On The Run

Goals Don’t Come Without A Price

In Usain Bolt’s words, “Dreams are free. Goals have a cost. While you can daydream for free, goals don’t come without a price”. This has really hit home the last few weeks as I train for my first ultra-trail (44km) – the Addo Elephant Trail Run. It’s easy to dream about the adventure – running one of Africa’s wildest trails – the fresh air, the gorgeous landscape, the awesome photos, and the beautiful medal. But you don’t just wake up one morning and run Addo – you have to put in the work. And as Usain says, you pay for those goals with “time, effort, sacrifice, and sweat”. My last Addo update covered Weeks 1 – 3. So let me continue where I left off!

Addo Training Update: Weeks 4 – 8

Weeks 4 & 5: 20 Dec – 2 Jan: These two weeks were fun, happy and relaxing and I let things slide on the running front! I did an 8 km Christmas Eve run with Ditiro and Elisa, a beautiful hike up Kgale Hill with the family on New Year’s Eve, an easy 4.2 km run on the quiet streets on New Year’s Day and a 4.2 km hike along the banks of the Metsimotlhabe River the following day.

Week 6: 3 – 9 Jan: With the holiday festivities out of the way, it was back to business with 40 km run this week. On Monday, I ran 4.2 km, Tuesday 10 km, another 10 km on Thursday, and 16 km on Saturday. My long run left me with a real sense of achievement. I also managed two hikes up Kgale which I was very chuffed about. The more climbs I can do the better!

Week 7: 10 – 16 Jan: This week started with 11 km on Wednesday, followed by 8 km on Thursday and my longest run this training cycle, 18 km on Saturday.

This long run was very hard – I started struggling around 7 km and it took everything to finish the run. I repeated some of my favourite songs, I ran down new streets in Block 6 and even stopped a few times to regroup. Around 10 km, I ran past a taxi driver who shouted from his car window – “You look tired. Should I give you a lift home?” I was so annoyed but in hindsight I’d just come off an incline so I might have been grimacing when he saw me! On Sunday, I recovered with a 5 km run before climbing Kgale. It was a very strong week with 42 km run in total.

Week 8 : 17 – 23 Jan: My first run of the week was a 5 km trail in Mokolodi. Despite the beautiful surroundings and the great photo op by the lake, I really struggled.

My husband kept commenting how beautiful the bush was – the spring hares hopping across the path, the herd of impala with their babies, and even a few zebra. But I was too uncomfortable to appreciate any of it – my focus was on the scratchy grass against my legs, the rocks that kept tripping me up and the humidity. My love-hate relationship with trail running continues and with time I’m starting to accept that I really don’t enjoy it much. The following day, we dropped the kids at school for the start of their new school year and then I ran home for 11 km in the heat, through lots of traffic, to make it home for my work day.

On Saturday, I hit a MTB trail in Tlokweng for a 20 km run. It took us three hours. Although the trail itself was flat and fairly easy, I struggled early on and was not very nice to be around. I’m thankful for my husband’s patience and his wise words, “Hard Means Build”. I took some comfort in that. I’m also thankful for all the MTB cyclists who cheered me on, we saw at least nine! But again it struck me that I was on such a gorgeous trail and still wasn’t having fun. I wanted to cut the run short so many times but pushed through, run-walk-run, until I was done.

So this week’s running mileage was 36 km, less than last week, but I threw in two trail runs which was a big deal for me. I ended the week with a glorious 5 km hike up Kgale Hill.

I’m disappointed that most of my runs haven’t felt that great. But I’m really proud (and happy) about my consistency. I’m diligently following Usain’s advice and putting in the time, effort, sacrifice and sweat. There’s a lot happening in the next couple of weeks – if all goes as planned, I’ll be travelling for work so I may have some new destination runs to share soon!

What are you training for? Do you prefer trail or road running? What interesting wildlife have you seen on your runs recently?

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”.

37 thoughts on “Goals Don’t Come Without A Price

  1. I’m so sorry that your training isn’t going as well as you hoped, but you are putting in the work! It sure is beautiful on those trails. I like Usain’s quote, but I also think that since we don’t have to do these things, we get to do them…that it should be fun! I hope you can find a way to make it enjoyable. I’m enjoying looking at your photos!

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  2. Consistency is key and the rest will come. Hope you find a way to make your training more fun for you. I do not enjoy trail running myself either. I am training for a half marathon in March that I am really excited about.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Keep pushing through Shathiso! You’ve got this! I loved the quotes you shared. So true! As a coach I encounter SO many people who have the dream but aren’t so great about doing the work. It is refreshing to see your summery pics as I sit here with snow coming down! Haha!

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  4. Well, I LOVE Usain Bolt, so anything he says is golden 😉 YOU are doing the work, so congrats on your consistency. That is a challenge itself, especially if you’re not “feeling” the terrain. Maybe that will improve as you get more mileage logged? None the less, you’re showing up and getting it done. Keep at it, friend 😉

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  5. I’m sorry you’ve struggled with so many runs. Sometimes it just is what it is and you get it done! All the runners loving running outside in the cold — it just leaves me scratching my head. I will do it, but for the most part, I just don’t enjoy super cold runs. Also, sometimes hard training cycles mean good races. 🙂

    The view from Kgale hill looks amazing!

    I like both road & trail running — but some trails are harder than others, to be sure!

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  6. You are doing so well, Shathiso!! Keep it up!

    Most of my long runs are hard and miserable. Yesterday, I did my first long run (25k) in preparation for the Two Oceans in April.
    It was awful. It was the hottest day of the season so far. I was running along the coast – the views were pretty, but it was next to a road, which was annoying.
    I was thirsty and sweaty and I just wanted it done and over with. If a taxi driver had pulled up I would have got in and taken a ride.
    Every kilometre done is a kilometre closer to Addo. You have got this, girl! It’s worth the sacrifice!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. On the one hand, I’m so sorry your run was so miserable and on the other hand….Yay, I’m not alone!! 🤣🤣 Thanks for sharing this story my friend. I’m so happy for the consistency. Keep telling myself if I’m consistent, the rewarding runs will come! Can’t wait for you to run Two Oceans, it will be so special!

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  7. You’re doing brilliantly. It’s such a shame that almost all ultras are on trails – I still talk about how the 10-mile trail race I did in training for my ultra was harder than the 33-mile actual ultra. So I guess I’m saying training for harder than it will be is horrible but will pay off. Lots of love and strength to you!

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      1. Well to be honest with mine I trained for a road marathon to get my miles up and then turned to trail, however my race was chosen to be pretty benign on the surface and elevation so I got away with it.

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  8. Well, when you get to a really hard part in your race, you can remind yourself that you’ve felt that way before and pushed through! All your hard effort will pay off. That said, I hope you enjoy it a bit more this week, because training should be fun! But not fun every single moment of every run. Hang in there!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. That’s such an awesome quote! I’m going to add it to my planner. I have a page in the back of my planner where i list quotes that I really like.

    You’re doing great with your running!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Definitely no zebra or impala! When I’m at mom’s I’ll sometimes see deer but here in the city it’s mostly rodents and squirrels.
    Congratulations on pushing through the challenges to work toward your race. Love the pics here and on FB. Your kids are getting so big!

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  11. I hadn’t heard that quote from Usain, but it’s so true — no matter what area of life your goal relates to. I’m sorry your runs didn’t feel great, but pushing through when it’s hard does build you up for the challenges that will come on race day.

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  12. Just keep going! You are inspiring and challenging me every time you post an update, because I am feeling nowhere at the moment. I managed a 31km running week, with a 10km cycle last week, so I am going to have to seriously start putting on some mileage!

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  13. Some weeks are like that, where everything feels hard. I wish that wasn’t the case but there we are.

    I sometimes see horses, or deer, or even snakes and gators, but it’s too cold lately.

    I would love the chance to run with the elephants. How wonderful that would be.

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    1. I know we have snakes on the trails but just so glad we don’t see them! That’s one thing I’m terrified of! My kids are going to a birthday party this Saturday – the venue? A snake park! Their dad will be taking them, LOL! Are the snakes you have poisonous?

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  14. I’m not training for a specific goal, but can relate to not enjoying runs. I ran 10k a few weeks ago and literally battled from 2k onwards

    Every step was a struggle and I battled to not walk. Managed to complete the distance though and felt it was as big an achievement as completing Soweto 21k!

    “Everybody comes to a point in their lives when they want to quit. It’s what you do at that moment that determines who you are” David Goggins

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    1. That quote is SPOT ON! It feels so awful when you’ve made the effort to put on your running shoes and from 2k onwards it feels like a nightmare. You almost feel cheated! But so glad you finished the distance you set out to do! Hope your runs this week feel a lot easier!

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