Cape Town is absolutely gorgeous.
This weekend I celebrated a friend’s birthday at at Kleinplaas Dam, in Simon’s Town. Kleinplaas Dam is found at the top of Red Hill. If you find yourself driving pass a squatter camp (informal settlement) then you’ve gone too far. It took me an HOUR to drive from Plumstead to the dam. And when I arrived, I found that I was the first person to arrive. The others would all arrive an hour later. My spent the time reading “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” and praying that a large, dangerous snake (Cape Cobra, Puff Adder) would not cross my path.
Swimming isn’t technically allowed in the dam. And if caught, you are liable to pay a fine.
Last night, I accidentally introduced my dad to YouTube. And when I say accidentally, I mean that I was sitting in my parents’ living room, eating their free food and using their free WIFI to watch THIS awesome video of Beyoncé and Jay Z’s Paris tour, when my dad walked by. (Please note that my dad thinks Beyoncé is Britney.) After watching the clip twice, my dad said, “Play some Nicki Minaj. That one where she sings about her boom boom.” (He was of course referring to Super Bass.)
My one-year old “niece” can say a few words. In her vocabulary is “charger” and “money”. I can’t take credit for teaching her that, but I do plan on teaching her to say “wifi”.
A few days ago, I was having lunch at Amy Bun’s place when a beggar rang the doorbell.
Me: We don’t have anything.
Him: Can I speak to the boss please?
A few weeks ago, I attended Dizzy* and Juan’s housewarming party. At some point during the evening, a friend of Juan’s told the group that he’d heard this pick-up line and would like to share it with the group. Being the fun loving bunch that we are, we enthusiastically agreed to hear him out. We soon regretted our decision.
Him: Do you have pet insurance?
Group: Erm … no.
Him: Because tonight your pussy is going to get a pounding.
I was paging through my sister’s Instagram account (stalking) recently*, when I came across a photo of my dad, my sister and myself. The photo was taken by her husband as we ran/walked/stumbled through Durban city centre towards the Comrades finish line. (My dad had entered the ultra-marathon. We were simply loyal supporters.)
Looking at that photo I realised how badly I wanted THAT. I want to run the Comrades Marathon – all 89km of it. I know that it’s going to be tough and that I will need make a LOT of sacrifices, but I can’t help wondering what is possible. I want to know what I am capable of.
But it won’t happen anytime soon. I’m a crawl before you walk kinda girl. So first I’m going to concentrate on obtaining that sub-2 for a half-marathon. (This will happen before year end, of this I am certain.)
“That everything you want to happen, will happen, if you decide you want it enough.”
I will also run a couple of marathons and then attempt the Two Oceans Ultra (56km). Once, and only once, I’ve completed the Two Oceans within the cut-off time, then I’ll seriously consider training for the Comrades.
*Thanks to my sister’s Instagram account, I also learnt that she visits the golfing range on a regular basis and has changed her surname recently. And when I say recently, I mean 10 months ago. When she got married.
I took this photo weeks ago at the Waterfront. It’s been a while since I picked up my camera.
Last month I downloaded and completed Nicole Armstrong’s monthly review template. I’d planned to do the same thing this month, but found I couldn’t. Listing my achievements for September was easy enough (42km in sub 5 hours). It’s the looking ahead section that I had trouble with.
I couldn’t think of anything that I was fully committing to or consciously prioritizing. Instead I kept focussing on what I couldn’t achieve within in THIS month. I kept telling myself that there was no way I’d be able to attain my goal of running a half-marathon in under 2 hours (my current PB is 2:01); that it would take months of training. After days of this BS it finally dawned on me. Well duh. Of course, I wasn’t going to attain my goal THIS month or anytime soon. I wasn’t doing anything that supported my goal. I wasn’t actively pursuing my goal. I wasn’t focussing my time and energy on getting faster. Instead I’d been skipping my regular training runs, choosing to nap or read a book instead. And even when I did turn up for my runs, I took them easy, deciding not to push myself.
Once I had the epiphany, coming up with a basic idea of what I need to commit to or consciously prioritise, was easy.
- I need to start wearing a watch and start timing my runs.
- I need to commit to running at least four times a week.
- I need to start participating in weekly time trials.
I am still a little fuzzy on the details – I’m not sure how much mileage I should commit to and if 4 days a week is enough. There all also a couple of things I’ll need assistance with. There’s this Park Run, a timed trial that happens close to my apartment. It happens every Saturday morning, and I’ve been meaning to go for the last 9 months. I’ve registered and printed out my unique barcode, but I’m terrified of attempting it by myself.
A list of links to articles that have inspired, appalled or amused me:
Yesterday, I completed the Cape Town Marathon in 4:52. Not only did I complete the marathon in sub-5 thereby ensuring my entry into an ultra, but I also did so after attending The Fray concert and arriving home at 12:00. I woke up at 05:00 the next day. Yes, I ran 42.2km in under 5 hours AND did so on only 5 hours sleep. AND didn’t poop my pants! For my next magic trick I’ll turn water into wine.
Anyway, you probably want a brief recap of my race:
Hot: It was crazy hot on Sunday. And at one point (39km mark) I was acutely aware of my breathing (I was panting) and heart rate. Luckily the water stations were well stocked and I could drench myself in glorious water.
Let other people do the hard work. On the day of the race, I ended up following pace setters. I let them do all the hard work. I left them to do all the mental arithmetic and calculators. I let them decide how fast we should run and when we should walk. This left me free to focus all my attention on listening to my audio book. Yes, I “read” a book on space while running a marathon.
Flag bearers are fun. The pace setters, the men and women who carry the flags loudly proclaiming their goals, are amazing motivators. Every so often my pace setter would shout out a slogan and his “followers” would shout back a reply.
Pace setter: Energy.
10km left. At the 32km, I tore away from of the five-hour bus. It wasn’t intentional; it just felt natural to speed up.
Grateful. I am grateful for Fahiema and Kim for standing in the heat and waving their pompoms, for handing me chocolate, and for sending me the photo of the runner in his Speedo. Thanks!
More. I want to run another marathon. I want to see what I’m really capable of. Can I run a marathon in 4:30?
Next up on the bucket list:
- Running a half-marathon in under 2 hours. (My current PB is 2:01.)
- Abseiling from Table Mountain. (This item has been on my bucket list for far too long.)
- Watch The Shining. (I hear it’s really good.)
A list of links to articles that have either shocked, amused or angered me:
- Cee Lo Green thinks that it’s totally okay to drug and then have sex with an unconscious woman. Because people who have really been raped REMEMBER. Oh and did I mention that Cee Lo pleaded no contest to secretly slipping ecstasy into a woman’s drink?
- A couple of Russians troops “accidentally” wandered into Ukraine. In response the Canadians were nice enough to make them THIS map.
- This adorable four-year-old reviews The French Laundry, a Michelin star restaurant. (A nine-course tasting menu will set you back $295). “At least it’s a salad, but it’s not very much salad.”
- A few weeks ago, Marvel unveiled the cover illustration of Spider-Woman #1. The Oatmeal decided to re-draw Spider-Man the same way.
- The AskHerMore campaign tries to encourage journalist to ask female actors pertinent questions, instead of the usual, “Tells us about what you’re wearing today.”
- Ray Rice, a NFL player was caught on tape punching his girlfriend unconscious. He was subsequently fired. With one tweet Chris Rock destroyed the NRF narrative.
Cape Town Marathon
On Sunday, while the rest of my friends are sleeping in and eating pecan pancakes drenched in maple syrup, I will be running the Cape Town Marathon. My friend, Dizzy* who is thoughtful and kind, sent me the following motivational e-card:
I’m finally finished re-reading “The God of Small Things“. It’s a really beautiful book. It has so many layers and you should really read it. Put it on your bucket list, along with sky diving and running a marathon.
And because I simply can’t mention a book without sharing a quote, here’s an extract:
“They were both men whom childhood had abandoned without a trace Men without curiosity. Without doubt Both in their own way truly, terrifyingly adult. They looked out at the world and never wondered how it worked, because they knew. They worked it They were mechanics who serviced different parts of the same machine.”
Anyway, I’ve now moved onto “The Hunger Games”. (Check out the “Mockingjay” trailer here.)
My archaeologist cousin recently departed for Turkey. He’ll be there for year, finishing up his studies. Before he left, we had a farewell braai for him. We spent hours talking about a variety of topics: the war in Gaza, HIV, cancer and anorexia. Yes, we’re a merry little bunch. At some point during the night I said, “I hope I never have to endure chemotherapy.”
Cousins in unison: You mean you hope you never get cancer!
Anyway, I hope to visit my cousin soon. Turkey sounds like an interesting country.
I’ve spent the last few days in Pretoria for work. While there I had the opportunity to check out South Africa’s first Turkish mosque. Here are some photos:
The last photo was taken in the restaurant next to the mosque.