Monday, March 25, 2013


With a little rain overnight, and almost no wind conditions looked good for this morning's 10km race. Friday's little 5km run didn't tell me how I was going to run, but the day at work had given me a bit of hope. Both legs were moving in the right direction as I walked out to lunch, and then that evening I had energy to spare as I took Shandy and Peanut for a walk...

Why all this energy?
Well we are down to the business end of training for Oceans and with a public holiday in the week we mixed things up a bit...
Monday hills 2 x 2min, hard up and fast down, then 5 x 60 fast up easy down. Now with the session basically over we headed back to the club by running up the hill round and back...
Tuesday, well Nike had a 5km runpoolparty funrun, so after a warmup we ran a hard 5km.
Wednesday was back to the track for a couple of rolling 200s (fast - slow) I only did 10 sets.
Thursday holiday time, and yes I could have run a half marathon, but... I headed off too UCT to recky the 2Oceans trail. Ake joined me and we took it easy. 2h35

Ake climbing to the cannons

Back to the race:
I joined the start line from the front, but pushed a couple of rows in so as not to get pulled out of the start blocks to fast. I really don't know how some of those guys run so fast! But races aren't won in the first km! I settled into my running and past the 1st board in 3:35... Long km not a good sign. Now yes Ms. 310 can tell me distance, we are running their 10km race and if they have stuffed the distance we still have run to the finish and it makes getting your time just that much harder... Lucky the board was only in the wrong place so as I passed 2km in 6:38 feeling fine.

Maybe 3.5km

I went 5km in 16:35 and for that moment on I knew that aim of a sub 34 was on the cards. A guy past me and I changed my focus to stay with him. Now the head was working overtime, maths at 3:20 / km isn't my strong point, but I knew if I could keep the km under 3:30 I would be OK. I wasn't thinking about a finishing time, just about that sub 34. As I past 9km in a few sec over 30min, it was mine. I didn't slow down running a 3:20 last km and finishing in 33:23. Fastest time in 6 years... WOW didn't know I could still ran that fast, the question now is can I run faster... Don't know and well, I don't know if I'm going to find out. I have other races to run, and it's about having fun out there. The week ahead is taper week, much needed going to enjoy the couple of easy days...

Monday, March 18, 2013


With another week of work training behind me I thought I had better look back and see why climbing the stairs to the 10th floor seemed like hard work!!!

Wait I think I've said that all wrong, it's always hard work climbing the stairs to my office... Some days I get the feeling that all this training just make me tired, but maybe tired is good:

Monday 11 March started like most of my weeks start, with a easy run to recover from the weekend, now my recovery runs isn't the same as yours... I set off from the club at UCT and take the boys (and a couple of girls) up to the block house a 500m+ climb up the side of Devils Peak. I told you it was a nice recovery run the 12.3km took my just over and hour.

Tuesday, I will not beat around the bush, 6 x 1km on the road with only 90sec can be hard work, and with our little loop being slightly up on the km out and that same little bit down for km number 2 my splits looked like this:  3:22  3:14  3:20  3:11  3:19  3:01, put the cards on the table but couldn't dip the magical 3min.

Wednesday would normally be an easy loop in the forest anything up to 18km, but I have a wife and she also does a little running, and on this Wednesday she was running her 100th club Time Trail. So I left my children at UCT and joined my wife... No I didn't run with her, I still wanted a longish run, so I felt home early and ran 10.5km to the club. I did stand on the start-line with her as we started but... Yes BUT I took off no it wasn't really fast I was feeling yesterday (and so I should be) and I had to hold back for tomorrow's session. (like that was going to happen.) I finished in 17:23!

So what did Thursday hold, yes the session I was talking about, 30 x 200m 30sec rest... it's a biggy, but we are in the meat of training and as you know: It's no rest for the wicked, and no-one got fit without a little hard work. Don't worry guys I am human I pulled of the track after 20 of them (34sec-38sec)

Friday rest day, so I just jogged 6km round the block before work. Now I know going over to the neighbours for a drink isn't training, but to much red wine and the need to be up by 04h15 if I was going to make it to the 30km race.... OK on to Saturday

I slept in... 30km race didn't happen: Instead I put on these shoes

and head for:

Maclear's Beacon
The top of the mountain, from home it took me 90min to reach the top, and it was hard work the whole way... I didn't just turn round and head home, I turned to Platterklip and the Valley of the Red Gods, the mist had lifted and I was now running a little better:

Running back form my phone!

With the loop on top of the mountain done it was time to head down Nursery:

3h12:14, 26.3km, 1280m climb

Sunday, long run day, but after yesterday I didn't go mad and only ran for 90min (19km with a friend)

Only one more week of the heavy training before we taper...

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


With VOB hosting the weekends race on Saturday and the Cycle Tour on Sunday I had to find time to fit in a long run. Now as you all know the long run is the bread and butter of any training program, so what was I going to do... I could have ditched the idea of running the 15km race on my doorstep and headed for the mountains, or with a little warm up and a little warm down I might end up with enough miles for the day.

I was up early on Saturday, but since I didn't have to drive anywhere I ran out the front door and headed for the start line... In the dark of the morning I did what anyone would have done, I turned left and headed away from the Club, I didn't need to be there for almost an hour. Like for must races I needed to make sure I was as lite as can be and a trip past the garage took care of that... With time now running out I turned to the club and the start of the race. 53min and 11km later I was on the start line with over 3 000 other people there!!!

Don't worry I had already worked out a race plan and it wasn't too run for money and chace the fast boy's... I just wanted to run hard and controlled and leave enough so I could run on if I had too...

In those 1st 5km I past a lot of guys who had gone out to fast even with 11km in the legs it felt OK at I took the split in 18:27. It wasn't long after that I caught and past the 3rd placed lady, she was nice and I nearly stayed behind her... No Coach you are a married man, so I ran straight past and took the split for the next 5km 18:31.

At 11.5km there is a little hill and I now could see one of the UCT boys, after overtaking another guy who runs for Celtic's and trains with us I had the sights set... Hills, Yes Hills, I didn't slow I did how ever have to work harder, but with the pace good I closed the gap. I saw Richard slowing as he took a corner I shouted at him that if he didn't up his game I would catch him... With just over a km I passed him and told him to stay with me. (Coaches are along to to that.) He came, but was a bit like a Yo-Yo as his mind played with him: No I can't make it, Yes I can, No I can't make it, Yes I can, Yes I can, we were now on the grass with only 200 meters when he passed me and left me for dead. With the effort on the hills I had run 18:26 for the last 5km to finish with 55:25...

I wasn't in a rush to get home, and after a couple of beers and chatting to my friends I ran straight home, 2km to give me 28km for the day.

I know I could write another long story about Sunday and the Argus Cycle tour, but I'm not going too... I'm going to keep it short: I was on the start-line for the 17th time and my 14th with Dawn on the OLD Tandom.. We started at 08h28 and headed out of town with the 35 000 other guys!!! Well the pro's had started at 06h15 and with a couple of minutes between groups the last group would leave town at 10h30!

Dawn and I don't take this to seriously as it is after all a tour... I had taken the bike out on Saturday Afternoon for the first time since last years tour and after pumping the tires and dusting of the cobwebs it was good to go:

Not built for speed...
Out trip around out to Cape Point was easy and with our first stop at Simon's Town coming at just the right time. My drink was finished, and Dawn's knee needed a break. We were lucky and met 2 friends and got to ride with then for a bit, unbelievable with so many bikes out there.. I think the weather had played ball and the wind wasn't to bad, but it was getting hot and with 109km to ride we had to keep moving. We had a couple more stops to refule and other than seeing a couple of bikes and rides on the ground!!! we had a quiet ride stopping the clock in 5h09h15. Dawn had the auto pase on Mr Garmin, and that called it 4h59;20 of riding.

After all that sitting I popped out for a 6km run while Dawn went down to the gym to swim 1km... I don't know who is more mad!!!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013



On Saturday I lined up for another 10km race, but this time I wanted to run fast, so like all you hot shot runner out there I pulled out the racing shoes:

If I pull these out I mean business...

I was there (Century City) in good time, so was the wind... but that wasn't going to stop me. I had time for and wait for it did, a proper warm up, 3km with strides and all.

Standing on the start line I looked around and all the old men were there so the race for money wasn't going to happen, but today it was about the clock!!!

With the starters gun the clock started and we set off down the road. 1km down and the lead ladies were still ahead of us, and the 2nd place 50+ was also there, I had one of my athletes just behind and one just ahead, while my friend Roger was next to me with a couple of other guys. We passed 2km in 6:46 and caught the 3rd placed lady. Then we caught the group of guys with the lead ladies and I went straight past taking with me the lead lady and Roger, 3km 10:07. Now running this fast can't be go for one, because i can't really remember much more of the race...

OK The lead lady dumped me at about 4km (this could be partly to blame for my sudden loss of memory) and I was left to fight the wind through 5km 16;56. I was still running fast, but it was hard work with the wind and I felt I wasn't really getting anywhere. As the km past I was clock watching and doing all sorts of maths in my head. 3km to go 10:00 or just under would give me 34;00...

No it wasn't going to happen Mr Wind was in my face and I felt I was going backwards. The running wasn't smooth, but with 1km to go I start to run down the lead lady, we had the wind at our backs and I was working hard 3:13 fastest km of the day and that was for the last km... But more importantly I had chased down the lead lady and passed her on the grass finish!!! 34:35 my fastest time is 5 years!!!


Sunday evening I headed onto the mountain for a long run. Parking at Constantia Nek I set off at 17h00 up the concrete road. Yes I was slow, the first 5km took my 32:52 (I did climb 468m)

Looking down to the Nek
After 5km I hit the single track and it was quiet no-one up there Iit felt as if it was my mountain (which it is) I took time to look at the flowers:

I had many miles to go and the sun wasn't going to be up all night... So I hit the trail once again:

I got the McClear's Beacon at 18h22;

Top of the Mountain
There were a couple of people up there and as I headed off the Platterklip I passed a couple more (Cable Car users!!!) I didn't head down the face of the mountain, but turn through the Valley of the Red gods and headed for the Dams...

Perfect evening
The sun was low now...

From there it was a mad dash to beat the ever closing darkness...

Friday, March 1, 2013


Sunday saw the running of the 4th race in the Cape Summer Trail Series... With 3 races down most of the series winners were know, as with only 3 to count they had run well enough to make their mark. I had a 2nd and 2 1st, giving me 4 points, Johnny was close behind with a win and 2 2nd's... a win for Johnny today would put us even on points and it would be down to time...

I wanted the win... I didn't want to be waiting round for the organizes to add up the times from all 4 races, I don't take stress!

The start of the race was fast, too fast for a fat, slow, old, man like me and the boys flew down the gravel road.
Not our start, but the 25km start...

OK Kane was flying with 2 guys chasing hard, 1 of them was Johnny, (my 40+ competition) So I had to throw caution to the wind and and put the hammer down... Now I'm not a racing machine anymore, so I can't go out hurting from the gun! The early km were flat and easy by trail standards and the gap to Johnny and 3rd (or 1st 40+) grow till we crossed the dam at 3km.

No that's not me over striding
I took a split and was about 45sec behind, but with a couple of hills over the next 6km I had to up my game if I was to catch him.

Roger had been following my every move, but I hit the single tracks with purpose (these single tracks are on mountain bike routes on the farm Oak Valley that we were running on). Back to the race, running like a rally car using the banks to take the turns I weaved through the forest and up the little hills. 30 sec the gap was closing.

With more than 1 race on the go we were catching the 25km guys who had started a hour earlier... and the back of their field were easy pickings as I chased Johnny up the hill. 9km down and he crossed a fence and headed down 20sec I now had too see what I could do all all my hard work would be worth nothing... 3:25 and 3:27 the next 2 km were the quickest of the race. Johnny's orange vest was easy to see, but now as I was passing more and more 25km runners more and more of them had orange vests on...

Between 11km and 12km there was a short steep hill and I had no time to slow, so push I had to push. I was killing myself hammering the downs and hammering the ups, flying round the corners and through the bush to pass the 25km runners... Yes I coulds see Johnny, but I just couldn't catch him.

33sec, did Johnny have a big enough gap to take the title...

No the title was mine :) I had beaten Johnny by enough in the hills of Tygerberg. It had been a hard fought battle, but fun, don't tell anyone, but I do like racing!