I gave up carbs, booze and sugar for 21 days (and here's what happened)

This is not to say I’m stopping my ‘lifestyle change’ now that I’ve hit 21 days, but I do feel like I’ve reached a bit of a milestone in my ‘Fuck You Fat’ journey.

They say it takes 21 days to form or break a habit. Let me tell you, 21 days is a very long time when that habit is so ingrained in you, and such a part of your everyday life.

21 days 1

A few weeks back I made a commitment to myself to give up the following for most of January (I say most, because it’s my birthday in a few days, and there ‘aint no way in hell I’m going without champagne, sushi or spaghetti on my special day):

  • Gluten
  • Sugar
  • Alcohol
  • White carbs

So, on day 22, how have I done, and how do I feel?

Emotionally I feel, well, the same. Everyone tells you how wonderful, revived and rejuvenated you will feel. I had visions of bursting through the office doors on a  Monday morning singing about the hills being alive while group high-fiving the entire office and drumming on my keyboard with organic carrot sticks. Alas, this never happened, and I feel none of these things. In fact, I am more tired, lethargic and moody than ever before. This could be due to other factors such as Zuma, my finances, the state of the Rand, work stress, motherhood, traffic or the weather.

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Physically I feel like a thousand bucks. No booze means my skin isn’t blotchy in the morning, and I have absolutely noticed less-puffy bags underneath my eyes. I’ve lost 3.5 kilograms and my tummy doesn’t bloat or ache like it usually does after a meal. I’m back in (some) of my size 10 jeans, and am feeling slightly more confident about my body. I say slightly, because I had to take some before photos for my SleekGeek challenge, and whilst clothed bodies hide a multitude of sins, half naked ones are truthful as fuck.

My diligence has paid off and I train 5-6 days a week, alternating between running, Pilates (which is super hard by the way, jaysus), crossfit &bootcamp style exercises and weights. Getting to the gym some most days is hard, and I often think up every excuse under the sun not to go, but afterwards I am so glad I did. Classes have also kept me accountable – it’s a lot harder to sneak out of a packed Grid class than it is to stop a treadmill run half way.

Side note story: Last week in my Shape class, 3 guys from the weighs section joined the class. I could tell they did it as a bribe or a dare from their buff gym boys, and I kept a close eye on them throughout the hour long session. Because I knew that about half way, they would be begging like orphaned puppies to be let loose and go back to the benches. These guys died. I had one of them ask me for my ‘girl weights’, one of them removed his weights entirely and the other one collapse to his knees half way through a jumping squat sequence. ‘Twas not sweat that fell from their brows, but little pissy man tears. They both made it to the end, but barely. Okes, before you ever judge a ‘girly class’ from outside, come in, do it, then say sorry.

21 days 6

I’ve cheated twice. Once was when I added 1 potato to a batch of fishcakes I made as we had nothing else in the house, and the other was when I added a tablespoon of curry powder to a dish I was making, only to realise afterwards that it contained gluten.

On that topic – everything you eat contains gluten and sugar. Have you read a label lately? Not even tinned Ratoutille  is safe. It’s incredible just how clean you start eating when you read food labels. I still don’t understand most of what the label says, but I have learnt what I should and shouldn’t have.

21 days 7

Planning is the most important thing when it comes to not falling off the wagon. It’s a schelp, but that extra 10 minutes you take at night to pack a lunchbox, means you absolutely can stick to the plan the next day. I’ve also found that meals are a lot more delicious and exciting than what you initially think of when faced with the idea of a carb, gluten,sugar and booze free diet. I allow myself brown rice and quinoa once a day. That, along with delicious fruits, veggies, smoothies, eggs and legumes have also meant I’m never bored.

Being accountable to someone or something is key. I mentioned the WhatsApp group I created – a bunch of ladies all looking to change their lives through diet, exercise and humour. Some need to lose 1 kilo, some need to lose 31, we are all different in our approach and style, but at the end of the day we check in with each other, post (gasp!) before photos and keep each other on the wagon in times of trouble (read: birthdays, weekends, kids tantrums and work trauma). The ‘something’ I’m accountable to is my FitBit device. I feel personally responsible for logging my food, hitting my step goal and appeasing this little band on my arm. The data doesn’t lie, and I treat the Fitbit challenges like my own personal Zelda quest.

I can live without sugar. I have never had a sweet tooth, so this was the least daunting approach of them all – and possibly the easiest of the items to cut out. I do still dream about a large pizza or a mac ‘n cheese though (because it takes 21 days to break a habit, not to kill your taste buds entirely). Funnily enough, my biggest craving of all? A donut.

I’m really battling to live without wine. 

So, whilst I’m nowhere near my goal, and whilst I won’t stop at 27 days, I will allow myself to have 1 ‘cheat’ meal a week. First stop? My birthday. That sushi carousel has no idea what’s about to happen to it.

21 days 4

I’d be very interested to hear your experience with breaking a 21 day habit – please share in the comments below.

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Following 'THAT' Fat Post – A Little Update.

Five days ago I posted this, and the response has been incredible. Turns out, I’m, not the only woman who hates the way she looks and feels naked. Turns out there are a ton of ladies in the same boat (mom, non-moms, young ladies, older ladies and even some men!).

Being accountable on this blog has meant I’ve really had to own this, which means if I let myself down, I’m going to let a lot of you down as well.

So, while I may only be on day 5 of ‘New Kate’ its been quite a week.

  • I’ve cut out all alcohol (and plan on doing so until the 27th – because, birthday). Yes, alcohol includes wine. Have you ever?
  • I’ve started a Whatsapp group where like minded ladies share before and after pics, encouraging messages, post motivational pics like these below and basically talk each other off carbohydrate and sugar ledges, daily. If you want to be a part of this group pop me a mail with your number .
  • I’ve cut out all gluten, white carbs and sugar, which is easy most of the time, except when my child eats spaghetti in-front of me and proceeds to dangle it on his head like some sort of glory hat.spag
  • I’m exercising more and using my ‘off’ days to haul this saggy arse into the gym. I recently tried a ‘Shape’ class at Virgin active. Most fun I’ve had in ages! Also, I’m  so fucking stiff I wee standing up. That’s the sign of a good workout.
  • I’ve paid for and signed up the the SleekGeek Ultimate You challenge, starting on 18 January. I might break the Internet with my ‘before’ photos, but I need to win the cash prize to pay for Crossfit classes.
  • I’ve found an office buddy who is lovely and kind and a huge motivation for me. I adore our morning coffee chats where we both bitch and moan about our cellulite, but then actually do something about it.

I’m quite excited to share stories of kilograms and centimetres lost, and hopefully that will come (dear god, let that come) but in the meantime I wanted to touch base and let you all know – I’ve started, and that’s the most important step.

If you started on your personal journey this week as well, well done! If you haven’t, remember: A year ago you’ll wish you started today.

Cheers to you, soon to be skinny bitches!

 

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Blake Lively, You Are Not helping Matters.

I just took a light jog with the dogs and the pram. In my nursing bra. My oversized boobs were literally flying into my mouth.

Why did I just take a jog with 2 dogs and a baby you ask? No, it was not to taste my own boob milk, nor was it to proudly display my multitasking skills whilst I clutched dog leash in one hand and bouncy breast in the other.

You see, my face slash body double Blake Lively has also recently given birth to a baby. I’m not sure of its name. Probably God. 

Have you seen Blake Lively post partum? Wait did you see her pregnant? Holy mother of all things fertile, the woman looks like a Victoria Secret model. She’s all lean arms and legs, luscious hair and flat tummy. It’s depressing dear reader – and don’t for one second try to tell me she’s wearing spanx under her dress made of human skin. I tried them things. All that happened was that my post baby belly went from sitting around my waist, to being squished up around my chest, resulting in 2 sets of 36 D’s to deal with. 

She has time to wear a hat?
She has time to wear a hat?

Seriously?

I mean COME ON!
I mean COME ON!

Im still wearing the pregnancy leggings I lived in for 9 months, and when I dare to wear a tight top I look 5 months knocked up. You guys, my cellulite has cellulite.

I had an easy pregnancy – so I guess this is my big pay back – the fat that won’t come off. What makes it even worse is that my bordering on problematic pregnancy cravings (white chocolate, vanilla cake, Kit Kat chunkys and toasted cheese sarmies have not at all abated). Harder still is that junk food is the easiest thing to eat when nursing a baby in one hand and fondling my fat rolls in the other.

I did go back to gym. Once. I signed Carter up to Club V, left him there and waddled off to the floor mats. There, I bumped into a lady I used to work with, who has the body of Blake Lively’s twin sister. She told me, very kindly, to go easy on myself. 12 months is a very long time to be stagnant, but I was too stubborn to listen. 8 jumping squats later I could actually feel myself starting to black out. 1 attempted plank and a handful of running lunges later and I think I actually DID pass out. 

EIGHT DAYS LATER and I was only managing to sit down n the toilet again without crying. 

I know I need to be patient, I know its only been 7 weeks and 6 days since I gave birth (and all the lard in the world is worth it when I look at this perfect little kid) but man, am I feeling crappy about this post baby body. 

I guess, in a perfect world, I would have a nanny to give me some time off to hit the gym, a slew of maids to do the washing and drying and cleaning when my baby vomits all over his brand new outfit (again) and a million more hours in the day to get everything I need to done. 

For now, I will take running up the street, clutching heaving bosoms in a nursing bra, whilst holding on to a pram and 2 hounds. 

Welcome to motherhood. 

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On Finding Time.

Training for another Half Iron Man distance race (Tri Rock) has reminded me about the importance of time. We are each given 24 hours in a day. No amount of money in the world can buy you more than your allotted time – it is the great grounder. In those hours we (most of us anyway) have to work for at least 8 or 9 hours, fetch kids, fight traffic, feed dogs, children and husbands, buy groceries for said cooking, run errands, get enough sleep, do your hobby and make sure our lives are up to date with admin and to-do lists. This does not leave a lot of time to do anything else. Basically, being an adult sucks. 

I don’t know abut you, but I’m buggered by the time I get in to bed every night. Sadly for me, I require 8 hours of sleep a night as well, which means getting into bed at 9 pm – generally not more than an hour after getting home from gym or training.

I’m not the only one with a hectic schedule – there are people who do what I do, plus they have kids thrown into the mix. I feed a fussy husband – I cannot even imagine feeding a fussy child. 

The saying “you don’t have time, you find time” is so true. My pet peeve is people telling me they don’t have time to do anything. Bullshit. You can and will find the time to do something you love. With that in mind, here are some life hack time savers which have proved to be very valuable, for both my sanity and my sleep cycle.

1. PVR shit. If you don’t, you’re pretty much paying a small fortune for 1 TV show. 

2. Order groceries online. Have them delivered to your door. It is the best R50 you will EVER spend. Plus, No more less trawling Pick n Pay at 8 pm on a Monday night.

3. Find a gym close to your office. Training twice a day is a pain the ass, but if you can find a gym close to work you save on traffic stress, and get your workout in as well. (Side note, book your classes on line so you aren’t left scrambling for the last seat on a spinning bike)

4. Online banking- no brainer.

5. Dedicate 1 night to takeaways or ready-made meals. It’s OK, really, I promise Martha Stewart wont find you and beat you down with her wooden spoon. On a Monday Barry and I take part in a swim squad which means we only get home after 8 pm – that’s 14 hours away from the house, which leaves me with very little enthusiasm to muster up a meal. Hellooo convenient local restaurant. 

5. Say ‘no’ once in a while. Yes, training for a race is a selfish act, one that generates very little sympathy or interest from people. I’ve sadly realised that o-one really cares how my races went or training is going (apart from the people you train with – it hurts, I’m learning to get over it). The thing is, you are pretty much exhausted all the time. Learning to say ‘no’ to just 1 social event on a weekend can actually save your soul. This past weekend I was home for less than 1 hour at any given time until Sunday night. Result – I had 5 people ask if I was sick/tired/pregnant/dying on Monday morning. 

6. “Holi-races” – Barry and I love to go away. We also love to enter races. So, we combine the 2 and find fun events to take part in away from home. A win-win. 

Any time saving tips you can share with me? Let me know. (Unless it involves removing vowels and speaking lyk dis. Then you’re on your own)

PS – Yes, I find time to blog. I’m also eating my lunch at my desk as I do it. 

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One, Two, Tri-Rock

After finishing the Half Iron Man in January last year, swore I would never do another triathlon, let alone a Half Iron Man distance.

“2014 will be about making babies and buying homes” I’d exclaimed.

Well, the jokes on me, because I’ve agreed to do another one in October this year. OCTOBER people. I’m the fattest and most unfit I’ve ever been (swear, I nearly lost my breath walking up the office stairs this morning) so this is going to be a challenge. Thank goodness I’ve roped in my friend Shannon who is up for anything, so I will have a training partner. There are also a few friends who are doing it as well, so its going to be vibey and enjoyable (I hope).

Tri Rock takes place in Durban on 10 October. 

Is anyone else taking part? 

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The Energizer Light Race – Ticket Giveaway!

Us Saffas have gotten pretty good at doing things in the dark – what with all the Eishkom power outages that we’re all too used to being on the receiving end of, it’s no surprise we’ve become adept at coping in a blackout. Hell, I once even attempted to boil water by precariously placing a mug over 2 tea-light candles. (Side note – it doesn’t work)

Doing Things In The Dark has even spurred a new movement in athletics – with Nike launching their Run Jozi initiative and now Energizer joining in on the fun. Last year I blogged about the Energizer Night Race here and here and this year, it’s back!

If the thought of running turns you off (yes, I’m talking to you friends with “bad knees”), then never fear, because this year participants have the option to take part in either a 10 km trail run, a 5 km walk or  20 km mountain bike. Even better – it’s taking place in Soweto with all routes illuminated by you and Energizer.

Diarise Saturday 10 May now – as this is an event you don’t want to miss. If you class yourself as more ‘water boy’ than ‘athlete’ then the array of entertainment on offer will not disappoint. Participants will be surrounded by the beat of Zulu drums and Pantsula dancers while spectators will be entertained by George the Beatboxer, DJ Milkshake and Laser Dancers. Come hungry as the food will be ‘local and lekker’ with options from local African cuisine caterers and shisanyama’s on sale.

As this is a night race (otherwise why would Energizer sponsor it, silly) the events start as follows:

Mountain Bike Race: 6:30 pm

The route begins at Mofolo Park and follows the wetland north to Dorothy Nyembe Park, circling this park before passing Sedibeng Restaurant. It moves through Dube Hostel then heads to Mzimhlope, before turning back with Orlando Stadium on the left heading to Vilakazi Street. It then briefly joins the runners and walkers along Vilakazi street before heading past Winnie Mandela’s house and back to Mofolo Park.

10km Run: 6:45 pm

Leaving the starting point at Mofolo Park, the route will pass Nancefield Zulu Hostel, go over the bridge at Dube Station and along the small stream with the suburb of Klipspruit on the right, turning left at the Power Park Dam and the Orlando Towers. It will then pass through Nomzamo Shack settlement, crossing over the railway bridge in Orlando adjacent to Orlando Stadium through to Vilakazi street before heading back through Dube Village to Mofolo Park.

5 km Walk: 7:15 pm

The walk starts at Mofolo Park, then heads into Dube village past the Ubuntu Kraal and Winnie Mandela’s home before crossing over the Orlando Koppie. It then moves onto Vilakazi street before heading back through Dube Village to Mofolo Park.

The prices for each event varies from R60 for spectator to R270 for mountain biker). To enter you must visit www.energizerlightrace.co.za

The good news, for those squealing at the cost, is that the lovely folk at Energizer have given me 4 tickets to give away. Nice hey? All you need to do to stand in line to win an entry (to a race of your choice – even you Mrs-bad-knees-I’d-rather-spectate) is to simply comment on this blog post and tell me how amazing I am. I jest – although bonus points for bribery.

To win – for realsies – simply comment on this blog post and tell me why you want to take part, and which race tickles your fancy. You then win a cool prize and save yourself some ronds to spend at the shebeen that night.

This unmissable event is a must for fitness lovers, Afro-chic partygoers and those who love the vibrant culture and history that Soweto has to offer. Get glowing with the Energizer Light Race and set the night alight. For more information, go to www.energizerlightrace.co.za

The competition closes at midnight on Friday 7 March and the winna-wenas will be announced on Monday 10 March.

Good Luck!!

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Update 10/03/14

The winners have been drawn! (thanks to a very nifty online number generator). If your name is below please drop me an email at katenicolekearney@gmail.com with your email address and cell number.

Ziphelele: 5km

John Kearney: 10km Train Run

Sasha Martin: 5km walk

Stephan Schlebusch: Mtb Ride

Congrats!!

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Getting Active, Again

After a 4 month post-Half Iron man depression hiatus, I’ve slowly started getting active, and back into the exercise scene. It’s been made a lot easier by the fact that I have a new running partner, Shannon. An added plus is that Shannon enjoys her running almost as much as she does her wine, so it’s a match made in heaven.

In the past few weeks we have taken part in a few fun events:

The Bio-Kick Lumo Trail Run (PWC Bike Park, Bryanston)

Honestly, my facial expressions when I spot a camera are cringeworthy

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The Rhino 10k (St Stithians, Sandton)

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I Love Shans winning camera pose 🙂Image

… And mineImageImageImageLast weekend Barry and I took the fur-kids to Avianto in Muldersdrift for the annual Royal Canin Dog Day. It was an amazing morning out meeting dog lovers and thier furmilies. We got to meet the worlds biggest Boerbull (in my opinion) with his owner Lynette, and a miniature something or other the size of a tea cup. Our dogs did the 4km, and were royally finished afterwards.

Can We Go Yet?

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Tao the Boerbull, and BellaImageImageImageImage

Rupert ApprovedImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

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Home Time!Image

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The Energizer Night Race – Post Event

I have a massive case of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) or in this case KIHMO (Knowing I Have Missed Out) that I wasn’t able to take part in the Energizer Night race this past Saturday. As this time of year goes our diaries were fuller than a Christmas stocking and we had another engagement on – an early Christmas with my fiances family.

As irony would have it – my brother and his fiance both took part – and their feedback only added to my envy. I decided to do a fun QnA with my brother John and one of the winners of the hamper Kate Els.

– Which race did you take part in?

(Kate) 10km run

(John) 10km trail run

Was this your first night race? If not which other ones have you done

(Kate) Not my first, but my furthest night race so far. I take part in the Kinetic Night Trail series once a month and will be running the 8km in December.

(John) Yes, first running race and a night trail run at that!

The entertainment lineup was diverse – who was your favourite performer?

(Kate) I loved the drummers! Code Red Drum Corps I think they were called? They were fantastic and made me bounce up and down a little in the cold wind before the race

(John) Most definitely ‘Code Red’, the drumming show. Real talent and coordination. Apart from that just watching the runners freezing their butts of in the cold waiting for the start!

*Seems we have a definite favourite here!

Would you do it again?

(Kate) Definitely, I think next year I’ll organise a big group of friends and spend more time at the venue though. And won’t be as nervous!

(John) Definitely! Can’t wait to do other trail runs as well.

Did you dress up? If so, in what?

(Kate) Ha ha no! I was far too nervous about running 10km with a headlamp on to even consider dressing up. Made sure that I had lots of reflective neon strips on my clothing though. I loved the guys dressed up in morph suits that looked like tuxedos. They were winners!

(John) No, very boring in my running clothes and Salomons.

 Summarise the event in 3 words

(Kate) Energetic, fun, totally-worth-it

(John) Challenging, Rewarding, Entertaining.

Did you take part to compete or just have fun?

(Kate) A bit of both. I want to take part in a half marathon early-ish next year so I’ve started trying to improve my fitness and my 10km personal time.

(John) A bit if both, I told myself it was just to take part, but once I started I felt strong and decided to compete as best I could.

What was the toughest part?

(Kate) Trail runs are harder mostly because of the uneven ground and the winding path, making it more important to concentrate on where you’re running. But even though it makes it tougher, it also makes you a better runner and strengthens your ankles, so less chance of an injury in future!

(John) Waiting in the cold to start! Not the events fault, the weather just decided not to play the part but luckily the rain held out.

 Thanks to Kate and John for answering the questions – sounds like a freezing but fun event! Also, Happy Birthday to my big bro for today – see, you can teach old dogs new running tricks 😉

JM80020121201-603081.jpgDSC_8431_Glow shot

Code Red
Code Red

JM80020121201-9400.jpg_DSC5477-2_Jesse Clegg

 

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Win With The Energizer Night Race

I like to think I’ve come a long way since my first trail run, when I arrived at the venue, kitted up in all the right gear, headlamp on and about as confident as Mark Zuckerberg at a Social Media convention. Then the gun went off and I found myself panting after a 12 year old in converse and stumbling through the finish line what felt like 3 days later.

Trail running is a whole different ball game. I was used to flat roads, gentle slopes and dodging only traffic. Trail running involves precarious surfaces (think golf courses, rocks, rickety bridges and rubble). It also requires a lot more stamina due to having to concentrate every step of the way. But what. a. jol!  It’s an opportunity to go out at night with a bunch of people, often dressed like a bit off an oddball and run around forbidden spaces. Theres something quite liberating about dashing over the 9th hole on a larny golf course.

One of the more popular trail runs on the calendar is the Energizer Night Race which is now in it’s 8th year. So just like the battery, the event keeps on going (see what I did there?)

Energizer Night Race
Energizer Night Race

This year the Energizer Night race is being held at the stunning Central Park Trails in Jozi, on 1 December. It’s a Saturday night so there’s no excuse not to grab all your mates, family and running buddies and go through for what promises to be an action packed event (think 5 km run/walk fun races, 10km trail run, 12km team relays as well as a 40km mountain bike relay for teams of 2). The entertainment line up is a win, with the likes of Jesse Clegg (yes, ladies), local band Tokyo Groove, Code Red drum corps, string quartet ‘The Muses’, SA fire performers ‘Dreams of Fire’ and Laser X – a dance and laser experience show.

Sounds good huh? And from only 100 ronds to enter, it’s a no brainer if you are looking to be festively financially savvy. If you are keen to enter simply visit their website or like them on Facebook. You can also find out more about race and event details on these pages.

Now for the fun part. The super nice folk from the Energizer Night Race have given me two hampers choc-a-bloc full of goodies, to give to two of you. They are valued at R1500 each and consist of various Energizer items, an Enrista coffee hamper a Salomon t-shirt and a 32Gi hamper. Everything an avid runner needs before the big race!

To win one of these hampers all you need to do is follow @nightrace_sa on Twitter and then tweet why you need want to win this hamper with a link to this blog (I’ve shortened it here just to make life esier – wp.me/p1ZuF8-7Q)

I will be picking the 2 winners in the next few days, so enter as many times as you like, and good luck!

For a bit of visual stimulation, this is a piccie of what you can win :

Energizer Night Race Prize
Energizer Night Race Prize

Also, be sure to check out the video from last year’s race

Share your trail running experiences with me below – would love to hear them!

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The Momentum 94.7 Cycle Challenge

‘Bloody Cyclists!’

‘Stupid Road Closures’

Argh – I HATE 94.7 for doing this to me!’

I’m pretty certain I’m not the only person around Joburg who, yearly, moans about the road closures for the 94.7 Cycle Challenge, curses the inconvenience of being trapped at home or moans about the irritation of having to plan your day around tens of thousands of shaved-legged-tight-jersey-wearing athletes taking over our roads. Right?

Well, as they saying goes – if you cant beat ’em, join ’em. So I did, and let me tell you that I have a new found respect for anyone who has ever taken part in this race.

First off, it’s crowded. This year 27000+ riders took on the challenge. Secondly, it’s bloody hot. With temperatures reaching over 30 degrees the 11km infamous Krugersdorp highway feels more like a crossfit session on the face of the sun. It’s also windy, long, exhausting, and hot. Have I mentioned hot?

I was hoping for a time of 4 hours – to fit in with my Half Iron Man training and preparation, but as luck would have it I got my first ever puncture on said Highway. Twice. That wasted us (and by us I mean Barry – I watched him fix them, while eating the potato stand out of all it’s stock) a good 45 minutes, so by the time we finished the race we clocked in at just under 5 hours. Considering the break, we still managed a ride time of 4:15 which isn’t too far off my initial goal.

So, having broken my 94.7 virginity – here’s what Ive learnt :

– You will hit a wall. Anticipate it and push through it. Mine happened around 70 kms. Just as this photo was taken. Gents – this is what ‘faking it’ looks like.

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– Eat! A lot – I burned over 3000 calories – which will have an impact if you dont refuel. I favour potatoes and bars over sweet gels – but do what works for you

– Keep hydrated. At times it feels like you’re being slow roasted – and if you dont get enough liquids you will suffer.

– Wear sunblock – otherwise you will look like this :

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– Take a moment just before Krugersdorp highway to look back and congratulate yourself on where you’ve come from. That Joburg horizon seems very far away from where you are. It’s an achievement – be proud.

– Feed off the energy of the supporters – the vibe is amazing!

– Dont (as I did) drink the day before. Or do – but keep the self induced complaints to yourself 🙂

– There are some people who ride it twice. I call them bloody lunatics. If you see them – buy them a beer or donate to their charity – they deserve it.

– Lastly, enjoy it! Make friends with riders, chat, joke and laugh. I promise it eases the pain slightly.

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PS – Thanks for the gear Biogen – Rupert approves!

 

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