My name is Ayesha Makim-Specker. I’m an Aussie that lives in beautiful Cape Town, a place I never thought I would be but what’s not to love? I am a qualified Health Coach and studied at the Institution for Integrative Health. I started working at the Run Store in September 2018 and I love it.
My RUN Love
My love for running started at an early age. I grew up on a farm in the Australian Bush with loads of space and freedom to roam around. Cross Country was my thing at school. My dad used to slash out a course on his tractor, drive in his Ute a little ahead of me, and the dogs and I would follow. He was my pacer.
I ran all through school and represented it at the Regional cross country championships as well as State and Nationals. I loved competing and although I was alway the smallest in the field I managed to hold my own and came 6th in the Nationals for under 16’s.
When I moved to Cape Town 6 years ago I was still running but not competitively. I then joined Atlantic Athletics Club and my mind was blown by the running community here in Cape Town as well as all the races that I had never heard of before. Shortly after, the Two Oceans/Ultra Marathon/Marathon bug got me. I was hooked. I started trail running as well. That I can run in these beautiful mountains that I look at all day is mind blowing.
Since then I have run 3 Ultra’s, many Half’s and 10 Marathons. One of which has been my ultimate dream race since I was 11, the Boston Marathon which I did this year (2019). Now Of course my big goal is to complete all the Big 6 Marathons and hope to better my time.
PB’s for Half and Marathon:
I am definitely wanting to improve on these times. Having said that, I also want to do lots more longer trail races hoping to eventually work my way up to 100km on the trail. I love both road and trail. I love road because it’s challenging and you work hard, it humbles you. I love trail because of the serenity of it and being in nature.
I have recently teamed up with Saucony SA to be one of their ambassadors and I am utterly obsessed with their shoes. I feel so lucky to have such an amazing brand backing and supporting me and my feet in my running journey. I run in the Kinvara 9’s and Kinvara 10’s. On the trails I run in the Peregrine.
Pre Race Snacks/Nutrition
When it comes to nutrition and running, it varies with different people. What works for me may not work for you. For as long as I can rememberer the night before a race I would eat super early and would eat plain pasta and chicken with lemon, salt and pepper. I also experimented with Quinoa, chicken and sweet potato wedges which also work really well for me. Leading up to a race, say 5 days out I will start hydrating with hydration tabs and drink lots of water. When it comes to the morning of the race. I will wake up 2-3 hours before drink a large glass of water and have a slice of sourdough toast with peanut or almond butter with banana on top and a black coffee. This has been my go to for as long as I can remember. I will also make banana bread. Since my studies I have been exposed to many different flours, grains and the possibilities for baking all different kinds of healthy treats and snacks for all the adventures I do. I usually bake a banana bread every Monday, either a gluten free one or a vegan one. A slice or two of that with peanut butter on top usually helps before a long training run.
My favourite thing about running is as much as it’s a self journey that enables you to push and challenge yourself you didn’t think was possible, you also meet the most incredible people along the way that inspire you to keep going. I am so thankful and grateful that I am healthy and fit enough to be able to push my body over and over again to be able to wake up everyday and do what I love and share with other likeminded people.
We at RUN are all about community, and this month about our #WomxnOfRun, so show some love and leave a comment below!