Ode to the Heater

Livingstone (full name Dr Livinstone I Presume) came walking into our garden eight years ago. He was a starving piece of skin wrapped around hunched over bones. The only reason the jackals didn’t eat him was that it had been snowing solidly for 36 hours and no self-respecting jackal hunts when it is snowing.

Ever since then he has guarded the two self-feeders with a ferociousness that scares the other dogs. They have to sneak a meal while he’s sleeping. Or while he is gazing lovingly at the heater as witnessed here. The look in his eyes is so soppy that I feel sure he is writing an Ode to the Heater.

Oh Heater, Oh Heater, I love you so

Light glimmering, warming, much better than snow,

My love for you is endless, divine,

I know I’m gorgeous but you’re mighty fine.

Not bad for a dog whose education has been cut short by his time-consuming guarding activities, I guess.


The Cunning Beast of a Treadmill

It’s easy to fool myself onto the treadmill. I faff around the house, even going so far as to do household chores to avoid the beast, and then I think “okay, I’m only going to do half the workout and that’s it.”

Lol, one hour later the workout is done. Once I’m half an hour into it, I can’t resist finishing just to see if I can. And of course I can.

I know there are lots of people out there that think “I wish I could just get going, just do some exercise”. You can – tell yourself it’s just for 10 minutes and that you can stop after that. Chances are you won’t. Chances are your body will be enjoying itself and will want to push just a little more!

Matatiele Racing Snakes (or Die Boer en Die Brit gaan Durbs toe)



Well, after practicing NOT drinking wine in the evening, sticking to my collagen supplement or some such healthy thing, my wheels fell off on Saturday evening.

But I can explain. It’s not just a matter of cruising along to Durban – a great deal of intense navigation needs to be done by us sheep in the city. I also had a crash course in parking on a pavement, slap at an intersection. Traffic was held up, a concrete bollard was VERY narrowly missed and a beautiful big aloe plant in full bloom nearly saw it’s arse. No matter, we got our race packs!

Needless to say the Metro Police were in attendance by the time we got back to the car. I was grateful not to be arrested.

What springs to mind at the end of a gruelling day? Wine of course! So I never got to test whether I can do better at races when the evening before is wine-free. Pity, but my mental health was at stake.

I was proud of the run though – I paced my 10km better and took three seconds per kilometre off my pace. My running partner had a fabulous run (she did not succumb to the wine) – nearly two minutes off her previous 10km time!

What is Running Teaching Me?

I fell this morning. I was batting along trying my damndest to do my speed intervals properly when I found myself hitting the dirt HARD, luckily not on my injured shoulder! My front tooth (a crown) was pointing the wrong way and I could see blood. I’m not good with blood.

My first reaction was “Pause the friggin’ watch!” My next one was to feel really pathetic and shed a tear or two. Why do I do this? Why don’t I play croquet while sipping on gin and tonics? Or even bowls for that matter – they have fun there! And they don’t fall and bleed unless they’ve had a shitload of drinks.

I then realised that the only way back to the car was on my feet – and, what the hell, I may as well finish the run. And it wasn’t too bad a run either for a bleeding tortoise!

So that is what running teaches me, over and over again. You can always pick yourself up, metaphorically or physically, whatever you may be doing, and CARRY ON!


I was just busy making PawPaw Hill my bitch (as someone I know so eloquently put it) when Zwartmodder popped into the picture. Oh my saintly soul…. there’s altitude there!

Ysterbok and I did 12 kilometres of those hills this morning. When we got back down to the bakkie I thought a selfie would be a great way to commemorate a run well done but the resulting pic would have cracked the screen of my beloved Macbook. Hence the above – taken from a decent distance!

I’m very grateful for this awesome training ground on our doorstep but HELL there’s a lot of work to be done!

Trekking Poles and Arm Slings

A runner who is not allowed to run is a miserable beast. So the prospect of having a shoulder op in August is worrying me. Obviously the first question I asked was how soon until I can run. Two months! The man is utterly mad. This 8 weeks has now been whittled down in my mind to 4 weeks – he must have meant two fortnights.

But 4 weeks is still way too long doing nothing. You can walk, he said. Ha! The poor deluded man was probably imagining a gentle stroll around the block. I have started practicing hiking with a trekking pole in my left hand and my right arm in a sling. I took the dogs for their walk just now like this and it is entirely possible. The mountains are waiting!



Time Trial

How fabulous is that? I don’t know why my TomTom is suddenly talking in miles – maybe it thinks it’s in the UK.

Our last time trial over the same route was 36 minutes. I must be realistic though – that one was run in MINUS 3 degrees and this time it was positively balmy, 5 degrees on the plus side I believe. Being able to feel one’s feet does make a difference!

Many thanks to Mel, my racing snake friend, for pushing me!