Dylan Rogers is a sports journalist with Johannesburg radio station HOT 102.7FM and part of the Big Joburg Drive Show, which you can catch 3pm to 6pm Monday to Friday on either 102.7FM or streaming on hot1027.co.za. He’ll be running his first Comrades Marathon in August, after accepting a dare from a friend, who has pledged to donate R500 to charity for every kilometre of Comrades that Dylan is able to complete. This is the third of Dylan’s blogs about his journey to the Comrades.
So, I know it’s part of the journey, but it’s tough not getting anxious or worrying about your Comrades prep when you get injured or sick – particularly when you’re a novice. That’s what I’ve been dealing with recently, having picked up a bug the day after a big weekend that saw me clock up 18km on the Saturday and 33 on the Sunday.
That Sunday stretch with my mate, Karl, was tough, and I certainly felt it – I was pretty ‘done’ and rundown for the rest of the day. Perhaps no surprise that I picked up a bug the day after? It was just a reminder about the perils of training for Comrades through winter, which I guess I haven’t really noticed, because it’s my first one and I don’t have anything to compare it with. I think I’m lucky in that regard, because the more seasoned runners out there are probably asking, “what the hell am I doing training so hard in the cold and dark?”
Fortunately, Lindsey Parry talked me off the ledge, as my main concern was not being in the right shape to take on the RAC 60km Long Run, which is obviously a key part in my programme – perhaps more mentally than anything. As it stands, I’m unsure if I will line up, but feel more comfortable now, knowing that if I don’t, I will be back on the horse next week and getting stuck into my programme, with a long one at the end of it.
I see now why these long ones are so important, as not only do you have to get used to running on sore, tired legs, as I’ve alluded to before, but you’ve got to experience, endure and cope with the ups and downs of how you feel on these long runs. Sometimes it feels crap, and sometimes you feel great, but again, it’s the experience of knowing that this is all normal, and you’re not alone in feeling like this.
My concern remains my overall strength, and the strength of my legs, as I haven’t done as much of this kind of work as I would have liked, but all I can do is what’s possible. Again, another reminder that Comrades is a proper commitment, and it’s certainly not a piece of cake fitting it into other areas and commitments in your life.
Nonetheless, this week has been a sobering experience, and if I’m honest, I have enjoyed taking my foot off the gas slightly, not getting up early, and just parking my running, waiting for myself to get better. Am hoping my body will thank me for it and I’ll be properly back on the horse next week, if I can’t get to the start line at RAC. Onward and upward!