Running through my Winter…

1. After being brave for so long, we made the decision to put Annie down before she suffered. It radically changed our relationship with Emma. Not a day goes by without us thinking of Little Annie Panks. | 2. I joined a bunch of friends walking dogs at a dog shelter. It was hard work but so rewarding. | 3. We went away with friends to Parys. A weekend of park run, long lunches, popcorn, 30 Seconds and wine. | 4. All CW-X stock is on sale & we managed to sell most of the average sizes. | 5. I started to crochet! It’s fantastic to zone out & detox from devices. | 6. KK and I attended an Enneagram course. Turns out we’re both perfectionist but I avoid conflict. I just want harmony. Funny that. | 7. Another weekend away to the ‘Berg. Good for the soul but boy did it get cold! | 8. Getting artsy fartsy and visiting the Standard Bank gallery. | 9. KK and I ran Old Eds. The running bug has bitten! We’re back!

With so many wonderful memories, I must admit that the signs of Spring could not have come at a better time. That welcoming feeling of warmth, renewal and fresh beginnings. Exactly what I needed most!

My year captured in 12 pics


1. The year started with us finding out that Annie had a tumor on her adrenal gland. It was successfully removed, however the remaining gland has not been able to do the job for two glands, so Annie remains on high levels of cortisone.  2. Track sessions with the Running Junkies continued.  3. There were many races run this year, including Two Oceans half marathon. My times were not so great.  4. A few of my running buddies left SA to take on adventures overseas in Munich & Dublin. I miss them!  5. I learned that I can hit a golf ball.  6. KK ran another Comrades race. He shaved off even more time and now is determined to kickstart his 2017 training.  7. We holidayed in the beautiful Drakensburg with Dan & Linda. This photo also won me first place at camera club.  8. I ran my first trail run. Without proper gear, my feet ached for days.  9. I went back to Mari, my bio to help me with my running form. I’ve since scaled down on running such far distances & focus on 5kms and 10kms.  10. I commissioned my first rooster from a street wire artist.  11. KK ran his first Otter trail run. Again, the bug has bitten and I can’t see any other race coming close in terms of fun, views and organisation.  12. We renovated and I painted my walls blue. I absolutely love the colour! I’m so proud of myself for being brave and different!

Here’s hoping 2017 brings even more ‘firsts’ and exciting surprises!

The Jacaranda stood tall

On a recent Saturday morning training session with Coach Dave, we were instructed to run up to the top of a hill towards an orange bush and jog back down. We were to do this until he said stop. The “bush” at the top of the hill was in fact the most beautiful tree. The Jacaranda mimosifolia. The name stood out because it was signposted on the bark as most of the trees at Emmerentia Dam are.

Hill training at Emmerentia Dam

Hill training at Emmerentia Dam

The beautiful Jacaranda tree

The beautiful Jacaranda tree

Up and down the hill we ran and each and every time I reached the top, I would touch the bark of the tree and repeat the words “Jacaranda mimosifolia”. It occurred to me that I had never noticed that Jacaranda trees change to orange during winter. How odd because their majestic beauty when they are in full bloom during spring paints the streets with their exquisite colours of blue and purple.

Up and down…. Jacaranda mimosifolia. When I did stop to catch my breath at the top of the hill, I took time to appreciate the tree and reflected on the past couple of months.

It’s been a tough winter. I have not been able to get into a proper training routine. My running has suffered. I have missed races, missed track sessions and missed the discipline and consistency Coach Dave taught me from the beginning.

The Jacaranda trees in bloom up my street

The Jacaranda trees in bloom up my street

Worse is that the last 6 months have been really hard at work. Challenging. Maybe because it’s me that has been the challenger for a change. Nobody really likes that. No one likes the orange leaves.

I’ve lost a bit of my sparkle. I’ve lost my shine. I’ve become that orange Jacaranda tree which is still the beautiful tree that people marvel at during spring time, but fades into the background when the leaves turn orange and waits for winter to end.

I am bordering on desperate for spring to arrive. It hasn’t been that cold, but it’s been dry and long. You could see it in the brown dead grass as the sun rose during our training session. The frost melting as the air warmed up.

Soon those Jacaranda mimosifolias will be blooming and showing off their majestic blues and purple showers again. The colours of the leaves may change, but it’s still the same tree. And of course, it gets easier to run.

The purple carpet...

The purple carpet…