Knock off and run

Geepers! I’m finding it such a struggle lately to get to gym or go for a run! When I drive home from work, I often see cyclists crossing the road on their cycling path across Delta Park down Barry Hertzog Road. I get so jealous and ask myself, “What time did they leave work to get dressed in cycling kit and get out on the road?” I think that’s the trick though. Finding time.

The reality is that there will always be busy days. It’s the norm for most people, right? Our days have become so busy. There will always be late afternoon meetings. There will always be so much work to do that I couldn’t possibly finish it all in one day. (It’s a blessing). But this is just how it is and it’s not going to change. So what can I do about it?

I’m definitely in a better state of mind if I manage to get to gym or get out on the road to run. It’s important that I make time. I admit that the only person stopping me is … me. I need to put my foot down and leave the office when I need to in order to find that balance. It’s in my hands. Just like those cyclist, I have to manage my time better.

making-time-to-run-quote

A week ago, I returned to Randburg Harriers time trial after ‘my Winter hibernation’. I had not been for months and oddly enough had butterflies in my stomach when I arrived. I ran on my own, through the tree-lined streets, taking deep breaths and smelling the fresh Spring air. It was awesome! A new PB TT time too. I couldn’t stop talking about it for days how wonderful it was to be back at TT.

But to be honest, I think it was my body feeling so amazing because it was thanking me. My whole body inside and out was smiling!TT

(Images: Strava & Google)

MTB’ing is just as hard as the riders

Riding a bike is not the same as running. In fact, off-road mountain biking is not for sissies as I recently discovered.

Last weekend, we decided to join some friends out at Groenkloof Nature Reserve to do some riding. All of us have mountain bikes so it was a perfect spot. However, what I initially thought was going to be basic dirt roads turned out to be a mix of gravel, stones, dusty sand paths and just as many down hills as up hills.

It was a chance for me to try out my new bike and I was so thankful that I had invested in a strong, proper bike which at last fitted my height. My bike handled the turns and tight spots well and I was impressed with how fast she rides on the straights. I’m still happy I chose a 29’er (bike talk).

After what must have been an hour and a half of really technical riding, I was sure I had bruised my cocksix!

My experience of cycling so far? Well..

  • Cyclists do not greet one another. They are the oddest, most unfriendliest bunch.
  • Cyclists are selfish and competitive. There is no such thing as “Let’s all ride together.” If you cannot keep up, you’re on your own buster.
  • More gears make a difference. Do not believe those who try convince you otherwise. It’s the same with good running shoes. If the shoe fits, the run feels good.
  • There is such a thing as being ‘bum fit’.

So it looks like we’ll be trying out Groenkloof in November which should be great fun again. At least I know what to expect and not be too surprised when I get home covered in dust and have a sore bum! But I do believe a few more spinning classes at gym is required to up my fitness levels!

And if I happen to cycle passed you and greet you, don’t be alarmed. I’m a runner by heart.

Surviving my first bike ride

Nervous did not begin to describe how I felt when we woke up on Sunday morning. This was the day that we decided to go for a “gentle” ride on our bikes. Kitted out in helmets, padded cycling shorts and warm clothes, off we went.

The plan was to cycle from Douglasdale, collect our besties on the way in Bryanston, head through Randburg into Delta Park, shoot through to Parkhurst for a quick breakfast and head back home. I secretly wondered if that wasn’t too enthusiastic, especially since I had not ridden my bike for 10 years after I threw it on the pavement and walked home.

Cycling is different to running. Running is harder. Running relies solely on the fitness of your legs to get you both up those hills and down. Whereas in cycling, even though you have to peddle like mad to push up those nasty hills, you do get to free-wheel on the down hills and relax a bit while the bike does most of the work.

Some observations from my ride:

1. Delta Park is absolutely beautiful! Wow Jozi! The dry winter grass; the sound of the flowing water; the people walking their dogs; runners, cyclists and even horses! What a gem.

2. 36kms sounds far, but I survived. I did have to stop once or twice to catch my breath, but I did not at any stage get off my bike and walk. I call this progress.

3. Cyclists are unfriendly. Compared to runners who always greet one another, cyclists hardly acknowledge one another. Odd. I know my butt was getting sore so I just wonder if this is perhaps the reason they are all so moody?

There is one (hard) lesson I’m learning about myself. I allow my nerves to ruin the joy of the ride. I kept worrying that I would be too slow and hold everyone up. Or that my bike would break. Or that I would be too unfit to get home. Or worst of all, a puncture!

But as I was riding, I remember KK’s words to me when I started running: “There is no way you can ever come last, so just enjoy the run”. It’s the same with cycling, I guess. Stop stressing and just enjoy the ride Bron! I need to work on that…

I am seriously looking forward to the next outing. But for now, I need to rest my butt!