24 November 2019

Good habits are hard to break

This is not a philosophical post... if you don't like philosophy, skip to paragraph three
now 😜

Every coin has two sides; heads and tails. One side smiles and one wags. The one that eats and takes, and the one that poops and... wags. And because they both belong to the same solid object, they both have the same value...

"Is road running better or trail running?" This is a question guys like Tobie Reynecke and I get asked. We've both done some of both... Tobie has just done a lot more than my smidge! He told me his opinion, but that is for another post. This post is about ... well ... running. 

We've holidayed in the Karoo, South Africa, for nearly 10 years now. These last few years we've been to a friend's farms outside Graaff Reinett (Elandskloof) and in October 2019 to Martyrsford (click the link for more). (I'll have to get something up on our Elandskloof stay).

It gets hot. Even when it isn't hot, its fairly brutal for running. Ground cover is usually at a premium in this semi-arid area. And of course the bushes know how to protect themselves against soft, human skin. It is why goats do so well here! 

The Karoo is heart of sheep and goat country... and the home of Mohair. This natural product has been a part of my life since birth. I still have a knee blanket my grandmother used... (It is orange and may be why I consider orange as my favorite color). Happily I use mohair blankets, socks, and jerseys (sweaters/jumpers/pullovers... it depends entirely as to what part of the world you're from as to the correct word here!!)

So why have Balega's brand of mohair catapulted themselves into first place on my list?

  • No blisters. 
  • Enough support for my feet, but not restrictive. 
  • No blisters. 
  • My feet remain warm in freezing & wet conditions. 
  • My feet remain dry in hot, sweaty conditions (humid or just plain hot!). 
  • Did I mention... I haven't received a sock-related blister all year. And this is impressive as I've clocked nearly 2400km (1500 miles) in some pretty hectic conditions (weather and underfoot technical).

Getting out into mountain areas clears my head and allows me to think, my heart to wander and reset. In this kind of terrain you can picture life in former eras, even former ages. What would it be like to hunt with a bow and arrow, or indeed a poor camera? I didn't get a picture of the bat-eared fox, kudus, steenbokke, or any of the birds... The goats and sheep were also somewhat skittish! And yet all of that was okay. I can hunt, and will if necessary, but farming is what I prefer.

And that is what running is about: slow results and improvements come with getting out of your comfort zone a little more each time. You don't want to get up Everest first time... you will die. You need to condition yourself a little more each time... and teach your mind and your body to work together.

Remember, like the Karoo reminds me every time: Good habits are hard to break

Elandskloof is a gem! Tennis, running, hiking, values, big skies, horses, cattle drives... 

Even the trees hold on tight in the Karoo!
Everyone loves the freedom of wide open spaces! #LancasterLight, #FutureRunner

When you have to hook a left to survive, you do what's right for you!

View from the front door at Cowboy Cottage.

Elandskloof, home of Karoo Ranching.

Julie Hobson is a runner. So are her horses. Sometimes its good for work, and sometimes its good for play.

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