On The Run

Year of Running 2019

It’s so hard to believe that this is my final recap of 2019. I’ve already done a recap of the 12 races I ran this year. But to review the year, I’m going to use a similar format to last year where I answered a series of questions that captured various elements of my running year.

2019 – A Year of Consistency and Courage

  • I had a fantastic racing year, setting Personal Bests at 7 of my 12 races. But my best race experience was probably Run the Berg Trail Race in the Northern Drakensberg Mountains of South Africa. This race was so different from anything I had experienced before. I was completely out of my comfort zone but simultaneously drawn to the majestic mountains, the spectacular views and scenery, and the beautiful valleys. Even though it was a very tough race, I felt that my training had been solid and it made me tempted to one day run the more challenging race, the 50km Extreme. The race was far from home and we travelled with old High School friends, stayed in a beautiful lodge, and bonded in so many ways. So all round, definitely my best race experience of 2019.

  • Many of my training runs this year left me feeling confident, encouraged and wanting more. But two runs definitely stand out. Eliud Kipchoge’s sub-2 hour marathon inspired me to set my own records using what I called “pace-teams” for the 5km and 21.1km distances. On the 15th December, I got a small team together and challenged myself to a sub-30 min 5km time. I gave it all I had, and came home in 29:52, going under 30 minutes for the first time in my 3 year running career! On the 29th December, I put another team together with the goal to run 21.1km in under 2:22 hours. In an epic run, I managed a time of 2:17:36, almost a 7 minute PB! Both runs showed me what is possible when you remain consistent and start believing you can.
5km in 29:52
Half Marathon in 2:17:36
  • Favourite running route in Gaborone: I use the hashtag, #irungabscity because I love discovering my city on the run. I’ve never really thought of Gaborone as particularly beautiful, and even tourists spend very little time here, quickly heading to the big game parks around the country. But running has made me see Gaborone in a different light and I’ve loved discovering the quiet charm of the city. My favourite routes this year have been those in the older parts of Gaborone like the Government Enclave, but I recently ran past a unique Hindu temple that is just 1.5km from my house.

  • #IRunBotswana: This year I ran in my home village Nshakazhogwe which is in the North-East of Botswana. I’ve never lived there but spent several school holidays there as a child and many of my favourite memories are from there. In November, we were there for my cousin’s wedding and it felt amazing to squeeze in a run!

  •  In November, I switched from Asics to Brooks Adrenaline. Although I love my Asics, I have really enjoyed my Brooks Adrenaline shoes and for Christmas I was overjoyed to get a second pair from my brother-in-law who is visiting from Australia. They are a lot cheaper overseas so I may need to convince him to visit us more often! I also ran in shorts for the first time this year, so I’ve have loved stocking up on different patterns! And just today I received a reflective strap from a friend of mine in Norway! I’ve been looking for one so I was so excited to get one from her!

  •   I’m always so grateful for the advice I get particularly from other runners. When my mum passed away, a blogger left a message on one of my posts that really touched me. She spoke about her own mum’s passing and that every time she felt despondent and tired, she remembered how hard her mum had fought to stay with them and that she tries to channel some of that strength in her life. “Enjoy running in Astrid’s memory” she said. I will forever remember those words.

  •   I have to go with Eliud Kipchoge! I know there are a lot of schools of thought here – whether his sub-2 hour time should really be counted as it was done under such artificial conditions. I get that and that’s why it’s not a world record. But I will say this – he trained for several months and RAN a marathon in under 2 hours and inspired millions, me included. How INCREDIBLE is that?! It’s not just about the time, it’s about what we as human beings are capable of doing. And his humility? What a man.
Credit: Facebook INEOS 1:59 Challenge
  • Thanks to my husband, I have so many photos to choose from. But this year I am going with this photo of my dad and I crossing the Finish Line at a 10km Race in November.

  • Best looking medal of 2019: I sat down with my whole family and we went through all of my 12 medals. We agreed that the STONE hand-crafted medal from my Run the Berg Race was the most unique medal. What do you reckon?

  • What about THE stats?

  • Consistency and Courage.

How was your year of running?! What was your best race experience? What is the best piece of advice you received? 

Wishing you a FANTASTIC year ahead – I hope 2020 brings you lots of love, laughter and happiness! And if you are a runner, may it bring you many happy and injury-free miles and maybe even a PB or two!

I’m joining Kooky Runner and Zenaida on their link up, Tuesday Topics. Hop on over to their blogs and others, and be inspired!

38 thoughts on “Year of Running 2019

  1. YOU have had such a fantastic year 🙂 It’s so inspiring watching a “new” runner find that passion and go with it! That pic with you and your dad…oh, so precious 🙂 Happiest of 2020’s to you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations on a fantastic year! I love how you did your recap! My last race was in the spring? I can’t even remember. But I’m glad to be ending the year running healthy and strong.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a great year (running wise) it was for you. I have enjoyed following along your training and see how much you’ve improved and have grown to love running. Your running stats are awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That is my favourite picture, too! And I am with you on Elihud Kipchoge. Happy New Year to you, too!
    I’ll be in Cape Town for the next 3 months, so if you ever happen to be there, let me know.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Eliud Kipchoge is truly my hero! Enjoy Cape Town and all it has to offer. It is an amazing place – my sister studied at the University of Cape Town for 4 years. And we’ve been there a few times – our last visit was 5 years ago (sadly before I was a runner!) but would love to visit again and run!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What a wonderful year for you and I predict the best is yet to come!!! So much inspiration here. I’ve also fallen in love with Brooks Adrenalines!

    Happy New Year Shiastho!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Lovely recap and it’s been a pleasure and a joy following your year as a runner (plus I’m glad you could draw strength and care from the running community when you faced difficulties and challenges). My word for the year was bravery – going off road and even pretty well enjoying it! Much safer options in 2020 but most importantly I look forward to seeing your 2020 running!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m taking some time to make sure I’ve responded to all comments on my blog and I found this one from New Year! Don’t know how I missed it!

      Well… it feels strange reading how optimistic we all were at the start of the year and now three months in life is very different. I think your word ‘bravery’ from last year applies in the situation we all find ourselves in at the present moment.


  7. I loved reading your recap of the year! Congrats on all those PRs! But more importantly it sounds like you enjoyed your running this year, had fun, and got to see some nice places.


  8. Cheers to an amazing year! I’ve loved following your progress and look at all those PBs! I love that you assembled a pace team to get to that 5k PR. That pic of you and your did is priceless. Happy New Year!


  9. Congratulations, you have had a fantastic year! I so love reading your blog and following your training. Your hard work has really paid off! I hope you have a fantastic start to the New Year!


  10. What a wonderful year for you!

    I think running is the best way to see everything around you. I love how it helped you find the beauty in your city.

    Another vote for the Adrenaline. I can’t wait to get a new pair for when I start running again!


  11. What sweet words another blogger left after your mom passed away. I love our blogging community for that very reason.

    Congrats on running your sub-30 5K and sub 2:22:00 half and getting two new PR’s!

    Here’s to a happy, healthy, and fit 2020!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Debbie. I’ve gone back to some of my old blog posts and have realised I didn’t respond to some of the comments! Your message for a “happy, healthy and fit 2020” is a mantra I’m going to hold onto as we push through this COVID-19 crisis. Who could have guessed we would find ourselves in this situation 3 months into the new year?

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Great recap! Sounds like an excellent year. Congrats on your goals, and I love that race picture with your husband! My year was not really that fruitful, although I always enjoy my running and the friends I get to enjoy it with. I’m still trying to shake off some injuries and hope 2020 is a better year for me!

    Liked by 1 person

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