Yikes. And just like that we’re only 10 sleeps out from Comrades Marathon 2019. While I’m excited for race day and the hopeful achievement of my goal, I will add that when I get this close, I sometimes have to fight off a feeling of just wanting it to be over.
Bill Rowan – please heed my call
Everything about this year’s preparations have been about working towards a still illusive Bill Rowan medal, which is awarded for a sub 9-hour finishing time.
Having followed the generic Lindsay Parry Comrades training program last year, I’ve really enjoyed working with an excellent coach named Mark Wolff ( https://wolffmark.com/ ) this year. As well as running a coaching business, Mark is the founder and owner of sports nutrition brand 32Gi. He is just such a down to earth, good natured and professional person to work with that the whole experience has been an absolute pleasure. And most importantly, I am feeling fit and strong and have hit all the important milestones along the way. This includes:
- 3hr37 marathon qualifier (to qualify me in C batch) on a very tough Jackie Gibson course, a time a mere minute off my personal best, run 7 years back when I was a decidedly younger buck, and
- Completing a personal 274km in 7 days as part of the amazing Mad2Run 2019 charity fundraiser which had a big team of us run relay-style from Johannesburg to Cape Town. You can read about that here
Like me, Mark believes in a quality over quantity approach to training and has presented me with great variety in types of session, duration, level of exertion etc, including a fair bit of cycling just to take some unnecessary load off the legs when required. He’s pushed me when required and let me rest and recuperate when I was looking a bit flam’d out and he was always available and quick to respond to questions I had about the sessions and to alter / tweek them where required.
So if I can just stay healthy and happy till next Sunday, I look forward to testing what the body can do and hopefully hanging a Bill Rowan on my medal rack.
So if you’re wanting to take your training / performance to the next level, give Mark a shout, I’m confident you’ll thank me.
Wrong time of year
One of the kakkest, if not the most kak thing about Comrades, is that the month of May is the last before concluding training. Why level such hatred towards poor old May you might ask? Because it makes it bloody difficult to stay healthy, that’s why!
The lower temperatures brought on by the start of winter, coupled with trees shedding their leaves and causing increased pollens and allergies, all combine for a lethal sick inducing cocktail that befalls a higher than normal percentage of the population.
On any given day I feel like the main protagonist from “The Walking Dead” TV series, ducking and diving the wheezing, coughing, spluttering and snot-nosed civilians I must interact with every day.
I try not to move around without anti-bacterial wipes or gel close at hand. My hands are so dry that they are chapped and splitting in some parts due to incessant washing and I’ve just decided that unless absolutely necessary, I’m spending the next 10 days at home with minimal contact with the outside world.
I’ve finally become very at peace with the fact that I’m a bit of a pre-ultramarathon grinch who just can’t see past how devastating it would be to effectively waste 6 months of backbreaking training at the last hurdle by getting sick.
I know I’m OCD, but I want to make certain that I do everything in my power to avoid that happening.
And with that it’s off to bed 21h33. Must try and log as many good 8-hour sleeps before raceday. Damn I’m sad.