  4. Congratulations Karien! Consistency is key...looks amazing out there.

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    1. Thanks, Moerieda! We're so blessed to be able to run in such beautiful surroundings here in S.A.!

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  5. Well done! Congrats on a great trail race, glad to hear you are running strong. Merrick is a beautiful place to run.

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    1. Thanks, Christy!

      So blessed to be able to run in such beauty!

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  6. Outstanding Trail Run And Thanx For Posting Photos!!! Stay Strong

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    1. Thanks, Padre! It really was a perfect run in every possible way :) .

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  7. Whoo!! You rock. And what an absolutely gorgeous setting for a run!

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    1. Thanks, Lisa! The farm is amazingly beautiful - it was one of those runs that was good for the soul :) .

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  8. You are right : Consistency and hard work always pays off in the end - second lady home .... Wow

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    1. So true. Often when I run with the double stroller and it's heavy and the wind is blowing and the run is just HARD, I forget that it's exactly THAT which is making me stronger. Note to self: It ALWAYS pays off in the end!

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  9. I can't believe I missed this recap somehow, but I'm so glad I found it! Way to go, Karien! So very proud of you and happy to hear that your training is going so well and your hard work is paying off! I also really like that shirt- The Lion King was my favorite movie growing up :)

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    1. Thanks so much, Hailey! I can't even begin to tell you how thrilled I was when I saw those digits on my watch!

      Heehee, Pumba is Marrick Safaris' mascot - pity I didn't see a warthog en route, though :( !

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