Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Ctrl + Alt + Del

The end of the year (and a well-deserved two-week break!) is so, so close, but I can't help but be overwhelmed by the mountain of work that still needs to be finished before Friday...  Thankfully Will's little brother got married in Bloem this past weekend, creating the perfect little reboot opportunity for us before the final push to the holidays.  It.  Was.  Glorious.

The first item on the agenda was, of course, parkrun.  I haven't done a parkrun in way too long (we don't have a local parkrun in Kimberley) and doing one again just reminded me why I miss it so much.  I clocked a new solo parkrun PB (26:19) (and a Battle of the parkrun Mamas solo PB!) and couldn't be happier.  Loved it!

Item Number Two on the agenda was getting our healthy fix.  Kimberley (our new home town) has zero healthy take-out options, so getting a smoothie from Kauai during a Bloem trip is mandatory.  Miss K, J Bear and I shared a Chia Charge (our first ever chia encounter) and all loved it - Miss K even formally announced afterwards that it was unfortunately the last time that she would be sharing with me and Brother J - next time she wants her own.  Happy mama.

Then there was, of course, the wedding: Will and my first solo date in almost three years.  I know, I know.  Rest assured that we're going to make it happen a lot more often in future.  Fun times all around.

And now we're back home, ready to tackle that mountain of work.  Bring it!

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Year of Running 2014

I'm linking up with Miss Zippy for this post: Here's looking back at my favourite running moments of 2014!  You can also link up to share your year of running, or alternatively just pop by Miss Zippy's site and check out everybody else's posts!

1.  Best Race Experience

This would have to be the Fish River Half that I did in September.  It wasn't a big or glamorous race by any means, but for me it was perfect in every way: I clocked a PR; got a nice big cash prize for being the third lady home; and running in beautiful Namibia was a huge highlight.  It was also my fourth international race, and I had the privilege of sharing it with my kids, dad and stepmom.  Definitely a race to remember.

2.  Best Run

Without a doubt our first run together as a family of four.  I was giddy with excitement throughout the entire run and couldn't stop smiling for days.  Run of the year, for sure.

3.  Best New Piece of Gear

My parkrun barcode card!  I discovered parkrun in 2014 and my life will never, ever be the same again.  I love the concept.  I've done 10 parkruns to date and can't wait to do more.

4.  Best Piece of Running Advice Received

As a fellow mom of two, my lovely cousin gave me this piece of advice: Be adaptable.  Best.  Advice.  Ever.  Both in running and in life.  Thanks, R!

5.  Most Inspirational Runner

My friend, Anna.  She's a fellow mama runner (of three!) and parkrun junkie, whose levels of energy, calmness and resourcefulness simply astound me.  Her running has gone from strength to strength in 2014 and I know that the best is yet to come for her.  You're an inspiration, A!  

6.  If you could sum up your year of running in a couple of words, what would they be?

Humbling.  2014 was a tough year for us on a personal level, and even though I had some amazing runs and races, it wasn't a stand-out year for me running-wise either.  Buuuuuut, here's to some amazing running (and other!) highlights in 2015!

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P.S.: We're in the running for the Virtual Running UK 2014 Blog Awards (see link here)!  Honoured!


Monday, 8 December 2014

A season for everything

My goal 10 km race for 2014 was this past Saturday.  And I didn't participate.  

Sweetest Miss K was admitted to hospital on Thursday morning with meningitis-like symptoms that, after a string of heartbreaking tests, thankfully turned out not to be the worst-case scenario.  She was still very sick, though, and we spent most of the past few days cuddling in bed.  Thankfully things are starting to look up.

A visit to the paediatric ward of a hospital (between Miss K and Baby J this was our fourth visit for the year) has a way of slapping my priorities right back into place.  I'm convinced that it is one of the most humbling, heart-wrenching places on this planet to visit.  And, (unbearably) hard as each visit may be, I always leave the paediatric ward with a renewed sense of thankfulness for the tiniest blessings and an ever-growing prayer list containing the names or faces of those whose paths we crossed there.  This stuff sure isn't easy, folks.

Running-wise I'll just be taking it easy for the rest of the year.  I'm not aware of any alternative local or nearby 10 km races before the end of December, and that's okay - racing and clocking PRs can wait.  For now there's a gorgeous little blonde, and her equally handsome little brother, who needs me.  And I can't think of anywhere else in the world I'd rather be.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Running Grabouw

On Friday I flew to beautiful Cape Town for a quick weekend of work-related stuff in Grabouw and, of course, my running gear was the first thing to get packed.  I've been meaning to run with a colleague of mine, who is based in Cape Town, for ages, but somehow we've just never been able to make it happen.  But this weekend we finally did - woooot!


After going to bed way to late (for me, anyway), we got up at the crack of dawn on Saturday morning.  It was a gorgeous day in a beautiful area and it needed to be run!

Two other colleagues also decided to join us, and the four of us followed some rocky paths and trails in the direction of the Kogelberg Dam.  It was a fun, muddy affair - at one point one of my running shoes even got swallowed alive by a mud pit, ha!

Our route.

The Kogelberg Dam.

We ended up running just under 5 km, with a nice big hill right at the end.  It was so nice to run in a different setting for a change, and to finally get the opportunity to run with my colleagues/friends.  Just what the doctor ordered to bust me out of my running rut - HOO.  RAY.      

And now to try and clean our running shoes...

T minus six days to Goal Race Day...!

Friday, 28 November 2014

On running and golf

My dad used to be a pretty good golfer before an old rugby injury and an iffy back caused him to retire from the sport way too early.  We always used to wait in anticipation as he came back from the local golf club’s weekly competitions to see what prize he’s won; and, trust me, most of the prizes were good.  He used to drive (and still does) a tiny, red little 1984 Renault around town, and also to the golf course, and I remember him returning home from a golfing competition one day with that little red car literally packed to the roof with all kinds of groceries that he’s won.  We couldn’t stop giggling.

Me and the golf meister.

Anyway, it was during those glory days of his golfing career that my dad frequently used to say that no-one is golf’s boss: One day you play like a champion, and the next day you play like a shoemaker (Dad's words).  And yesterday on my (ridiculously horrendous) run, I realised that running is pretty much the same:  You can be a runner for years and years and years – you’ll still have off days when your runs absolutely suck.  Like mine did yesterday.

Will and I headed out with both kids in the double stroller after work.  Miss K insisted on running alongside the stroller for the first 100 metres or so, and even while jogging next to her at our mama-daughter happy pace, my body loudly protested.  I could just feel that it was going to hurt.  And it did.  After K got into the stroller, I lasted an entire 7 minutes and 20 seconds before I had to take a walk break.  Oh, the frustration.

I ended up walking the entire way home, feeling, as you can imagine, extremely disappointed.  My goal 10 km race is in less than two weeks’ time…  Was it the heat?  The time of day?  The fact that Will’s been working crazy hours and I’ve been on K & J duty pretty much 24/7 for the last couple of months?  I’m not sure.  But one thing I do know: Nobody is running’s boss.  There will always be off days.  Fingers crossed that next Saturday is not one of them for me!