#1

I did well at school academically so often came top in the year but I was never that brilliant at sport. I enjoyed hockey and a bit of athletics but was never in the first team or won any races…

When I started running again in January this year, I was horrendously slow and unfit and I didn’t seem to make any progress for ages. I stepped up my training for the Knysna Half and since then things have just fallen into place. I’ve mentioned before that I wasn’t in a very good frame of mind (or a very nice person to be around) for quite a while after Ava was born. Running has changed all that and although Chris might not agree (he always bears the brunt of my end-of-the-day with 2 small kids moods) I feel like a new person. Running is a bit addictive though so I have to try and stop myself from becoming too obsessed or depro on the days that I don’t manage to train.

Anyway, last night was the running club’s 5km time trial. I was in a foul mood I will admit as Chris and I both wanted to run but my mom couldn’t babysit, so my dad offered. He’s very good with the kids but I didn’t want to leave him to give them supper so I had to make sure they were fed by 5.30pm. Zoe is not a brilliant eater so still needs lots of encouragement and Ava had just had her MMR injection so maybe wasn’t feeling too good. So both girls were eating my absolutely delicious beef stroganoff with rather lang tande as my mom would say. They were frustrating me and Chris arrived home at about 5.25pm. I just feel it’s not fair on the girls if he only arrives at that time and then wants to leave 5 minutes later again when they haven’t seen him all day. I am happy for him to run but I just think he should at least spend a bit of time with them before leaving again. So, I was cross with him, on their behalf and they weren’t eating my food, so I was a bit mad at them as well. Anyway enough of my bad mood. My dad arrived at 5.30pm, we both got dressed and arrived JUST in time for the start.

The wind was HOWLING. I need to repeat that, it was howling. So bad that although we run on a tarred path next to the beach it is actually at least 25 – 50 metres from the beach but the sand was stinging our eyes and faces because the wind was blowing so hard. We fortunately ran into the wind for most of the first 2,5km but right at the end had to run past the clubhouse for about 300m and so the very last 300m was run into the howling gale again. The last time my time was 21.53 and this time it was 22.24, no surprises there. Chris ran a 22.16 and he was quite surprised that I was so close behind him. The lady that usually always wins wasn’t there last night and would you believe it but I was the first lady home. It wasn’t really a race just a time trial but that’s the first running thing I’ve ever won. The lady that came 2nd looks quite a bit older than me and is obviously a pretty serious runner. There is a 15km race on Saturday and our club is currently lying 3rd in the league for the ladies section. They really need as many ladies to run on Saturday so that we can maintain or perhaps better our position so they’ve persuaded me to do it. My folks are away so Chris and I can’t both do it. The most hilarious bit of all is that she emailed me this morning to check whether I was going to do the race and whether I had an age category tag for my kit as you can’t win a prize (she wrote in her email) unless you have your age category displayed. What a joke. Win a prize in an actual race, I don’t think so. Maybe I just look really old and she thought I might qualify for some old age category (have to have a word with Chris about that). I wrote back and explained that I really wasn’t very good at all and she please mustn’t expect too much. She also lives really close to us and is keen to maybe run together sometime (but she wrote that she’s a few minutes off her normal pace at the moment). Oops, I nearly killed myself running in that wind and she was probably just plodding along at her usual pace and finished just behind me, there’s no ways I could run more than 5km that fast. Hopefully my time on Saturday will be a truer reflection of my abilities.

Chris did an op all night last night (he left at 7.30pm and got back just before 2am so technically not all night) and the orthopod that helped him has recently moved to PE from Stellenbosch recently. The reason he left Stellenbosch was because for the 4 months prior to leaving he had spent every single night at the hospital. EVERY single night for the last 4 months. The irony is that it’s not much better here in PE. Last weekend he arrived at the hospital at 7am on the Friday morning and only left at 10pm on the Saturday night, without sleeping at all. He was back at the hospital at 7am on the Sunday morning. He has 2 children aged 2 and 4. I can’t even begin to imagine how much money he must be earning but as he said to Chris, his quality of life is zero. I am so, so grateful for Chris’s working hours. How do these people do it? Never seeing their children or their partners. No amount of money is worth that, although he’s not really doing this by choice – there is just such a demand for orthopods and when it comes to medical emergencies one can’t really say no.

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