Comrades 2017

What a year!!  Comrades 2016, it felt although my heart was breaking – I couldn’t run due to a severe injury and I knew that my marriage was in trouble.  Never in my wildest dreams did I think that a year from then – things would’ve changed so so much.

Whilst the rest of my life was falling apart – or maybe falling into place – it just depends on the day or the mood I’m in, I kept on running.  And running and running and running.

And my times improved and improved and improved – one week two personal bests on a 21km.  Two Oceans – 16 minutes off my previous best time…  and the list can go on and on.  General wisdom is that you shouldn’t race Two Oceans if you want to run Comrades.

But this has been the year where I threw all the normal wisdom and advice and believes out of the window and just did what I wanted, when I wanted and when I felt like it.

Comrades 2017.

Road trip down to Durban with my brother – multiple stops, and a beer or two.  What wonderful bonding time with the brother I’ve neglected for 24 years – how I regret that time lost.  Anyway – we talked and played music and discussed our hurts and fears.

Got to Durban – and I had two beers – did the adult thing and went home to sleep.

Saturday morning – went to the Parkrun in Durban, walked up and down the promenade – not resting my legs or anything.

Breakfast was a beer and a hot dog!!!

A few more drinks with friends at the Comrades expo, lunch on the beach with my brother, shopping, visiting my aunt and cousin and her adorable baby.

And finally at 7 the evening I was back in the flat.  I went straight to bed but then my brother came and he was sitting next to me and playing music.  So sweet – he played me “I’ve got you babe” from Sonny and Cher – and it was his promise that he won’t let me down the following day.

And then it was Comrades day…

I won’t bore you guys with the detail.  Ask if you want and I’ll tell you all about the nitty gritty…

I did start the race with tears streaming down my face – this was now the last thing I had to do on my own.  And my intention was to sweep away the old memories, tread new footsteps for new memories and sprinkle fairy dust to make the new memories all glittery.

I had to make a pitstop at about 5km’s – the morning constitutional didn’t want to work before – but Helen I did have tissues with me!!

It was a long, hard, brutal, hot, humid day.  The hills going up to Pietermaritzburg are never ending.  I swore at myself and kept on asking myself why I do it and why I keep on coming back.

Halfway and I was on track for a personal best – I went through crying and laughing and thinking – I can do this on my own – I don’t need anybody and I’m not lazy $^&&^*(&%^%$ without any drive.

Saw my family just after halfway and they just chased me on – saying I look amazing and I should just keep going.

Inchanga – sorry – just one word – a bloody moer of a hill.  My wheels came off here but I just forged ahead.

And the rest of the day was spend in a blur of random thoughts:

Eat, drink, drink more, ahh Creme Soda, fuck I’m tired, I really don’t want to run anymore, come on you can do it, another hill, shouldn’t there be only 5 hills, I’m tired, can I stop, keep going, this is downhill, run, run, run, walk, walk, walk, eat, drink, come on, you have a point to make, show him, show the world, use this a way of thanking everybody for their support, eat, drink, one foot in front of the other…

Talked to people, stopped next to the road to talk to friends, kept running, made a peace offering to somebody that was nasty to me a few years back and kept running.

Got to Polly’s and realised that I have my personal best in the bag – but I wanted it to be a proper one so I just started to run even harder.

Finished and my baby brother which is much bigger than me, grabbed me in a bear hug and just hugged and hugged me and laughed and laughed, and just said “Well done Sis but I’m so glad you you weren’t faster..” Yes the challenge was that if I beat his Comrades time, he would run with me next year.

He ran only one Comrades when he was 20 – his time – 10:28 – my time 10:34.  So for now he is safe and he can support me again but next year is coming and I’m better on the downs….  so the challenge is still there.

So the figures:

Time:  10:34

Previous best on an up: 10:52

Previous best on a down: 10:45

Age category placing:  309

Gender placing:  808

Overall:  6267

And yesterday I was sore and today I’m sore but I did it.

And like my boss said in jest this morning – divorce is good for you and to be honest – I have to agree even with all the nonsense – I’m know I can do this…

Thank you all my bloggies – for your support and love and virtual hugs….  you are part of  me and part of why I know I can just keep going.

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War

With some swearing

The war between the voice of the hurt, feeling cheated, upset, rejected little girl and the guiding light voice – the voice in me but not from me…

Hurt girl:  I just want to say FUCK you – to all of you – every single rejection, every hurtful word..

Guiding light voice:  Just live your life well…

And I’m trying so so hard – today not to give in.

I’ve banned my phone from my office, our receptionist is holding it hostage, sitting on my hands – not enough today.

Hopefully the 90km’s on Sunday will give me perspective again

Nothing earth shattering happened – I’m just so sick and tired of the bull…

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Idiot

I’m such an idiot.  Yesterday in the car – listening to soppy love songs – yes I know first mistake, I was feeling very sorry for myself because I really want to go out for dinner, have a glass of wine and an interesting conversation with a fun partner.

Ohhh woe is me – poor little me – never going to find somebody – I’m too damaged blah blah blah.

And then I decided to take Zoe to dinner.  And guess what – it was better and more fun than any man can ever be.  I had my glass of wine and we chatted and giggled and laughed out loud and gossiped.  Such a fun evening – just the two of us.

And then to just add an extra cherry on top of a really good evening?  The pasta and pizza was half price – and we have enough left overs for lunch and dinner today!!!

So we made a pact yesterday evening – Monday evenings will be our evening – we will have a date, not necessarily dinner – even just a milkshake but it will always just be the two of us – nobody else.

And what an amazing daughter I have – what a wicked sense of humour and what a mature view on life.  Now is the time to catch up and rekindle our amazing bond.

 

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Stomping my foot!

“He took my friend” – I feel like a toddler who wants to run to the teacher or her mum to tattle.

My friend – E – the one that carried me through this past 8 months is single – very happily single but I do think that we all do want to have somebody even if we do say differently.

So about 2 weeks ago I was talking to one of our project engineers at work and I just had this lightbulb moment – E would get on like a house on fire with this engineer.

I organised a date between them and it worked out really well – for now they really look very smitten with each other – I’m so happy for them – they are really lovely people and they deserve happiness.  So it seems although I’m very good at matchmaking but not so good at choosing somebody for myself! 🙂

And then a few questions I had on Comrades, the logistics and how it’s going with my prep.

Firstly – Helen – if, heavens forbid you do have to stop during the race… they have the equivalent to the white Toyota taxi’s driving up and down the route the whole time.  If you bail and flag one down – the official in the taxi will rip off your number and then allow you to get in.  The taxi will then take you to the finish where they have a separate entrance where they process you.  My mom experienced this and she said it is absolutely awful.  So we call these taxi Bail buses and if you see one close to you  – you ask them “kindly” to go away.  In 2013 – I had one foot in a bail bus when fellow runners pulled me out and I did finish in the end.

Spare socks – yes we do take some with but we give it to the people that second us next to the road to keep for us.  Remember – we don’t have backpacks or anything with us.  We carry the bare essentials and socks aren’t a bare essential.  I do carry some tissues with me in case of an emergency.  Comrades also have a lot of spectators next to the road and since they are normally friends and family of runners they all carry a variety of stuff with them.  So when in need it’s normally quite easy to just ask somebody for loo roll or a pain killer or a sweet or even a sip of beer!

My Comrades training – Deblet – well that is over now – I’ll do a few short runs this week – Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday – I can’t do anything to my fitness now – for now I have to keep my legs used to running, keep healthy and not injure myself.  So no high heels,  no running up and down stairs and staying away from anybody with a sniffle or a cough.  Also no drinking this week – except liters and liters of water.  Contrary to popular believe, I don’t carbo-load before Comrades – I’ve done it in my first year and all it did was to make me feel heavy and sluggish and I never got rid of that excess weight around my stomach until this year.

So what do I pack for Comrades?

Well the most important is my club vest with my license number, then my shoes with my timing chip on it and my bra – if I have those three things I’m ok – the rest I can buy because it’s interchangeable.  But they will include – a buff, shorts, socks, cap, sunglasses, gloves for the cold start and a t-shirt that I can throw away.

Before the time – suntan lotion, chafe cream and vaseline and a cereal bar for breakfast and a cup of coffee.  And the most important is to have that morning constitutional before you set out to go to a race.  So many mornings I’ll jog up and down the corridor to get things going… (blush, blush, blush)

Carrying with me whilst running – chia seeds, lipbalm (that is an emergency chafe cream, suntan lotion and for dry lips), race food nougat, honey and peanut butter mix in bank sachets,  tissues, an extra hair tie, my phone, and a small bag of biltong.  And Charliesbird – don’t react – 2 Myprodols.

My support crew – extra chia seeds, extra nougat, suntan lotion, chafe cream and anything else that I can think of that is in my permanent running bag.

So yes it is quite a story to prepare but I’ve done it so many times that I’m quite relaxed.

Any more questions? 🙂

 

 

 

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EEeeekkkkk – Comrades 2017

One of my running friends just asked me if I have all my goodies togehter and if I’m packed.

And that is when I realised that I haven’t even thought about the supplies and the logistics around next weekend! Yes next weekend is Comrades!!!

In my previous life I would’ve been packed by now with thousands of rands worth of gels, and other supplements and nutrition.  A list of what must happen and my “crew” would know where to meet me on the road.

I don’t even know where my shoes are!  Yes you do have a lot of shoes but you earmark a specific pair to run Comrades in – it shouldn’t have too many or too little kilometers on.  I know I’ve packed them when I moved from the old house but I can’t say that I’ve seen them since.  So obviously I’ll have to find them

My brother and my friend E is going with me so at least I know somebody will drop me at the start and pick me up at the finish – but what will happen in between …. well that is a good guess and a surprise for the day.

Nutrition – bah humbug – I’ll mix some honey and peanut butter and put it in plastic baggies and obviously I’ll have my trusty Chia Seeds.

My brother’s little girl is sick – previously I would’ve stayed away from her completely – not this year – I just carry on as always.

Goodness so much has happened in the past 8 months that Comrades was really on the back burner.

Thanks to E I did make the magical number of 1,000km’s of running since January – I think I’ve only achieved it once before so there is a positive.

But for now – I’m going to pull my head out of the sand and at least get all my stuff ready for next week – at least the shoes, the bra and the shorts – the rest – ohhh well…..

EEEKKKKKK!!!

 

 

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I’m so excited

I’m so excited – I’ve just enrolled myself to start studying again!

I’ve been bored for so long – a boredom that can’t be alleviated by reading or running.  My brain needed something and now I can do it.

This is only a one day course but it is the first module in 10 module course that can put me on the road to a lifetime dream.  The dream to help people in need.

So I’ve paid my deposit, I’ve send my photograph and now I have to complete the questionnaire – but I’ll have to look very deep into myself and scratch in a lot of places to give the real true answers.

The course is only in August and therefore I’m not going to stress about the questionnaire now – I’m sure I’m going to grow and change a lot before August and therefore I’ll only complete it closer to the time.

Whhoooo – it is now your turn to shine brain!

 

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Promises

I’m not going into details – suffice to say that my dad was not an ideal role model and therefore my parent’s marriage not ideal for a girl to base her experiences on and her expectations of marriage.  Yes I basically married a version of dad.

Anyway – long before that – I think I was about 10 – so Zoe’s age – I made a promise to myself that I’ll never end up in a relationship like my mom (hahahahaha) – I would make sure that I can look after myself and will be independent of any man, so if things go bad I can get out without fear of not being able to look after myself and my children.

That promise has been hanging over my head for a good 20 years now.  I’ve always shelved it back when it surfaced because I didn’t want to have to acknowledge that I’ve broken my own promise.

But this morning I realised that I didn’t put a time limit on that promise.  And what am I doing now?  I’m looking after myself and my daughter and our two dogs.  I’ve created a peaceful and warm space for us to live in and to spend together in total harmony and positiveness.

I’m so so grateful that I managed to keep that promise to myself.  And it is still early days and I have seen how things can fall apart quite quickly but for now, I’m keeping that long ago promise.

I do have my off days and I think what is really catching me is that I feel that I’ve missed out on something and I want it NOW, however I’m not really sure what that something is and I suppose until I know what it is, I can’t really want it NOR ask for it.

Have a great week.

 

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