|The man-made beauty of Century City|
An up-down-up three weeks have passed and as I head towards my qualifying marathon this coming weekend, and the crunch time training period leading up to 2 Oceans, I am in a position where I have no idea what to expect. My goal for the year was to enter every race feeling adequately prepared. Whilst I have had a tough time so far with injuries and sickness, I still think I have done more training than I had last year, or at least better quality training so hopefully I will be fine.
A decent week as I did my last runs in Century City and for the first time, started to feel some pace in my legs since the ankle injury.
Mon 17.02 – Run Century City
A good start to the week with an early morning jog on a shortened Century City route.
Tues 18.02 – CrossFit
Wed 19.02 – Run Century City
A good run for, what I didn’t know at the time, would be my last run in Century City. This place has been fun to run in, mainly because there are no cars to battle. The scenery is nice in a man-made sense but I need some hills man…the mountains are calling and I must go. I put on a decent pace and was happy to average under 5min/km for the first time in weeks.
Thurs 20.02 – Rest
Fri 21.02 – Rest
Sat 22.02 – Run – Chappies (nearly died twice)
|The lead Argus riders|
We were fortunate enough to house-sit for the Leo Pride in Noordhoek for the weekend and I was pumped all week for a run on possibly the most beautiful road in the universe, Chapman’s Peak. I had not been back to the Peak since 2 Oceans last year when I felt quite comfortable on the way up but really struggled on the way down so it would be interesting to gauge my current fitness levels and my hill strength after mainly running on flats so far this year. My limbs were aching when I woke up but I put it down to the 2 glasses of red wine and not sleeping much the night before due to excitement of the pending jog.
I felt really good on the way up despite running in the gutter the whole way, this due to every bicyclist in the world also deciding to come to Chappies this morning. It was during this run that I came to the conclusion that not all bicyclists are idiots…only 1 third of them. I have generally been of the opinion that cars hate pedestrians, pedestrians hate cars but both cars and pedestrians hate bicyclists. This is not entirely accurate however as after experiencing wave after wave of bicycling schools bolting past me, I was able to determine that the proportion of those pedaling on the road can be split as follows:
- 1 third are genuine sportsmen who have been doing this for years, they follow the rules of the road, greet when you ride past, maintain 1.5m from pedestrians and cars and are generally there because they are somewhat competitive – if you put these people in cars, they would be the ones keeping to the speed limit and not drinking more than 2 beers when driving;
- Another third are made up of complete novices doing Argus for the first time, you can spot them as they are usually wearing baggy shorts instead of tights and sit bolt upright on their bikes, they are more hesitant on the road and prefer to keep looking straight ahead, best to keep out of there way and let them do their thing – if these were car drivers they would have a massive ‘L’ on their back windscreen;
- The last third are made up of the full-on weekend warriors, these guys only cycle in groups of 7 or more, are usually wearing kit with a corporate logo on it and generally ride 3 abreast either to enable them to speak to their boychie alongside them, or on their cell phone (so that they can do important business), these guys are generally out of shape having picked up cycling at the age of 42 when they realized that years of pub-lunches give you heart problems (despite what people interpret Tim Noakes as saying), if you put them in a car they would be taxis and audi owners.
|The first chasers|
After making this analysis, I realized that this split is quite comparable to the split of drivers on the road which made me realize that the problem is not with the drivers or with the bicyclists, it is with the people in general. Bad drivers make bad cyclists and so, until South Africans change their poor driving habits there will continue to be accidents and conflict between cars and bicycles. Anyway, it was this last third that was causing me to run in the gutter because, despite the fact that I was running on the yellow line where they can’t ride without getting a puncture, they still needed more space.
I made it up and over Chappies with no problem but on the way back I started struggling. I had a similar feeling as my first marathon in Knysna where my pre-race meal of Oysters, Tobasco and contaminated water did not agree with me. I felt weak and completely lost my appetite and couldn't take in fuel so I had to run/walk the last 5km. I thought of phoning to get picked up but then my stubbornity kicked in and I thought, I can’t DNF a training run! What if this happens when I do my 100-miler one day? I made it home and then spent the rest of the weekend either on the couch or in the bathroom…the stomach bug had returned.
|The Peloton madness|
Sun 23.02 – Stomach bug induced rest
Mon 24.02 – Sat 01.03
This week I was down with the stomach bug for the first half of the week and then the second half of the week was too busy packing up our flat as we prepped for our move. We were finally all moved in by Sunday and I headed out for my first run in Hout Bay.
Sun 02.03 – Run Hout Bay
A short little jog around the block in the rain. I had so much fun and realized that I actually way prefer running in cold weather.
My biggest mileage week of the year so far and it felt great.
|Some of the crew going all out in 14.1|
Mon 03.03 – CrossFit – 14.1
On a whim I decided to enter the CrossFit open. Workouts get released every Thursday night and we have until Monday night to submit our scores. It is a big deal for me as I don’t often do the workouts on the recommended weights i.e. I usually scale them down. My goal for this is really just to attempt each workout. This workout was not too bad, being ground to overheads on a light weight interspersed with double unders. I went at a decent pace the first 5 min but then my shoulders were finished after that. Most interesting was how much I struggled with high-intensity work which shows how much I need to do more interval training. I was really proud of the other TAGG athletes who all put in really good scores.
14.1 – 10 min AMRAP
30 Double unders
15 Ground to overhead of 34kg
My score -147
My position - T1010/1471 = 68.66%
|TAGG leaderboard after Week 1|
Tues 04.03 – Run – Hout Bay to TAGG
A good morning run, although I will remember to take the headlamp next time. The distance from our new place to gym is perfect for mid-week morning jog.
Wed 05.03 – Run – Hout Bay
|Hout Bay sun welcoming us to the hood|
I worked out a nice little route around the block then up Chappies as far as the toll booth and back again. Unfortunately my phone GPS didn’t work so I realized I would have to do it again the next day to get the distance.
Thurs 06.03 – Run – Hout Bay
Same route as the day before and although I picked up the mileage this week, the legs felt strong.
Fri 07.03 - Rest
Sat 08.03 – Run – Long slow distance
With a week to go to my qualifying marathon I needed to get over 30km, if anything just for confidence. I left home and went over Suikerbossie past Llandudno. After dodging 3 million bicyclists I took a right up Camps Bay drive which I discovered is seriously long. Then to Signal Hill and back and down Kloof Nek. I developed quite a bad stitch on the downhill which I am hoping was just because I am not used to running with a backpack and is not a sign of a stitch habit. After going through Bantry Bay and down to Sea Point pool I made it back to TAGG. It was a good morning out, not particularly fast but I felt I could go further which means I should finish next week.
Sun 09.03 – Rest
After watching the lead Argus guys coming through (and taking those pics above where I was ranting about bicyclists) we headed out to the winelands to taste their juice. Probably not the best pre-race nutrition but definitely good for the soul.
In other news, the mileage covered over this period means I have passed over 250km for the year so far so I am an 8th of the way to my goal (although I am already almost a quarter way through the year) and I have hit the 24 hours mark so I have spent over a day running this year so far.