I'm not a natural blogger and I'm no techie. I'm an ultra trail runner by passion, and a journalist by profession - in that order of priority.
In this blog I use the one to talk about the other - my trail thoughts, musings and meanderings about running mountains and trails.
I call it rockhoppin', just because... well... that's what we trail runners love to do!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

taper time

Today began the 7-day countdown to the Namib Desert Challenge. That’s certainly frightening enough to shake off my blogger’s block and get me posting again. (It’s all the running I’ve been doing, y’see, that’s kept me away from my screen. Well, at least that’s my story, I’m sticking to it.)

With less than a week to go now, the training’s over, it’s too late to squeeze in any more. I have a love/hate relationship with tapering. I hate the waiting part, as my mind always plays tricks – either it tells me I’ve not done nearly enough training, or I’m sure I can sense a sniffle coming, or teeny little tweaks or niggles suddenly appear in inexplicable places. But I do love the eating part – carboloading’s always good. I’m the most eating-fit person I know!

I wonder what percentage of athletes get to a start line feeling confident that they’re properly prepared and fully trained? I never do – there always seem to be curveballs thrown in somewhere in the build-up, whether it be a bout of flu, a twisted ankle or simply that I feel I could’ve/should’ve done more hillwork, speedwork or, in this case, sandwork!

And then I wonder, when it comes to the crunch, how much all that actually matters. Prof Noakes has always maintained that providing you’ve done the training and preparation, performance in a race is 10% physical, 90% mental.

Sounds easy, doesn’t it. But it’s tapping into that 90% that’s the tricky part!

So I should get back to my preparation now – seeing to all the final fidgety stuff of what to squeeze into one’s pack for a self-sufficient multi-day desert event. The learning curve has been steep: what sunblock, what kit, which pack, what style of gaiters, and how best to be minimal. This week I’ve learnt about counting calories, and have been on the search for which foods provide bang-for-bucks in the sustained energy department while weighing as little as possible in the pack. Needless to say, I’m still searching.

Best I get back to it...

PS  Huge thanks to those wonderful people who've supported my fundraising effort so far. Thanks to you I'm halfway to the goal of R50k! Anyone still keen to donate, please hop onto  www.backabuddy.co.za/champion/project/backabuddynamiblinda  and click on the "donate" button - it's that easy!   Please support Solomon's Haven - every rand counts!


  1. An update - about bloody time too. I'm so glad you are not in Jhb, because it's cool and rainy. Nothing like the blasts of LOoooVERLY hot air you will soon experience. I have no doubt, given your silence, that you are as well trained as you possibly can be, and that there is very little more you can do at this stage. just put those tweaks down to the usual forty-something twinges, my dear. It's nothing. just ignore them and have another bowl of pasta. Remember, that even in the middle of nowhere, you will not be alone. Your friends, your family and all who know and read about you are with you all the way - in spirit that is! Sleep well, rest well, eat well. Bron

  2. Thanks Bron - and please feel free to carboload with me, even if it is across the miles. Get Angelo to whip up one of his pastas, in true Italian style, and enjoy x

  3. Thought about you as Jayde and I were running on the mountain in 30+ degree heat on Saturday. (I lost 2.4kg that day) hope you have enjoyed the couple of hot days we've had. enjoy the rest.