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

Friday, 29 April 2011

Running Flag of Friendship Update

Remember to check out the updates on the International Running Flag of Friendship.

Have a super weekend all!

Monday, 25 April 2011

2011 Easter 100 Done & Dusted

The Easter 100 is something of the past and my legs can feel I’ve done some hard running the last three days. 100km in three days on very tough routes with some major hills and downhills. I must say yesterday’s 19km went better than I expected and I finished feeling sore but strong. I was not tired at all yesterday. This is certainly a good sign.

I’m really excited to have completed this, but also, if you look at my sidebar on the right, the Comrades Marathon has crept into the spot as my next goal.

I leave you with a few photos from the 2011 Easter 100.

 Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Easter 100 Update

Yesterday was an extremely tough 48km with monster hills all the way. Today was a cold and wet 33km on sore legs. Some very hard downhills yesterday as well. 48 + 33 = 81km done! 19km tomorrow to finish the Easter 100!

Have a super weekend everyone!

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Easter 100 - I'm Ready!

RHM Randburg Harriers Easter 100

Date:22 - 24 April 2011
Organisers:Randburg Harriers
Distance:48; 33, 19
Province:Central Gauteng
Start:Randburg Central Sports Complex
Cnr Republic Rd & Silver Pine Avenue

Entry Details:
As this is not an official race, there will be no traffic police or marshals on duty. Each day participants are given a route map to follow. Enter at the club on the morning of each run to cover refreshment costs. Runners may enter for any or all of the three days. Entries open 30 minutes before the start.

Route Description:
Difficulty Rating: 4/5. Route Type: Circular

Day 1 starts at 06h00. This tough 48km route undulates through the Northern Suburbs of Johannesburg including Weltevreden Park, Northcliff, Emmarentia, Parktown, Zoo Lake, Craighall and Blairgowrie.

Day 2 starts at 06h00. Today's 33km are run on an undulating route through the suburbs of Randburg. This course is tough, meandering through Boskruin, Randpark Ridge and Radiokop.

Day 3 starts at 06h00. This 19km moderate route is run through Windsor, Northcliff, Montgomery Park and Linden.

Prizes and Give-Aways:
A special commemorative T-shirt is given to those who complete all three days.

Editor's Notes:
Known as the "Poor Man's Two Oceans", this unofficial three-day training programme is aimed at runners preparing for Comrades 2011. You run 48 kilometres on Friday 22 April 2011, 33 kilometres on Saturday 23 April 2011 and 19 kilometres on Sunday 24 April 2011. Club members volunteer their time to man refreshment stations every four kilometers.

Walkers are welcome provided they complete the distances within the specified cut-off times: 
48km in 07:00
33km in 05:00
19km in 03:00

RHM and Randburg Harriers have been associated with the Easter 100 event for 16 years in 2011.

Friday, 15 April 2011

2011 Slow Mag Marathon a No-Go for me!

I’ve been sick with a stomach bug since Tuesday and I’m still not well at all. I’ve taken the wise decision to skip my marathon this Sunday and rather rest and get the bug out of my system completely. So, Slow Mag Marathon 2011 is a no-go for me.

I’m a little sad about this but it doesn’t matter that much in the end. I’ll take the downtime as good rest for my legs before I do the Easter 100 next weekend. This is a 100km training run over 3 days. Friday 48km, Saturday 33km, Sunday 19km.

It is at times like this that I am so happy that I am a very dedicated runner that trains and runs more than the average that is required. It is when something happens and I have to miss some runs that this becomes important, because now it doesn’t matter that I miss a marathon or some long runs for a few days. I’ve done enough already.

Good luck to everyone racing this weekend! Boston time in the US and here in SA it is the Loskop 50km and the Slow Mag Marathon where many of my friends will be in action. Go strong everyone!

Monday, 11 April 2011

Callies Comrades Legends 32km Report

This race started at 6:30 only because it is getting colder and darker here in Johannesburg. The morning did not disappoint and it was quite chilly when I arrived at the venue. I was surprised at the huge field and there was a long queue for people that still needed to enter the 32km (20 mile) race. The queue for the 15km race was much shorter.

Time always flies before a race and soon I found myself waiting at the start between all the runners.

Staci from She Runs In Sandals spotted me and came to say hi. She also showed me her flag she was running with for the International Running Flag of Friendship.

Yes, she really runs in sandals!

The start was a few minutes late but we were still chatting when we heard the gun and all the watches beeping around us. Another race on the go…

Lots of runners, don't fall!

I was wondering how I’ll feel after last week’s 60km so I was happy that I felt really good when we started. I knew I would feel all the training at some stage but as long as it is just tired legs, I’m happy.

The race doesn't follow a very scenic route and runs through the suburbs with some light industrial and commercial areas as well. The 15km and 32km runners started together and we ran the same route to the 9km mark where the 15km runners turned away. Comrades is clearly getting closer as most runners continued for the 32km.

The race description warned that the second half was really tough and this was certainly no lie. There were some testing hills and I wondered how long before all the long runs will start taking its toll on my legs.

Some testing hills in the second half...

Sure enough, at about 23km, with 9km to go, my legs started telling me they were not 100% happy with the way I was treating them. I think this had a lot to do with the course as many runners said afterwards they suffered the last 8 to 9km.

My camera also decided to take it easy at this stage and wouldn’t work between 22km and 28km. I think something must have been wet because it worked fine again for the last 4km. I, on the other hand, was not working so fine the last 4km.

About 3km to go. Tired and ready to finish...

The last 2km had some nice shade for the tired runners...

Finally I reached the stadium and I was happy this was not a marathon. I turned in at the stadium and ran through the tunnel onto the track.

Then it was round the field on the track to the finish.

People think it’s very funny that I slow down to take a photo before the finish.

Although tired, I was very positive. Pushing through on tired legs is what ultra running is all about. I was doing fine with that and I had only tired legs, no pains or injuries anywhere. This is good for this stage in my training. Only three hard weeks left and then it’s time to cut back for Comrades.

One of our club committee members took this photo of me finishing...thanks Mark!

Saturday, 9 April 2011

International Running Flag of Friendship Launched!

The International Running Flag of Friendship is finally on the go! I’ve created a blog for the flag where I will post updates and photos of the flag and runners as it continues on its journey. Go check it out and follow the flag’s journey here.

Hope you all are having a great weekend. I’m running a 32km (20 mile) race tomorrow morning at 6:30. This will be just another training run, so no worry about pace or time…just fun!

Keep it going!

Monday, 4 April 2011

60km Training Run

The RAC Long Run is not an official race but a 60km Comrades training run hosted by Rand Athletic Club in Johannesburg each year. This was the first time I decided to do this run as it has never fit into my training plans before. I Googled the run and found this description by someone who ran last year:

“The RAC club organizers seem to be a special kind of sadistic.  The run seemed to climb forever and as we got to the last 20 km it just did not stop, hill after hill rising until the end.”

This description is 100% accurate.

The run started at 05:00 so it was another very early morning. This is all part of Comrades/Ultra training. You have to get used to getting up at 3AM and then go run for the rest of the day. It’s not only about the running; it’s about being awake, active and on your feet for many hours.

Waiting for the 5AM start.

The first part was very dark and I just settled into a steady rhythm. Today was not about time, only about distance. I also wanted to experiment a bit with fueling and a gel/liquid combination.

Running in the dark.

I felt good and concentrated on holding back and saving energy. The run took us through many familiar areas of Johannesburg and I enjoyed the sightseeing on foot. There were some serious hills to deal with right from the start but the worst hills were towards the end of the run.

Sightseeing through the suburbs.

It became quite hot later on and everyone was taking a bit of strain. Because we had to share the roads with traffic I opted to run on the pavement most of the time. This was great as many parts had no pavement and only some “trails” to run on. This kept me entertained for many kilometers and I loved not running on the road all the time.

Running on the "trails" was great entertainment.

Towards the end I saw Sandal Girl’s (from She Runs in Sandals) husband at the water points and he gave me some ice that was just the right thing to keep me going. He said Staci was moving along well and would finish her first ultra distance run. Well done Staci!

57km done, 3 to go...heaven on earth!

All in all I had a very good run with no problems. I went slowly and the hills towards the end were killers, but this long run was a total success. This gave me a good boost for Comrades and the heavy training still ahead.

Some killer hills towards the finish.

I thank RAC for hosting this training run. It was well organized and I will be back next year if it fits into my training plan. My Comrades training is well on track.

Have a super week everyone!