Charlie's Bird

living the dream with Charlie and Thandi and chirping all the way back to the nest.

Archive for running

Busy weekend

…yoh, 3 babies, and 2 of those born in the early hours of the morning – 1 01h30 on Saturday, the other 03h00 on Sunday. Fortunately Sunday day was pretty chilled – a few hiccups along the way with phone calls, but not too much in the way of drama. I got to rest, work on my puzzle – a very cool highland cow – celebrated fathers day with my dad and Charlie and had a nice dinner out in the evening.

With such a hectic schedule – running went out the window, so I am very pleased I got my long run in during the week. In effect I missed one run this last week, so hopefully that does not derail my training. I got an email from the Rhodes crew this morning, reading the final instructions to the runners has made me seriously nervous. I was all excited about it initially, then I got nervous when I realised how much I would have to catch up training wise, then I felt ok again, once I realised that things were under control; now I am just scared – those photos of runners in the snow, the watering point tables blanketed in snow, the route profile, cut offs, compulsory equipment – what have I let myself in for? Eeek!

ANyway, Monday is looming on a very busy week! Let me work!

101 reasons I love my city

…so I live in a slightly off the beaten track city. It is a city, but a small one, and I always say it’s one of the best kept secrets ever – and we often tell our friends in the BIG cities to emigrate without emigrating and come to our neck of the woods. It has lots of faults, but yesterday I was reminded as to why I love my little city so much.

(Disclaimer – while I could find 101 actual reasons to love my city, I fear by that stage you would be bored; and I would be irritating, so I’ll limit the reasons to those applicable to my tale)

So while I have been a bit stressed about this ultra trail I will tackle next month, I reached out to a mate who I know has done it a couple of times before; we had a great chat at one of our finest coffee spots/farmers’ markets (1) and she offered to do a long run with me this week. The stars aligned and yesterday was set. I headed a mere 30 minutes from town (2) and found myself in some rural farmlands, lands belonging to our awesome little brewery (3) and we set off on the most magnificent trot. The weather was immaculate (4) – I was all prepared to try out all my warm running kit, and within 10 minutes I was shedding long sleeves and wondering why I had packed a jacket! We ran through fields with cows (5), we ran through little coastal forests (6), we ran up some dramatic hills and got amazing views over valleys where leopards sometimes hide away (7) and had some good chats and bonding.

Our run ended, we didn’t drink any beer (8), more’s the pity! ¬†I jumped back into my car, drove 30 minutes (see 2) to get home to have my recovery chocolate milk, jump in the shower and head off to work in the afternoon.

Now where else do you get to that? Really! It was just soul reviving! (In saying that, my soles are saying some very naughty words to me today!) I LOVE MY LITTLE CITY!

(sadly, I was a bit of a fool and forgot to take any photos of my run – so I cannot offer photo evidence, but those who know me, it’s there on Strava!)

Thursday wishes

…so it’s the Thursday before the Comrades marathon – for my non SA readers, the Comrades is an insane ultra marathon – 90km between 2 cities in the province of Kwazulu Natal; Pietermatitzburg to Durban (they run it is a different direction alternate years, so one year is up, the other down – it’s a down this year)

I know a lot of runners who are travelling today (and tomorrow) to get ready and acclimatised before the race, which takes place on Sunday.

Runnermom is one of them – good luck, my friend, I know you feel very ambivalent about this year, but remember the people you may meet en route who may just change your world – go and enjoy the outing; run with your heart, so that your brain keeps quiet! I will be dot watching with great enthusiasm!

Another is an amazing friend of mine, who last year won a gold medal, coming 9th in the ladies race – I cannot wait to see what she does this year, she has worked so hard. What is really special about Steph is that she still finds time to run with me – we had a leg loosener for her this morning – just her and I, she ran mostly at my pace, (so really a stroll for her) and we had a lovely chat. the pressure on the elite runners is insane, but she is just so beautiful and humble and kind. That she even talks to a girl like me! So I am hoping to see another beautiful performance from my golden friend on Sunday.

And on Sunday, for maybe 20 minutes, I’ll have some fomo, and then I’ll go out and have a run and it will all disappear – 90km is VERY far, 56km was tough, not sure how much harder 90km must be; and I know I don’t have that in me. Well, I do, but I do not have the desire to do the amount of training an event like that requires. I am a very happy Comrades marathon supporter!

(there are so many other people I know running, whose names I haven’t mentioned – I’m not ignoring them, and I wish them all well, my dots multiply every year!)


How to eat an elephant?

…or what to do when your plate is too full.

Ok, so in the last while I have put myself under a fair bit of pressure and I’m feeling overwhelmed. At least the birthday party is done; and I have manipulated myself out of a few other commitments, but I still have lots on my plate.

  • Workwise I have been given an opportunity to grow my career in a slightly different direction. I am excited about it, and I am pleased at the opportunities it will bring, but at the same time I need to assess what exactly it is going to cost me in terms of time.
  • In my own practice, our senior associate is retiring at the end of June, the party is organised, we await RSVP’s; and then I am responsible for organising a gift for him. I already have my ideas, so just waiting on contributions from colleagues.
  • I am currently the Lead Obstetrician for our hospital, which brings along a whole lot of chores and responsibilities. While it hasn’t been arduous, organising meetings, I feel like I need to be doing more to make sure we maintain a high standard as group of obstetricians.
  • Running Rhodes – now while I realise that I need something to keep me motivated and running, I am nervous about this event. I am loving upping the training; and feeling my body respond, as opposed to where I was last year, when my running went dramatically backwards because of that medication I was given. I am nervous though, I know I am always a bit of a last trainer, and know I do not really have enough time to get the training in I need; but I am going to count on the almost 200km I have done on trails this year to see me through.
  • School commitments have changed. So I was voted onto the SGB (school governing body) at my daughter’s school, and I am slowly now extricating myself from the PTA (Parent teacher association). For those that don’t know, the SGB is more involved in the daily governance of the school – budgets, buildings and maintenance, HR, staffing, discipline and policy setting; while the PTA is the fundraising arm of the school for all the nice extras. I am very pleased to be involved, there are some big changes happening at schools across SA and ours is no different, but I am also realising it is a big commitment.

Guys, what I am trying to do, is just break things up into some small bite sized pieces, that I can deal with one at a time. Because that is how you eat an elephant.

(and once all these things are attended to, then there is my family; and myself – I’ll get to me, one day)


The value

vs the cost of running.

Shoes R2000+; kit R500; socks R200; sports bra R800 (yes, you read that right!)


Watching the sky start to pink up, getting lungs full of fresh (freezing) air, connecting with friends, having the endorphin buzz Р PRICELESS!

(Hitting a pothole on the way to said run, damaging a tyre, having to replace said tyre – R5600!)

The alignment of the stars

…so given that my last post here was about getting my running groove back, and putting my tears and fears aside, unshackling my pride and just doing it, it would seem to be almost unsurprising the phone call I received on Friday afternoon. There I was minding my business, running to a delivery when I received a call offering me an entry into the Rhodes Trail run. In 7 weeks!

Eeeek! Ultra ready in 7 weeks, ultra trail ready in 7 weeks! Talk about motivation! Some back ground – the Rhodes trail run is a 52km trail, run in extremely inhospitable terrain in the foothills of the Drakensburg mountains in South Africa (before you think Rhodes, Greece) in the dead of winter, often through snow. I worked in the district where Rhodes is in 2000, and on one weekend landed up visiting Rhodes and it happened to be the very day of the run – so since 2000, this has been at the back of my mind. In 2016 I joined the waiting list – one needs to be on it for at least a year before you can even be considered for a substitution, and generally many years elapse between joining the list and getting an entry. A friend of mine won this entry, and is injured, they don’t usually allow transferring of entries, but they said, since she was a wild woman, she could choose one of her group to do it in her place and she chose me!

So here we are – running again, looking after myself as best I can – for the next 7 weeks – its eat, sleep, run! (and a birthday or 2 along the way!)

Doing it

…like Nike said.

So after confessing my anxiety here yesterday, I committed to a run this morning with my old original running group. The one that the last time I joined, ran away from me, leaving me in the dark and alone in a dodgy part of town. I was anxious as hell. Would I keep up? Would I make the full distance? I think enough people knew my sorry tale, so I always had some company; and I really enjoyed it. I ran harder than I’d done in long time, I was super proud to finish, albeit at the back.

I think over the past year, with all my health drama, I have taken my eye off the main prize here – just the joy of getting outdoors, working up a sweat, running my stress out of my brain and enjoying time with my running friends.

Here’s to a new chapter – I know I’ll have some rough days when my brain will want to override me, but I’m trusting I’m strong enough!