On the 24th of April 2016 I decided to start training to run a half marathon. This morning I did it; 21km in 2h29mins. It is not fast, but it was fun!
On the 15th of Ferbruary 2008 I had a very bad motorcycle accident in which I almost lost my left leg. After surgery and a few weeks in hospital, and almost 6 months on crutches, I thought I would never run again.
I had enjoyed running when I was in the military. But it was simply too painful after the accident. So, I took up ultra and multi-stage Mountain Bike races instead. That was fun, it kept me fit and it was low impact on my joints (particularly that left knee!) But, the challenge was that with the amount of traveling I do there are often extended periods where I cannot get on my bike. My friend Etienne has run 11 comrades ultra marathons (90km)! 8 of those were done after major back surgery! After talking to him I realised that my problem was less in my knee, and more in my head! With the right training, building strength and distance slowly, I could get back to running.
The result was my 'half a commitment' - a commitment to run a half marathon before the end of 2016. You can watch this video, see some pictures of my injury, and see my commitment to train.
I started with 5km runs three times a week, then two 5km runs and a 6km run. Then I did two 6km runs and a 7km run etc. Slowly my strength and confidence (and distances) grew. I did a 10km trail run with some friends, and then a 15km road race. In early July while on a research visit to Radboud University in Holland I ran my first 21km (on my own, and by accident! I got lost in a forest and ended up at 18km by the time I was home, so I did the extra 21km to round it up). It was awesome! I did a few more runs, and another 21km solo run towards the end of July before coming home to Cape Town.
You can watch this video to see what I ran and where I did it:
Today, was however the fulfillment of the commitment proper! I ran the PPC Riebeeck West Half Marathon with three friends. We did it on 2h29 minutes. It was a super run.
I am so grateful to be able to run, to have the fitness and strength to do it. I don't take that for granted!