Life, Football, Technology and Vespas…


Nothing too serious I hope, but I have picked up a niggle in my hamstring which is causing me a bit of concern. Being in Lagos means that I cannot easily find a physio that can help me pin point the problem and nurse it back to fitness. Comrades is less than 3 weeks away now and I have been panicking and stressing about this injury. Everything I seem to do manages to tweak it a bit – so it feels almost as if I am constantly aggravating it.

Step in Willem – a friend of mine here in Lagos who is also running what he calls is his revenge run Comrades this year. He has also picked up a similar injury. But his plan…? Relax. The leg, given a little time, will heal. Between now and 29th May, there is enough time for it to heal and besides – all the training has all been put in – so don’t worry about it. Super. Damn. Cool. He must have ice flowing through his veins!

But his reasoning is actually quite right. Leave the leg alone. It is not a serious injury – I do not think it is a tear so it should probably take only 7-10 days to completely clear, probably less.

The hard kms have all been done. The pounding of the streets, the speed work, the long runs, the progression runs, the ‘Farklek’ runs – all in the heat and humidity of Lagos. The marathon has been done and for good measure, the Randburg Harriers 100km over the weekend was also done (Willem did the Two Oceans instead). There is nothing more we can do between now and May 29th that will improve that. So he suggests that instead of running for the next week or so, we take out the kayaks and go paddling instead!

So in the run up to what will arguably be the greatest mental and physical challenge of my life, I will be hopping on the kayak and paddling on the lagoon!

On a more serious note, I have decided too that this will be my one and only shot at Comrades. Although it is, by all accounts, a fantastic race, it is a very selfish one. Everything I have done over the last 8-9 months has been in preparation for Comrades. All of my thoughts have been focused towards Comrades. The preparation for this race has taken up a considerable amount of my time. I have been training since October 2010 and every time my feet have hit the ground in running shoes, it has been all for Comrades. Even every race that I have entered, has been planned with Comrades in mind. Every day I have gone out running I have been in fear of sustaining an injury, should it jeopardize my training, or more relevant now,  my participation.

It is too much. There are many great races all over the world that I want to run. I also want to put in a serious attempt to run a sub 3hr marathon. To attempt these things, as well as others, I will have to free up my focus and not have the constant “this is good training for Comrades” or “I don’t want to risk injury because of Comrades”

It means then that this race, for me, will be that little bit extra special. Succeed or fail, this is it. I am not coming back. There will be no ‘better luck next year’ talk if I do not complete the 86.9km. So on 29th May I will have that little bit extra motivation as not only will this be my first Comrades, but it will also be my last.


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