That which doesn’t thrill us, makes us stronger

April 4, 2013

His and hers

Dear Max

The stiffness has almost subsided, and I’m ready to hit the road running again.

Last week I ran my 11th Two Oceans Marathon, and it went superbly. I had fun, I felt good, and had no problems on the way, which is everything one hopes for on the day. I finished in one of my slower times, but at this point it doesn’t really matter. Based on my training, my goals and where I’m at, it was just perfect (you can read more about it here, on my running blog Keep Running.

I had entered you for the 56m Nappy Dash – your second in your little life. The first you “did” when you were two, and it’s so interesting how your experience two years ago wasn’t so different this time, despite so much buildup and excitement from your side.

This is what I blogged two years ago:

Then it was a mad dash -literally – to UCT for the 56m Nappy Dash. I wish I could say that you loved it, wanted to get out my arms and onto the field for a beautiful totter alongside other happy toddlers and babies, but then I would be lying (plus my Twitter feeds said otherwise). You were clingy, miserable, only wanted to be with your dad, and once you were reluctantly out his arms, you pretty much wailed until the finish line. I have often cried on finish lines for very different reasons, and I do hope that if you want to one day, by choice (and not your mother’s insistence), you can get to cross finish lines with tears of joy, or bigger smiles on your face.

And here are the pics from then – same race, just younger and curlier.



This year went pretty much the same. You got onto the field and refused to walk, insisting on staying in my arms. You refused to get down when the run started, and I made the rookie mistake of running a bit then putting you down, which you would have none of. In fact, I’m pretty sure your cries reached some kind of octave record.

It’s not that you’re lacking fitness or ability to run – I know this because I do a lot of running after you. You have also grown up running – your parents have run 27 Two Oceans between them, and you in fact “ran” Two Oceans 21km when I was pregnant with you.

Rather, the crowds probably put you off, and your complete disinterest in conforming to what everyone else is doing.

But once you were across the line, still in my arms you took a medal and a goodie bag, and were too tired to walk back to the car so I had to carry you all the way back. Uphill. And up a ton of steps. I was not in a good mood, and nor were you, and I was happy to leave and go for lunch where you proudly wore your medal and played with the toys from your goodie bag.

I think I’m needing a little more endurance to do that again next year, though maybe it’s made me a bit stronger. Whichever, let’s take it step by step.



Carbo-loading before the Dash


Post-race fuel


Ecstasy before the agony

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