Monday, 8 February 2016

A no-frills hoo-ha for unromantic weirdos

Will and I are not the woo-woo, romantic type - not even close.  Come within a three-foot radius of either of us with a plastic rose or a squint-eyed stuffed bear and we'll run for the hills - literally.  Great then that we found each other, right?

It should therefore come as no surprise to you, keeping in mind this aversion to all things heart-shaped, red and fluffy, that we don't celebrate Valentine's Day.  Never have; never will.  Gasp - I know.  It just feels forced to participate in something that doesn't really resonate with us, you know?

But the thing is that we still want to celebrate our relationship and each other.  Sure, we do small, everyday things to show how much we care (thanks for all the dark chocs, Honey!), but lately I've been feeling that we need a big hoo-ha as well - like Valentine's Day, but on our own terms.  No frills and no fluffy stuff - just something that's weirdly us.  Which is exactly what we did this weekend.              

Will snagged me these at the Totalsports sale - aren't they wildly fantastic?!  Not even a family of stuffed bears or a plantation of plastic roses comes close.

And I got him this...  His idea of the most romantic gift one can receive during peak cycling season.  Ahhhhh, we're weird.


Of course there was a running date too, followed by a brunch at a kid-friendly restaurant - both of these with the two most precious gifts from our relationship in tow.  Just the way we like it.

So no, you won't be seeing any Valentine's gift lists or red, fluffy must-haves on the blog this week.  Because this past weekend just reminded me once again that I already have absolutely everything I need - and more!

Friday, 29 January 2016

My five favourite reasons to run

The start of a running journey is rarely (if ever?) a case of love at first sight - a love for running is something you have to work for.  Those first few plods around the block are almost without exception painfully frustrating, but stick it out long enough and you'll soon discover what the fuss is about.  Heck, you'll even be able to come up with a whole list of excuses to run.  Here's mine:       

1.  Endorphins

Aren't endorphins awesome?!  They can literally take you from arghhh to ahhh in 5 km flat.  This is, without a doubt, my No. 1 reason to run.

2.  Other Runners

How awesome to have a group of beings that accept and understand the joy you get from running around in unflattering lycra at the crack of dawn on a freezing winter's morning...  No hoo-ha, no eye-rolls and no lame jokes - just that knowing smile.  Spending time with them is awesome!  

They just get it!  [Photo by Kimberley Harriers.]
3.  Stress Release

Stressful day at the office?  Run it off.  The saying "I run, because punching people is frowned upon" describes me to a T - running is often my silent scream of frustration.
4.  Running takes you places

I'll never get tired of running's ability to take you places.  Want to take your travelling memories to a whole new level?  Do it on the run.   

Seaside runs for the win!  [Photo by Johannes Bisschof.]

5.  Running Gear

Just like the proverbial chicken and egg, I'm not too sure which one comes first: A love for running or a love for running gear...  But I can promise you one thing: Within five minutes of blissfully wandering through a running store's isles (any running store's isles!), I never fail to identify at least five grand's worth of running gear that I absolutely adore.  It's frightening.  

Thanks to the ladies from Eat Pray Run DC, You Signed up for What? and Mar on the Run for the opportunity to share my five favourite reasons to lace up as part of their Friday Five link-up!

Have a terrific weekend, everyone!

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Hello, Club 50!

Almost two years ago yesterday, on 8 March 2014, I did my very first parkrun in Green Point, Cape Town while on holiday there.  J Bear was 11 weeks old at the time, so I was still easing back into running after his C-section, but, with the encouragement of the lovely Philippa from Run Cape Town, I huffed and puffed my way around the beautiful 5 km course - and loved every minute.     

Miss K, me and Philippa after completing Green Point parkrun.

We lived in Bloem back then, so upon our return home I immediately started looking for a local parkrun to join.  Sadly, Bloem still didn't have one, but I was delighted to learn that Naval Hill parkrun would kick off on 3 May 2014.  And of course, two parkrun-less months later, I found myself at the inaugural Naval Hill parkrun with 70 or so fellow parkrunners on a cold winter's morning, thrilled to hear - during Bruce Fordyce's pre-run briefing - that parkrunners who complete 50 parkruns become a member of Club 50 and get a free technical t-shirt to celebrate the occasion.  Free running gear?  I was hooked.     

The pre-run briefing that changed my life.

For the next four months Naval Hill parkrun was my happy place.  I rarely missed an event, teeth-chattering -6 degree mornings notwithstanding.  Until, sadly, in September 2014 came the news that Will was being transferred to a parkrun-less Kimberley...

So what do you do when you move to a town that doesn't (yet) have a parkrun?  You help get one in place, of course!  And so, six months, many meetings, and a few sleepless nights later, Kimberley parkrun finally saw the light on 21 March 2015 - my new happy place!

Results processing after the inaugural Kimberley parkrun.  [Photo by Andreas Pretorius.]
And this weekend, almost two years after my first parkrun in the beautiful Mother City, I finally earned my technical t-shirt: I clocked my 50th parkrun.  It was perfect: A cool, cloudy, windstill morning; my two favourite running compadres in the double stroller with me; bestie Tanya there to share the moment; and high fives and congratulations from so many new parkrun friends.    

parkrun #50 with my two favourite running buddies and bestie, Tanya.  [Photo by Stanley Harvey.]

Best gift (and friend!) ever!

Onwards now to Club 100!