Sunday means long, slow distance, or LSD for those that want to sound racy. We parked right on top of the Swartmodder Pass, ran down 7 to 8 km and then back up, and up and up…..Guess who did only 7 km *lol*. I was lured by the thought of Chocolate Brownies (Banting-friendly of course) with cream and cappuccino at the top. And it worked!
Swartmodder is the training ground of Ninjas. I’m not sure if I actually belong with said Ninjas but it’s beautiful up there and I’ll be hanging around for a while to come!
The Golden Oldies of Tlokoa Athletic Club are going hardcore. No more getting up early to beat the heat – we run in the heat. Fifteen kilometres LSD done and dusted, hopefully the start of a journey leading up to Maritzburg Marathon on 26th February next year.
We even carry our own water, please note!
Ysterbok was also spotted on the road – topless in fact, but just a glimpse in the distance. He reckons he will be our bus driver at the marathon but I reckon he is just way too bossy! We’ll see. The important thing is to enter this beast while I’m still high on endorphins!
The long Sunday run is traditionally a chilled affair. It’s done at conversational pace and it’s all about time on the feet. This morning we took “chilled” to a whole new level – it was all about time in the frost and wiping ice off our eyelids!
At 9:00 am it was still minus 7 degrees centigrade! There are certain rites of passage that runners need to go through before being elevated to the ranks of hardcore. One of them has to do with ablution in the open veld (I will refrain from any more detail here) and the other is running in sub-zero temperatures such that you cannot feel your own arse!
When we got back from our long run this morning it appeared that someone had eaten a fresh head of broccoli on our bed. I’m not mentioning any names or pointing fingers, but nor am I posting the attached picture for nothing!
The question is why would a dog walk all the way round to the veggie garden in the freezing cold to pluck a fresh head of broccoli when we have countless shoes and other delectable objects lying around the house? Has he decided to “eat clean and train mean”? Is he taking rest and recovery to a new level? Apparently broccoli is full of antioxidants and other fabulous stuff that keeps the bod running smoothly, but who would have thought that this particular snippet of information would matter to said dog?
Anyway, I digress. Our qualifying marathon is peeping over the horizon – only 14 weeks to become lean, mean and fast – so we now need to take the Sunday long run seriously. This weekend though it was touch and go whether we would be able to run outside at all. Relentless rain, sleet and even some snow made doing 2 hours and 45 minutes on the treadmill a very real possibility. I spent days stressing about how I would prevent madness taking hold. This morning, though, the weather gods and the running gods conspired to give us a long road run and, even though the head wind was freezing and locating my toes was difficult, I was just so grateful that I wasn’t on the treadmill for what to me is an obscene amount of time.
There is nothing nicer than 3 hours on the road when you have all day to do it in, someone to do it with and beautiful, quiet country roads to do it on. No alarms set so that the kilometres can be squeezed into a busy day. Plenty of time to stop and get the camera out or just to listen to the fish eagle on the dam. This is running at it’s best.
When I start whining about our lack of races (the nearest would be a 6 hour round trip) or our lack of active running clubs, I only need put on my running shoes, grab my camera and go out and see what a lucky runner I am.
What’s more, I do think that running on dirt roads is more difficult than it is on tar – and then there’s the extra weight of the CamelBak. It can only make me tougher. I hope so – it’s the Mandela Marathon in two weeks time – an uphill slog by all accounts!