Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Yes we all have dreams, and there was I time when I thought I could get close...

OK I was running down a very steep hill in a mountain race, I was young and flying. I had run the last 5.3km in 14:45!!! But really that was all gravity... My best Mile every run was 4:22 on the Beach Road out at Milnerton (with a South Easter pushing me the whole way!)

That was 20 years ago, back then I spent a lot of time running track, I would run everything from the 110H to the 3000 walk. I wasn't good, but I loved it and wait for it: I still do.

Tonight I was back on the track for the first time in a long time.

I was there to race one of my athletics over a mile!!! Oloff is my age and runs a mean 400m and 800m, I run marathons and mountain races, so the mile seemed to be a good race...

warming up

I was there in good time and left Dawn in the car with the thins and sherry (the wind was cold) while I headed out for a couple of laps warm-up, with the strides done I found myself heading to the start.

That is us lining up
The gun went and I seemed to be the only one left on the line!!! Dawn was on the corner to take a picture:
No you can't see me I'm at the back!
I was last on the first bend... I'm just fat and slow!!! OK most of the field was only as old as my shoes!!! But the race isn't won on that first corner, and I wasn't going for a win I was aiming at the 4 min mile!!!

Round the bend and down the back straight I settled into my running and started to think about catching the 'kids' in front of me. I had not clue as to what speed felt like, I can run a marathon at 4min/km, but to head out at 3min/km...

I look at Mr. Garmin at 200m and he told me I had done well 200m, I had to look again to see my time 36sec I was spot on... I then took the lap at 400m 72.2, (3min/km), maybe I was to slow, hell yes I was to slow, I had to make my move.

I was catching some of the youngsters while running down the back straight. Was I running faster or slower, I was running hard, that is all I know, but my 800m split 2:27.2 told a story. I was now going into oxygen debt!!! It was hard running down the home straight to finish lap 3 I had the wind behind me, but I wasn't running any faster... 75.6.

One lap to go.. 400m I had nothing left to fight the wind down the back straight, I felt as if I was going nowhere, it took an eternity to hit the 200m mark and the last bend. Some kid who I had past on the back straight then past me and if I was standing still, how did he do it!!! 76.3, 9 meters to go... It was all over.

I looked at Mr. Garmin 5:00.99 I had missed the 4min Mile by 1 sec. A sec I bet I would have had if I was in spikes, a sec I would have had if the wind had stayed away, a sec Mr. Garmin said I wasted running wide. (OK he thought I had run the whole race in the 8th lane he measured it as 1.699, 90meters to long!!!)

When is the next MILE? I don't know, but I do hope to run another track race.


  1. Awesome job! Yea if you had spikes you would definitely have the 4:59 mile!

    Yea, if I make it to South Africa I'll for sure go wine tasting there!

    And yea for Run for the Bikini - I know how long she was going for that sub 20 5K, glad she made it!

  2. Ahem...you are officially NOT allowed to call yourself old, fat or slow. Damn speedy there mister! Nice work.

  3. My coach does a mile race and one of our meets every year and tries to get under 5:00 as well. He's gotten it the past two years! I can't even fathom running as fast as you crazy men! I'm shooting for a 5:20 this year, though the mile isn't my forte!

  4. Wow!!! If I could be "fat and slow" like you I'd be one happy lady. If I could finish a mile in SEVEN minutes, I'd be one happy lady.

    You rock!!! I love reading your posts. They make my heart smile.

  5. In my book that's pretty good running. I couldn't do that sort time on a steep downhill with a following wind! But it's all relative. That will have whet your appetite for a future sub 5 minute mile. Next time!

  6. Holy moly that is still soo fast! You are damn speedy there, and NOT allowed to call yourself FAT and SLOW!

  7. NO way. That is incredible. You may be some sort of hybrid machine-- part human, part mechanical.

    And thanks for your advice on the garmin. I ended up calling the place and they helped me fix it-- updated the software and had me use a pencil eraser on the mental connections.

  8. Next time there is a crowd of crazy youngsters with some speed and talent, but hopeless pace judgement, you should avoid a starting position on the inner lanes. At least 10 of my 30 metre advantage was as a result of me starting out wide, dashing across the bend, and settling into a nice spot by the time I hit the back straight, while you were battling it out at the tail end of the bunch wasting effort running around the outside of the guys that started to slow down over the final 2 laps. I suggest we do the 2000m race in late January ....... that could shift the advantage a little more towards your endurance ability. Welcome back on the track!