road running, trail running, cycling and now by default, or rather by injury, a bit of swimming

MTB’ing Me.

Due to a dodgy knee which once again hates me running is not an option at the moment so i am back on my bike and what fun i have been having.  There is nothing quite like racing down the hills with the wind in my hair to make me feel like a kid again even though i spend a lot of the time hanging onto my brakes as i quite like my collar bone the way it is.

I even entered my first MTB event and loved it.  My first ever bike bling is now hanging next to my running medals, i only managed to fall off twice (who knew soft sand could be so unforgiving) and no broken bones.  Yay me!  I am so looking forward to the next one.

The good news is the urge to tell every other cyclist i see that actually i am an injured runner is passing and for the first time in many years my toenails are all present and correct.




A dodgy knee and two left feet.

Sadly my left knee hates me AGAIN, which means i am injured AGAIN, which means no running for who knows how long AGAIN.  What a pain AGAIN !!

So in the interim i have decided to start power walking.  I may look a bit odd (the arm swinging thing is just weird) but at least i am still getting my fix.  This will hopefully save my fitness, my sanity, my mood and my marriage, last time i was injured my husband threatened to leave me, i would have left me if we were not so attached.  Also my chances of falling and bruising various parts of my body which i often do while running should be non existent.  CAN YOU TELL WHERE I AM GOING WITH THIS?

So this morning while shunting it down the side of the N2 (if i am going to make an eejit of myself i may as well have an audience) at a very respectable power walking pace my toe hit a stone and down i went like a felled tree.  Both wrists, my knee (not the one that hates me) and elbow bashed and bloody.

cartoon tripping






My slowest km ever.

Now i am not a fast runner but at least i am out there doing something as opposed to lying on the couch eating chocolate, oh wait i do that to, hence the running.  So the other day i was out getting my exercise fix slogging up a long and covered in gravel and loose stones path admiring the view and listening to my Garmin beeping every km i completed telling me how many minutes it had taken me.  Another beep and i glance down only to see 6 min and 27 seconds.  What, how sad is that?  But Claire you might say, considering that you average running 6 minutes a km normally that is really not bad.  Well if i was running then i might agree with you EXCEPT I WAS ON MY BIKE !!!!

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Thanks o trusty Garmin, there are some things i would rather not know.

Sub 2 hour me, The Re/Max Knysna Heads Marathon and 31 measly seconds.

So although i really love to run i am by no means fast, most times i amble along at 6 minutes a km, anything under is a bit of a stretch and although i would love to get faster it just is not going to happen, my legs do one speed and that is that.

This means that for me to run a sub 2 hour half all the planets need to be in line.  I really need to push myself the whole way, no chilling and admiring the view, no dawdling at the water tables, no toilet breaks or taking photos, cutting corners is mandatory and a tailwind and downhill route really helps.  The last 3 km’s are not always fun and i spend the whole run stressing whether i am on target or not.

So i decided that the next half marathon i ran i was not going to look at my watch until i crossed the finish line, i was going to run at a comfortable pace, enjoy the scenery, not stress about time and enjoy the whole thing from start to finish.  How lucky was i that The Re/Max Knysna Heads Marathon just happened to be the next half marathon i was running.  What a perfect event to practice my new half marathon attitude, an early start, the route was too beautiful, mist on the lagoon, friendly water tables as always, a turn around point featuring one marshall, an orange road cone and a view clear out the Knysna heads (how special was that), ideal running weather and no stressing for me.

From the start i was feeling good, my legs felt strong, my body felt good, i was breathing easy and loving every step and i did not look at my overall running time once.  I did however keep an eye on my minutes per km and knew i was running less than 6 minutes a km which was great as it meant i would be coming in to the finish a few minutes after 2 hours.  Yay, life was good, running is amazing, what a wonderful world.

So i crossed the finish line, pressed stop only to see i had run 2 hours and 31 seconds.  AAAARGGGHHHHH!  31 measly seconds.  What was i thinking and on which of the aforementioned planets was my head at the time,  if only i had looked at my watch i could easily have shaved off 31 seconds somewhere along the route.  I could have started closer to the front, i could have skipped a water table or not been so over awed by the view, i could have pushed just a little bit harder.  Nooooooooooo!

Clearly i need to work on my half marathon sub 2 hour or not, no stress, life is good running attitude.  Oh well, here’s to the next run i do, let’s just hope it’s all downhill and i might just be wearing a pair of blinkers.

Two lagoons and a hill from hell.

So not to recently i promised myself i would stick to only running half marathon’s from now on.  They are, most of the time very doable, i am not wrecked for the rest of the day, training does not take away too much family time and injuries are kept at bay sort of.  Of course any runner knows that once you have uttered those magic words they cease to have any meaning at all, running amnesia kicks in and big trouble follows.

Which bring me to the Cape Multi Sport Eden Two Lagoons 30 km run from The Dairy in Hoekwil this weekend.  I mean, my goodness me, it’s only 9 more km’s than a half, honestly how bad can that be.  Well as it turns out pretty bad, 9 km’s more although it seems reasonable when filling in the harmless looking entry form and feeling all holier than thou is actually voetsak far and add in the hill from hell and a melt down some where between 21.1 and 30 km is pretty much guaranteed, well for me anyway.  My knees were screaming at me on the downhills, the rest of my body was screaming at me on the uphills, the level bits were all a blur, i had a complete sense of humour failure at round about the 26 km mark and promised myself once again that if i ever got out of this alive i was only ever ever ever running half marathons again ever.

Of course i did make it to the finish alive although it was not pretty and after i had managed to lower myself to sitting position on the grass with much grumbling and groaning and sat around having a good laugh with equally crazy grumbling and groaning running friends i felt much better.  I even won a lucky draw prize which is great as winning any sort of prize and standing on the podium is about as likely as me running up the hill from hell.

So will i do it again?  Don’t be silly, of course i will, after all it is only 9 more km’s than a half, honestly how bad can it actually be.

My non superman running moments.

So after another glorious trail run in the Harkerville Forest this weekend, how blessed are we to live here, a bunch of us were standing around cooling off and congratulating ourselves on a run without a fall, quite a rare occurrence especially considering i was one of the runners when one of us mentioned that although he did not fall he did have a few ‘superman moments’.   Apparently a ‘superman moment’ is when you adopt the classic superman flying pose of both arms stretched out in front of you just centimeters above the ground before you some how right yourself and go back up to the normal running position without touching the ground.

This got me thinking.  I have never had a ‘superman moment’.  When my foot hits an immovable object mid trail run (which it so often does) my inner superman is very much unavailable.  There is no graceful flying just centimeters above the ground with arms outstretched while i regain my balance, oh no, there is just dust and debris flying around while i go from upright to flat on the ground face in the dirt in point zero seconds.  In fact if i had to be envisioning a cartoon character at that moment it would be more the very unlucky coyote who regularly measures his length while trying to catch the roadrunner as opposed to superman in all his glory.

Perhaps i should start running with a red cape although chances are, with my trail running record, it will get hooked on a branch of a tree as i go past and i will end up strangling myself mid stride.


Oh well, such is life, at least i am still out there and one day who knows, i might just find my inner superman and manage to right myself before i hit the dirt.

Grumbling about my Garmin.

So it has just been my birthday and my husband, very kindly, bought me a very nice Garmin watch.  Now until recently i have been running with a ‘cheap and nasty but does the job’ stop watch and all i need to do is press start when i head off and stop when i am done and i can see how long i have been running for, no showing the calories i have burnt and no showing distances i have run and no showing how slow i went on the uphills (there are some things i would rather not know).  What a pleasure, no pressure, no stress.  I can have a slow running day or a fast running day.  No problem.

Well not anymore!  This Garmin watch beeps at me after every km and tells me how many minutes i have taken to run it which of course puts me under an enormous amount of pressure to run the next km faster and then the one after that even faster and then the next one even faster and by the time i am done i am running way out of my comfort zone and in danger of hyper ventilating.  Happy Birthday to me but if i keep this up i might not make my next one.  So what to do?

I can possibly run with my ear plugs in so as not to hear the beeping or with a paper bag for either covering my watch or breathing into when i start to hyper ventilate or try not to worry that the last km i ran is slower than the one before, ya right.  Or i can just enjoy my birthday present and be grateful i have such a wonderful husband who knows exactly what to buy me.  I think.


Of course his birthday is just around the corner which means revenge of the birthday present could still be mine.  Love you babes.

Laundry day in Plettenberg Bay.

Wake up on a glorious summer day and decide that it is a good day to do the washing.

A few hours on the wind is howling and although i am pretty sure the washing is dry i cannot find it anywhere.

Still later grumbling to myself with huge raindrops falling on my back while i scrabble around the back garden picking the washing up out of the muddy puddles.

And then, would you believe it, as i am putting the now muddy washing back into the machine to try again tomorrow the blessed sun comes out again.


You have to love this town we live in.  

Reasons to Run.

Now i love school holidays, i really do but there are days when my children work together very efficiently to ‘lets see if we can make mom go completely off the deep end.’

So yesterday their computer time was banned, the half finished box of jolly jammer biscuits was thrown in the bin because, my goodness, heaven forbid one of them gets even a crumb never mind a whole biscuit more than the other one and Christmas was almost cancelled altogether.


So before i throw the Christmas tree and all its shiny baubles and possibly also both children over the wall.


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