Road to Soweto: Training Recap, Week 8 (Final)

For 8 weeks, I trained for the Soweto Race (10 km) which was held on the 5th November 2017. The race is now long done and dusted, and when work and life took over, I never got round to summarising my final week of training! This is LONG overdue but for consistency’s sake, here is my last training recap for the Soweto Race! 🙂

The Soweto Race in South Africa is huge and in the week leading up to it I was excited and nervous. Excited for many reasons – running in Soweto, even if not in the Marathon, is a sensational, electric experience and I was so looking forward to being a part of that vibe and to be among 27, 000 runners from several parts of the world! Excited also because I would be going on a road trip with my hubby and friends; and that I would be visiting our close friends, Taffy and Ticha who are based in Johannesburg! I was nervous because of the hilly terrain. Coming from Gaborone – probably one of the flattest cities on earth, hills scare me! 🙂 Throw in all the admin that goes with  travelling, I was a little bit anxious… but I stuck to my training plan and when Race Day came I was raring to go!

Monday, 30th October: Rest Day

I felt after my 17.6 km race on Saturday, I deserved an extra day of rest! So although I had not planned it, I took the day off and didn’t even feel guilty about it.

Tuesday, 31st October:  (Treadmill, 36:30 min; 5 km)

This was a good solid run and I was quite proud of my 07:18 min/km pace. My legs felt good so I was glad I took an extra day’s break on Monday.

Wednesday, 1st November: Rest Day

Thursday, 2nd November: (Treadmill, 2.82 km; 20:34 min)

This was the day I decided my last race of the year would be a 15 k Trail Run to redeem myself for Saturday’s disastrous race. It was also the day I decided I wanted to try doing a Half Marathon in May 2018. So I contacted Coach Nicola at Running Happy and I am so pleased we are back working together! Meanwhile in Johannesburg, our friend Ticha was collecting our race packs on our behalf!

Friday, 3rd November:  (Treadmill, 2.54 km; 20:03 min)

Another short and easy run – my last before the big day!

Saturday, 4th November: Travel Day

I will write lots more about this when I put the Soweto Race Recap up! But just to say we had a fantastic drive down to South Africa – we took two cars and divided ourselves between them, but stuck together for the whole trip.

We also visited an Asics Store in the Mall of Africa where I had a mini-assessment done, and bought a new pair of shoes! The thing that really surprised me is that I need a whole size bigger running shoe… this seemed to be common knowledge, so it shows I still have a lot of running basics to cover!

Sunday, 5th November: Race Day!

I participated in my 14th Race of my 17 Race Challenge, the Soweto Race (10 km) in South Africa! What an epic race – I didn’t break any personal records but I fought really hard for my medal and had a brilliant time with all my running friends! It was one of the most amazing experiences ever. Her is the Race Recap!

Mileage this week: 20.36 km

Mileage this training cycle: 102.58 km

This now officially ends my 8-week Training Plan for the Soweto Race! 🙂

Road to Soweto: Training Recap, Week 7

I am training for the Soweto 10k on the 5th November 2017. The Soweto Marathon is one of the biggest races in Africa and I am really looking forward to being a part of that vibe! I am also doing a #17in2017 Challenge where the goal is to run 17 races this year! To keep myself accountable I am linking up with the inspirational Holly and Tricia this week for their Weekly Wrap! Be sure to check out what they and others have been up to this week.

Equipped with my new gym membership card, I felt like I new person this week. Work was also a lot easier, and although I had some deadlines, I had much more time to breathe and to think and to plan (and do) my workouts! A very successful week of training and I recorded my highest weekly mileage this cycle! 🙂

Monday, 23rd October: Easy Run (30 min; 3.75 km)

I say Easy Run but this run was pure torture. I struggled and luckily I was with Tapiwa otherwise I may actually have quit half-way. Remember last week I boasted about my body being “in flow” and feeling so light on my feet? Haha. Today’s run was the exact opposite – I felt like my shoes were laced with lead and every step took a lot of effort. I don’t think I have ever been so glad to be done with a run! It was also extremely hot so this may have contributed to how I was feeling out there!

Tuesday, 24th October: Boot Camp Class (50 min)

The last time I went for a gym class was probably 8 years ago… maybe even 9 or 10… So doing this class was big. First things first, I booked my class using an App — that had me laughing out loud. There was no such thing a decade ago! Secondly, even in my gymming days, I NEVER did an early morning class. But today I was up at 04:40 and by 05:15 I was in a room with many others warming up for the class. Who knew so many people go to the gym at that ungodly hour!? The place was buzzing with people. I think that alone was enough to shock my body into action! The actual class was really good – we did a circuit moving from station to station every minute. I did well on the rowing machine and the bike, and some of the leg workouts. I struggled with the exercises involving my upper body and I definitely have a lot more work to do. The instructor was tough but he did say to me towards the end that, “Yeah, even slow motion movements like that are okay!” I wasn’t quite sure whether to smile or to roll my eyes! By 06:05 the class was done – we were all exhausted and sweaty, but remarkably cheerful. I was home in five minutes, just in time to see my 5 year old off to school, and to get my 3 year old ready for nursery school.

Wednesday, 25th October: Rest Day

Yay – for rest day! My upper body was really sore from Tuesday’s Boot Camp Class! But sore in a nice way – I felt aches in muscles I didn’t even know I had! I was so grateful not to be running today – it must have been around 40°C out there!

Thursday, 26th October: Run (30:14 min; 4.01 km)

I decided to go for a run around 20:10 when it was a lot cooler (28°C as opposed to 40!). After Monday’s awful run, I redeemed myself! A much faster pace, and a lot more comfortable.

Friday, 27th October: Rest Day

Halloween was not big in Botswana when I was growing up but over the last 5 years or so, the tradition has slowly worked its way in! We were invited to a Halloween Event and the kids had a fabulous time trick-or-treating for the first time! 🙂

Saturday, 28th October: Race Day (2:42:18 hours; 17.6 km)

I participated in my 13th Race of my 17 Race Challenge with Tapiwa! I love trail races but I don’t think they love me too much! For the first one I did this year, I missed a turn and ended up very lost! In another trail race, I got mugged with 5 km left to run. And then there was Saturday’s race… It was supposed to be a 15 km trail race, but they had obviously not measured it well because it ended up being 17.6 km. We were told the only water stop would be at the 9 – 10 km point and it was actually at the 15 km point (?). As we were at the back of the pack, we spent so much time trying to figure whether we were lost or not especially when we reached 12 km and the water-point they had said was at the 9 km mark was nowhere in sight. The good thing though is that this was my longest run ever and it was brilliant preparation for the Soweto Race! 🙂 Here is the race recap!

Sunday, 29th October: Blogging Day 🙂

Mileage this week: 25.36 km

Mileage this training cycle: 82.22 km

What do you do to celebrate Halloween? Have you run races where the distance was completely off? How was your week of working out? 🙂

Road to Soweto: Training Recap, Week 6

I am training for the Soweto 10k on the 5th November 2017. The Soweto Marathon is one of the biggest races in Africa and I am really looking forward to being a part of it! I am also doing a #17in2017 Challenge where the goal is to run 17 races this year! To keep myself accountable I am linking up with the inspirational Holly and Tricia this week for their Weekly Wrap! Be sure to check out what they and others have been up to this week.

After a disastrous three weeks, I was determined to do better this week and although I still struggled with my workload, my mileage for the week was HIGHER than it was for the previous three weeks COMBINED! LOL! I say that is a win!

Monday – Wednesday, 16th – 18th October: Unplanned “Rest Days”

Same old story. The new project at work meant long hours at the office on Monday and Tuesday, and then on Wednesday I chose to re-group and catch up with a friend instead of working out.

Thursday, 19th October: Easy Run (Treadmill, 36:25 min; 5 km)

In the morning  I started toying with the idea of doing 5 km. Usually my weekday runs are around 3/ 3.5 km. By the time I got home and changed, I was determined to do 5 km. I put on the Moana DVD for the kids and then hopped on the treadmill. It was such a good run – I felt like my body was “in flow” and I was so light on my feet. I remembered to pull myself upright when I started feeling tired towards the end and before I knew it, I was done! Yipppeee!!

Friday, 20th October: Legal Rest Day.

Saturday, 21st October: Long Run (1:20:40 hours; 10 km)

Runfession Time! So my plan was to do around 6 km but on Thursday or Friday my friend Elisa said she was doing a 16 km Long Run. Tapiwa said she would join, and then Polelo hopped on the bandwagon… so I slowly started convincing myself that waking up at 05:00 am wasn’t so bad after all and having a group would be good for me. Kind of forced hubby to join in too. So we all assembled at the Builder’s Warehouse parking lot at Airport Junction and by 05:50 we set off. We started at the Airport Lights and headed towards Phakalane. Tapiwa, Polelo and I stuck together for most of the run as we were doing 10 km and we maintained a good conversational pace. The route was quite nice as there were some gentle ups and downs, but I didn’t like that there was so much traffic! The last 2 km for me were tough but I pushed through and was overjoyed at the end. Once we were reunited in the parking lot we went for breakfast at Cappuccino’s. There must be some perks for getting up at that time and going for a run, right?!? Lol!

Once we were done with breakfast… I joined the gym and signed a contract for TWO years! What an awesome induction I had – I’ve got my online account now, I have downloaded the app with all the class information, etc., and on Monday I am going to register the two kids for the Kids Club so I can bring them along on some days! I am feeling nervous but mostly excited and motivated!

Sunday, 22nd October: Blogging Day 🙂

Mileage this week: 15 km

Mileage this training cycle: 56.86 km

Do you prefer running on your own or with a group of friends? Do you enjoy going to the gym? Have you found gym classes that complement your running? 

Road to Soweto: Training Recap, Weeks 3 – 5

I am training for the Soweto 10k on the 5th November 2017. The Soweto Marathon is one of the biggest races in Africa and I am really looking forward to being a part of it! I am also doing a #17in2017 Challenge where the goal is to run 17 races this year! To keep myself accountable I am linking up with the inspirational Holly and Tricia this week for their Weekly Wrap! Be sure to check out what they and others have been up to this week.

What a disastrous three weeks for me – we have a new and very big project at work so my weeks suddenly went from normal 40-hour weeks to crazy 80-hour weeks. It has been extremely intense and is likely to continue like this for a few more weeks. As a result, I am struggling to get the runs done. But for the record and to keep accountable, these are the few runs I managed to squeeze in.

Week 3:

Monday, 25th September: Easy Run (30 min; 3.49 km) + Pilates (1 hr class)

After my race on Saturday, I had a beautiful 30 minute “shake-out” Easy Run with Tapiwa. It started out tough but we slowly eased into it and felt great afterwards. Pilates with Oliver was brilliant and I felt so upbeat on the drive home. At that point I didn’t realise that this would be the last workout I would manage for the week!

Tuesday – Sunday, 26th Sept – 1st Oct: Unplanned “Rest Days”

All my planned runs went out the window. Life and work really took over in every way and I just could not get a run in. I felt awful but at the same time I tried not to be too hard on myself as there really was so little that I could do. Sadly, this was also my last week of training under the guidance of Coach Nicola at Running Happy. I am really going to miss having someone telling me what I need to be doing when!

Mileage this week: 3.49 km

Week 4:

Monday – Sunday, 2nd – 8th October: Unplanned “Rest Days”

Nothing! 16 hour work days, gave me just 8 hours to eat, sleep, and catch up (as in hi and bye) with my kids and hubby. It was that intense. But my head and body just felt yuck, and I was determined to see if I could squeeze one or two runs in Week 5, even though my schedule would be pretty much the same.

Mileage this week: 0 km

Week 5:

Monday, 9th October: Easy Run (30 min; 3.72 km)

I set off for a late run (7:56 pm) but I just really needed to start the week off with a run. At this point, the stress of the long days was really getting to me and I was desperate to start running again. It wasn’t the nicest of runs. It was too dark and I took a while to find my groove. But on the back half, I picked up the pace, and managed to finish nice and strong. This stolen, unlabelled meme from Facebook perfectly describes how I felt afterwards!

Wednesday, 11th October: Easy Run (Treadmill: 25 min; 3.45 km) 

I got home just in time to squeeze another run on the treadmill. I am not a fan of the treadmill but it served me well tonight. It felt a lot better than Monday’s run and I was very chuffed with myself.

Friday, 13th October: My Birthday!!

On my birthday last year I announced to my family that I would start running and would do 12 races before my next birthday. This birthday goal was actually there before my #17in2017 Challenge was set this year! And on my birthday I could say with the hugest smile on my face that I didn’t just manage 12, I managed 15! Now that is something I am super-proud of. Surrounded by good friends on my special day and knowing I had achieved the one goal I had set for my birthday last year, it felt like a very lucky Friday the 13th! 🙂

So… not the greatest three weeks! But I am quite happy that even though work conditions and hours were pretty much the same as the first two weeks, in the third week I managed two runs. And next week will be even better.

Mileage this week: 7.17 km

Mileage this training cycle: 41.86 km

Have you ever had not one, not two, but three dismal running/ training weeks? Do you set birthday goals?

Road to Soweto: Training Recap, Week 2

I am training for the Soweto 10k on the 4th November 2017. The Soweto Marathon is one of the biggest races in Africa and I am really looking forward to being a part of it! I am also doing a #17in2017 Challenge where the goal is to run 17 races this year! To keep myself accountable I am linking up with the inspirational Holly and Tricia this week for their Weekly Wrap! Be sure to check out what they and others have been up to this week.

This week I managed all my planned workouts plus a race! I was quite focused during the week and emerged feeling a lot stronger. I really hope I can keep up this momentum because in the recent past I have had a few “down” weeks that have set me back in terms of fitness. But with Spring here, I just feel a lot more energised!

Monday, 18th September: Pilates (1 hr class)

My pilates instructor Oliver worked us hard today! I knew we were in for it when he made us do extra warm-up stretches using the ring. But I absolutely loved it! After Saturday’s race, this was exactly what I needed. I love the power that pilates gives me to really use my mind to push my body. I also find that when I start my week with pilates I am a lot more committed to doing my runs. Probably no scientific basis, but I’ve definitely noticed the trend!

Tuesday, 19th September: Rest Day

I was actually supposed to do a Fartlek Run today but pushed this to Wednesday as I felt I needed a partner in crime for this run!

Wednesday, 20th September: Fartlek Run (25 min; 3.13 km) + Pilates (1 hr class)

Before the run I carefully read through my coach’s instructions on Fartlek Running. This was my first attempt and I roped in my cousin Tapiwa to try it out with me! We were initially quite intimidated but we ended up having so much fun with it! Our sprints between poles/trees were fast with my heart rate clearly showing the work I was putting in! The easy runs in between helped to give us the energy needed to do the next interval of Fartleks. By the time we were done, we actually felt so exhilarated! It was so hard to believe how painful it all was when we were doing it! Once we were done I went straight into my Pilates Class and unfortunately Oliver decided he wanted to push us even harder than he had done on Monday. Coming straight in from a Fartlek, I must admit I struggled!

Thursday, 21st September: Easy Run (30 min; 4.01 km; 07:30 min/km) + Conditioning Exercises

After Wednesday’s Fartlek Run it was nice to keep things easy. 🙂 I was alone with the kids so once I had put them to bed, I hopped onto the Treadmill. Not my favourite kind of running, but I managed a solid run so I was very pleased. I also did my scheduled conditioning exercises (4-point hip extensions/ squats/ clams/ planks).

Friday, 22nd September: Yay! Legal Rest Day!

Saturday, 23rd September: Race Day (The Botswana Independence Race – 1:13:59, 10 km, 07:24 min/km)

This was my second race in two weeks and you know what that means, right? Number 12 of 17 is in the bag!! As last week, this was a training Long Run for me but this time I wanted to increase my pace a bit more. I also hoped to shave off 3 minutes (!) from last week’s race which I almost did! Race Recap will be up shortly!

Count the fingers!

Sunday, 24th September: Blogging Day and a beautiful outing with my gorgeous girlfriends at a “Vintage” themed event 🙂

Mileage this week: 17.14 km

Mileage this training cycle: 34.69 km

What is your experience of Fartlek Runs? Are they part of your routine? Do you enjoy them?

Road to Soweto: Training Recap, Week 1

I am training for the Soweto 10k on the 4th November 2017. The Soweto Marathon is one of the biggest races in Africa and I am really looking forward to being a part of it! I am also doing a #17in2017 Challenge where the goal is to run 17 races this year! 

I felt overwhelmed this week. I had some difficult clients at work, my hubby was away, and the kids started back at school after the winter break. But in terms of workouts, I don’t think I did too badly and here is a quick recap. I am going to be linking up with Courtney at Eat Pray Run every week to keep myself accountable. Be sure to support Courtney’s blog as well as other bloggers on the link up!

Monday, 11th September: Pilates (1 hr class)

I had such a great work-out! I have missed quite a few classes over the last couple of months, so although my legs felt strong, my core definitely felt a lot weaker. But overall, I pushed hard and managed to stay on top of things.

Tuesday, 12th September: Rest Day (unplanned)

On Tuesdays I have a teleconference lecture/class from 19h30 – 21h00 at the Office. So that morning I packed my running stuff and the plan was to go for a run just after 17h00. But there was a major issue with a client that needed my attention so I just couldn’t get out. I was so disappointed.

Wednesday, 13th September: Easy Run (30 min; 3.87 km; 07:45 min/km) + Conditioning Exercises

I can honestly say that in 9 months of running, this was my worst run. I set off at 16h45 which was the first mistake. It was just too hot. My second mistake was starting out way too fast. I had not run in a week and with a race on Saturday I felt the need to go a bit faster than usual so I didn’t focus on the fact that this was supposed to be an easy run. With 15 min left on my run, I wanted to quit. I felt nauseous, weak and my average heart rate was high. Towards the end I was just shuffling along trying to make it look like I was jogging. By the time 30 min finally elapsed, I ground to a complete halt and contemplated cancelling Saturday’s race. 😦 Fortunately, I still managed some conditioning exercises (squats/ clams/ lateral band walks/ calf raises) when I got home.

Thursday, 14th September: Steady Run (30 min; 3.68 km; 08:10 min/km)

I felt like I needed to redeem myself for Wednesday’s debacle! So even though it was quite late (around 20h00) I set off for a run. I paced myself much better interchanging Easy and Steady paces. I kept the easy pace, really easy. In the end, it ended up being almost the same distance covered as Wednesday’s run. But so much more comfortable.  I am so glad I did this run as it gave me the confidence to continue as planned with Saturday’s race.

Friday, 15th September: Yay! Legal Rest Day!

Saturday, 16th September: Race Day (The GC Mayor’s Race – 1:16:09, 10 km, 07:32 min/km)

This was an official race, but I used it as a training Long Run and my goals were simple, 1) To run at a comfortable pace, 2) No real time goals but I was hoping for around 1:15/1:16, and 3) To run without my knee support. I am so pleased to say I managed all three goals and had a beautiful run. My pacing was on point, I feel like my form is improving, my knee was good and most importantly I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Plus of course Number 11 of 17 is now in the bag! Click here for the Race Recap!

Sunday, 17th September: Blogging Day 🙂

Mileage this week: 17.55 km

Mileage this training cycle: 17.55 km

Have you had a really bad run that shook your confidence? Do you use races as training runs?

End of Winter Training/Racing Season

I’m going to take a moment to sit back and reflect on the last few months of training and racing! I wrote quite an emotional post back in June where I discussed my injury time-out and put down in black and white my determination to continue with the 17 in 2017 journey despite the setback. I drew comfort and strength from one of my favourite bloggers Wendy, who once spoke of the importance of focusing on finish lines and not finish times. I returned to running with a 3 month winter training plan that was cautious but focused. Unfortunately, my training was quite interrupted with several life and work changes, and sometimes just the gloominess of winter! My blogging also took a bit of a backseat for a while. But I am very pleased to say that of the five races I had planned for this winter, I managed four, bringing my race tally to TEN this year. All my race recaps are now up and here is a short summary:

  • 08 July: I did the Kgale Cross-Country/Trail with my cousin Tapiwa. This was my first 15 km race and unfortunately one where we got mugged on the trail at knife point. It was an awful experience, but we finished the race.
  • 29 July: I participated in the epic 30k Desert-Bush Walk in Jwaneng, taking over seven hours to complete it and emerging from the desert, battered but undefeated!
  • 20 August: I was the 5k trail “sprinter” in the Time Team Challenge in Mokolodi that I did with Elisa and Ditiro. One of my favourite races yet and I shaved 13 minutes off a previous 5k Trail PB.
  • 02 September: To end my Winter Training Cycle, I did the Rustenburg Mountain Race (10km) with my husband on our way back from our holiday in South Africa. It was a tough race but I survived and felt stronger for it.

I emerge from winter, proud that I achieved so much but also extremely excited for what summer has to offer. My winter goal was to keep running, keep rehabbing my knee and to turn up for races, which I did. However, I think I am now ready to focus a little bit more on speed and I’m so excited to launch my training plan for my next goal race, the Soweto 10k in South Africa. The Soweto Marathon is one of THE biggest races in Africa, and I am really looking forward to taking part in the 10k and being part of that vibrant atmosphere. My 8-week Soweto training plan looks like this:

  • Three/four runs a week (with a long run every Saturday)
  • Pilates Classes on Mondays and Wednesdays
  • Conditioning/ Strength Exercises at home
  • Joining Virgin Active Gym – my first gym experience in 8 years!
  • Fortnightly weekend hikes up Kgale Hill to try and build some stamina for the Johannesburg hills

The #17in2017 Challenge continues and the next races on my calendar are as follows:

  • 16 September, the Gaborone City Mayor’s 10km
  • 23 September, the Botswana Independence 10km
  • 29 October, King of Africa Race 10km
  • 05 November, the Soweto 10km (GOAL RACE)

I feel ready, I feel excited, I feel optimistic. I will be returning to weekly training recaps, which I have not done all winter. So expect to hear from me every Sunday/Monday on how my training has gone. I find I am a lot more focused when I am forced to blog about my training! Looking forward to sharing the next stage of my journey with you! Let’s do this! Soweto, The People’s Race, I am taking that leap and coming for you…smiling, if a little bit scared!

Ziplining with my boy in Hazyview, South Africa

I am linking up with Courtney from Eat Pray Run for the Weekly Training Recap and really looking forward to linking up every Sunday/Monday to stay accountable and focused! I’m also linking up with Patty, Erika and Marcia for Tuesdays on the Run! Please check them out too, brilliant reads!