That time of year again

The change in season is never more evident than when we return home from our Easter holiday. The yearly trek down to Cape Town to run the Two Oceans is the first time I’m packing in warmer jackets and closed shoes, knowing that evenings are a lot cooler. And by the time we fly home, everything is suddenly duller. There’s a fresh chill in the air, the sun sets earlier and unless you head out for your afternoon run before 17:30, you can forget about finishing in the light.


Wine and pizza pairing at the Brenaissance Wine Farm on the day we landed. I was already feeling chilly & whipped out my puffer.

We did manage to soak up a few rays down in Cape Town. Truth be told, we must be getting older because we preferred to lie around at the pool at the hotel instead of heading down to Clifton 4th beach.


Calm & relaxing. Only realized that my toenails are painted blue by pure coincidence – Thank you Monika & Lemonade.

KK gets terrible cabin fever and so we decided one morning to hike up the mountain. It wasn’t as easy as we thought. The fires had destroyed a lot of the vegetation and so the path wasn’t visible. It turned into quite a serious hike, right up KK’s alley! But the views from the top were amazing!

I was left with mixed feelings about Cape Town’s drought situation. There’s definitely awareness of it up in Jo’burg and we packed in wet wipes, expecting the worst. But I didn’t get a sense of the seriousness whilst down in Cape Town. The hotel only had a few signs around, but no clear instructions on what I was expected to do with the water in the bucket after I had showered.

The concierge claimed it wasn’t an issue and would only hit Cape Town in 2019. The toilets at the V&A Waterfront had a small sticker above the loo saying, “This toilet uses grey water.” So does that mean I flush after my wee or not?

The great thing about holidays in Cape Town are definitely the late sunsets! It was 19:00 and the sun was just setting over the ocean. It was refreshing to stop and take it in. We also scored with no wind this year! The wind and I are not big friends and that nasty South Easter can upset my entire day.

cape town sunsets

I must confess that I did have two chocolate croissants, one after the other, at breakfast on our last morning in Cape Town. It was glorious! I had been very good the entire weekend – no wine, lots of protein, zero Easter eggs (liar) and a salad here & there for lunch. But coming back to Jo’burg, I have a new mindset & have reset my goals:

  1. Running: I will be relooking my running goals. I’m already eyeing RAC 10km in May. But for now, I am hoping for more runs, less mileage. Going for regular 4km runs after work (before that Winter sun sets) instead of thinking that I need to run 10s and 21s all the time. That will come, but not for now.
  2. Weight: Call it “the 40s midlife crisis” or blame it on my running injury excuses, but something has gone seriously wrong in my head & I have lost control over food. Sounds quite dramatic, I know! I’ve been to see another dietician. I’ll save it for another blog post, but while eating Pronutro and rice cakes works amazingly for some, it didn’t for me. So I found someone who is Banting / LCHF / Keto / Plant based pro. My gut feel is that this way of eating suits me. It’s worked before. It’s my head I need to fix first.

There’s another long weekend coming up at the end of April and then we have that long stretch into Winter. Chilly, dark morning runs. Battling the traffic to get home from work early enough to run. The streets lined with an array of beautiful hues of brown and orange leaves that crunch under your feet. I’m ready for you Winter.


Runners FOMO

Both KK and I pulled out of the Two Oceans road race this year. KK’s fractured femur is still healing & I had not trained enough to be sure that my ankle would make 3 hours out on the road after my December injury.

In the two days running up to the race, our social media feeds were flooded with angry and frustrated runners who had been sorely let down at race registration. Delays in number collection, queues of over 2 hours at the race expo. Definitely not what runners need a day before a long race!

As we woke up at 5:25am on Saturday morning to catch the start of the half marathon broadcast on TV, snuggled under the duvet and hearing the wind howling outside, I did think for a minute “thank goodness I’m not running this year!”

The runners started to make their way over the finish line. One by one, the tracking app showed their results, their Facebook updates showed photos of medals and joyful celebrations. The FOMO began to creep in.

Later that morning, we drove through to Cavendish to do some shopping and weaved our way through some of the back markers on the race route with just an hour to go before final cut-off. It stung! That’s usually me!

Seeing the runners making their way up University Drive, remembering first hand how their tired bodies would be screaming with exhaustion to stop, but knowing that the finish line was so very close! From that last uphill stretch, you can hear the crowds, you hear the loud speakers, you can smell victory!

My heart had climbed out of my chest and was racing with them on that hot tar! I wished it was me! I wished that I was 1km away from my Two Oceans medal. Damn!

Another year will pass and I’m still trying to find my feet and map out where my running journey will take me this year. Shorter distances? More half marathons?

Whatever I decide, that Two Oceans ballot will open in November and I won’t hesitate. My love hate relationship with Two Oceans is bipolar. Some years I hate the race, other times I fall in love. This year I missed it and feel I need to come back and experience it all again.

Runners FOMO is the worst!

5 things I’ve noticed about 5km fun runs

I’ve run shorter distances this year. I started running the odd 5km races here and there. First it was the RAC 5km last year November, followed by my first park run in January and just recently, I ran my 4th Dischem 5km Dash. Yesterday I ran the Bestmed TUKS 5km fun run. It’s funny because I’ve started to noticed something quite unique about these races. A 5km race is just not the same as a 10km race or even a half marathon.

Here’s what I’ve observed:

  1. They don’t call it a fun run for nothing. No one is stressed out before the race. People are laughing, chatting, eating sandwiches. There isn’t that heavy smell of deep heat in the air. The vibe is relaxed and excited. Runners are out to have fun!

    Two Oceans 2013 fun run

    Two Oceans 2013 fun run

  2. You’re surrounded at the starting line by a mixed batch of runners, run/walkers and walkers. The age groups vary from toddlers to grannies. There are families, lovers holding hands, prams and even dogs on leashes. If you’re hoping to get a good start or a PB, make sure you line up close to the front.
  3. If you decide to wear your official club running shirt, you will stand out like a sore thumb. Ha ha! I certainly did. I was kitted out, even had my finger ready on my Garmin watch waiting for the gun to go off. I shot off and got stuck behind everyone in the point mentioned above. Rookie mistake. In fact 5km runners/walkers are already wearing their goodey bag t-shirts that should only really be worn after the race. Eeek! Talk about bad luck! Meh, they don’t care.
  4. They have no concept of the #runclean movement and throw their water sachets everywhere! The pro’s and other athletes do too. But fun runners are oblivious. It’s not uncommon for a water stop to take as long as you want either.
  5. The race organizers seem to think that no one cares if the 5km distance is suddenly 4.4km, as was the case with the Bestmed TUKS run. I mean, it’s not a serious run after all, right?

It’s crazy but I’ve started to love running 5km races. And somehow I blame it all on the reasons listed above. I love the freedom. I love that no one is too competitive. I love not stressing about half marathon distance cutoffs and while I struggle with plantar fasciitis, my feet are getting time to rest and recover.

Shorter distance races makes you love everything about why you started running in the first place. Because while I’m surrounded by the grannies, the dogs, the prams, the lovers holding hands, there are runners in those races who go on to run 10km, 21km and even ultra distance races. Because let’s face it, we all started out in that one fun run race. It’s where the passion was ignited and the bug bit!

The start of the 2017 Dischem Rehidrat Dash

(Images: Google)

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.