My name is Shathiso and I am from Gaborone, the quiet and beautiful capital city of Botswana.
Welcome to my running journey. I was probably at my fittest when I was studying psychology in the UK (2001 – 2005) where I had the flexibility to attend aerobics classes 5 days a week. But even then, running was something I didn’t even think of doing.
When I returned home, I got into a fitness “slump” where my only exercise was moving from my office desk to my lovely couch at home! 🙂 When I got married, things got even worse as we used any excuse to travel, go out for dinner or order take away!
When I fell pregnant, I was already very unfit. So although I put on a lot of weight during both pregnancies (2012 and 2014), I cannot really blame my kids for that…
When I turned 36 in October 2016, I really wanted to stop procrastinating, to stop making excuses, and to just get fit. A few days before my birthday I dusted off my old treadmill and hopped on! I could only do 1 minute of jogging before having to walk but immediately signed up for three races between October and November 2016.
Eager to keep running, I started an epic challenge in 2017 – to run 17 races. It seemed utterly ridiculous but it ended up being an incredible journey – by my third race, I was finally able to run 10 km without walking.
By my 6th race, I started feeling like a real runner. I remember being on the course and feeling so happy and when I finished the race in one of my fastest times, I felt I belonged.
By the time the #17in2017 Challenge came to an end, I had done 5k, 10k and 15k races; I had done road and trail runs and walked 30km solo through the desert; I had done dress-up races; I had been mugged on a race; I had been lost a couple of times; I had run with my 5 year old daughter; I had travelled across the country and across the border chasing that magical 17! I was hooked on running and knew my next goal would be a Half Marathon.
On the 13th May 2018, a Half Marathoner was born on the streets of Gaborone. As I came through that Finish, I felt phenomenal. I felt like I had arrived.
As of January 2021, I’ve done 52 races/ running challenges including 8 Half Marathons. I’m currently training for my first ultra-marathon, the 44km Addo Race in March 2021.
Running keeps me sane. Running gives me balance. Running gives me clarity. Running gives me joy. I am not a natural athlete and I will never be at the front of the pack, but I will keep pushing and I will always leave my heart out on the track. This blog covers my training plans, my race recaps and the lessons I am gaining along the way. You will also see guest bloggers sharing their fitness journeys or tips on exercise or food and nutrition. So put on those running shoes and join me on this journey. This story is far from over…