Supporting in the right way

My ankle has taken longer than I had expected to heal. In the back of my mind, I was hoping to be ready to run Two Oceans half marathon this coming weekend but that doesn’t look realistic now.

It’s been okay when I run shorter distances but standing in the starting pen, waiting for the race to start, and then hitting the road for 3 hours, carefully dodging 16 000 other runners doesn’t sound like a good idea to me. For the first time in almost 10 years, we’ll be giving Two Oceans a miss. *FOMO alert*

I’ve been doing my rehab exercises and taking extra care of my foot in general. I’m fully aware that an injury and pulmonary embolism doesn’t just heal overnight – the daily blood thinners remind me of the nasty ordeal.

One small way I’m giving back to my ankle is by wearing comfy, supportive shoes. I can’t believe the pairs of shoes in my cupboard that offer almost zero support! It’s ridiculous that women still buy such dreadful shoes!

But then, I happened to spot gorgeous sandals on Instagram and had to have them! They’re imported from Greece and kinda remind me of Birkenstocks (another one of my favorite brands).

I tracked down Maxie Moda & bought these two pairs. I couldn’t resist!

I bought both the black & tan pair. The black look fab with jeans. Photo credit: @khoslene_photography

These are my feet in the tan pair. Super comfy!

To be completely honest, I wasn’t just thinking about my ankle and a new pair of shoes. But since we’ve been running with our small business, CW-X, it’s become very important for me to support other entrepreneurs.

Just knowing how incredibly tough it is out there, to get your name established, to attract customers and make a sale. It’s hard work! So I’d rather buy from another small business and support their vision than buy yet another uncomfy sandal from Woolies with no support for my ankle.

I’m keen to look for other nuggets hidden across Jo’burg!

This is an unsponsored post and my own opinion. But I urge you to support your family & friends who are trying to grow their businesses.

The obligatory Two Oceans half marathon blog post

A couple of hours after running the Two Oceans half marathon race, I posted this update on Facebook.  

facebook status update after running two oceans I guess I’ve come to realize that these are the things which matter when it comes to running this race. 

I was one of the lucky ones who got an entry. I managed to make it down to Cape Town. I survived the 27 000 crowds and still made it over that finish line before the dreaded cutoff gun. For most people, this in itself is a dream come true.

These people don’t care about their finishing time. They don’t moan about the goodey bag or the t-shirts. They soak up that incredible vibe of the national anthem at the starting line, the cannon, the supporters and the cheers from the stadium as they run over the finish line. I witnessed so many runners experiencing the race like this and felt so grateful to be running among them.  

thousands of runners lining up at the start  of the two oceans marathon  Look, besides trying to be all positive, I will admit that it’s never going to be my favourite race for a number of reasons. It still stresses me out. I still carry the baggage of a DNF (did not finish) and I still don’t believe it’s the ‘most beautiful race in the world’ for the 21km’ers. In fact the half has become way too big in my opinion.

But if KK comes down to run the Ultra, I might as well run. Notice, I didn’t say race. You can’t race every race and with the masses in category E, it’s not easy to get going. (Yeah, I’m still dumped in seeding E while majority of my friends, even novices, got bumped up to D. Two Oceans hates me.) But give it another five runs and I’ll have my Blue number which will mean a C seeding and quicker less congested start.  

tortoise and the hair both finished the race Each year comes with different challenges which teaches me something different about my running and how I approach situations.

This year the rain proved to be a huge struggle for me at that starting line. I had stated the entire week that I would not run in the wind or the rain and on the day, there was both!

Previously I would never have run if it was raining. I’m glad I did. I don’t know how, but I did. It’s made me mentally stronger. I started the race and I finished it. That’s what counts. So, thanks Two Oceans for the medal and the memories. 

i finished the race 
(Images: Google)

Run like the wind

I doubt very much if I would be a runner if I lived down in Cape Town. I’d blame it entirely on the wind. 

What I concluded after a short run this morning in 37km/h wind is that it’s difficult to run against. It blows so hard that it forces your body off balance. It forced me to stop and walk a few times. (Okay, maybe I shouldn’t blame everything on the wind).

The sound howling through the trees and over the ocean upsets me and leaves me feeling uneasy. It’s an angry wind. Loud. Violent. Unforgiving. Nasty. All characteristics which don’t gel with me.

 

running in windy cape town

Post run shot of my fizzy wind swept hair!

 Maybe it’s easier running on the trails through the forest? Maybe those beautiful trees would shelter me from the wind? I saw this suggestion tweeted from someone in the know (aka a Capetonian). 

I’ll give it another try tomorrow. The weatherman has predicted rain for Saturday’s Two Oceans race. Wind or rain. I don’t know what’s worse. 

If anything, 2015 taught me this…

There are three races that I ran in 2015 which taught me incredibly valuable lessons which I’ll be using as a guide in 2016.

1. RAC 32km Tough One – Lesson: Set big, hairy, audacious goals

RAC 32 km road raceI had never run further than 21kms and this distance frightened me! I had sleepless nights worrying that I’d fail. In the weeks leading up to the race, it consumed my thoughts. But I did it! And loved it! I experienced moments of pleasure as well as extreme doubt & pain on the day. There were blisters. But wow, I floated on air pretty much for days after the race.

I realized this:

  • I must set goals that are so big, they fundamentally change my life
  • I need to ensure I surround myself with people who believe that I can achieve my goals
  • Always believe in myself! I proved that day that I can achieve anything I set my mind to
  • I also learnt that in life, the journey is not always easy and there will be uphills. But each & every step will get me to that finish line! It’s the rule of running.

2. Kaapsehoop 21.1km – Lesson: Write your own story

Kaapsehoop half marathon FinishI had heard the stories that this race was easy, flat (downhill) and a piece of cake. In fact most people spoke of PB’s. I believed them and repeated their stories with confidence. But on race day, my experience was different. The race was tough. The weather was unbearably hot. The camber of the road was painful and I did not manage to shave off the time I had expected to.
I know now that:

  • I shouldn’t believe everything I hear
  • I need to get the facts for myself and not blindly follow the masses
  • Make up my own mind. Have my own opinion
  • In every situation, everyone has a unique story to tell. What’s mine?

3. Two Oceans half marathon – Lesson: Sometimes in a race what matters is who runs along side you

Two Oceans Half marathon 2015If you’ve followed my blog then you’d know that Two Oceans and I have not had the easiest of relationships. In fact I’ve hated the race since I missed cutoff a few years back. But last year I ran the race with my Dad. We ran together the entire way and as the light drizzle came down and we chatted and laughed at stories along the way, my fear and anxiety of the race disappeared. I didn’t care what my pace was or what my finish time would be. Nothing could take away that special moment.

This wonderful memory showed me that I should:

  • Focus on the right things in my life. Look around and appreciate what really matters
  • People who matter will always be there for me
  • Realize that the reward is not the medal. It’s the family & friends in my life that run my journey with me each & every day!

All in all I’m truly blessed that I am able to run. It’s not about how fast or how far I run. It’s the fact that I’ve started 2016 fit, healthy and happy. Here’s to a wonderful year ahead! Enjoy the run…