Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Yes we all have dreams, and there was I time when I thought I could get close...

OK I was running down a very steep hill in a mountain race, I was young and flying. I had run the last 5.3km in 14:45!!! But really that was all gravity... My best Mile every run was 4:22 on the Beach Road out at Milnerton (with a South Easter pushing me the whole way!)

That was 20 years ago, back then I spent a lot of time running track, I would run everything from the 110H to the 3000 walk. I wasn't good, but I loved it and wait for it: I still do.

Tonight I was back on the track for the first time in a long time.

I was there to race one of my athletics over a mile!!! Oloff is my age and runs a mean 400m and 800m, I run marathons and mountain races, so the mile seemed to be a good race...

warming up

I was there in good time and left Dawn in the car with the thins and sherry (the wind was cold) while I headed out for a couple of laps warm-up, with the strides done I found myself heading to the start.

That is us lining up
The gun went and I seemed to be the only one left on the line!!! Dawn was on the corner to take a picture:
No you can't see me I'm at the back!
I was last on the first bend... I'm just fat and slow!!! OK most of the field was only as old as my shoes!!! But the race isn't won on that first corner, and I wasn't going for a win I was aiming at the 4 min mile!!!

Round the bend and down the back straight I settled into my running and started to think about catching the 'kids' in front of me. I had not clue as to what speed felt like, I can run a marathon at 4min/km, but to head out at 3min/km...

I look at Mr. Garmin at 200m and he told me I had done well 200m, I had to look again to see my time 36sec I was spot on... I then took the lap at 400m 72.2, (3min/km), maybe I was to slow, hell yes I was to slow, I had to make my move.

I was catching some of the youngsters while running down the back straight. Was I running faster or slower, I was running hard, that is all I know, but my 800m split 2:27.2 told a story. I was now going into oxygen debt!!! It was hard running down the home straight to finish lap 3 I had the wind behind me, but I wasn't running any faster... 75.6.

One lap to go.. 400m I had nothing left to fight the wind down the back straight, I felt as if I was going nowhere, it took an eternity to hit the 200m mark and the last bend. Some kid who I had past on the back straight then past me and if I was standing still, how did he do it!!! 76.3, 9 meters to go... It was all over.

I looked at Mr. Garmin 5:00.99 I had missed the 4min Mile by 1 sec. A sec I bet I would have had if I was in spikes, a sec I would have had if the wind had stayed away, a sec Mr. Garmin said I wasted running wide. (OK he thought I had run the whole race in the 8th lane he measured it as 1.699, 90meters to long!!!)

When is the next MILE? I don't know, but I do hope to run another track race.

Friday, November 25, 2011


So what have I been doing this week to recover from this:
Yes it was hot at the end of the marathon!
Like a good boy I took Sunday off, Dawn went for her morning run (she had taken Saturday off to support us.) So while she ran I took the dog for a walk.
Now on Monday I was back at the club, and once I had sent the other guys off for an easy run I walked down to the track. Yes a lot of you would have said an easy run would be OK, but I think a little track helps stretch out the legs... So I did 10 x 50m. It wasn't about running fast it was about getting the legs working, and yes the last 3 were under 8.5sec down from 11.8!!!!

Tuesday I took the guys to the hill and let them run 10 x 60 sec, while I ran 10 x 10sec. I must say I was running nicely and was please the way they turned out.

Still not wanting to just get out there and plod, on Thursday I headed here:
Rhodes Mem
Yes I jogged up to Rhodes Mem for a couple of STAIRS!!! There are 49 stairs, but I don't run up the little ones, I head up and down the big ones!! (about 25 of them).
So I ran up, looked at the view:
The View
And run down, only to do it all again, 22 time!!! Each loop takes between 46 - 43sec.

Come Thursday and I was almost ready to start training properly again, so after the 5km warmup I joined in the sesion of fast / slow 200m's. I ran the fasts in just under 36sec (I would like to think that is my mile pace), and then took the slows very easy +_5min/km pace.

With the week now behind us I am ready for the weekend, and then... next week I race a MILE.

Steve took the picure of me and I found the pictures of R/Mem on the web.

Monday, November 21, 2011


With a 05h30 start out in Stellenbosch it was always going to be an early start... The alarm rudely went off at 03h30, it was still night but we could lie around we had to pick Dawn's friend Jana up at 04h05 and hit the road. Arriving at Coetzenburg at 04h50 left us enough time to pick up our race numbers and stand in that morning Q!!!I went straight to the front of the 1000+ strong field and found Damian who was running his first Marathon, I planned to go out with him at 4min/km.

100m in and Dawn missed me!!!
We left the track and head down the road, Yes those early km were a little fast, but we were running down hill and we could all ran at the pace. Mr. Garmin called 5km in 19:00 (road marking at about 15 sec slower). Things had settled and we had a nice group of people running together.
knocking of 4min/km
Don't know if you can tell, but that's the first lady with us. We went through 10km in 38:55, pace was spot on and all was well. I had been counting the 40+ guys and I counted myself in 11th place (ok 3 of them were running with me.)

At about 11km Damian and I pulled away from our group and the race was on... No we didn't pick up the pace or anything we just kept it at 4's - 15km in 58:53. We had climbed our 1st little hill and Damian had slowed a bit but was still about to stretch his legs on the flat and down hill. I was feeling fine at 17km when we turned of the 'back' roads onto the R44. Up that first hill I was feeling strong, yes we lost a little time, but made in up over the next couple of km. We past half way in about 83mins still nicely on time. 

I pulled away from Damian on route to the 22km mark as we climb a hill. At the top I slowed to let him catch me but decided that his 2h48 wasn't going to happen and if I wanted mine I had to now run my own race. 

Running on my own I set my sights on the guy in front of me and set off... We had already caught most of the 40+ guys and on my way to 30km I moved into 3rd place!!! That 5km split was 19:10, ok there was a bit of down hill involved, but my legs felt fine only 12 to go. At this stage was had a little out and back bit, and I held on to 4min/km till 34km then we climb a bit of a hill 4:33. 35km down, and I remember seeing the km board 2h20:00. (Mr. Garmin had me running through the marker in 2h19:03).
I'll have some water.

With 7.2km left that 2h48 was still on the cards, but now my legs were getting tired and my right hamstring was getting tight... Not wanting to cramp of pull it, I had to control the run in and I lost a couple of seconds/km... I thought I could still break 2h50 with 1km to go, but that last 200m was just to long and I finished with a respectable 2h50:23. 18th and 3rd 40+

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


It's been such a long time since I have run a good MARATHON that I don't know if my body wants to be a marathon runner any more...

We'll find out on Saturday.

Now before Saturday we have to get through today, Yes today, well tonight I run a 10km race. Don't worry I'm not racing I'm going to run with a friend, the aim 38:59 (OK she wouldn't mind anything faster). This is the race my wife ran her PR on, so if the route is the same we could help Candice to a PR (not that we can count it as she will be running with a man!!!).

So what does one do in the days before a marathon? Well I back off the running (yes I taper) and I look over how the training has gone, the log book never lies!!!

So what does the log book say?
  1. 91.7km week before (25km, 5km, 30.6km, 45.9km, 65.3km)
  2. 104km
  3. 98.6km
  4. 104km
  5. 100km
  6. 55.1km (no morning runs)
Mileage tick.

Long runs:
  1. 25km 2h19 half mountain half road.
  2. 26km 1h59 on the road
  3. 28km 2h58 over the mountain
  4. 30km 2h21 on gravel with a pack a lone
  5. Half marathon hard plus 5.4km and 3 easy in the evening
  6. 12km 51:53 one week to go.
Long runs tick.

  1. Tuesday 4 x 600m, Thursday 6 x 100m.
  2. Tuesday 3 x 3km, Thursday Hills.
  3. Tuesday Hills, Thursday 12 x 200m.
  4. Monday 12 x 200m, Thursday Hills.
  5. Tuesday 8 x 1000m, Thursday 15 x 400m., Saturday 10 x 200m
  6. Tuesday 2 x 1000m, Thursday 10 x 200m.
Speed tick.

  1. Easy running (it was an easy week before the Marathon training started!)
  2. Easy running, Saturday 10km race fast tempo.
  3. Easy running, Wednesday 10km race easy tempo, Sunday 10km Marathon Pace.
  4. Easy running, Wednesday 10km race hard!!!
  5. Easy running, Sunday Half marathon hard!!!
  6. Easy running, Wednesday 13km trail race hard tempo.
So the home work is done, lets hope I can pull it off, pull what off? Well I want to... Here I go again putting my head on a block.

I hope to be able to take a friend through for his 1st marathon. The plan 4min/km till 30km than I hope to be able to go 'hunting' and chase down any 40+ men ahead of me. My wife will be on the side of road to let me know.

So here's to hoping I'm not the one been chased down... (that happened last year.)

Monday, November 14, 2011


Unlike the half of last week I wasn't running, but Dawn was so I was still up early to show my support and to take pictures...
The Start

Heading out

The lead ladies

A girl Friend!!!

My Wife and her friend

The front boys

Leading 40+

Mike only made it to 6km!!!

That's me running with One of the 7 Wonders of the World in the back ground!

Only 2 in the lead group with 500m to go.

Jana dropped my wife!!!
Still friends after the race
That's my story...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


With the 10th running of The Landmarks Half I was lining up for my 10th run... I wasn't the only one I think there were 26 of us.

With my marathon still 2 weeks away I was going to run hard on my tired legs and see what I could do... So would was my aim on the start line? Well first up I had to put in a couple of km before the race as a warm up and as extra mileage. I didn't feel bad in the first 5km and was right on target time 18:01. Those km had been very flat and I had been running with 2 other 40+ guys, we were fighting for 3rd place... 5km-10km the race changed as we climb to Rhodes Memorial a climb of 147m I took 20:27 leaving the other 40+ guys behind, I even thought I might catch Sean... With the climb done it was time to head down... I didn't hammer it, but tried to keep the pace up as we hit the flats, but the legs were heavy and those 5km to 15km took me 18:04 fast enough for a flat 5km, but this was down hill we dropped 127m. I glance over my shoulder let me know I was been caught.

The legs didn't have anything in them and at 17km I was taken and lost my 3rd place. I got to 20km (last 5km 18:39) with enough time time the bag still to break 80min (79:35).

I was happy with the time, but on fresh legs I would have kept my 3rd place. (I get him if he runs the marathon.)
Now the important news: I was the 1st guy running his 10th to finish, so permanent number 1:

Number One
I was shattered so only managed 3.4km warm down while running back for my wife (who lost out on winning her category in the last km...)

After adding up my weekly mileage I found out I was 3km short of 100km for the week...

Yes I ran home after walking the dogs in the evening....