Damn! Is the race next weekend? Oops!

You know that saying, “You think you’ve got time, but you don’t” or something like that?

I entered the Kaapsehoop 21km road race taking place on the 3rd November. Yup, next weekend. Or next, next weekend. I digress…

I haven’t trained as much as I should’ve to take on a half marathon but I knew that as the race grew closer, I’d be ready. That was my thinking 3 months ago.

Then winter arrived and I stopped running. I call it my annual hibernation. Then we went on holiday. And I ate carbs at the buffet. Twice a day. Then I got a viral infection and I’m still coughing!

I’ve run a couple of 10kms here and there. I’ve jogged through the neighborhood a few times. Just to take in the beauty of the jacaranda trees! But a 21km is still hardcore in my books and I haven’t done sufficient training for Kaapsehoop.FNB Jozi 10km

The only “training” further than a 5km Parkrun has been odd 10km races, such as the Heritage Day FNB 10km race.

It gets worse.

Then an email arrived notifying runners that there are no substitutions after September. Ouch!

So it’s 21kms or nothing. No downgrading for a fun 10km run. Oh dear. I’m out.

I know I’ll hate every single kilometer of the 21km if I go and “run for fun”. It won’t be fun. And to risk disqualification if I jump on the 10km bus ain’t worth it.

KK still aims to run the marathon and qualify for Comrades. Yes, he has entered and just as well! Comrades entries are going like hot cakes!

Oh well, on the bright side, bring on that long weekend in Kaapsehoop! *whoop*! I’m always up for another break!

Ps: I’ll be much better prepared for my next race. I promise.

A street pole strategy

I put off blogging about my recent races because I was unsure if the results were real or just lucky. Three races down and I’m amazed that it has taken me four years to realise that tackling my runs the same way I tackle life would be the winning formula which would help me not only run faster, but stronger. Wait, let me try explain myself…

But first, let me take you back to this year’s Pick ‘n Pay half marathon. I happen to notice around the 10km mark that two runners were running according to a walk/run strategy. As much as I tried to keep up with them, I was not fit enough. But two weeks later, I happen to see them again at the Deloitte half marathon and pushed to keep up. The strategy is simple: run two sometimes three street poles, then walk for one.

I’ve always walked during races. But usually because I’m so tired and can’t get going again. This is different. This is planned and structured.

Having run Deloitte in under 3 hours using this strategy, I decided to try it during the Vaal 10km run. Success! I ran in 74 minutes! In fact, I managed to run each and every kilometre under 8 minutes a kilometre. I tried it again at the Saren’s half marathon too. My time: 2:54. This is working for me!

You see, I like structure, planning and preparation. I’ve always gone into races just hoping to get to that finish line before the 3 hour mark but with very little planning. But with this street pole strategy, I feel very much in control. It’s like my running friend Kerry, who has pulled me through both Deloitte & Sarens said, ‘It’s as if the street poles were made just for us runners.” I like that.


It’s the same as in life, without a strategy which works for you, you’ll only be drifting. And I guess every runner needs to find that certain technique that works for them. We’re all different and even though we run the same race, (just like life) we all need to run our different ways in order to finish. I’m glad I’ve found mine and something that finally, after 4 years of struggling, happens to work for me.

What’s your strategy?

Running three hours through life

Running a race mirrors life in more ways than you realize and has always been the main theme of my blog. This morning’s Pick ‘n Pay half marathon showed me why in so many ways..

When we woke up at 3am, it was pouring with rain. I secretly leapt with joy, hoping to jump back in to bed to go back to sleep, but KK refused to let his plans of running his marathon be dashed, and so off we went. As we arrived at the race venue, the rain disappeared and we ran in the most glorious cool weather.

~ Goals. Stick with them through rain or shine, no matter what gets thrown your way. There will always be distractions. Remain focussed.

As I stood at the start line, my mind was not right. I had still allowed the weather to throw me and so my mood was stressed, anxious and negative. Not a good start and the first couple of kays were the most difficult.

~ Attitude. Pick your attitude and ensure it is right or else it will set you on a path to failure.

At the 10km mark, I caught up with a friend who was “coaching” another runner. Her strategy: “run two street poles, walk one”, a similar strategy to the one she used on me to run the Deloitte half marathon last year. I joined in. BEST decision of the race. It was not so much the street poles, but being pulled along by someone who ‘believed’ in her strategy and who kept motivating us. Her energy was boundless and catchy. I “wanted” to keep up with her and be fuelled by her motivation.

~ Coaches/Mentors/People who encourage. Find these people and stick with them. They want you to succeed. They believe in your abilities and they will help you reach your goals.

I must admit, I was not fit enough to keep up with my running friend and she did start slipping further and further away.

~ Friends. They come and go. They pop into your life for reasons when you need them most, then pop out. This is life and it’s okay. It’s how life works.

As I got to the 18km mark, my feet started to ache really badly. This is where I started to hate everyone. I wanted to cry. I blamed others for the pain. I was irritated with the photographers on the road and I just wanted to quit.

~ Don’t give up. When times are tough, it’s easy to throw in the towel. It’s easy to blame others when things don’t go your way. Don’t.

I finished my race. Aching feet and all. I have the t-shirt to prove it and I got my medal. My third Pick ‘n Pay half marathon race under the belt. Three hours of tough running.

~ The Finish line. To get there, you need to go through the ups and down and endure what life throws at you. You will get there, stick it out. Because the rewards are awesome!