Archive for September 29, 2009

I’m a Runner because…

  • my bum didn’t come with the ability to be accessorised with a saddle
  • after a run I’m left with a feeling of accomplishment, with swimming all I’m left with are raccoon eyes (def:  that is where your mascara has smudged from the fog in the goggles, resulting in a black ring around the eyes) and cycling, well you can read about that here
  • it is social and you get to chat with all sorts of people while you are chugging along – swimming is without a doubt a sport for loners and unless you have bionic hearing and can keep up with the pack,  so is cycling.
  • if I’m tired I can just stop, if I try that with swimming death by drowning is the only outcome…
  • I saw immediate progress which is what kept me going way back in the beginning of my running career 2 years ago, I’ve been swimming for a month now and the progress I see is negligible – barely even enough to comment on AND that is with swimming lessons!!

Any contributions are welcome!!

raccoonPhoto Credit

The Freshpak Clanwilliam Fitness Festival

On Saturday, October 3rd I will be taking part in my first triathlon in Clanwilliam.  I’m having sleepless nights about it already!!  I’m not nervous about the run or the cycle because if I’m tired or I suddenly feel like I don’t want to keep going – I can just pull off on the side of the road and wait for someone to come and fetch me, but with swimming it is another story all together…

As mentioned in my previous post about swimming, I think I made it pretty clear that it isn’t one of my talents especially after a practice swim last weekend left  me exhausted and barely able to crawl out of the pond I’d just come from – after only swimming 3o0 metres…  I’m sure you can understand why I’m battling with anxiety!

The distances are relatively short which apparently make this event “fun” and “for the whole family” – I’d hate to be the one to put a damper on things and insist on an age restriction when they pull my half-drowned body out of the water, cursing my sinking body and Nicola for making me say I’d do the Half Ironman…

The triathlon is made up of an 800 metre swim, followed by a 20km cycle and a 5km run which can be done individually or in teams.  There are other events too so check out the website to see if you (or your kids) would like to take part.

Let me know if you will be there too…

The Clanwilliam Dam

The Clanwilliam Dam

Photo Credit

City Marathons

I found this article written for a UK paper about the big city marathons around the world, and the amazing landmarks the routes take you past.

The Cape Town Marathon is coming up on September 27 – I’m not running it this year because I’ve been too busy learning how to swim and getting my bum saddle ready, but I don’t recall the route being even half as pretty as the Two Oceans or even the Peninsula Marathon – its a pity because Cape Town has so many awe inspiring sites and landmarks…

Lets create a list of City Marathons which YOU think are worth running…

London Marathon

Photo Credit

Zola Budd’s Running Story

A blog reader sent me this story which was in the US Runners World about South African born Zola Budd, known for her world record in the ladies 5,000 metre and some kind of controversy around the 1984 Olympic Games.   If you are anything like me, I know the name and and I know she is famous for doing all her running barefoot, BUT I never really knew the full story of her career and then her disappearance from the running world.

This story is extremely well written, I’d encourage anyone with a bit of time to go throug it!


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Running vs Swimming

I’ve been trying to think of the parallels between running and swimming – my result…  there aren’t any!!

Let me try and explain.  My “swimming” career consists of

  • a hand-full of lessons when I was about 8,
  • hours upon hours of playing in our pool and
  • paddling on my surfboard

– as you can see far from anything of value.

So to bridge the gap between swimming and not swimming I decided to sign up for some lessons.  Now, I’m not going to go into too much detail here because this is a running blog after all but the bottom line is, I sink… Yip butt first!

My body starts out reasonable flat and near the top of the water and gradually sinks from the hips to the legs so I look like a boat with a very fat person sitting in one end.  Obviously I had never really noticed this with a surfboard keeping me safely afloat but this may be an issue with a 1.9km swim in the ocean to start the Half Iron Man.

Any ideas??

SwimmingPhoto Credit

Beetroot Juice

I found this article titled “Beetroot Juice Boosts Stamina” which is a summary of  a study done on the benefits of drinking beetroot juice for people involved in sport…  yip, sounded pretty random to me too but apparently the high concentration of nitrates in beetroot actually increased the performance of the group involved with the study.

Have a read and let me know what you think…

Photo Credit


Comrades Marathon 2010

Everyone interested in doing the Comrades Marathon in 2010, you need to pay attention to this!!

The Comrades Association has anticipated a huge influx of entries for the 2010 race.  It also happens to be the 85th Anniversary of the marathon and is being run as a ‘down run’ which the route originally followed.

The entry process has changed somewhat from previous years – if you have entered the race before, you have the privilege of pre-entry which started on September 1st and will go until October 31st with the entries capped at 15,000.

If you are a newbie, your chance to enter starts on November 1st and continues to November 30th OR until the limit of 5,000 entries is reached.

No entries will be taken in 2010!!

All of this is why I sent my entry in on Monday 😉  Now I know I said I was going to give it a break with this kind of running for a while but what happens if I change my mind next year and then can’t enter – confined to being a spectator at the Ultimate Human Race – I think NOT!!

Get your entries in, the counter is sitting at 4,541 just 10 days into the entry process!!

Here is a little inspiration for those of you sitting on the fence

Weird Running “Shoes”

Way back in 2008 when I had some knee trouble I visited an orthopaedic surgeon to make sure I wasn’t causing any damage in my training for the Comrades,  one of the things  he told me while he was examining me was that I should incorporate some barefoot training into my running schedule.

His reasons were quite valid I thought – when you run with shoes on you strike the ground with your heel first, when you run barefoot you strike with the ball of your foot first which causes less tension on your knees.

Of course the barefoot training never materialised, actually coming to think of it neither did the schedule, but last week a runner passed me on the road while I was driving home and he had these on.

Vibram 5-fingers

I have seen these (called Vibram 5-Fingers) before and mentioned them on a few of the running forums I go on from time to time, but I’d never actually seen someone using them.  The theory behind these shoes follows what my knee guy had to say about training barefoot – which due to obvious reasons isn’t really the way forward when you are looking at boiling hot, tarred roads with glass, stones and various other foot piercing materials littering your way.

I’m curious to see how these rather peculiar ‘shoes’ perform…  Have any of you out there used them??

Photo Credit

Running Humour

This clip made me laugh and laugh!!