The festive season is now over and we are being flooded both literally and figuratively. Traffic is coming back into Jozi and the rivers are all over flowing and making nearby house dwellers very nervous. Our seasonal rain has been very intense which messes up any running plans.
Yes, I have seen dedicated runners run in the rain and not use the weather as an excuse, but in Jozi the lightning has been spectacular too, so staying indoors is the safer option.
Last week there were a couple of mornings when the alien sun woke me up and I decided to make the most of it. The first morning I decided I wouldn't be too ambitious and stick with my usual 4km route. It was rather pleasant running through the strangely car-free streets but I did feel every day of lightning-watching on my very unfit legs! I stumbled home, very relieved that it was done!
The next morning I realised I needed a different route so I could distract myself with interesting visuals. I turned up a long winded street and shuffled parts of it. About midway I heard a flurry from the pavement bush, and then Guinea Fowl darted across my path. I stopped to watch, as this lovely sight of 6 adults and a whole village of little feathered chicks made their way to the safer side of the road. This made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside and took my mind off my internal beatings of not having run this past while. But I did end up spending a lot longer on the road, and managed to put 50 minutes on my clock.
This extra time made me feel a little less nervous about committing to do a 15km race on Sunday. I had run this race in my early days of running and remembered it as hilly and tough, but we decided to go anyway. There was a surprisingly large field of runners when we got to the venue and we caught up with some friends and chatted over new year, new plans and fat tummies! It was much the same for everyone running the race. Compliments were flying everywhere, even if it was for best wishes for the season. The route had changed since my previous time, and there seemed to be an absence of hills which was pleasant. But at 8km we turned right, which ended up being right onto the Jozi ridge, where all the old fancy houses are. Wonderful gardens and interesting architecture took our minds off the fact that we were navigating our way through very steep inclines. By this time most of the runners had gone rather quiet except for heavy groaning and puffing and panting. Only the very fit were still able to chat and thank the pleasant, smiling marshalls. I wasn't one of them. I did manage a grunt every now and then, and if I saw them look directly at me, I would wave in a thankful way.
The last kay was uphill all the way inside the university ground, so we felt no shame in walking most of it.
All in all, a pleasant run, the weather was perfect and the company was great, a nice start to the new year!
Compliments to you!