The Meld (Short story 2)

The police left Sam to take stock of her loss. They promised to do all they could to catch the perpetrators. What was missing? Some small appliances, linen, a painting. And her jewellery. She was most upset about losing the jewellery. One piece in particular – her treasured turquoise ring. A delicate gold band set with an oval turquoise stone. It didn’t have much monetary value, but sentimentally, it was worth everything. The only tangible link to her past. And now it was gone.

***

It was dark when Tony entered his apartment. He didn’t bother to switch lights on as he made his way through to his bedroom. He wasn’t planning to do anything but shower and collapse on his bed. A day like he had needed to end as quickly as possible. He took off his jacket, loosened his tie. That was when he realized he had lost a cufflink. He cursed silently. His bad day had just gotten worse.

***

“This will do”, he muttered, “This will do.” Amos stood up slowly and examined his work with a critical eye. He could find no fault. He slipped his creation into the pocket of his apron, switched off his lamp and shuffled to the kitchen to pour himself a whiskey. Whiskey, a pipe and sitting on his veranda to watch the sun go down. These had become part of the ritual of the Meld. He never left anything out of the formula.

He tapped his pipe pensively, wondering how he would explain the ritual to Zach when he arrived the following day. What if he doesn’t believe? What if he refuses to follow all the steps? Too many questions running through his head.

He finished his pipe and emptied his tumbler as the sun disappeared. Amos reached into his apron, retrieving the ring and inspecting it one last time before placing it in the window display with his other creations. It was ready to work its magic. He noticed that his Meld was gone – just the same as the previous night, and the many nights before that. He smiled, knowingly.

The next morning, Amos was woken by a persistent knocking on the door. He squinted at the bright sunlight assaulting his eyes. Just as he watched the sunset each evening, he watched the sunrise every morning. He grumbled to himself as he made his way to the front door, annoyed that he had overslept on this important day.

“Hello Mr Amos, sir! How are you?”, Zach greeted the old man, offering a friendly hand. Amos shook hands with the young man and smiled. He noticed the difference in skin elasticity and energy. It is time, he thought. Bringing Zach in is the right decision.

“You can leave your things over there”, he said, pointing to a table in the corner of the sitting room. “Put the kettle on the stove, while I get dressed”

When Amos returned, he was pleased to see that Zach did as he was told. He imagined how his old home looked through Zach’s young eyes. He was sure that most folks did not boil water in a cast-iron kettle on an ancient gas burner these days. The boy was peeking into the workshop. He’s probably thinking about what he will change.

Zach had ticked almost all the boxes for an apprentice. He was bright, eager, responsible, creative and good with his hands. That’s what the people in town had said. But how will Zach react I give him all the details? The only thing Amos couldn’t establish was whether Zach would believe. He didn’t fear a wrong decision but there had rarely been as much riding on his decision as there was on this occasion.

“Let’s get to it boy”, he spoke decisively as he handed Zach an apron. Fortified by sugary tea, he was determined to make things work. Zach put the well-worn garment over his jeans and t-shirt and followed the old man to the workshop.

“We’ll start with the basics”, Amos said. He showed Zachery the furnace, the crucible. He emphasised the safety equipment, showing the boy his faded burn scars from when he had been a young and careless apprentice.

He opened his antique safe, allowing Zach to examine the supply of the raw materials for himself. Zach’s eyes sparkled almost as much as the gems he gently rolled in the palm of his hand. Amos could see that Zach felt the energy within the stones and his spirits lifted. Maybe? He was tempted to open the secret compartment but resisted the urge. Not yet, Amos, not yet, he told himself silently.

They worked side by side for most of the day, with Amos showing and Zach doing. Amos was pleased with their progress but around mid-afternoon, he halted their work and sent Zach home for the day, armed with graph paper and instructions for drawings. The youngster didn’t argue. He was relieved to go out into the fresh air, stretch his youthful legs and reflect on the day.

Once Zach was out of sight, Amos opened the secret compartment in his safe. Somehow, there were always two new items there, despite having cleared the space the day before. The articles were always different. Sometimes a cufflink and a single earring, or a tie pin and an heirloom ring. There had been bangles and bracelets.

In the early years, he tried to find out how the pieces came to be in the secret space, but eventually, he gave up. He knew instinctively that these items always held history within them. They were often part of a pair or a set. He could sense that their appearance in his safe represented a loss to their respective owners. The metals and stones that the items were made from were often different, but somehow always complimentary.

Back then, he was new to the art of jewellery making. He struggled to afford the supplies to make the stock he would sell. Despite wondering where the items had come from, he was eager to fill his display window, so he chose not to question anything and quickly set to work, removing the stones and melting down the metals to make something new from the old. He was delighted with the result and didn’t hesitate to give it pride of place in his display window. It didn’t stay there long. The beautiful new ring had vanished from the display the next morning. All that was left was a scrap of paper. Two names were scribbled on the scrap paper.

Amos put the scrap away in a wooden box and went about his day as before. For reasons even he couldn’t explain, he didn’t investigate further. He went about his business, designing, making and selling beautiful jewellery pieces. Each day, he checked the secret compartment and two lost pieces mysteriously arrived. At the end of the day, he would put the ring he had created by combining the two old items, and each morning, it would be gone and a scrap of paper in its place. He called these pieces his Melds.

At some point, he realised that the names on the bits of paper were the same names he saw in wedding announcements in the local newspaper a few months later. The rings he created were inexplicably linked to the joining of two lovers. A few times, he had made the effort to meet the new couples. He realised that each of them had lost something important and not long after, had met their soulmate. The strangest thing was that none of the couples ever knew anything about the Meld that Amos had created using their lost jewellery.

After he sent Zach home for the day, he worked later than usual on his daily Meld. Not only had he missed the sunrise that day, but he also missed the sun setting. He enjoyed his whiskey and pipe in dark, wondering if the change in the order of events would affect the magic of the Meld.

Amos set an alarm for the next morning. He was feeling wearier than ever, but he was determined not to allow his age to get the better of him yet. He wasn’t ready. Just before Zach arrived, he checked the window, and the Meld was gone. He put the scrap of paper which appeared in its place with the others in the box, relieved that the magic still worked.

Certainly, it’s not the sunrise or sunset that made the meld work. Amos decided not to share the secret of the Meld with Zach just yet. He had no proof that any of the steps were of key importance to the success of the charm. Maybe he could use the coming months to toy with the rituals he had created? Perhaps it would help him understand the magic before he left?

Days turned into weeks and weeks became months. Zach and Amos worked side by side companionably. Amos grew slower and his body was frail. Zach became more confident and proficient. He developed a reputation for his beautiful work and Amos was pleased with his progress. After a year of dedicated apprenticeship, Amos finally decided to tell Zach about the Meld. Zach didn’t seem at all surprised. He was excited. He loved the idea of a touch of magic in their work.

Together, they would check the secret compartment, marvel at the lost pieces and ideate the Melds. The magic remained unchanged. The Meld would go into the display each night and be gone the next morning. in time, he stopped going into the workshop. He trusted Zach with everything. The boy had become like a son to him.

Amos grew weaker as the months wore on. He left the world peacefully, knowing that he had passed the mantle to a worthy successor. Zach was doing wonderful work.

In the months after Amos passed, Zach began to make small changes to the business. Although he continued Amos’s tradition of making a Meld each day, he decided change was necessary for growth. A fresh coat of paint and bold signage brought new life to the old business. A new furnace and new tools made his job easier. He even began using a computer for some of his design work. But he never touched the antique safe with its secret compartment. He knew better than to mess with magic.

Zach was as excited as a child on Christmas morning on the day that the new workbench arrived. Amos’s old bench had seen its day and was fit for nothing but the bonfire that Zach had built in the backyard.

The next morning, sugary tea in hand, he opened the old safe. He was always excited to see what challenge lay within the secret compartment. It was empty.

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The Difference between Boys and Girls by Hilary Green (Short story 1)

“The difference between boys and girls, is that boys are big bullies!” I stop washing dishes to hear what Sarah says next, but the crash of the Jenga blocks and Jack’s giggles prevent further sage words from my five-year-old.

On any other day, the sound of Jack giggling would make me laugh, but today I want him to be quiet. I need to know if Sarah has anything else to say. Did she hear us last night? Maybe she heard the thud? God, I hope she thought we were playing Jenga!

Jack crashes through the swing doors and into my legs. I wince on impact but can’t resist ruffling his blonde curls with my wet hand. He wriggles with delight at the sensation. I instinctively bend down to take him in my arms and wince again. Please don’t let him notice my pain.

He runs back to Sarah and their game begins again. All talk of boys, girls and bullies is forgotten. Had Jack been listening to his big sister when she shared her wisdom? Maybe I had misheard her. Was she talking about something else? She has a busy social life now that she is in school.

I shake my head, as if the movement will clear my thoughts. I grab a stemless glass from the drying rack and the bottle of Sauv Blanc from the fridge. It doesn’t feel like day drinking if there isn’t a stem. I pour a glass. I glance at the kitchen clock. Not much time. A swig. Another. One more for luck. I rinse the glass in the lukewarm water and return it to the drying rack.

I hear keys rattle in the front door. Shrieks of delight from the kids, happy barking from the dogs. I breathe deeply and I brace myself.

  • Wordcount: 300
  • Prompt: Men and women
  • Genre: Family, drama
  • Warning: Domestic violence
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12 Short Stories and other creative pursuits

I’ve been a lucky girl over the last few months. Also a busy girl. I finished my degree, starting a new job, celebrated my graduation, and most importantly, worked on a bunch of cool creative projects.

Instastory – obvs!

I’ve had the opportunity to attend two fantastic writing courses facilitated by Mia Botha from Writer’s Write. I’ve always loved playing with words, but doing these courses has helped to give me some of the validation I need to pursue my writing. Yes – I am needy like that.

Mia runs a very cool forum for writer’s called 12 Short Stories. The idea is that you sign up to the challenge and write a short story each month. There is a specific word limit for each story and I need to use the prompt that Mia provides as the inspiration.

I also have attended a few wonderful art workshops with Gerda from O’Griet. I have discovered that I love illustration style artwork and I have found a new love for watercolour paints – a medium I had last tried in primary school.

In light of all of this creative activity – I think it’s time to revive my little blog and start sharing some of my work here. What say you? Would you like to read my short stories? Please say yes. Remember, I am needy 🙂

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Inspiration Everywhere!

On a very good day, I spend about 90 minutes in traffic on my commute to and from work. That’s an hour and a half of my waking hours staring at cars in front of me and dodging taxis. Last year, I made a conscious decision to be more discerning about what to do with my ears during that time. I’ve always preferred talk radio to music radio. And as much as I enjoy music, I am not much of a music listener in my car. My commute changed, very much for the better, when I started listening to online radio, podcasts and audiobooks.

In terms of online radio – it’s mostly cliffcentral.com. I can’t lie – I’ve been a fan of Gareth Cliff since his early days on 702. He is the same age as me and I was fascinated back then by how he, as a 21 year old, could hold his own, be so smart, confident and erudite on a prime time show on a popular radio station. I guess you could say I have a crush on his brain. I was super excited to pick up Gareth and his team online. His show is clever and funny, irreverent and sometime totally politically incorrect and so much fun to listens to. I reckon that an evening at a pub with the people on his the team would just be the best evening!

I don’t get to hear the whole show in the morning so I listen live while I am driving to work and often pick up on third hour of the show as a podcast on my afternoon drive home.In the third hour of the show, Gareth mostly does interviews. This week has been particularly cool, with both Monday and Tuesday’s interviews being fascinating!

Monday’s interview was with a guy named Matthew Kanniah who has been picked up by the legends of Top Gear – Clarkson, Hammond and May for their DriveTribe project. I enjoyed the chat with Matthew but more than anything, I was struck by his go-for-it attitude. He is a 25 year old petrol-head blogger and he got picked up by the ex-Top Gear dudes as a result of his tweeting and following the DriveTribe producers and then having the guts to share his work with them. Now that I’ve checked out his work on Instagram, I have followed him and I am super keen to see where he goes! I guess the point is just to put yourself out there. You never know where or who might see you and like what you do!

The next awesome interview I listened to was with Robby Kojetin. Another supercool chat with great banter between Gareth and his guest. I’ve never come across Robby before but wow, what a story! He’s an adventurer and is on his way to climbing all of the seven summits. The really, really amazing part is that he spent over a year in a wheelchair after a really silly and horrible accident. He was so down and out after the accident that he literally counted out the Synap Forte’s to off himself! The only reason he didn’t was because he didn’t have the magic number of pills – the number he was sure would do a thorough job. Even more thought provoking and inspirational than picking himself up from rock bottom and literally summiting Everest, was his talking about about bucket lists. Making a list of things you want to do and then actually doing them. This post sums up the idea beautifully! Please click on the link – you won’t be sorry. I think it’s time I started writing my bucket list down. I really want to read Robby’s book now. From listening to him on the radio, it sounds like he would write a pretty good story!

The final “Aha” moment (yes – I just Oprah’ed) that I’m going to write about was a short little podcast that I picked up while I was driving home last night from my stats class. Rich Mulholland is a really rad speaker that I follow. I’ve heard him live – he spoke at the induction training that I attended when I joined Hollard. He is a regular visitor to Gareth’s show. I think I have a crush on his brain too. I love super intelligent people (that’s also why I adore my hubby!) Anyway, Rich was talking about “curiousity boxes” – the idea that instead of thinking out the box, you think outside your own box. How being curious makes you a more interesting person. Taking time to learn about something you know nothing about.

You know how you start watching a TED talk about something completely random and unrelated to your life and before you know it, you’re drawn completely in and you’re kinda sad when it’s over and you want to tell everybody to watch? That. (Or is that just me?)

This little piece really resonated with me and reminded me to download some more podcasts and audiobooks. Apple and Audible have amazing selections. And maybe I need to be more random in my podcast selection and open more curiosity boxes?

Three very cool lightbulb switching talks and it’s only Wednesday. Imagine what I would be like at SXSW or Design Indaba or a TED conference (which, btw, is definitely on my bucket list!)FullSizeRender

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39 things

This was going to be a cynical, but funny post about 39 lousy things about aging but since it’s now the end of the loveliest birthday and I’m full of the gratitude and joy, I can’t possibly think of 39 things to be grumpy about! 

Okay, so my hairstylist talks of using colour for “extensive grey coverage” and the facial I had today was an anti aging one, at the recommendation of the beauty therapist… But truth be told, I really don’t mind getting older. 

I know so many awesomely inspiring women over the age of 40. I have the privilege of calling many of them friends. And they’re wonderful. They know themselves and yet are open to learn more. They’ve achieved so much and continue to push for more. They’re wise and funny and empathetic and brave. So bring on middle age. It looks like fun! 

I’m so grateful for all the special people who I saw, or that called and messaged me today! And especially my Nick, Ewie and Clairebear who spoiled me rotten. If the rest of 39 is even half as good as today was, I’m going to rock this last year of my thirties! I’m ready to count down to 40! 

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Oh hey – look… it’s my Blog!

Where am I? What’s this? Oh right… my blog… that place where I sometimes dump a load of words in the hope that someone reads them and derives some enjoyment. A little corner of the internet that I’ve claimed as mine, devoted solely to my musings. And I’ve all but abandoned it. It’s a tad dusty in here now after months of being left vacant. Thought maybe it’s a good idea to pop my head in and open the curtains for a bit.

So where have I been? Oh, I’ve been around. Wish I could provide more exciting details, but honestly, the last few months are just a blur of work and home, parenting, chores and the odd playdate with friends. A little bit like being on a hamster wheel. You know the feeling, right?

claire-gymIf you follow me on Facebook, you’ll know that Claire had a round of gymnastics competitions which took up a bunch of weekends and she has an armful of gold medals for her dedication.

Ewan was finally accepted into the high school we were all hoping for, so now the countdown to the last day of primary school is on! Each time we have a primary school event, it’s in the back of my head that this is the last time we will do it with him.

One of my highlights in the last few months was buying a new car! After deliberating for new-carages, I finally signed along the numerous dotted lines and bought a lovely cream coloured Renault Captur as a replacement for my Honda Ballade. I am absolutely loving driving this baby. It has all the bells and whistles, and I do like bells and whistles. Even though it’s relatively small and zippy, it doesn’t feel like I’m driving a dinky toy.

 

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Workwise, I’ve had an interesting few months. I went on a fantastic leadership course as well as a great business project management course. The leadership course was absolutely fascinating in terms of the insight it gave me into how I think. In preparation for the course, they did two detailed assessments on the participants. The results affirmed that I really am a creative being at heart, with a strong bent towards people and reasonable organisational skills, but not a whole lot of natural analytical skill.

 

I’ve been given a regular opportunity to use my creative word skills at work and I am loving the challenge. Much like my blog (or a painting – way back when I used to play with paint) I am always fascinated by the process of sitting in front of a blank screen (or canvas) and finding the flow. Most of the time, I love the result. Especially if I leave the finished product for bit and then revisit it with fresh eyes. Maybe I’ve neglected my blog a bit because I am getting a regular writing fix at work? Or maybe I’m just looking for excuses 😉

I can’t say I’ve done a whole lot of reading lately, but I am absolutely in love with Audible. Between the audio books and podcasts, my drive to work is a pleasure. I find that I listen to different things to what I would normally read. My default read is light chick lit, but as audio books, I love biographies and mystery/suspense. And as for the podcasts, I really enjoy listening to the comedy stuff, particularly live storytelling. If I’m not on Audible, I listen to podcasts on Cliff Central. They’re intelligent and irreverent, obnoxious at times, but a whole lot more entertaining than old school radio. Isn’t it amazing how we can pick and choose media content nowadays?

Staying on the subject of picking your media content, we also cancelled our DSTV account at home and we now do Netflix. I’m not a big TV watcher at the best of times, and much rather prefer browsing the interwebz and social media for mindless time out, so I don’t really miss much on DSTV, except maybe the cooking shows… I always loved the cooking shows. I am enjoying a bit of series binge watching now on Netflix. Nick and I just finished watching a really cool Brit crime drama series called “Broadchurch” and we are now on the hunt for the next series to watch.

And then there was the studying thing… Oh boy, I’m battling with the motivation to buckle down and study at the moment. Exams are just over a month away and I really needhil-assignments to focus. I started off the semester pretty well with my assignments – or at least I think I started well, I haven’t actually had the results yet – but I’ve really not been very disciplined in the last few weeks.

In an attempt to gather myself towards myself, I bought a Vit B complex supplement as well as some herbal brain power supplement called Xcel. I told the lady at Dischem that I would come back and buy her a chocolate if these products that she recommended actually work and I pass my exams!

 

Finally, an update on my running. Or lack thereof. Running took a bit of a back seat in winter. After reality kicked in and I decided not to attempt running a the CT marathon (happening this coming weekend) I took a bit of a time out. I walked at least one session each week, but I’ve been finding running quite painful. My right knee was sore – which seems to have eased up recently. My left foot and ankle however have been giving me a lot of trouble. I feel okay when I walk, but running has been painful. And the hours after running are even worse!

Last week, I decided to enter the Soweto Half Marathon to give me something to work towards again. I committed to a training plan, but after two short consecutive run/walk sessions this past weekend, I realised I can’t and probably shouldn’t try and run through the pain. I was in a lot of pain on Sunday after my 8k run/walk and my left foot is actually swollen at the moment. I’ve consulted Dr Google and self-diagnosed and I’ve finally made an appointment to see a physiotherapist and have an appointment this evening.

All being well, I plan to do the 10k Cape Town Peace Run/Walk this coming Sunday while Nick, Jents, Karen and Lance take on the 42.2k. I am so excited for a grown up weekend away with Nick and our friends and enjoying the scenic 10k route at a leisurely pace, taking loads of pics and just soaking up the vibe.

And that, friends, is my news for now. I won’t promise loads of regular blog posts for the foreseeable future because my focus really should be on studying, but if the inspiration strikes…

Love,

Hils xxx

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The Scholarly Edition

Running has taken a bit of a back seat over the last few weeks as preparing for exams took priority. Yes, exams! 

21 years after finishing high school, I am embarking on a journey into higher education! One of my biggest regrets was not getting a degree and I don’t want a life full of regrets. I have actually started this journey a few times before. I’ve even gained a few first year credits but I’ve always quit after a while. I was lacking focus, motivation, direction or discipline. 
Things have changed over the last few years though. Maybe it is because I have grown up a bit. I’ve found a some direction, career-wise. I’m nurturing my love of writing as a form of creative expression and I have opportunities for this expression at work. I do believe that there is a space for me as a creative in a corporate space. 

Running has played a huge role in all of this. For one thing, the life changing experience of learning to run inspired me to start writing – which then reminded me of how much I enjoyed playing with words. And the fact that you guys read this blog and comment, share and motivate me to write more has given me confidence in my ability to craft with words. This has given me goals to work toward in my career. So thank you for that!

The other thing involves the unlikely reality that I went from a confirmed couch creature to a runner. As in a real runner who buys expensive shoes, participates in races, has a CGA running license and medals. I realised that if I could change this most fundamental part of me… the part that couldn’t maintain or enjoy any physical activity, then perhaps I can change other fundamental beliefs about myself, like the self defeating idea that I lack the discipline to see a tertiary degree through to completion. 

So back to those exams. Well, they’re done for now. I don’t know about how well done, though. Just figuring out how to study has been a bit of a learning curve, if you’ll excuse the pun. It took weeks of procrastination, opening and then quickly closing the books again because I didn’t know where or how to start. 

Eventually with the exam deadline looming large in front of me, I had no option but to start somewhere. I didn’t give myself enough time to cover the material as well as I should have and I have been incredibly stressed over the last two weeks about whether I knew enough to attempt the exams. I’m very grateful to my family for putting up with me hibernating in my study and supplying me with endless tea, hugs and motivation. 

I can’t promise I won’t procrastinate next semester but I do think I’ll be a bit clearer on how to get going. At the end of this, dressed in a cap and gown, with a degree in hand, the stress and hours studying will all be worth it. 

Wish me luck as I wait for the results to be released! For now, I need to find some running focus again! 

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Knysna : T minus 8 days!!!

Yes people – just over a week to go until the Knysna Half! Eeeck!!!

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t just completely terrified. If you know me personally, you will know that doing this thing is huge huge huge! It’s my personal Comrades and it has consumed almost all my thoughts for the last three months. Every time I’ve set foot in the road recently, I’ve done it with this goal in mind.

When I decided to enter, the race seemed a very long way away and I had visions of a very different me arriving in the forest on race day. Yes, I know –  I have an overactive imagination! I some how imagined reinventing myself as a lithe, super fit running machine over the course of 12 or so weeks. All with the help of my trusty free half marathon training programme compliments of www.runnersworld.co.za and my supercool new Brooks Ghost running shoes.

Well the weeks have come and gone, and although I have sort of stuck to the plan, give or take a few kilometres, I’m not the lithe super fit running machine that I wished I would become. I still trundle along, albeit a bit further and a teensy bit faster than before.

This training thing has been quite an experience, especially since it’s the middle of winter and early mornings and late afternoons are freaking cold. The recent long runs have been especially challenging.

This last weekend was the longest of my long runs, at just over 19 k’s. It was tough… physically, and even more so, mentally. I was in a big old funk about whether I could actually go that far, how long it would take me and how much of a frustration would my slow pace be to my running mates, Rene and Jackie.

My running mates were awesome. If they were frustrated by my slowness, they didn’t show it once and were just hugely encouraging, all the way. At one point, probably when I was feeling the worst, Rene reminded me that my biggest obstacle was my mind. I do believe that she is right. Had I approached the run with less Grumpy-Pants and more Can-do, the whole experience might have been far more fun. The only thing I was really looking forward to was getting to take this cool photo on the bridge over the N1 highway ( a little bit of Jenty inspiration)

I ran over this cool #bridge this morning #jozi #RunRevolution

A photo posted by Hilary Green (@hilgreen) on Jun 27, 2015 at 3:11am PDT

I spent the next few miles, doing the “I-Think-I-Can” chant in my head and I was absolutely thrilled to get to the end and say “I Could”. We arrived back at our starting point, to cheers from a few members from our branch, hot coffee and the best bacon rolls ever. I spent the rest of the day, hobbling around gingerly, with sore, tired legs and feet, hosting a birthday tea for a special ten year old.

So can I actually run 21.1 Km’s on Saturday, 11 July 2015? 

I-Think-I-Can, provided you don’t stop me at 19 kms and make me restart for those last 2 kms a few minutes later 🙂

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An update, some races and a rant about rude runners

I’m into the third week of the ten week half marathon training plan and with the start of the official training programme came a bit of a bad attitude! I really wasn’t in the greatest headspace… The first session was Hard.Hard.Hard. My legs felt like lead and everything hurt from the soles of my feet to my ribs. I think the fact that it is getting dark so much earlier didn’t help – while I was running back to the field, I was imagining the everyone sitting around waiting for me. I was really surprised to get back and see a few people still on the field and realised it really wasn’t as late as I thought, and nor was I as slow as I felt.

On Mother’s Day Sunday, the tribe participated in the Adrienne Hersch Challenge… Nick did an amazing sub two hour half marathon and my brother and sister-in-law ran the 10k at supersonic speed. As for me…. I was reasonably happy with my result. It wasn’t the amazing PB that I achieved at The Cradle race, but it was an acceptable result, considering what a tough, hilly route it was. I was again ever so grateful for friends to run with – Vikki and Pippa, two run/walkers from my RWFL branch. I was also grateful for the hilly routes we use for our weekly training sessions. The Randburg hills did not seem quite as bad as they could have, were I not used to our Randpark Ridge hills from hell.

The only thing that marred the race was a rude man who decided to air his superiority complex about 2 kms into the race. We had just slowed down from a run to a walk for the first time and this guy ran around us, muttering about walkers clogging up the road. Now had he been an elite runner, or we were in the first few metres of the race, I would understand his irritation about walkers not making way, but elite he was not – except in his own head. The awesome thing about these races is that there is a space for everyone, whether you run, walk, wheel or have one leg. Please don’t ruin it for everyone with your superiority complex!

Anyways… this is all ancient history – this draft has been sitting around, awaiting publishing for days now. I am over Mr Rude Runner, I promise 🙂

We did another race this past weekend – the RAC 10k – and almost everyone from our club agreed to walk the race to score points for the walker’s league. The real runners were slightly reluctant but it was loads of fun to see Sam, who is about to run Comrades, hang back at the starting gun and stroll off with the walkers. And equally funny to hear the superspeed runners complain about their sore muscles the following day!

And now… in this, my third week of training, I have managed to cultivate a big fat snot germ. I didn’t run yesterday and I felt a mild panic rising about missing training with only eight weeks to go until Knysna! Fortunately I came across this article today and felt a whole lot better about skipping a session! Apparently I won’t lose all fitness just because I missed a run last night.

Before I sign off, can I ask you all kindly to send me some good wishes for the snot germs to take up residence elsewhere so that I can get back to my training plan!!!

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