My journey

My Two Oceans Half Marathon 2017 Experience: Reflections upon the race

Just when you thought I’ve moved on from writing about My Two Oceans Half Marathon Experience, here’s another post. Since the race took place, I have had a number of reflections and have learnt a lot from the experience. Before you continue with this post, I strongly suggest that you read up on “The Build Up” and “Running the Race”, and if you’re keen on learning more about my preparation for the race.

Have you read these posts? Are you ready? Let’s get started!

Incorrect pacing

As I had previously mentioned, I started off the race way too fast. I had forgotten my watch at home and got caught up with the speed of everyone around me. Eventually, I ended up tiring myself out. The first 2 kilometres are relatively flat, but I tried storming up Constantia Nek and that ended up tiring me out.

More time on the road

Here was probably my biggest mistake. I spent more time on the treadmill than on the road. Running on the treadmill is not the same as running on the road. I suppose treadmill runs are good for speed training, but half marathons are endurance races. Yes, there’s a time limit, but when training for the race one needs to ensure that you’ll be able to cover the distance. With my sessions with my personal trainer, we worked a lot on endurance exercises, to ensure that my body would be able to cover the distance. I still believe that I would have been able to finish the last 3kms if there was not a cut off time.

With my sessions with my personal trainer, we worked a lot on endurance exercises, to ensure that my body would be able to cover the distance. We also focused on some speed work. And after my sessions, I had the endurance needed to complete the race. I still believe that I would have been able to finish the last 3kms if there was not a cut off time.

In my build up for 2018, I will focus more on speed training and outdoor runs, as I feel that I now have the endurance and can maintain it. This is also coming from a woman who has not run since the OMTOHM. My excuse is that it is winter and I can’t run alone outside. I need to get my butt into gear and at least do fun runs on weekends.

Fast food trips

I ended up being that person. The person who rewards themselves with food after a gym session. Sadly that was me. I have on more than one occasion made a trip to MacDonald’s after a workout session. Instead of nourishing my body, I feasted on hash browns and fries. To be straightforward, I wasn’t eating healthy.

No weight loss

Let me be straight with you. I am in no way saying that bigger people cannot complete or run half marathons. But in order for me to complete the OMTOHM, I need to run faster and losing weight will help immensely with that. In between the MacDonalds trips and workout sessions, I only lost 3kgs. I know I could have lost more if I ate better. Eating healthy would be easier if salad tasted like brownies and ice cream.

Also running is a high impact sport. So the heavier I am, the heavier the impact will be on my joints such as my knees and ankles. When I was fit and weighed, I finished every race I participated in. Granted they were 5kms and 10kms, but the fact remains I finished them within their cutoff.

These are the main reasons I did not reach my goal of finishing the OMTOHM, but they won’t be stopping me from completing the race in 2018

Images via Pixabay


  • Michelle Leslie

    I don’t care whether you finished or not Odette, I really admire you. I don’t think I’d be able to run the Two Oceans. This old body would collapse in a heap. Best of luck with the next one though. I’ll be cheering you on all the way

  • Regina Garson

    You surely have accomplished a lot. Part of the battle is looking realistically at what you are doing right and wrong. You are definitely doing that. You seem to be pretty objective as to what you need to do to accomplish you goals as well. I do wish you the best of luck going forward.

  • Emily

    Regardless of finishing the race or not, you are amazing! I think that having the courage to even try to run a marathon of any distance is wonderful. I make up excuses while dreaming of doing something like this. And I come from a family full of runners. Your post is encouraging! As well as insightful on things to be mindful of when even considering such a task. Don’t give up and make it amazing!

  • Clair

    I think it is great that you even tried for the half marathon! It is true that the beginning of the race sets the mood for the rest of it. I have found in the past that if I set out too fast, it is hard to pace myself the rest of the race. I end up tiring out too soon. I have not run anything more than 6 miles recently, but half marathon is on my list of things to accomplish! Training outdoors as well as a good diet will definitely prepare you for the next race…you got this 🙂

  • Samantha

    I have never been a fan of running and did the C25K on a treadmill last year & that was a huge accomplishment for me (I still hate running). It seems like you’ve really learned a lot & know what changes you need to make. Good luck in your future marathons!

  • Tiffany Yong

    I’m not exactly a fan of marathons and events. I’m glad my boyfriend isn’t too. It’s pretty bad for the knees but I admire those who does that frequently!

  • Ty

    Very nice. It’s on my list of things to do, to run a marathon or test my strengths in some other similar activity, Ironman maybe. 🙂 Thank you for sharing your experience and tips. I’ll have to refer back when I start to train. 🙂

  • Gennifer Rose

    I too am guilty of “rewarding myself” with not so healthy foods after a workout. I have a big sweet tooth and sometimes the temptation of chocolate and cake is just too much!

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