On The Run

OMG, So Much Drama This Training Cycle!

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:

  1. Pull Out Of Addo. This is meant to be fun. You’re not being forced to do this so why continue?
  2. Train And Moan. Just get on with it. Focus on staying consistent. Keep moaning and complaining but just get it done.
  3. 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?

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”.

39 thoughts on “OMG, So Much Drama This Training Cycle!

  1. Oh dear, that is all a bit dramatic! I often have ONE drama before a big race (let’s see – fell over a dog and bust my ribs / had a more-major-than-expected abdominal operation / had a giant cold and missed the race) but that was one per race. I think your aim to get round and enjoy is a good one. Taper time now? SLEEP!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, you’ve had some bad luck- food poisoning and Covid? Glad you recovered nicely from both! The race- and trip surrounding it- does sound really fun. I hope you feel good for it and can really enjoy the experience. Meanwhile have fun on your beautiful trails!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow. Just wow. I have certainly never had a training cycle like that, and you have handled it all with grace.

    Please be gentle with yourself, Shathiso. Even a mile case of COVID can have lingering effects. So glad no one else got it — and that you could see your kids from your bedroom! We have a second bedroom, but it’s my husband’s spare room (I have one, too, but it’s too tiny for a bed). Quarantining would be very, very difficult. At least we have 2 bathrooms, but only one is on the floor with the bedrooms!

    You definitely have a fighting spirit Shathiso. It will take you far (pun intended).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Judy! Just when I thought I was done with one thing, something else popped up. So it was a difficult few weeks but it could have been so much worse. The room set up worked so well and on some evenings they ate outside by my window with me on the other side so we were kind of together!

      After I got Covid, I just threw out the training plan. Will focus on building up while listening to my body and if it means walking a lot of the race, so be it. The cut off is 12 hours and I think I can do that even with lots of walking breaks.

      Love the pun, LOL!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Drama? I’d call your month a full-on disaster! I’m so glad you are recovered from everything. As if food poisoning wasn’t enough… here’s to hoping that March will bring you all kinds of good runs and karma and whatnot. You deserve it!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh my you sure have had quite the few weeks! I am so glad that you are feeling better. Way to keep a great attitude through it all

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Well, your attitude is what brought to this point, and I know it will carry you through to the finish line 😉 A little drama (or a lot of it, LOL) just keeps us humble and, hopefully, appreciative of all the non-drama (or low-drama) days. Go YOU!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Yikes on the food poisoning! And then Covid! I’m glad you had a mild case and are feeling better now. All the drama will make crossing the finish line that much sweeter!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh my goodness! I saw the title of your blog post and I was expecting some setbacks but not as much drama as this!

    Obviously, this is less than ideal for Addo, but your mental toughness will get you through it. The fact that you are calmer and happier right now is a good sign. Is Ditiro running with you? Robyn for sure will be out there with you, as well as many other runners who are battling with the ultra. And of course the race angels at the aid stations. They are fantastic and very supportive.

    You’ve got this, Shathiso! I’m so looking forward to your race report!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Omg. What else could happen?

    It’ll be smooth sailing from now on.

    Be positive.

    And sometimes the best races come from a lousy training cycle.

    Sending good luck your way.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh wow, that’s a lot of stuff going one! It’s a smart move to step back and give the situation a good look, and reassess. A smart, positive attitude will lead you in the right direction! That is a good thing your food poisoning didn’t happen on the plane. oof!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. A positive mindset, especially when it comes to race training, can truly make a difference. When I have struggled with training in the past, I would think of one good thing that happened during my run and would write that down in my journal. At the end of the week it was nice to see all the “good things” that happened during training that week.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Food poisoning AND covid????!!!! Oh, you poor thing.

    You know, I’ve had some drama since last October, and I’ve come to this place of acceptance where if I run, I run, and if I race, I race, and that’s that. Probably going to DNS a big race this weekend, because of injury, and i’s just like meh.

    Stay well, and be kind to yourself ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Oh my goodness, Shathiso, you have dealt with ALOT. I’m glad your Covid case was mild and your family stayed negative. Any theories on where you caught it? My husband had it late last year and I avoided it..and am still trying to avoid it, but I don’t know how long i’ll manage!

    Anyways, random question, but I was talking about your post about the woman who was attacked on a run and went to share it with her and couldn’t find it. Did you delete that post?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My PCR when I came from Ghana the week before was negative so I’m guessing the only place I could have gotten it was at the funeral of my colleague’s 16 year old son. But my husband was there too. We were masked and hardly interacted with people. But that’s the only place I can think of. This might sound weird but the first feeling I had when I saw positive test was a sense of relief. Over the last few months I’ve been feeling so anxious about when my turn was coming so I think when I saw a positive result and felt okayish, I felt a small weight lifted.

      I’m glad you found the post and thanks for sharing! 💜

      Liked by 1 person

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