Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Monday 13th July

I don’t like being cold, but I love clear, windy Winters days. I also really enjoy going running on days like that (once I am out of my warm bed) – especially along the water in Sedge and along the beach front in Gonubie. I find that there is something therapeutic about following a familiar course at my own pace – whether I really need to de-stress, or, for that while, to just be.

I’ve run on the three mornings we’ve been in Gonubie, all in different weather conditions. On the first day, there was a big wind, but it was a Berg wind, so was hot. I came very close to having a quick swim when I got to the beach, but the thought of running back wet in the wind (albeit warm) was not appealing. On Sunday, the day began clear and warmish, with a bit of a cool breeze. This time, the idea of having any type of swim did not really enter my head – until later in the day. Today, there was a strong, icy wind. Swimming was not on my agenda at all, although the water was actually warmer than the air.

On the way back home from the beach today, I ran straight into the wind. It was like trying to breathe in ice while having a good little jog. Needless to say, I walked parts of the way, so that my poor lungs could have even the tiniest chance of warming up a little. It reminded me of us paddling at a training camp a couple of years ago. Then, the temperature was freezing, the wind was strong and everything was just icy. Paddling into the wind was literally like paddling into a hail of crushed ice. I never even made it 100m, I think. Sarah and the rest of the ladies still have my admiration for doing the 2kms.

While I was jogging and walking into the big wind on the way home, I realised that I have been running a little more and more as this holiday has gone along – sometimes a little further (as opposed to feeling so tired that I have to walk), or even a little faster.

So, maybe I am actually getting stronger and fitter.

It’s funny how things stick in your head. I remember reading something that Tim Noakes wrote (no, not about dieting). He said something like you should always start of running a little slower than you think you need to. I have found that I do this consciously a lot of the time and especially in the last 9 months or so. I think this allows me to warm up and get into a rhythm without feeling any kind of ‘I have to do this’ pressure. I run for me, after all, not to prove a point to anyone else.

I will continue to ‘run’ the course of this journey, perhaps sometimes slower than I think I need to, at other times slower than I would want to, because my body is still recovering from the onslaught(s). I will continue to run it, though, successfully and get stronger and fitter all the time.


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