Over training is over rated, rest better so that you can train even more" - Nick Yster Bester

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

To Inspire Is The Best Inspiration

I've been seeing a family of four (Mom, Dad, Daughter1, Daughter2) on my morning runs for a few months now. They are all overweight. A lot! But they have lost a lot of weight over the last few months. I can see that clearly. I see them almost every morning and greeting each other has become part of the routine.

On Monday night I had to stop at our local supermarket on my way home from work. There between the isles I bumped into (literally) the family of four. They recognized me and after greeting each other I added that they are doing really well and it is great to see them continuing their walking.

Their reply was great! "It's because of you that we continue. Seeing you every morning and seeing you never stop or give up keep us going every day. You are our inspiration."

Wow, that was really awesome to hear! That really inspired me.

I think the greatest inspiration is to be the inspiration.

Happy training!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Answer to the guessing post...

Work has been crazy but finally I have a chance to answer the question in my previous post. What made the mark on my leg while I was out on my trail run?

The answer is... drumroll...

A spider web!!! Like the one below! Or one very similar anyway...

I have no idea how it got on my leg but somehow it did. It was probably a baboon spider nest. I saw it on my sock and din't really take notice of it until I stopped for a drink. I don't think the spider took a ride with me as well...

I only noticed the mark after my run and must say it was a new one for me.

So no, I did not carry a donut in my sock or run into some aliens or trip over a squirrel. I also don't carry secret boosters in my socks and thank goodness it was not a hoof print!

Thanks for sharing some fun! Happy training!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Can you guess?

Time for a bit of fun...

Who can guess how or by what this mark/pattern was formed on my leg during last weekend's trail run? The answer will follow in next my post :)

Happy training everyone!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Great Trail Run

I had another awesome trail run on my favorite trails this past weekend. My wife and the kids went to the local park run but I chose the solitude of the trails at Klipriviersberg.

I am always amazed at how much water this stream has even when it is incredibly dry as it is now.

I've never seen less water here than this.

I chose to run the route around the outer rim of the reserve. Not many people venture this far out and I always enjoy it when I see only animal tracks out there and no human footprints.

No sign of humans...yay!

It was quite a hard run as it is getting warmer and warmer each week. I am still used to winter running and one of my goals over weekends is to get used to warmer temperatures.

Trail along the southern fence.

It is bone dry at the moment. Look at all the Springbok droppings...

The thorn trees are showing how tough they are. Their beautiful green leaves are in complete contrast with the surroundings.

At some point there was mud here...

A  quick descent to test the tired legs and then I was on the trail back to the entrance.

Testing downhill for tired legs.

Beautiful trail to finish my run with.

Another awesome run on the trails. I did 14km and it was all good. I can't see myself trading this for a park run soon...

Happy training everyone!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Throwback Thursday - Shirtless Edition... EEEEK!!!

After my post where I mentioned that I have a Pectus Excavatum chest, I received some communications from a few concerned readers about my well-being. Thanks for that, but really, I am fine. :)

As I said I have a very mild case of this. It is just enough to give me a nice round and flat heart and low oxygen capacity.

I never run without a shirt... but I did in the 1983 Milo Korkie ultra when it was 33°C(91.4F) and I was wearing a totally horrible t-shirt.

So here is the only photo of me running shirtless...way back in 1983...

The Pectus Excavatum is actually visible if you look for it specifically. I am running with my brother here. We were supporting our dad and ran the last 25km of the 56km race. It was very hot that day. The photo was taken in Kempton Park close to the then Jan Smuts (Johannesburg International) airport.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Weather Question

Is it just me or do we have only two seasons nowadays? Summer and winter. I've been noticing this for the last two or three years now.

It is mid September and should be mid spring here in SA, but we are having warm summer days with 30°C (86F) temperatures. To me that is a lot warmer than spring and I wonder what our summer temperatures will be like.

Two weeks ago we were freezing and walking with thick long sleeve tops. Now it is time to sweat. We moved directly from winter to summer.

Do you find the same where you live or do you still have 4 seasons?

Global warming... I think so...

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Beacon Run

I often read about people running to a beacon or past some beacon when they are out on their mountain trails. I do this quite often even though I haven't written about it. Yes, I can do a beacon run here in Johannesburg!

Last Saturday I did my beacon run. I do this at the Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve 11km south of Johannesburg. I live another 11km south of the reserve so it is quick and easy to get there.

We are at the end of the winter so it is very dry here in JHB at the moment. The trails are dusty and the plants don't show much sign of life.

I started out on the Bloubos Trail making my way to the Beacon Trail. The reserve has several trails with lots of different difficulties and technical variation. For me it makes the perfect training ground.

Bloubos Trail
Beacon Trail

There are several routes to take up to the beacon and even though this is by no means a mountain, it is still a hard climb to the top. I have seen many hikers turn back or stop to wait for their partners to go to the top and back. A lot of people underestimate the trails in this reserve.

It is so dry and there are so many game paths that it is hard to see the trail in places. Let's hope we get good rain soon...

Game  paths crossing the trail.

Some more climbing and then it was the final push to the beacon. The views are great from here and it is certainly worth the effort.

Beacon at the highest point in the reserve.

1645m (5397ft) - Not that high but still good altitude to train at. ( My Suunto has been through the wars a bit...)

And what's the point of running to a beacon without making a fool of yourself...?

Johannesburg to the north.

Looking east.

Looking south.

Looking west.

From here I took the Legae Loop to go down again. You can easily see why this is called the Legae Loop...

There are some really beautiful places in the reserve. I made my way back to the Ruins Trail. I decided while I was at the top I wanted to run down the Ruins Trail. I always use it for climbing from the other side and thought this was a good time to use it for some descent training.

Ray's Ruins Trail.

Some nice ruins to see.

There are quite a lot of ruins in the reserve. I will write a post about them and the history behind it some day.

Going down was quick although the dry ground was quite slippery in places. I made my way back to the Bloubos Trail via the Kiepersol Trail. I felt a bit dry and hot. 

Dusty trail down.

Soon I was back where I started. Another successful beacon run behind me. This run reminded me once again how much I love being out there.

Back at the entrance.

Definitely successful!

This Sunday I will actually run a race in this reserve. I will only run the 8km but part of the enrty fee goes back to the reserve and I really want to support that.

Happy training everyone!