Silvermine Surf and Turf
This morning I got up needing to do a swim and a run. My schedule was quite hectic with quite a bit to do and i didn’t have time to do a morning and evening training session. I made a snap decision to head to Silvermine and do a brick session as the weather didn’t look too bad.
I arrived at Silvermine just as the rain hit, thankfully I was going to get wet anyway so I changed into my wetsuit leaving my running gear neatly in my boot for changing into. I got up to the dam and noticed that there were a couple of Polar Bears (channel rules swimmers) already in the water training. I was a bit surprised as I thought I would be the only person but I was glad for some company and share a brisk morning swim.
I did a light warm-up and then decided to do a relaxed recovery swim of 2km. The water was actually warm but the wind had a bit of a bite to it and I was glad to be in my wetsuit and hoodie to keep out the chill. I noticed a couple of other wetsuit clad swimmers no doubt training for the Jailbreak Triathlon or the Ironman 70.3 in East London. It is always good to have people out with you when Open Water swimming but I was getting put off by them racing me up and down the dam. I was a little thankful when I turned for my last loop that they headed out and I again had my thoughts to myself.
My last loop was very tough going the wind was now funnelling down from the surrounding hills and funnelling down through the dam creating small waves. It almost felt like a sea swim without the cold water and swell surges. It was fun but I was glad when I turned and headed downwind with the wind at my back that I could just glide a lot easier through the water now and ease off on pulling myself through the water. I unfortunately have a bad habit of not using my legs a lot when swimming and hopefully some proper coaching should improve both my technique and swim times.
I exited the cola coloured water that was churning up some white horses and headed to my car to change. I changed quickly as it was a bit chilly and headed out for a 7-8km trail run. I didn’t want to do too much hill work or fight the wind so I avoided the Noordhoek Peak loop and decided to run flat so headed from the carpark around the dam and then up in a clockwise direction on the jeep track up the Noordhoek Peak trail. At the second left turn I headed down through the slightly overgrown fynbos into the valley below. The trail from there is single track but not technical with mostly compacted sand and soil interspersed with some small rocks. Wanting to test my “trail feet” I did a few speed bursts through some corners and then typically as I went low to avoid a branch and set my right foot to push off to the left I came unstuck. I surprisingly laughed at myself and cursed as I went flying forward head first but didn’t go down as I sort of “monkey scrambled” mid falling using my hands to get me back up to my feet and I continued running. It must have looked a sight and I wasn’t sure if the dog walker I almost ran into was smiling to be friendly or rather smiling at my trail antics.
It was only the 2nd trail run I have had since PUFfeR and I was asking myself why the hell I was out pounding tar as much as I have been. It was so great to be out there taking in the crisp early morning air and the variety of scents emanating from the now damp vegetation. I didn’t need an ipod or a running group or the concern of avoiding potholes or traffic. I was in nature’s grand theatre and was fortunate enough to be taking an active part in its morning matinee. I was having such a great time that I started thinking of getting up to Silvermine earlier next time to do a longer run and perhaps have at least one good trail run a week to keep up my fitness and enjoyment of run training.
I arrived back at my car with 7.5kms banked and feeling refreshed I headed home and onto the day ahead.
Keep your mind and training fresh and interesting and do what you enjoy in life. Otherwise what is the point!