All posts by theexsaffa

Running is my passion,my family my love. Helping others I feel is my calling . Financial conditions are livable but worst than ideal. I find it easier helping others then thinking about our current situation . Life as a runner has given new meaning to what I can and can't accomplish. #KEEPGOING NEVER GIVE UP... newly appointed ambassador for The Great Wall Of China Marathon greatwallmarathon.com.cn/news1/news1729.html …

We conquer our most horrible demons by not giving in or giving up… “PERSEVERENCE?”

 Picture Perfect…

 

They say.. a picture paints a thousand words and until a few years ago I didn’t really think about the “saying” it is very true. In top left  is the photo that most of my twitter, running friends/family and also on my other social media outlets have seen, but to me it’s still one of my most proud moments and am still super stoked that I could be a part of this fundraiser for https://www.bumbleance.com . Bottom left is only a sketch of me me pretending to be training hard:):) and bottom right I posted on twitter before my bus journey to the airport started…which might I add was a panic before I even got to the airport.


 

These pictures are of my first back to back race for BUMBLEance very sick children’s charity. The race in question(Maritzburg 17km trail) was at a reasonable starting time although from the heat on the Saturday it probably would have been better to start earlier and not at 07:30, a 07:00  start would’ve probably been a lot better..but as mentioned before I had back issues going into this race so the heat was actually a help more then a hindrance. I went into the race without any running done for two weeks, for once I actually listened to my GP…!!? It was slow, cautious and methodical running no records were broken but loads of friends made and had a great chat with Chris/Ivan it’s a long story but to shorten it when we received our race numbers we all had our first names printed on the back and front of our numbers which was pretty cool because it was a lot more sociable, well Ivan had the wrong name printed on his race number and this contributed to a lot of laughs. It was also cool meeting Terri who had taken up running about 6 months ago and was loving it. Just goes to show to can start running whenever…


The next day was an early one luckily I stayed about 1km from the start. I woke up at 04:30am not feeling great stomach was doing turns and my lower back was aching from the dry needling and being turned inside out the day before(Chiropractic Volunteers thank you:) ) after the 13km trail (It was cut short for our safety). So I was really doubting myself and even had thoughts of pulling out if I wasn’t anyway right during the race…Fortunately the stomach issues subsided after going to the toilet 2/3 times..I started slow and kept the pace extra easy knowing that there would be some serious hills enroute…The longest hill was at about 16/17km and it seemed to never end but my training before I was layed off running for two weeks paid off and amazingly I kept the pace easy all the way up the hill and still had something left in the tank after 17km’s go figure…? guess a lot of it was also due to working with an awesome online coaching platform which is called Myprogramgenerator.com a huge thanks to my coach for all the tips and listening to me whinge and moan about not being able to train properly thank you JP thumbs up coach…:)

http://www.crotchguard-uk.com

 

 

A huge thank you to the guys at Crotchguard-uk.com for giving me the opportunity to try out your product it worked a treat in South Africa for the two back to back race for BUMBLEance childrens charity it’s easy to apply because of the way the bottle has a spray 2-3 squirts on the groin area was all I needed and it definitely stayed on well after I had finished my races a huge kudos for a great product that’s not only for cycling 🙂

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The awesome LaceLocker a huge thanks to Stash for believing in me.

I don’t think I say it enough …but Stash has been my favourite person to represent as an ambassador and one day we will get some interest for LaceLocker in Ireland..For now I will do my best to get the word out…

These are my last words for this blog as I am sure you will probably get bored with my ramblings..Thank you for taking the time to read this and feel free to let me know what you think.

 

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The road to back to back races for BUMBLEANCE. .

The old cliché that I haven’t written for while comes to mind..I guess life gets in the way but I’m back for a while. It’s exciting to think that in a couple of weeks I’ll be racing in my home town (Pietermaritzburg) the last time I was over was for a happy occasion and most of you who have read my blog will know that it was because my brother was getting married..So there really wasn’t much time to catch up with old friends and family. This time I get to meet all the volunteers from Maritzburg Marathon and I probably will volunteer after the 17km trail on the Saturday. This is the very same marathon that is on the Sunday that I qualified for comrades marathon in 1998…Seems like a life time ago now…?

Anyway coming back to the now…As you all know I have been an ambassador for LaceLocker for some time and hopefully all my efforts will lead to fruition in the coming Months, I actually want to apologise to Stash for not mentioning LaceLocker in my fundraising for @bumbleance to be honest my focus has been on getting donations for this awesome charity and a lot of training to get into some kind of shape for the back to back in a couple weeks time. I will definitely be promoting LLs at the two races.

I would also like to thank Claudette at Domeaseoil and Curranzsport for your support over the past year always good to know that there are genuine people out there. Oh yeas then there is CrotchGuard who I have to thank again for the sample of their awesome product for anti chafing which should come in really handy for the very hot ,humid weather in South Africa..

There’s not much to say so I will leave you with my link http://www.justgiving.com/shawn-crafford your donations will make a world of difference to very sick children Bumbleance thank you for reading and let me know what you think👍

The runner versus the person..

As runners we do our best to get the best out of ourselves and so to as people we strive for that special spark. We try to excel or should I say strive?

I have had to really reign in on all the running and mileage the past few months because there has to be a balance between doing too much of one thing and not enough of another. Family life was affected by my love and passion for running to the point where I had to make a decision stop running…or run less and be a better husband and father, not sure that I have scratched the surface of being a good husband and father yet? but just like running, we never give up when the going gets tough we persevere and carry on regardless.

Thankfully I have a very supportive network of friends from all around the world who never judge or criticise. As always my thanks goes out to all of the folks who make my life more bearable www.Domseaseoil.com , www.Lacelocker.com , CurranzSports ,Mpg-Coach

Continue reading The runner versus the person..

A Review of Holiday destination to remember

A Review of Mount Park Farm.

I had the privilege of flying home to (South Africa ) and had forgotten how beautiful and diverse it was. The last time I was home it was for a funeral and the time before that was unfortunately also for a funeral for both of my parents…..

This time was different, it was to celebrate my brother and now sister  getting married. It was an amazing day and one that I won’t forget, was super chuffed to be a part of their special day. You’re probably wondering when I am getting to the review😉 I’ll get there eventually so much going through my head at 35000 feet above the ground not to mention lack of sleep!!  reason being well, all good things have to come to an end😕 Don’t they? 😆

After the wedding the plan was to head to the honey moon destination ,yes I went as well but ….I had pre booked from the lovely Sally and dapper Ian. Who might I add were very accommodating when I emailed them from Ireland realising that I had no way of paying the deposit until I arrived (Thank you very much Sally) 😆 the caravan I had chosen was far away from the newly weds , it was absolutely lovely. I was really surprised at what I got for the price I paid?.? It was truly worth every penny. The newly weds where also well pleased. We got to meet up and have braais every day for the non South Africans (BBQs). I managed to get up early to the summit or pass one of the days and look down at some amazing scenery.pictures below ⬇⬇⬇⬇

Self catering caravan 

Mount Park Farm was originally a hotel with the basic essentials and what Sally and Ian are doing is totally remarkable they’re mixing the camping lifestyle with a bit of class, I mean where in this day and age do you get top class self catering with the added bonus of cleaners coming in to make your bed and make sure your towels are clean and that all the effort of camping is made much more pleasurable?..Mount Park guest farm lodge check out the link here ➡The amazing Mount Park Lodge⬅ They also have plans to renovate a few more caravans that have and add a few extra amenities on because the mountains can get really cold in winter and who really wants to walk to the ablution block when it’s raining or freezing cold out there?

I hope to go back next year if possible but who knows what is going to happen from now until then? Best wishes and the utmost thanks to Ian and Sally for your amazing ability to make people feel like your lodge is like home away from home and I wish you all the best for the future what you have is a rough gem which you have given a great shine to.👍

A video up on the mountain and my impression 

Hardships are a guide to your destiny.

Inspirational quote

Let me start by saying hello😂 It feels like I haven’t blogged in absolutely ages..Ever since August of last year things have changed a lot and that’s all due to The Amazing journey getting to the Greatwallmarathon in  China meeting and making inspirational new friends from all over the world. I believe that we all have a path to follow and although we follow that path, sometimes there are obstacles and instead of trying to climb over them  we choose to avoid them in the hope that they won’t reappear. This is where the trouble lies because we didn’t face the obstacles head on from the start.
Nearly five years ago I became unemployed  depressed and despondent not knowing from day to day what curve ball life was going to throw at me..then I got the chance to re-educate myself it was tough but with my rekindled love for running and a burning desire to do something worthy with my existence all of these factors have helped. It is never easy sucking in your pride but if you know what I’m talking about you will also know that it is all worth it. My motto at the moment is …I love what I do and do what I love if this is not the definition of passion I really and truly don’t know what is??

I am truly grateful for the friendship and friends that I have met on this arduous journey of discovery and look forward to making more along my exciting new one. I am evolving into a better more resilient person with all of the traits that I have picked up along the way and there’s always more room to improve. 

The image at the top of the page is so true to my current situation and is so good to relate and hopefully to inspire others that through hardships comes learning and understanding and a better you.. I am sure that there will still be hardships to overcome and relish the opportunity at another challenge be it with life, running a marathon or possibly a personal challenge or should I call it an adventure of self discovery.

Please feel free to share this Text image of hardship. We all face these challenges differently but if you have the right supportive network of friends around you there is no limit to what can be achieved. I feel that I am the proof of what positive thinking and a change in mind set can achieve..So thank you for your support over the years and also my deepest gratitude to those that read my blogs and know me from where  I was a couple of years ago, to where I am now👍

EdgegearEdgegear the watch band of the future and now…

When I first saw Edgegear I was intrigued and really keen to try out this latest piece of awesome running kit and so I decided to approach @Edgegear on twitter and asked if I could review their revamped watch band/strap. I never thought anymore of the DM until Andrew replied and offered me the chance to try this strap out for myself..

It arrived in the post with a connection for my Garmin 220 which might I add is Garmin specific there are a range of different fittings for most types of running and smart watches for example the Apple smart watch. If I had actually followed the instructions on how to attach the straps to my watch it wouldn’t have taken a half an hour …!!!:) I guess another lesson learned:)

I took my new gadget out for a test run the next morning in the pitch dark of early morning and with a little adjusting and also remembering that my watch was not in the conventional position helped:). It was awesome not having to lift my sleeve to look at my pacing and distance. So far this is an awesome piece of kit and I have got some real interest from other runners and cyclists. My wife who isn’t a runner and son who is a footballer do not really see the benefits of the positioning and the practicalities of this watch band  because they are not runner’s or cyclists

 Since doing the draft for this blog I have acquired an additional piece of kit and another awesome watch from Garmin the 920xt..And I was very kindly sent another watch band which fits the 920 even better than the 220(A huge thank you to Andy).. Can’t wait to try it out on my long run tomorrow ;).

The only fault well…If you can call it a fault is that the watch band doesn’t have a quick release so that you can change from athletic mode to working day mode..But the awesome people at EdgeGear have informed me that they are working on it and that it is only a matter of time before the band becomes even more user friendly and adaptable..

I look forward to working with the team @EdgeGear in the future as this is an awesome, innovative piece of pure genius..No more creak in the neck and losing pace looking down at your watch http://www.getedgegear.com ..For all you athlete’s out there take a look at  EdgeGear for a better way of running.

 
 

A review of the bright headlamp from Unilite

When Unilite first came to my attention a couple a years ago through a competition run by @ukrunchat I entered hoping I would be one of the first runner to try it out but alas it was not to be, well until this year:roll:.

When I received the headlight last week it was well packed and came with batteries which I think is a really nice touch.. I opened it up with no hesitation as I was keen to try it on and test the brightness..wow!! Was I surprised…lol nearly blinded myself and before you all laugh.. I know that bright light shouldn’t be directed straight at ones eyes but never thought for a minute it’d be that bright.

Anyway I digress.. I headed out with me new “spotlight 😂😂” Tuesday morning and was very pleased with the overall functionality of it..There is a wide angled beam which is really handy if you’re in a really dark environment like a forest ,A direct beam which is fully adjustable especially if you’re on the road and you don’t want blind to blind oncoming traffic and a red light which is handy if you’re in an environment where there is a bit of light..

So to summarise a very good sturdy piece of kit and really handy for running and odd jobs that need light..My sincere thanks for being chosen as a winner for this awesome prize I look forward to many more early morning miles with the Unilite headlamp.