That’s it. I’m out!

I’ve sprained my ankle. I wish I had a more elaborate story as to how I managed to sprain it. I wasn’t saving a kitten up a tree. I didn’t fall off my bike. I wasn’t even participating in a trail run. I simply stepped off the patio onto the grass on my way to pick up dog pooh. Yeah, that’s it.

The timing is actually perfect. It’s year-end and the race calendar has run out. Spraining my ankle has forced me to go into a phase of forced rest without having serious FOMO about any races I’m missing.

Come to think about it, I have missed quite a few races this year. Not entirely out of choice, but because they’ve sold out so quickly. I blame Discovery and their ridiculous point system. Since they entered the game with their Vitality Series, things have been quite chaotic at races.

The entries have sold out fast. The fields have become bigger and bigger resulting in gridlocked traffic on the road as well as huge congestion in the race. I’m seeing an increase in litter at all the water stops from mainly inexperienced runners.

Running a race in Jo’burg has become quite painful. And the last time I checked, old favourites such as Om Die Dam and Oceans were already sold out. We used to have a few months to plan and think about the races we’d like to enter. Not anymore.

Don’t get me wrong. The increase in the number of people running and getting fit is wonderful. It’s positive. I mean, WTH! Sell out races is great. But the vibe has changed. I’ve started to choose an afternoon run around my neighborhood and the occasional run with Graham Block’s group over the stress of an actual running race.

I might feel different about the whole situation next year. Things might have changed. Maybe I’m just tired and winding down. Maybe I’m just really miserable and yes, maybe it is FOMO. With my ankle injury, I’m going nowhere fast and putting my feet foot up has left me with lots of time to think. 

I’m doing a lot of that lately.


Final thoughts on my Two Oceans race

I’ve been away on holiday and haven’t yet had time to blog about my Two Oceans half marathon race yet. But after returning to track training this evening, I realized that I still wanted to capture some of my thoughts from that day before I forget them.

It was the 5th time I ran the race – 3 medals, one DNF as well as numerous fun day runs under my belt. This year was the second time running the ‘new’ and perhaps more challenging 21.1km route.


A couple of things I have finally come to know and accept about the Two Oceans half marathon race:

  • It’s congested. Very congested, especially for those runners who start in E batch.
  • Due to the congestion, aiming for a PB is a tough job (I say that even though I ran a PB and so many others did too).
  • For so many people, Two Oceans is their first half marathon and often, a dream come true. It’s only fair to allow them to get caught up in the vibe, the emotions and enjoy their race. <Note to self: don’t share all your previous blog posts filled with too many negative feelings>
  • I need to remind myself that being one of the lucky ones to have gotten an entry and afforded the trip down to Cape Town is a blessing.
  • Running with friends and family make the day extra special and I loved every step of the race with my Dad at my side.TO
  • One of my biggest running goals has been achieved. The one where I don’t need to stress about making that final 3 hour cut-off gun. The tears swelled up watching runners dash onto that field, desperate to make that cut-off. The jubilation of those that made it but also the anguish of those that didn’t. It’s all in the spirit of the race.
  • I guess my final comment is that I’ve made peace with the race. I don’t hate it as much as I used to. I don’t fear it. We’ve become friends.

See you next year Two Oceans. XoXo.

Trying again. On my own terms.

I was giving a good friend of mine some advice the other day. I told her, “Pal, you’ve done everything you can do. You’ve given it all you’ve got. There’s nothing more you can do now. It is what it is…” Days later, as I contemplate whether or not to run the Two Oceans half marathon, I started to give myself some of my own advice.

Family and friends know that I hate this race. It overwhelms me. It’s congested, it’s over-hyped, it’s rated by so many runners as “The ultimate race”. But I hate it. It could be largely due to the baggage I carry of not making the 3 hour cut-off a couple of years ago. Even though I came back and ran a PB on this course the next year. But the pressure is intense and I allow it to control me.

But when I think of the advice I gave my friend, the words seem quite appropriate for me too especially when I look at the facts.

I’ve trained hard this year.
I’ve run five half marathons since January with ease.
In between regular interval training at gym, I’ve run on weekends too.
I’m 10kgs lighter having changed to a Banting way of eating.
I’m more comfortable with my running than I’ve ever been.

Am I still slow? Yeah, but it’s not important to me anymore. That’s my pace, deal with it. I have.

The main thing is that I’ve done all I can do in preparation for the race. There’s nothing more I can do. “It is what it is.”

If the congestion with 16k runners causes me to lose precious time, nothing I can do. If this means missing cut-off, so be it. I have to accept that if it takes me longer to run the first km and I lose time, it is what it is.
If it’s windy or it rains, nothing I can do. That’s just Cape Town weather.
A lot of factors are out of my hands but at least I’ve done everything I could possibly do in the build-up to this race. The rest I can’t control.

So ya, let’s see how it goes. Right now my nerves are killing me!


6 months of magic

When I was out running this morning, I noticed that the air was quite fresh and rather nippy. It’s the first time I’ve actually sensed that autumn is in full swing. Wow, already! Where have the months gone?

I realized as I looked back that so much has happened since last year, both with my work as well as my running.

Six months ago, I was offered a secondment to a whole different team, in a new building out of town, with a bunch of new challenges. I jumped at it! I’ve learnt so much about the world of digital – a world which never sleeps! I’ve worked harder than I’ve ever worked before in my life. Best of all is that I leave with so many lessons learnt.

The most memorable part was being given the opportunity to manage 3 unique and highly-skilled individuals. I couldn’t have asked for a more supportive and awesome team. They made me realize that I’m not such a bad manager after all and that I truly can inspire a team.

My goal was to be the glue that held the team together, but in the end, they were the glue that stopped me from falling and helped me grow each and every day.

Six months ago, KK decided to run Comrades and with that has come the most rewarding couple of months of training, not only for him but for me. I have run more half marathons than previous years. I’ve managed to reach PB’s in a few of my running goals.

I’ve also finally acknowledged that I need to stop being so obsessed with my pace but rather focus on how I feel during my races. For the first time ever, a 21.1km race doesn’t scare me like it used to. I know I can finish.

Looking back

I’m not a big fan of winter, but as KK says, “The quicker winter comes around, the quicker summer does too.” I’m excited to see what the next 6 months brings with it. More magic I hope!