Third time lucky?

Having missed a run due to a combination of factors (a thunderstorm, Arsenal beating Chelsea, the Lions winning the Curry Cup, multiple shooters and a monstrous hangover) I was eager to get back on the trail. So off the Groenkloof I went for the Vertical Horison 6km Fun Run.

This run made me realise that years of smoking cannot be undone by a few weeks of quitting. For the first 1.5km I couldn’t breathe, and it didn’t get much better. Still, I huffed and puffed my way around hills, up hills and down hills and emerged on a crest that showed a fabulous view of Pretoria. I was even moved to take a photograph, but since the only camera I had was on my phone, my efforts didn’t do the vista much justice.

Having reached the top of the hill, I was subjected to that fundamental law of physics – what goes up must come down. And down I went. On my butt for about a hundred metres, and my feet for the rest. I’m starting to realise I’m incredibly clumsy and also too lazy to lift my feet properly when I run, since I seem to trip at least four times a run. I’m also ashamed to admit that on one particularly steep downhill stretched I actually squealed. In my defense it was very steep, but luckily nobody was around to notice.

Surprisingly I finished this run in my best time yet: 54 minutes odd, and my heart rate monitor tells me my time per kilometre is almost a minute and a half faster than I was when I started. Although with trail runs this doesn’t mean much, the terrain is always so different every time that comparing them is a bit like comparing apples with crayfish.

And so another run came to an end, and I survived. Still enjoying myself, and I do wish there were more runs like this in Joburg, but they do say a change is as good as a holiday. So perhaps after the last trail run of the year I shall take up swimming again, and tackle the Midmar Mile for the first time in years…

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