Wednesday, June 25, 2008

88 days, 12 kg`s and approximately 300 km`s

Ok, so my running story started in earnest 88 days ago, 31 March to be precise. It was on this day that I decided I had had enough of being out of shape, overweight and extremely unhappy.

I was 90kg, which is way to much for my frame. At 1.81m I should be in the region of 75kg (keeping in mind my build, bone structure etc).
So, hard decisions needed to be taken and it was.

I decided to start running again but not just the 3km saunter I used to do. This time I was gonna work hard. The first run was hell. I struggled all the way and barely made it back home. I walked in between also just to ensure I DID make it home.
On top of the running, I joined hayley on Weight Watchers.

The first few weeks were really tough. The running didn`t come easy and it was hard, hard work. But, I persisted and kept at it. The diet took a lot of self discipline too. All in all, it was very tough.

Slowly but surely, I could see improvement both in my fitness and in my weightloss. A 5km run used to be as far as I could go but then I pushed to 6km. Before I knew it I went 8km and then 10km! That was incredible. 10km was always a push too far, that run that you aspire to but never thought possible. So, the one day I went for a run and just kept going. I was buggered at the end but it was all worth it. Slowly but surely my heart rate also fell. From 185 when I did my first 3km`s to an average of 152 bpm on my first half marathon! No words can describe the feeling of pride when you see the hard work paying off.

The same can be said for the weight loss. From the heady heights of 90kg to a sleek (well almost!) 77kg as at today, the last 88 days have been the most important of my adult life. I feel like a new man, more healthy than I have felt in a very, very long time.

So, hopefully the next 88 days will be as fruitful as the last. At least I`ll be able to share it with you, my unknown cyber buddies who may or may not read my blog.

So, join me for the ride....

The four of us

I thought I`d take a few minutes to tell you about my little family. There are four of us namely me, Hayley, Elvis and Phoebe.

Hayley and I have been married for 7 years and have been together for 8. She is the love of my life and I know we`ll spend the rest of our days together. We have been through a helluva lot the last few years but all of it has just brought us closer together. She truly is my best friend. I have even turned her into a WP fan. Look the Man Utd thing I have to thank my father-in-Law for as he laid the foundation! I suppose Beckham made it a bit easier for Hayley to become a United fan back in the early days. Hayley must be the most kitted out golfer of all time who has yet to make it to a golf course!!! She has tons of golf clothes, caps, shoes the works! An awesome set of clubs, which she is yet to USE! Who knows, maybe one day we`ll stroll the fairways together.

Then we have Elvis and Phoebe. They are our "kids" and we love them to bits. Phoebe drives us crazy with her barking but she is one heck of a guard dog!

Elvis, now he is his dads boy. He is ALWAYS hungry and just adores his dad (I`m not sure if he loves me more than food but at least it`s a contest) and his dad absolutely adores him too!

So, there you have it. My little family!

Monday, June 23, 2008

the Running GOLFER

Ok, so by now you get the "running" bit. What about the golfer bit?

Well, there isn`t too much to the golfer at the moment. In fact, I haven`t touched a club since 20 October 2007. I remember the date well cos we became the World champs at the rugby world cup that day. That was my last round. I played with a few buddies, Riaan, Henk and Fisher at Erinvale, a beautiful course here in Somerset West which has hosted 2 SA Opens (both won by Trevor Immelman who used to be a member here).

I remember the round pretty well. First nine I played pretty well. I shot 39 and was pretty consistent. Wheels came off a bit on the 2nd nine and I came in with a 44 which gave me an 83 for the day. Pretty decent considering the conditions and the fact that it was only my 3 round in 6 months.

We moved to Somerset West in May of last year. I left my regular four ball in Jhb and with that, also my regular golf. I was a member at Reading Country Club and it was a convenient 5 minutes from home. We also played a lot of golf at Germiston CC. Lots of fun. Riaan was my golfing partner and we won MUCH more than we lost. We had a regular competition called the SFAQ Cup and it was serious stuff! Riaan and I played against Quinton (Riaan`s brother) and Andre (our Springbok buddy and also the best golfer I know). It was INTENSE. Played for big money and the right to keep the cup until the next time.

I miss those days but for some reason I dont miss the golf as such. More the cameraderie and the 19th hole!

I was a pretty decent golfer. Handicap around the 8 mark with a lowest of 5. Best round was a 76 in the wind at Germiston, a day where I beat Riaan, a 5 handicapper at the time, Andre 3 handicapper and Quinton 5 handicapper. I was a decent driver of the ball but a terrible putter. Damn those knee-trembling 5 footers for par.

Now, I enjoy my running more. Maybe because I haven`t even thought about playing golf in such a long time. I still watch a lot of it and will always be a golfer at heart.

I`ll be back on the fairways but I`ll be more interested in how my new levels of fitness will affect my golf than I will be in how far I hit my Cleveland driver. Incredible how life takes you in different directions. Who would have thought, me a runner?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The day after the big day

So, I finished my first half marathon in a pretty decent time of 2:24:30, which was good enough for 98th place. This gave me a silver medal in my first race! Ok, the field was probably only 300 people but still. Fact remains, I picked my first race pretty well!

The race itself was pretty awesome. It was held in a little town called Napier, in the Western Cape. Most of the race took place on farm roads and in wooded areas. Really cool. It was a pretty tough one but a wonderful way to start my "career".
I met a few awesome people during the race. Henk from Cape Town helped me through the first 7 km`s and then I was fortunate to meet up with 3 housewifes from a church in Bredasdorp. Their bright green shirts had "running for Jesus" on the back and they were really cool running partners. I ended up running most of the race with a lady called Marietjie from this group. Ok, she dropped me with about 3 km`s to go but still! Thanks to them for lots of advice and encouragement in my first race.

I also want to say thanks to my wonderful wife! She has been really supportive during my training and with everything that has happened this year.

The race was dedicated to my wife, Hayley, my Mom Rita who I miss so much and my Father-in-Law Clive for all his guidance and support in this new "hobby" of mine.

Till next time

Friday, June 20, 2008

Christiano Ronaldo

So, the best footballer in the world has seemingly decided to let money be the "master of his domain", to coin a phrase from Seinfeld.
He now wants to leave Man Utd for the riches of Madrid.

Ok, so fair enough you say, footballers leave their clubs all the time. This time to me is different. Firstly, United have invested lots of time and money in this extremely gifted player. Remember how his, ummmm how can I put this gently, balls were on every English football fan`s wishlist when he got Rooney sent off? Sir Alex remained loyal to the player. Damn, he even sent Carlos Quiroz to go chat to Ronaldo and his ouma to keep him at United.
So, Ronnie stays at United and becomes the best footballer in the world. The United faithful adore him, the english press even plays "nice" and leaves him alone (most of the time). Utd then win back to back Premiership titles(beating Chelski and the Pounds brought in by their handsome and oh-so suave owner) and the Champions League Title. In doing so they probably get the mantle as the best club side in the world. Would that be enough for our Mr Ronaldo? You would think so.

As you now know, he has decided that he wants to leave Utd for Real Madrid because the Galacticos are throwing unparralelled money his way. What he fails to grasp though, is that he`ll spend quite some time on the bench next season. It happens to all the big ones who join the Galacticos. But, I suppose the new car, house and 300, 000 quid a week will make up for it.

Christiano must realise that loyalty is the trait of the true professionals. Look at Ryan Giggs, a more honest hardworking pro you`ll struggle to meet. He remained loyal to Utd for almost 20 years. It has brought him unequaled success in the game. Stevie Gerard at Liverpool is another example.

What would the next step be for Ronaldo? Unfortunately he is purely a commodity in the eyes of Real Madrid. He will be sold to the highest bidder in a few years time, be it LA Galaxy or a Man City funded by a certain shady character who goes by the name of Shinawatra. But until then, he would have sold millions of Pounds worth of merchandise for his new employers. Easy come easy go as they say. He also won`t have the best manager in the business looking after him and guiding him anymore. Leon, uhh sorry I mean Berndt, Schuster will be his new boss but for how long we do not know. The board at Real are a fickle bunch. The one thing he doesn`t have to worry about too much is that talented youngsters will come through the ranks at Real. They don`t waste time on such a ridiculous notion, they`d rather pillage other clubs for their best players.

But having said all of that, should he decide to stay at Utd, welcome home my son....

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

favourite new show

Just a quick post this time. I watched the pilot of Eli Stone a few days ago and I loved it immediatley. A show with soul stands out from the crowd and this show has soul. I think Johnny Lee Miller does a sterling job and I cannot wait to see where the shows takes us.

Nice to see clever shows take over from the train wrecks like Greys and prison break (both of which used to be my faves until they became crap).

So, the best shows at the moment? Californication, Eli Stone and Friday Night Lights. Any coincidence that they all have "soul"....


Well, I`m running my first half marathon on Saturday and I am petrified! I phoned to find out more about the 10km race to be held in Napier on the weekend and the organiser informed me that they do not have a 10km but only a half marathon. The man (Sakkie) was really cool though. I explained to him that I have never done a 21km and that I am comfortable with 10k races. He said that the cut-off was 3 hours and that if I don`t make it, he`ll wait at the finish with my medal! How cool is that? Now look, I`ll probably be able to finish in 2:30 (hopefully) but it is still very scary. Will I make it? Will the dodgy knee hold up? Will the dodgy ankle hold up? I know, I sound like a war veteran (I was in the army for a full 7 days back in '91 and it was Upington, so I`ll be able to pass as a vet).
I did phone my father-in-law, who I trust implecitly with everything, for advice. Seeing that he ran 10.26km with me on Saturday, I had full faith in his opinion. He was very positive that I should do it. Breaking it down he said that I`ll probably be able to run for at least 15km, which leaves my with 6km. So, it`ll be me, my New balances, my Garmin GPS and heart rate monitor and my brand new Strand Athletics Club vest on Saturday with the number 4047. Whohooooo, 21.1, here we come!
Till later