The third quarter of the year is done and dusted! I started on a high, took a bit of a nose-dive somewhere in the middle but ended with lots of smiles and tired muscles. Although I’ve gotten used to our altered state of affairs, I still long for pre-pandemic times. I miss racing, like real in-person races with crowds, noise, big banners, hugging and big group breakfast sit-downs afterwards. But I’m glad I’ve kept running and made the best of the situation even in the most trying moments. With that said, let’s take a look at the last three months, July through to September! [Summaries of the first and second quarter are found here and here]
Running Challenges. Very early on in this quarter, I achieved one of my biggest ever running goals. I ran a sub-60 10K! I trained for 10 weeks under the guidance of Coach Marcel from Fitness From Africa and on 11th July, accompanied by my friends, I ran 10K in under 60 minutes. It was such an incredible moment and one I won’t be forgetting any time soon.
Although I thoroughly enjoyed all the training, I was keen to take a break after running non-stop all year, first with marathon training, then a 40-day running streak and then all the associated dramas of lockdown running. My break was only meant to be a week but it quickly stretched to two weeks. When I returned to running, I’d lost some of my enthusiasm and struggled to get going. My new goal was to train for a 2:15 Half Marathon but with another 2-week lockdown imposed on the 31st July, I lost my mojo. I still ran, just not with much focus or drive. So my monthly averages for July and August were relatively low, 88.2 km and 102.2 km.
In September, I realised I needed new energy to finish the quarter strong. So I organised the 9×9 Spring Challenge – running 9km a day for 9 days starting on Spring Day, 1st September. I rallied up a group of people to join me and for 9 days we ran and actively hunted for signs of spring. This was such an uplifting experience and exactly what was needed to lift me from my slump.
For Global Trail Running Day on the 19th September, I organised a group run with some of my friends. Our theme was “bush chic” and we headed to Mokolodi Nature Reserve for an 8K trail run. It was so enjoyable and we spotted giraffe, lots of zebra, warthogs and a couple of rabbits. We sat down for breakfast afterwards and it was a great reminder of the “good ol’ days”!
I also signed up for a virtual challenge to run 200 km in September. My previous highest mileage was 177.8 km so I knew this was a bit of a stretch. But I succeeded with a grand total of 202.1km. It was a real push at the end as poor planning on my part meant I had 50km left and only 5 days to do it in! I had to run 11.5 km on the last day and basically hobbled my way through those last kilometres! In total, for the 3rd Quarter, I ran 392.5 km and walked 129 km.
I Run Gabs City. In the second quarter, I spoke of my love for exploring different parts of Gaborone and sharing photos and information on social media. In July, I took things a step further and started a new series on the blog called Exploring Gaborone On The Run. I’ve loved the positive feedback from runners in Gaborone as well as international runner bloggers who’ve been able to see the city virtually! So far I’ve published three posts – the first covers some of the main tourist sites, the second explores some of the oldest areas in town, and third celebrates Botswana Day. Combining running, exploration and history has been extremely fun.
I Hike Botswana! One of the things on my 40 By 40 Challenge was to hike in four new places in Botswana. Without all the race cancellations, I don’t think I would have managed the three I’ve already done! The first hike was to the Mmamotshwane Gorge in Mogonye. The second was our epic adventure up Otse Hill and the third was a hike with the kids at Goo-Moremi Gorge.
Blogging: I have a goal to publish 52 posts this year (about one a week). Of course 20 of those were meant to be race recaps! But even without those, I’m still on track to completing this goal. If you’ve missed any from the third quarter here are the links:
- Exploring Gaborone On The Run – 1
- How I Trained For And Ran A Sub-60 10K
- Six Annoying Things About Running In Gaborone
- Hiking With The Kids In Mogonye
- My Most Unforgettable Race Moments
- In Search of Botswana’s Highest Peak
- Exploring Gaborone On The Run – 2
- How a Running Coach Can Help You
- Our Adventure In Goo-Moremi Gorge
- 9 Lessons From The 9 x 9 Spring Challenge
- Behind The Scenes Of A Runner Blogger
- Exploring Gaborone On The Run – 3
Onward! I’m still focused. I’m still fighting. I’m still determined to finish this year STRONG. Last three months of 2020… let’s go!
Do you miss “real races” too? What are some of the challenges you’ve done recently? Have you explored any new places? What are your goals for the last quarter of the year?
I’m joining Kooky Runner and Zenaida on their link up, Tuesday Topics. I’m also joining the Runner’s Roundup with Mile By Mile, Coach Debbie Runs, Confessions of a Mother Runner, Runs with Pugs, and Laura Norris Running! Be sure to read their blogs and catch up with other runners from around the world.