About Bo

Dog lover. Runner. Although very slowly. Keeping up with the stresses of running and life...

Strength from the ocean

The Comrades marathon was brutal. A mixture of heat and the relentless pulls of the infamous Up Run found many with unmet/reset goals or heartbreaking DNFs.

For KK, this years race was particularly tough. I caught him at x4 different spots along the route and each time I saw him, he seemed to struggle more and more. 

At one stage, he declared, “I’ve had enough. I’m walking to the finish.” 

I smiled. You see, KK is really strong mentally. He’s never been one to quit during a race. In those moments of darkness, he switches on to plan B. Walking to the finish. He knew he had to finish. Quitting was never an option. 

I was scanning through some old photos of previous Comrades races when I happened to notice something. 

The day before each race, we like to walk down to the beach and relax. KK always spends time dipping his feet in the water. But if you look closely at these pictures, there’s something else going on…

Comrades runner in the ocean

It’s as if he’s looking far away, into the ocean, deep in thought. I’m guessing this is where he has that final conversation with himself while staring at the waves building and crashing around him.

The nerves. The self-doubt. The fears. Taking on a race of this magnitude, only something as big and powerful as the ocean would understand and allow him to soak up as much energy as he needs. 

X4 medals later, the ritual must work. 

This is what I got up to…Selfies on the beach

Selfies on the beach. Notice the beach sand on my elbow. Fail. Yeah, I know. I’m working on it. 

Every race runs a different journey

It’s the Comrades marathon this weekend! Eeek! It feels like just the other day that I was waiting for KK at that finish line but I spotted this Facebook memory which reminded me just how quickly time flies! 

Yup, we’re headed back down for KK’s fourth race for which he has trained harder than any of the previous Big C races. Every year has been different with different goals and an entirely different journey to get to the finish line.

2014: The first Comrades race

KK was meant to run with his friend David but injury forced Dave to pull out after Two Oceans. With no coach and following a training programme pulled from a Modern Athlete magazine, KK set out with a goal of just finishing the race before cutoff. He ran a time of 10:37. He always says that with no previous experience and heading into the unknown was perhaps the best run of them all.

The before & after pic.

2015: Year of the pelvis Elvis!

During his training for Comrades, KK started to ache in his groin area. Hours of physio and being instructed to rest meant that he started Comrades with the least amount of training ever. Zero ultras, no long runs and very few kms under his feet, he managed to finish the race in a time of 11:18. The reason for the ache? A cracked pelvis. I know! But he got his back to back medals and that’s all that mattered to him.

Spot the medals.

2016: Training kicked up a notch

KK ran many long hours with Running Junkie Shaun this year. Following a training programme of track sessions combined with weekend long runs, he went in prepared and hoping to at least improve on his 2014 time. He finished strong! His time: 09:51. He was thrilled. It’s realising that he can improve that set his sights on 2017.

That smile! (after 89kms)

2017: Ultras and more ultras

This year has been quite different, training-wise (him) as well as emotionally (me). It’s been much more intense. After many months of training, waking up three times a week at 4am, long runs on weekends, KK is more determined than ever to improve his time and do well. He even took leave from work in order to avoid all the sick people in the building! He has listened to his coach and there’s nothing more he can do now other than rest and wait for Sunday morning to arrive.

I’m nervous, as always. I’m excited too! Supporting is a whole different ball game. Your heart sits outside of your chest for the entire day! But it’s an awesome experience!

It’s time. Let’s run!

My Mom’s honey cough mixture recipe (aka boere rad)

I posted a pic on Instagram on the weekend showcasing all the medication that KK was taking. It’s a combo of his usual pre-Comrades panic mixed with a really runny nose. His fear is that it grows into a full blown chest infection. Eeek! Then on Sunday, I started to come down with an incredibly rusty throat & dry cough. Such bad timing. We both decided to bail on the RAC 10km race & suffered huge FOMO trawling through our Strava feeds. 

A couple of comments to the pic mentioned (over)dosing up on honey, especially some really passionate & convincing advise from @LaceyMcCarthy that honey was the only cure. 

Somewhere out of my memory bank I remembered that when I was younger, my mom gave us spoonfuls of a hectic concoction made with honey & a whole lot of other stuff. It was vile but it worked! 

Recipe in hand and chatting to my mom, I mixed up a bottle tonight. That smell brought back so many memories! It’s going to take a bit of convincing for KK to try it, but there was no hesitation from me! Honey cough mixtureI’ve got a strong feeling it’s going to work. It’s either because it’s so strong & deadly or possibly because it filled me with such happiness & pride that my mom’s honey mixture has been passed down to me. 

In case you’d like to try it, here’s the recipe: 
Lennons hoesmiddel

750gm honey 🍯 

1 bottle Lennons Turlington

1 bottle Borsdruppels

1 bottle Paregoric

1/2 bottle peppermint druppels

(Heat honey slightly if needed and add ingredients).

Let me know if this helped you! (And if perhaps my Mom should start her own business!

Look ahead and start again

I received some feedback recently at work which has been really difficult to acknowledge. The feedback was harsh. Inside I was crushed.

I’ve taken a few days to try & understand the situation and see how I could do things differently. And as always, I turned to my blog. I was reading some older posts when I started to recognize some of the comments that people had fed back about me reflected in some of the posts I had written about myself and my running.

When it comes to my running, I am unforgiving when I fail; I am highly critical about myself; I am hard on myself; I only see faults, never anything good…

Oh my word. Yup! I am that person.

I’ve often said that the corporate world is not for sissies. It’s especially tough when there are so many goals to achieve, so many deadlines and expectations to fulfill. Being an A-type personality doesn’t help. Through all the chaos, my only sense of security was to increase control of the work, micro manage, be over-critical and not open to failure. It’s all there, I can see it now.

The same way that I need to sometimes go back to simply enjoying my running, needs to be the same way I approach this situation. I need to step back and understand where it’s going wrong. It needs a fresh new start and perhaps focus on the positives and the successes.

The same day I received the feedback at work was the same day I made the decision to start on a clean slate with my running. New beginnings. New running goals. New start.

Everything in life can be fixed. It’s not the end of the world, right? It’s quite a relief to be given the chance to start again.

Thank goodness for waterproof mascara.