Friday, August 27, 2010

Well, not really running this week. I was going along good guns last week, when I popped into Cape Town for a flying visit and the running ground to a halt. Once again I am reminded just how blessed we are to have such consistently good weather up here in Jozi.

Wind blew, bringing the cloud over the mountain, which left me looking out of the window, thinking about 80km's in less than three weeks time. Then a bitter chill moved around the south and I happily sat inside considering my life without running.

Back in Jozi on Monday meant that I could go out and meet up with my friends on the road, but my body thought twice about that, and I realised that a bug had crawled it's way into my system and I left my charged batteries down in the mother city. I spent the day staring at the back of my eyelids, and felt a little better the following morning. So I ventured out for a game of badminton and stood stiller than normal as the shuttle flew past my now dizzy head. Sigh. Blood pressure lowering meant that I was still not ready to hit any roads, so I sat and patiently waited for the ant-virus to kick in and quarantine the bug.

Today I feel much better, but after a couple of minutes bouncing on my mini-trampoline I realised that I would still have to wait another day before I wear down my trainers some more. Such is the life of an athlete, now I hear you laugh. I did just say that, and sometimes I feel like an athlete, other times I pinch myself.

So before I end up with more bruises, I'll end here

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Been a bit slow putting my writings on this, but here is a recent one of my running!

This time of year brings about unpredictable weather, and that affects my unpredictable training. Although I could say that my running is easy to predict. Rain- no run, icy wind- no run, snow- no run. I know we don't get much snow here in Jozi, but we do feel the effects of national snow lying on the bergs. The wind throws itself over the landscape and forces me to hide, usually under my blankets. That sounds great, but I have rather a long run coming up next month.

Eighty kilometers of Karoo. Perhaps I should change the whole concept and tell myself, and my body, that I am going to see the 'flowers' on foot! People from around the country gather in buses, trains and automobiles to drive great distances to the flattest, harshest area of land that comes alive in the Spring with amazing flowers. I am going there too now, and I must say one thing I haven't seen yet is the flowering Karoo. I am even going to be taking it all in, in great detail and slow motion. (Hopefully not too slow!)

Due to this touristy project, I was up before the sun again on Sunday and before the snow fell somewhere, and joined a cluster of tourists for a long run. There was a 15km route planned and we could do laps, however many we wanted. This sounds nice on paper, yes, I get to choose how far am I going to go, but, it makes it rather tempting to just say, 'enough now' and head for my car! I was surprised to see so many folks I knew, although there were a couple of chaps who aren't doing the Karoo, but are doing the mountain goat race on the same day as our flowers. So jokes announced, maps handed out - we set off. The one chap had said he would stick with me, but I don't think he realised it could take me quite as long and he had made lunch plans! Ha!

My other 'flower friend' had run to the club for an extra 9km's, so he was already warmed up and ready to keep moving. I was rather reluctant but we trippled out of the car park, and watched a rather quick group speed off into the early morning. Chatting and joking it was rather pleasant running with some different people but I did begin to feel guilty slowing down the pace. Luckily Mr Wikipedia wasn't feeling up to his usual form, and he called some early walks, much to my relief. I started to feel a need, and began to look for a toilet, but most places weren't open yet. At around 12km's I managed to find a clean-ish garage, and I was very thankful that I had brought along my pouch with necessary money, tissues, sweets, cheddars and biltong.

Alan joked that I would run much faster if I didn't carry 9kg's of baggage. I scoffed at him, all this equipment is very necessary, it's not like its make-up, or accessories, ah wait, I do carry Zambuk and plasters.

I met up with the others feeling much lighter and ready for the rest of the run. Until 21km's that is, then I just lost interest. I kept trying to chase away the faster guys, to leave me alone, and walk, but they wouldn't hear of it. At the one spot, the organiser said, "you can always go straight here, instead of doing the extra loop" Before he had finished the sentence myself and Willem had already sprinted away from him, in case he changed his mind. I felt a nice delight when we got to the garage before them and was able to buy some Energade, and take my time. Before long they were with us, and then I realised that the second lap felt much quicker than the first one.

We had agreed to do two laps, because that would give Willem almost 40km's of road. I was happy with the almost 30 and was very happy to see my little car waiting in the sun. With a short drive to my couch, I 'parked' myself there for the remainder of the day with the remote control as my travelling companion. Bliss!