Tuesday 21 May 2019

A bit of whitewater

As if myrun and social paddling were not enough, I enjoyed a late afternoon bit of whitewater at our local spot, Gatsien rapid. I got to paddle our Pungwe whitewater kayak for the first time (without swimming).

My challenge of the day was paddling our Vagabond Usutu whitewater sit-on-top (blue one in the photos below) with Rusty on my lap! This kayak was not made to carry a 21kg dog! On our return route she went down some little bubbly water (not a rapid) and she didn't even flinch. Unfortunately we didn't get a photo as the camera was in my backpack (on my back!).

This was Celliers' first post-shoulder-operation paddle (surgery was back in late January). It is a long road to recovery and will still take many months to gain full strength.

It was a beautiful afternoon next to the river.

Rusty watching Celliers run the first production Pungwe through its paces.

Celliers just makes it look so easy.

Ruben and Kyla chilling on the warm rock.

My first turn in the Pungwe, which is my size whitewater kayak. I really don't have great skills but I did catch some eddies and do some ferrying without swimming. Rusty kept a close eye on me.

On the Usutu whitewater sit-on-top. This is more my comfort zone.

With my girl.

Rusty rocking her doggy PFD.

Monday 20 May 2019

2nd running of Not Forest Run

Saturday, 18 May 2019 saw the second running of Not-Forest-Run. It is so enjoyable that even if/when I bring Forest Run back with a new route, I'm still going to do a Not-Forest-Run too.

This was a spectacular morning with clear views, blue sky, sun, an open road and the warmth of good company.

Thank you to Bertrand, Michelle, Staci, Ian, Kerry, Heather, Suretha, Chris and Ferdi for coming to run.

Some photos from our morning.

This year's Not Forest Run runners

Kerry, Ian and Staci.

Lisa running with Kerry, Staci and Ian.
Heather and Suretha.

Kerry, Lisa, Ian and Staci,
Heather and Suretha.

Taking friends on a scenic paddle

When friends come to visit, it is inevitable that they'll either be made invited to run or to paddle. This weekend I had the pleasure of having Jo'burg friends Staci, Ian and Kerry in town for Not-Forest Run on Saturday. They spent the night, which meant that I could take them paddling on Sunday morning (after the 5km myrun - hahahaha). Karen joined us for the paddle.

Me and Rusty at myrun. She was in excellent form.
And what a magnificent morning it was on the water!

We did around 4.5km on flatwater with beautiful reflections. This is what our outing looked like...

Rusty did her best ever, lying perfectly in the tankwell of my Marimba. That's Karen on the white Epic v7.
Even though Vagabond Kayaks is our company, there is no doubt that our kayaks are the best recreational kayaks out there - not just in SA but in the world. I'm not just biased - performance speaks louder than words. I love paddling my Marimba. It is the best model for paddling for fitness with speed (and a dog).

Kerry on the pink Tarka and Ian & Staci on the yellow Mazowe.

Rusty lying in the tankwell. I've put foam paddling in the tankwell to make her comfortable and so that her paws don't slide.
Autumn colours.

Thursday 16 May 2019

Walking, puff adders and moonrise

A few weeks back I enjoyed a lovely late evening walk out at my friend's place, Otter's Haunt. Rusty and I enjoy running there with Karen and her dogs once a week. This time, Karen's sister Heather was visiting from Tasmania and, as it turns out, Heather and my mom were at school together in Zimbabwe! This is the first time that they have met up in... 50 years!

A highlight of the trip was seeing a pair of coupled puff adders and enjoying the view of the full moon rising.

Photos by Karen.

Puff adder face

Heather (left), mom (back right) and me (ahead of mom) with Skally (facing forwards), Rocksy (behind Heather) and a glimpse of Tansy. Rusty may have been ahead.

Mom and Heather. School friends meeting up after 50 years.

With my dog, on a rock.

Ahhhhhh... Full moon.

Under 3hrs for 26km paddling? For sure!

On 1 May, I again paddled the 26km stretch of river from upstream of Parys to our paddling club. I'd done it a few days before with my friend Karen. The water was a bit lower on the 1st, but no less lovely. I'd thought it was 24km but my companions with GPS units confirmed it to be 26km.

I set a new record for this section of 3h10, paddling my Vagabond Kayaks Marimba. There were two bits of waiting involved so even with lower water, I'm still certain that I can I get my time under 3hrs. By the end, my upper body was tired; I'd worked hard. I really enjoy this stretch and look forward to paddling it more regularly, even at low water. And yes, I have plans to create a really decent map of the river.

Before the start. I didn't take any other photos because I was too busy paddling!

Mother's Day walk

My mom fractured her right leg in October last year on a trip to Morocco! She started walking regularly again a while back but only recently has she been back on the uneven surface of tracks and trails.

For Mother's Day, we headed out to the Deelfontein farm for a walk and picnic with our friend Marianne and our dogs. I haven't been to Deelfontein for ages. The terrain is rocky and there are countless paths to choose from. The hills are still very green, but they won't be for much longer as winter sets in. It was the most beautiful morning and lovely to be out together. The dogs loved it, of course.

Deelfontein is open to the public, by arrangement, for running, walking and mountain biking. Visit their website and contact Gerhard directly. It is about 20-minute outside of Parys.

Me, mom and Marianne.

Mom and Marianne on a track.

Beeegggg spider! (there were two of them!)

With my dog-child. Dogs got picnic snacks too.

Rusty watching out for interesting things.

Mom and Marianne.

Mom with Tansy.

Monday 6 May 2019

43 Days of Running

I figured that it would be about time for my annual pre-birthday running game... Thank goodness I checked because it starts... TOMORROW!

I started this game when I turned 35, which makes this my 9th year of playing.

How this game works is that I have to run every day for the number of days of the age that I am turning, with the last day being on my birthday. Yes, this year I am turning 43.

In the past I've set minimum distance or time ... I generally look at a minimum of 4-5km. I often do more but I can't do less. Sometimes I do swap out activities, like if I do a long paddle instead of a run. I just don't have the time to paddle for an hour and run for an hour. But as running has always been my primary discipline, the bulk of my daily sessions is made up with running.

My mom is doing her own challenge this year, starting later this week (I think). She has a lot more days than me to do - leading up to her 67th birthday in July.

That's the joy of this game; you get more days as you get older, not less.