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!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

tick tock... tick tock...

Just 23 hours and counting before we hit the desert start line.

I’m sitting in Cape Town International with a while til I board the plane, so keeping the Vida guys busy as I load up with enough quality latte’s to see me through the next five days. Anyone keen to set up a Vida franchise in Namibia?

My bag’s been packed, unpacked, re-packed and then emptied out and packed again for good measure. It weighs a ton – I’ll be sweating bricks that the sniffer dogs at Windhoek International are only trained to find cocaine rather than vacuum-packed biltong...
my menu for the next 5 days

The past few days have come with the usual agitation of taper time – smashing in the food while not clocking on the mileage is never good for the psyche, but I was warned that one should get to the start line of a self-sufficient race with a bellyful of kg’s to spare. So I’ve tried my best, and have to admit, I’ve eaten for the week ahead. I think I might have to be helped across the start line.

How am I feeling? Excited, nervous, filled with anticipation, and impatient now to get started. It feels like this race has taken forever to come. Funny to think how time will slow down once the sand’s under the feet, no doubt.

And most of all, I’m thrilled to see the Solomon’s Haven barometer rising so rapidly on the BackaBuddy site – it’s about to hit the R30k mark! Thank-you to everyone who’s donated – I’ve tried to thank each of you personally but yesterday I couldn’t quite keep up, they were coming in thick and fast!

Please spread the word and keep those donations streaming in! http://www.backabuddy.co.za/champion/project/backabuddynamiblinda

Thanks everyone for all the good luck messages! I’ll be clocking out of connectivity now for the next five days, but will update once I’ve survived the desert :-)

Now I'm off to find me some sand...

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!