Posted in Ironman, My New Business, Running, Training, Training, Two Oceans

Finally I ran a (stand-alone) marathon

Yes, yes, I know – bad blogger…..
I don’t even know where to start it’s been so long and so much has happened.
I guess the first thing I should say is I LOVE WORKING FROM HOME! It is has now been 3.5 months and it still feels like I am just on a Christmas holiday… Saying that, I have NEVER been as busy (you might have guessed by the lack of blog posts….)
My word for last year was DO and I think I am going to keep it for this year too – the picture that Cat gave me is up on my office wall and I look at it daily.
Besides starting a business I had another goal for last year and that was to run a stand-alone marathon (one not in an Ironman). I did not do that before December, but I am VERY proud to announce that I have however finally done one. I have however decided I am very odd (yes, I know…. ) A stand-alone marathon has scared me. I don’t know why? I know I can do the distance, I’ve done 2 Ironman races and they have a marathon in them, so I am not sure what I was worried about – and then I entered Two Oceans and needed a marathon to qualify. Suddenly a marathon did not scare me anymore. It is just a distance I needed to run to qualify for Two Ocean – which for some reason does not scare me either. Maybe it is just that I really like a challenge. Maybe I just needed a bigger goal? Who knows – all I do know is that I have now run a stand-alone marathon (with very little training) and have qualified for Two Oceans. FUN!
Now the real training begins…..My first Ultra

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Posted in Cycling, Duathlon, Family, Ironman, Ironman 70.3, Medal Display, Medal Displays, Medal Hangers, Medals, My New Business, Ordinarylife, Running, SA Medal Hangers, Swimming, Trail Running, Training, Triathlon, Work

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

Posted in Cycling, Ironman, Medal Display, Medal Displays, Medal Hangers, Medals, My New Business, Ordinarylife, Running, SA Medal Hangers, South Africa, Trail Running, Training, Training, Triathlon, Two Oceans, Work

November – quite a month

So, its been exactly a month since my last day of official employment and BOY OH BOY what a month.  I have never been this busy or this excited or this stressed.  And I have loved it!

It started with me trying to get ready, not only for the Dryland Traverse but also the Momentum 94.7 Cycle Challenge Expo.  The timing was not good as there was no cell phone reception at the De Hoek camp site where the Dryland was based, but thankfully they had set up Wi-Fi, if a bit temperamental at times.  I was going to be away for 4 days and then back for only 1 day before leaving for Johannesburg, so I needed to get everything done before I left for the run.

I was also worried about driving from Port Elizabeth to Johannesburg by myself and then concerned about actually driving in Johannesburg.  Both of which were fine.  It took me about 80km to remember that I LOVE driving on my own.  I turned the music up to the max and had a blast.  I did get a few odd looks at some of the stop and go’s with my music rocking the Kombi. Not sure if it was the volume or my dodgy taste in music though…..

Thanks to Firefly for the recommendation on a accommodation as it was less than a kilometre from the Coca Cola dome and very easy to find when coming in from the N1.  No problems there.

Then the expo – I was not sure how it would go.  It was totally foreign territory to me.  I did not know how much stock to take, if people would buy or just want info.  I just hoped I sold some…..  which I did.  Not as much as I would have liked but the interest was high and as custom orders are our biggest seller most people wanted info to order later.   Which thankfully a lot have done.  That has totally exceeded my expectation.  In fact I am bouncing around on Cloud 9 at the moment.  I know a lot of the medal hangers ordered are for Christmas presents so January will be really quiet, but considering I have only just started I am ecstatic.

Here is a photo of the SA Medal Hangers stand at the expo.  What do you think?  As it was our first expo, I learnt a lot of stuff.  I will do the stand slightly differently next time, I will take less stock but have more staff and hopefully I will be a lot less stressed…….. Our next major expo is at the Cape Argus Cycle Tour in Cape Town in March and I can’t wait.

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Then, did anybody spot SA Medal Hangers in a few of the magazines……  We got write ups in the Runner’s World and the RIDE SA magazines .  I had sent them the info but had no idea they would use it – happiness is

SA Medal Hangers Runner's World  Gear New Stuff

So, what can I say! This has been one heck of a year.  My work goal for the year was by the end of 2013 to go half day in formal employment and to try and to have found something else on the side, which hopefully by the end of next year would be enough to take over.  Being retrenched kind of kicked that goal out the window, but it was replaced by something so much bigger.  My word for the year was DO and I think I have done just that.  2013 has one month left and I am excited for it and then even more excited for 2014!

Posted in Comrades Marathon, Duathlon, Family, Ironman, Ironman 70.3, Medal Displays, Medal Hangers, My New Business, Ordinarylife, Running, SA Medal Hangers, South Africa, Swimming, Trail Running, Training, Wetsuit, Work

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

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 30 Days of Gratitude, Art, Baby OL, Baking, Children, Family, Ironman, Ironman 70.3, Medal Displays, Medal Hangers, My Art Work, My New Business, Ordinarylife, Paintings, Parenting, Running, Sketches, Trail Running, Training

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

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

Posted in Family, Ironman, Ordinarylife

Courage, grit and determination

On Sunday the 9th  annual Ironman South Africa was held in Port Elizabet, it was also my birthday and I could not think of a better way to celebrate than to be there supporting all the amazing athletes, which is why I am struggling with the fact that somebody would target an event like the Boston Marathon.

I think that this has shocked me because it is “so close to home”.  Not obviously in a geographical way, but the fact that it is something so similar to an event that I would attend and that it is something that I would take Little OL to.  I knew people there.

My blog post about Ironman South Africa was going to be very different had I written it yesterday….

Sport is something I love, sporting events are something I love.  I see them as places of hope, and mutual support and camaraderie.  It is a lifestyle that I want Little OL to grow up knowing and want to actively encourage.  I want it to be a way of life for her as she grows up, so on Sunday I took her with to watch Ironman SA.  We were there from before the start, watching the sun come up, watching the athletes all line up on the beach. We were there for the cannon and the helicopters and the vibe.  We stayed there all day.  We watched them swim, and then cycle and then run.  We were there when the lead guys (and girls) finished and we were there as the sun was setting (and then we had to head home).  We cheered, we screamed and we encouraged.

Some of us even slept………

Future Triathlete
Future Triathlete

I love this event. There are people that take part that you think would not even be able to walk up a flight of stairs, never mind swim 3.8km, cycle 180km and then run a marathon – 42.2km.  They are not sporty. This is a challenge, a goal and a life changing event.  There are people of all sizes, and colours and shape and ethnicity.  All doing it together and being encouraged equally.  They struggle, they have moments where they swear they are not going to make it, but most do. They show the courage, grit and determination necessary.

Ironman and many other sporting events bring out the best in people.  And in the wake of the bombings at the Boston Marathon I hope that this is remembered.  My heart go out to those who lost loved ones, to the father who, while running a marathon lost his 8 year old son that was waiting for him at the finish line and to the injured.

On my next run I will be thinking of all these people.

 

Edited:  Latest newspaper reports say that the father of the 8 year old, Martin Richard was not running, but that the whole family was spectating.  His mom is in serious condition with a brain injury and his sister has lost a limb.  What ever the story my heart goes out to this entire family and the other families affected by this act of cowardice.

Posted in Ironman, Running, Training, Training, Triathlon

Corporate Ironman Challenge 2013

On Saturday morning it was the Corporate Challenge or locally known as the “Corporate Ironman”.  It is 10% of the full Ironman distance, so a 380m swim, 18km bike ride and a 4.2km run and can be done individually or as a team.  I chose to do it as an individual however, if truth be told when race day rolled around, I was not that keen.  I am not sure why?  It was not because I had not trained properly (I hardly ever do), I just was not in the mood.

Until I got down there!

I always forget how much I enjoying being part of an event of this magnitude.  I LOVE the vibe, the atmosphere, the people, the excitement and most importantly I love taking part and doing something physical.  I have not ridden my bicycle or swum since January so I was a little nervous about those, but not enough to let it worry me.  It is a short race so I could just push the bike.  I swim at the same speed not matter what.

Our company entered 3 teams and 2 individuals, me being one of the individuals.  I got down there before sunrise and racked my bike.  It was awesome watching the sun come up over the sea and was a beautiful morning.  The race starts in waves with the individual girls starting last.  It was quite nice to get to watch all the others go off first.  Boy, some of those people can swim.  Then it was us.  The sea was gorgeous although I did swallow a huge mouthful of water when the wake of a jetski hit me.  My swim was ok, not bad, not good, just ok. When I first started swimming I had as serious pain in my arm, but it is one I have had before I know that after about 50 meters or so it goes away.  I just need to play with my stroke a bit.  After the swim was the bike.  I had a good ride condidering I have not been on my bike since the 70.3 in January.  My average speed was 28 / hr and I really pushed it.  I figured the race was short enough that I would not die.  Luckily I felt good. Even going into the run I felt good. In fact I feel good pretty much the whole way.  Right up till about 60m from the end……. I know I am a little bit competitive.  I have mentioned this before.  I know it does not appear that I am, based on my times etc, but I can be.  About 600m from the end a girl passed me – I did not realise that I actually knew her, but nobody had passed me on the run and I was not going to let somebody catch me right there so I tried to keep up.  Bad idea!  I have never ever before felt that I was not going to make the finish line.  I kept up for about 550m and then it went a bit pear shaped.  I started seeing black marks and my legs turned to jelly.  My thoughts where “uh, so this is what hitting the wall really feels like” I thought I was going to hit the floor in front of all those hundred spectators and it was not going to be pretty.  I had a decision, either slow down and hope the feeling passed or try to keep up and know that I was going to fall flat on my face.  I slowed down and let her go.  Thankfully the feeling did pass and I did make it down the red carpet…. As soon as I stopped running I felt perfectly fine again.

Corporate Challenge Sunrise

Well, what can I say?  I finished 27th girl overall and in a time of 1H17.  I am totally over the moon with that result and I bettered my time from last year (I had not trained for that one either).  I loved this race, every single moment of it (except when I thought I was going to land on my face).  I am so glad that I did it.  The weather was perfect once again and the support was awesome.  Can’t wait for next year…….

Swim: 11:06, Bike 44:05, Run 22.28 –Over all time 01:17:48

I seriously need to think about training for next years one……

Posted in Cycling, Family, Ironman, Ironman 70.3, Port Elizabeth, Training, Triathlon

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.

Posted in Family, Ironman, Ordinarylife, Running, Sunshine Coast Triathlon, Training, Training, Triathlon

The race that started it all

8 years ago Saturday morning I ran my first 10km ever, the Metlife Plaza Valentine’s Day run.  My mom convinced me to run it with her.  I had just started running again that January so 10km was quite a big deal.  I Googled my times and I completed it in 59.32 – quite good if I do say so myself.  The only reason I got under 1 hour was because my mom was with me the whole way yelling at encouraging me to keep running.  With about 1 km to go I told her to go ahead I could not do it any more and she did, but then my competitive streak kicked in and I followed desperately trying to keep up, she finished bout 20seconds ahead of me.  (It took me over 7 years to actually beat her in a race.)

I decided to do that race again this year and my goal this time was to do my fastest 10km.  It is a flat course and there was minimal wind, so I felt it was possible. The fact that I had not actually run in 2 weeks did cross my mind but as one of my friends said at the start it just meant my legs were fresh…..  it seemed to work – my official time for the 10km on Saturday was 56:04.  (On my watch it was 56:01:32 – which made me wish I had actually looked at me watch in the last 500m).  I am happy with that – they only other time I have gone quicker was in the Sunshine Coast Triathlon.

Just for the record, a year after that first 10km I ran my first half marathon.  It was the 2 Oceans and a year after that I did my first Ironman.  I still have not run a stand-alone marathon; it is a goal for this year.