The “Trail Run Virgin” Diaries / 5 ~ by Jan Ham

It’s been a while since my previous “journal” entry, because of the rush of the festive/silly season, holiday away with the family, being back home babysitting the kids while Nini had to go back to work, and part just shutting down and having writer’s block.

So I made a conscious decision (more like really needed to do it today) to leave it for the last week of my holiday and give a recap of what has happened over the last 2 months.

When we set off on this journey in August we knew it was going to be a life changing experience, both relationship and fitness wise, and the ride has not disappointed. As in any relationship or training program you have your ups and you have some downs. I must admit our highs have far exceeded any lows, and so far it has brought us closer in that we now have 1 more passion in trail running that we share, not just myself running,  and Nini and the kids watching from the sidelines. What lows have we experienced you might ask, to be honest, it’s all me, as I now have to share my trail time and watch the kids when she goes out to gym or hit the trails early mornings. But if that is how bad the low feeling is going to be, I’ll do it every day.

Our aim for end November was to do a 5km run or spend the equivalent time on the trail. We not only managed to do this, but it was also the first time in 9yrs, 6 of those being married, that we actually ran together. I still recall that afternoon late November, the South-Easter pumping over the Helderberg mountain range, hot and humid conditions, and just after 2pm, we set off on our first run together. Not ideal conditions at all, come to think of it, it was terrible conditions, but we ran with a smile on our faces, my chest swelling with pride, the Garmin ticking away the kilometres, and  then we hit the uphill back home! I could see the tears swell up in her eyes, like she was disappointing me because she had started to walk, and no words could make her feel better at that exact point on the run, but I was still stuck in awe on how far she has made it, the guts it took just to attempt it, and with a few words of encouragement we walked, ran and walked a few more times the last few kays home.

Fast forward to late December and our family holiday in Agulhas, we were hiking and running over technical terrain, on a trail she wanted to kill me on a few years earlier due to her fear of heights and  the sections of narrow rock ledges you had to run on. This time around she might have sworn at me in her head, but uttered no words towards me that was audible.

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