Journey to My First Half Marathon, Weeks 5 – 6

After running 17 races last year as a complete beginner, I am now training for my first Half Marathon on the 13th May 2018.

After two weeks struggling with malaria, I returned to training with some walking and easy walk-run interval sessions. But just as I was starting to feel myself again, I caught a cold. I guess my immune system was quite low and with kids just having started back at school again, it was to be expected. But still… ggrrr!

Week 5:

Mon – Sun, 29th Jan – 4th Feb:

Monday was my first day back at work from sick leave and I was sent for a week’s assignment to Windhoek, Namibia! At first, I thought the timing couldn’t have been worse but it turned out to be exactly what I needed – lots of work but I had a lovely hotel room to myself, room service if I wanted, and no whining kids! We stayed in a beautiful boutique hotel with a really nice restaurant downstairs that even had some gluten free dishes on the menu. Although not much, I’m glad I managed one walk during my stay – my colleague (and lovely friend) joined me for a walk downtown when we were on a break. It was great to see the town on foot and I felt so refreshed afterwards. Stats: Walk, 38:25 min, 2.82 km.

Week 6:

Monday, 5th FebruaryOutdoors, Walk-Run Intervals, 20:03 min, 2.44 km

Back home again, I was eager to get back into things. I set off for a run at 20h00 with Ditiro and was glad my coach had me doing walk-run intervals as it was tough getting back after having been out for so long. My legs felt good!

Tuesday, 6th February:  Unplanned Rest Day

There was an open day at my son’s school so unfortunately I had to miss my evening gym class. But I was a little bit glad as my throat had felt funny all day.

Wednesday, 8th February: Outdoors, Walk-Run, 30 min, 3:69 km

Still had a scratchy throat but decided to risk a run with the whole family in tow! Ditiro and the kids hopped on their bikes and they cycled while I ran. It was the first time the kids had been out on the sidewalk by the big road so they were over the moon! Kaia was a pretty good pace maker for me and I don’t think I have had so much fun on a run in a while. It was a brilliant experience for all. As she gets stronger on the bike she may even be good company for me on my longer runs!

Thursday, 9th February: Unplanned Rest Day

Sore throat had transitioned to a full-blown cold so decided to take a break from the gym and rest.

Friday, 10th FebruaryRest Day

Saturday, 11th FebruaryBlogging Day

I finally wrote my race recap from my 16th race last year! If you love race recaps as much as I do, you can read all about it here! I loved this race because it was in my husband’s home village so although it was terribly disorganised, I would do it again in a heartbeat!

Sunday, 12th February: Outdoors, Run 41:03 min, 5 km

My nose was still running like a tap, but my chest and throat felt good. So after a 2-hour nap in the afternoon, I drove out to the Agricultural College with the whole family for a cycle and run! I loved it so much on Wednesday, I figured, “Why not do it again?” As we drove out there, it started raining and there was a spectacular rainbow. But thankfully when we got to the place, we just had to wait 5 minutes before it stopped raining. Ditiro stayed back with Thiwa while Kaia accompanied me for the whole 5 km. She is becoming such a pro on her bike – while I was huffing and puffing, she didn’t even break a sweat! It was a lovely run – my coach had said I could break for a walk if I needed to, but I managed the whole 5 km running!

I might not be going very fast, but I am certainly putting in a lot of effort if this chart from the GPS watch is anything to go by!

Mileage last 2 weeks: 13.95 km

Mileage this training cycle: 44.32 km

Gym Classes last 2 weeks: 0

Grade: B- (I’m quite pleased with what I achieved. Disappointed that I got a cold but glad that I was able to assess myself and stick to all my runs. I think I could have done a bit more walking in Windhoek and maybe this last week done something like pilates on one of the days I wasn’t feeling too good)

To keep myself accountable I am linking up with the lovely Courtney from Eat Pray Run and as usual with the inspirational Holly from HoHo Runs and fabulous Wendy from Taking the Long Way Home! Be sure to check out their blogs (as well as others on the link-up) – you always walk away with a lot of knowledge.

Journey to My First Half Marathon, Weeks 3 – 4

After running 17 races last year as a complete beginner, I am now training for my first Half Marathon on the 13th May 2018.

Considering I am summing up two weeks, this will be a shorter blog post than usual, BUT with good reason. Yesterday I said to my coach, “Why aren’t things ever smooth sailing?” After two weeks of smiling workout selfies, this happened

Week 3:

Monday, 15th JanuaryOutdoors, Easy Run, 43:30 min, 5 km

The only thing I have been worried about since my training started is my niggling knee pain. But with help from other runners I realised I needed to put quite a bit of time into warming up my knee before running and then foam rolling afterwards. When I set off on my run on this particular Monday, I knew something was wrong almost immediately – my knee was okay, but my body was exhausted. In the first 200 m I was almost shuffling but I figured I was still tired from the 8 km run I had done the previous day. By the time I got to the first km I was exhausted and wanted to give up. The only thing that kept me going was the fact I had no actual pain. I was just tired. Should I stop because I am tired? I thought not – so I kept pushing, dragging my feet across that tarmac. When I got back, I checked the temperature and realised it was 37°C. Too hot and not temperatures I should be running in! I then felt better about the bad run and chalked it up to the heat.

Tuesday, 16th January:  Unplanned Rest Day

I woke up in pain – aching all over. Every muscle in my body was sore. I thought, Gosh! How unfit am I? Really, muscle pain from this very sloppy 5k run? I went into work as usual but by lunch-time I had to throw in the towel. The only way I can describe this exhaustion is the one some women experience in their first trimester of pregnancy, where you just can’t keep your eyes open. By the time evening set in, I knew something was wrong when my body temperature was 39.3°C. I had a terrible night, shivering and freezing, shaking and just aching all over.

Wednesday, 17th January: Unplanned Rest Day

I am one of those people who doesn’t like going to the Doctor’s. I haven’t had any bad experiences but I just feel there are some things the body can work through on its own. My husband was quite annoyed at my stubborn behaviour and said very clearly that in all the years he had known me (and we have been together for 15 years) he had never seen me this sick. Even brushing my girl’s hair for school was a struggle. But I still said, I’m sure it’s some 48 hour bug.

Thursday, 18th January: Unplanned Rest Day

I had no choice. I didn’t even complain as Ditiro helped me into the car and we went to the Doctor’s. Then came the most unexpected diagnosis – Malaria! Huh?? I have never had malaria before and I am very careful when visiting malaria zones but it would seem I got it when I attended my cousin’s wedding in Francistown (North-East of the country) in early December – mind you, this area has never really been considered a “malaria-area” so it was quite the shock. They started me on medication immediately which led to some awful side effects, nausea and migraines. At least the fever abated and the muscle pain subsided.

Friday, 19th JanuaryRecovering from Malaria

I couldn’t hold the medication down. I was now getting really dehydrated – so I went in for a drip and anti-nausea medication so I could at least continue with the malaria medication.

Saturday and Sunday, 20th – 21st January: Recovering from Malaria

Week 4

Monday – Sunday, 22nd – 28th JanuaryRecovering from Malaria

I had the whole week off from work – I was definitely a lot better but just extremely exhausted. The first few days I spent most of my time in bed, but by Wednesday I was actually doing work from home. I think Thursday was the first day I didn’t have to take a single nap during the day. By the time I got to the weekend, I was even able to take the kids for tennis practice and I was starting to feel my normal self again. What a debilitating illness. So… back to the business at hand! This has thrown my Half Marathon Training Plan off a bit… Coach Nicola has adjusted things a lot. I will start walking this week and then the following week I will do some run-walk intervals as I get back into things. She is confident that I will be ready for the Half Marathon – and that makes me confident too. So I am not going to allow negativity or doubts to creep in – I will do my best to stay positive and just get on with it.

Mileage last 2 weeks: 0 km

Mileage this training cycle: 30.37 km

Gym Classes last 2 weeks: 0

Grade: Ungraded. (I was going to give myself an F as nothing was done, but after lots of thought I think I am just going to settle with “Ungraded”. Fair?)

To keep myself accountable I am linking up with the lovely Courtney from Eat Pray Run and as usual with the inspirational Holly from HoHo Runs and fabulous Wendy from Taking the Long Way Home! Be sure to check out their blogs (as well as others on the link-up) – you always walk away with a lot of knowledge.

Journey to My First Half Marathon, Week 2

After running 17 races last year as a complete beginner, I am now training for my first Half Marathon on the 13th May 2018. To keep myself accountable I will be linking up with the inspirational Holly from HoHo Runs and her fabulous co-host Wendy from Taking the Long Way Home every week to make sure I stay on track and keep motivated! Be sure to check out their blogs (as well as others on the link-up) – there is always so much to learn! I love it!  

Monday, 8th JanuaryTreadmill/Outside, Easy Run, 40:30 min, 5.78 km

My knee was sore the whole day. It kept “clicking” and it felt so uncomfortable going up stairs at work and even walking from office to office. So I didn’t think this run would happen. But then I read a comment from Wendy from my last blog post where she asked whether I had a foam roller. I actually got a foam roller for mother’s day last year but had used it once. So when I got home I dusted off my foam roller and used it as part of my long warm up routine. I then hopped on the treadmill and started out nice and slow. I was pleasantly surprised that my knee felt good! Holly also suggested I Google some proper techniques for foam rolling which I have started work on already. So hopefully I can sort my knee out in this way. It just needs so much patience! Anyway, back to Monday’s run – with 300m to go, my treadmill just stopped working! I couldn’t bear to end the workout short of the 5 km I was supposed to do. So I quickly ran outside (temp was down to 27 °C so it felt a lot better) and I did 1.06 km bringing my total for the day to 5.78 km!

Tuesday, 9th January:  Gym Class (Shape)

Shape is a body conditioning class using a variety of equipment in the studio. Tapiwa and I found the class jam packed. As it was so full we only used dumbbells but we certainly made good use of them! I kept a close eye on my knee which wasn’t thoroughly warmed up and I’m really glad I used manageable weights (1.25 kg each). A woman in front of me used 4 kg dumbbells. I was in awe!

Wednesday, 10th JanuarySteady Run, 30 min, 3.79 km

Coach Nicola had scheduled a Fartlek for today but given my temperamental knee, we decided to change this to a Steady Run. As we had an event in the evening, I set off for my run around 06:30 am which is very unusual for me as I hate morning runs! My legs didn’t feel like lead as they had last week after my hard gym session. Progress! My knee was not 100% comfortable but I managed to run quite well.

In the evening, my running squad and I went out to Table 50 Two which is the highest restaurant in Gaborone to celebrate our #17in2017 achievement! The views of our little city were so beautiful! When I refer to hiking up Kgale Hill, that’s the hill I am referring to!

It was an amazing night out where we looked back at 2017 and what we had achieved. Of the 17 races I did, at least one of these friends was present at 16 of them and without a doubt they helped to get me through all those finish lines. It was a truly amazing year of running and friendship, one that needed to be celebrated in grand style! Our dress code was “Show them legs you worked for!”

Thursday, 11th January: Gym Class (Spinning)

The only class available at 6 pm today was Spinning! So I had my first go at a Spinning Class with Tapiwa. Quads and glutes, hello!! It was fun but tough and I love that there was very little impact on my knee. I was quite confused at the start of the class but in the end I kind of got the hang of things.

Friday, 12th January:  Rest Day

Saturday, 13th JanuaryGym Class (Pilates, 1 hr)

After Kaia’s tennis lesson, I went to a pilates class. It wasn’t the usual class I take and the instructor had a different approach to my usual instructor. We used the fit ball for the whole class which I have never done before. Although I struggled a bit in parts, I still had a good workout. It was exactly what I needed after all the tough gym classes and running I have been doing. A few days ago I joined Kelly Roberts’ #badassladygang which is all about setting and making impossible goals possible with the love and support of like-minded women! On Saturday I got my special announcement photo from her! How cool is this? To join just go to her new website,

Sunday, 14th January: Long Run, 8 km, 01:07:30 min

This weekend was so hot again and I really didn’t feel like running. I failed to run on Saturday as planned and on Sunday I had a million and one excuses NOT to. I also kept coming up with unrealistic solutions – maybe I can squeeze the run in first thing Monday morning? Yeah, right! So once things had cooled down around 18:30 on Sunday, I set off for a run with Ditiro. We started with a walk and then stopped for some warm-ups. Once I started running my knee felt okay but I really struggled with this run. It was tough and my average heart rate was 166 beats/min. So you can tell I was working hard! Ditiro’s was 115, LOL so it would seem while I was working my heart out, he was more or less on a leisurely stroll! I’ll get there! Of course, once I was done I was so glad I did it but boy, was it tough!!

Mileage this week: 17.57 km

Mileage this training cycle: 30.37 km

Gym Classes this week: 3

Grade: A+ (A great week. I had a few challenges but for the most part stayed focused and kept going. Even if I struggled with my Long Run, I got it done in the end!)