SA Medal Hangers – New Blog

I cannot believe that we are mid-way through December and I have not even started my Christmas shopping yet…… YIKES!!!  My family is easy – we do a Secret Santa and so only have to buy for one person.   I happened to get Mr OL, which is a bit of a problem as I now need to get him 2 gifts.  We also all generally give my mom something additional as well – but she likes hand made stuff so that’s done.  At least Father Christmas is on the ball so Little OL is sorted.  My in-laws…. hmmmmm I really need to get to the shops soon.

I have a good excuse for not having gotten to the shops earlier… I have been working hard!  So many people have contacted SA Medal Hangers for custom made or personal medal hangers – it has been awesome.  I love coming up with the new designs.  But because of that , I have decided to create a new blog.  This will showcase SA Medal Hangers’ custom-made or personalised medal hangers.  We have created so may awesome one off designs and they won’t all get displayed on our website, so to give people some inspiration or ideas when ordering their own medal hanger I thought this might work.  What do you think?

Please feel free to visit and follow that blog.  It is http://medalhangers.wordpress.com

In the meantime here are a couple of the ones we have made recently – I am so proud of them.

SA Medal Hangers - Personalised Princess

 

 

SA Medal Hangers - My Race Bling with stars

 

SA Medal Hangers - Triathlon

 

If you are interested in ordering anything similar please contact me on pamela@medalhanger.co.za  You can also visit our Facebook page for more photos… SA Medal Hangers

An achievement and a giveaway!

I know I have said this before, but I have been blown away by the support I have been receiving for SA Medal Hangers – and I know it seems weird to say, but I am stupid proud of them. I have one up on my wall and I stare at it all the time. I am not sure which I am more proud off, the medals that hang from it or the actually hanger.
I also know it is early days, I know I still have far to go and I know that having a full time job has been a huge cushion for me in starting this business, but I am really proud of myself for taking what could have been a blow and trying to make it a positive.
Before starting this I did keep most of my medals, but they were hanging on a broken clothes hanger in the back bedroom cupboard. I would not look at them, but just add another medal as I got it. It was actually Mr OL’s suggestion that we display them but could not really think of a solution and then I found this idea.
Now that the medals are up and I can see them I realise just how far I have come. I started running again in 2005 and did my first Ironman in 2007. In the past 8 years running and triathlon have become a huge part of my life and I love it!
I know that not everybody wants to display their medals, and a lot of people don’t even take them at races, but since putting them up on the wall I have started seeing them not just as the metal and ribbon, but as something more than that! As an achievement – and something I should be very proud off.
To give somebody else the opportunity to feel that sense of pride and achievement I have decided to run a giveaway on SA Medal Hangers’ Facebook page. The details are all there, so please go and have a look. You could win a 65cm triple bar medal hanger of your choice! (Sorry – Open to South African Residents only). CLICK HERE for details.

SA Medal Hangers

Happy 5 year Blog Anniversary!

I have had this blog for 5 years – wow time has flown.  Before I started here I had an iBlog account for a short while as well.

Over the years my blog has changed quite bit.  It has gone from being mostly about Ironman training to a real mix up of stuff, Ordinary Life stuff!  I have had a baby, I have started baking and icing cookies, I have shown you all some of my paintings and sketches, I have started a new business – SA Medal Hangers.  And very importantly I have made some great friends!

Thank you all so much for joining me on this journey, I am thoroughly enjoying it!

Here is the link to my first post – published on the 1st September 2008

http://pamiejane.wordpress.com/2008/09/01/windy-city/

This weekend

I think I am living in denial about this weekend.  I have not even thought much about it and am not stressed (yet).

It is Ironman weekend!  I love Ironman weekend!  I love the build-up, the excitement, the expo, the registration and seeing all the athletes.

What I have not been thinking about is the fact that I have entered the Corporate Challenge Triathlon (10% of the IM distance).  What I have not been thinking about is that I have not been on my bike since January, nor have I swum.  Yikes.  Thankfully I am not a stranger to doing an event with minimal training…

This weekend it will also be my amazing sisters 6th Ironman. We did our first one together in 2007 and she has just kept going, only missing one when she was living in London.  I am so amazed by her.  Did I mention that she swam the Bell Buoy Challenge on Easter Weekend???  I am in total awe of her.

The other thing that I am in denial about this weekend is the fact that it is my birthday!  Oh dear…  I still have not celebrated my last birthday and here is another one.  At least I am planning on doing something I absolutely love this weekend – cheering on at an Ironman. Believe me the temptation to do it as it was on my Birthday was extremely, but sanity prevailed.

So, if you are down near Hobie Beach on Sunday, come and say hi.  I will be the one eating handing out cupcakes in between screaming for my sister.

FBC – Favourite photo / Best Friends

I don’t think I have a favourite photo of my and my “best friends” – in fact I am not sure at the moment how to determine what best friends are or who they are.  It is not like when I was school and I had two “best friends” and we did EVERY thing together.  I think as you get older you have more facets to your life, more interests and there fore sometimes require different friends for different aspects.

I have my sister – who is most definitly my “best friend” in all aspects but then I also have other friends that could also fit in there som where.  A “best” friend with who I train, you chat a lot while cycling/running/swimming (which might go some way to explaining my time…..), a “best” friend that I have made since having Little OL, a “best” friend at work (who keeps me sane) and a long standing “best” friend, who when looking from the outside, might not seem as if we have that much in common but who is invaluable in my life.  And then of course my internet “friends” who sometimes know more about me that people I am in contact with in real life.  It is not often that all my best friends will get together – in fact I can tell you that they never have – so I don’t have a photo of all my best friends.

I will instead post one of my most recent photos of myself, my sister and my bestest training partner at the top of Maitlands Hill on our last (and only second) long ride – we did a whole 59km…… The week before IMSA 70.3 in January.  I know, even I can’t beleive I actually made that bike cut-off with the minimal cycling we did (although we did use our indoor trainers quite a bit in winter)

The best friends and training partners a girl could ask for

The best friends and training partners a girl could ask for

 

They have now left me in the dust and are trainig for Ironman together – I am feeling left out…….. BUT I know that I could not commit to it at the moment, it is not a priority, but I do get jealous when I hear that they went cycling without me.  Hopefully from next week I can join them on their morning (shorter) rides again.

 

 

Pure madness! Want to join in?

Yesterday driving home from work I thought “Pamela, You are justifiably insane!”  It suddenly occurred to me that I had just spent 7:30 hours sitting on my butt at work and it had felt LONG, very long.  7:30 hours – the same amount of time it took me to do the half Ironman the day before.

How on earth is it possible to keep moving for that amount of time?  I mean, how is it physically possible – and to still enjoy it (well most of it).  And that is not the worst – my first Ironman took me 16:39 hours.  So, for 16:39 hours I was moving, very slow at times, but moving.  And I know there are people out there that do much longer events.  Are we all totally mad?  Actually don’t answer that!

And, just incase you would like to join the insanity entries are already open for next year – see you on the 26th January 2014….

So, Ironman South Africa???

The big question everybody asks me, even before I completed the 70.3 is whether or not I am going to be doing the full Ironman again this year.

I must admit that it is tempting….  Both my brother and sister are going to do it again – it will be my sister’s 6th full Ironman. WOW.  And it is on my birthday.  I can just imagine how emotional it will be standing on the start, on my birthday with both of them waiting for the canon to blast.

That is until I think of all that is involved and the commitment it takes with regards to the training.  I am not in the right space to do it.  It is not a priority in my life.  Mr and Little OL are.  I don’t want be on my bike for more than 3 hours on a Saturday morning.  I don’t want to then have to run the next day for more than an hour. I want to be at home.  I work full time and the weekends are the only time I get to spend with them.

That is also one of the reasons why I don’t like training in the evenings.  For the 70.3 I was able to train in the mornings before Little OL woke, if I wanted to do the full Ironman I would need to train in the evenings as well.  I am not prepared to do that.  I already go to art classes one night a week, so miss her that night.

And I would need to be asleep by 8:30 – 9:00pm.  I just don’t have the time at the moment to do that.  I am enjoying baking and crafting and the only time I get to do that is in the evenings after Little OL goes to sleep.  I would not be able to do these things.

Don’t get me wrong – I absolutely LOVED training for Ironman last time, but I was in a totally different space.  I was able to make it a priority and put my all into it.  Now I just don’t want to.  Maybe in a few years’ time when Little OL is older I might want to do it again.  That is not to say that this year I am not going to set myself challenges or give myself goals.  I am useless with training without a goal.

This year I would like to run a marathon.  I have never run a stand-alone marathon and would like to.  I would also like to do the Dry Land Traverse in November.  It is a 4 day stage trail run.  It looks awesome.  I think those are big enough goals for the year. Then of course there is Ironman 70.3 next year again……

Ironman 70.3 South Africa 2013

 

I am not very good at writing race reports but here goes – I finished in 7:33:45 and I am very, very happy.   At least this year I actually got to the start line and finished.  A big step up from last year.

I have realised that I am very lucky when it comes to Ironman races.  I have yet to have a puncture or a serious technical malfunction, both of which could end my race.  I did however have a few minor issues, but none of them were race threatening, more of an annoyance.  My bike computer gave up on me at about the 10km mark – it kept telling me I was doing 14 km/hour, which was fine, except I was going down a hill and it fell more like 41km/hour.  When I got to the turn-around point I actually turned if off; it was more of an annoyance than a help.  I then tried to calculate my time to transition based on my watch time.  My Garmin also stopped reading distance after the swim, giving me only the time. Thankfully that was enough on the day.

Then the actual race:

The swim was ok, I am not good at going straight and try to avoid the crowds so swim wide – this meant that according to my Garmin I actually swam 2.3km. The final bouy also moved and ended up on the beach.  I was a little surprised when a wave crashed on my head as I rounded it and my first though was oh crap this is going to be a long 100m if I need to swim it with waves crashing on me all the time, and then I saw the girl next to me stand up. It was waist deep.  My thoughts then were off relief.  I did not have any further to swim.  My swim time – 44:36

I heard later that two men died on the swim.  It is very sad, imagine your son, father or husband (or wife, mother, daughter) goes off to race a triathlon and does not come back.  Chances are you are also going to be there watching.  It must be devastating and my thoughts are with those families.

The Bike – besides my bike computer not working I had fun.  It was not nearly as bad as I expected, and although I could have done without the headwind we faced heading back I enjoyed it.  I was so happy to reach the turn-around in a decent time that I burst into tears.  I knew that that bar any issues it was do able.  My only other problem in the bike was my sunscreen got into my eyes and they started to burn (probably because of the tears earlier).  I could not see a thing and it looked like I was bawling my eyes out.  Luckily it happened near the end and just before the horrid hill everyone was telling me about.  I think it distracted me as I did not notice the hill.  I guess not being able to see can do that to you.

Then the run… The whole time I had been thinking – as long as I can get to the run I’ll be fine. Well I got to the run and it SUCKED!  I just could not run.  My legs just did not want to run – they wanted to walk.  It was hot and I was tired.  I think I must have pretty much walked the whole 1st 10km.  Luckily as I passed the 11km mark everything seemed to click into place and I started to run again.  Besides Bunkers Hill (which is not nice) I pretty much ran the whole of the last 10km and I loved it.  I finished on such a high, and was smiling and happy, although if I look at the finish photos my sister-in-law took I don’t look that smiley.  I look like “where the hell is the line”, but at least my hair looked good (not).  And few seconds after I crossed the line the tears started again.

So as I a round up – I loved it.  I will do it again!  Can I say that I will train more, nope, probably not?  I am very happy with how this race went considering my serious lack of cycle and swim training, who knew that muscle memory is there.  I do think that the trail running has helped a lot though.

So to everyone that supported me and cheered – at the side-lines or from afar, thank you very much.  I really appreciate it!  It means a lot to me.

Ironman 70.3 South Africa

Ironman 70.3 South Africa

Essential Ironman Preparation

There is a lot that goes into getting ready for an Ironman or ½ Ironman race.  Obviously there are the months and months of training and the mental preparation.  That we all know about, but once you have done that there is so much more to do.  I am talking about the more important stuff!  The stuff that really matters on race day – like ensuring your toenails are painted (preferably matching your bike), your legs and under arms are shaved or waxed and your hair is done.  In my case when I say done I mean coloured.  Horror of horrors, your finish photo has the grey showing!  So, to ensure that this disaster does not befall me I am off to an emergency appointment with my hair dresser this afternoon.

A few weeks ago I realised that my next appointment was only after the 20th I called him in a panic and asked if he could please, please, please squeeze me in beforehand.  He laughed and said yes, and I was the 2nd person that week to phone him for the exact same reason.

Very glad to see that we PE athletes have our priorities straight!

 

Ready or not!

Ironman 70.3 is next weekend and I am not going to lie, the bike cut off is going to be a bit tight if not damn near impossible.

I have not cycled nearly enough (when do I ever?) and I have done ZERO hill training.  Yikes.  Here is a quick breakdown of my cycle uhhh training (cough).

I have done 10 or so training rides on the roads, only one of which was slightly longer than 60km – but not much….  The rest were all about 45km.  I have only done one ride that included hills (4 small hills to be exact) and a few rides (half hearted) on an indoor trainer.  I have also done 3 triathlons (sprint distance….).  Those of you who are also doing the 70.3 or who have done it in the past can stop rolling around on the floor laughing please.

Will I finish Ironman 70.3 in East London – I sure as hell hope so.  For some strange reason I am more confident going in this year than I was last year.  Not sure exactly why though – I think it is due to the fact that I have not had the opportunity to realise just how bad it actually is going to be.  Last year I rode a lot more, we did a lot of hills and I knew it was going to be tough – this year I am relying on muscle memory and a strong mind.  Last year though I only rode – I did not do much running or swim training.  I had not done many (any) sea swims.  This year, as long as I can actually get to the run, I should be fine.  In fact my main goal for this year is to start the damn race!

I am much more excited this year than last – I have up’ed my vitamin intake. Actually I have up’ed the entire family’s vitamin intake.  I am not taking any chances this time.  I have also booked myself a hotel room close to the start and have told Mr OL he and Little OL need to find somewhere else to stay that night (callous I know!)  Ok, don’t’ look at me like that – Mr OL is from East London and his friends and family are fighting over who gets them for the night (or at least that is what I am telling myself to alleviate the guilty feelings)

So – this time next week we, along with loads of other nervous and excited athletes will be heading to East London.  I cannot wait!  Please wish me luck if you see me, unless you have a sniffle – then please stay away….

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