An Easter holiday to remember

It’s unbelievable how time flies! A month ago, we were packing to head down to Cape Town and run Two Oceans. Flicking through the photos reminded me about the wonderful time we had.

We flew down engulfed in the most gorgeous white fluffy clouds…

Taking a flight above the clouds

Like typical Vaalies, we headed down to the beach…

At the beach

And we took one or two many sunset photos…

Sunsets collage

We went to some of the most beautiful wine farms…

Wine farms

We ate *way* too much food…

Ate too much

…even picnicked.

Picnic 2Picnic

And of course, we drank *ahem*.

DrinksWe also took time to relax.

Spa treatment

But I guess the main reason for the trip was the Two Oceans marathon and half marathon races. KK ran his first full ultra and did an excellent time! But after a gap of 2 years, I finally (!) conquered my fear of the half marathon and finished under three hours. I was elated! Good training & exercising of the mind & body did the trick I think. Thank you Cape Town! See you again next year…

Two Oceans

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!

20140417-130306.jpg

You are more beautiful than you think. (Sometimes)

Have you seen the new Dove campaign? If not, in a nutshell, Dove posted a three-minute ad on YouTube that teaches a vital lesson about how we view ourselves compared to how others see us. The tagline of the campaign is: “You are more beautiful than you think.

It made me giggle. Don’t get me wrong, I totally ‘get’ the campaign. It moved me and like others, I shared the clip on various social media platforms. But it did remind me of an old video clip of myself taken 5 years ago. The clip was an eye-opener for me and reminded me that how I view myself is not always how others see me.

You see, I entered the Two Oceans 8km fun run in 2008. A close friend managed to take a video clip of me running to the finish line. When I watch this video, I can die of embarrassment!

It’s weird to see just how odd my running style was (and is still today). It’s a shocker! As a newbie runner, I had no proper running kit so I ran in my gym pants. I’m slouched forward, terrible running posture. My running pace looks like I’m taking a Sunday stroll through the park but yet 5 years later, I still run this slowly. I would never have realized this unless I had seen that clip. In my mind, I thought I looked like any other professional runner.

It’s so good to look back and see just how far I’ve come…

The message of the Dove campaign has one thing in common with running though. It’s how I love the look of my face after a run. No make-up. Red cheeks. Flushed and sweaty. Big smile on my face. Medal around my neck. I practically glow!

It’s the one time when I don’t wear make-up that I truly do believe I look more beautiful than I think.

(If you receive my blog via email and the video doesn’t play, please view this post via the web. Thanks!)

12 days in Cape Town. 12 wonderful memories.

12 days in cape town1. Lunch at Fairview Wine Farm. (Our favourite!) 2. Driving along the coastline on an overcast afternoon. 3. Lunch at Haute Cabriere. 4. Early morning support to the Two Oceans runners. 5. Me. 8km fun run. 6. Lazy days on the beach. 7. Checking out the new deli at Tokara – it’s awesome! 8. Morning hike through the forest. One of my favourite days! 9. Charly’s Bakery! A must-see/eat/experience! 10. Neighborgoods Market at Old Biscuit Mill. Deciding on what to eat is torture! 11. Sunset cruise aboard the Spirit of Victoria. 12. When I’m stressed out at work, I’ll close my eyes and remember the feel of the sand between my toes and the sound of the waves…Thank you Cape Town!