Friday, 22 November 2013

Foot off the accelerator? Hardly.

I thought that once I'd finished the English course my foot could come off the accelerator and I'd be able to juggle less balls... But there's hardly been a moment to breathe.

Forest Run & my chance to run
Forest Run entries went online this week. The date for Forest Run was set not long after this year's event and unfortunately it clashes with the Addo event (this year we were a week apart). The races are totally different in terrain, they're spread far apart geographically and as I've only got space for 150 runners anyway, it's no biggie.

But, a new race hit the calendar this week -  a 70km up here in Gauteng, which will serve as the SA Trail Champs -  a qualifier for the World Trail Champs. I was flattered to be offered the opportunity to have Forest Run as the SA Trail Champs event, but I declined because my event doesn't have the elevation gain nor steep ascents nor technical terrain that the qualifier should have... So runners that were planning to do Forest Run are having to decide which of the two races to do.

For me, the decision is easier. As I'm organising Forest Run, I'm taking the opportunity to be a participant and so I've entered the 70km. I can pour my energy into making Forest Run wonderful for my participants; and then stretch my legs on this new course. So while the events split participation, the timing is quite nice for me personally.

Festive Metrogaine
You'll have read on here about the Festive Metrogaine on 30 Nov. This is going to be fun. I'm marginally involved - all credit goes to Sarah, Stephanie and Christie and their helpers from WITSOC. I'm a peripheral 'consultant' - these experienced orienteers have it all under control. I'm planning to run and to get a taste of my own medicine by running my event format.

Open navigation coaching evenings
On Wednesday evening we had the first of what will be regular, structured navigation coaching sessions. Although I'm planning and organising, I'm ably assisted by fellow orienteering coaches to keep the groups small. The objective behind these sessions is to provide more activities and skills advancement for our club members - and also the general adventure racing community. Other people getting involved are trail runners and mountain bikers, particularly for events with navigation elements.

We were lucky to miss the rain - it poured before the session and cleared to usher in the most beautiful evening. We had 11 participants and look forward to even more at the next session on Wed, 5 Dec.

On the AR Club side we've got some fun activities planned for early in the year.

Mini-FEAT Jo'burg
Back in my home base for mini-FEAT in Jo'burg (Monday night), I had my usual structures in place. Maggi was on hand to take photographs - we've got some lovely ones of the speakers Wiam Haddad and Stephen Venables. It was a superb night and both talks were captivating with magnificent images. I'm aiming for 2-3 mini-FEAT events a year.

Wiam Haddad spent 13 months on Marion Island. A lovely seven-minute talk about his experiences.

Our first foreign featured speaker, climber, mountaineer, adventurer and author, Stephen Venables. He spoke to us about his sailing-climbing adventures in the Far South to the Antarctic Peninsula, Tierra del Fuego and South Georgia Island.

A pic for my 'brag book' - with Stephen Venables and Wiam Haddad
Run recce
I'm off on a run recce on Sunday - not for an event but to assist a friend. Back on Wednesday. A few days of running is just what I need.

Other things
I've been giving my veggie garden a bit more attention. The patty-pans are forming, eggplants are getting bigger, Swiss chard is growing, butter lettuces are getting big, sorrel has been growing out of control, my tree tomato tree is taller than me now and laden with its first fruit, the artichokes have been delicious and the nasturtiums add lovely colour to the beds.

Crochet has been slow... I started a new blanket project at the beginning of the month. Progress is slow. I'm aiming to create a landscape image (green hills/grass, tree, blue sky, cloud, sun and flowers) from squares. Last night I pulled off patterns for a bunch of xmas decorations, which I'd like to try my hand at making.

I'm doodling here and there. Gonna take my drawing book with me to the run recce. I'm sure to find loads of inspiration from the shapes and patterns of nature as well as lots of fresh air and no computer.

I'm looking forward to a quieter time in December when I really need to make space to think and plan instead of just reactive doing.

This is most of what I'm up to. There are always other games afoot. Phew!

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