Spanish hippies, running and the heat!

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I don’t understand the weather in this town. I don’t understand how it can be hot and humid, and be windy all at the same time!! The heat during the day has been downright oppressive since about the end of last December. The other day at work I suggested jokingly to one of the senior doctors in my department that myself and some the other doctors were seriously considering coming to work in shorts, T-shirt and slops (my favourite attire), “I’ll let you answer that question for yourself doc!” he said wrily! That really would be much more appropriate work wear for the kind of weather we’ve been having. The humidity is the most surprising bit. It hits you just as you step outside. It is quite something to get hot and sticky from just from standing around!

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Asides from the sauna type environment, other goings-on at work include the fact that at the start of the new year we received a fresh new batch of doctors in the department of internal medicine at Dora Nginza hospital and we are now flush in terms of numbers. We now have eight medical officers, having previously functioned with five. Coincidentally two of the three new doctors are from Wits Medical School, my alma mater 🙂 Dale and I are from the same year, while Alexandra is from a year below us. She and the third new doctor are both starting their community service year, having just finished their two years of internship. That was me in the month of May last year.

I didn’t really know either of these other 2 Witsies when we were still studying. I knew Dale by name and face. He must have gone all gym rat after qualifying as he is a lot bulkier than I remember him. Alex is (in her own words :-P) somewhat ‘baked’, in the head that is! She is a hippie, in the old truer sense of the word. She talks at length about having grown her hair to the current almost waist length for the sole purpose of selling some of it off to some transvestites she met at some or other time. She spent some time in South America when she was still at school and is fluent in Spanish. Not infrequently she and one of our Cuban doctors will go off at a tangent in Spanish about some arb thing that seems all the more interesting simply because it is being said in that language.

The most mundane things just sound more interesting, more exotic, in Spanish!

The most mundane things just sound more interesting, more exotic, in Spanish!

Dale and Alex both seem keen and ready to go and are obviously very interested in internal medicine. There is a lot of talk about writing the Part 1 registrar exams. While I do like to (or can’t help but) work at my own pace(ie painfully slowly) I am hoping that having a couple of people around to compare notes with might act as a motivating factor, increasing the frequency at which I plomp my backside down to study from on and off to more often on than off.

One of the advantages of having more of us around is that everyone will be on call less often, with roughly three or four times per month being the average if everyone is around (last year it happened a couple of times that I was on seven times in a month!) and with the 5 interns that we have the ward work will be more favourably shared. There ought to be less days when one finds themselves having to see and manage all the patients in a ward…

Outside of work there is always running, although with weather being as it has been one has to be quite strategic about what time of day you set out onto the road.

Not smart!

Not smart!

Sometime last week I waited until just before 6pm before having a go and believe it or not even at the time it was still hot! I ran up into Milpark suburb, around Grey High school all the way up to 1st avenue, crossed Cape Road into Newton Park then back down through Greenacres where I was running against the wind, which is irritating as it seems to hold you back but also relieving for it’s cooling effects. Back into PE Central, around the soccer stadium, around St Georges Park and up the Hallack road back to my block of flats. 16.3km all at a relaxed pace.

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Robyn is one of the dieticians at my hospital. She asked me if I was running the Herald 42km, a marathon here in PE coming up sometime soon. “When is that again?” I asked. “Seventh Feb” She replied. I told her that I would. At the time the race was about one month away. Robyn recently got into running and has very quickly gone from an ocassional runner to somewhat of a freak (in the best sense of the word). She puts in more miles per week than I do as far as I can tell. So she’s pretty excited about it. As far as I’m concerned it’s just another opportunity to put in some quality mileage and become a little better at the long races before I do some pretty big ones that I have signed myself up for later this year.

A day after that conversation with Robyn someone at my running club reminded me that the Bay Ultra, a 50km road race is due to take place just two weeks after the Herald Marathon. Yeah, why not? I thought…

 

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Queenstown shuffle

My legs were hurting, really badly. Something very tender and inelastic had taken residence in my left leg where the calf muscle used to be. I also had this insatiable urge to eat copius amounts of junk food and then sleep for a many more hours than would be healthy, strictly speaking.

 

It was Saturday evening 01 November and I had just arrived back in PE, having driven in from Queenstown where I ran a marathon in the morning. Queenstown is a small town about four and a half hours inland from PE, still in the Eastern Cape. I had driven out there the previous afternoon, after waking up from my mid-afternoon postcall slumber.

On Saturday I was up at about 4.45am to go around to Bonkolo dam just outside Queenstown where the race started at 5.30am. It was chilly, overcast and raining. I was wearing the red Crusaders running club red singlet and shorts. Ideal attire for running (in hot sunny weather that is!) The starter’s gun was fired and off we went. I finished the the 42.2km race in 4hrs 11mins, after having passed the half-marathon mark at 1hr 46min. So yeah things obviously went pear-shaped sometime in the second half…

My run stats, courtesy of Endomondo tracker app

My run stats, courtesy of Endomondo tracker app

I ran for almost as long as I drove to get out there,  so yes I will take a medal, albeit for participation!

I ran for almost as long as I drove to get out there, so yes I will take a medal, albeit for participation!

 

 

There is a lot that happens in a long race, one of the things I have noticed is that any old injuries that you may have had before creep into your run, ostensibly at 30something kilometers when you’re just starting to think that this thing will be over soon. My right knee and left Achilles heel are my most frequent unwanted niggling visitors. The left calf is a new member of this club, I first started feeling it at about 23km, had to stop and stretch, then carried on in a fair amount of pain. This isn’t me making excuses for how my race went, but yeah that’s what happened…

 

After about 30km my long graceful strides start to resemble a (somewhat slower) forward shuffle

After about 30km my long graceful strides start to resemble a (somewhat slower) forward shuffle! 😛

 

When I have a bad race, afterwards (or sometimes during!) I go through a bit of a what-went-wrong in my head. I wasn’t happy with my result, having hoped to go under 4 hours, even if only just. However, having thought about it a little, the b

ottom line really is I just hadn’t done enough work in preparation. I’ve been going through somewhat of a lull in the last few weeks. That is to say I have been in an amotivated state, as opposed to a motivated state. In the week leading up to the race I had managed to dragged myself through two 20km runs, and a solitary 15km run the week before. Not nearly enough. The week before that I was away on a bit of a holiday (been meaning to blog about that actually) so no work-outs then. Prior to that I had been doing my usual two or three runs per week.

'nuff said!

’nuff said!

 

“More hills,” a fellow runner said to me after the race on Saturday. “…and more speed work,” he continued. “You need to be running twice a day if you’re going to be…” At that point I more or less stopped listening. Yeah sure, I’ll get up early everyday go for a run, then go to work, get back from work later and go for another run. In between all of that I’ll fit in a couple of hours of reading (specialist physicians don’t make themselves!) Well… I suppose there are 24 whole hours in a day 😌.

 

I love my running but... yeah, each to their own I suppose :)

I love my running but… yeah, each to their own I suppose 🙂

 

Speaking of studying, I haven’t done much of that lately either. “Are you ready for the Part one exams Dr Mukenge?” My HOD asked me facetiously the other day. “Well Doc, you see I haven’t really been… You know, it’s just been really… I was on leave the other week… then there was that presentation I had to prepare and… uhmm…” “But that was last week” He said, clearly enjoying the sight of me squirming.

 

I did get started on some reading durduring the week actually,  I went through some short notes on valvular heart disease and cardiac murmurs (I may or may not elaborate on these at some point). It’s a lot more interesting than say the cell and it’s organelles, or the nitty gritty of carbohydrate and protein metabolism, some of the stuff I’m supposed to be getting through for the primary exams. I get this soul-wrenching guilt everytime I catch a glimpse of my medical physiology book at the flat. I think I should just hide it away somewhere 😒

 

My sombre mood re the Queenstown sojourn was somewhat lifted on the drive back. I have previously mentioned my appreciation for good scenery and the need to ‘capture the moment’. Well I have to confess I am not impartial to ‘forcing the moment’ at times. On the trip back I actually stopped the car at the side of the road a few times to take some snaps…

I think that is the Kliplaat river, about 30 minutes outside Queenstown.

I think that is the Kliplaat river, about 30 minutes outside Queenstown.

Waterdown dam

Waterdown dam

More of the Eastern Cape!

More of the Eastern Cape!

 

The pain in my left calf has me limping 😦 I’m really hoping it’s something relatively mild and that I’ll recover promptly. I always have some or other niggle from running or working out and end up having to explain to people, mostly my colleagues at work. “You hurt yourself doing… what?!” A nurse once asked, “What kind of a grown man falls?” she continued. “And what were you doing running?! Were you late for something?” Now she was enjoying herself “Were you trying to catch the bus?” Picture cackling with laughter “Was someone chasing you?” Now unable to hold herself, practically guffawing… Some people have no appreciation for athletes.

 

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Love, the arts, and horse poo…

 

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Earlier this week, on Tuesday in the middle of the afternoon, I found myself at Maitland’s Beach sitting, watching the sea with my toes in the sand. Actually, to be perfectly honest, (it was pointed out to me by a certain she-person!) my feet and toes were in my slops, and my slops were in the sand… Anyway Meryl was standing knee deep in sea water about 40 metres away from me also looking towards the ocean. This would be a good time to pray, I thought to myself. It was a glorious afternoon for this time of year, the sun was out in full force and there was very little wind. There was only the lazy sound of the sea water to and fro on the beach and I was having a real ‘moment’… Which was interrupted when Meryl very suddenly turned around and ran the short distance toward me. She grabbed my hand and insisted I get up to go and join her. She wanted me to feel the tug of the water as it moved back off the beach after a wave came in. I usually roll my eyes at Meryl’s ideas but I very seldom regret obliging her…

Maitland's Beach

Maitland’s Beach

 

The previous week on Thursday it had been exactly one year since our first date. At the time last year we had gone to see the Jittery Citizens perform an improvised comedy show at the Monte Casino Theatre and Studio. The impromptu antics of the actors on-stage had us in hysterics. This year coming back full circle, we went to see a very animated Tim Plewman at the Athenaeum theatre here in PE. He did a one man comedic act called Designer Genes XXL. His witty take on relationships between us (cave) men and our ever-mysterious, ever incomprehensible partners was from the perspective of one who has been married for many years, but there were definitely  some bits we could relate to. Meryl laughed alot. Men in the relationships were the butt of most of the jokes… 😛

 

Meryl and I at Maitland's Beach...

Meryl and I at Maitland’s Beach…

 

The water and my girl and the beach. The beach, my girl and the water...

The water and my girl and the beach. The beach, my girl and the water…

 

We saw a different theatre show every night of that week actually, it was the second and last week of the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. Meryl flew in to PE on the Tuesday afternoon and almost immediately we drove out to Grahamstown. We parked my car on the street and were walking around when we were practically accosted by a guy handing out pamphlets for a show called Bench. We hadn’t decided on a play for the evening so we went to see it. It turned out to be a drama pretending to be a comedy (or is that a comedy-drama?) about a couple of thieves sitting on a park bench. While we did laugh some, I felt it was more ‘dramatic’ than funny. Whichever it was, it was still theatre. There is something about the theatre, something pleasingly haunting, expectant. For as long as I can remember I have always felt that way when in a theatre house, while at the same time feeling a sense of familiarity. That probably doesn’t make much sense. I struggle to find words to describe it. There is something about the creativity and energy of a stage performance. Actors climb onto a stage and become other people to tell a story, to entertain… During my BSc days at Wits (before I went to medical school) I spent a lot of time at the Wits Theatre Complex. I would pop in often (read here: lurk 🙂 ) to see if there were any interesting shows coming up. On more than one occasion I was mistaken for being an art student! Maybe I was some sort of performer/artist in a previous life and it is some accident of fate that I have now returned as this nerd-jock hybrid with altruistic leanings. Now I’m rambling, I’ll stop :-P… Suffice to say that an almost 2 week long arts festival happening just an hour and half’s drive away from PE was something I simply could not miss! I hadn’t booked any leave but we squeezed in as much kultcha as we could after work everyday of that week.

I love me a little drama... :)  Unbelievably, this was only my second visit to the Grahamstown Arts Festival

I love me a little drama… 🙂
Unbelievably, this was only my second visit to the Grahamstown Arts Festival

We watched Taryn Papadopoulos Louch (yes that is her name!) do Meze, Mira and Makeup. It is a hilarious enactment of life as a Greek girl growing up in South Africa. She had me really missing Jozi as, in just over one hour her show took us from Krugersdorp to Melville, to Rosebank, and to parts of the Eastrand that I dare not mention (The Greeks do get around!).

 

On Friday at work I was on my own in the ward (again!) which meant that I finished later than I would have liked. I then drove to Seaview somewhat faster than is legal to pick up Meryl. We got onto the N2 and (sped some more!) out to a farm called Papiesfontein just outside Jeffrey’s Bay. Originally booked for 3pm, we arrived at 4.10pm, for what was to be a 2 hour horse riding session. It was Meryl’s idea (as all our best ideas are 🙂 ) The horse riding instructor dude didn’t appear to be too bothered by our tardiness (being chilled I have found, is characteristic of the Eastern Cape, which is why I secretly think I belong here 😛 ).

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Meryl and Pebbles

Meryl and Pebbles

I had been on a horse on only 2 other occasions in my life, both a very long time ago, and Meryl had never been on one so they had 2 ‘beginner’ horses ready for us. This means that they are a relatively old and quite passive. They turned out not to be (passive that is) and were actually quite temperamental, initially not wanting to be led away from the farm-house (apparently this had something to do with it being close to feeding time). We had a good time though, once we managed to coax the horses away from the farm house. We took a gentle ride through some bushes, slowly becoming used to these animals. Meryl’s horse was called Pebbles, and apparently they developed a bond (cue roll eyes 🙂 ) hence her remembering the name. The fact that I don’t remember my horse’s name is supposedly an indication of how well we got along (or didn’t!). At one point my horse (Kitty? no, well maybe) decided she’d had enough for the day and turned around full circle and started trotting off in the direction opposite to the one we were going in. Naturally I stayed cool (in turn, feel free to roll your eyes here 🙂 ) and calmly steered back to face the original direction.

The best part of the ride was about an hour of trotting along on the beach. We had a great time! Somehow I managed to get some horse poo on one leg of my pants. It doesn’t smell as bad as cow-dung the instructor reassured me. He was right, I can thankfully confirm! 😛

Jeffrey's Bay beach ride... :-)

Jeffrey’s Bay beach ride… 🙂

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We drove all the way to Grahamstown after our equestrian experience, getting lost along the way. Somewhere on the route the N2 had become N10 without me noticing 😮 No I had not been using the GPS, at least not initially. This is the thing: (Me, explaining myself) If you always do things properly and you’re always organised, nothing interesting ever happens. Being a little bit of a hapless klutz is part of my charm.. 🙂

We got to Grahamstown quite late on Friday night.

The next day we met up with Alain, a buddy of mine from medical school. He had been in Grahamstown for the previous 2 days mostly enjoying the various performers at the jazz festival. We watched a dance show called Bruising. I can’t say much about it, all I remember seeing (during the bits when I hadn’t dosed off!) were writhing bodies and cardboard boxes. My feelings on dance shows (‘physical theatre’ as the connoisseurs put it) are quite the opposite of my sentiments on theatre. Meryl enjoyed it though, which means I’ll have endure some more of that again some time…

As if we hadn’t done enough that week already, we again left Grahamstown and drove to Jeffrey’s Bay, stopping in Seaview to pick up Serena and 2 of her friends. The Jeffrey’s Bay Winterfest was on and Serena had gotten the bunch of us tickets to see PHFAT and Jack Parow live.

Clockwise from left myself,  Meryl, Serena, and Jazmine at J-Bay Winterfest!

Clockwise from left myself, Meryl, Serena, and Jazmine at J-Bay Winterfest!

PHFAT were on first that evening, they are a rap group from Cape Town. Rap isn’t my absolute favourite genre but I listen to pretty much anything that is good (except jazz!) I had heard some of their stuff on the radio and I was curious, and quite looking forward to seeing them. I was not disappointed. If I may be so blunt it is quite something that they are a South African rap act, and a white SA rap group at that. Their beats are rythmic, and there is a lot of that distortion-synth type effect that you get in electronic music these days. Add to that some solid lyrics, a lot of which are crude but then again what rap music isn’t? I’m still in the processing stage but I like them, I think.

Jack Parow is also from Cape Town (#Belville 😛 ). He came on much later that night, I’ll admit that by that time I was somewhat distracted, the week’s up-down catching up to me perhaps, I was pretty keen to get home. He came out in a pair of boardshorts, a vest and wore that characteristic long-peak cap and did his thing with vigor!

Side view of PHFAT in action on stage at the Jolly Dolphin, Jeffrey's Bay

Side view of PHFAT in action on stage at the Jolly Dolphin, Jeffrey’s Bay

 

Vintage Parow...

Vintage Parow…

We got back to Seaview and fell asleep at about 4am. The next morning I overslept and didn’t make Dario’s son’s baptism at St Bernadette’s. This was yet another commitment that was scheduled for that crazy week! 😐 We passed by their house in the early afternoon and spent a bit of time with them and their extended family and friends.

That is the week that was (before last week). So when I found myself on my backside at Maitland’s beach last Tuesday it was, quite literally the first calm moment I had since the previous Tuesday…

Meryl flew home to Jozi, and I got back to work, squeezing in the studying, running and takin’ it eazy in the EC… 😉

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All in a day (night)’s work…

It is 2:35am and I am hunched over at the desk making notes in my latest patient’s file. The intern walks in and stops, startled at what she sees. All 4 bays in the medical admissions ward are filled, each occupied by a patient.  Things had been a little clearer when she had gone off to get a little bit of sleep at about 22:30. We have both been on call since the previous morning, working pretty much flat out. Just before midnight the doctors at casualty down the corridor had offloaded a whole bunch of patients to us before the start of their new working shift. This meant that in addition to the packed admissions ward we had 4 patients lined up in the corridor outside, 3 of them on stretchers, one seated on the waiting bench squeezed in between the other patients’ family members. Organised chaos, or rather chaos that needs to be organised.

 

My intern on this particular night is a super smart, efficient doctor. She works through the patients fast, which the nurse in charge tonight loves because there’s nothing she likes better than to clear the patients out of admissions once we’ve seen them, to their designated places, either off back home, or the short stay ward or the in-patient wards. This is so we can have a relatively clear space to work in, in admissions. This night was not one of those nights however, as we had a couple of sickies on our hands. ‘Sickies’ as one of my registrars back in Bara days used to call them refers to patients who are relatively critically ill and need particularly close attention the entire time that they are there. They have to stay in admissions. Out of the 4 patients 2 were diabetics. They were the ones we were worried about. One was a 16 year old boy who had come in the previous afternoon in diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). DKA is one of the worst things that can happen to a Type 1 Diabetic. Very simply explained, their blood sugar levels go very high, but because of a lack of insulin (they may have been skipping their doses or be on an inadequate regimen) the body can’t use that sugar, and burns body fats instead, producing ketones which are acidotic. The acidosis makes the patient feel very ill and they present at the hospital with stomach cramps, vomiting, and sometimes with decreased consciousness. In managing them the aim is to correct the acidosis. We were giving this young man a lot of fluids very fast in one intravenous line, and a slow insulin infusion in another IV line, while keeping his electrolytes in check. We were winning the battle with him, his blood sugars had been steadily decreasing, and his acidosis improving until one point the previous evening when the nurse reported a sugar reading that wasn’t in keeping with the trend, presumably because at some point in the evening while our attention was elsewhere,  he had a snack! This was probably provided by his mother, who was there the entire time. The other patient was an elderly lady who also had high blood sugar, and all the features of DKA except acidosis, which had me kind of stumped. She was in fact in a metabolic alkalosis, her blood pH and bicarbonate levels were sky high. What on earth do I do to correct alkalosis? I mused to myself. How often does one see one of those…? Keep it simple,  I decided. Get her blood glucose down and see how she does. I wrote up continious fluids for her as well and an insulin infusion.

 

I had to take a walk to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). NICU has one of only two blood gas machines in the entire hospital and I had a blood sample that I needed to run. Dora is a pretty big hospital and the walk is relatively long. It gave me some time to think about this lady’s situation.  She was hypertensive so perhaps it was the diuretic medication that she had probably been on for years. These could be causing her to lose potassium,  also making her alkalotic. Maybe…? I thought. But still, what do I do for it? At a loss for an approach, I whipped out my cell phone and tapped on the Medscape reference app. Chloride responsive and chloride resistant metabolic alkalosis came up. Jeepers I thought, as I started reading,  it’s 3am and now I have to start conjuring up what I do (or don’t! ) remember about acid-base balance,  or imbalance as it were.  A sodium chloride infusion is what will help correct a metabolic alkalosis I discovered, so I may have been right to have ordered the IV fluids. If she did in fact have a chloride responsive alkalosis.  I would only know after her next blood gas sample, which I had planned for a couple of hours later.

 

When I got back to the admissions ward I saw another new patient, a 50something year old man who turned out to be in mild right heart failure and had a lung infection. Relatively simple: admission, intravenous diuretics, and antibiotics. And also work him up to exclude tuberculosis. Then I saw a young man in his twenties, brought by his mother. He had ingested half a cupful of engine oil after having a row with his girlfriend (cue heavy sigh!). He was relatively stable clinically,  and had no psychiatric history so we did basic blood tests and admitted him for observations. He was patient number 33 since the start of our call the previous morning. When I was done with him it was about 5.30am and I was ready to get a little bit of shut-eye so I retreated to the doctor’s room. At 7am the intern knocked on the door. I had asked her to wake me up,  my cell phone battery was at it’s end and I couldn’t set an alarm. As I walked out of the doctor’s room she showed me the latest results of the blood gas samples of our 2 diabetic patients. The young boy was looking good, not quite out of acidosis but definitely improving, and while the older lady’s blood glucose had decreased somewhat her alkalosis was actually worse! Luckily the consultant would arrive soon for the ward round to see the new admissions. He would know better how to approach this.

 

The consultant strolled in just after 8am and we were busy until about 11.30 presenting all 35 patients we had newly admitted. You can learn a lot on a post intake ward round. The consultant might suggest a different approach to manage the patient,  or suggest a diagnosis you had not thought of. Metabolic alkalosis is apparently not a medical emergency, so no need for yours truly to have been freaking out (here read: keeping cool despite being somewhat perplexed 😉 ) Of note, he asked us to discharge the DKA boy, even though his acidosis wasn’t quite corrected. He did look much improved clinically but the specialist physician’s last words “The DKA will resolve itself…” had both the intern and I gawking a little…

 

I got back to the flat in town in the afternoon and collapsed to a deep sleep. I was awake about 3 hours later. I have this thing about not sleeping all day post call because I feel it’s a waste, even though I’m usually too tired to then do any reading or hec, anything constructive really.  I did get started on this latest blog post though, while I still had some of the patient details still relatively fresh in my head. Still later I finally fell asleep while watching a movie on my tablet.

Up early the next day (today, that is) and at work by 8am (8:10am I’ll admit I was a little sluggish this morning!) In a doctor’s meeting until about 9.30 and then  on to the ward. I had to see all the ward patients on my own today. Normally this work would have been shared between 3 doctors, one other medical officer (MO) and an intern, but the MO was post call and the intern was off sick. “Do doctors have to hand in a sick note after being off sick?” my girlfriend asks me during a quick phone call while on my way to the ward… 😛 It’s slow tedious work seeing every single patient and trying not too miss anything. The blood results from the previous day, dealing with new symptoms etc. By mid-afternoon I was finally done. I walked across to the other ward to find the intern there also busy with her last patient. So I didn’t have to help her out. My work day was done. I went off home.

 

Not too long later I found myself in Stanley Street,  and the waiter at Posh Eatery offerred me a seat at a table inside. My usual friday afternoon blog spot Yiayia’s, is closed for some reason.  It is late evening now and I have just finished writing this post. The

weekend’s plans include running, and reading up on acid base disorders…

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Not unpredictably, I start off by describing a run I went on this morning, a slow 24km amble. Not unpredictably, it was in my new favourite place Seaview 🙂 and once again, not unpredictably it was absolutely beautiful, out and back along Maitland road follwing the shore, with that ever present ocean view to one side! I ran with my friend Dario, having driven from PE town to be at his house at 6am, to meet up with a bunch of other runners (about 50 or so) at 6.30am before setting off. During the run we linked up with Allister, another local. He has been running for about 20 years and was using this as a training run for the up coming Comerades marathon, his third. A lot of the others on the run this morning (runners from clubs all over PE) are building up (tapering down that is) for this year’s Comrades. We took it long, and slow.

 

Allister is a very talkative character and we were never short of conversation. This was quite different for me as I am usually a bit of a loner on the road. I’ve been running for just over 3 years now, and I almost always go it alone, on training runs and races alike. Just me, and my thoughts and ideas, and (mostly) my non-thoughts and non-ideas! I’m not antisocial or anything,  I just find it difficult to strike up convo with a stranger, with whom all I have in common is running. I’ve always wondered about chatty runners. Usually finding myself quietly overtaking them, or quitely being overtaken 😛 as it were! How fit does one have to be to be able to run, maintain pace, and swap random opinions about oh say the epic scenery, your partner threatening to leave you because you spend too much time out running,  politics, voting, not voting, the weather, work…? These are life’s big questions really, a philosopher’s delight.

We had a good one though, as long runs go. I quite enjoyed it. One of the advantages of constant chatter and banter, I discovered is that you don’t think about the distance too much. I also made a new running friend, in Allister. No amount of distraction can take away from the pain I was feeling in my legs over the last 3km though. That last bit is always the worst. Having cruised the previous 21km odd, all of your senses suddenly switch on, and you feel every step and every little niggle until the last step. Funny thing about running, that. Once we did stop I promptly forgot all of that, taking in the awe-inspiring scene around us.

 

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My afternoon on this public holiday, voting day,  was spent working on this post at a cool Greek joint called Yiayia’s on Stanley street in PE. They make a mean sandwich melt! Stanley street is a cool going out spot in an area called Richmond Hill, on the edge of town, repeatedly recommended to me since I moved here. I found it not dissimillar to 7th Street in Melville, or Gleneagles road in Greenside. When I’m not in Seaview I’ll probably be arb’ing somewhere on Stanley street… 😉

Running conversation. Voting, not voting…

Aside