Tag: trail

A New Year, A New Fitness Challenge

The year is starting off with a bang.  I really feel this is the year to get my A into G, and get strong, fit and healthy.  Working such great hours (07:00-15:00) means I have quite a bit of extra time on my hands which I plan on devoting to my health.

In February, I’ll be running the KFC Randburg Harriers 10km Valentine’s Race.  I’ve never run it before but a couple of people have told me it’s a very hilly race.  This is something I really need to get my head around and work on – I loathe hills, so I reckon it will be good practice.

In March, I’ll be competing in the IMPI challenge – this consists of a 12km run with 18 obstacles in between.  Hard work.  I don’t have a lot of muscular strength, so I definitely need to train for that.  On top of this, I have never run more than 10km, so I’m going to have to start running longer distances to get ready.

In April, I am hoping to be running the Two Oceans Half Marathon (21km).  There are so many entries for this race, that they have entered all the entries into a draw.  Fingers crossed I get selected in the draw – I think this would be an incredible race to run, despite the big distance.  If I don’t get into the Two Oceans, then I’m going to consider doing the Knysna Forest run which is also a 21km.

In order to get ready for these races, I’ve drafted another training schedule which gradually sees us increasing our running distance.  On top of that, though, I have included weight training at the gym, in order to build strength and burn fat more than running does.

I must remember to buy some trail shoes for IMPI – somehow, I don’t think my roadrunners will hold up for that.  It’s going to be a lot of work, but I’m excited.  I also like drafting these training schedules because it ensures I stay committed and stick to the plan.   Another new challenge for me is to train without music – more and more races stipulate that you can’t use earphones during the run, and this is usually something I rely on to keep me going.

At the end of the day, I just have to buckle down and just run.

justrun

Halloween Trail Run

Last night, Ross, Lanz and myself took part in the Mag-Lite Halloween 8.5km Night Trail Run (hosted by Ilumin8 events).

While we’re training for our 10km, we knew it’d be a good idea to vary our training and move away from the regular road running and try out a trail or two.  Last weekend, we took part in the Delta Run which sucked didn’t go quite as planned.

It was with massive hesitation that we entered this Halloween run. We didn’t dress up (apart from having a spider on our headlamps), which we immediately regretted because we found most people went all out on their costumes.

Fearing for our lives..
Fearing for our lives..

Overall, it was pretty difficult.  There were massive inclines and declines.  One or two declines were extremely steep where I very nearly saw my ass.

I think I did a decent time – an hour and 6 minutes.  I was super happy, because my knee didn’t give me any problems.  I got stuck behind a couple for about a km or so – walking side by side and holding hands while she giggled, and kept saying, “Does my bum look big!? Don’t look at my bum when I walk baby! Heeheehee.” Cue death stares from Andy.

Once I got past them, I was much happier and managed to finish, despite being completely exhausted.  I also was genuinely concerned that I was lost once or twice, because as the crowds dispersed, I found myself in pitch black forest ALL ALONE.  Plus, I knew there was a guy running around wearing a ‘Scream’ mask.  That may have made me run faster.

Have a look at the ridiculousness that was the route last night:

Are You Freaking Kidding Me!?
Are You Freaking Kidding Me!?

 

Delta Park Run

This weekend, I ran my first Delta Park Run with Ross and Lanz.  The ‘Park Run‘ takes place in a number of countries.  The Delta Park run is a weekly 5km Saturday run at 08:00 with a decent-sized group of people – 357 people ran it this week.  Due to it being in a park, it can be considered more of a trail run than anything else.

As part of my training for the Sportman’s Warehouse 10km, I thought it’d be a good idea to try something a little bit different to make sure I’m race ready in November.

The start of the run was fun, with a beautiful downhill – the best – and an awesome vibe.  Cute dogs running around.  Shirtless men running with dogs.  Great scenery in general. ;)

However, a little way into the run, we came to a massive uphill that was RIDICULOUS.  I am not good at running uphill, tried for a while and eventually had to walk the majority of it.  This automatically made me feel like a failure because I hate having to walk – if I don’t run the entire way, it feels like I haven’t accomplished what I set out to.  After that uphill, it wasn’t too bad but that’s when the knee started acting up and my ITBS made an unwelcome appearance, meaning I had to walk the rest of the way to avoid doing further damage, on the advice of my bio.

I think it’s the fact that I was running on an uneven, different surface and was needing to jump around – this meant that my muscles, which are already pretty weak, struggled to stabilize me, and this once again caused my ITB to over-compensate.

So, I left the run feeling disillusioned, sad, useless.  I’ll be back at it again soon but I am really hard on myself with these things.  I think I have a love-hate relationship with running – when it goes well, it feels like the greatest exercise in the world but other times I will hate it with all my heart and soul.

I will definitely try the Park Run again, especially once my quads, glutes and hamstrings are stronger and then I’ll be able to better navigate the route and hopefully complete it without walking.  If you want to try the Park Run, check out www.parkrun.co.za for a list of areas, and how it works.  If you’re with Discovery, you get 500 points for participating – BONUS.  They are also always looking for volunteers, if you’re not into the running side of things.