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Comrades 2011

Bridget Marshall

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Bridget Marshall, 48477

I ran Comrades in 2008 and 9 and took 2010 off.  I was happy to take the break.....until I watched the race on TV and thought ......."never don't line up; always, at least, be on the start line".  For me running must be enjoyable.  I have no desperate desire to do good times or get better with every race.  I want to look back after the race or run and remember the enjoyment, not the unpleasant effort that came with the good time.
The whole Comrades weekend was going to be fun for me.  I went out on Saturday night, had dinner with fellow runners, met up with other friends afterwards, even had a few drinks, and got to bed at about 11pm.  I run better on less hours of sleep the night before (must have something to do with sleep cycles).  Sunday I awoke eager to get going yet quite relaxed.  My running partner and I were hoping for a sub-11 time and had decided to discipline ourselves to 7m/k with a bit extra for the hills (counting as you do).  My partner, Nino, had a good day out and we split at 35k to go.  She finished in 10.45 - absolutely fabulous as she struggled on Oceans.
At about 40k to go, a new random pain appeared in my knee.  It does not matter how strong the mind cannot take away real pain.  I finished in 11.35 and am not proud of it.  Yes I know we are of a group of unique people to have completed this race but that doesn't take away my frustration at not being able to do anything about my knee.
I should have taken painkillers (yes I know they're bad........but taken sensibly as a means to an end, I believe they're fine) when I had 18k to go in 2.5hrs to still make sub-11(I mean....who can't do that???)
And, I should have stayed behind the 11hr bus (Stuart & Tebogo) instead of in front.  I found I kept getting too far ahead and then waiting for them.  Perhaps if I had stayed behind, not running as fast, it may have saved my knee for a bit longer.
During the second half of the race, I said never many people do.  Still dont know if I'll go back.  I am not prepared to put in the training that I know I need, to do the race comfortably in sub 11.  And without the training......I wont enjoy the run...which is what it is all about.
Thank you for your website including the advice from Don.  It really is a good reference for everything to do with running, so even though I may never do Comrades again, I'll still refer to your site.  Hope to see you on Oceans as I will go for my blue number there.
Happy Healthy Running. 

External links: Official Comrades Marathon website

Copyright Nikki Campbell 2011