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!

The final (leg) stretch 

After months of intense training, KK is finally tapering for the Comrades marathon.

I wish I could sigh a breath of final relief but no, he’s still got a few more weeks to go. One month actually. 4 weeks. 30 days. 

Until then, we’re still avoiding sick people (ie.: all people), being in a state of hunger 24/7, sleeping as much as we can and being incredibly grumpy! I say ‘we’ because as the wife of a Comrades runner, you have no choice. You’re in it for the long run!

Race qualifying started last year November already. Then it was the UTCT trail run in December, a few marathons in the beginning of the year, followed by x4 (!!) ultra marathons, Two Oceans being one of them. In between that he’s been clocking over 100kms per week. And heading into taper, it doesn’t stop. Now KK starts with fartleks and short (that’s short?) 30km long runs. 

I’m tired. I’m not the one training but I’m tired both mentally & physically. I said to KK earlier tonight that a runner cannot run Comrades marathon every year. It takes so much out of you!
Not only for the runner but also family & friends along side you all the way. 

But for now, it’s taper time. Let’s do this! *cheers*

Tired legs resting

Picnic for the soul 

During March, KK’s Comrades training was at its peak. Waking up at 4am, running 100km’s a week, he was exhausted. So I suggested to him that instead of wasting the March public holiday, that perhaps we should go for a picnic somewhere & spend some time together “chillaxing”.

My idea was loading our straw basket with some cut up vienna sausages, blocks of cheese and packets of chips. But when I woke up that morning, he said, “Dress comfy, we’re going for a picnic. It’s a surprise!”

We took a leisurely drive out to Magaliesburg and I kept wanting to stop and take photos of the fields of cosmos that greeted us on our trip.

Cosmos flower in bloomcosmos flowers in bloomWe finally arrived at our destination. The Budmarsh Private Lodge, tucked away in the heart of the Magaliesburg mountains.

Budmarsh Private LodgeKK had pre-ordered our picnic basket so the only thing required from us was to decide on drinks and select a spot around the grounds to have our picnic. Mmm, that beautiful gigantic tree or that sunny chair next to the gentle flowing stream?

It was so quiet! Our voices seemed to pierce the silence that engulfed us. We tucked into the food immediately! It was delicious! With full bellies, we lay back and dozed off…

It was the perfect day. KK has been doing such intense training for Comrades so the day “off” allowed him to relax and sleep, guilt free.

I took a stroll along the little stream next to the house and tried to get the ducks to come say hello. But I was full of thoughts and allowed the beauty of the surroundings to speak to me. The only ones who did come bounding by to say hi (and possibly steal whatever was left in the basket) were two adorable basset hounds. Scrumptious food, wine, warm sun, overly-friendly dogs… I was officially in my element!

There are a couple of public holidays in South Africa coming up. If you haven’t yet decided what to do, consider driving out somewhere unknown and escaping the city. It doesn’t have to be a picnic. It doesn’t even need to be a public holiday. But it’s the silence and time away from the daily chores and routine that allows your body and soul to recharge.

And yes, that includes runners. Be kind to your body. Take some time to rest!