Race The Comrades Legends

Following the cancellation of the 2020 Comrades Marathon, the Comrades committee have created a virtual running event instead: Race The Comrades Legends. I thought it would be fun to share a little about this race for those readers who are not familiar with what is happening this weekend and if you are interested, it is still not too late to enter!

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Participants from all over the world will virtually compete, run with and compare with each other and past Legends of the World’s Greatest Ultra. As I type this today, there are currently 30 000 entrants.

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Race The Comrades Legends will run on Sunday, 14 June 2020 at 00:00am (12 midnight) and finish at 23:59pm on the actual race date in your time zone. Anybody can join in the fun. You can choose to run a distance of 5km, 10km, 21.1km, 45km or 90km. If you are an entrant in the Comrades Marathon it is free.

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You can run in any location, the comfort of your own home, on a treadmill, outside in the garden or neighbourhood, all at your own pace. However, you have to be mindful to respect the Government regulations in your area pertaining to Covid-19 restrictions.

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All the finishers are emailed a virtual medal and certificate as well as a real medal which will be delivered to them.

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However, the Race The Comrades Legends finish will not count towards an official Comrades Marathon finish!

Below is a photo of my husband and I with coach Lindsey Parry at the Comrades Expo.

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Good luck to everyone taking part. Have fun and keep safe.

Comrades Ate My Cheeks

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I didn’t plan on writing a blog today. This is a spontaneous entry to clear my scrambled thoughts, which means you are in for a bumpy read with no clear direction or destination! Exit anytime.

Last weekend I ran the Comrades marathon. It was an honour to be a part of it. The training this year has been tough (both physically and emotionally) and a few days before the race, I was still not convinced that lining up on that start line was the right thing to do. However, I was blessed with a strong run, an improved time and incredible memories. I even achieved my goal to ‘finish with a smile’ and was told I looked relaxed and happy throughout the day.

After all the exercising leading up to this point, it felt strange to relax for a week, re-feed the body and brain and reflect on the hills we recently climbed. Repetitive long distance training takes a toll on me physically and naturally as Comrades drew nearer, my face started to look rather hollow. However, I am pleased to report that my peanut butter and couch potato script has had a positive influence on my cheeks, which started to fill out again almost immediately. I am highlighting my cheeks here, and being a bit silly, because my cheeks (or lack thereof) became a hot topic of conversation last month, which I suppose is human nature, but it was hard to swallow and eventually gave me indigestion!

If you are constantly worried about what other people think, you will be distracted from your destiny. I had other medical factors that came into play last month, which had nothing to do with Comrades training, but also negatively impacted my appearance. Those details are nobody’s business, yet we are creatures who love to speculate and I understand why people did. Luckily, my hollow cheeks were a temporary side effect, and we also have short attention spans, meaning #debbieneedsafacebra soon moved further and further down newsfeed. Despite my outward appearance, I was stronger than ever been before and could run 87kms sensibly and comfortably. Case closed.

One’s physical appearance is a personal subject and being called names triggered memories of rejection, which is never fun. Everyone has hurts from their past. Although my heart is healed, there is still a human part of me that feels incredibly sad when I think back on certain events in my life. Sometimes I can brush them off but other times it makes me angry, defensive, even hungry (this is where pity parties are tempting, and they usually come with an abundance of tasty treats too!)

I am taking a risk, being vulnerable as always, no tongue in cheek here, and hope in doing so it encourages you to do some reflecting too. Is there something in your past that causes emotional emptiness, even today? Does this trigger you to numb your longing for healing with a temporary physical pleasure? Often issues are big and complicated (I know mine are) and you overcome one layer, only to realize there are many layers still to go. Like peeling an onion, it leaves you in tears every time. There is no easy solution, but I find it helps to think of something good that has happened despite the pain from the event. (I used everyone’s doubts and rude remarks as fuel on my run and I never ran out of energy!)

With chipmunk cheeks or chiselled cheekbones, I can smile either way, despite what the crowd has to say. I have learnt to pay more attention to what God says about me, than what the grapevine does and I challenge you to do the same.

An Uphill Battle

“Infertility is a disease…Just like diabetes or cancer. Telling someone with infertility to ‘just relax and you will get pregnant’ is the same as telling someone with cancer to ‘just relax and you will be healed.’”

A friend of mine (who has had all three of the above) sent me this quote recently and it challenged my thinking and sparked several stimulating conversations and debates. It’s a simple explanation and I will definitely be using it when the next well-intended problem solver tells me all I need to do is take a vacation (and a spoonful of kale for good measure!)

With Mother’s Day this weekend, a vacation to escape it all does sound like a tempting plan. It would mean avoiding the need to politely decline corsages and chocolates handed out by precious, enthusiastic children, asking ‘Are you a mom?!’ at a local shopping mall or church. I always give a big smile and as I gently shake my head from side to side, the little out-stretched hand will slowly retract and place the gift back into the basket. As I walk away, ‘Are you a mom?!’ can be heard loud and clear once more, and my steps automatically quicken.

However, instead of running away on Sunday, I will be running on the road, watching the sunrise and being grateful for everything I do have. The Comrades Marathon is fast approaching and this goal is something that may never have come about if things had gone my way. It is an ‘up’ run this year and most of those big hills have names, which gives you an indication about their fierce reputations! It seems overwhelming at times, the thought of tackling 87kms, but like any challenge, it is best to remember that little by little becomes a lot, so I must keep moving forward and not worry or give up.

“Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matt.6v34)

“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hold on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.”
(H. Stowe)