My running essentials in summer

I’ve been running for over a year now, and in the grander scheme of things, that’s not too long, but because there are runners in my RWFL club that haven’t been running for as long as I have, I know they’d appreciate my little list of things I take when I run, or use for running.

1. Good shoes. I cannot stress the importance of a good pair of shoes! I’ve just had to buy a new pair of Asics Kayano’s from the Sweatshop because my older ones had collapsed after only 6 months and many km’s, and I’ve hurt my knee and calf muscles! And don’t just buy any old pair of takkies… have them properly fitted at a specialist running shop, or else, again, you’ll get injuries.

2. Seamless socks. I find the only socks that don’t give me blisters are the Falke running socks, and I prefer the thicker type of sock. I’ve also started using the compression socks, although I find them quite hot in this weather, but they really work wonders for my dodge calf muscles.

3. Running watch. Apparently this isn’t a necessity, but I’m a sucker for stats, so it’s an essential for me. I need to know how far I’ve gone, how long it’s taken me, and what my average pace is. For that reason, I bought a GPS watch instead of just a watch with a heart rate monitor. My TomTom Runner connects to my watch after my run and uploads my data automatically to Strava and Runkeeper (where I monitor my progress)

4. Running belt. I use this on a long run or a race to carry my car keys, phone (to Instagram along the way of course), drivers license (if I’m running on my own just in case I have an accident), approx R30 for a drink or snacks on a long run, a few tissues (for my nose and yucky portaloos at races), and lip balm. Yes it’s a lot. Sometimes I split the stuff between the running belt and the various pockets that I make sure my running tights have.

5. Visor. I’ve discovered the genius that is visors, instead of normal caps. In summer they’re essential as they allow the heat to escape from your head unlike normal caps. They also keep the rain out of your eyes! I like the ones that are made from climate fabric so they dry fast.

6. Face sunscreen. Proper stuff this. I’m on a course of Roaccutane right now, so I don’t leave the house without this on my face. The Photoderm Spot SPF50 cream is ideal for me, because it’s made for people that tend to get pigmentation marks or spots. It doesn’t run into my eyes at all when I sweat, so it’s working well!

7. Body sunscreen. This was recommended by my dermatologist for long runs. Even though the Daylong sunscream it’s only SPF30, it’s absolutely brilliant and does not come off for hours or in water, even with me “glowing”. It’s apparently used quite successfully by triathletes. It can also be used on your face.

8. Water bottle. For some reason I didn’t add this to my photo. I cannot run for longer than 4km in summer without water. I have this awesome RWFL water bottle that has a hole in it so it’s not too big to carry in my hands.

I find in winter I use other things like headlamps etc… I’ll do another list in a few months!

**edited to add after Tanya commented on Twitter reminding me of the glaringly obvious omission.

9. Running bra. Forgot this off the list, and clearly no image! LOL! I have really small boobs, but I do still struggle to find good running bras that are comfy, and wick away moisture properly. My favourites are the Nike Pro Bra and the Woolies Seemless padded sports bra (and I remove the pad… that’s a stupid idea for sweaty sports)

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Lunch at GOODlife Market Cafe

I did not feel like making food after Connor’s party yesterday, and none of us particularly felt like takeaways, so Lance suggested we try this place… we’ve been eyeing it out when we’ve had dinner at Col’cacchios in Worldwear Centre.

It was an excellent choice!

GOOD Life Market Cafe is next to Col’Cacchios at World Wear in Fairlands. It’s partly a motorbike outfit shop (Juice Biker Boutique), partly a cafe. It was also sadly really empty when we went there, but the guy told us that they get busy when they organise Sunday outrides.

Loved all the attention to detail in their presentation of everything. The food was outstanding, service was impeccable and the place was unexpected in that centre. It felt like it belonged in Braamfontein. The guy that served us, warned us that it wasn’t fast food, that all their food is freshly made so we needed to be prepared to wait a bit… which we were very happy to do.

We ordered the bacon and cheese burgers… wow! They’re not too big, and they not only have an awesome patty and crispy bacon and 2-cheese sauce, but they use a lot of salad too. And the spicy sauce was really the kicker. We’re definitely going to be back for burgers again. Connor ordered a toasted sarmie with bacon and egg and cranberry sauce which he also declared awesome.

If you’re wondering… we play dot-to-dot against each other while we’re waiting for food ;)

When I spotted the coffee bag on the floor, I had to order cappuccino too, and I was not disappointed.

The burger may look a little bare but we forgot to order chips ;) they came later.

We’ll be back to try their breakfasts for sure!

I really hope this little cafe works in this centre that does not ever get a lot of traffic. When I go shopping at the factory shops there, I’ll definitely be stopping in for some coffee, so thrilled there’s finally a place that makes a decent cappuccino close to home!

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Connor’s 8th birthday party at Acrobranch

It was Connor’s party on Sunday. Thankfully the sun was shining… unlike Saturday where it was wet and mizz the entire day!

The kids had a ball at Acrobranch in Melrose. It really is an awesome party spot… although expensive so numbers need to be limited ;) Connor and his friends did the green routes, and Bradley and 3 of his friends did the harder, higher, trickier blue routes.

My mom outdid herself with the cake again, it was a yummy chocolate cake, and the kids fought over the Marie biscuits around the base!





My mom cleverly used trick candles! Perfect for the windy day and the cause of many giggles :)  Don’t you just love the cake with the ziplines and ladders and rope swings :)


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7/52 Pastel

The theme for the week on MyFourHens Photography’s 52 Project: Pastel

I have a house full of boys and brightness and noise, pastels was an enormous stretch for me. I really didn’t want to just take a photo of a flower.

So I chose my favourite flower, a protea… and I tried a new technique… freelensing.

I’ve been watching the other photographers in the Facebook group post the most amazing freelensing photos, and I’ve started following photographers that do a lot of it, and decided to try it again for this week’s challenge. I’ve tried before, without success, so this week I went hunting for a tutorial on how to do it… and then set about mastering the technique.

It’s so much fun! This is the reason I started this challenge… to learn new techniques and stretch my photography. If you’re not sure what it is, freelensing involves removing the lens from it’s mounting and holding it in front of the camera to get a tilt-shift kind of look (without having to buy a Lensbaby or expensive tilt-shift lens).

I used my 50mm lens for this shot.

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6/52 Happy

The theme for the week on MyFourHens Photography’s 52 Project: Happy Happiness is… … swimming on a hot summers day … brothers playing without fighting … swimming with my boys before my photo shoot. Photo was taken at 1pm, not exactly the ideal photo taking time which is why there are shadows everywhere, but they were […]

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Fitbitting like crazy

For the last 2 weeks I’ve been taking part in a Fitbit challenge with a few other moms against a few tech dudes. It’s called the #Fitbitfaceoff and you’ve probably seen me use the hashtag on Twitter. I’m part of the #Wondermommies crew, which includes Sharon aka BlessedBarrenness, Nicki Dadic, Pippa aka UnexpectedPippa, and Zodwa  and […]

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The kids on Northcliff Hill

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I took the kids up Northcliff Hill on Sunday afternoon for the first time. They had a ball exploring the cliff path, and wondering at the view. They were amazed we could see where our house was, and could recognise some of the places we go to. Bradley caught […]

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5/52 Small

The theme for the week on MyFourHens Photography’s 52 Project: Small Again I had to wait for the weekend to take my Project 52 shot. My idea was to take a photo of Connor, my smallest little boy, against some backdrop showing how small he is… because he’s really not small. I knew there was […]

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Our family 2014 yearbook

Our annual yearbook arrived fresh from the printers yesterday! The yearbooks are the best thing I do every year, and the grandparents get a smaller copy of the book too. This book is a whopper again. It’s a 30x30cm Elite Litho book with 76 pages! The kids really love paging through the books, so it’s well worth […]

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4/52 : Part of Me

The theme for the week on MyFourHens Photography’s 52 Project: Part of Me My eyes at the end of a day. My word, it was tough to decide what to take a photo of for this week’s theme. My eye colour is one thing that I’ve passed onto both my kids, and it’s my favourite part […]

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