Posted in Cycling, Family, Ironman, Ironman 70.3, Ocean Racing Series, Ordinarylife, Running, Swimming, Training, Training, Triathlon

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….

Advertisements
Posted in Cycling, Family, Ironman, Ironman 70.3, Ocean Racing Series, Ordinarylife, Port Elizabeth, Running, Swimming, Trail Running, Training, Training, Triathlon, weather, Wetsuit

2012- A year’s Race Review

I am not going to review every race I took part in – that would take far too long.  I love racing!  Ok, I don’t like racing as such – I like races.  I like the spirit, the social aspect and the friends I have that race.  I don’t go out to clubs, pubs or bars.  I don’t even go out much to restaurants or coffee shops – I go to races.  This is where I get my social fill.  I meet up with good friends and acquaintances.  I see my brother and sister and mom.  I chat, I race and I go home.  I love it! (I also feel less guilty leaving Mr OL to watch Little OL if I am “racing”)

I am not saying I am not competitive, I am although it might not seem that way.  I don’t win, I usually don’t even place.  In fact I have been known to be dead cold stone last!  Yip, prize giving has been held and I have walked run across the line.  But I do check my results, I watch my time and I have been trying to get faster this year (it’s worked).  But that is not my main reason.  I just like to take part.

However 2012 did not start well.  My first big race was Ironman South Africa 70.3 in East London.  I got sick 2 days before the race and decided not to do it. A DNS. It was disappointing, but not as much as most people (myself included) believed it would be.  My goal for that race was to get back into training, and I did that. So whether I did the race or not I achieved my goal.

My poor bike - checked in and nowhere to go
My poor bike – checked in and nowhere to go

However, after the following 6 months I was feeling more than a little bit down hearted.  I pulled out of the PE Herald cycle tour after 75 km with very bad cramps.  It was my first cycle race.   A DNF.  Also, what was to be my first stand-alone marathon, Knysna Forest Marathon, was cancelled due to weather. (photo thanks to Mike Brewis)

Gouna Crossing 14 July 2012
Gouna Crossing 14 July 2012

I decided to withdraw a month before the Baviaans Trail run as I did not feel I would be ready.

Thankfully the smaller races went well, and I have enjoyed training. One of my favourites is definitly the Urban Run.

Resource

Urban Run - me on the right
Urban Run – me on the right

I have also rekindled my love for trail running.  I did quite a few of the local trail runs, with quite a few of them being longer than 20km.  I have also enjoyed the 10km road races I have entered and have seen my speed improve.  Also my 21.1km time is almost on par with what it was before I had Little OL and I am happy with that.

I have entered a few triathlons which have been fun.  The first one of the year was the Corporate Triathlon the day before Ironman South Africa.  We had stunning weather – unfortunately for the Ironman competitors it had changed by the following morning.

Me on the right
Corporate Triathlon – Me on the right

Although I have not done as much open water swimming as I would have liked to have done I am happy with how it is going. The last event of 2012 was on 31st of December being the inaugural Mandiba Bay Mile swim from Humewood Beach to Kings Beach.  The distance according to my Garmin was actually 1.94km and I completed it in 39 minutes – which came as a total surprise to me.

Zport's Mandiba Bay Mile
Me hitting the beach (photo thanks to Zports)

I just hope I can repeat that on the 20th January when I attempt to do Ironman South Africa 70.3 again.  I could not have hoped to end 2012 of on a better note.

I would like to thank all the people that make such an effort to bring all these events to PE and surrounds, I for one greatly appreciate it.

Let’s hope that 2013 starts a lot better for me.  I am positive it will and very excited for the 70.3 (although I probably should have been on my bike a bit more)

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

Posted in 30 Days of Gratitude, Cycling, Family, Ocean Racing Series, Ordinarylife, Plettenberg Bay, Port Elizabeth, Swimming, Training, Triathlon, Wetsuit

A long fantastic weekend.

I am happy!  I am not sure if it is because I am training lots, if it is because I hired a life coach and I am seeing the results, if it is because of the 30 Days of Gratitude, if it is because it is summer or most probably a combination of all of these but whatever it is long may it continue!

This weekend definitely added to my “happiness” feelings.  A while back I decided to take Friday off.  I could not get my regular hair appointment; the only one available was during working hours, I booked it anyway.  After I booked it I was wondering how to go about getting the time off and then decided to take the whole day and do a total pamper spoil day, something I have never done before so I booked myself a pedicure and massage as well.  Ahhhh – the joys.  My biggest problem was ensuring I kept my toenails (running and toenails are not good friends).  The day was awesome – not that I will have much leave left after January, but this is something I will do again.

Then on Saturday the OL family took a trip to Plett for breakfast.  A really good friend and her family was visiting from the UK so we met them at the Beacon Isle Hotel.  It was stunning – we ate breakfast and then headed to the pool for the rest of the morning.  I could have stayed there for quite a while longer.  We used to go to Plett often growing up and it is one of my favourite places – definitely a “happy place”.  The last time I was there was when I was pregnant and we went to see the same friend.  Between us we now have an extra kid each.  But it was still like we saw each other not so long ago – I miss her.  You can see photos from the last time we where there over HERE.

Beacon Isle Hotel
Beacon Isle Hotel
The 2 "new kids"
The 2 “new kids”

 

Enough photos mom!
Enough photos mom!

On Sunday morning I met a friend at Hobie Beach for a quick ride before we took part in the Ocean Race Series swim.  It was my first Ocean Race Series swim of this season and I was reasonably happy with the results.  It was supposed to be 1 km, but according to my Garmin it was about 1.53km (some of this extra was probably down to my zig-zagging but not all) and I did it in 29 minutes.  If I swim that pace in East London at the 70.3 I will be fine.

All this beach, sea, sand, pools and sun has got me feeling like it is summer holidays.  One more week of work.  I cannot wait!!!

Posted in Cycling, Ironman, Ocean Racing Series, Ordinarylife, Port Elizabeth, Running, Sunshine Coast Triathlon, Swimming, Trail Running, Training, Triathlon, Wetsuit

It was not always so!

When I was at school I did a lot of sport but none of it conventional school sports. That might have had something to do with the fact that I have ZERO eye hand co-ordination and cannot hit, catch or throw a ball.  As we had to do at least one winter and one summer school sport I did swimming and cross country but I was not very good.  I did not like to practice and as most of my other sports did not involve endurance I could not run very far without stopping.  Swimming was bit better (natural talent) but running…. Oh I hated it!  The races were 4 km every second Wednesday afternoon at a different course.  I would show up, run/walk/wheeze then go home muttering and moaning that I was not a runner.

After school I did nothing for many years.  I loved walking and rollerblading and did that a lot while overseas. When I returned to SA I figured I really needed to do something again.  I took up paddling (canoe and surf ski) I was unfit and always last but it was fun.  The people there were all very fit though and spoke of running and races and things.  It was infectious and I decided I was going to enter the Spar Ladies 10km race.  My first run was not good.  I managed less than 1 km before I turned around and walked back home.  Thankfully the race was over 9 months away.  I remember a conversation with 2 girls at the canoe club, both multiple time Comrades finishers.  I was seriously impressed and mentioned that I had just started running, that I was hoping to run the Spar ladies, but it seemed sooooo far and I doubted I could do it. They just laughed (thankfully not unkindly) and told me that that was how it started.  First a 10km, then a 15 and so on.  My words were “I will NEVER EVER go further than 10km”.  At that stage I seriously doubted I would even make that.  Their parting words were “we will see”.

Well, they were right.  I did a 10km, and signed up for the Knysna half marathon in 2005.  In the end I did not do it that year due to injuries, but I did Two Oceans Half 2006.  Then in 2007 I completed my first Ironman.  Yes, I had only done 1 half marathon, and a lot of people did not think I would manage. In fact a couple of them have come to me since and said they would have bet their house that I would not have finished.  Well, finish I did.  I managed to squeeze in a few minutes before the midnight cut-off.

Me – Sunshine Coast Triathlon 2009

Since then I have run quite a bit more.  I have done Ironman again, taking over 3 hours off my previous time.  I have competed in a quite a few triathlons and open water swims and have recently gotten into trail running. I love it!

Ironman South Africa 2009

I am always enthusiastic and positive when somebody wants to try something new like running or triathlon. I am a firm believe that if I could finish an Ironman then just about anybody could.  I was not athletic, I was not a runner, I was not a triathlete. I did not even own a bike.  I  would probably be last, but I knew that I would finish it and that is what counts.

Me – keeping it fun at the Urban Run 2011

For people that are just starting out with running, my main bit of advice. Take it slowly.  Walk when you need to.  Look around.  Keep it fun.  Do races or something for the social aspect and so what if you come last – somebody needs to.  More often that not it has been me.  Mr OL likes to joke that I get full value out of my race entry fee.

But most importantly just get out there and do it!

And for the girls – get a good sports bra. When I started the one I used was too tight, and I could not breath. Except I did not know it was the bra, I thought it was just because I was that unfit.  Tight is not always better –support is what counts.

Sunshine Coast Triathlon 2009 – 3rd lady out the water and 6th lady at the finish.
Posted in Charity, Family, Food, Ocean Racing Series, Ordinarylife, Port Elizabeth, Swimming, Wetsuit

The Weekend!

I had a great weekend. 

It as fantastic to see my sister again!!!  We spent the whole day Saturday together which was great!  I then “let” her spend Saturday evening with our brother, seeing as he is off on Honeymoon tomorrow so she will not really get to see much of him.  Mr OL and I went out for dinner with friends.  They said if we did not join them we could strike them off the baby sitting list and seeing as they are the only ones on it at the moment we thought we had better go.  Of course that was not the only reason, it was great to see them and they are a really nice couple. 

Sunday I went to the beach and watched the Ocean Racing Series.  It was funny not to be taking part, but I am chicken of swimming in the sea without my wetsuit. When I got down there I really wished I had entered. The sea was beautiful and not cold at all.  I would have managed just fine.  My sister enjoyed it and it was a just a little reminder of what she is missing living in London…. 

On the way home I got caught up in a whole group of motor bikes….  Luckily they were going the opposite direction so I just pulled over and watched.  It was the Toy Run, where the bikers collect toys and then give them to needy children.  I am not sure how many bikes there were but there were a lot!!!  I am not usually a fan of motorbikes but it was amazing to watch and hear.  Click HERE for photos’ of the Cape Town one.   And HERE for photos of the PE one.

After that I went to the Walmer Park Summer Food Festival – Yum!!!  It was pretty good. But then it involved food so…… Of course it was good.

Then of course it was “THE WEDDING”  I can’t believe my little (all 6foot3 of him) got married.  He and his friends scrubbed up pretty good. Who knew that those boys could look that smart.  His wife looked STUNNING but then I expected no different she really is beautiful.  The wedding was fantastic, very simple décor, white roses for flower, all very tasteful.  I will post photo’s as soon as I have had them developed (or stolen some from somebody else).  Yes, I said developed – I took them on my film camera (so retro I know) but I enjoy using it and sometimes think the photo’s come out better.  But then I do have a really crap digital camera. 

Well I guess that is all from me for now – except to say that I am going to head straight to bed when I get home.  Mr OL is very good about sharing although this time I wish he had been a bit more selfish – he seems t have given me his cold!!!

Posted in Ocean Racing Series, Ordinarylife, Pregnancy, Swimming, Wetsuit

Need motivation

I am trying to motivate myself to go for a swim after work!  I have not been in so long, I find it very difficult if I don’t have a goal in mind.  Something like Ironman where I have a program that I stick to and an outcome!  I battle just to get in the pool and swim (or run for that matter).  Not that I don’t like it.  I really do, but I need that motivation. 

Just saying it will be good for the baby or I will retain my fitness better is not enough, although maybe for now it is going to have to be!  Urgh!!!!  Positive thoughts.  

I love swimming, I love swimming, I love swimming. 

One thing to motivate me is that the Ocean Race Series starts again next month and I would atleast like to be able to do the shorter swims.  One slight problem is that I only really like swimming in the sea in my wetsuit, and well…… I don’t think it is going to fit!

Posted in Family, Ocean Racing Series

Mom is always right?

I saw this on Goblin’s blog and am shamelessly stealing it.  It is Monday and I am in need of some blog inspiration.  I am rather surprised at how many things I am saying yes too…. YIKES.  I am taking it to mean that I have lived a full and “colourful” life….. Some of them are not as bad as they first sound, but you can’t explain unless some one asks? 

Here are the rules – and let me know if you have also done it.  I think it makes some interesting reading…..

1. You can ONLY answer Yes or No.

2. You are NOT ALLOWED to explain ANYTHING unless someone messages or comments you and asks.

3. Answer carefully.

Kissed any one of your Facebook friends? YES

Been arrested? NO

Kissed someone you didn’t like? YES

Slept in until 5 PM? YES

Fallen asleep at work/school? YES

Held a snake? YES

Ran a red light? YES

Been suspended from school? NO

Experienced love at first sight? YES

Lied about your age? YES

Totaled your car in an accident? YES

Been fired from a job? YES

Fired somebody? YES

Sang karaoke? YES

Pointed a gun at someone? NO

Done something you told yourself you wouldn’t? YES

Laughed until something you were drinking came out your nose? YES

Caught a snowflake on your tongue? YES

Kissed in the rain? YES

Had a close brush with death (your own)? YES

Seen someone die? NO

Played spin-the-bottle? NO

Sang in the shower? YES

Smoked a cigar? YES

Sat on a rooftop? YES

Smuggled something into another country? YES

Been pushed into a pool with all your clothes? YES

Broken a bone? NO

Skipped school? YES

Eaten a bug? YES

Sleepwalked? NO

Walked a moonlit beach? YES

Rode a motorcycle? YES

Dumped someone? YES

Forgotten your anniversary? NO

Lied to avoid a ticket? NO

Ridden in a helicopter? NO

Shaved your head? NO

Blacked out from drinking? YES

Played a prank on someone? YES

Hit a home run? NO

Felt like killing someone? YES

Cross-dressed? YES

Been falling-down drunk? YES

Made your girlfriend/ boyfriend cry? YES

Eaten snake/ Shark? YES

Marched/ Protested? NO

Had Mexican jumping beans for pets? YES

Puked on an amusement park ride? NO

Seriously & intentionally boycotted something? YES

Been in a band? NO

Knitted? YES

Been on TV? YES

Shot a gun? YES

Skinny-dipped? YES

Gave someone stitches? NO

Eaten a whole habanero pepper? NO

Ridden a surfboard? YES

Went water skiing? YES

Drank straight from a liqour bottle? YES

Had surgery? YES

Streaked? NO

Ridden in a hot air balloon? YES

Taken by ambulance to hospital? NO

Tripped on mushrooms? YES

Passed out when not drinking? YES

Peed on a bush? YES

Donated Blood? YES

Grabbed electric fence? NO

Eaten alligator (crocodile) meat? YES

Killed an animal when not hunting? NO

Hit someone in the face? YES

Hitchhiked? YES

Peed your pants in public? YES

Tattoo? YES

Snuck into a movie without paying? NO

Sleep on a certain side of the bed? NO

Stayed up for 48 hours straight? YES

Still love someone you shouldn’t? YES

Think about the future? YES

Been in handcuffs? YES

Believe in love? YES

Still in touch with your childhood sweetheart? NO

Accepted too much change from a clerk? YES

 Funnily enough I remember a conversation I had with my mother when I was about 14.  I told her I knew how to say “YES”  in 10 different languages.  Her reply was she did not care how many languages I could say “yes” in, it was more important that I learnt how to say “NO”.  I should have listened.

Posted in Morning Sickness, Ocean Racing Series, Ordinarylife, Swimming, Wetsuit

Feeling icky

Edited to clarify:

Ok, so I went from feeling no unpleasant side effects of being pregnant to feeling decidedly icky in one day – yesterday!  It feels like a hangover (but isn’t) that just won’t go away.  Well I suppose this (entire pregnacy) is a result of too much alcohol too…..  We are blaming a night filled with red wine and dart games.  We have jokingly said if it is a girl we need to call her Arabella after the bottle(s) of wine we had (on the night we think we concieved). 

But dammit all!  I am just hoping and praying that I don’t get Morning Sickness as bad as my mom had it with me.  She was vomiting for 9 months.  The day after she had me she was a kilogram lighter than the day she fell pregnant, so much for picking up weight.  The bonus is that she has never picked that weight back up again.

But I am confident – it is not going to happen to me.  I am not going to be sick for 9 months, or even 9 weeks, hopefully not even 9 days.  The power of positive thinking……  Normally I am pretty good at it, and will myself not to get flu or a cold or whatever and it usually works.  Hopefully it works with this too. 

Also my running and stuff has taken a bit of a back seat.  Not so much because I am pregnant, more because it has been so flippen cold (for us) that I just can’t face heading out in that weather.   I have decided that I will not cycle till after I have had the baby.  I don’t want to fall of or anything like that.  However, I am really excited about getting back in the pool though.  I have heard it is good whilst preggies and just as well I thoroughly enjoy it.  This weekend there is a midwinter 1 km ocean swim race, but I am a bit chicken for cold weather and water.  I should maybe do it though.  I don’t think I will fit in my wetsuit this summer.

I am going for my first scan on Monday – quite excited.

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

How to get the heart racing on a Monday morning!

The newspapers sure know how to give a girl a heart attack – and how to sell newspapers!

 

The headlines on the bill boards all the way down the streets were “Killer Shark Attack” and such likes.  When I saw the first one I nearly crashed my car.  Holy crap – I was in the sea on Friday.  Ok, I am usually in the sea on Fridays, but still.

 

I rushed onto the office and grabbed the paper.  “Lifeguard savaged to death by shark”!  Crap, crap, crap!

 

Next thought – what beach?  Scan the article…”A lifeguard watched in horror as his friend was savaged to death by a giant shark while they were swimming together at Port St Johns at the weekend”   Port St, Port St Johns, not Port Elizabeth.  Phew!!!!   Phew!!!! Phew!!!!

 

Obviously it is really sad when ever anybody dies, but my first thoughts were purely selfish.  Thank fully it was miles away from Port Elizabeth in an area that is renowned for attacks.  Port Elizabeth is still safe?????  Woo, hoo, this will probably not alleviate any fears I have but at least should not exacerbate them.  For now I will continue to swim in groups and with my eyes shut.