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!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

moving to the TAR-k side

The silly season can do strange things to the brain...

The brain then asks strange requests of the body…  and then spends the next however-many-months begging the body to co-operate, hold together, and hang in there whilst request is executed.

There’s usually a pattern to this phenomenon:
-       1)  Brain dreams up Goal
-       2)  Brain gets oh-so-excited by Goal
-      3)  Brain works out Plan of Action to achieve Goal
-     4)  Brain informs Body of said POA, and expects Body to fall in line.

Then, if Body likes Goal and agrees with Plan, Brain+Body begin the (sometimes long and often arduous) Journey Towards Achieving Goal.

Eeezy peezy. Just like that.
Well, that’s the theory anyway!

So, in December this brain of mine had a minor brainwave. It then slipped into oh-so-excited mode and before Body could state its case, Brain had committed, the Plan was on paper and the B+B Team began its Journey.

Said Journey:  The Big C 2012
(for those true trailers untainted by tar, in road running speak The Big C is not that unmentionable disease no one likes to think about, but rather a long and rather painful day of running between two cities in KwaZulu Natal...)

Body+Brain have signed a pact, waved a temporary g’bye to the thrill of single track, the exhilaration of steep descents and the slosh of muddy trails, and opted for the mindless monotony of The Long and Winding Road.

This Rockhopper has moved to The TAR-k Side (thanks J, and apologies George Lucas).

I won’t be forsaking trail forever – just for a short period of insanity. My 10th Comrades is calling and I need to heed it.
I’ll be pounding the hot black stuff from now til June 3, and then after that I'll be hitting the soul food again – forever!

So, for now, I’ll pretend to get excited about dodging traffic, inhaling fumes, bumping shoulders with thousands at race starts, and enjoying the luxury of water tables every 3km. And I’ll try and deal with the first black toenails I’ve had in years.

Comrades #10 here I come!


  1. Your 10th Comrades? That sounds like a good reason to come and visit us Jozi roadees! Glad to hear you've not forgotten your roots! See u on the start line, looking forward to running with you Linda.
    Jed from Bedfordview

  2. Linda, you're such an inspiration to so many runners. Keep up your great running and this wonderful blog. Kirsty

  3. There's nothing wrong with tar... in moderation, of course ;)

    I started running on grass tracks as a kid and through my teens. Discovered road races at 16. Spent the next couple of years mostly on treadmill and tar. Been into trail running for 12 years - almost lucky 13; also orienteering, where all too often we don't even have trails. But, most of the time during the week, I'm on tar. Nuffin' wrong with that.
    10th Comrades - wow! That's fabulous and I have no doubt that with your dedication to preparation, years of experience and strength that you'll have an awesome 10th. I'll be watching from my couch - same procedure as last year; same procedure as every year.

  4. At the end of last ear I made a return to the track and raced a MILE, might even be looking for a few more races round the track!!! Nothing wrong with the big C all distance runners need to make the trip.

  5. Good luck. Surely on the to do list for most runners. I'll be doing Comrades when it turns 90years..wooop wooop

  6. No need to shun the trails completely for the next four months. Get out on to the mountain at least once or twice a week to build great strength and for good time on the legs with fast recovery. I know you want too...

  7. Thanks Will - I'll definitely be treating myself to my Salomons at least a couple of times a week (need to in order to keep feet in decent condition and brain vaguely sane!)
    And on March 10th I'm looking forward to a great day out doing the Addo Elephant Trail Run (82km). That's your favourite - hope to see you there?

  8. Go gettem Lins! 'Just' get your tenth under your belt, and you can return to the real world! Graham