Tag Archives: ultra trail

Dear Coach #8 & #9

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Running through the krantzes – beautiful aloes….

Dear Coach,

The last two weeks have flown by. First was the week in Kruger which was fabulous – we even managed to clock up 36 kays around various campsites and then a 20km trail in the Umgeni River valley on the way home. That was week 8 done.

Week 9 was all pretty chilled until the 35 km LSD reared its ugly head this morning. I think we chose the hardest piece of trail in East Griqualand to do it on and there were times (many of them) where if the Old Goat hadn’t been dragging me along I would gladly have lain down and waited for the vultures. We saw a black eagle circling around us as we climbed the krantzes on our way home, but he didn’t seem interested in a stringy old trail runner.

Please check out my Strava screenshot – elevation of 1186 metres, hectic I’d say. Also I was quite chuffed with my overall pace as climbing those mountains I felt like I was taking 20 minutes per kay. I switched off the pace on my watch in case I slit my wrists with a piece of rock.

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Our LSD next weekend is 50km on trail and I will check in with you after that Coach – if I live through it, that is. But now it is wine time and I am absolutely convinced that vitamin W (a lesser known anti-inflammatory contained in a good bottle of red) is the only way to recover from such a huge run. Later ‘gator.



Dear Coach #6

ultra 1

Dear Coach,

The proverbial pooh has hit the fan and my 10 percent build up rule is long out of the window. We booked an eight day trip to Kruger Park ages ago not realising it was slap bang in the middle of a serious build up of kilometres for the Karkloof 50-miler.

Not much running can be done in the Park unless the lions are feeling particularly sluggish which only leaves six more weekends for us to get our ultra on. This has resulted in me going from a 32 km week to a 78 km week – so much for build up rules. In the last three days I have racked up 52 km and Brufen has suddenly become my best friend. And lots of yoga stretching.

I am learning lots of stuff though (apart from the delights of Brufen and yoga). I have learnt that the biggest factor when doing the long stuff is to stay comfortable (relatively speaking of course) – this entails keeping the heart rate down by walking whenever I need to so that I feel like I could trot along for days. Slow, steady and strong is my new mantra.

Chow for now Coach – will let you know if I survive the full 78 km in my report back next week.


Time to Focus….Again!


I haven’t blogged for 3 months now. So many reasons.


My year has two seasons – long distance running from December to May and short distance running from June to November. I love training for ultras in our beautiful neck of the woods but this year I kind of lost focus. I did two full marathons which weren’t too bad for an old tortoise with dodgy lungs and an even dodgier brain – a 5:27 and 5:36. I then entered a 48 km on 01 May – total debacle. There was an ambulance stalking me – enough said.


Then on top of a sore lower back from said ridiculous 48 km I got a cold which quickly attacked said dodgy lungs and turned into bronchitis. Two weeks off, half of it battling to breathe, was just what I needed to appreciate that I am a) lucky to be alive and b) still capable of forward motion. So no more feeling sorry for myself and eyeing less hectic pursuits like bridge or crocheting.


Okay, so it’s goodbye to long distance season – oh, not so fast. In a moment of complete madness at the very beginning of this year I entered a 50-miler on trail, with HILLS. And from Monday 28th May I have 15 weeks to build up to 75 kays per week, some of it on trail and some of it IN THE DARK. What a crazy moment of madness that was. Luckily we have 18 hours to complete the beast which I’m hoping allows for minor meltdowns, small naps in the grass, the slaying of small night creatures etc etc. I wonder if I have time to train Oscar The Brave to run alongside me with a brandy cask around his neck?


Onwards and Upwards!