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!