Tag Archives: long slow distance

Ninja Pants


Look what I found in my wardrobe – my daughter’s Comrades pants! Without further ado I popped them on for my long run this morning. Surely they will give me the same Ninja properties that said daughter displays year after year? I did feel amazingly strong, imagining my feet flying over that iconic route but my TomTom is really a cruel beast with no imagination at all:

So I’m still a tortoise, but maybe a Ninja Tortoise. The Ninja Tortoise is closely related to the Ninja Turtle and, if you happen to be a child of the Eighties, you will know that a Ninja Turtle is really, really cool! Run on Ninja Tortoise!




Banting Belly

As they say in the classics, the only good belly is a pork belly. Well,  maybe not in the classics, but it is the truth. And that pork belly should be roasted with crispy crackling and accompanied by broccoli and a creamy cheese sauce. That was my breakfast after my 14.6 kilometres on the country roads this morning.

Pace is getting better at more or less the same heart rate – *happy dance*

There are no laws against non-breakfast foods for breakfast. And that is what makes Banting such an easy lifestyle. Cook a little more than you need in the evening and breakfast/brunch the next day is sorted. Busy evening? Just have eggs and bacon, or a cheese omelette. Mix and match – as long as you stick to the basics – meat( preferably with fat on), veggies, eggs, butter and a little cream and cheese to zhuzh up the veg. These foods are nutrient dense so you don’t need a huge heap – a small plateful will keep you full for hours.

Banting is not taking out a second mortgage so that you can buy almond flour to make cakes and cookies or bread rolls. We don’t need those foods and, if you are trying to lose weight, then replacing them with “Banting” versions will stall your efforts. Banting is really just eating real food when you are hungry and not eating if you are not hungry.

Running-wise I reckon it is the only way to eat. Recovery from hard workouts is much quicker and, once you are a fat-burning beast, you can go for hours and hours in a fasted state – no nausea-inducing sugary gels and drinks required. I speak as one that competes in the tortoise category – if you prefer to be a bit more high-performance, then take a look at the Phat Bombs on this link. Phat Bombs are half the price of a gel and the effect lasts twice as long on the road – a bargain.


Breakfast on Swartmodder

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

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!


Chilled Sunday Run


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!

Broccoli, snow and long runs…


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.


Country Runs


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!