"I'd rather be seen on my bicycle than on a park run" - Quote from the dark side

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Taking a Step Back

Sometimes we need to put our eagerness and stubbornness aside and be wise. Runners are not very good at this.

This past weekend I had to do it and I am now very glad I did. I was entered for a 20km trail race on Sunday, but when I had a really awful run on Friday I knew I had to be wise and skip this race. The stomach bug I had last week was really bad and took a lot out of my body. I was in no shape to do this race.

So I did the wise thing and took one step back. I went back to my training and racing plans for the next few months and scaled things down a notch or two. I was a wise runner for a change! :D

If you look at the side bar on the right of my blog you will see my next race is a 10km on 23 November. My last road 10km was in July 2010! Yes, I’ve really taken a step back!

My next big goal is on 29 March 2014. That is 5 months from today. I started my formal training for the Wild Dog Extreme 50km this morning. There is more than enough time to take the step back and build up properly for this monster.

My body is already thanking me for a few days extra rest and scaling down my training and racing for November and December. All is good again in this runner’s paradise!

Happy training everyone!

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Sick again!

I've really had some bad luck with getting sick the past few months. First I had flu and bronchitis which messed up my Otter run and now I've had a stomach bug to put some more screws into my training. I really hate this!

I’m running a trail race on Sunday and really hope I get over this bug properly before then. I really need to run a nice and enjoyable race. The end of 2013 is getting close and I would love to do a few more good races. I also need to finish the year in good shape for the first part of 2014. I hope to do a few tough races next year while being in great shape.

So bugs and germs and whatever else…please stay away!!!

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Coffee please!

I’m a coffee drinker and I don’t drink tea at all. I’ve noticed that most of my running friends here in South Africa also drink coffee rather than tea. There are actually a few of them that are the same as me…no tea, only coffee.

I’ve been wondering if this is common among runners. Do most runners prefer coffee above tea? I suppose it might be different from country to country as well. The UK runners probably drink more tea than the US runners.

What do you think about this?

Coffee or tea for you?

For me…coffee please!

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Summer Running

This past Saturday I ran my first real warm run after this year’s winter. It was a trail run and I certainly felt the heat. The temperature was far from a hot summer’s day level but I am definitely not used to the warmer temperatures anymore.

I realized again how hard summer running can be. In general I prefer the cold over the heat and when it comes to running it is exactly the same. I would run in the cold any time before I run in the heat.

Green thorn trees.

Looking at the trail and the surrounding area, I realized how tough nature is to survive all the elements thrown at it. It is very dry here at the moment but still nature is pushing on and surviving. It was almost as if it was giving me a message to remind me I need to toughen up if I want to survive the summer running that is coming up.

Very dry here at the moment.

I know from experience how important heat training is. If I want to run races in the heat I have to train in the heat. I need to get my body and mind used to the high temperatures and the harshness of summer running. 

This is even more important for trail running than road running. You need to prepare for the heat on the road as well, but on the trails there are no frequent water points with water to pour over your head or even someone spraying you with water. Heat on the trails can get very hard to deal with.

Looking at the animals and plants on my run I realized how they adapt and survive. It is dry and hot now, but they are still doing very well. I saw a Springbok ewe with her twin lambs and this made me smile. The elements are not getting them down. They simply get on with the day.

Springbok ewe with two lambs right and three Wildebeest left.

The Porcupines are around as well.

I brought a lesson back from the trails on Saturday. There’s only one thing to do for the summer races coming up…adapt and push through. Hard, warm training runs with proper hydration and recovery is the only way to get ready for summer running.

There are no short cuts. Just do it!

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Trail Running and Road Running

I deliberately didn’t use trail running versus road running as a heading, but trail running and road running. I see that topic quite often on forums and blogs. I do both and enjoy both. Yes, if I must choose I will always choose trail running first, but I also enjoy a good road run.

The fact is I train on the road more than on the trails. During the week I only run on the road. On weekends when I have the time I travel to the trails and run there. That is how my life is and it works well for me.

I think road and trail running complement each other well. The road keeps my speed in check (not that I have any speed!) and it gives me a certain type of mental strength. The trails make me strong and help a lot for the hills and downhills. It also helps with endurance, but in a different way than on the road.

Together I believe the two make me a more complete runner. I love running and really run with my heart. I am fortunate that I can run on trails as well as the road. The experiences I get by doing this are just amazing. I plan to do both for many years to come.

Today I thank the trails and the roads for the amazing runs I get to do on them.
Happy trail and road running everyone!

Friday, 4 October 2013

Holiday Pics

Today I share a few pics from our recent holiday.

Have a super weekend everyone!