Posted in Charity, hiking, Hiking Trails, Ordinarylife, Port Elizabeth, Running, South Africa, Trail Running, Training, Training

The Rhino Run 2013

On Sunday there were various Rhino Runs held around the country and there were 2 to choose from in our area. One at Kenton-on-Sea and the other at Crossways Village near Van Standens. I did that one. It was a lot closer to town, and I love that area.

(Its an annual event – so next year why not find one in your area.

Photo by Willi Lawson
Photo by Willi Lawson

As you know, I have not been running much lately, my furthest run as been 11km so I was not really sure what distance I should enter. There was a 6km, a 12 km and a 20km. As I have the Dryland coming up in November and I really need to get some distance in I chose the 20km. Yikes!!! But it was fine. Or at least it was fun up until my Garmin said I had already done 20km then my mind said I needed to stop. Those last 1.8km were tough!!!

The view from the top
The view from the top

All in all though it was a stunning race – tough but stunning. You know you are not out for a walk in the park when at the race briefing they say “and then you run around and up the back, over the top then down the front of Lady’s Slipper Mountain to the finish”! When “hilly course” and “over the mountain” are mentioned in the same race briefing you know you are in for some fun!!!

Photo by Willi Lawson
Photo by Willi Lawson

You see the “hill” behind me…. Yip, I had just run over it! (this was also at the 20km and the legs fell off in about 5 steps from here……)  EDIT: I think this might be the first photo of me EVER where both feet are off the ground at the same time and I actually look like I am doing something resembling running!

I managed it in just under 3 hours and was extremely happy with that time (I even stopped and took a couple of photos). Even if I had been training it is pretty much what I would have expected. In fact it is a lot better than some of my runs of a similar distance. I am now very excited for the Dryland – I know I need to work on hills a bit more but my foot gave me no hassles when I was running and I am loving my new trail shoes – (Innov8)

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Posted in Baby OL, Children, Family, hiking, Hiking Trails, Ironman, Medal Displays, Medal Hangers, My New Business, Ordinarylife, Parenting, Running, SA Medal Hangers, South Africa, Trail Running

Hitting the trails

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(I love this picture – all lined up to wave goodbye as Mr OL leaves for work)

 

I have started running regularly again and I am happy girl.

This past weekend I did the Sunshine Coast Trail Run and it was awesome. I even managed to be sensible about the whole thing and restrict myself to the 8km option. There was a 20km but I figured that was pushing it a bit and one sure fire way to get injured again, so sanity prevailed. I did this race last year as well, and although I thought I was way fitter last year I found this year easier. Maybe I went slower. I think I walked pretty much the same amount.

However, sanity can only prevail for so long though and I have entered the 20km Rhino Run to be held on the 22 September…… To those of you that have not heard of the Rhino Run, you should look into it. They are held all around the country at the same time in aid off – yip Rhinos. There are even 3 options in the Eastern Cape, one at Crossways, and one at Kenton and one at East London, so no excuses (if you like trail running). There are 6km, 12km and 20km options. (You can enter the PE one HERE)
Then the Fairview Dryland is getting closer and closer! I am getting more and more excited and nervous! But I figure I will be walking most of those hills no matter how fit I am so I may as well look at it as a bit of hike and less of a run…….
Next weekend it is also the Urban Run. That is my all-time favourite fun event. I LOVE it. I am so glad that I will be able to do it as I was getting rather nervous that my foot would be ok. Looks like it will be fine.
OK, enough updates for now.
Wait – one more.     I have been getting customer photos for SA Medal Hangers and it has been so much fun to see everybody’s medals. Can I just say I am loving this!  I have put the photos upon Facebook – go have a look.  Such awesome achievements. I get excited for them.  Look at all those Ironman SA medals

SA Medal Hangers
SA Medal Hangers
Posted in hiking, Medal Displays, Medal Hangers, Running, Trail Running, Training

A Park Run and a Trail Run

I ran this weekend.

I don’t know how wise it was but I was going stir crazy not running, my foot is just getting more and more painful and I figured “what the hell” Resting it does not seem to be working anyway, it’s been 12 weeks of almost no running.

I might have slightly over done it by doing two races but still….

On the Saturday I did the Hobie Beach Park Run.  They are awesome and what a fantastic idea!  5 km held in a park or open area, you register once, get a bar code then just arrive.  No matter where you are in South Africa you can just rock up with your bar-code at the local one.  If you are a Discovery member you get 500 points and as long as you have registered that on the system then the points are automatically updated.  Each race is timed and so you can gauge your progress…. And best of all the FREE!  They are very popular.  Here is the link to the Park Run SA!

On Sunday I did a trail run.  11km which I said I would walk but once out there I ran quite a bit of it anyway.  Well the parts that were not up a steep hill, or down a steep hill, or where the view was stunning, or where it was too rocky (ok, there was a lot of walking)  At one stage I had to give myself a bit of pep talk about all the photo taking.  I knew it was bad when I thought about taking photos of the fynbos….

But OH MY GOODNESS!!!!!!!  The views were STUNNING (yes all the caps are necessary).  I only had my phone with me but even with that I got some decent photos – more to do with the scenery than my photography skills.

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I can’t believe that an area like this is so close to PE.  I absolutely love mountains (and the sea, but this post is about mountains)

And the good news is that I don’t think I killed my foot – it is no worse today than it was on Friday.  Yippee – I am going to start training again.  I have 2 months left before the Fairview Dryland Traverse!  I will worry more about it after that.

And just incase you haven’t figured it out it – I was the girl there promoting her stainless steel medal hangers……. SA Medal Hangers

Posted in Baby OL, Children, Family, hiking, Hiking Trails, Ordinarylife, Parenting, Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Starting young

I took a couple of days leave last week to spend the last few days of holidays with Little OL and boy was it FUN!  Time flew.  I am not sure I could ever be a “stay at home” mom, but days when I don’t have to go into work are pure joy.  (who am I kidding I could totally be a stay at home mom)

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While off I wanted to do some active stuff with Little OL – she is becoming a bit of a couch potato and I don’t like it.  Unfortunately during the holidays the nanny has been putting her in front of the TV and that is pretty much where she stays – given the option though she would rather be doing something else, so I made sure we did “something else”.

I roped my mom in and we went out.

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My mom is always up for a trip somewhere and on Thursday she suggested we go and climb Lady’s Slipper.  It is a hill just outside PE that my mom climbs regularly but I have never done before.  I was definitely keen!  It was awesome, we did not go all the way up, as I did not want to have to worry about Little OL and her safety, so as soon as it started getting a bit rocky and steep we stopped.  Saying that we still got more than ½ way up.  I loved it and Little OL is still bragging to anyone that will listen that she climbed a mountain.

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It was pretty cool having all 3 generations walking up the hill together and hopefully it was the first of many hikes that we will all do together.  My mom and I used to hike quite a bit together before Little OL was born, and now that she is getting older hopefully I will be able to get back into it.  I think I have mentioned before that for my mom’s 60th Birthday my mom, sister and I climbed Kilimanjaro…… Let’s see what Little OL and I will do to celebrate my 60th…. (thank fully still quite a few years away.

Kilimanjaro Summit 2005
Kilimanjaro Summit 2005

It felt really good to get my hiking boots on again!

Posted in Baby OL, Children, Family, hiking, Ordinarylife, Parenting, Running, Training

Starting the year with a PB

My first race of the year went a whole lot better than my first race of last year – I am hoping that this is a sign of good things to come!

On Saturday my sister and I travelled through to Jeffery’s Bay to do the Woodlands Dairy 15km road race.  It went very well and as I passed the 5km mark I realised that it was my fasted 5km ever.  I also realised that those 5km’s were all downhill.  As it turns out the first 8km are all pretty much downhill.  That meant that the next 7 would all be up hill and I was expecting it to all turn pear shaped!  Well, they went a whole lot better than expected.  I walked only once (good for me on hills) and hit very close to a PB (Personal Best – for those non-runners) at the 10km mark and ended with a PB of over 2 minutes for 15km.  Ah happiness.

But, my running for the day was not over.  I bought Little OL a new pair of takkies earlier in the week and she has declared that they are her running shoes and that she now needs to run with mom.  When I got home we put them on, some shorts and tied her hair in to a pony. We then went for a “run” together – all the way around the block.  It was so cute!  She wanted to hold my hand and at the end asked for a high five! We really want to encourage the belief that sport is something you do for life and not just at school because it’s compulsory.  I hope that by the example we are setting she sees sport is something to be enjoyed and embraced.  I am very fortunate that my mom is still very active.  She still competes in races, goes on hikes and walks etc.  I have a great example that you are never too old, and hopefully I can pass this on as well.  That would be my best.

 

Posted in 30 Days of Gratitude, Family, hiking, Ordinarylife, Women

30 Days of Gratitude – Days 7, 8 & 9

Day 7 – I am grateful for my health.  I have a cold/flu at present but at least they are rare and don’t usually hit me that hard.

Day 8 – I am grateful for finding a hair stylist that not only makes me look good, but also keeps me in stiches of laughter while I am there.  I have been going to the same person to have my hair cut for 11 years.  After much insisting on his behalf last year I finally let him colour my hair as well.  Oh, the joys!  After many, many years using a box to colour my hair I am so grateful to have somebody else do it for me.

Day 9 – I am grateful for ALL the wonderful women in my life.  One of whom I have only recently met but is a true inspiration, the more I know about her the more blown away I am!  Also, my sister who phoned me all the way from Australia today – YAY.  And of course my mom – an unbelievable woman who celebrated her 60th Birthday by climbing Kili (in 2005). She truly is remarkable

My sister, mom and I celebrating my mom”s 60th Birthday on the top of Kilimanjaro in 2005.
Posted in hiking, Ordinarylife, Port Elizabeth, Running, South Africa

Ouch, why don’t we work on the ground floor?

Wow, that was fun and tough and beautiful and tough!  I am aching in places I did not really know I had places. 

I think the race was only about 10km but was about 95% on hiking trails.  It took me 1hour31, the slowest I have ever done 10km.  It was really beautiful, although some of the hills were so steep in places that I went down them on my bottom, but then I am really bad at down hills.  I did realise at the time that what goes down must go up and wow, it had me clinging to branches of trees praying they were stingy and wishing I had my hiking poles with me.  But thankfully there was only one section like that.  The rest was a bit more undulating.  

It was run at a private school, Woodridge, just outside Port Elizabeth that has the most amazing campus.  I was so happy just to be doing something again.  And I did not come last!!!!  

It would be nice if there were more trail runs done in our area, I really enjoyed it. There is another one in 2 weeks time in the same area, but they said it is going to be tougher….. Yikes, I think I might be busy that day.

Posted in hiking, Hiking Trails, Ordinarylife, Plettenberg Bay, Robberg Hike, South Africa

Awesome weekend planned!

I am very excited for this weekend. 

I have made plans to meet up with a friend that I have not seen since 1999.  

We first met in 1993 whilst working at the same place in Cape Town.  In 1994 we briefly shared a flat until I decided to go travelling and moved to London.  In 1997 she also decided to move to London and we once again briefly shared a flat.  I left (notice a trend) later that same year to go travelling.  

She still lives in the UK and besides a brief visit to Scotland in 1999 when we met up I have not seen her since. 

She is in South Africa visiting family in the Garden Route at the moment and we have decided to try and meet half way – PLETTENBERG BAY.  I can’t wait.  We are just going to go through for the day tomorrow but it should be awesome.  

Not only am I going to meet up with her but I also get to see one of my favourite places on earth!  I love the Garden Route and she and I used to spend a lot of time there.  It will be like old times – except that we are both 16 years older, married, she has a 6month old baby and I am 9 months pregnant. As I said – just like old times.

Reasons why I love PLETT! (photos taken when we did the Robberg Hike in Novemeber 2008)

Robberg in Plett November 2008
Robberg - Plettenberg Bay.
Posted in Cycling, hiking, Ironman, Morning Sickness, Ordinarylife, Pregnancy, Running, Swimming, Training, Triathlon, Wetsuit, Whale Trail, Women

Exercise and Pregnancy.

I decided to do a post about exercising and pregnancy.  Now as a disclaimer before I write I want to reiterate that I am NOT medically qualified.  Do NOT take what I write as the only way to do things and most importantly before starting (or continuing) an exercise program when pregnant CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR!!! 

That said: 

Mr OL and I decided that we would start trying to have a baby after we had been married a year – which was in August 2008.  I was quite into triathlons and running was worried that if I fell pregnant I would need to stop doing this.  So I started looking online for examples of people who had run through their pregnancy, what their experiences were and how long they were able to keep running.  I also spoke to a number of running friends and found out about their experiences. 

I also found some blogs of girls that were triathletes and moms and read what they had done.  Some good examples that I found were Bree Wee, Mama Simmons and Rachel’s blog, Run like a MotherBree Wee is a professional triathlete and her blog is very informative (and fun to read).  Mama Simmon’s has a few links to girls that were pregnant at the same time as her and continuted running.  I also went onto various forums to see what else I could find out.  In the mean time I started training for Ironman South Africa (and hoped to hell I did not fall pregnant as it grew closer and closer to the race).  Luckily I am good at counting so odds were against it. 

After IM we all know what happened.  One of the first things one of MR OL’s friends said to me was “now you have to stop all that nonsense.”  Cough, cough uhhh ‘scuse me!!!  No I don’t.  Just because I am pregnant does not mean that need to stop anything.  I bought James Clapp’s book “Exercising through your pregnancy” and started reading. 

Here is what I found out (remember that this is only my interpretation of what I have read).  Running is fine, swimming is fine, dancing is fine (except I have no rhythm and being pregnant is not going to help), aerobics is fine (except see previous post), cycling is fine and so is pretty much everything else with moderation.  With the exception of deep sea diving and high altitudes if you don’t already live up there.  Cycling is also not advised as your pregnancy progresses but just because your centre of balance is off and you might fall (or I might fall as I wobble a bit anyway). 

You can carry on running (or whatever) right through your pregnancy – with the consent of your doctor.  However if it is a low risk, normal pregnancy there should be no problems.  Obviously doing a marathon at high speed is not advised.  But your normal jog around the block(s) is actually recommended.  That old rule of not getting your heart rate above 140 has gone out the window.  Now it is recommend that you go on Rate of Perceived Exertion.  Moderate to moderate/hard is recommend.  Basically you should be able to hold a conversation (with a bit of puffing).  Just as well that HR thing went out the window, mine gets up there just buy walking around the block (I have a high HR what can I say). 

Now to the interesting things I found out while reading James Clapp’s book.  People who exercised throughout their pregnancy picked up less weight, delivered babies that had a lower fat percentage (but were the same size atomically) and were less likely to deliver late.  There were no instances were exercise had caused a baby to be born prematurely or that exercising had caused any other problems.  In fact babies of mothers who exercised were more able to cope with trauma’s during pregnancy like dehydration or hemorrhaging because the placenta was better developed.  The most interesting fact that I picked up though was of mothers who had exercised then stopped in the 3rd trimester.  Their weight caught up to and sometimes exceeded the mothers that had not exercised at all.  Their babies were quite a bit fatter and they were more likely to deliver late.  It seems to me that either exercise or don’t – but don’t’ stop ½ way!!! 

He also found that exercising moms coped better with labour, but that it did not affect duration. 

The risks people associate with exercising are that the baby will overheat or that when you exercise your blood flows away from your internal organs.  Apparently your body is designed to cope with these and protects the baby.  It appears from their research that exercising moms are more able to cope with heat than non exercising (benefit to me seeing as I will be pregnant in summer) and that yes, the blood does flow away from the internal organs including the womb, but in exercising moms the placenta is better developed, the babies heart rate also increases but not dangerously so, and the baby slows down its movement while you are exercising as if to conserve energy.  From all their tests there were not instances where this caused trauma or distress to the baby. 

Obviously there are quite a few exercises and conditions in which you should not exercise, like in excessive heat or that yoga done in a hot room and stuff like that.  You also need to make sure that you don’t dehydrate (good advice for any athlete).   Also if you are a competitive athlete you will need to cut back, but for the general recreational athlete, in consultation with her doctor it seems as if running (or jumping up and down in an aerobics room) is fine.  They do recommend that towards the end you use some support of some kind because the reason most women stop is comfort.  

Now my personal experience: I was running up till 6 weeks, in fact the morning I found out I had been for a 10km run and felt great.  However the next week morning sickness hit and I just did not feel like running or doing much of anything.  So I stopped.  I have since been walking quite a bit, including a 55km 5 day hike and been for a few shorter slow runs.  I feel a lot better now and am missing it a lot.  I will start again slowly and have set myself a goal (I don’t function without them).  As far as cycling goes – I stopped the day I found out.  I don’t want to take the chance.  I am not the best cyclist and although I have not fallen a lot, I have fallen so with my balance off it would be too risky.  I might get on the stationary bike at the gym when it gets too hot to run outside.  I also can’t wait for the weekly sea swims to start again but am worried that I won’t fit into my wetsuit.  I HATE cold water.  I am going to try and run/swim for as long as I can.  Hopefully throughout my entire pregnancy.  I will let you know how it goes. 

As for my goal – it is a triathlon 2 months after the baby is born.  It is a very short one – even shorter than a sprint.  I will see how I feel (I might not want to sit on my bike just yet). 

There is so much more that I could write and probably should, but for now I am going to stop there.  If you have any questions please feel free to ask ….. your doctor!!  Or me if you want.

If you are pregnant and want to know more I would seriously recommend reading Bree Wee’s blog about when she was pregant and what she did.  Her child is now 3.

Posted in Family, hiking, Ordinarylife

GOOD LUCK SIL!!!

My sister-in-law is busy climbing Kilimanjaro as we speak.  Today is her summit attempt day and I really hope she makes it.  It will be her second attempt and she has put in a lot of preparation, walking and hiking a lot in the lead up.  Unfortunately nothing you do can prepare you for the altitude. 

To say that I am just a little bit jealous is an understatement.  I climbed it in September 2005 and it was one of the best things I have ever done and would love to do it again. 

I am wishing her all the best and I really hope that she gets to the top.  GOOD LUCK!!!

 

There is a picture on my photo’s page at the summit when I climbed it with my mom and my sister in celebration of my mom’s 60th birthday!