Three weeks to the Addo Elephant Trail Run and a whole lot has happened since my last training update a month ago! In that update, I shared that I was putting in the effort without getting any reward for it. Many of my runs felt difficult and lacklustre and I was not enjoying trail running or training for a marathon. I realised just how bad it was when I spent three hours complaining non-stop on a trail run. Something had to change. The way I saw it, I had three options:
- Pull Out Of Addo. This is meant to be fun. You’re not being forced to do this so why continue?
- Train And Moan. Just get on with it. Focus on staying consistent. Keep moaning and complaining but just get it done.
- Change My Attitude. Stop saying how much you hate it because each time you say that, things feel worse. Find enjoyment in the small things especially all the beauty on the trails, if not the actual run. Walk when you have to. Take photos of flowers, birds and trees. Come back to being you. And have this same attitude on Race Day.
Addo Training Update: Weeks 9 – 13
Week 9: 24 – 30 Jan: I chose Option 3. Armed with this positive attitude, I managed four runs, 8km on both Wednesday and Thursday, a 10km run before my flight to Accra on Saturday and then a 10km run in Accra on Sunday. It was not a high mileage week but I was very proud to get my weekend runs done – one before a flight and the other in a foreign city!
Week 10: 31 Jan – 6 Feb : I absolutely loved running in Ghana. After weeks of mostly difficult runs, I finally found my stride! I kept the runs short but ran every day from Tuesday to Friday, covering a total of 24km on hillier terrain than I’m used to. On the day of my flight, I managed a 9km sight-seeing walk in Accra. Again, not marathon-worthy mileage this week, but a triumphant return to more fulfilling runs. Running in Ghana reminded me why I run.
Week 11: 7 – 13 Feb: I was excited for this week… and then the drama began… I arrived in Gaborone from Accra on Sunday midday. About two hours later, I was hit with the worst case of food poisoning I’ve ever had. It wasn’t pretty and I’m grateful for two things, 1) It didn’t start on the plane, and 2) My husband handles a lot of gross stuff in his profession! I was out for Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. By Wednesday, I felt better and hiked up Kgale with a 1km interval session thrown in for good measure. On Saturday, I managed 22km on the Tlokweng Trail and didn’t complain once! Even when we were lost, I remained super-chilled. The following day we drove to Polokwe Hill, about 70km from Gaborone, for an intense 10km hilly run! Not much mileage for the week but again I’m proud of what I managed given my rough start.
Week 12 : 14 – 20 Feb: Ready for more drama?! On Monday, I had a runny nose. I didn’t think anything of it. Felt better on Tuesday and received my booster shot. My runny nose worsened and I felt like I had a cold. Figured it was the side effects of the booster. I was travelling to Lesotho for work on Friday so on Thursday got my PCR Test. Positive. Ditiro immediately called the school to pick up the kids while I set up the master bedroom as the Isolation Unit. For the next five days, I was isolated but my bedroom has a beautiful view of the garden so I felt close to the kids when they were playing or swimming. I’m thankful for the mild symptoms and that my family remained negative. But of course, there was ZERO running this week!
Week 13 : 21 – 27 Feb: On the special date, Tuesday 22.2.22 I did a 22.22 minute run (around 3km). It was 8 days since my symptoms and my lungs and body felt good although I was quite tired by the end of it. On Wednesday, I went for a 5km trail run in Mokolodi Nature Reserve and followed up with a beautiful 5km run around the neighbourhood on Friday. On Saturday, I decided to push my body even more and managed an 8km run around the neighbourhood. At 07:30 min/km, my pace was solid! We tried hiking on Sunday evening, but there was a hail storm when we reached Kgale Hill. We waited in the car for half an hour before calling it!
What a rocky training cycle – from my toenail ablation to work travel to food poisoning to Covid, there have just been too many setbacks. But… I’m very happy to report that I’m feeling okay with it all. I’ve thrown my training plan out the window and just focusing on building up my strength again so I finish Addo happy even if hobbling at the end! Alongside the race, I’m looking forward to having a few days away with my husband. The drive to Addo is 13 hours so we will stop over in different towns on the way to (and from) the race. And of course, I will make sure I document it all just for you! So even with all the drama, I’ve felt a lot happier and calmer whilst running. And besides, what’s a training cycle without some drama thrown in the mix?!
What are you training for? What setbacks have you had recently? What victories have you had?