The Hanging Gardens of Walkerville

I haven’t been in the most chipper of moods lately. To be honest, I’ve been feeling quite cynical and disillusioned. But the cloud is lifting – it always does – and there have been been a few rays of sunshine this week. The biggest was a little bit of CSI work I got involved with, through the company I work for.

We have this campaign on the go at the moment about “sustainable growth” and how we are all about building better futures and making positive change. There’s been much publicity internally and externally about the various CSI initiatives we are involved in.

The growth thing began with a tiny little box placed on each of our desks with a plant kit inside. After staring at it for a few days, I finally delegated the planting of the seeds to Claire. We were overjoyed when our little Swiss Chard finally sprouted a teensy Swiss Chardling! Now if only I could remember to water the damn thing!

Plants are so not my thing… I could probably find a way to kill a plastic plant if I tried!

Last week we were invited to watch Bongani Bingwa, of Carte Blanche fame, interview one of our CSI partners. We were also invited to participate in a mystery CSI project during the course of this week. I, being the corporate good sport I am, stuck my hand in the air for the mystery project.

The person that Bongani interviewed was an amazingly inspirational woman named Nonhlanhla Joye and her story is just incredible. And while what she does is seriously clever, it involves gardening. Did I mention that gardening is not my thing?

So guess what the mystery project was?  Gardening, obvs! We were building Mama Joye’s raised food gardens in various underprivileged areas around Jozi.

Yay… I guess.

So off I went to Walkerville with a bunch of colleagues who I barely knew, brimming with fake enthusiasm and trying to ignore the fact that I’m now too fat for my purple volunteer t-shirt ignore the sniffly cold I’d developed overnight.

Well nothing like a bit of charity work put things in perspective, right? Right!

The garden-making was pretty cool. The concept really is very clever:

All we really had to do was hang recycled, soil filled bags on the wooden frames and then plant seedlings in each. I hardly even got a dirty hand.

We finished by giving each newly planted seedling a drink of water to bed it down properly. For that part, we had assistance from some little kids from a local care centre. These kids have very recently tragically lost a fellow learner in a road accident and they are going through a very sad time. The sadness was almost palpable.

But whilst they were sad, they were also incredibly sweet and earnest and enthusiastic and they were the highlight of my day! For a while I forgot all my un-chipper nonsense.

We showed them what to do and each child dutifully filled their beakers with water and took turns at watering each bag. Ok, so some seedlings got more water than others – but all is fair in love and gardening. One of the guys who was busy building the frames assured me that once they make the holes in the bags for drainage, the lettuce would be just fine.

I really needed this afternoon of simple innocence to gain some perspective. And I’m almost convinced that I could manage an Umgibe veggie garden in my backyard… almost.

Check out Mama Joye’s website here.

And speaking of websites… I have exciting news about my blog changes. I’m one step closer to the big reveal. Watch this space 😉

Inspiration Everywhere!

On a very good day, I spend about 90 minutes in traffic on my commute to and from work. That’s an hour and a half of my waking hours staring at cars in front of me and dodging taxis. Last year, I made a conscious decision to be more discerning about what to do with my ears during that time. I’ve always preferred talk radio to music radio. And as much as I enjoy music, I am not much of a music listener in my car. My commute changed, very much for the better, when I started listening to online radio, podcasts and audiobooks.

In terms of online radio – it’s mostly cliffcentral.com. I can’t lie – I’ve been a fan of Gareth Cliff since his early days on 702. He is the same age as me and I was fascinated back then by how he, as a 21 year old, could hold his own, be so smart, confident and erudite on a prime time show on a popular radio station. I guess you could say I have a crush on his brain. I was super excited to pick up Gareth and his team online. His show is clever and funny, irreverent and sometime totally politically incorrect and so much fun to listens to. I reckon that an evening at a pub with the people on his the team would just be the best evening!

I don’t get to hear the whole show in the morning so I listen live while I am driving to work and often pick up on third hour of the show as a podcast on my afternoon drive home.In the third hour of the show, Gareth mostly does interviews. This week has been particularly cool, with both Monday and Tuesday’s interviews being fascinating!

Monday’s interview was with a guy named Matthew Kanniah who has been picked up by the legends of Top Gear – Clarkson, Hammond and May for their DriveTribe project. I enjoyed the chat with Matthew but more than anything, I was struck by his go-for-it attitude. He is a 25 year old petrol-head blogger and he got picked up by the ex-Top Gear dudes as a result of his tweeting and following the DriveTribe producers and then having the guts to share his work with them. Now that I’ve checked out his work on Instagram, I have followed him and I am super keen to see where he goes! I guess the point is just to put yourself out there. You never know where or who might see you and like what you do!

The next awesome interview I listened to was with Robby Kojetin. Another supercool chat with great banter between Gareth and his guest. I’ve never come across Robby before but wow, what a story! He’s an adventurer and is on his way to climbing all of the seven summits. The really, really amazing part is that he spent over a year in a wheelchair after a really silly and horrible accident. He was so down and out after the accident that he literally counted out the Synap Forte’s to off himself! The only reason he didn’t was because he didn’t have the magic number of pills – the number he was sure would do a thorough job. Even more thought provoking and inspirational than picking himself up from rock bottom and literally summiting Everest, was his talking about about bucket lists. Making a list of things you want to do and then actually doing them. This post sums up the idea beautifully! Please click on the link – you won’t be sorry. I think it’s time I started writing my bucket list down. I really want to read Robby’s book now. From listening to him on the radio, it sounds like he would write a pretty good story!

The final “Aha” moment (yes – I just Oprah’ed) that I’m going to write about was a short little podcast that I picked up while I was driving home last night from my stats class. Rich Mulholland is a really rad speaker that I follow. I’ve heard him live – he spoke at the induction training that I attended when I joined Hollard. He is a regular visitor to Gareth’s show. I think I have a crush on his brain too. I love super intelligent people (that’s also why I adore my hubby!) Anyway, Rich was talking about “curiousity boxes” – the idea that instead of thinking out the box, you think outside your own box. How being curious makes you a more interesting person. Taking time to learn about something you know nothing about.

You know how you start watching a TED talk about something completely random and unrelated to your life and before you know it, you’re drawn completely in and you’re kinda sad when it’s over and you want to tell everybody to watch? That. (Or is that just me?)

This little piece really resonated with me and reminded me to download some more podcasts and audiobooks. Apple and Audible have amazing selections. And maybe I need to be more random in my podcast selection and open more curiosity boxes?

Three very cool lightbulb switching talks and it’s only Wednesday. Imagine what I would be like at SXSW or Design Indaba or a TED conference (which, btw, is definitely on my bucket list!)FullSizeRender

That time I signed up for a full marathon

If you’re hoping for a super motivating post about achieving the impossible… I suggest you turn back now! This isn’t that sort of post! This story is about changing my mind and deciding not to go for a particular goal.

A couple of weeks ago I had this crazy notion to sign up for a marathon. A full 42.2k race. Even though I said a gazillion times to all that would hear that I was never going to run further that a half marathon. The reason for signing up was honestly a bit loopy. My friends had signed up for the Capetown Marathon (see Jenty’s blog for her story) and Nick signed up too… and I suddenly felt massively left out and grumpy about it. FOMO x 10000. Grumpy because I suddenly felt like a useless runner again. I felt like I used to feel when I trudged behind the last of the pack whenever I walked. Gradually, my grumpiness gave way to an inkling of an idea – what if, instead of feeling sorry for myself, I tried to join them. I tested the waters by throwing the idea out to a few running friends and the responses I received were mixed, to say the least. Some agreed that the idea was crazy and others said if I put my mind to it, I could do it. I’m grateful to both camps for both the honesty and the faith. I went with the latter opinion, paid the entry fee, signed up for a full marathon. I did some research and convinced myself that even if I walked the entire race at 10 minutes per kilometre, I could still finish it. I found a 12 week training plan, which seemed sort of doable. Although I told my close friends about my decision, I couldn’t quite bring myself to post about it here or talk about it to too many people because even with the plan, it seemed like such a far fetched idea! 

I loved the idea of feeling the elation that I felt when I finished my first half marathon and doing what I never believed I could, but the reality of running that sort of distance was scary as hell!  

A couple of weeks have passed since I completed that online entry and I’ve had some time to think about the idea and why I wanted to attempt the run and honestly, FOMO is just not a good enough reason! The truth is, right now, I’m not physically strong enough and three months is just not enough time for me to build that strength. 

Even if I somehow managed to get my legs and lungs fit enough, I really don’t think that my feet can cope with that sort of distance. The commitment to training is another issue. I’ve signed up for a bunch of modules for my degree course and they have to take priority. Training to run a marathon whilst trying to complete my assignments, study for year-end exams, work full time and be a wife and mom just seems like more than I can deal with. 

This past weekend, I ran the Northgate 10k, and it was a pretty good race. I enjoyed the run and I realised that having made the effort to run more regularly in the last weeks felt awesome but that I was completely okay with deciding not to run the Capetown Marathon. Although it felt good to have a goal which gave my running some focus, it didn’t feel great to have a goal so huge that I got palpitations everytime I gave it any serious thought. Deciding not to do it felt more right than trying to do it. I’m no longer saying never to anything longer than a 21k, but I am saying not right now. 

Maybe knowing my limits is winning in its own way? 

The Anti-Diet Project

It’s Sunday, the 1st of May. I’ve spent the last few days contemplating how I would restart my diet food plan for life today. Debating whether it was viable to start today, considering it’s a Sunday and a long weekend and all. It would have been so much better if this first day of a new month fell on a working Monday…everyone knows it’s better to start a diet way of eating on a Monday. But August (when the 1st of the month does actually fall on a Monday and that’s three months away, by which time I may have put on another ten kilograms by eating last suppers before the diet healthy way of life begins. images

I wish I could say I was just trying to be funny in that first paragraph, but that really is how my head works. I plan to start my diet eating well almost each week and sometimes I succeed for a few hours or days and sometimes I succeed for a few weeks and even months. Sometimes the will is strong and sometimes it is non-existent. Sometimes I try to make the changes holistic and I journal, support group etc etc. Sometimes I toy with the idea of a quick fix, a crash diet kick start. Even though I have learned my lesson and gotten the XL t-shirt from those supposed miracle cures, I still catch myself looking twice at an advert, or pricking up my ears when I hear a conversation about how great Mary looks after trying *insert wonder obesity cure here*.

Okay, so back to my pondering about the best way and day to start my diet way of life. It may sound a bit hippy trippy (my friends know know that I am a bit of a wannabe hippy anyway) but I’m a bit of a believer in the universe sending me messages. This week, as I searched through my Kindle app (which I haven’t touched in a while) for something new to read, I came across a book that I had bought and never read called “Intuitive Eating”. I found an unread novel too, but this book caught my attention and I kept thinking about it… that maybe I should actually try reading it. This morning, I read the prologue and a bit of the first chapter. And then I decided to do some internet research… and came across the anti-diet project  and got to reading some of the many blog posts and I suddenly feel inspired, and a little, no actually a lot, terrified.

The basic idea is re-teaching yourself the very basic, and what should be obvious, skill of eating instinctively. Eating what your body craves, when it craves it, and as much, or as little as it craves. It sounds pretty straight forward, but when you have spent over half your life dieting, it really isn’t. It’s a complete paradigm shift – away from the legal/illegal foods, the cheats, the points, the good carbs and bad carbs, the good fats and bad fats.It’s not about losing weight. That is probably the most terrifying aspect of all. I want to be thin. There! I said it. Yes, I want to be healthy and wise, but I also really want to be THIN. And this is not about being thin. It’s about being at peace with yourself, your body and your mind. And that… that is just so appealing!

I have no idea whether this new idea will bed down, take shape, grow and no promises about whether I will ever even post about this again, because it is a mere seed of a plan at this stage, but I am going to hit “Publish” on this post, and go to bed and read a bit more of the book. And for tomorrow, there will be no diet, no legal or illegal food. Somehow, I feel a little more peaceful knowing that.

If you have any thoughts on this, I would absolutely love to hear them.

 

 

The Art of Asking – an audio-book review of sorts

I was driving to work one morning this this week, fighting my way through rain, traffic, potholes, broken traffic lights and taxi drivers while listening to the ever more depressing Zupta-gate news and I could literally feel my mood getting blacker and blacker. I really like being relatively well informed and knowing what’s going on in the world so I tend to listen to quite a bit of talk radio, but sometimes it all just gets a bit too much. So I switched to my iPod and the first song on shuffle happened to be an Amanda Palmer song, which reminded me that I needed to write this post. 

Side note: I’m so very tired of the drama and the traffic. Thank goodness it’s very nearly time for my holiday! Maybe it’s time to bury my head in the sand for a bit. Maybe it’s even time to do a bit of a social media unplug (gasp!) while I’m on holiday next week?  

Anyways, back to my black mood. I’ve had this feeling before – where talk radio just gets too heavy. And the music radio is just inane crap. And Apple Music is eating my mobile data. I decided to download Audible and try out listening to Audiobooks while I drive. 

But what to choose to listen to with that generous free first month credit? I investigated my options as only I (the great overthinker) could do and eventually settled on The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer. This book was a suggestion from my singing, songwriting, piano and ukelele playing friend Nicole. 

  
Nicole introduced me to Amanda Palmer a few years ago. Nic is a massive Amanda Palmer fan.  I’m hardly an audiophile but I did become a minor fan after doing some listening. I liked her quirky story songs but that was about as far as it went.

So a bit about Amanda, in case you’re not familiar with her. She’s also a singing, songwriting, piano and ukelele playing artist. She had made a living from standing on a crate as a living statue, as well as busking, amongst other insane and awesome things. A few years ago, after kicking her commercial music production company to the kerb, she funded an album entirely with a massive and recordbreakingly successful   kickstarter campaign.  She currently funds her art via a website called Patreon. Her music is a mix of indie, alternative, punk and caberet but she is so much more than a musician – she embodies art. 

The minute I started listening to Amanda telling her story, I was hooked. She narrates the book and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. She welcomed me in to her artsy world with arms wide open. I have always secretly wished to live some sort of eccentric, bohemian artist’s life so for the few days that she was my companion during my commute, I lived vicariously through her. 

When I initially downloaded the book, I wasn’t sure what I’d get out of her story. People were talking on Twitter about how the book had changed their lives. I’ve witnessed a massive change in Nicole which she attributes to the book. But for me? I mean,  I’m not practicing my art much. I am a salaried employee of a big corporate, there’s not much busking involved. 

But I really did get so much out of it.

The book was inspiring and delightful and has reminded me never to lose faith in the goodness of people and just… Love.  And to try to live fearlessly. 

I also had loads of insight about myself and my creativity. And living my life, whatever the circumstances, as a manifestation of my inner creative spirit. 

I feel like I need to listen to the book a few more times to gain everything there is to gain from the book. And to go back into my imaginary bohemian world. 

If you’re keen to find out a little more, I highly recommend watching her TED talk.

My only regret is that my obsession is so new.  She  visited South Africa last year and I missed her Ninja gig here in Jozi. 

If you’ve read or have listened to The Art of Asking, I’d love to hear your thoughts! 

Choosing a highschool…or letting a highschool choose us!

I thought I’d don the Mom-Blog hat for once instead of the Running-Blog sneakers and post about the big parenting thing happening for us right now…

Ewan is less than a year away from high school and I can hardly believe we are at this point in our lives! When we were choosing primary schools all those years ago, high school seemed like a very distant concern and yet I remember him starting pre-primary in 2008 like it was yesterday. We chose a lovely private school, close to home that had a Cambridge curriculum and a warm, family like feeling when we visited. 10406834_10153853475396565_1838176642647242060_n

Its been a bit of a different thing though choosing a high school. Now the end of his school career is vaguely in sight and we need to seriously consider the future. How do we end his school career in the best way to equip him for university? For adulthood?

At the moment, our options seem to be as either a highly rated private co-ed high school, in our neighbourhood or top public JHB boys school, close to our offices.

If you’re being nice, call me analytical, but honestly I am a great over-thinker. I’ve been talking to Ewan, other parents and teachers, made pro and con lists in my head and on paper, visualised possible outcomes and then thought some more. And seem to I change my mind on a daily basis about what the right choice might be.

Things sure are different to when I was a kid, I just went to the school I was zoned for. And when that didn’t seem to be the best option, my folks told the school that I wanted to attend that we were planning to move into their area, and off I went.

Nowadays, if you want to go the local public school that you’re zoned for, you stand in insane queues, overnight, to apply to get your child in. If you want to go the private school route, or get into a top public school, you get called for interviews, write exams, present CV’s. You wait for acknowledgement and juggle your options.

And then you do it all again when your next child has to make the big leap from primary school to high.

What was your criteria for choosing schools?

Hello 2016!

New-Year_Resolutions_list
Enter a caption

My first work week of 2016 is done. Another festive season done and it’s time to pack away the tree and it’s tinsel. Smokey the cat will miss the baubles to play with!

So I guess it’s time to think about what I want from 2016, right? As I said here, I am not big on serious resolutions, but I do think the beginning of a new year is a great time to sit down and think about what I want out of the coming months.

Mostly, these are things I strive for every day of every year. But I guess it’s good to remind myself of the goals every now and then.

Actually, having looked at the dictionary definition for “resolution”, particularly the synonyms, maybe I am big on resolutions, after all:

resolution
rɛzəˈluːʃ(ə)n/
noun
noun: resolution; plural noun: resolutions
1. a firm decision to do or not to do something.
“she kept her resolution not to see Anne any more”

So without further ado:

My house:

  • Spend some time and (a little) money each month on prettifying my house – especially the outside areas. Even if it’s just a small purchase each month, I want the outside of my home to be an extension of the décor inside that we have been working on for the last few years.
  • Spend a little time each week doing small organising jobs to maintain some control on the clutter.

My work:

  • To be positive and upbeat wherever possible.
  • To look for opportunities to excel.

My family:

  • To be present and in touch.
  • To communicate well.

Me:

  • I am hoping to begin something that I have wanted to do for all my adult life. I want a degree and although I have started studies before, I have never seen them through. I labeled myself as a bit of a quitter. My experiences in the last two years of running have proved to me that maybe I am not so much of a quitter after all. Which means maybe it is time to start again and achieve the that one goal that has eluded me all these years. More on this to follow.
  • Run… just keep running, get my pace to under 8:00 min per km, finish Two Oceans (dare I hope for under 3 hours?)
  • Carry on with my LCHF/Banting lifestyle and hopefully say good bye to a few more kilograms.
  • Find time to be a little creative everyday. I’ve started a #drawsomethingevery day challenge – I am hoping that I manage to keep it up and produce something little each day. More on that later!
  • Read more
  • BE GRATEFUL and AWARE.

Over to you – what are your thoughts for the year ahead?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just when I thought it was all going so well!

Is it normal to just hit a wall? Where you go from feeling to like you’re flying to feeling like you have legs of lead and every run is more a chore than a pleasure?

Everything was going brilliantly well, until a week or three back where I suddenly started feeling miserable. A weekday run where my heart and legs were in protest, followed by a not.very.fun.and.never.to.be.repeated Clearwater Mall race. The entire route felt like an up hill run and I felt incredibly slow and trudgy. When I got to finish line, they were all out of medals and (crappy) goodie bags and tears literally welled up in my eyes. I can’t really explain it sensibly except to say that I felt like a complete failure. Not receiving a silly little piece of metal at the end of the race felt a glaring symbol of my slowness.

Fortunately, when I uploaded my run to Strava a little later that morning, and I actually analysed the run, logic prevailed and I recognise that I have come a very very long way in a short period of time. I could never have run the race I did at the pace I did, a few months back!

I think the problem is that my runner’s brain is streaks ahead of what my body can actually do!

In the week that followed, I did my normal training run on the Tuesday and then went out again on the Thursday for a session. I ran the first kilometre, walked the next and then just decided there was no way I could go any further. I switched off my watch and strolled the last 500 metres back to the school where we run from.

I took the last weekend in August off from running entirely and dragged myself back last week. On the last day of August, I took a real look at my running for the month and to my surprise, I had run 97 kilometres! Ninety seven!!! That’s a lot of mileage (for me) – and I think that maybe I was just tired. That maybe the constant running together with a hectic few weeks at work had just caught up with me!

I’ve taken the last few training sessions pretty slowly, catching my breath and working on finding my mojo again. I’ve decided not to run the half marathon that I was planning to run later in September and rather stick to a 10k that day and focus my attention on getting ready for the big Soweto race in November.

And that is where I am at right now!

Have you ever just completely lost your running mojo and what did you do to get it back?

Our (tog) bag of tricks

Yesterday morning I got back from a long run with a couple of friends from our club, tossed my stuff on the dining room table, and went straight into the kitchen for food and coffee and then upstairs to soak my tired legs and feet in a hot bath. Two things to note here:

  1. Our big square 8 seater dining room table is a dumping ground for EVERYTHING in our house. Keys, wallets, handbags, homework assignments, dirty dishes that didn’t make it as far as the kitchen, running paraphernalia, a sport kit bag, unopened post (seriously, who sends mail anymore?) One day, when I am big, I am going to be super organised. For now… if you can’t find it, check on the dining room table first!
  2. I love our double storey house except for after a run. I actually had to momentarily pause and psyche myself for the stairs after my run! Knees, feet and ankles… ouch!

When I hobbled back downstairs to face the day, I caught sight of the mess I’d left on the table…

Running mess 1

The route map, cap, water bottle and jacket were all dumped, unceremoniously, on the table as I went in search of food and caffeine! Just outside the frame of this picture, is the tog bag that Nick and I keep packed for our sessions at RWFL and any races we participate in. In the tog bag is the following:

Running mess 2

From the back, and left to right:

  • My Nike visor… I love this cap because it’s soft, light, keeps hair, sun and rain out of my face and washes in the washing machine beautifully.
  • Mutual & Federal branded tog bag – yay for corporate gifts!
  • Handy triangular shaped water bottle – perfect for gripping while you run. Just don’t use cold water from the fridge when you head out for a midwinter morning run… you WILL freeze your fingers off!
  • Beanie… this was actually a remnant from our Knysna run. We bought cheapy beanies which we figured we would donate during the run. I landed up wearing my buff on my head and donating that instead.
  • Buff… I do love the versatility of these little scraps of fabric
  • Moov – because my muscles and joints need all the help they can get!
  • Pen – for completing the info on race numbers
  • Reflective arm band – for running in the dark – which happens a lot in winter!
  • Reflective Staff bib for RWFL sessions – Nick and I are “road leaders” at our branch, thus the “staff” thing
  • Boost energy gel – I have never used, or even tasted an energy gel – these were samples given in a goodie bag at one of the races and I’ve always just kept it in the bag – just-in-case. Nick uses the gels, but favours GU gel.
  • Waist pouch with cash – My waist pouch is one of the most important items in my kit. I use it for carrying my phone, tissues, lip ice, cash… can’t be out on the road without it!
  • Loobit – because things chafe. ‘Nuff said!
  • GU Brew electrolyte tablets – I sometimes use this for long runs. This particular one is low in sugar, which is ideal for my low carb eating plan. It tastes pretty nasty though!
  • Head lamp – same as the reflective arm band – although a pain in the ass to wear when running so it stays in the bag most of the time. I should really take it out the bag.
  • Clip on light – these were cute little goodies given out at the end of one of the races we did. I particularly like it because it clips onto shoes or shirt or my waist pouch and is not uncomfortable to wear, like the aforementioned headlamp is.
  • Gloves – cheap and nasty – but a life saver in winter!
  • Lip-ice – must apply before I run. And I love this particular tube because it doesn’t make my lips feel icky. But it’s a non branded tube I picked up at a corporate gig I attended, so I probably won’t be able to replace, lol!
  • Sunglasses – I never wear these when actually running because they just steam up… I should probably just take them out.

Not in this photo but often lying around:

  • Some very handy little sample sachets of wet wipes… because, you know.
  • Tissues, because noses run.
  • My Tom Tom running watch.

Whoever said all you need to run is a good pair of shoes lied!!!

Do you have a similar bag lying around? What is in yours?

A rambling update…

It has been just over a month since THE BIG RACE and a couple of weeks of back-to- normal. Normal being work, eat, sleep, run, rinse repeat. And it’s been hectic, which would account for my lack of recent blog posts. This particular post has been in draft form for days now!

I mentioned in my story about the race that I had some thoughts about my performance on the day and my future adventures with running. As much as I was, and still am thrilled with the achievement of having stayed upright and moving forward for 21.1km, I wasn’t all that thrilled by the amount of time it took me to finish. When I signed up, all I had wanted was to finish within the cut off, but as my training progressed and I was starting to feel stronger, I began to hope for a finish around the 3 hour mark. Three hours came and went and so did 3:10 and very nearly 3:20. The competitive, harsh inner critic within me absolutely hated that I was just running to finish and that I wasn’t up there with my fast friends. Miss Defeatist was kind of embarrassed by just how much of a plodder I really am. But I’ve a had a few weeks to contemplate things and I know that I was being a little hard on myself.

As always, I need to remind myself that the only person I am competing with is myself and that I have achieved so much more than physical fitness by doing this. I have proved to myself that I can indeed set and achieve a goal, hard work pays off, and I do have staying power. I have also learned that I have amazing supportive, loving friends who don’t judge me and that I have the power to inspire.

So where to from here?

I very quickly realised, once back from Knysna, that without another goal to move towards, my running would stagnate. I needed to find something else to look forward to and I want to be faster and finish stronger. So it was time to sign up for some more races. I started with the Totalsports Women’s Race this past weekend. It was loads of fun, well organised and lots of atmosphere. And there was a whole bunch of my running friends doing it too – that always makes the races more fun. My time was okay too – it wasn’t quite a PB, but considering the difficulty of the route, it very well could have been. And I just loved the gorgeous purple bracelet all the finishers received. So pretty! The inscription is “Women run this city

I’ve also signed up for two more half marathons for the year. When I went race hunting, my only real criteria was that the cut off needs to be 3:30. I am not confident that I can finish sub three hours yet. The first race I signed up for is the Gerald Fox/Sasfin race in September. When submitted my entry, I did it with much trepidation. Did I really want to commit to all that training again? Did I really want to put myself through that sort of challenge again? Could I even do it. Each press of the “next” button on the online entry was done with a bit of a grudge and a grumble, but once I hit submit, I felt relieved and a little more focused.

The other half marathon is the Soweto half, on the 1st of November. I’m really quite excited about this one. I think it will be a biggie and when I originally started thinking that one day I would like to do a half marathon, this was the one I had in mind.

So there we go… back to early weekend runs… watch this space!

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