Trying to keep on running



17 January: 25 km done. Suffered after about 18 km. Lots of walking from then onwards. Ran to Twelve Apostles to get some water. Hung about at their tap enjoying the shade. Took a few nibbles of Woolies salted caramel and then hit the road again. But my body just ran out of fuel. I dragged an anchor behind me all the way back to Sea Point. Must find something I can eat on the run.


20 January: A man and his dogs in the dog park. The grass is dry, except for patches around the sprinklers, but the sky is clear blue. Welcome to yet another day in Paradise. You live here!


20 January: Lionel Smith’s sculptural bench near the lighthouse in Green Point. I seem to always be running past it. One day I’m going to take a book and sit in it.

21 January: Three days of running, post Sunday’s 25 km. Tuesday 10 km, Wednesday 13 km and this morning a dismal 3 km. Spin class on Monday and last night. Legs were tired this morning. I was tired, and I woke up thinking of rest day not of getting on the road, running and clocking the kays.

I’m trying different fuels. Went to Diskem and spent a small fortune on a range of different stuff. Yesterday a had a wafer thing that was pretty good. Didn’t upset my gut and it wasn’t too sweet. This morning I tried a coconut chocolate bar. That’s not going to work. It’s very tasty as chocolate but  the dessicated coconut  is going to be with me long after I’ve eaten the bar, the chocolate is going to melt and the whole thing is too sweet and chocolatety. I want food, not sweets, on a run.


The selection of energy bars and an energy drink. I had already eaten the wafer and thrown away the wrapper. Don’t know what it’s called but am going to have to stock up on some more of it.

So I set off this morning, later than usual, and headed down the road. Just as I reached Main Road, I saw this little white doggy. No collar, nice and clean and quite well-fed, looking very nervy and clearly out of its environment. What to do? My run awaits but the doggy needs help. So I opted for catching the little dog and taking it home while I figure out what to do with her. It was still too early for the vet and I couldn’t just leave her at home while I run. So I immediately posted her pic on Facebook and Instagram, and gave her some food and water.

She wasn’t much interested in the food, even though she had been scavenging in the trash lying on the pavement. I figured she must know where she lives, so I put a leash on her and took her back down the road. She was most happy about being taken for a walk, but really not grateful enough, since she decided to embarrass me by barking at people minding their own business, walking to work, and took a dump in the plectranthus. Nice.

I figured I would see someone looking for her, but no one was out there, looking for a dog, and no one recognised her. So I went back up our road again. She seemed to want to get into a gated complex, so I rang one of the bells. Luckily some guy responded. I asked if he knew of anyone with a white dog. He opened the gate for me and came out, pulling on his shirt and looking as if he had just been hauled from a bed in which he had had a lot of action. He knew the doggy and directed me to her home. No one opened the door when I knocked, but I left the dog sitting on the doorstep, looking quite happy to be home.


The little doggy that interrupted my run this morning. Things just weren’t the same after I found her home and got back on the road. My aches and pains had woken up by then and were in full riot mode.

Then I headed back home again to drop off the leash, and my keys and wallet. And tried to get this run under the belt. But I really wasn’t feeling it. Ugh. I was sore. Legs, body, feet, everything. I spotted some ridiculous waste of water on the part of the City of Cape Town – massive jets of water being sprayed onto cars in a parking lot, instead of on the plants. And even if they were being sprayed onto the plants, the flower bed was so tiny, it didn’t warrant these large plumes of water. So I stopped and took a snappie. Jogged my way through Green Point Park and along the Promenade up to the Raybans, where I took another pic, switched off the Garmin and made my way home.


Water restrictions, City of Cape Town? In Cape Town, someone’s fancy car is getting a great hose-down while elsewhere in the country desperate people are queueing for water.



So much fuss about this pair of Raybans on the Promenade. Spray painting, angry Tweets and Facebook posts, reams of writing, and still there they are, looking out to sea, now without their lenses. Providing a place for people to sit, a climging frame for kids and a beacon for me … I’ll just run to the Raybans, then I’m done.I’ll run just past the Raybans, just another 200 m, then my run is done. When I reach the Raybans it will be 5 km or three, or whatever.

Yesterday’s run was more successful. And it involved another dog! Ran up Kloof Nek, repeating the mantras learnt from the pace maker on the Bay to Bay … vasbyt, vorentoe, to the top, don’t stop. And, instead of ‘no walking’ I said ‘keep running’ – positive reinforcement.

And then this fluffy white dog came bounding down the hill, her leash flying behind her. I figured she’d managed to get away from her owner and got ready to catch her. I spotted a car pulling up on the pavement in front of me. The driver pointed at the dog. I thought it might be her dog. Then, just as I had the dog, a bakkie pulled up and the girl int he passenger seat called to me. Maybe she was their dog?

But she wasn’t. The owner was running down the hill, they said, and no one had tried to stop the dog. I handed her the leash and headed off on my run, all the way to the bench, no stopping, no whining, and passing a very sweaty, worried looking man heading down the hill as fast as he can. ‘The doggy’s safe,’ I called but he was too stressed to pay attention to me.

And I was fine. Took it slow and easy all the way up to the bench and was just fine. I don’t know why I thought I wouldn’t be. I have just done the Bay to Bay and I was fine then too.

I had taken a cube of wafer snack at 5 km, where I stopped to take a snap of the tidal pool, and then took another nibble at the top of Kloof, near the bench. I think it worked. I can’t be too sure, but I think it worked. I didn’t feel as if I was struggling quite so much. But we’ll see. I think I’ll try it out again on Saturday’s 10 km. I have all thos other snacks to try but I need to decide on something for Sunday’s 32 km.


The tidal pool in Sea Point. My breakfast break at 5 km of my 13 km run. I’m trying to go as slow as possible, 7:00/km, even slower, taking walk breaks and stopping to eat. The trick is finding out what to eat.

Wow. Just more than four weeks to go to the Peninsula Marathon. I don’t know if I am in any way prepared for this. I am so full of doubt. And so pissed off about messing up the Cape Town Marathon. I was so well positioned for doing a sub-five hour. I had done so much more running then than I have now.

But that’s running and that’s life, I suppose. You can make your plans as carefully as you want and things beyond your control will weave spells on them. They will either work out or crash, and there is nothing you can do about either outcome.

In the meantime our floors are being lifted again, the house is in chaos again, the garden is being destroyed again, and so I have plenty to distract me from running.

And Mom is dying. Her body is giving up. She gave up a long time ago and now the rest of her is following.

There are things to think about, things to plan for, things to do. I am keeping them under a tight lid. Ignoring them, avoiding them. Going running instead.


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