Today marks exactly 1 week since we completed MiniMAD and 9 weeks until we have started the official MAD2Run journey.
Let’s take a moment to reflect on MiniMAD…
WOW!!! So many lessons were learnt, a huge wake up call was received and a MAD amount of fun was had.
What was MiniMAD…
If you’ve been following my journey you will know that from the 23rd – 30th March we will be running a distance of 1520km from JHB to CT in aid of raising funds for the MAD Leadership Foundation (more can be read on this in previous posts here). With this event being quite intricate with regards to how everything works, we naturally had to do a practice round.
Meeting at 4:00pm on Friday night we went to work at setting up camp, and the kitchen. Being on the first shift of running, my team didn’t quite manage to sort out our mattresses & tent etc (first lesson learnt-always set up camp before running).
At 6:00pm the vans had been branded, car boxes packed, the whole team had been acquainted for the first time (we had the CT runners fly up to Jozi) and all 36 of us ran and drove out the gates together!
We were officially off! Bianca, Sandy and myself were joined by Darryl, Kylene and Michel and what a fezzy bunch of people! The gees was high and the energy electric, for the entire shift from 6:00pm all the way through to 2:30pm when we eventually made it back to base camp.
For me my favorite part of the shift was running beneath a star scattered sky, in the early hours of the morning while an owl laid claim to being more than a spectator and participated en route and swooped past us a couple times.
After a minuscule 2 hours of sleep, no shower and a rude awakening call by an inconsiderate rooster whose new name I won’t mention here… we were back up and at it. In a zombie like state everything had to be packed up and moved to Pirates where we set up camp once again!
Shortly after all was set up many of us took to the shade of the trees and tried to catch up on some sleep before the next shift.
Keeping energies high, we welcomed in the MAD2Cyclists who had rode a grueling 140km’s that morning, as well as the last shift of runners for the first shift of the weekend. As a collective we had officially covered a distance of 180km’s and would now have to repeat the same process.
2:30pm struck and our second shift commenced. We were already running an hour behind schedule and catching up would be a tall task in the conditions we were confronted in. 36 degree heat (it felt like 50) and all the biggest hills in Joburg!!! (Thank you Stuart… you sir outdid yourself on the route).
Needless to say the second day proved to be a far tougher shift than we could have prepared for. Traffic was also not in our favor and the lessons started to pile in. This is where most of us realized how much training we still have left to do. How tough it is running not so much on tired legs, but more on tired minds as not much sleep was had between shifts.
A huge thank you to Leon, Finny and Gouldie who were in our shift and helped motivate and give great advice.
A definite favorite was getting to experience roads I’m so accustomed to traveling, but have never really taken a moment to appreciate the beauty of what surrounds them. Running into a sunset was the highlight of the shift and made the 3 x 5km runs we did all worth it.
After getting back to base camp at around 10:00pm that night a lot of reflection started to happen and here are some of the biggest lessons I have learnt:
1. This journey, albeit it being a team effort is a very personal one.
2. Moreover, you cannot compare yourself to the other runners. Having started running just over a year ago I needed to realize the magnitude of the accomplishment I had just achieved (completing 30km’s) instead of beating myself up that I’m not a 5″/km kind of Runner.
3. More training of a different magnitude needs to be done. No longer should I be training to do slow and steady distances, but rather shorter faster distances on tired legs needs to be practiced.
4. I think we all realized what needs to be packed and considered. A great example… small hand towels that can be thrown into cooler boxes to cool one down after a shift in 36 degree heat.
My game plan going forward
I’ve signed up with a running coach which I believe will truly enhance all aspects of my running being speed, strength and endurance. I’m generally taking a bigger stance to being healthier mentally emotionally and physically.
Overall… MiniMAD was an incredible experience and I CANNOT wait to run to Cape town with the best people.
Thank you to everyone I ran with this past weekend; for keeping the spirits high, the motivation and having generally great taste in music.
Here’s to the next 61 days of training and preperation.