By Allister Arendse
Image by Jurie Potgieter
Occupation: Presenter 5FM
Residence: Greenside, Johannesburg
My fitness has improved, my energy levels have gone up and my legs have toned up. I run three times a week.
I enjoy the fact that it’s just for me. No one’s making me run; no one’s timing me or watching my technique. It’s a chance to de-stress, think through the day’s events, listen to music and take it as hard or easy as I want.
While training for an event I do calculations in my head to see if I’m keeping a good pace to make a distance by a certain time, or I’m just thinking: ‘Wow, this is hard. Where’s that downhill again?’
Ideas for my show come to me while running. I also get perspective on what I’m currently doing and work out how to improve.
Emmarentia botanic gardens is my favourite route. I train around there a lot.
I’ve only done three races so far, and the Two Oceans’ scenery and vibe was by far the best.
Late afternoon suits me best right now because of my schedule, but early mornings on the weekends is great to get it done and still have the whole day ahead.
My favourite piece of gear is probably my arm strap for my iPhone.
All types of music are on my playlist. Angry music like Audioslave, Alanis and Linkin Park. Party music like Michael Jackson, Black Eyed Peas, Rihanna, Magnetic Man. I also have Jamiroquai, Destiny’s Child, Sam Sparro, The Verve, Charlie Winston, Timbaland and Nelly Furtado. I run with music most of the time.
I have many secret talents. I can sing pretty well in the shower, I tweet well, I can explain biochemistry and trigonometry to you and on occasion I’ve been known to make large slices of cake disappear!
I can’t live without music, my iPhone, perfume, cappuccinos and sunshine.
As far as goals are concerned I’m playing with the idea of doing a full marathon and doing a triathlon.
I ran my first Two Oceans half-marathon this year. I’d love to tell you it was the best experience of my life and that I can’t wait to do it again, but that would be a lie. Let me explain. It was the event I started training for so it was a big deal for me. I was surprised how easy the first 10km went even though I was told about the altitude difference. I didn’t expect it to be that dramatic. Then there were those last six kays. I struggled up the hill that never seemed to end and I walked a lot more than I intended. I just couldn’t motivate myself to run, which had never happened before. I still made my goal time with six minutes to play with, but I was beyond shattered by the finish. I found out later that the reason I struggled was low blood sugar. I only drank water along the 21km route out of fear of dehydrating and instead flushed out all the ions and electrolytes my body needed. I can’t remember ever feeling that ill, but I finished and I learnt an obvious and important lesson. Drink the energy drinks!
My tip to other busy people would be: If you have legs you can run. Get a training schedule that has running and walking intervals that increases in running time and distance. There are plenty available no matter what your fitness, age or goal. Find a schedule that suits you and stick to it. Even if you can’t get the full training time in, rather do some training and consider it a bonus session instead of not doing anything. Lastly, music and MiCoach, a great app my friend introduced me to. It’s like having a coach run with you telling you how far you’ve gone, your pace, duration, when to take it easy and congratulates you after each run. Yay!
I love Moema’s patisserie and deli in Parktown North, Duke’s in Greenside (they have the best gourmet burgers); Indian food and sushi are also firm favourites. Kauai wraps when I’m looking for something yummy on the go.
At Moema’s I have healthy lunch options like chickpea, avo and wasabi and not-so-healthy macaroons and giant raspberry meringues. The chicken, camembert and cranberry burger with a peanut butter and banana milkshake at Duke’s (trust me on this) is amazing. I love a good chicken tikka masala and salmon sashimi. Can you tell I like my food?
I have received a few weird calls on air in the early hours. I once got a call from a guy who told me his friend lost his virginity that night on the beach with a woman 20 years older than him. This friend was so proud that he just felt like phoning in to tell me.
I do something called ‘What’s that Track?’ where people describe or sing a song that they want the title or artist for. There was a guy who called in last week who sounded like a Maltese poodle howling. Turns out the song was Adele’s ‘Set Fire to the Rain’.
* Da Silva is on 5FM weeknights between midnight and 3am. Follow her on Twitter @ThatNicole.