Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Cape Town Big Walk 50km

We really enjoyed our weekend away.
We flew to Cape Town on Thursday the 11th, got our car and headed out for a wine tasting with Pieter Walser of Blankbottle.( I really enjoy his ideas behind making wine, and we learned much as we sipped on a variety of obscure varietals. Who would have thought that a Cinsaut was actually drinkable. Fortunately Pieter had to set off for Wellington or we may have never left. We have ordered a few special bottles.
We then set off to get some supplies for supper, 1kg of Strawberries, with some salad, veg and ostrich wors sounded good. As we passed through Franschhoek we saw French Cheese tasting- I'm an Ingram, we bought some Gruyere and Camembert, before heading off to Stony Brook ( Got there too late for tasting, but got an SB. We did a walk up to the dam, what a stunning location, we can forgive the ticks we picked up. Its started rainin so we decided to try some Camembert with SB. Well 300g of Camembert is not much. It wa sgood not to have TV so we had a good long peaceful sleep.
The strawberries made a good breakfast, then off to start tasting. "The Max" is an awesome name(our one dog is Max) as well as a stunning Cab Sav, we bought a few with an MCC (SA version of Champagne) had a good tasting, set off for My Wijn, ( a boutique winery where we tasted some stunning wines. Spent a few hours talking to Johann before setting off for Simons Town. We stopped at Tokara ( for a light lunch. We got to Marianella a but late so kept our host waiting (, traffic and road works can be problem.

What an amazing place, we were in the guest cottage. We unpacked, then went off to Seaforth for a fishy supper. (, walked along the beach for a bit before endulging in grilled blue nose, was pretty good.

The next morning we did a loosener, Liz did 5km out, I stopped at around 3.7km and waited for her to return. It was amazing to walk at sea level, may HR hardly got up at all. After the easy walk we set off for the Good Hope center to collect my numbers. On the way back we looked at variosu spots that Liz could meet up with me. It was different to be on the receiving end of seconding. I then watched Cricket and rugby followed by a relaxed braai and getting everything ready for my early morning. What a night, the wind howled..and howled.....

The next morning was quite chilly so I put on a light sweater. Liz drove me to the start. I took a black plastic bag and an Energade- which I drank just before the start. When the gun went the rush was amazing, I held back and decided to just enjoy the race, the south easter was directly into us. I walked at a comfortable pace, getting down to about 7:30 / km on average. Liz had gone back to Marianella after dropping me off and to do a run from there to millers point( our turnaround point) ,I got hot quite quickly then a referee told me in no uncertain terms that my number must always be visible so I took the sweater off, I gave this to Liz on her return run. (She later admitted she nearly did not go because of the wind) When I turned at Millers I was about 20th. I noted how strong most of those in front of me looked and wondered about my hoping for a top 10. It was really good to have the wind at my back, so I increased my pace, never going below 7:00 /km but close to it, but walking at a comfortable pace- my speed training obviously paid off. Liz met me at Glencairn ( we drove the route the day before and settled on some good locations) and gave me 330ml bottle of weak Energade (about half strength), this was a life saver as the water tables were very infrequent. At 25k to go I was on 3:02:30( the distance to here was 24.4km) It got quite hot on the stretch through Kalk bay to Muizenberg, but I like heat. Liz met me on Steenberg rd at around 33km– Energade again. I started catching and overtaking some walkers now. At around 40k I overtook the 3rd man, and at around 43k I overtook the second guy. I was so scared he would catch me that I never looked back. As I over took him I felt my hamstrings getting tight and cramping.( I have had tight hamstrings since a month before comrades) Just then Liz popped up with the last Energade, and I took 2 Cramp Ease, they seemed to work immediately- I had taken some previously as a precaution.
I then walked it out to the finish. My first ever podium finish. I thoroughly enjoyed the race. It was awesome to walk into the finish and be whisked away by the Spartan Harriers team ( they are the organising club) it felt good to be a celebrity for a short time. We waited around for the prizegiving and to be presented a silver medal on stage was great. Photos to follow. I finshed as the second man in 6:02:48, I was really happy with the time especially as many walkers complained about the wind, heat and poor water tables. It was also good to achieve a negative split, ie faster in the second half than the first half. By the way I used My Asics Hyperspeed which were perfect. there were 35408 entrants in total , but only about 200 in the 50k.
We then went back to Marianella, and I watched Arsenal beat Everon, end to a perfect day. We then had the Stony Brook MCC to celebrate, but struggled to with the Max so we left some for Monday.
On Monday we headed off to Cape Point Nature Reserve where we did some dune walking, this really helped my legs. There is also a nice long climb up to the light house, the bus tourists seemed to struggle, not sure why.
We then headed of to fetch our friend Eve at the airport, going back over Chapmans Peak, and up Constantia Nek to get an idea for our next visit to Cape Town when we do Two Oceans over Easter.
Had a seafood diner with Eve, finished "the max" and had a good catch up. The seconding got to Liz and she passed out.
On Tuesday we set off for a stunning drive over Du Toits kloof pass, up through Slanghoek vally and over Bains Kloof pass to Wellington. Did some interesting tasting at Doolhof and Ridgeback, off to the airport and home to Max and Sasha.

Great weekend

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Shoes next step....

I have just taken the time to actually weigh my shoes.
Hyperspeed 245g after 68km
MR828 NB lightweights 340g after 51km
Asics Skyspeed 375g after 58km
Asics Nimbus 11 455g after about 800km
Who needs ankle weights with these weights. No wonder the Hyperspeeds feel so light!!
I really struggle to walk in the Nimbus mow, they actually feel heavy and like bricks on my feet.
I really like the MR828's especially the price, so I went and bought a spare pair for when the nimbus are finished.
I will just use the Nimbus for LSD walks (Long Slow Distance)
The Skypspeeds for long races, the Hyperspeeds for up to 21 and the MR828's for everyday faster training and Nimbus for LSD.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Sorry if this is meaningless to you but I find it interesting.

Ok so since I started walking I like everyone else have been through a variety of shoes.
I have used Hitec and Merril trail shoes.
New balance- a variety of cheaper trainers, some ok some poor - hurt my Plantar.
Then I discovered Asics Nimbus 10, my first pair of blue ones were great did 1300km and still felt ok.
At around 600km on the blue ones I bought some red ones, well these never felt great not quite like the blue ones, but I still got to around 1100km.
Again at around 400km I bought some Nimbus 11's which I wanted for Comrades, these have now done 600, feel better than the red but not as good as the blue.
The 11's feel bigger and heavier than the 10's, the new 12's are even bigger with a higher heel.
Walkers need a flatter shoe with lower heel.

I bought some Asics Hyperspeed 2 on special, well I found out what flat shoes can do for speed, they just feel so fast and at the price even if they last half the distance they are well priced. I hav edoen 2 21's in these and they are fast but I will need more support on longer walks.

I have just got some NB MR828 which is a lightweight trainer but I can still feel the cushioning , well at least on my first walk in them today. I bought them for every day up to 10km training. I do not want to kill my Nimbus too soon. I did notice that my Plantar got stretched today , same as my previous NB's.

I also got some Asics Sky Speed's which are similar to Nimbus, but with lower heel , straighter last ( is the shoe is straight and not curved) and has narrower heel and sole. Liz does not like the colours orange and yellow. I hope to use these for my 50k race. I am doing a 25k walk followed by a cycle of the route on Sat, the cycling should help me stretch my hamstrings. I will try out the sky speeds then.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Ok so not such a long break this time
I have booked flights to Cape Town to do the 50km at the Cape Big Walk on 14 Nov. I will use this as my qualifier for two oceans 2011. I need to finish in under 6:30 which should be fine. I did Loskop 50 in 6:15, so should be able to achieve my goal.

Liz will run the first 20 odd kms as a training run then she will second me to the end. This will make a welcome change for me. The 80 k last year was only about 50 walkers, the 50k was about 150, the 80 k starts really early then passes the 50km start at about the time we are starting out.
I think the finish is Rhodes high school- this is also the start for the 80km.
I am looking forward to this as I met a lady last year who did it in 6:15, and we raced often together.
We will probably be staying at a guest house in Simons town which is quite near our start at Fish Hoek.

The training levels are improving, I just need to get my speed up as TO is a faster race than comrades.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Ok so I suppose I better ramble a bit then.

Life goes on and on and on.
Somethings that have got me thinking
1 Why do some people always seem to land with their bum in the butter so to speak?
2 Why do we never appreciate what we have been given by some or higher being?
eg Cosatu striking yet we have 50%? unemployment
Brett Kebble?
Zuma's nephew?
3 Why is it easier to complain than to appreciate?
4 I believe there is a God, but if God speaks to people why does he tell Benny Hin to rip people off by charging them to fund his lifestyle, but then Maria who lives in squallor in a squatter camp without a job even contributes to his requests. This whole concept does not tie in for me with a concept of a God who is Love and loves without restraint.
5 How can anyone support soccer teams ( really any sportsman) earning obscene amounts of money, imagine 220 000 GBP a WEEK for a guy( Yaya Toure) who could not get in to the Barcelona team? It seems most of these teams are run by people who have far to much money- eg oil sheikhs and crooked Russians.
6 Amazing how we idolise people seen in the media, somehow we think they must be perfect because they are published/ written about. eg Tiger Woods(always thought he was slimey), Joost?, Jake , FW etc . I suppose in some ways this whole blogging thing allows us to let off a bit of steam, whether anyone reads it or not.
7 Why do some people suffer more medical/health problems than others? In the same why are some people blessed with good health.
8 At least since I took up walking a few years ago I have a way to clear my mind, get some ideas flowing etc, I suppose it would be great if I could blog while walking. I suppose in a few years I will be able to use voice recognition on my gps/cell/watch/laptop (all in one) to post while walking.
end of epistle

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Well comrades is less than 100 days away in fact it less than 90 days away.
I still need to qualify, not that I have not been trying, just not succeeding.