Races

Race No. 8: Slave Route (10km) All aboard the beginner’s bus!

I wanted to run the Slave Route today as the start is less than a 2 minute jog from my front door. It’s also a great race. I decided not to do the 21km as I didn’t feel I needed to and instead opted to accompany five Atlantic beginners on their 10km race. We averaged 8 minutes a km which gave me plenty of opportunity to chat to them, not over do it and soak up the vibe. I do love this race for the lung-busting hill up Bo Kaap where you are rewarded by a koeksister (or two like I had today) at the top for your effort. My new friends asked me how I could breathe, eat and run to which I responded ‘I’m practicing’ between mouthfuls. The koeksisters were great and so was the sunrise over a chilly city this morning.

Running notes
Route: Grand Parade – Keizergracht – Roeland Street – Company Gardens – Wale Street – Bo Kaap (Bloem Street) – Wale Street – Grand Parade
Distance: 10km

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Sense of humour failure

Not a drop of rain all night, and just as I was tying my laces, boof, chucking it down! At least it was only 5km. Legs felt heavy this morning, bit worrying as I should be feeling springy by now.

Running notes:
Route: My house – Camp Street – Buitengracht Street – Wale Street – My house
Distance: 5km

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Hill repeats and a drive by from the boss

…on his way to the airport. Wound his window down and said ‘Hello!’. It’s always a touch disconcerting when an unfamiliar car slows down next to you in the dark, but at least I was running, there is nothing worse than bumping into a friend when you’ve just started walking.

God, why is it when you start tapering, you just want to give up completely? My hill repeats were particularly painful this morning due to the public holiday hike I did yesterday afternoon up to Elephant’s Eye cave, the PT session on Tuesday and my wish to stay in bed.

Apparently it will be raining tomorrow. Joy.

Running notes:
Route: 5 x 600m hill repeats
Distance: 6km

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Time trial No.7: …by myself

Yep, you know you have a problem when you plan to run a time trial by yourself. I mean who does that apart from crazy people? Had a good excuse as it’s a public holiday and I had the option of dinner out with a friend. There was also wine.

Running notes:
Route: Wakame – turn around point – Wakame
Distance: 5km plus a 1km warm up
Time: 22:14

 

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PT Session No.21

I’m supposed to be tapering, but I had one of the hardest sessions ever. 60 squats with a 24kg kettle bell, 60 upright rows and 60 swings broken into three sets. Everything hurt. I said to Justin last week to take it easy on the twisty stuff in case I pull something so he just goes crazy on the straight up stuff. Argh.

Training notes:
360 Training

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I left it so long to go out it rained, then it dried up, then I got rained on anyway

I was away yesterday so thought I deserved a Saturday off. Should have run anyway because the weather this morning was atrocious. I managed to go out at about lunchtime and was about 6km into my 15km run when it started to rain, I gave up and turned round and it rained on me all the way home. Typically as I write this the sun has come out.

Running notes:
Route: My house – Kloof Nek – Part way up Signal Hill – Kloof Nek – My house
Distance: 13km

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5km in Cape Point

Due to the excessive amount of South African public holidays this week I took the working days off and myself down to Cape Point for two days. I find it very hard to run on holiday so today I only managed 5km. I did find some porcupine quills though.

Running notes:
Route: Plateau Road towards Simonstown and back
Distance: 5km

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1 month to go

1 May today which means this time in 30 days time I’ll be on the road in KZN.

I’m trying hard not to think about it, but it was first thing in my head when I woke up this morning and turned my gaze towards the alarm clock, ‘I’ll have been running for 2 and a half hours by now’. I know I’m going to be at this game all day. I’ve just had a look at the official Comrades site and according to their countdown clock there are 30 days, 20 hours, 5 minutes and 22 seconds to the gun. OMFG given that I’ve done four months of training and there is now only one to go it feels like the race is next week. I’ve just looked at my watch again and by now (in a month’s time) I’ll have been running for 4 hours and 20 minutes. If I’m on target, I’ll have just gone through the marathon mark and be winding my way uphill towards Drummond which marks the highest part of the course and the halfway point. My heart is racing just thinking about it.

Running notes:
Route: My house – Kloof Nek – My house
Distance: 8km

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PT Session No.20: 13:4 on my bleep test!

Second attempt this afternoon, ran it again with a trainer and another female client who was power lifting when I got there (yes, seriously). Both of them dropped out before me, one with shin splints (ouch) and the other because she had weird flat shoes on. Good for getting your feet to stick to the floor when you are lifting 100kg+ above your head, not so great for sprinting. I do have an unfair advantage in the fact that I imagine neither runs more than 20km a week. I was stoked to have beaten my score from last time (12:2) but I suspect it was the technique on the turn rather than any improved lung capacity.

The 25 year old trainer I’d run with high-fived me later, ‘well done’ she said. I’d like to think that was because she thought I was genuinely impressive at the test and not because I’m an ancient 37 year old.

Training notes:
360 Training

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Chapman’s Peak and then some brunch

Drove all the way out to Noordhoek this morning to run 12km up Chapman’s Peak and back to the farm stall for brunch (it’s a public holiday today). Was beautiful weather, we saw a huge pod of dolphins heading into Hout Bay and the legs are feeling like they are coming back to life a bit.

Running notes:
Noordhoek Farm Stall – Chapman’s Peak – 1km down the other side – Chapman’s Peak – Noordehoek Farm Stall
Distance: 12km

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56 days later and I’ve bought another new pair of shoes

The paranoia is coming on.

I can feel it. Happens every time I run this race. About a month out I begin to have an unnatural fear of twisting my ankle, falling over, doing too much mileage, other people’s germs, door handles, diseased children etc. Yesterday I woke up and needed new shoes. I’ve worn the others for 8 weeks now (bought them at the beginning of March) which means, including yesterday’s run, they’ve done 511km. They still look new but are actually f***ed. The uppers are feeling less supportive and the midsole is thinning. So I go and spend another R1300 yesterday on the same shoe just navy blue. ‘Ouch’ said my bank balance, but my Comrades feet at 75km will thank me for it. I’ll run them in right up to the race which should give me approximately 140km. The old ones aren’t dead yet, still got at least 300km in them, but like I said paranoia is making the decisions now.

Running notes:
My house – Kloof Nek – Signal Hill – Kloof Nek – My house
Distance: 15km (damn those shoes felt good)

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Centurions on Saturday. Could be the last one

It’s a tough old 20km on the legs up Rhodes Drive and through Cecilia Forest. Wow, did I bitch for the first half, I didn’t realise just how tired I was after Oceans last week. Luckily everyone else had run it too so we were all moaning about our sad heavy legs. Beautiful run though as ever, but a good reminder for me just how long a heavy run or a big mileage week takes to disappear even after the noticeable stiffness or soreness has gone. Got to be disciplined now, with 5 weeks to go I need to balance recovering from Oceans with enough mileage to keep me ticking over and then the correct amount of tapering to ensure I’m a coiled spring on the start line. Many runners mess up their Comrades in the last few weeks by doing too much. Got to stay focussed on the plan.

Running Notes
UCT – M3 – Kirstenbosch Top Gate – Cecelia Forest – Constantia Nek – Cecelia Forest – Kirstenbosch Gardens – Rhodes Drive – M3 – UCT
Distance: 20km

 

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I ran 1000km this morning

Well not exactly this morning, but my 5km leg stretch contributed to the total distance from 1 January.

You’d think this milestone would encourage me to bounce out of bed and get my running shoes on. Nope, I laid there in the dark staring at the ceiling. I didn’t run or exercise at all on Sunday or Wednesday and now I can’t get out of bed to do a tiny 5km leg stretch. Made it out and it was great – what was I waiting for? No muscle tightness or joint soreness, so we’re all good to start again properly on Saturday (I’ll have another day off tomorrow in light of the nice tidy number with lots of zeros).

Oh and just for interest’s sake, I looked up a 1000km radius from London. The internet told me that is the equivalent of running to Berlin, Prague or Marseille. And from Cape Town? The only place that popped up was Mthatha.

Running notes
Route: My house – Camp Street – Buitengracht Street – Wale Street – My house
Distance: 5km

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