It’s a choice, but it’s mine

I slept in late today. It was cold. It was drizzling and even though I had my running kit set out and ready to go, I chose to roll over and sleep. It was my choice.

Today was Mother’s Day. I’m 42 years old and don’t have any children. I made the decision years ago not to have kids. I believe that too is a choice. And it’s my choice. Not a lot of people understand that.

If you spent any time on social media today, you would have seen the flood of Mother’s Day messages. It’s truly awesome for all the moms out there. But I did see one or two posts about how tough it is for those that aren’t moms, or loved ones who have lost their moms.

I kinda lie low on days like these. My opinion about my choice of not having kids get more negative comments that positive ones. A lot of frowns and questions come my way. Not everyone thinks it’s a choice. Not everyone understands my choice. That’s okay. I have to live with it, not them. But the guilt trips always come.

Choosing not to run was my choice and I did have serious FOMO all day long. I knew that had I gone running, I would’ve felt fantastic and perhaps enjoyed that extra roast potato at my mom’s house a lot more. I also know that I enjoyed cuddling up in my warm bed.

There are pros and cons to every decision. I’ll run tomorrow. Happy Mother’s Day to all my wonderful friends who are mothers (including my awesome sister)! You guys inspire and amaze me. Running is hard, but not as hard as what you guys do each and every day. But I know, it’s also a lot more rewarding!

Thanks for the lunch mom, it was delicious! I love you!

Reflecting on this year’s Two Oceans race

It’s long overdue and regular readers of my blog might have noticed that I haven’t yet published my annual account of my Two Oceans half marathon race.

In previous blog posts, I’ve mostly bitched about the race and vowed (every time) never to return. It’s been a love hate relationship. However this year, everything fitted together like a puzzle and it turned out that I ran the race with very different eyes.

The race was a few days after a friend had let us know about the cancer moving to two parts of her brain. Her regular WhatsApp messages popped in and out of my thoughts sporadically & my mind flashed through what she was going through.

The night before the race, I had said to myself, how can I moan when I know how much Susan loves triathlons and swimming & would love to just get out there and run? So I didn’t moan and woke up on race morning looking forward to the race.

I started in race category D which kinda felt like I had golden circle tickets at a rock concert. It also meant less time waiting compared to category E and loads more room to stand in.

10 minutes before the race started, my mind flipped into panic mode. But instead, I thought, scared? Bron you don’t know what scared is. Susan is scared.

When it hurt near the 17kms mark and my legs were tired, I thought you don’t know what tired is. This is not pain. Not like what Susan is going through.

And when I wanted to quit, I remembered that quitting was not an option for her.
Finally, when I crossed that finish line, I said “this is for you Susan”. But somehow, the message was really for me. I had come through 21.1kms having learnt something quite humbling about myself.

two oceans half marathon medal and photoI moan about my running way to often. I criticize my pace and point out all my weaknesses. I blame the race, the race organizers and my training. It’s the backbone to my blog. But I need to stop. I am a runner and incredibly grateful to be able to cross those finishing lines at road races.

I am good enough. My body is good enough! There are so many people out there who don’t have the opportunities or the health that I have to be able to run. So from now on, every time I don’t feel like running, I’ll think of those that wish they could. I’ll think of Susan. Because what she made me realize, that every time I put my running shoes on, I need to be grateful that I am able to run. It doesn’t matter how slow or fast or even how far. We seem to forget that.

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

Autumn arrives

And just like that, Autumn is officially here. Last week I was still wearing sandals and strappy dresses to work but on my run on Sunday morning, I could definitely feel that fresh chill in the air. 

In my mind, the only positive aspect that comes with a change in season, is well… change itself. It’s a time of reflection. A time to make decisions and do things differently in my life.

So three things come to mind: 

  1. I’ve relooked my eating plan and made a few adjustments. Smaller portions, more veggies and perhaps less wine on the weekends (for now).
  2. I’m starting off the month of May with a number of work responsibilities having moved out of my control to another team. That’s brought about huge changes to my day and a readjustment of priorities. Time to refocus on new projects.
  3. I’ve also been doing some assessments of my running and redefining my running goals now that Two Oceans has come & gone. If I’m enjoying the casual run, what am I still training for? 

I’m not a cold weather person. The dry skin, the static hair, the layers of clothing all irritate me. 

But the colder weather brings with it fleecy blankets in front of movies and soups with piping hot bread smothered in melting butter. (Oops, about that eating plan!)
Mmm, something I can definitely look forward to!