Podge & Slodge
Week one (and two) of 2011 and the description best to sum up the shape of all our Comrades runners (all bar one) was put forward by one of the runners in our group – ‘Podge and Slodge’. It is clearly evident that I enjoyed the holidays. I have been dragging all the best parts around with me each morning this week! I did manage some decent runs on the Ballito coastline during the two weeks I was there – even taking on the beast that is Simbithi hill, not once but twice! Each time we ran up it, we past runners and cyclists on their way down telling us we were going the wrong way!
So this week has been all about getting back into the routine, trying to shed the 2kg gained over Christmas and getting the heart pumping a little bit more than what it was over the last 2 weeks. From a nutritional aspect, my plan for the first week or so is to effectively drop all the junk I have been gorging on and get back into brown rice, pasta, vegetables and white meat. Having brought 40kg of delicious, succulent meat from South Africa to Lagos, this is going to be a challenge!
For the other Comrades entrants and myself here in Lagos, the running conditions at the moment are quite nice. Now that it is winter, it is no longer a barmy minimum of 28 degrees with 90% humidity, but more like a pleasant 24 degrees and far less humid, meaning the sweat can actually now evaporate from our bodies!
Our biggest challenge training here are the lack of any hills. We are not able to get in any hill training to build strength, but thanks to the dedication of our group organizer, Jim, we are doing weekly speed work drills. We will also try to do some runs on the beach in the sand to also try and help with some of the strength work required for the hills that we will face. But running on the beach presents it’s own challenges. A story I will reserve for another time…
The new year has also bought in some new technology for me. I abandoned my Nike+ wristband as it appeared to get some sweat inside it, resulting in a horrible death. Obviously not built for African conditions. I now have myself a Suunto T6d with a GPS pod. A great instrument and quite useful for all other sports, other than running, as well. It works with the movescount website and gives you all the stats you could possible ever need. In Lagos on long runs it is also quite handy to run with a Camelbak, so a nice christmas gift from my family means that I can now carry around 2 litres of fluids with me.
Handy that the Suunto is more of a multisport device, because we have just received delivery of our Kayaks from SA.
As can be seen, they are awesome. In total, we had 18 delivered to Lagos, so the canoe club in Lagost will be starting to become quite active. My son enjoys the Kayaking very much so on Sunday, we took a little cruise onto the lagoon.
Lagos can really be a wonderful place to be, if you forget your inhibitions and get out there. The people are nothing but warm and friendly, always happy to give a welcome and a smile. We drew (and amused) quite a crowd trying to get our kayaks into the water through the Hyacinths that have populated the lagoon like triffids. Once on the water, the passing fisherman smile and wave as they pass in their dug out canoes. They too are greatly amused at the crazy expats on their bright yellow boats!