Posted in Cycling, Hobie Beach, Ocean Racing Series, Ordinarylife, Running, Swimming, Trail Running, Training, Triathlon, Wetsuit

No excuses!

Sporty or active residents of Port Elizabeth and surrounds (and those visiting over the holidays) have NO reason to complain that there is “nothing to do”.  In fact the list is so extensive you actually now have to pick and choose.

I have decided to compile a little list here just to highlight exactly how much is going on in PE over the next month or so.  And these are only the ones that I know about.  If you have an event in the area over the holidays you can let me know and I will add it to the list.

Triathlon

Summer Series   

16th December 2012 – PORT ELIZABETH (Competed)

23th December 2012 – POLLOK BEACH  (Competed)

26th December 2012 – PORT ST FRANCIS

The races are sprint distance – so 750m swim, 20km cycle and a 5km run.  It can be done as an individual or as a team.  There is also a run, swim run event which will be held at Port Elizabeth and Pollok Beach events.

Website for more info:  Zports Summer Tri Series

Trail Running

15 December  Van Der Kemp’s Kloof Trail Run

Organised by the Malabar Athletics Club – Starts at 8:00 am, at Van Der Kemp’s Kloof, Water Road, Bethelsdorp

Distances 16km, 5km, 3km

Website for more info:  Van Der Kemp’s Kloof Trail Run  and Malabar AC Facebook Page 

15 December        Discovery Beach Marathon

18 km St Francis to Jeffrey’s bay (3km on tar road followed by 15 km along beach (including a river crossing)

Website for more info: Sunflower Discovery Beach Run

17 December        Cape Recife Trail Run  (Competed)

5km, 10 km and 20km options

Website for more info: Cape Recife Trail Run

Every Thursday – Sixty Minutes of Mayhem

Held every Thursday night at 6pm, run as many loops of 2.6km as you can in 60 minutes.

Website for more info:  Sixty Minutes of Mayhem

Every (or most) Wednesday nights

An informal training run in Baakens Valley starting at Bridge Street, meeting at 5:15 – 10km.

Website for more info:  Free Spirit Adventures – Facebook page

Open Water Swimming

Ocean Racing Series (ongoing – and competed in a few)

Every alternate Sunday at Hobie Beach –starting again on 13 January 2013.

Website for more info: Ocean Racing Series

22 & 23 December – Marina Mile

Held in Marina Martinque with various distances from 25km (ouch) to 500m.  There is more information on their website with regards to the different distances.

Website for more info: Marina Mile

31 December – Nelson Mandela Bay Mile  (Competed)

A one mile (1.6km) swim from Humewood Beach to Kings Beach (one way)

Website for more info:  Nelson Mandela Bay Mile

Mountain Biking

Every Thursday – Sixty Minutes of Mayhem

Held every Thursday night, ride as many loops of 3.1km as you can in 60 minutes.

Website for more info:  Sixty Minutes of Mayhem

17 December – Hopewell Open Day Ride

Starting at 8:00 am and held in conjunction with Masters and Ladies Cycle club, there are various distances from 12km to 30 km.

Website for more info:  Masters and Ladies Facebook page

 So now you have absolutely NO excuse not to put on your running shoes, dust of your bike or put on a swim cap and goggles.  Get out there and do something this festive season.  (then no guilt for that extra Christmas Mince Pie)

Facebook pages to like if you want to keep informed of events in this area.

Trail Busters

Mountain Events

Nelson Mandela Bay Events

Trail Running EC

Swimming Plus

Go Trail Editor

Zports

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Posted in 30 Days of Gratitude, Hobie Beach, Ordinarylife, Port Elizabeth, Running, Shark Rock Pier, Training

30 Days of Gratitude – Day 21 – Day 23

Day 21 – I am grateful that FINALLY I have the keys to my property. The tenant has moved out and no damage has been done – except for dent in my pocket the size of a couple of month’s rent.

Day 22 – I am just grateful in general.  I am not sure if I am a lucky person, or just choose not to focus on the negative but generally stuff is good and I am grateful for that.

Day 23 – today I am just grateful it is Friday!

Here is another picture of Port Elizabeth, Hobie Beach.  It was taken from the balcony of our running club on Tuesday night after the run.  Seriously can the view get any better?  I don’t think so!  Body Concept must have one of the best views and locations of any running club in the world!

Hobie Beach, Port Elizabeth
Posted in 30 Days of Gratitude, Hobie Beach, Ordinarylife, Port Elizabeth, Running, South Africa, Training

30 Days of Gratitude – Day 12 & Day 13

Day 12 – I am grateful for the view from the premises where our running club has it club house.  Who would not be inspired to run here!  And to top it all of it was as stunning evening!

Hobie Beach – Port Elizabeth
Port Elizabeth – from Shark Rock Pier, Hobie Beach

 

Day 13 – for the opportunities that modern technology bring, making it possible to meet and connect with people that you would have never met in real life.

Posted in Hobie Beach, Ironman, Ordinarylife, Swimming, Training, Triathlon, Wetsuit

Corporate Challenge

I know that there are many people in Port Elizabeth who complain about Ironman, about the road closures and the cyclists.  I understand (not really) their frustration however instead of sitting “trapped” in their houses why not get out and be part of it. Go to the nearest closed off road and see why and what is actually going on.  It might put it into perspective.  Or not…

For me I love it, I love the atmosphere and the build-up.  I love that they include so many people in various events before the “main” event on Sunday.  There is so much going on and most of PE’s people have really taken to it.  On the Friday they have the IronGirl, a 10km run.  On Saturday they have the Corporate Challenge as well as the Pritt IronKids.  I believe that both the Corporate Challenge and the IronKids are the largest of their kind around the world.

With the Corporate Challenge you can either choose to do it as a team event or as an individual.  I chose to do it as an individual as did one of the other ladies in our office.  We also entered a team.  It was the other girl’s first triathlon and a very good one to start with.  There are loads of people on mountain bikes, it is shorter than a sprint, people are not so concerned over their times and the support is fantastic.

With our medals

I totally loved it.  I am fitter than I thought and the weather and the sea were fantastic.

The distances are 10% of a full Ironman so:

380m Swim

18km Cycle

4.2 km Run

 

Posted in Family, Hobie Beach, Ordinarylife, Port Elizabeth, Running, Shark Rock Pier

I love Public Holidays!

On Tuesday, 16 June it was Youth Day in South Africa and this is how I spent it.

Sunrise at Hobie Beach
Sunrise at Hobie Beach

 

In the morning I woke up early and went for a run.  The sun rise over the sea was awesome, the run was great and the company was fantastic.  For somebody who has enjoyed running alone all these years, I have certainly gotten into group runs.  It was great fun, very social and the perfect way to start the day.  There were about 10 people running, one of whom was my brother.  There was also a couple and their 2 kids and another girl who pushed her 12 week old baby in jogging stroller.  We started at Hobie Beach and ran along the beachfront and round the back of the University.  We planned on going in the back gate, through the Varsity and back to the beachfront.  When we got to the gate though it was locked.  No problem, we all climbed over, passing kids, babies, prams and bikes over.

 

In the afternoon Mr OL and I went to watch the Southern Kings play the British and Irish Lions at our new stadium.  I think more people went to see the stadium that actually wanted to watch the game.  Besides being VERY cold it was great.  The stadium was very impressive!  I am very impressed.  They might need to work on their security a bit though.  After the game armed robbers came in and robbed the bar of the takings.  Here are some photos of the stadium.

 

All in all it was a fantastic way to spend a Tuesday.

Me - at the Stadium
Me - at the Stadium

 

Mr OL in front of the stadium
Mr OL in front of the stadium

 

Inside looking out towards the harbour
Inside looking out towards the harbour
NMB Stadium
NMB Stadium
Posted in Hobie Beach, Ordinarylife, Port Elizabeth, Running, Shark Rock Pier, South Africa, Training

Creature of habit?

On Tuesday night I went and ran with the running club again.  It reminds me how much I miss running along the beachfront.  This is the view from the club house and was taken just before we went for a run. 

Perfect winter evening in PE
Perfect winter evening in PE

It was a stunning evening, if a little cold (as far as PE goes). 

We did 10km, mostly in the dark.  I think I must be a creature of habit, because even though I was running in a group I realized half way through that I had still brought my pepper spray? 

This photo is pretty much taken from the same place as my header.  Why is it that the sea is perfect when I am not planning on swimming?

Posted in Hobie Beach, Ironman, Ordinarylife, Port Elizabeth, Shark Rock Pier, South Africa, Swimming, Training, Triathlon, weather, Wetsuit

Race Day – The swim

I woke up and everything was fine!  For about 10 minutes, then I seized up again. CRAP, CRAP, CRAP!  But as I had woken up fine I decided that it was NOT an injury, I must just be stressed and as soon as I stood on the start it would go away.  However, just incase, I stretched LOTS, I took a couple of anti-inflammatories, and I said LOTS of prayers to just about anybody who I thought might be listening.  Luckily it was not nearly as bad as the day before and I figured the swim would probably loosen it up if nothing else helped.

 

After waking up at 4:00am, I made myself breakfast of Instant ACE porridge (my favourite prerace meal), a banana and a meal replacement shake.  One good thing about having to check your bike and transition bags in the day before is that you have less to worry about in the morning.  Basically the only things you need to take with you are your swimming stuff and your nutrition.  I had heard the weather was going to be HOT, so I was hoping that I had enough liquids.

 

I met my mom and sister down at the start.  My sister and I went to check on our bikes and put our food in the relevant bags.  It was still dark but the atmosphere was awesome.  There was not a breath of wind… and it was already HOT!  The sea was FLAT and it looked perfect!  After soaking up the atmosphere for a bit we put on our wetsuits.  We met up with another of my friends and the 3 of us headed down to the beach.  On the beach at the start they have signs for where you should stand, depending on how fast you are expecting to swim.  My friend and I decided to stand in front of the sub 1 hour 20 sign.  My sister decided to stand near the 1 hour 40 sign, so I said good bye and good luck to her. 

 

Standing on the beach at the start is amazing.  The African drummers are playing and it almost feels like your heart beats to their beat.  Then the helicopters arrive.  This time there were 3 of them, just hovering out over the ocean, just past the breakers.  There were also boats in the water.  It really makes you realise that this is a big race and you are part of it.  And what do you know, standing there on the start my neck was fine……….

 

Just before the start, Me, my sister and Terri
Just before the start, Me, my sister and Terri

 

My plan for the swim was to stay far right, so I did not get tangled up in the mass of swimmers.  Go wide round the buoys and keep a consistent pace.  I was not really sure of what time to expect.  On my pre race target I had said 1 hour 30, but was really hoping for 1 hour 20 or less.  I knew that is what I could do easily in the pool for that distance and was sure I would not be that far off in the sea.  The swim is two loops, each loop is 1.9km.  Between loops there is a short run out the water, along the beach and back into the sea.  I checked my time at that split and I did the first loop in 37 minutes.  My over all time was 1hour 14, which means I did an equal time for both loops.  At least I knew then that I was swimming consistently and had not slowed for my second loop. 

 

It was interesting swimming amongst all those people and even though I kept to my plan of staying out of the fray I did catch some of it.  Although I think I accidently gave more than I got.  I think somewhere along the way I really walloped somebody – if it was you, sorry.  Somebody else did get me back though.  Someone bit my foot (or I kicked them in the mouth but I am opting to believe that they bit me) my thought at the time was; “hmmm, that was teeth, but seeing as my foot is still there I am going to assume it was not a shark”.  Odd the things you think about when you are swimming. 

 

So I was off to a good start!  My swim time was 1 hour 14 minutes 47 seconds.  Better than I was hoping for.  Woo Hoo, but not a time to get excited.  It was just the start to a very hot and long day.

 

Me - finishing the swim
Me - finishing the swim

 

In transition I stripped out my wetsuit and costume and put on my tri shorts and top.  I also made sure that one of the volunteers COVERED me from head to toe in sunscreen.  Even the places that you think you would not burn.  I learnt the hard way last time and still have the scars two years later.  Then I head out to get my bike.  1 leg down, 2 to go……

Posted in Cycling, Hiking Trails, Hobie Beach, Ironman, Ordinarylife, Port Elizabeth, Running, Shark Rock Pier, South Africa, Swimming, Training, Triathlon, Tsitsikamma Hiking Trail, weather, Wetsuit

Finally – some info on Ironman

The problem with being away from the internet for so long, especially when so much is going on that I want to write down everything but can’t. Also it would make for rather boring and confusing reading.

 

So, the summary is:

 

My sister arrived safe and sound.

I completed Ironman

I went hiking

 

Yes, this has been a busy week.

 

 

I will start with Ironman! 

 

WOOOO HOOOO, I think I am still grinning from ear to ear.  Although on the day before the race I was anything but grinning. Infact I was feeling rather panicked and nearly burst into tears! 

 

Everything was going fine; I did not think I was nervous at all.  I knew I had prepared well, my transition bags were almost packed and I had ticked most of the things of my to-do list and my sister and I decided to go and watch the MTN Corporate Ironman Triathlon which is held the day before the main event.  It is 10% of the Ironman distance and can be a team event.  It is quite fun to watch and we had quite a few friends that were taking part.  We figured we had better go and cheer them on because we knew that they would be cheering for us the following day.

 

Well, just as I picked up my bag and walked out the house my entire neck, left shoulder, arm and back seized up.  I had done NOTHING and here I suddenly could not move.  I got to my mom and sister in the car and I was in PAIN!  I did not know what to do, but figured it might just go back to normal.  I mean I had not done anything so it could not be an injury…… Could it?????  So we went down to the beach front and it was not getting any better.  I was beginning to get rather stressed.  I had prepared so well for this race and now….  What the HELL was going on.  I was just felt nauseous with worry and did not know what to do.  All I wanted to do was go home crawl into my bed and cry but I knew that was not going to do any good.  I also remembered that at the Ironman Expo there were Physiotherapists giving massages.  Maybe that would help.  I had also been training with a girl who is a chiropractor and knew that if I really was in trouble she would help me out.  I phoned her and asked if she thought I should go for a massage and what advice she could give me.  She said massage, stretch, ice and if it did not get better then I would see her at the race briefing in a couple of hours and we could see then. 

 

Unfortunately the massages were fully booked – more panic.  Luckily my sister’s friend is a sports therapist and lived just around the corner from the beach.  She called him and he said to come round and he would see if he could help.  Thank you, thank you thank you!!!!!  He massaged my neck and shoulder and it loosened up quite a bit.  I put ice and heat on it when I got home and figured it was a lot better.  Hopefully a good night’s sleep would help.  I was VERY worried though.  Also I felt very guilty bugging these people as they also all had to prepare for the race.

 

When I woke up in the morning it was fine…. for a whole 10 minutes and then I seized up again.  CRAP!!!  Not good.  But I figured it must just be stress, or at least that was what I was convincing myself it was.  I mean if it was a real injury then it would not have been fine when I would up???  It would be FINE as soon as I was on the start line.  It just had to be.

Posted in Hobie Beach, Ironman, Ordinarylife, Port Elizabeth, Shark Rock Pier, South Africa, Training, Triathlon

13 Days

13 Days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Woo hooo……………….

 

I went down to the beachfront on Friday and they have started building the scaffolding and stuff that will be the walk ways over roads, that will mark off the transition areas and various other things.  The flag poles along Shark Rock Pier (yes, unfortunate name) are up and it is all VERY, VERY exciting.

 

When it gets this close I miss not living down at the beach front.  You can almost feel the excitement building, even amongst those people that are not competing.  I know some people who have booked hotel rooms down on the course for that weekend just so they will be down there early and have a good vantage point.

 

Can you tell I am getting excited?  I think I might just have to start taking my Rescue Remedy soon or I am not going to get any sleep or be able to eat anything! 

Posted in Hobie Beach, Ironman, Ordinarylife, Port Elizabeth, Shark Rock Pier, South Africa, Swimming, Training, Triathlon, Wetsuit

Memories……

It is weird how you remember stuff from your childhood.  Things that you have overheard and at the time had no bearing on your life what so ever!  Or maybe that is just me?

 

I remember arb stuff. 

 

Like a conversation that two older guys(they were probably only about 18 or 19) were having about girls who shaved their legs and how far up a girl should shave – I was no where near the age of where I would have started shaving my legs but for some reason that conversation stuck.  I can’t remember the names of the guys, but I can remember the conversation very clearly and have not shaved my legs any further than they suggested was sexy….. Luckily I don’t have very hairy legs.

 

Another conversation I overheard when I was a child came flooding back yesterday – at the MOST inopportune time.  My parents had friends that used to race Hobie Cats (ever wondered how Hobie Beach got its name?)  The conversation I overheard was about how every time they went out they would see Hammerhead sharks circling the “coke can”.  So when did I remember this conversation, hmmmm possibly last night as I was a kilometer out to sea and SWIMMING around the “coke can”.  The “coke can’ is a large metal buoy painted in the colours of – well a coke can.  It has been an icon off our coast for as long as I can remember but not one I usually chose to swim around. 

(click HERE for a link to a photo of the coke can) 

Hobie Beach, when there were still Hobie Cats on it
Hobie Beach, when there were still Hobie Cats on it

 

 

The swim went well though, even if I was slightly concerned… The sea was really cold but flat and clear and I loved it.  It is an annual swim for Ironman entrants and I would say there were probably around about 80 – 100 people swimming.  It is free to enter and they always have excellent speakers, LOTS of free food and really good lucky draw prizes – of which I won NONE! 

 

Raynard Tissink is a past winner of Ironman South Africa, a local and was one of the speakers last night.  I really hope he wins again this year (I bet he does too).  He has such support from the local community and it is always good to see a local win it.  Although it looks like he will have serious competition this year again, 2 other past winners competing.  Good luck to him, I will be holding thumbs!!!!  OK, maybe not literally as I will be too busy talking part, but will wish him well as he laps me (twice) on the bike.