Thursday, January 23, 2014


With most of the running down over the Christmas break just running it was time to start training once again, so without really worrying just who much training / running the guys have done we jumped into training with both feet...

Monday was easy... EASY, well the session wasn't there to leave you dead, but just to stretch your legs, so after a 5km warmup we found ourselves on the track.
20 x 200m

1st 4 were at 10km pace 42sec
2nd 4 at 40sec, 5km pace
3rd set of 4 at 38sec, 3km pace
4th set of 4 at 36sec, 1500m pace
them the last 4 flatout... they ended up around 34sec.

It was nice to stretch the legs a big and without clock watching as we will start doing as the big races get closer it was very do-able.

Tuesday was a different story, Yes it was hot and the route I choose for our 2 x 5km session wasn't flat... But it's early days and we really just wanted to run hard, and what time we did was not important... I was a good 30sec slower than last year this time!

Now while Wednesday had an easy forest run on the program I headed out to Tygerberg for the first of the Spur Summer Series Trail races...

These are hard to race, and this is a brutal race with a climb of 240m in the first mile... it took me 10:39 to get to the top, I was in 3rd place with my friend and running team mate Bernard out front and some kid, a track running inbetween us! This race might offer amazing views of table mountain, but like a roller coaster we flew down a mine shaft and then from 3km to 3.5km we climb another 70m, on this climb I moved into 2nd place, and for a bit I though I might beat a couple of the open guys...

Dylan caught me climbing through the forest

I should have been flying down the long single track, but the old legs just don't work like they did back in the 90's and 2 skinny youngsters ran me down, but with a bit of a climb now I was able to stop anyone else from closing the gap... I had a look over my shoulder and if I kept my running honest my 4th place (1st 40+) was safe. Now I was also clock watching as I now wanted to finish in under an hour and beat the setting sun!

59:27 for 12.3km with over 500m climb, the tailender would take twice as long and come home under the stars by head lamp.

The View from the top
When I put together the program I didn't aim it at me who would be racing on the Wednesday, so Thursday had 10-15 x 400m waiting for the boys... I left them to run on the track alone and heading into the forest for an easy 10... I'm getting lazy in my old age, or was it because I had a 36km race to run on the weekend, I don't know!

Red Hill 36.2km Classic is really just used as a training run and I set out doing that. A number of friends were running the marathon on offer, so I set out with them the help with a 3 hour bus. At 20km when they turned off I found myself alone with Red Hill to climb 160m in 2km... Dawn was on the bike watching the race and I passed her and the first lady on my way up. At the top I asked the officials how I was doing, 18th and 4th old man...

So what did I do? Jogged down the hill to the coast, then upped the tempo to see if I could run down the other old men!!! So much for an easy day out I start knocking off sub 4:00 km the truth be told it wasn't that hard, it felt good to be running like this after Bay 2 Bay a couple of weeks ago. Dawn had caught me (easy ofter the hill) and with 8km to go she gave me a split of 4 min to 3rd 40+... (2nd and 1st not to much further ahead)

He was a broken man and it didn't take long for me to run him down, with 3km to go I could see the next guy 40sec ahead, but I didn't had a couple of 3:30's in my legs to run him down, so I had to settle for 3rd (14th overall) 2h32:06

One of the nicest run in Cape Town
9km was enough for Sunday and I called it a week at 95km...

Next week more of the same...

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


It was holidays and the start of a new year... So I did what all us runners do! I looked at my running gear, shirts (not that I run with a shirt on) shorts, bags, and of course SHOES.

Now if you are anything like me, you hate throwing out old shoes as much as you love new shoes, it's a real catch 22... So as you can well guess I have a couple of old pairs lying around. A couple of pairs that should have been tossed many miles ago, and with the start of a new year what better time to go through all the pair lying around and see if any could make it to the bin...

I am very lucky to be sponsored by New Balance at the moment and I had a meeting with them on the 8th about getting new shoes, so really I had to clean out a bit.

Looking at the shelve of shoes I thought, what about a last run in those old shoes, I've got a couple of easy runs planned, so why not...

This started on January 1, Yes I put on an old pair of shoes, and went for a little run... January 2, I put on another old pair of shoes... I was in trouble now, 2 days, 2 pairs of shoes!

Do you see the problem I was facing, How long could I keep going? With the 30km on the 5th I didn't use old shoes, 30km on the road, that would have been stupid, but the 6th it was raining any after that 30, I put on a very old pair and went for a little run. It was fun, but just how long was this going to last? I planned things that I had my V2 1010's on for Saturday's 2h35 on the mountain:

I wasn't running alone, I was lucky to be running with one of SA's top ladies...

Trail is a bit over grown!
Sunday I was on the road for 20km so I pulled out my road shoes, then come Monday it was time to start training and I was now almost out of shoes...

13 days...
On Tuesday it was over... I had run in a different pair of shoes every day for 13 days, and now I had better toss a couple of pairs!!!

So what sort of mileage have I logged in the older pairs:

My old KSO 5 Fingers have 1700km logged
The old New Balance MT 00 have 1600km logged
and I have another 3 pairs with over 1000km on them...

Not every shoes is good for that sort of distance, the hard rocky trails can eat your shoes, and the endless tar can flatten any cushioning... Since I run in mostly flat shoes I can log extra mile.

Please don't think all shoes are good for this sort of mileage, we don't want you picking up any unwanted injuries.

Friday, January 10, 2014

20 x 30km

Wow, with one year now behind us 2014 has started and the January races are there to be run... ready or not!!!

The first race here in Cape Town the the Bay to Bay 30km, so like the rest of the Road Runners I was up early and ready to Rock and Roll... I remember Dawn saying to me that it feels like just the other day that we were driving to the start of Bay to Bay.

I stood on the start line thinking about my race plans: Boy have they changed over the years... I can remember gunning from the start chasing the lead pack.

Today I would go out at 4:00/km and hope I could come home in just under 2 hours (That has been easy in years gone by!) From the start things felt OK and with the first km under 4 I was all smiles. Dawn was on the bike and had took off with the leaders to watch a couple of real runners. I promise I wasn't racing for a 40+ prise, but I did want to know who was up there... Tsungi, Graham, both miles ahead and then 3 guys I know I can beat! Oh dear...

5km and I was having fun running in a small group of guys, but then the hill too Llandudno I dropped most of the group including one of the 40+ guys and almost caught another! This was easy and I hadn't even put the hammer down... Down Suikerbossie I let him get away and the other guy catch up again, 10km in 38:40, easy peesy. Dawn wasn't cycling down any further, 500m was enough, and now she could watch the rest of the race and then see the leader on the way back. 11, 12 down hill 13 flat, then the group start to pick up the pace. Garmin called it 3:45, but the legs didn't want anything faster than 3:55. I would fall off the back and then work a bit to get back... This wasn't good, I now had to hold on till the hill on the way back, that would sort them out!

15km 57:05, but I wasn't going to stay with them, I now had a long was home on my own. first little hill didn't go so well the one guy left with me didn't fall off... Bring on Suikerbossie, I could see them up front and maybe the legs would have a bit of running left in them... No, while I did drop the guy who had been with me I was hardly running the others down. 1km up and I was being caught... That was not aloud, so I didn't slow as the 2nd km got steeper. Good I can still run. reach the top, there was dawn waiting for me and I past 21km in 83:30 9km of mostly down hill to go, sub 2 should be easy...

Ha Ha Ha

I had run at 4's going up, but that wasn't happening on the way down!!!

I wasn't sore I put caught run fast...
Dawn on the bike and looking good, but slow!

I'm not flying
My friend Anneline was on the side watching, I had to look good for her...

Made it..
20th Bay to Bay under the belt...2h02:14,  Ran my first one back in 1992, I'm getting old

Friday, January 3, 2014


WOW, can you believe another year is over and it's time to start planning 2014...

Now before we think about what lies ahead I had better have a little look back at 2013:

First lets just see what I've been doing since I last wrote, so that takes us back to Christmas. I was at work on Christmas eve and with it being a half day I decided to put my run in before work. Lots of eating to do with the family that evening and so much to do before then. So I was up at 05h00 and I was running hills. Yes a hill session of 10 x a 400m hill (95-100sec) I was planning on earning Christmas dinner with my Sister and all the family.

All dressed up
It wasn't that late when we rolled home, But Dawn and I had thought a lot about Christmas day and planned on going to the 11h00 service, giving us a little time in the morning.

I headed off at 7 up the mountain, Nursery Ravine, from home it's 8km to the top and 750m climb, just the way to burn off a couple of mince pies!!! Dawn just ran past a friends house to check that all was well (1 of 3 houses we were looking after) before heading home to wake up her friend (best friend from Scotland) who was staying with us. Then the 2 of them took the dogs to the beach for a walk!

Already hot at the top...
Christmas Dinner was at 18h30 with Dawn's family, and they were coming to us. I had Chicken and Lamb to cook on the fire...

With so much food consumed I met a couple of friends at Constantia Neck on the 26th and the 3 of us ran up to the Dams for a swim. (another 600m of climb)

Perfect for a swim!
Saturday saw us head out to Houw Hook Inn for a wedding:

Dawn's goddaughter!
We partied to midnight before heading to our room. Wait for it, at 06h30 I was up to join Bret for a little run on the mountains behind the Inn:

After 5km of climbing!

Bret crossing a mnt bike bridge
As if all of that wasn't enough I joined my from Eddie on Monday the 30th for 3 hours of trails:

No 100m record were run that day!
With the office still closed Dawn and I choose to put in a 2 hour cycle on the 31st, Then while dawn took the dogs for a walk I headed out for a run, don't worry I didn't head up the mountain, I headed to the track for 10 x fast slow 200's!

Now finally with the year behind us let's have a look at the magic numbers:

Garmin calls it: 4 560.31km run (I call it 4 555.2km)
Time: 370h59:10
Elevation gained: 112 844m
Day's run: 365
Races run: 47 (I also ran 4 x 5km TT that's another 20km!!!)

Distance: 991.8km should have run that other 10km

Best times for the year:

5km 17:23 didn't really race
10km 33:23
15km 51:51
21.1km 74:26
Marathon: 2h52:45 (to close to that half!)
I also did OK in a couple of trail races!!!

If you look at that I can't be unhappy...

2014, let it bring more of the same!!!