That time of year again

The change in season is never more evident than when we return home from our Easter holiday. The yearly trek down to Cape Town to run the Two Oceans is the first time I’m packing in warmer jackets and closed shoes, knowing that evenings are a lot cooler. And by the time we fly home, everything is suddenly duller. There’s a fresh chill in the air, the sun sets earlier and unless you head out for your afternoon run before 17:30, you can forget about finishing in the light.

Brenaissance

Wine and pizza pairing at the Brenaissance Wine Farm on the day we landed. I was already feeling chilly & whipped out my puffer.

We did manage to soak up a few rays down in Cape Town. Truth be told, we must be getting older because we preferred to lie around at the pool at the hotel instead of heading down to Clifton 4th beach.

12apostlespool

Calm & relaxing. Only realized that my toenails are painted blue by pure coincidence – Thank you Monika & Lemonade.

KK gets terrible cabin fever and so we decided one morning to hike up the mountain. It wasn’t as easy as we thought. The fires had destroyed a lot of the vegetation and so the path wasn’t visible. It turned into quite a serious hike, right up KK’s alley! But the views from the top were amazing!

I was left with mixed feelings about Cape Town’s drought situation. There’s definitely awareness of it up in Jo’burg and we packed in wet wipes, expecting the worst. But I didn’t get a sense of the seriousness whilst down in Cape Town. The hotel only had a few signs around, but no clear instructions on what I was expected to do with the water in the bucket after I had showered.

The concierge claimed it wasn’t an issue and would only hit Cape Town in 2019. The toilets at the V&A Waterfront had a small sticker above the loo saying, “This toilet uses grey water.” So does that mean I flush after my wee or not?

The great thing about holidays in Cape Town are definitely the late sunsets! It was 19:00 and the sun was just setting over the ocean. It was refreshing to stop and take it in. We also scored with no wind this year! The wind and I are not big friends and that nasty South Easter can upset my entire day.

cape town sunsets

I must confess that I did have two chocolate croissants, one after the other, at breakfast on our last morning in Cape Town. It was glorious! I had been very good the entire weekend – no wine, lots of protein, zero Easter eggs (liar) and a salad here & there for lunch. But coming back to Jo’burg, I have a new mindset & have reset my goals:

  1. Running: I will be relooking my running goals. I’m already eyeing RAC 10km in May. But for now, I am hoping for more runs, less mileage. Going for regular 4km runs after work (before that Winter sun sets) instead of thinking that I need to run 10s and 21s all the time. That will come, but not for now.
  2. Weight: Call it “the 40s midlife crisis” or blame it on my running injury excuses, but something has gone seriously wrong in my head & I have lost control over food. Sounds quite dramatic, I know! I’ve been to see another dietician. I’ll save it for another blog post, but while eating Pronutro and rice cakes works amazingly for some, it didn’t for me. So I found someone who is Banting / LCHF / Keto / Plant based pro. My gut feel is that this way of eating suits me. It’s worked before. It’s my head I need to fix first.

There’s another long weekend coming up at the end of April and then we have that long stretch into Winter. Chilly, dark morning runs. Battling the traffic to get home from work early enough to run. The streets lined with an array of beautiful hues of brown and orange leaves that crunch under your feet. I’m ready for you Winter.

 

Feeding an Otter athlete

With so many running goals in his sights, KK has upped his training. Having successfully completed his first ever Otter trail run, his running calendar includes events such as Kaapsehoop (ticked off his list), 94.7 cycle challenge and Ultra Trail Cape Town (UTCT) with a couple of Westcliff stairs and Kingskloof training sessions thrown in.

He loved Otter! Compared to road running, Otter gave him a challenge he’s never encountered before. With Comrades, you just run and if you’re mentally strong enough, shut out the rest of the world and make sure you jog along to the end. But with Retto (Otter run backwards) this year, the course did not allow for any sections where your mind clutches out. In fact, trail running is a whole other beast!Otter trail run 2016Otter trail run 2016Otter trail run 2016

14 000 steps awaited KK, including water slides into the Bloukrans River, river crossings, runs on beaches, crossing boulders, making his way through forests, balancing off edges of cliffs…

But with the increase in training has come an increase in appetite. He eats. He eats a lot!

Each evening when I pack his lunchbox for work, I try match it to his training schedule. I know for example that a 4am session running the Westcliff stairs means he’ll be starving for the rest of the day. KK has been complaining that he doesn’t have enough food in the day. So in my search for new and exciting ideas, I found this recipe:

Sweet potato bacon cakes! A great lunchbox filler perfect for KK!

Sweet potato

Full recipe at: http://paleoleap.com/sweet-potato-bacon-cakes/

It’s a hectic downhill rush to the end of the year. Not too many races ahead but still a lot of training. Hope this fills KK’s belly and gives him the energy he needs.

As for me, just knowing there’s a mandatory rest period pencilled in his training schedule is enough to look forward to!

Happy training runners!

Ps: Oh and Otter 2017. Already entered. KK wastes no time!

Eat here

Lately, KK and I have been trying some new and exciting restaurants in Jo’burg. We started to get really tired of the same old restaurants every weekend so we started to make a real effort to try new ones. When you start to look, you find that Jozi is packed with trendy places!

Craft – Parkhurst

We decided to give Craft a go after hearing so many rave reviews. They don’t take bookings, but as I was told when I phoned, ‘If I arrive before 7pm, I was sure to get a table’. We did. And boy, after 7pm, the place was packed with many people putting their names down on a waiting list. Brilliant selection of Craft beers, loads to choose from, including many banting options such as cauliflower rice and ‘less-bread burger’ which is what I had. Tables are squeezed a little too tight, but come Summer when they are able to open the stacker doors, the place will be a winner!

Craft

Knead – Michaelangelo Towers, Sandton

Breakfasts are difficult for me. Due to the fact that I follow a low-carb high fat way of eating, I don’t eat bread, or jam, or flapjacks or scones or any other divine invention made with lashings of syrup and sugar. So when we found Knead, I was overjoyed to find that they had LCHF options on the menu. And I’m not just talking about scrambled eggs but a breakfast pizza on low-carb base. It was divine!  The service is excellent and the whole place feels clean, fresh and inviting.

Knead

I’ll keep you posted on some more places as we find them. Any recommendations on restaurants you like? Let me know!

*This is an unsponsored review of restaurants*

Time for a clean up

I’ve heard it so many times before: If you are trying to lose weight, make sure you don’t stock anything that can potentially tempt you. To be honest, if I’m going to be serious about sticking to a proper, healthy eating plan, I got to do what’s right.

So I finally cleaned out my sweet cupboard. By cleaned out, I don’t mean I sat down and ate everything. I literally threw stuff away and took the rest of the sweets to work (only to make my colleagues grow chubby!).

I have been meaning to do it for ages but never got around to doing it and every weekend, I’d just buy more and more goodies, adding to the heap.

My weakness is chips. I love chips! Any flavour but especially the chutney flavoured ones.

Funny enough, I am able to resist chocolates. In fact, some years have gone by when we’ve had to throw Easter eggs away because they’ve gone old.

Sorting through the cupboard, I was horrified that so many of the sweets had passed their expiry date. So much of it had to be thrown away as it was inedible. Some of the goodies I had no memory of even buying. Worst of all was that some of it were gifts from people that had gone to waste.

What’s left in my cupboard are packets of nuts, dried fruit (and maybe one bag of speckled eggs and a pack of caramello bears). But no more chocolates. No more buckets of sour gums. No more chips.

And it feels good…

Why do we allow things in our lives to gather dust? Why do we put off clearing out and getting rid of things in our lives that are only causing us to slip up or not accomplish our goals? How come we don’t see how unnecessary things take up so much space in our lives?