I lost my virginity to Nike #WeRunJozi

17 Oct

This is from the guest post that I did for Keep Calm and Run, it’s about my first race. What an amazing and unforgettable experience.

Why the chose the Nike WeRunJozi as my first race? No particular reason really, except to say that it happened to come at the “right” time, just when I had decided that I wanted to be somewhat serious about running. And by that I mean more than just getting on the treadmill. I needed a goal! The pictures from the race in March this year tweaked my interest in a way. Tell me, how can 10 000 runners lighting up the streets of Jozi’s CBD with neon yellow tees not look cool??? Besides that, I figured it’s only a 10 km, I mean how hard could it be? The prospect of losing my running/race-virginity to Nike didn’t look so bad.

To find a training schedule, I went online and clicked on the first page I saw. What a huge mistake, which I’d only realise later on! The heading read: how to run a 5k in 3 weeks. It seemed perfect in my estimation but little did I realise that too much, too soon is actually harmful for a newbie, as in my case, the problem of shin splints. Go with the plans for “couch potatoes” people, there’s good reason to go slow. Slow and steady does win the race (within reason of course). So there I was, at the gym, training on the treadmill just to get a feel for what pace I’d be comfortable at jogging. Admittedly, I was very afraid of the road.

On to race day! My greatest concern was the “transition” from the treadmill to the road. I was not sure if I could do as well on the road as I had in the gym because I thought the shin splints would act up and ruin my first race. The next problem was that my t-shirt was one size too small for me and my 65 rolls, alongside the bazooka’s I have for boobs! Next time Nike, please add a weight category so that I can better identify a t-shirt size that won’t make me look like a terribly stuffed sausage, thanks. Horrified does not begin to explain how I felt when I tried my tee on for the first time. Passing out from holding my stomach in was not an option; I had to do this race!

Hubby and I were in the pen about an hour before the gun was due to go off and the vibe was amazing. Everyone was amped, the air was so thick with excitement that it was almost tangible. A million thoughts ran through my mind. As 20 000 Josters waited for the “go”, it took just over 4 minutes from the when the gun went off to the time we actually started running. And boy was I glad it was downhill to start with. About 2kms in, I finally realised that “stomach in, boobs out” as a running strategy was a useless one. Everyone was there with one goal in mind and the other “healthier” looking women certainly didn’t seem to give a rats’ behind about how they looked. It was definitely liberating.

Regarding the race itself:  the up-hills were a killer on the calves; the sights of Alex was a new experience; the people of Alex were so hospitable; the marshals were so encouraging and the finish line could not have come sooner in the sweltering conditions! Never in my life, have I recited the “I can do it” mantra AS MUCH!!!

The peak and the pit of my first race: the only pit was walking all the way back to the Sandton Convention Centre to our car – I felt like I had done the We Run Jozi 21k! That was probably my fault for not looking hard enough for the signs to the shuttles. One of the many peaks was doing my first race with my hubby. He walked with me, encouraged me, sprayed cold water on my calves, took pics for me and gave me gel to keep me going. For that I’m so grateful. I’ll definitely do it again, next month in fact! Another peak has been the feedback from friends as to how this has inspired them to get fit and moving, in whatever form.

To those who are still on the fence (or on the couch), I’ll leave you with this, go out there and do what you can. Instead of focusing on the pace, or distance or the medal, just put one foot in front of other. It’s that simple!

Proud Chunky Chic & Newbie Runner xxx



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