After many months of procrastination I finally crossed that hurdle toward a healthier lifestyle. I arrived at Rondebosch Common on a fine day in October, full of excitement while simultaneously fighting with myself cos surely – how was I ever going to run… little did I know after that first week in October was I surely hooked
My first race was the 10km Vital Run/Walk for life in Somerset West; arriving early and trying to settle down the nerves I hear the words “I’m running with you” from Coach Farouk and my sudden feeling was “What did I get myself into?”, this came about after a very ‘delightful’ run with Coach that particular Tuesday which left me in a state of utter confusion! But needless to say I started reciting (praying) everything I know because at that moment I was scared and the mind tricks became worse and worse.
When we eventually started I noticed how the horde of athletes sprinted ahead of us but I was in the focus zone,
breathe in…breathe out…don’t fall… breathe in…breathe out…don’t fall…
Chanting in my head like those cowboy Indians around a fire… We tackled the first 2km with ease and then I noticed the gravel road- THAT part of the common that I always dodged came back to haunt me ten fold! But with the encouragement of my fellow runners I forced myself to keep up, complaining a bit here and there and tackling the thousands of inclines; some very challenging which was told to be our last with every now and again the infamous words of “come now, close the gap” sinking into my head.
Even though the fatigue kicked in, I managed a smile when I passed the 9km mark and to my delight coach tells us that we’re approximately less than half a km to the finish and my thoughts screamed that I could not run anymore but before I could slow down I saw the familiar red, black and white- the Itheko finishers returning for our bus and there was this amazing feeling of encouragement and determination that gave me that extra bit of hope to finish this challenge but alas the last mind trick got hold of me, reminding me of the aches, pains and lack of water… until I heard my husband, Ameen, scream “Well done Zubeida, almost there” at that very instant and out of nowhere I had this sudden burst of energy that just told me GO… I don’t remember the pain but the sprint to the finish was soooooooooo good J It made me realize that sacrificing my Wednesdays for speed training really paid off. That feeling after completing a whole 10km on a challenging terrain is unexplainable and the tremendous support from the Itheko crew was truly incredible! I’m proud to say that I am an Ithekonian and glad to be apart of this amazing family.
Shukran to coach Farouk for tolerating my minor complaints, to Reyanah for encouraging me throughout the race and especially to my husband, Mogamat Ameen for bringing out the sprinter in me J
Looking forward to many more successful complain-free races
Zubeida Gallie Hendricks