Trail Run – Constantia Nek to Skeleton Gorge

These annoying minor injuries come back to haunt you every so often and on Thursday my left knee niggle came back to taunt me.  I don’t even know how I originally injured my knee or shoulders but one day I need to have it checked out.  I’m just afraid that the physio will tell me that I can’t do any activities for a while and that will suck my soul from me.

I couldn’t do the intended B+ graded hike today which sucked as I haven’t done a hard hike in over a month! (The last time I did a B+ graded hike with a sore knee, I ended using crutches for a few days).

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Sooooo, what am I do to.  I can’t sleep in on a Sunday as I need to connect with nature and recharge my soul hehe.  I was in no mood for an easy hike as I did one last week so the next better option is trail running ^_^  Was in no mood for Lion’s Head circular contour as that mountain is just too busy, plus I did that trail twice already.

I know!  Constantia Nek contour to Skeleton Gorge and back! Nice and long and relatively flat!  So after extra prayers for my safety (as Constantia Nek is a mugging hotspot but not as much as Rhodes, Newlands forest or the Pipe Track I think) I checked in with Tracking at 7:25am with an ETA of 10am.  I didn’t want to start too early (sunrise) when hardly anyone is about as I loathe feeling unsafe. Also, I had my whistle around my neck just in case.  Who I was going to whistle for, I don’t know.  If I was thrown off the path somewhere, I could whistle for help can’t I?

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Anyway, I walk up the path from the car park and intended to start running from the start of the trail but there were dogs about so carried on walking until I thought it safe from dogs.  I run a little walk a little and I didn’t even reach the gate yet when my knee started to bother me.  I contemplated turning back but I didn’t drive this far to turn back.  I contemplated walking the route but I didn’t come for just a walk.  Sigh.  I carried on and hoped for the best. (Rolling my eyes at my own stubbornness)

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I run a little and walk a little and stop to take photos of the stunning views, drink water and blow my nose.  I also slow down when there are dogs about but I start to observe their behavior around their owners and passing trail runners.  I noticed that these dogs are not interested in runners.  Not even to sniff them.  I’m not afraid of dogs per se, I’m afraid of dogs biting me lol.  So I continue to run (when I’m not walking) and when walking the route, those minuscule gradual inclines is nothing but running them is another thing! Seriously!  It’s surprisingly hard and can only run a few metres when I have to walk them all and there’s surprisingly many along the route hehe.

I didn’t intend to take so many photos but I did.  44 on a trail run is quite a lot I think J  I stopped about 40 times to take photos lol.   This is besides the blowing-my-nose and water breaks.

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I’m surprisingly above the reservoir in Kirstenbosch Gardens around 8am and pretty chuffed with my time considering.  Nursery Ravine by 8:10 and I’m like whoa!  I’m not as unfit as I assumed hehe.  I reach Skeleton Gorge 5 minutes later and there’s another guy having a break there as well.  I asked him to take a photo of me and ignored his not too chuffed expression on his face \o/ I’m all smiles and thankful to him and didn’t get one smile in return from him 😀

I update Tracking that I’m at the Gorge and will leave at 8:30am.  I sit down and eat my koesiester and enjoy the solitude and quiet surrounding me. The only sound is the water flowing down the streams.  Ahhhh utter bliss!

After some photos, I reluctantly leave and the trail is getting slightly busier.  I didn’t intend to take more photos but I got distracted by some flowers and again the views from the other way haha!

I still run walk as I’m not fit enough to just run yet and have to walk every decline with steps which is the case from Skeleton Gorge to just passed Kirstenbosch.  I would have loved to run those steps but I didn’t want to land awkwardly on my knee.  By the time I got to the 400 year old tree, I was feeling the impact so concentrated on putting most of the pressure on my right knee.  Again the long gradual miniscule inclines are a killer!

With even more people about with even more dogs, I wasn’t the slightest bit worried so didn’t need to walk past them when I was running.  Until.  One big overly friendly dog jumped me!  I saw it coming though so could brace myself for the impact.  If I hadn’t, he would have gotten me to the ground lol.  His owner reprimanded him and apologised profusely just for overly friendly dog to jump me again!  I wasn’t the least bit annoyed J I have never seen so many breeds of dogs!  My favourites are the Huskies and German Sheppards.

At almost the last turn at Constantia Nek, strong cold winds suddenly started to blow.  Where did that come from?!

As I’m running the last bit, at the start of the route, I see this woman gesturing for her dog to stay, she walks on for a bit and then gives her dog permission to follow her J  she saw me smiling at that and smiled back and told her that was so cute!

Back at the car park and the path right next to Orangekloof, I see a pile of rubbish L  I didn’t have gloves or a packet or I would’ve picked it up.  I don’t pick up litter when I’m trail running L

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I check out of tracking at 9:14 and really chuffed with my time.  I actually estimated 2 hours but added extra 30 minutes for the just in case and I actually had no idea how long the trail would take me as I’ve only done the route with beginner hikers with several stops to regroup.

Due to time constraints over the next few weeks with Eid coming up and me moving into the separate entrance of our house, I won’t have the time to do hard hikes which will hopefully give the chance for my knee to heal again SIGH.

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I may do another trail run next week as my goal is to run the top of Table Mountain.  I’m thinking up Constantia Nek to Cable Station and back 😀  I need to buy me a Hydration Pack as running with 2 bottles of water is definitely not enough and not ideal but we make do with what we have for the moment J

Also need to get me trail running shoes AND rock-climbing shoes so I can do more of that.  Where will I find the time (and money) to enjoy all my mountain hobbies?  I don’t know SIGH

Until my next mountain adventure, thank you for reading and ciao for now.

PS.  Since around lunch time, I’ve been limping with a knee guard haha…..SIGH

 

 

 

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Trail Run – Constantia Nek to Skeleton Gorge

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