This Sunday is the Pirates 10km, ordinarily a race that I would be looking forward to. It’s a race through the suburbs where I started this insane journey of madness, so I know the hills of Linden all too well. But as I write this blog I am tucked up in bed as sick as a dog, and honestly there is a huge sense of relief flowing through me at the fact that there is no ways on earth I will be running on Sunday.
Don’t get me wrong, somewhere deep down I still love running, but at the moment its way way deep down. I haven’t run since Two Oceans – since Easter. I attempted a Parkrun in Umlanga, but my running partner (read: Ladybug) had other ideas and she gave up after not even 500m in. I know I call myself a fair weather runner, and with the weather being a hell of a lot colder than normal, its been the perfect excuse. Although if I have to be honest with myself, its actually an emotional thing for me.
I last ran in Cape Town, a place I relate very closely to my Grandparent and my family, after all they did live there for a few years. It was also the place I took my first every plane trip to, my first ever holiday away from my Mom was to Cape Town to spend time with my Grandparents when my brother was born. I still remember being so excited when my Grandparents were moving up to Johannesburg, I waited for at the gate of our block of flats in Linden because I was convinced our street was the one they had to drive on to get to their new house in Sandton.
I remember going down to Cape Town with my Mom and my brother for a Holiday, it was the Easter school holidays in 1993. I will never forget, it was the time that Chris Hani was shot. I knew even then that this meant something big in our history as a Country, its funny how somethings just stick. It was also the last holiday we had with my Uncle in South Africa – He immigrated to Australia a few years after that. I had not been back to Cape Town since then.
I sat on New Years Eve telling my Grandfather my insane plans to run the Two Oceans Half and how I was looking forward to taking Ladybug to Cape Town. He was proud of me for achieving what I had, and for going for it. I did the Two Oceans Half, I didn’t finish it. He knew I tried my best and he was still proud of me. Two days after I returned from Cape Town, my Grandfather lost his battle to Cancer.
The last time I ran, he was still alive. The last time I ran was in a City he loved, and a City I relate closely to him.
I know it is just an emotional barrier I need to get over, I know there is nothing physically stopping me from running again in fact quite the opposite. I find myself back at my physio with my back injury because I have stopped running and I have stopped all form of exercise. As the days tick by I know its getting harder to get back on the road, I know I have lost all my fitness I once had, but I also know Im just not ready to get back out there. Its been almost 3 months, it might take another 3 months, it might take a lifetime. At this stage I don’t know how long it will take, but each day I plan for it to be soon. Each day I feel the road calling, I feel the need to get back out there, but then again I am relieved that there is no ways I can think of doing Pirates this weekend. Lets hope this flu that has me (wo)man down is the first and last physical excuse for not running, lets hope that once I am healthy again I can get back to running, even if at first its baby steps or 1km at a time on the treadmill. I need to be able to go back to Cape Town, I need to be able to finish the Two Oceans Half, I need to be able to do it for me and for my Grandfather.