Books
I’m currently reading “Gone girl” by Gillian Flynn and I am absolutely intrigued.

The novel is about Amy, who disappears one day. The police suspect her husband, Nick. The chapters alternate between Nick and Amy’s point of view. Nick’s side of the story is told the day Amy disappears. While Amy’s story is narrated from her diary, written the day they met five years ago. I at the point in the novel, where I think Nick is a total douchebag, but I’ve been forewarned that there’s a surprise ending.

Anyway, here’s an extract from the novel:

“I go home and cry for a while. I am almost thirty-two. That’s not old, especially not in New York, but fact is, it’s been years since I even really liked someone. So how likely is it I’ll meet someone I love, much less someone I enough to marry? I’m tired of not knowing who I’ll be with, or if I’ll be with anyone.

I have many friends who are married – not many who are happily married, but many married friends. The few happy one are like my parents. They’re baffled by my singleness. A smart, pretty, nice girl like me, a girl with so many interests and enthusiasm, a cool job, a loving family. And let’s say it: money. They knit their eyebrows and pretend to think of men they can set me up with, but we all know there’s no one left, no one good left, and I know that they secretly think there’s something wrong with me, something hidden away that makes me unsatisfiable, unsatisfying.

The ones who are not soul-mated – the ones who have settled – are even more dismissive of my singleness: It’s not that hard to find someone to marry, they say. No relationship is perfect, they say – they, who make do with dutiful sex and gassy bedtime rituals, who settle for TV as conversation, who believe that husbandly capitulation – yes, honey, okay, honey – is the same as concord. He’s doing what you tell him to do because he doesn’t care enough to argue, I think. Your petty demands simply make him feel superior, or resentful, and someday he will fuck his pretty, young co-worker who asks nothing of him, and you will actually be shocked.”

Once I’m done with this novel I’ll probably reread “To kill a mockingbird” or “One flew over the cuckoo’s nest”. Or I might purchase the latest Irvine Welsh novel.

Rugby
A few days ago, I went to Newlands Rugby Stadium to watch the final Currie Cup match. This was my third time at a rugby match. The first time I went, about two years ago, I referred to a “try” as a “goal”. My knowledge of rugby hasn’t improved much since then.

Me: Go, go, go …. Wait, wrong team.
Yes, I actually cheered for the other team.

Fear and loathing
Last weekend, I finished reading “Fear and loathing in Las Vegas” by Hunter S Thompson. I think this is my third or fourth time reading this book. Anyway, here’s one of my favourite paragraphs from the book:

“The big hotels and casinos pay a lot of muscle to make sure the high rollers don’t have even momentary hassles with “undesirables.” Security in a place like Caesar’s Palace is super tense and strict. Probably a third of the people on the floor at any given time are either shills or watchdogs. Public drunks and known pickpockets are dealt with instantly – hustled out to the parking lot by Secret Service-type thugs and given a quick, impersonal lecture about the cost of dental work and the difficulties of trying to make a living with two broken arms.”

Since finishing “Fear and loathing in Las Vegas”, I’ve moved onto “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn.

Comedy show
Last Saturday I attended a show at the comedy club, “Jou ma se comedy.”
Comedian: I’m often classified as a coconut. A coconut is someone who is black on the outside and white on the inside. I don’t mind being called a coconut if it means that I get BEE contracts and get to sleep with white women. I get a white man’s salary and have a big dick.

Skeleton Gorge

Yesterday a few friends and I scaled Skeleton Gorge. The hike starts at Kirstenbosch Gardens and ends at a dam on Table Mountain. The hike was gruelling (up, up, up) and the weather was HOT (totally glad we started at 08:00). It took us two hours to reach the top and another two hours to reach the bottom. We wanted to take Nursery Ravine down, but after 30 minutes of wandering we decided to stick with the route we know.

The dam - Skeleton Gorge

I’m hoping to hike to Elephant’s Eye from Cecilia’s Forest before this year is over.

Fear and loathing

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.

Behind the scenes

Short hike

Flowers, Cape Town

Girls sitting on a beach

Swimming isn’t technically allowed in the dam. And if caught, you are liable to pay a fine.

My dad
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 “niece”
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”.

Homeless man
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?

Housewarming
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.

Waterfront, setting sun, construction
I took this photo weeks ago at the Waterfront. It’s been a while since I picked up my camera.

Waterfront picture

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:

I give good link

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.

Followers: Power.

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: