Jani Du Toit

Thursday, August 31, 2017

On who you are…

My Name is Jani and I’m many things, a Wife, an ASICS-Frontrunner, a Blogger for jbrobinblog.com, a fashion-Designer-patternmaker-Quality-Control-merchandiser and most days still a little girl at heart. I love all things Colourful and mysterious and enjoy collecting Insects and making beautiful things. I like getting things done fast-no-fuss-quick-quick, no time for wasting time.

On running… 

I’ve always ran recreationally but never as a competitive sport in school or anything - it’s always just been on and off fun. But in late 2014 I needed a change – I wanted to move into another faze of my life and I started taking the running more and more with 2016 and 2017 transitioning in my best years so far. It started as a cheap way to lose weight and get healthy. 

Over the past year my Running has really become one of my main priorities, I use to do a much more fulfilling creative job and due to Annoying financial ‘adult’ reasons I had to change jobs. So my new job was not as much fun and creative for me as the previous one, I started a Blog to keep me busy and got more and more into running. A friend suggested to me to apply for a competition and I got accepted as an ASICS Front runner and from there on my running became more and more serious. Although now my job has become more fun than a year ago - I’ve decided that I don’t want to do what I’m doing for the rest of my life, All I want to do is Run. I’m not 100% exactly sure how this is going to bring food to the table but I’ll figure it out, haha.

On your First Run...

I can’t say I can remember my first-first run exactly – But I know it was with my Mom. The woman in our family are very talented in sport, and Running being a big one. I think I started running with my Mom when I was still in school and it caught on really fast. I am fortunate to get fit really fast. If I think back I remember being impressed about how natural it came. Running is a love my Mother taught me and I’ll be forever grateful for it – I only wish I started earlier. 

In time as I got older, getting into running and getting fit again was hard – in the beginning I had allot of shin splits (Splints?) I was frustrated with my body not wanting to work with me. But it’s gotten better with time.

On Street culture…

I love our country – I love its streets and its people. I am considered by most to be pretty naive with regards to my safety. I sometimes need to run to work early mornings, and it’s truly beautiful that time of the morning. In the dark you see the city and its people come to life. Most people don't get to see it, it's truly beautiful, so many people on their way to their destinations, some running, some briskly walking, others hooting in Taxis. 

All the stalls next to the road, warm fires with big cast iron pots light up the streets, woman selling and cooking food for passers-by. I am fully aware of all the dangers and negative things that happen in our country, but you have to understand I'm not naive in seeing the beauty that others fear to encounter. I am streetwise and always alert, I'm not black and not white, My race is South African and I'll run these streets with enough courage to bask in the beauty of its people.

On Running Culture… 

Runners are the best breed of people – their friendly and Happy and almost always greet back – even if you’re running on opposite sides of the road. I guess it’s all those endorphins that make runners friendly. It’s like we know a secret that others don’t. I also like that Runners are Runners, and we all there for each other. No matter what age, gender or race we’re runners first.

On gadgets…

Gadgets, gadgets, gadgets. This is such a personal preference thing for all I think. I don’t have too many but it’s more due to a lack of budget than anything, haha. But I also prefer to run with less than more, I get so annoyed when I end up focussing on this earphones and the GPS not working and this song not being the right one. I find that the gadgets can somewhat distract us from the one thing we really want to do, which is just run. I also think less gadgets, the less you become a target which is an unfortunate truth in our country. 

On injury…

I use to get Shin splits in the beginning – but that has now past. It’s important to stretch you calves, that’s a rule I live by – “haha – Just Stretch your calves!”

I got a mild case of ITB in 2015 and stopped running for 6 weeks I ended up receiving cortisone injection. ITB can be from over usage, over-compensation and also from running on the same side of the road, the same route, every day, but there are a number of factors for different people.

I now constantly concentrate on making my bum and tummy muscles stronger to prevent this from coming back, Being a little more experienced now, I believe I got it from over-usage – ran my first 21km after only 2-3 weeks of training, so that was not smart. I stretch and foam roll very regularly for the ITB as well, but really more for prevention, after a good 15-25km long run I do feel it again a little but after resting a day it goes away again. 

Otherwise no other injuries except for occasionally falling, I have a tendency to drag my feet and in turn I occasionally eat dirt. But if you fall really fast the adrenaline really helps you get up and go, haha I don’t think about it too much I just keep going. I can assess what happened later, if it hasn’t broken or fallen off it will live.

On achievements…

At the Moment I have two big achievements that I’m happy with and want to improve on in the future. I was chosen to be an ASICS Front-Runner, and I want to improve on this and hope to be associated with the band for years to come.

Second in my first 24km Trail run. I came 11th overall. I wanted to finish max 2:30hours at a good pace. I ended up finishing my 24km in 2:25Hours! A whole 5 min Faster, I was very happy and very proud. My husband was also there to welcome me at the finishing line. It was very special as it was the first race he came to watch. I want to improve on this in the future.

On future goals… 

At the moment I want to push up my training and get even more serious. I want get in touch with a couch and start training to the point where I can actually compete. I want to do good and I want to win. I feel a little ambitious in stating this but the intensity with which my life has changed over the past 3 years is astounding to me. I’m starting to face the world with a “why Not?” type of attitude.

In the past 3 years I have learnt a few things:

- It might hurt – But you’ll get over it 

- You are capable of so much more 

- Don’t wait – go for it

- What’s the worst that can happen?

On your social media… 

I Love social media and I’m very active on it – you can follow me on the below platforms.

On Pink…

Growing up I never really related to the colour to be honest. I always felt like it had too strong gender division connotations. But now I kinda like it – the other day I realised that all my or most of my Running gear is pink! The colour has also transitioned for me from just having a connotation to girly and Barbie things to having connotations of hope and endurance when it represents breast cancer and the people who has survived it.

On Pain…

I must admit I’m a little afraid of pain, but I think most people are, haha. But I have found that your body can take allot more than you think, and that most pain is not as bad as it is when anticipated, but that’s with regards to falling and pushing yourself to the limits. When experiencing pain from running while training I do get cautious and urgently investigate why it is happening, how I can fix it, and when I can run again. Sometimes it’s better to rest than cause further injury. I’d rather not run for a few days than for a few weeks.

On women’s running…

As woman we have a tendency to place everyone before ourselves, this is both a admirable characteristic as it is a flaw. We can’t pour from an empty cup. And although my little family only consists of a husband and a Ginger cat I have found that if I do not take care of myself I cannot take care of any of us. This is even more applicable for woman with larger families, whether you work during the day or not.

Running has taught me to be so much more organised, to have everything in order and ready so that nothing can get in the way of my Running, because if I can run neither can my life. It has become such a intricate part of my life and routine.

I believe that as a woman we would rather do something for someone else, rather spend money on someone else but the least we can do is just spend some time on ourselves, your family will thank you for it. So prep you dinners, lunches and clothing for the week, drag you ass out of bed and go run whilst the suckers are sleeping, be that super-woman, it’s easier than you think!

On the Past you…

Just start, don’t stop and keep going. You will not regret it. All those little excuses, from that lazy little voice in your head is wrong. I don’t really have any regrets, every step I took in the past has made me who I am today, and it’s made me wiser and more capable of seeing every point of view. It’s hard to change your life to what you want it to be, but if it was easy it wouldn’t be worth it! Take it one day at a time, eventually you’ll look back and be like “what?! It that what my life was like?”

When I die…

I want to be like “its ok, I ran today!”

Haha - 
But on a serious note – I want to run the world – I want to die tired, knowing I didn’t miss something. I want to die knowing I ran every inch of our beautiful planet – For now I just have to figure out how to get the funding!


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