On The Run

Post-Ultra | Walking Away The Aches & Pains

Active recovery?! Regular readers will know I’m not about that life! It’s something I always say I’m going to do but laziness quickly takes over and I end up doing very little. Of course, I regret it later when I’m struggling to get back to running. But as an ultra-trail marathoner 😉 I felt it was time I changed my ways. It also helped that for the first few days, I was in a completely new place and the desire to explore my surroundings outweighed my natural instinct to chill on the couch! I really enjoyed this recovery week and loved the feeling of my stiff body loosening up with each walk. You know I’m not going to leave you out so let’s go!

Five Walks In Five Different Locations

1/ Bluewater Bay Beach In Port Elizabeth. The Addo National Elephant Park is just an hour’s drive from Port Elizabeth, officially renamed Gqeberha and colloquially referred to as P.E. and the “Friendly City”. This city is a major seaport and also the economic hub of the Eastern Cape, home to a number of top investment, manufacturing, and automotive businesses in the country. Fun fact: J.R.R. Tolkein, author of the Lord of the Rings trilogy was born here! After breakfast, we headed to P.E. Our guesthouse was a few hundred metres from Bluewater Bay Beach so in the afternoon, we took a 4.5km stroll on the beach. It felt therapeutic to walk barefooted. And of course, I had to get that beach running shot — my body managed a few metres!

2/ Waterfront Promenade In Port Elizabeth. I’d read there are many running routes in P.E. but being from a landlocked country, I really wanted to check out the waterfront promenade. Although it was Monday, it was a public holiday in South Africa, so there were many walkers and runners on the promenade and several swimmers and surfers in the ocean. Ditiro went for a long swim and I had a 4km walk. I proudly wore my race t-shirt and even spotted another runner wearing the same tee! Shortly after this, we hit the road for Gaborone via Bloemfontein.

3/ Bloemfontein City Centre. On Tuesday morning, we walked the streets of Bloem. It was very different from the run we’d done up on Naval Hill. As mentioned before, the city has a complex history and the diverse architecture reflects this to a great extent. It was quite the concrete jungle and sometimes hard to determine direction with so many tall buildings.  But in the end, we managed to see several of the old monuments and historic buildings whilst navigating the early morning traffic of cars, mini-buses and people. One of the buildings was this old fire station which is still functional and we spotted some firemen clocking in for work.

The Free State High Court was quite a majestic building with grand and stately pillars and a cannon positioned in one corner.

The National Literary Museum for Afrikaans was set up in 1973 in the old Free State Government Building built in the 1890s. In 1994, with the newly independent South Africa, the Sesotho language was added to the museum.

The Fourth Raadsaal is another historic building which was formally inaugurated in 1893 and after the first non-racial elections in 1994, a decision was taken to house the newly-established provincial legislature in the building.

After our 5km walk, we checked out of our hotel and hit the road for our final leg to Gaborone!

4/ Sentlhane Farms. On Wednesday afternoon, we took the kids for a bike ride around Sentlhane Farms, a 15km drive from Gaborone. The kids got a great lesson from their dad about navigating rocky terrain, and I managed another 4km walk. On the way back, Kaia decided to push her bike and walk with me and it was lovely to catch up on all the happenings at school.

5/ Y Care Trust 15K Race Walk in Rasesa. On Saturday, I pushed my body a bit more with 15km at the annual Y-Care Walk Race. This event is one of my favourites and I’ve blogged about it here, here and here! This time it was held in the Rasesa area in the Kgatleng District about 35km from Gaborone. My sister picked me up at the ungodly hour of 04:30! But it was well worth it. We chatted non-stop for over three hours (we could have gone on for another 3 to be honest!). I also met my friends Sonja and Sanne who you would know from the SRC: Relay Team we did last year! I wasn’t sure how I’d feel but it was a lovely walk on a cloudy day.

So as you can see, I’ve been a lot more active than I usually am after a race and I feel very good! With each walk, I’ve felt myself getting stronger and stronger and even the 15km Walk on Saturday didn’t leave me too sore. So this “active recovery thing” actually works, huh?!

I hope you enjoyed walking with me in five different locations! What do you usually do during your recovery weeks? Are you in the “Active Recovery” or “Couch Recovery” Club? LOL!

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”.

31 thoughts on “Post-Ultra | Walking Away The Aches & Pains

  1. walking post run and lots of stretching always helps me recover as well. Nice job getting it in. Looks like you had some great scenery too!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s my kind of active recovery! I love that you got to spend some time at the beach. I bet walking on the sand felt so good on your feet. One thing that stands out to me about all your photos–that blue, blue sky! Does it ever rain there?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha! One thing we have is very blue skies but sadly we don’t get much rain! Our water situation has always been sketchy with several years of drought at a time. So even our currency “Pula” means rain and Pula will also be said at huge gatherings as a greeting/slogan, so “let there be rain”. South Africa though does get more rain than us but luckily we were there on blue sky days!


  3. Walking after a race is the best recovery. I actually walked 50 blocks back to my hotel after my full marathon.

    Love your walk pictures.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m so happy to hear you’re feeling good post race and that you’re embracing an active recovery. Looks like some fun activities and sightseeing with the family. So much fun!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The kids were not with us for the South Africa trip so they are a bit upset about missing out on the beach! But we’ve promised them a trip later in the year. It was lovely to see them though on Wednesday after being apart for almost a week!


  5. LOL at the active recovery working. Yup, it does! And I love that beach shot of you! I also love that your daughter chose to walk her bike with you.

    Thanks for sharing all the lovely scenery with us!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m officially a believer! LOL!

      It was so lovely to walk with her. This was our first full day back so she had so many stories to share about what happened at school while we were away. I also loved how much fun they had at my dad’s place. Apparently his school lunch boxes were more exciting than the ones I pack for them, LOL!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Well, I’m all about active recovery (spoiler- my Talk To Me Tuesday reel is on that very topic this week) 😉 I often times try to do a short (VERY short) recovery run after a long race, but if that doesn’t feel right then I’ll do a decent walk instead. My body recovers best when it’s in motion, otherwise everything feels stiff and cranky. Thanks for taking us on another adventure…such great pics!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s what I discovered this week — by the time I got to the 15km walk race, my body felt ready to go even though the ultra had just been the week before. Muscles felt like they had been “oiled”. I’m always tempted to chill but it felt so good to move even if it was painful at first. It felt so beneficial!


  7. Active recovery is best, although I’ve definitely been guilty of “recovering” on the couch. Having new and interesting places to walk really helps! I love all your pictures and descriptions of the places you’ve been. Glad you’re feeling good! What’s the next adventure for you?

    Liked by 1 person

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