I surprised myself so much by taking part in my first Soweto Marathon. Just the word marathon is intimidating, I moaned and changed my mind a million times leading up to race day. It just freaked me out, but in the end it was done. I’m grateful to my sister for pushing me to do it because it gave me a chance to see that it’s not that bad.
Training for Soweto Marathon
I only did the 10KM run, but it totally counts right?!! Running has never been my favourite thing to do. Prior to my training for this, I had never run more than 6kms in my life and that was 2 years ago when I went through a very brief running-obsession. I think I’m more in love with the feeling I get at the end of a run, than the feeling I get while running. I love hearing that Nike-lady counting each kilometre.
Since I don’t have time to go to a one hour gym class anymore, jogging has been the most practical thing for me, because I can do it in 30 minutes – I hate working out by myself at the gym, feels random, so I only do classes if I go. I’m actually thinking of cancelling my gym contract because I haven’t been in over 4 months.
I started running in September and currently run 3 days a week. I began with a 2km run in September and by October I was comfortable with 4kms – this was around the time baby was 7 months old. My neighbourhood has the most gorgeous jacaranda trees so I’m really enjoying my time outdoors.
Two weeks before the Soweto Marathon, I started getting nervous and I pushed myself to do a 6km run and then I panicked EVEN MORE the week before and I managed to do a 8km run. In between that, I also did the 5km Pnp Walk, an 8km hike with my girls and the 8km iThemba walkathon.
The marathon and overall experience:
We made it a family affair – my mom, sister and aunt also ran. We woke up early and dropped off Khumo at my nanny’s house at 5AM and of course she was wide awake by then with all our commotion!!! My nanny doesn’t work on Sundays but had kindly offered to look after her while we ran since we were all participating. She’s a gem.
Registration and race-pack collection was simple and the race itself exceptionally organised. It was easy to find parking and I wasn’t stuck when driving out, although I had mentally prepared myself for this. I normally prefer to run by myself so I can stick to my own comfortable pace, but I loved being around so many runners. I grew up in Soweto and my favourite part was how fun the supporters made it with their cheering and jokes. The weather was so divine, oh my!!!
I felt fine afterwards, I rubbed some cooling gel onto my legs after my shower and before bed. The only thing I couldn’t do the next day is wear heels to work, as I felt a lot of pressure/throbbing under my feet.
Once I was done, I actually wished that I had done the 21KM – yes it felt THAT good – so I’m definitely challenging myself to that next year.
And of course my medal was immediately used as a teether… I can’t even tell you where it is right now.
Modern Zulu Mom