Unexpected race today. Karen asked me on Friday morning to do the half marathon with her, but I said no. I've been having a pain in my left knee and didn't want to risk such a long distance (and I know there are lots of hills in Pretoria and I was scared). But, when Nola called in the evening, I figured I could take it as a training LSD and said Yes.
I was bright and early at Nola's house at 5am and we waited for Karen to fetch us. The long story cut short is that we were late for the 6.30am, 21km start. At no time was I stressed because I wasn't desperate to run the race and figured it wasn't meant to be. I am a firm believer in "Everything is Always Perfect"
We arrived at the CSIR in time to enter for the 10km (already a R20 saving :-)) I was wearing my club vest and skort and i was really cold - chattering teeth cold. While waiting in the queue for the porta-loo, the kindest lady, standing behind me, put her jumper over my shoulders and said that it looked like I needed it. It was the kindest thing that I have ever experienced from a stranger and I thank her again, Dear Angel!!
The start was slow (again) and I got seperated from Nola and Karen. My knee was noticable but not too sore to run, until I got to the first downhill where I was almost walking but it didn't help so I ran slowly. I ran the straights and uphill comfortably just noticing my knee - if I ran mostly on my toes there was not change, but when I ran really small steps (quicker cadence) it was really sore, the best was really relaxing my feet and not lifting my knees to high. I found Nola just after the 5km mark and we ran the rest of the race together.
I find it most amusing that we stopped to take stones out of Nola's shoe and yet people often ask me how I manage with the stones. ( I don't have a problem - the stones move in and move out on the next step).
The final downhill to the finish saw me almost walking again. Kindly, Nola slowed down for me so that we could finish together in an okay time of 1:08. Karen did great in 61 minutes.