Serious training needed to get into shape to not run the Comrades
I AM not running the Comrades marathon for the 10th time this year. While others set off on this suicidal mega-jog at some unearthly hour, I will still be tucked up in bed awaiting the welcoming smell of fried bacon and eggs and freshly brewed coffee which serves as my normal wake-up call.
Then, after breakfast and an invigorating shower, I shall put on one of Wagner's lighter albums and settle down to my morning cigar and a good book while I contemplate which wine to open at lunch.
This strikes me as a much better plan than spending most of the day running from somewhere you didn't want to be to somewhere you don't want to go on the off chance that you will get a medal to commemorate this folly.
The conscious decision "not" to run the Comrades for the 10th consecutive year is not at all the same as simply having no interest in running the race. Rather like training for the Comrades itself, it is something that needs to be worked at.
Long ago I started training on the shorter races and the so called "fun runs". I would get an application form, fill it in and deliberately not submit it, knowing that if I could somehow avoid the smaller and less important races I could surely strive for greater things.
It's surprising how, with the right training and a positive mind-set, the body can tolerate the pain and disappointment of not being at the starting line on the morning of a long, boring road race. I was fortunate enough to be able to afford the services of a superb personal trainer who insisted that I stick to his rigorous programme. "You're never going to not run the Comrades if you don't do exactly what I tell you," he explained in what I assumed at the time to be a solecism.
On the first morning of training he turned up with two six packs of beer, a bag of beer-flavoured chips and a couple of raunchy videos. He then announced that if he couldn't get me into shape not to run the Comrades then his name wasn't Arnold Schwarzenegger, which it definitely wasn't anyway.
Apart from making me lie around on the couch doing strenuous beer-opening exercises for what seemed like hours on end, my trainer also insisted that I learn to "hop". He would toss me the TV remote control and when he said the word "hop" I had to switch channels.
I also became aware that correct eating habits were an essential part of my training if I was to not run the Comrades competitively. Carbo-loading is vital to build up the necessary flab, but all the advantages of a good carbo-load are completely wasted if you walk to the takeaway, so we used Mr Delivery to send the pizzas.
This year I am in peak form, and I know I will walk not running my 10th Comrades. After all, I already have the Two Oceans and The Argus under my belt, so what's a piddling 90km?
If I get out of this mess, I will never take the name of Jay Naidoo in vain again. I promise not to make fun of his silly suits, to accuse him of being a recreational socialist or to confuse him with the one who works for Nedlac.
Last week I went to my postbox but found it locked. I enquired at the counter and was told it was because I hadn't paid the rental. I explained that I normally got a reminder form but hadn't had one this year, so could I have one now please? The staff were extremely courteous and sympathetic but, unfortunately, the post office didn't have any rental forms, so my postbox remains locked. My car licence renewal reminder is still in there as are my credit card accounts along with investment letters warning me of the imminent collapse of the stock market, royalty cheques, Viagra trial offers and any other post that hasn't already found its way into the Braamfontein Spruit.
This lock-out can only result in chaos. With my luck, I will almost certainly get arrested for driving an unlicensed vehicle, be unable to stand bail because my cheques will bounce and end up having all my credit cards cancelled for non-payment.
The rumour that Cape gangster Rashied Staggie is planning to move from Cape Town to Johannesburg is not all bad news. Staggie is, after all, a businessman and must expand his empire if the opportunity arises. Apart from introducing some competition into the lucrative areas of drug dealing and prostitution, Staggie and his fellow free-spending gangsters could give a much-needed boost to house prices in Johannesburg.