Goals · Review

Let’s Keep On Keeping On

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:

I also had two amazing guest posts – one from my husband, 8 Important Tips For Running With Your Dog, and the other from my friend Ticha, Beast Mode State of Mind.

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 MileCoach Debbie RunsConfessions of a Mother RunnerRuns with Pugs, and Laura Norris Running! Be sure to read their blogs and catch up with other runners from around the world.

24 thoughts on “Let’s Keep On Keeping On

  1. Congrats on keeping up the running spirit in the 3rd quarter, Shathiso! I love the way you make running a fun activity and get others involved, too.
    Just this morning I was thinking about your 10k feat in July. I have to run a fast 5k at the end of November and will need some pacemakers like you had. It would really help!
    And one day I will need to do a Sighseeing Running Tour of Zurich…. thanks for the inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would love to see a “Zurich on the run” blog post! That would be awesome! Get those pace makers ready and to make it extra fun, give them a special colour dress code so you stand out like Kipchoge did for his sub-2 marathon! We all deserve to feel like heroes once in a while!

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  2. I think a fair summary of 2020 is “we adapted”. It’s a bad year for the world but a great year for running. I am very fortunate that our “lockdown” only meant restrictions on being indoors, the outdoors has always been wide open for us. My goal this year was to run 12 races, and I’m on track. It’s just that at my last 7 races I was the only participant. And now I’m 5 days away from running a “real” half, something that I never thought would happen this year.

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    1. Sooo true! We adapted. Somehow as each curveball was thrown, we adapted and kept moving forward. I just read Wendy’s post about her “real” Half and was so excited at how safe it was (and felt even for me as a reader). That and now your upcoming race is really giving me hope that we will have some races here too. Best of luck with your Half. Can’t wait to read the race recap!

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  3. Ever the eternal optimist, I do believe things will return to normal eventually. I think if we focus on the the positives, we’ll dread the “less-than-normal” circumstances for the duration. Your 9X9 Spring Challenge has inspired me to do my Week of Pi challenge next March, but this time I’m gonna bring a bunch of running gals along (virtually) with me 😉 Keep on keeping on, Shathiso!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Excellently strong mentally and physically – I do salute you! I’ve loved your posts and my insight into a different country’s way of life and running culture and look forward to reading many more.

    My challenges have been a Land’s End to John O’Groats virtual I’ve been doing since July (I’m near my own home at the moment!) and a few charity challenges. I am now also trying to run 100 miles a month as I’ve done it for 5 months in a row now. Happy last-quarter running!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Liz for following this journey of mine! Not the year we expected it to be, but I’ve been so impressed at how many runners have just kept going! You’ve been so consistent and strong to keep clocking 100 miler months! Wishing you all the best in the last quarter of running! We’ve got this!

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  5. I’m right there with you – I long the pre-pandemic life where going to a restaurant didn’t feel like you would be risking your life 😦 I had a pretty rough month in September but I’m determined to make the last 3 months of the year good, no matter the crazy circumstances.

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  6. You had a fantastic quarter, congratulations! And awesome mileage for September, even more than your goal! I’m glad to hear things are going so well for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You’ve really accomplished so much this year! I love how you have adjusted your goals and your activities during the pandemic. Sounds like this was a very successful quarter of running for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Congrats on a fantastic quarter – so many accomplishments! You have really made the best of a challenging year.

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  9. Congratulations on your sub-1 hour 10k! You’ve been doing great through the pandemic in spite of all the restrictions. I do miss real racing too. I’ve done a few virtual races, mostly because of races I’d signed up for that went virtual, and I’m doing one mileage challenge, 700 miles between July and January. But I’ll be very happy when I finally get to stand on a real start line again!

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