Having spent the months of September and October just running at an easy pace whilst giving my body and soul the luxury of time to recuperate, I was ready to re-establish a higher level of training on arrival in Ethiopia.
Now into my third week I am really starting to feel the rhythm again!
Double running days, track workouts, long runs at over 3000m elevation, even a road session with one of the country’s leading marathon groups – these are just some of my experiences over the past 18 days.
Sharing all of these moments and a lot of laughter en route was Rene Kalmer, South Africa’s leading marathon runner who represented the country at the London 2012 Olympic Games and this year ran a personal best and finished 9th at the Berlin Marathon.
It was a joy to introduce Rene to some of the trails of the Ethiopian landscape and in doing so I discovered new elements myself. Choosing your running route or training with athletes familiar in the setting is one thing but leading an athlete (hopefully not astray) who is used to training on the roads of Johannesburg quite another.
Rene has embraced the country whole heartedly and taken every running adventure well within her stride, she has given me support and confidence in increasing my training intensity over the past weeks and most importantly I am grateful to have made a new friend.