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.
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]
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