An honour to represent Hospice in the Comrades Marathon 2019

Categories: Care, Featured, Must Read, Opinion, and People & Places.

I live in Thabazmbi, Limpopo, our own little place in the Bushveld. It’s hot but I love where I live. I get to see so much game and beauty, almost daily, and I never tire of it. I am a mother of two, a four-year-old girl and a 15-month boy, and happily married. I downloaded the finishers (11-12 hrs) Comrades training plan, and the day after this year’s Comrades, I laced up my shoes and started running and I have been running ever since.

I’ve wanted to do the Comrades ever since I went on my first run with my uncle (Green number) almost 25 years ago. As you can see, 25 years is a long time with a yearning in your heart and my uncle is in his 70’s now. I wanted to run the Comrades in 2012, but mistakenly tried to do the Marakele Marathon as my qualifier, with nearly not as much training as what I have done up to date.

We did not finish that race and I never ran after that again. I became pregnant soon after my wedding and after one miscarriage and two pregnancies, I have finally started running again. This is a big dream in my heart, it’s an important dream. Sometime in July, I didn’t feel like running, and God placed on my heart that if I don’t put in the work, if I don’t train and take this matter seriously, that I will NEVER do the Comrades. That scared me. So, whatever that training plan says, I do.

I recently got an ITB injury and have been booked of a week (last week) but I have slowly started running again and thank goodness, no pain. When there’s pain. Stop. Go to the physio or Biokenticist or Doctor and do your stretches, foam rolling, cross training and eat well. There’s a lot I am learning about myself, and this is the biggest dream I have had, and I will put in the work it takes.

I have weight to loose (20kg) and I must still qualify and even though people say I can do it, I am still scared, because what if I don’t. I will do my best, every day and run my qualifier next year. I have done so much in so little time, I am not at my peak, yet, but I must have some faith, even if it’s as small as a mustard seed, that I can do this.

What got you started into running – was there anyone close to you that inspired you?

I have always run, in school with athletics and cross country but my uncle, Bernard van Loggenberg, green number, inspired me to run the Comrades. We went on a short run together and I told him, “Oom, ek gaan saam met Oom die Comrades hardloop”. That was about 25 years ago, 25 years goes by awful quickly. The desire never faded, but I never put in the discipline to train before. So today, I am!

How long have you been running for?

In general, since Primary school, but it has been on and off. And after I got pregnant, I haven’t run for about 5 years. I finally started running this year, in June, a day after the Comrades. I run 4 times a week.

It’s a huge mental thing also, it requires a lot of discipline. I must wake up early on Saturdays and Sundays to run. It’s weekend, I don’t want to. I don’t always sleep well with the baby and I am just dead tired. But I do it.

A lot of mental strength.

What do you enjoy about the event?

The spirit.

How do you prepare for an event this big?

I am just following Lindsey Parry’s Finisher’s program. I am doing stretches and other strengthening exercise. I see a biokeneticist and Physio. I am eating well and following a weigh-less eating program!

Who are your biggest fans/supporters?

Friends and family. I have only told a select few.

What is your favourite food before and after a run?

A banana before and a toast with an egg after. It’s nothing special, just breakfast afterwards.

Do you enjoy running alone or prefer a group?

I enjoy running in a group on race day but alone during training. It’s a mental thing. You’re working so hard, I don’t want to chat.

How has running changed your life?

There is no grand event that I can tell you about. However, it is in the process of changing me, one step at a time. Also, I have never run on Saturday and Sundays, so that’s changed.

Is there any reason you chose Hospice as your preferred beneficiary?

I have seen a lot of losses because of Cancer. If you haven’t been through it, people don’t really know. To have a chance to help someone like you, like your charity, will be an honour, just because everything a Hospice does for the patient and family.

Help Louise reach her target of R5000 for hospice here!