Archive for January 30, 2009

Running – on empty…

It seems my levels of motivation have reached an all time low…  Forcing myself out for a run on Wednesday, I went as far as the end of the block before I turned back and came home.
I’m feeling really bored with running which is probably why for the past 3 months I’ve been doing so little of it, although I know I need to pick up the mileage with  a 56km race coming up in April and then the Comrades (89km) in May.
Joe from Fitness Geek recommended changing my running route and music, any other suggestions??

Oh, and I’m running the Kloof Neck Classic on Sunday, check out the profile below…

Kloof Neck Classic Profile

Red Hill

On Saturday I did something which I’m quite familiar with now and that is running a race I know I’m not prepared for – to see how unprepared I am –  not really sound logic I know, but then again I am just a beginner (and blonde)!

The Red Hill Classic (36.3km) known to be pretty tough with 2 hectic hills in the profile, is what got me out of bed at 4:30am on Saturday morning.  I was rather nervous as you can imagine, having not really put in all that much running time on my legs in the past 3 months, but I thought I needed a benchmark, to see how far off the mark I really was.

As usual my mind carried me most of the way and the bunch of energy gel things the rest (the last 5km were possibly the longest in history) and I was pleasantly surprised with my 3 hours and 45min finish.  To be fair I had run most of this race last year during the 56km training run I did just before the Comrades, so I knew I had to pace myself for the 2 rather nasty hills, but as things stand now I don’t think I’m too far off on my training.

I’m guessing that last year I had to build a base and this year I already have that base, so getting to the level of fitness I need to be at (to finish long races comfortably and without injury) doesn’t take as long – this is my guess anyway, unless someone else out there has a better explanation…

View from the top of the second hill into Simonstown

View from the top of the second hill into Simonstown


Hi everybody, as those of you who are familiar with Reluctant Runner have probably realized, the site has gone through some changes over the last few weeks while I’ve been transferring all the content to a paid server – it seems I have finally done everything I needed to do although I’m sure a few things might have fallen through the cracks, so if some links aren’t working or you get an error message on some pages please give me a shout so that I can fix it.

Another thing is that my feed URL has also changed, so if you were subscribed to my previous feed please replace it with this: ReluctantRunner

Hope to see all the old faces here as usual!!

The Terra Firma

The Race:

  • 50km cycle
  • 13km run
  • 25km mountain bike, and
  • 9km beach run

The team:

  • Shaun,
  • Nicola,
  • Jess and
  • myself.

The Terra Firma forms part of the Totalsports Challenge Adventure Racing series.  None of us had done anything like this before so we were all a little nervous at the race brief on Thursday when they were discussing the course and all the rules and regulations – plus seeing some top notch athletes in the group didn’t do us first timers any good…

I could talk about how perfect the conditions were on the day (no wind and overcast skies) but instead I want to talk about our hidden talents and flawless change overs, all without previous experience 😉

Nicola did the cycle and came in 20 minutes before she had predicted she’d finish, I did the run and did a personal best of 1:04, Shaun did the mountain bike leg even though he couldn’t even remember what a mountain bike looked like it had been so long since his last ride and Jess did the beach run – very well I might add since it was Springtide and she had to be careful she wasn’t washed into the ocean.

Adventure racing is usually a combination of a few different disciplines, unlike a triathlon which never goes off-road, adventure racing incorporates orienteering, paddling, climbing, trail running and other similar disciplines.  I’d always fancied doing something like this but was never motivated enough to try, and now that I have tried and it seems we have a pretty good team from the get-go I think we might try our hand in a few more of these types of races.

I must admit there was one thing we failed dismally at – choosing an appropriate team name – we are open to any suggestions..

The Team


While I was writing the post about which races I’ll be doing this year, I saw all my results together on one page for the first time! I always knew when I’d improved a time over a particular distance, but I’d never really recorded anything, I just had approximate times in my head -I guess because I never thought I’d get into running as I did, silly me 😉

So I decided to make a spreadsheet of all my race times from 2008 so that when they come around this year, I can compare them and see how my running has improved.

Yay for little experiments like this, does anyone do the same thing?  Are there any other things you would compare from race to race?

PS I have another race this weekend which takes me along the coast so I’ll be sure to take some pictures…


Races Planned for this Year

These are the races I plan on doing leading up to the Comrades in May,  of course things might change since I won’t run if I’m ill (I learned the hard way) or injured and I might add a few unofficial ones to the list, but so far here they are:

5th Poppy Run 15km – first time (1:24)
10th Terra Firma 13km – first time
17th Hohenhort 15km – 1:26:47
26th Red Hill 36.2km – first time

1st Kloof Neck Classic Half Marathon – 2:04:07
7th Lion of Africa Half Marathon – (decided not to do)
22nd Peninsula Marathon – 4:29:47

4th Men’s Health Lighthouse 10km – 0:54:22
7th Constantia Village 15km – 1:40:31
14th West Coast Half/Full Marathon – Didn’t finish

11th Two Oceans Ultra 56km – First time

10th Milkwood Half Marathon – 1:52:56
24th Comrades Marathon 89km – 11:19:

Seems like a lot now that it’s down on paper – I’m not going to lie, I feel a little intimidated…

First Race of 2009

I’m back – feeling refreshed and quite motivated for the next 5 months of running in preparation for the Comrades Marathon in May!!

I’m not going to lie, I was probably a little optimistic in thinking I could do a 15km run without having done much over the last 2 months.  Occupying my newfound free time with surfing and working on my alcohol tolerance through practice, I suspected that my fitness might have been effected which is probably what convinced me last minute to do this run – as an experiment or benchmark to see where I was starting from.

Jo (one of my running partners from last year) was the instigator of this run and so we set off for Big Bay as the sun was rising on Saturday morning, after struggling out of bed at 4:30am wondering why I’d had that last gin on the beach the night before…

The field was pretty small considering the proximity of this race to New Year’s Day hangovers and the subsequent festivities.  I had a slow start and lost Jo along the way while she was considering the pro’s to never drinking again – ever!

Coming in at 1:24 I didn’t think I had done too badly considering I did it without music (my ipod was stolen with my bag a few weeks ago) and a minimal amount of training.

All in all it was great being back in “racing mode” again.  The energy around races and seeing so many familiar faces again has added to my motivation for the coming weeks.  I’m in the process of compiling a list of races I’m aiming to participate in over the next couple of months, so keep yourselves posted…

First Race for 2009

First Race for 2009