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 fourth of Dylan’s regular blogs about his journey to the Comrades.
So, a real range of emotions the past week or so, having picked up flu and sitting out training. At first, it was a relatively mild inconvenience and I didn’t mind the rest too much, but then the anxiety set in, before my mind was eased by coach Lindsey Parry, who told me not to sweat it – which is what I was obviously doing, both literally and figuratively.
So, back to feeling okay about missing training and enjoying the lie-ins, but then the weekend hit and my running WhatsApp groups lit up with pics, chats and video of the RAC 60km Long Run that I was due to run, and the fomo set in properly! Fomo, because I knew that all of those who got through that slog would now be so much more mentally prepared for Comrades, and I wasn’t.
That being said, I’ve been blown away by the encouraging words from so many different people, with just about everyone telling me not to fret and to remember the miles I already have in my legs. Sound advice, and it’s just going to take some tweaking from here, as I combine my taper with actually getting back on the road.
Perhaps even more frustrating is that I sit here feeling relatively fine, but with an annoying dry cough that just won’t go away and makes my head explode every time the latest bit of gob lodges in my throat and forces me to cough! (Sorry, I know it’s a bit gross.) It’s also meant I’ve had some ropey nights’ sleep, so that’s not ideal, either. Anyway, I’ve been urged to not rush back onto the road, and I think I’m naturally conservative, so I’ll heed the advice.
A Bit of Sad News
Was disappointed to hear one of my running mates, Byron Hardy, say this week that he’s pulling the plug on his Comrades campaign. I think the ‘Ginger’ has got a great base, but he also got sick a few weeks ago, and that put him out for two weeks, before he was away for another 10 days, and he’s not feeling up to it. So, I respect his decision.
All I can say, though, is that the two idiots who talked me into Comrades in the first place, Byron and Matt Archer, are now both out, leaving me on my own! I will miss Matt’s looks of fatherly disappointment when I tell him of my latest rookie running error, and Byron’s pep talks when I go to my dark places, particularly his reminders that running marathons is easy, compared to being Ukrainian and being bombed by Russians. Thanks, boys.