Run the Berg Training – August

On the 28th to 29th September 2019, I will be taking part in an epic adventure, Runtheberg – a 2-stage trail race in the Drakensberg Mountains in South Africa. I’ve chosen the Challenge Race which is +-15km per day with a net ascent of approx. 1,140 metres. To learn more about why I’ve chosen this race and how my training has been since June, have a look at this previous post.

My Training

Coach Nicola had me running about 4 times a week. As in June and July, there were varied runs on the schedule including Easy Runs, Tempo Runs, Out and Back Pace Work as well as some running strength training (speed work interspersed with strength exercises). Hill repeats were also on the menu and on our 11th wedding anniversary, we drove out to Mokolodi and did 11 hill repeats (30 second uphill sprints) to celebrate! I know, madness 🙂

I also did some specific downhill training to work on my quads. The downhill training was new to me and I found it a lot scarier than uphill work. But I survived and also came out of the session with greater awareness of where to space and place my feet when going downhill. My coordination seemed to improve with each downhill interval. Long runs have also formed part of the weekly schedule, with my longest run being 18km. Most of my runs were alone but some friends joined in for some of the long runs too, which always makes such a nice change.

Alongside running, I’ve done strength training at home working on my mobility, flexibility and general movement as well as specific work targeting my legs, glutes and arms. I’ve had a few pilates sessions and also managed a hike up Kgale Hill, taking the harder route up which involved a bit of clambering and being on all fours!


On the 10th of August, my friends were visiting for the weekend, and I signed all our kids up for a mountain biking event! They had such a fabulous time! All kids were really strong and best of all they had so much fun earning those medals.

Losing My Mum

There is no easy way for me to say this. In June, my mum was diagnosed with Uterine Cancer. She spent 9.5 weeks in hospital and put up the bravest fight against this dreaded disease. At every hospital visit, I watched first hand what true strength and courage looks like. But on the 24th August she passed away with my sister and I by her side. Her funeral was on the 31st August – a beautiful ceremony for an amazing person. My mum and I had an extremely close relationship and I feel so short-changed that her life ended so abruptly. She had no interest in running, and yet she was my biggest, most loyal follower, reading each and every one of my posts and often babysitting my kids so I could get a run done. I am broken and getting up every morning is a struggle. There are really no words to describe this pain. Running is helping – it allows me to process my feelings and gain some clarity without crying. It affords me some release from the heaviness I feel during the day.

Life has forever changed but I know I will get through this. I will never forget I am my mother’s daughter and that means I too am strong.

[Run The Berg Training August: 106.8km| Berg Cycle:  322 km| 2019 Mileage: 874.66 km]

What’s New on the Blog?

I’m joining two fabulous runners, Kim from Running on the Fly and Deborah from Confessions from a Mother Runner for their link up the “Weekly Run Down”. 

18 thoughts on “Run the Berg Training – August

  1. Running really is the best therapy. I’ve worked out a lot of pain on the road. I’m so sorry about your mom. I’m glad that you’re able to keep moving forward. Sounds like she was a wonderful woman–she raised you to be equally as wonderful! ❤


  2. I was so sorry to hear about the passing of your mum 😦 I can’t imagine how difficult this has been for you, but know that you now have an amazing angel looking over you for all of your runs.


  3. So sorry for the loss of your mother. You said it well…”I am my mother’s daughter and that means I too am strong.” What a beautiful tribute 😉 You certainly have become quite a strong runner…I know your mum had to be so proud of all you’ve accomplished.


  4. Shathiso, big, big hugs. I am so sorry for your loss. I can’t even imagine losing my mom, despite the fact I know that that will happen, sooner rather than later because she is 91. I am very glad you were all able to be together at the end, that has to be just the tiniest bit of comfort for you.

    On a happier note, congrats on that hike! I have done some hiking, but never had to scramble up & over boulders like that — well done!

    Good luck on your trail adventure. Look how far you have come!


  5. Shathiso, I am so sorry for the loss of your mom. I am glad you and your sister were able to be there for her at the end of her life. I am glad that you have running to help you process your grief.

    Good luck on Run the Berg. It does sound like quite an adventure! Hill repeats to celebrate your anniversary? Sounds perfect! 🙂


  6. I am so sorry for your loss. I’m glad you have been able to find some comfort in your running.

    It looks like your training has been going well! The downhill training sounds interesting.


  7. Shathiso, I am so sorry to read about your mom. It sounds like she was a wonderful person. Sending hugs your way! It is so difficult to lose a parent and after my father died rather suddenly and unexpectedly, I found solace in running. Like your mom, he was once of my biggest fans and loved hearing all about my races.


  8. I am so sorry about your mom. I can tell you had a close relationship, and it shows in what a great mother you are too. Your running has been amazing. I haven’t done a serious rock clambering hike in ages!


  9. What a beautiful photo of the two of you. I’m so sorry for your loss, and I hadn’t realized it was such a quick development when you posted on Facebook
    On a less serious note, love your purple and pink tights. We are kindred spirits


  10. You’re preparing for your race so well – doing race-specific training as well as all-round training, and the wedding anniversary session was a hoot. Lovely couple that you are.

    I was so sorry to read of your mum’s passing and also, as Cari said, hadn’t realised what a rapid process this was. Much love and strength to you. We have lost our very much-loved pet cat this week and I cannot begin to imagine the depth of grief you will be going through even with that smaller example right in our lives. I love that you were so close and have such good memories, and obviously beautiful photographs.

    Love and strength to you in your race prep – I know you can do this and will feel so good and proud when you have. I will be thinking of you at the weekend.


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