Charlie's Bird

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

Archive for running


..finally, seeing some results! SO this weekend I ran a race on Sunday, just 10km, but I was determined to race it and see my progress. The last 10km race I recall doing was in January this year, so it’s been a while, and an injury, and and and and… Anyway, it appears my training is paying off, my steak is working it’s magic, and I ran a PB (personal best) for 10km. The course ran 200m long, so that affected my overall time, but at the 10km mark, I had it in the bag. Another bonus was that I won my first cash prize, for being the 3rd lady in my age group category! A whopping R75, but I am claiming it!

Now a result like this isn’t something that just happens. Ive had lots of input – my coach, my brother, our club coach (who is working miracles in my running!) and then my dear friend, SS! SS is a gold medalist at both 2oceans and Comrades, and yesterday, she traded her race to pace and encourage me. (She is also newly pregnant, so she has other reasons to not race, and she did the whole thing with her toddler in a pram!) Aside from RM no-one has ever ‘given’ me their race, and on both occasions I achieved my goal. I am so blessed with the best running friends!


…oh my word! This week has been crazy! And the load shedding (rolling electricity blackouts, affecting the whole of South Africa)has almost pushed me over the edge. Argh! Anyway, not much I can do about that, and Eskom and the government don’t really care about the heat tantrum I end up having when the zircon is down at the office, and we cook, amidst the electronics that have to still function. So, we soldier on.

Work has been rather busy _ I have had quite the baby season of late! 6 this week in fact! But all seem hale and healthy, so all happy!

Thandigirl has also been busy, swimming up a storm, she swims in the A league at school, and this week were the city wide top 10 trials, She swam in all 4 strokes and has done well, we will hear soon if she is swimming in the finals next week. She came 3rd in freestyle, 4th in backstroke, 2nd in breaststroke and first in butterfly. This is in her heats, so they will compare times with the other heats, and the top 10 in each stroke get to swim the finals. So hear’s hoping for good news!

Running wise I have had a productive week. I am still streaking and am really noticing how much fitter I am, and no I am starting to see massive gains in my pace too. There is a reasonable 10km race this weekend (we live in a very hilly city, so any route reasonable is tough to find!) and I am thinking of doing it, to see how I go. I must have a look, I think the last 10 I did I ran 1:05, so an improvement would be great!

This morning I was interviewed on our local community radio station about my experience in Moscow – I loved it! I always just wish I had more time to chat, but I think I got across that it was an amazing and fun experience, made easier by the friends I met along the way! (Wild Coast fm, but I am afraid there isn’t a podcast of the interview…)

Ok, so I must get on with some work, have great weekends, all of you, and here’s is to a more manageable week next week!


Running update

…so, on Wednesday this happened! I hit day 100 of my streak! I have run a total of 754km, running a minimum of 5km a day! I must say, I’m not sure what I intended when I started out, but this is pretty cool! I have loved feeling fitter, faster and more confident!


In other news, I totalled up my mileage for while we were in Russia – I did not log every km I did, because I did not set my GPS watch every day, but the apple health app logs all the kms you do, if you are carrying your phone, which I did all the time… so including airport runs, I clocked 196.5km in 14 days, and average of 14km a day! Insane!

Russia 2019, part 2

Saturday, 21 September

So Saturday needed to be a chilled day, since I was running a marathon the next one. We had a gentle wake up, and after attending to a few minor chores, we headed into town again. This time we started at one of the Stalin Skyscrapers, which has been reinvented as the Hotel Ukraine. The skyscrapers, or Seven Sisters, as they are affectionately known were the brain child of Stalin who decided to build the tallest building in Europe, the plan was for 8, but the last one was never built and so we are left with the 7 sisters. The Hotel Ukraine is very grand, and in the foyer has an impressive diorama of the old city. It was a nice way to catch up on a little Moscow history, and understand the development of the Kremlin. We warmed up with a quick coffee and then we headed to the Mercedes Benz boat, part of the Radisson fleet and we set off on an afternoon cruise on the River Moskva. We had an obligatory Moscow Mule cocktail, and then settled in for a delicious lunch on board, while we watched the city unfold along the banks of the river. A truly delightful way to spend an afternoon unwinding before a marathon! Home, and early to bed, awaiting the next morning’s challenge.

Sunday, 22 September

So it felt like I had barely closed my eyes when it was time to head off to the Luzhniki Stadium, the start and end point of the marathon. Conditions were fairly dismal, strong winds and bursts of rain and sleet, interspersed with spots of sun; frankly psychotic.

I met some fellow south Africans before the race, and for this stroke of luck, I am eternally grateful. Given the weather on the day, I am not sure I would have enjoyed it, but Gary, Allan, Johan and Crazy Caroline made it a pleasure. I stopped worrying about a time goal and focused on an experience goal, and that was the wisest decision I made. My family were awesome cheerleaders, and they really lifted my spirits whenever I saw them. Finishing the run with the South African flag flying in my arms was a super special feeling. It was a challenging route, but we certainly saw all of Moscow’s sights, and it is an impressively beautiful city, a privilege to run her streets.

That bizarre weather really caught us through. As we were heading towards the finish, the sun warming our weary bodies, we could see a rather large ominous looking cloud moving quickly towards us. We decided we had to beat it to the finish line, which we did, however, seconds after we crossed, as medals were being place around our necks, the heaven opened again, dumping icy sleet on us and the wind began to howl again, a rather unpleasant end to the run, but nevertheless, we had done it!

(yes, that’s a space blanket, and I kept it on the whole way home)

The watering points, as I have previously experienced in Europe, were bizarre for us coke trained South African runners – water only, oranges and bananas. It felt a bit like a school hockey game again, when orange segments were brought out at half time. I got into the swing of it, and enjoyed a few slices. At the very last watering point I spotted a box, and guess where that fruit came from? Our very own Sundays River Valley. How remarkable!

The day ended with a slap up dinner in the Rosinka restaurant, and another early night ws planned, because we were traveling to St Petersburg the following day…

(and her shirt says my mom completed 42.2km)

Balancing act

…this weekend was a bit of a balancing act. Between lots of different events, running and all, we managed to also just have some down time, which was really necessary.

Saturday started early, as we got Thandi up and ready for her first adventure race. Adventure racing is big in this neck of the woods, and every year one of the schools hosts an event. There are numerous categories, and Thandi was the girl in a team with 3 grade 3 boys. They were in the G1-3 group, and had to run 2km, mountain bike about 2-3km and then get through some challenges (minute to win it kind of stuff) and then a final run to the finish line. I was super impressed at how they all had to work together as a team, (they have to finish together) and how they encouraged and motivated each other. She had such fun, and is planning next year already. They managed to come in 17 out of 32 teams, for her first try, that was ok!

The rest of the day was spent at home, sewing, making dough and chilling. We made steamed buns for supper which I served with the left over chicken – they were a revelation! Yum!

Sunday dawned with me getting some running in before we headed off to the local paper’s annual fun run. At the same time as that run happens, another really special event takes place. An enabling run for the disabled. So people with prostheses, in wheelchairs, differently abled children all get the chance to run too – they are assisted, pushed, carried, encouraged by an able bodied person. We got to walk with a young boy, who is differently abled. What a privilege to get through the fun run, with cheering and laughter and happiness! And to count our blessings.

After a clean up, it was off to a slap up lunch at a local and rustic chippy don at the harbour. And how nice was that – fresh fish, tasty sides, good views… A great lunch to round out the weekend.


…more sleeps till we leave on our great Russian experience. I am getting very excited now. I am desperate for a break. Desperate! I know it always happens around leave time, when you start to think that you cannot cope with one more day, but if you holiday wasn’t coming up, could you? Currently, I really don’t think so. Every day has become a huge exercise in self motivation to get out of bed, out the front door, and out of the car once I reach the hospital. I am practically a motivational speaker by now.

My running streak continues, and I have completed day 65. Today will day 66. This week hasn’t been great though, in terms if my efforts, I have a cold and am really feeling exhausted. So I have down a ┬álot more walking and recovering this week. It’s raining a lot this morning, and the predictions are that it will stop around lunch time, I really hope it does, because I’d love to stretch these legs later this afternoon.

In other news, it is bookclub at my house tonight. (I really know how to flood my schedule.) I have some asian delights for dinner planned, hoping it all goes according to plan. Anyway, more about that tomorrow.

Have great Thursdays!


…can this treadmill please slow down! I am exhausted, and I can feel a cold brewing! Grrr!

The weekend was intense. Ballet shows went well, and we are all glad that it is now over. My patience wore very thin over the weekend, so by the time Saturday night came and we locked the dressing room for the final time, I was extremely grateful. The girls did dance beautifully, and really had a lovely time. I will always encourage my daughter to take part. It’s a worthwhile experience.

Running wise I have been hitting my mileage targets, and am impressed with my improving fitness. I had to get my long run in on Saturday, which was a challenge, I did it though, but I made an almost rookie error. I did not cover my hydration needs adequately. Running 24km, and only having about 200ml of water after about 15km was inadequate, and I was quite shaky afterwards, as I tried to recover. But, by the afternoon I was much better. Yesterday there was a marathon in our city, so I offered to second friends of mine. I enjoyed the task and had absolutely zero FOMO. In fact, watching them made me wonder why we do it to ourselves? Anyway. They all had awesome runs – 1 friend won after a long time off with illness and injury; 2 of the others ran their first marathon in 7 years, both recording good results, but it was a long cold morning…

Lunch with friends followed, and then I needed to get my run in. Suffice to say, after 2 or maybe 3 glasses of wine, I ran myself straight into a headache. Ugh. I felt awful. But, I did it. Day 62 was done.

And this week looms with all its busyness too… Time for my family is desperately required!