Yesterday I completed my fourth Two Oceans half-marathon. And I did it in 2:10:04! That’s my official time. Enter rant. Considering that it took me an entire minute to simply reach the start line, I really think that I deserve the right to claim that I finished it in 2:09.
2:10 wasn’t my goal. I was hoping for 2:06, but I am happy with my results nevertheless. I am happy for several reasons.
• 2:10 is a NINE minute improvement on my best Two Oceans time. (In 2013 I completed the route in 2:19.) That’s an effing huge improvement.
• 2:10 is also pretty damn close to my PB. (I think my current PB is 2:08 or 2:09.) And if I can run 2:10 on such a difficult course, then 2:06 is well within my grasp. It’s so close I can actually taste it.
• I was mere seconds behind teammates who annihilate me at each and every race.
Anyway, other highlights and lowlights of the race:
• I lost my very first toenail. I say this with pride. I feel like now I can actually call myself a runner.
• A friend collapsed mere metres from the finish line. She had to be carried across the line by four gentlemen. Upon gaining consciousness the first thing she asked was, “Where is my medal?”
• I love this race. I love standing on the side-lines, watching people cross the finish line. I love the expressions on their faces. Triumph, determination, exhaustion, pain, pride. I love it.
• I also love how this race brings out compassion in strangers. I loved seeing people drag complete strangers across the finish line. Yesterday, with less than a minute left to cut-off, my brother-in-law’s brother jumped over the barrier separating supporters from runners, and he dragged/shoved a 70 year old woman across the finish line. Apparently she’d missed the cut-off last year by 8 seconds!
• I look at people who run the Two Oceans Ultra and think they’re insane. And yet, I can’t stop wanting that so badly. I am actually thinking of attempting a marathon again. Surely this year I can complete it in 5 hours, right?
I took the following picture at Kirstenbosch Gardens.
A few days ago, I and a few friends flew down to Johannesburg to attend a Joss Stone concert. Yes, we spent thousands of rands in plane tickets JUST to attend a concert. Aren’t we extravagant?
Joss Stone was brilliant. Her voice was so pure. And powerful. Not only is she a brilliant performer, but she’s also REALLY likable. I feel weird about saying that about someone I’ve never actually met before. But she handed out white roses to audience members, clambered down from the stage to dance with her fans, AND gave her bracelet to a girl in the audience. She also invited everyone down to the front of the stage (considering that we’d purchased nosebleed seats this was quite a treat).
While in Johannesburg, we also managed to check out the Lion Park. Here are some of the photos I’d taken.
I bitch and moan about my neighbourhood a LOT. I joke about how I don’t need to pay R400 to participate in an obstacle course. Every day that I run through my neighbourhood I have to side-step a beggar, vendor or prostitute. And it is true. There ARE a lot of beggars, vendors and prostitutes in my street. On two occasions I’ve nearly tripped over a beggar dozing in the doorway.
But this doesn’t mean that I don’t love my apartment. Every time I step through my front door and see the two palm trees off to the side, I am thankful. Every time I sit on the balcony and watch the sunset (which isn’t often enough), I am thankful.
Yesterday, I opted to surf instead of pounding the street for a couple of hours. (Note: My idea of a short run is 1 hour. I am hoping to one day run the Victoria Falls Marathon in under 5 hours.)
While in the water, one of the many surf coaches at Muizenberg instructed me to “Get out.” I thought it a rather strange way to proposition a woman, until he explained that he’d seen a fin in the water. My reaction to the news wasn’t panic and fear. I’m afraid of rejection and intimacy, but sharks? Nope. Instead of fear, I reacted to the news with dismay and reluctantly left the water. (I was back in the water 5 minutes later when I’d decided that the coach probably just had an overactive imagination.)
I am currently reading “The hundred-year-old man who climbed out of the window and disappeared” by Jonas Jonasson. My favourite lines from the novel are:
“Allan Karlsson’s father was both considerate and angry. He was considerate with his family; he was angry with society in general and with everybody who could be thought of as representing that society. Finer folk disapproved of him, dating back to the time he stood on the square in Flen and advocated the use of contraceptives. For his offence he was fined ten crowns, and relieved of the need to worry about the topic any further since Allan’s mother out of pure shame decided to ban any further entry to her person.”
A few days ago, I ran 30 in 3:19. That’s a new personal best (PB) – five minutes off my previous time. I’ve yet to achieve a new PB for a 21km. My current PB for 21km stands at 2:08, which was achieved many moons ago.
Photograph of Joss Stone performing at Carnival City in April 2014.
Lately, my days have been consumed with work, running, binge watching “House of Cards” (Kevin Spacey is so good) and chatting to the occasional cute boy.
Recent Whatsapp conversation with Fahiema:
Me: I just chatted to a cute boy. Two minutes after talking to him I realised that I had avocado all over my face.
Fahiema: LOL! What’s wrong with him? Totally an invitation for him to come and lick the avocado off your face, right?
Anyway, here’s a recent photo I took at Oblivion, which is one of my all-time favourite hangouts.
Oh and if you have the time, you should totally check out the “I, too, am Harvard” photo campaign. The campaign tries to highlight the voices of black students at Harvard.
I’m currently rereading, To Kill a Mockingbird. This must be the eighth time that I’m reading this book, and EVERY time I read the book I end up in tears.
One of my favourite moments takes place right after Tom Robinson, a black man is wrongly convicted of raping a white woman. Jem a 12 year old starts crying and has the following conversation with his father, Atticus.
‘Atticus -‘ said Jem bleakly.
He turned in the doorway. ‘What, son?’
‘How could they do it, how could they?’
‘I don’t know, but they did it. They’ve done it before and they did it tonight and they’ll do it again and when they do it – seems that only children weep. Good night.’
The following photo was taken at Cape Point Vineyard in Noordhoek.
I’ve been back home (Cape Town) for less than a month and I’ve already planned my next two adventures. The first adventure on the agenda is a trip to Joburg. A few girlfriends and I are planning to attend a concert there. Plane, train AND concert tickets have already been purchased. Yes, that’s right, we’ve purchased TRAIN tickets from Cape Town to Joburg. That’s a 26 hour journey!
The second adventure on the agenda is a family trip to Durban. I an’t wait to cycle along the Durban beach front.
On Sunday I watched lithe bodies glide and twirl across a temporary dance floor at Sea Point Pavilion. The event (salsa sun-kissed series) was hosted by my friend, Maria. Here are some of the photos I took at the event.
The next event will take place on 16 February between 15:30 – 19:00. There is no cost associated with the event.
I’m back home in Cape Town and feeling like I’m exuding masala from my pores. I’m a whole another level of sexy.
The following images were taken in Udaipur.
On Sunday, my beautiful sister married her long term boyfriend.
The outfit my sister wore to the mosque.
Me holding the world’s cutest baby. Love this kid.
A picture of a toy zebra standing next to a Quran.
My sister’s second outfit, worn at the reception.
On seeing my outfit for the wedding my grandmother said to my dad, “Look at the short dress this one is wearing.”
Me: Actually this is LONG by my standards.
My dad simply laughed. My dad is all kinds of awesome.
Pictures taken at my sister’s bachelorette party on Friday. The party was held in my apartment and we had so much of fun, playing games such as “pin the junk on the hunk” and “toilet paper wedding dresses”.
I was in a minor car accident on Saturday morning. Heart sore.