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Archive for the category “Random Thoughts”

I Love My Altras!

I bought a pair of Altra Intuition Zero Drop shoes. They are the best running shoe I have run in because the toe box is wide and my toes can finally move the way they’re supposed to! My other shoes gave me callouses on my big toe, my feet are just too wide at the toe for Sauconys. I have had my Altras for about a week now and have done three runs in them, I am definitely going to get another pair soon.

Having the correct fitting pair of shoes is a must. We all run differently, different styles, need different amounts of cushioning, do different runs, have different feet. One thing I have always noticed though is that womens running shoes tend to be narrower than my feet at the toe end. I don’t have wide feet, just they go wider at the toes, and so when I am moving they splay out even more. That probably conjures up a really funny picture right now, I am sure!

My question is to all you women runners out there, do you have the same problem? Or is it just me? Hahahaha

Have an awesome running week whatever your plans ūüôā


Happy New Year!


As 2013 draws to a close I have to reflect on a very busy and at times stressful year. But I got through it, and kept on running no matter what happened….spider bites, moving cities……I am ready for whatever the New Year brings me.

So to everybody out there, here’s to a fantastic 2014!

“May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been, the foresight to know where you are going, and the insight to know when you have gone too far.”

See you next year ūüôā

Back from the ……

No I have not disappeared or expired but have rather been suffering from a severe case of the can’t-be-arsed bug. I just realised the last time I sat down to write anything about running was on the 6 November! That was eons ago! Apologies to everyone, or the few that do follow my ramblings, and I guess sometimes this happens. So onward and upward!

It has been an interesting time during my silence and many things have happened along the way. There is too much to put down all in one go, so I am going to do it in installments. I think it will be easier this way otherwise the story will get too convoluted and confused and muddled…..

When last I left off I had just finished the Auckland Half marathon and was wallowing in the self-pity of a race not so well run. I blamed my head at the time, but after some reflection and once I had gotten over the blues, I realised it was actually bad race fuelling that did it. I had woken up at some ridiculous hour in order to catch the ferry, so breakfast was consumed at about 4.30am. Then I didn’t eat again….WHAT WAS I THINKING!!!! In all the years I have been running in events I have made sure that I fuelled properly both before and during the race. This time I did neither, where was my brain at? So really it was my head that did me in, just not the way I thought.

It has taught me a lesson though, don’t try and be smart when it comes to race day. Always follow what works, the race day is not the time to try ANYTHING new! Including the way you run…..but that is another story……

Updates On A Grumpy Hamstring

On Thursday last week I had physio and acupuncture on my leg. I left the clinic all strapped up and ready to rest. “No running until I see you again on Tuesday” said the physio….It’s Tuesday…..I have been for two runs!

Now those runners out there, this is typical isn’t it? We just can’t sit still. With the Auckland Half marathon looming on Sunday, I had to prove I would be okay to run. maybe I would forget how to in a week, maybe my legs would stop working? Why do we do this? What craziness drives us? Granted I did take it very easy, and walked/jogged the first run, then a slow jog with lots of stretching for the second one. I then spent Labour Weekend helping to move 2403 cobbles stones in and out of a trailer. Now my other leg is grumpy because my glute is grumpy.

Today when I go for my follow up treatment, am I going to fess up as to what I have been up to? Or am I going to keep my mouth shut and pretend that I was very well behaved?


Moving, Moved….Back On Track

Why does moving cause such an upheaval in ones daily habits? Finally I get fingers to keyboard to get my thoughts and adventures recorded once more. It’s not that I haven’t thought of things to blog about, or not had the intention to do it, it just hasn’t been happening. I guess there’s a few reasons for this:

  • We moved cities
  • I got a dreadful job (I am no longer there)
  • I got out of the habit while unpacking and trying to make everything fit into our new home (I still haven’t finished)
  • All these things made me really tired, well actually exhausted!

They say that moving is one of the biggest stressors, and I have moved quite a lot. Each time I tell myself it will be okay and each time I end up getting exhausted. Lessons learnt.

Today I shall be short and sweet with where I am with my running at this stage:

  • I managed to get an Auckland Half Marathon entry off Trade Me. It is perfect as it has the right size T-shirt and a ferry ticket included. All for a great price.
  • Training has been going well, until yesterday….I pulled my hamstring doing hill repeats! Today I go to the physio, let’s see what they say. I did the RICE protocol yesterday and it feels a lot better today. I can’t see any bruising and there’s no sharp pain so fingers crossed!

I guess that’s it for now. I am back on the blogging horse ūüôā


Trying Not To Grump

It’s one of those autumn days when the¬†weather¬†changes about 52 times in an hour – sun, grey, rain, sun, grey, rain etc etc. I don’t do well with the grey bit, so the whole day I have been feeling happy, feeling grey, feeling happy, feeling grey, until I nearly drove myself silly! So I decided to do something positive, I cleared out my old financial/tax records prior to seven years ago. Doing this made me feel quite light, whether it was the activity of sorting through stuff and physically tearing papers to shreds, or just the fact that I was getting rid of things. Throwing out stuff always makes me feel lighter.

I did go for my training run this morning, 11km with 6km at marathon pace. The sun was out for most of my run and it made me feel energised, as doing some physical activity, especially in the sun, always does. But I find that for whatever reason, the¬†feeling¬†is not very long lived if the day is grey, and I soon find myself feeling grey and grumping about the place. Perhaps it’s because I am originally from Africa where it is warmer and sunnier for more of the year. I can remember having these feelings during winter over there, but that grey part of winter was never very long.

I guess in the cavemen times, people naturally slowed down and did less in the colder months, and these days we are expected to carry on regardless. Perhaps that’s why the medical world has coined all these new¬†ailments, like SAD. Perhaps we are not SAD but just in tune with the seasons and having an inner conflict with what is expected of us in this modern world. It leaves me wondering if I should slow down in the colder seasons, rest more and let my body¬†rejuvenate¬†for the spring. But that would mean no long races during winter or spring as I wouldn’t be able to put in the training needed to accomplish those goals. This year I have committed to the GC Marathon in July, so I shall soldier on, but perhaps next year, just perhaps, I may schedule my running training a little differently.


Share Nicely Please

Today I went for my final hill run in this training schedule. From next week I will be doing hill repeats and ten km repeats as well as some Yasso 800s. I am looking forward to not doing the long hill runs…..they¬†tire¬†me out. I got back today, ate something and gradually felt sleepier and¬†sleepier¬†as the day went on. I did push it a bit though, as last week I seemed to have run really slowly, and I need to up the ante for the race. Anyway, I digress….

While I was out for my run I came across a woman walking her dogs. Now I have to give you some background to my reaction so you can understand where I am coming from and why. Across the road from us lives a family who owns two schnauzer dogs. They look like this:



Our neighbours ones are very badly behaved, they howl, bark, chase you in the street, wander around and crap everywhere, chase my cats on our property,they are¬†generally¬†a nuisance. We have repeatedly rung the council to complain about them, letters have been sent, warnings¬†issued, owners physically spoken to…..none of which has worked very well. We have given up and I have vowed to drop kick either of them if they come near me or my cats again. Now don’t get me wrong, I actually like dogs, but these dogs are different.

While out running I have often come across people walking these schnauzer dogs. I have noticed three things about them.¬†Firstly¬† they always seem to come in pairs. Secondly, one of them always seem to make a rush at you. Thirdly, the owners often seem to like walking them without a lead. And so we get to today….the lady in question had two schnauzers off leads, one of which made a dash at me while I was running past. I passed her twice, so it happened twice. I did not hear her call to her dogs, I did not hear her apologise for their behaviour, I did not see any leads. I have a real problem with all of this.

I am on a public walking path, council bylaws say a dog should be under control in public. This is not under control. When a dog rushes at you, you have no idea if it is about to take a chunk out of your ankle or if it is merely being nosy. The owner may know, but you do not. What on earth goes through their brains to not even call their dog to heel when their are other people about. Or put it on a lead if it has self control issues? I did not get bitten thank goodness, but I did nearly trip over the dog twice, and shouted some choice expletives over my shoulder at the owner, which felt quite good.

I really think dog owners should think a little about sharing of the pathways….we do not want your dog rushing up to us, we do not want to be tripping over a lead 5 kilometers long. Keep your dog under control please…oh! And yes! Pick up after it!


Oh wow! If you ever think you’ve got it hard as a runner have a read of this! What an amazing young woman! To rise above where she is and accomplish what she does….what an¬†inspiration!

Irene van Niekerk is a 15-year-old runner who lives in a squatter camp near Pretoria, South Africa. She has won, in total, 27 gold medals, but owns no shoes.

Irene van Niekerk is a 15-year-old runner who lives in a squatter camp near Pretoria, South Africa. She has won, in total, 27 gold medals, but owns no shoes.

You can read about her story here.

Listen to your Body

Sometimes your running is not about running at all, sometimes it is a reflection of what is going on in your life.

I have just had a chat with a friend who has helped me clear up something that has been weighing me down. You see, today while I went for my run I felt heavy. I felt like I plodded, lifting my legs was hard, I felt about 10 kilos heavier than normal. It was supposed to be a short 6km easy run and when I looked at my time I was not the slowest I have been, but it felt really slow. In a nutshell, it felt laborious.

In our discussion it became clear to me that I am far too rooted in my space to allow myself to move on, and this is what I need to be doing. The interesting thing is that this rootedness stems from feeling extremely unsettled having had no clear direction for a very long time. The reasons for this are not important, what is important is that sometimes a run can reflect what is going on for you at the time, and I have been feeling heavy for quite a while, I just haven’t been listening.

So the message here is listen to your body, it is far more intuitive than you may think, and often the things you are feeling are not physical, but mental and emotional.


A Sad Day

My heart and thoughts go out to those affected by the bombings at the Boston Marathon. To those who lives were lost, to those who were injured and to their family and friends.

Today when I heard the news about the explosions going off at the Boston Marathon finish line, I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach. Even though this is not the first time a sporting event has been targeted, I think it hit me harder because I am also a runner. And even though I don’t know anyone personally who has been affected by this day, it feels as if I do, for we are all running family.

You see it when you are out on the road, random strangers waving hello, or grunting “Good Morning” in between puffing along. Sure, there are some who don’t acknowledge you directly, but I always think “there’s another runner” with some sense of satisfaction, and I like to think they are thinking the same thing. So when something happens to one of my “family” it hurts, and today I hurt.

It brings home the message that you need to enjoy your life, do what makes you happy, have fun, hug someone every day, be grateful for the things you have, smile at strangers, and above all don’t let other people rule your life, no matter who or what they are.

So to all the other runners out there…keep strong and keep running.


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