Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Babbas Eco Trail Run Report

Well my first Trail run race is something of the past and it was so much fun. Can't believe I haven't tried this before and only discovering it now.

From what I gathered from the fellow athletes is that it wasn't that technical but that is just fine for me, it was my first race. One thing I can say is there was a lot of mud and water which we had to run through.

The route was maid up of Jeep track, some single track, some very muddy sections and some river crossings. There was also a small section of tar road to get to the nature reserve and back to the venue.

I'm happy to have finished 3rd in the 40+ age group and 6th overall. The 40+ group had some pretty fast runners and I think also the biggest group of entrants. For my effort I got a 100 buck meal voucher at a restaurant, not bad.

One thing I've noticed from off road running is you can't really get into a rhythm from all the ducking and diving and your hamstrings work much harder from kicking up loose ground. I'm also glad I took my new shoes for a test run and tightened the laces otherwise I would have lost them while running through all the mud.

My finish time was 1h11:44 for the 17.23km doing 4:09min/km, not bad for my first race since my knee opp and still building on those fitness levels.

I've convinced DJ last night to join me and she did great. She did the 5km trail run and finished in 35 minutes. Not bad for someone who's not doing any more running and Triathlon training and just concentrate on dance practise. When I asked her if she'll be back for the next race she said maybe but she's not a big fan of running through water and mud and said she will prefer a road race.DJ enjoying some hot chocolate after the race. The pictures above are from close to the start line, that was only the start and the further we ran the muddier it became.

Saw this plane next to the road not far from the venue and couldn't see a landing strip close by, wonder if someone took the wrong turn or what???
Went to a local clothing store yesterday to find me some sneakers and saw this. Maybe I should have used this today for my run, haha
On our way back home I had to stop in Pretoria to drop off my suit for alterations for the wedding and what I thought was going to me a quick one ended up taking so long. It is Freedom day today in South Africa and a public holiday.

Driving right into thousands of people getting together to celebrate meant only one thing, traffic jams and detours on what was suppose to be a day without traffic.

One last pic from our visit to the wedding venue this past weekend, DJ giving new meaning to the words, "Just keeping your head above the water" as she is standing between the swimming pool and the pond

Monday, April 25, 2011

Where the "Streets" have no names

Lately I've been taking on the off road challenge and must say I am having so much fun. This Wednesday, which is a public holiday in South Africa, I'll be doing my first ever Trail run race.

I've done a few off road Duathlons and Triathlons but never a Trail run. It is a 17km run and I am looking so forward to it. With no IM or HIM's in sight I might focus on some off road racing during the Winter instead of the usual.

Friday I did what was suppose to be a 1hr run but ended up doing 1h20. I did my run in the veld next to our neighbourhood and went through mud (due to the constant rain lately), some small river streams and some bush.

I also had to get used to my new off road running shoes. Some time ago I bought Salomon shoes but didn't like them and couldn't come right. Last week I bought a pair of Newton Trail shoes and after Friday's run I am so happy with them.

Think I've become to used to them and I must say the off road version is just as awesome as the road shoes I use.
The before and after pics, not that clean anymore

At first I was scared that my knee might start to give me hassles but it was just fine. One thing that surprised me was the hammering my ankles took, didn't know my ankles was that weak.

Some Lessons learned from Friday's run:

Take a camera along, you see so many amazing things and scenery.

Don't worry if your shoes get dirty, running through the next river stream will wash them clean.

Need to tighten my shoes better (left them behind on two occasions while running through the mud)

Don't be scared when you hear all these noises next to your feet while running through the veld where there's no path. Whatever it is may just be as scared and it only makes you run faster.

Sunday I had a two hour brick session and it was raining as I woke up and I just didn't have the power to do another indoor session so instead I took the Mountain bike and did the session off road.

No power meter data but it was so much fun. On more than one occasion I went through places which I never thought was possible if you take into account my mountain biking skills.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

SIU Season

Well, the Suck It Up (SIU) season is fast approaching and no matter what you do everything is so much harder in Winter.

We don't live in the most beautiful part of the country but during Winter it is even worse. The little green we have just die and turns grey, making all the Mine Dumps and factories even more horrible to look at.

With Winter comes the mist and boy did I have a challenging day or two driving the odd 100km to work. It wasn't much better coming home as we had a lot of rain this week.Also not nice if they move mining equipment during the time of the day when most people knock off from work.

Training wise it was also a real challenge this week either running in the rain or biking indoor. May sound funny but I rather run in the rain than do an indoor bike session. Those sessions are more demanding on the mind than on the body.

Well it is just one of those things and one must just SIU, as they say if it doesn't kill you, it will make you stronger.

Yesterday was my sister's kitchen tea and from what I hear it was quite nice. Less than three weeks now to the big day.
Got myself an IPad yesterday and before I could even get it probably set up and running, DJ has taken ownership of it. I can see a lot of arguments and negotiations coming between me and her.Also went to fetch my road bike and mountain bike yesterday morning as they were long overdue for some TLC. DJ decided to join me collecting them at CycleTech, almost a Two hour drive. With the cold weather and rain it wasn't long before I had one very silent passenger.

Training wise I am slowly making progress and even the scale is starting to point in the right direction. Said it in the previous post but going to repeat myself, one thing I am really happy about is my running and the progress I'm making.

Did just short of 40km running this week but what's more encouraging is I can now maintain a sub 5min/km pace much easier.

Funny thing but after my previous knee op, three years ago my running improved afterwards and I see the same thing happening now. Probably all in the mind but it feels definitely if I am running faster. Maybe just the forced break I had to take, giving my body and mind some rest and new motivation to improve.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wedding's around the corner

With less than four weeks to go to my sisters wedding things are really hectic around the house. Although I'm not directly involved in all the planning and doing of things, I can feel every bit of action/tension that goes with the wedding.

The wedding invitation was really special and something else. Instead of the normal invitation, they made a DVD inviting everyone and packaged it in a card with the details and some photos of them together.

I am really looking forward to it and it will be a special moment for me, standing in for my late Dad to walk my sister down the isle.

Training wise I am getting stronger by the day. I am so happy that my running is without any hick ups but at the same time I am so scared what might happen during a run session and the injury starts all over again. Guess that will always be in the back of my mind. But with that said I am finally feeling ready to start doing some races.

With Winter approaching fast and Triathlon season almost over it's now time to focus on some Duathlons and some Running and Cycling events. My "A" race for 2011, seeing that I didn't do any racing beginning of the year will be actually at the start of the 2011/2012 season.

Ironman 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship in Phuket on the 4th of December will be the race I build towards during 2011 and also be the start of my 2012 season. As I said before, the race will be a combination of DJ's birthday on the 25th of November and Kim's birthday on the 5th of December.

No complaints from them going to Phuket for their Birthdays and me doing an IM70.3 in between, everybody happy!

Before then I'll do a lot of short distance racing and throwing in some races just for the fun.

Racing schedule for the next month or two look something like this:

27 April: 17km Trail Run

29 May: Off road Duathlon

4 June: 175km one day stage bike road race

5 June: 40km Mountain bike race

Tuesday Training:

Run: 45min, 9.6km

Bike: 1hr, 32km (Did IM Lake Placid on Computrainer. Can't wait to do the full course on CT or maybe in real life. Feels like a really nice course)

Wednesday Training:

Gym session

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Take 2

Well, almost a month ago I said I'm getting back into blogging but sad to say that never happened

While I'm writing this I am watching IM South Africa online and I am sad and disappointed that I am not participating this year. The way I feel today I'm thinking why did I ever have the knee opp. immediately. Maybe I should have pushed through to have it after IMSA.

Maybe it's just the motivation I needed to watch from the sideline one year, just to appreciate the fact that making it to an IM is such a privilege, no matter what the finish time says.

Well, I think I've got my Mojo back as well as my speed. My last two running sessions felt great and although the heart rate is still very high, the speed is back(my speed).

Wednesday I did 10x2min fartleks and I could maintain a sub 3:30min/km pace on almost all the intervals and today I did 3x15minutes at sub 4:20 pace with 10 minute recoveries at 5min/km.

Glad to say I could keep the pace for all of the intervals but most importantly I didn't have the knee pain after running 1 hour plus.

Family wise it is going great and below are some picture of DJ during last week's dance competition at Sun City. It was a big event with over 1300 dancers competing.

She got a 2nd place in her age group in the couples section and a 3rd in Freestyle and a 5th in slow dance. Unfortunately in the small group section they didn't make the podium but got a 5th place with their African Soccer routine.

It was the first competition that the small group(7) participated in and their next event is on the 15th of May, hopefully after getting to know each other better and with lots of training they can improve on that. Rehearsal time before the main event

We stayed at this lodge and for once having the same name and surname as a famous TV presenter and singer in South Africa brought us some luck. Attached to the online booking printout at the lodge I saw an email from the booking agent saying that they must treat us with special care and look after us as I am a celebrity.

Asked DJ to show me one of those jumps of her at the end of the competition day when we got back to the lodge. Wish I could jump this high and be this flexible

Saw this banner outside the lodge but didn't have time to go and say hallo to Stoffel and Mathilda.Having some fun leaving the lodge

This statue was at the Spa entrance at the lodge, weird!

Sunrise as we drove out.

Now let's see if I can get back to my usual routine of blogging and training, only time will tell.