Friendly City Marathon

On Saturday it was the Rafi’s Friendly City Marathon and it was my first big race for the year.  After the marathon in December I was not holding out much hope for it…

I trained a tiny bit more this time with a couple of runs around the 30km mark, but  I also realised that before my last one I did everything wrong so this time I made sure my race prep was better.  I ate properly the entire week leading up to it and especially the day before.  For me this means staying off the grains, eating more fats and making sure I get loads of green veggies in.  I also made sure that I was off my feet for most of Friday.

My other plans was to implement a run/walk strategy right from the start. They had a water point every 3 km and I planned to walk every single one of them, right from the third kilometer, whether I felt I need to or not.  I also planned on walking the two hills.  My plan in the December marathon was the total opposite.  I planned on running until 21km and then seeing what happened.

So, how did it go?  ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC!

The smile says it all.

The smile says it all.

I could not have asked for a better marathon.  Not only did I get a personal best of over 21 minutes, I got a better seeding for Comrades (so now my sister and I are in the same batch) and better that all of that I loved every minute of it.  There was not a minute in the race where I felt like it was too far or I was aching.  There were a few points where I was counting down till the next water point so I could walk, but they seemed to come pretty quickly.

Right from the start I walked every water point.  It was so tempting to run the first few, especially the 3km one as I felt fine but I stuck to my plan.  The first time I walked not at a water point was on the first hill and that was in the last 10 km.  I had planned on walking that anyway.  I think my last 5 kilometers were about the quickest of the entire race.  I cannot believe the difference from the marathon 2 months ago!  It just shows what a difference a clear plan and good race prep can do.

Time Friendly City Marathon

I now feel so much more confident for the rest of my goals for this year.  My next major one is at the end of the month – the Addo Elephant Trail Run 44km.  At least with this, it’s a trail run so I will be taking my camera and appreciating the amazing scenery of the Eastern Cape.

Friendly City Marathon Medal




My races for 2015

My running goals for 2015

I love running and being fit, but I need goals.  I am not very good at getting up at 4:30am day after day “for fun”  I need something to training for – a goal to work towards and so, to keep motivated (and because the races sell out very quickly) I have already entered all my “big” races for the year.  I am VERY excited and more than a little scared.  They are a stretch for me, there are some rather big ones in there – some because of the distances and another because of the technical bits (and tough cut offs).

Here they are:

First up – the Friendly City Marathon.  I have already qualified for both Two Oceans and Comrades but am going to do the Friendly City Marathon in February anyway. I had hoped to improve my seeding in Comrades, but I have not run much more than I did before the last one (common problem) so will just run it for fun. Last year this race was my first stand alone marathon.

Next up, but still in February is my first rather big race – a 44km trail run in Addo.  This will be hard for a number of reasons, firstly it’s an ultra-marathon (anything over 42.2 km is an Ultra), secondly it is a trail run and thirdly it is probably going to be very hot.

Next up is Two Oceans Ultra Marathon – I was toying with this one, but SA Medal Hangers will have a stand at the Expo so I will be in Cape Town anyway so thought why not…. I will consider it a training run for my next BIG one, which will be………

Yes, the Comrades Marathon…… Yikes!!!  This one is rather scary – the distance, the heat….. the fact that SA Medal Hangers will have a stand at the expo and I need to figure out a way to do that and run…. It is not a good idea to stand too much in the days leading up to the race.

Then, in October, the one that I am most looking forward to.  My sister, her fiancé and I have all managed to get an entry for the Otter Trail Run.  The have 2 races, one with very strict cut offs and the other still very tough but slightly more lenient.  We are doing the slightly more lenient one.  This is the race I am most excited about and most nervous about…. It is 42km on very technical trail.  I love trail running but am not that good over very technical stuff – or on hectic ups… or downs…. And this race has all of those. But hey – it is on one of my favourite trails so how bad can it be… J

So those are my big races – I will do a few smaller ones in between, mostly because I love races – they are my social time. It is where I see all my friends and chat, sometimes run a bit….

PS: you can click on the names of the races (highlighted) for more info

Currently I am….

I have seen this on a few blogs lately and have decided to do it as well.  Mostly as a catch up but also as some badly needed inspiration


Currently, I am…

Reading:  Running and Stuff by James Adams on my Kindle.  My sister worked with this man in London and suggested I read it.  I have only just started so can’t really comment but so far so good.  It is about ultra-running and if you are into that, then you will probably enjoy this book.  I have read a few books lately but can’t think of what they are.  I am terrible with titles and authors.

Listening to:  Whatever is on in my car, normally “The wheels on the bus……”  I used to listen to 5 FM but since Gareth Cliff left I have not been listening to it much. Also I spend a lot less time in my car now that I work from home.  I still take Little OL into school, but she has started requesting “her movies”  She means her CD.

Laughing at:  Little OL – I love how her language is developing and how she describes things and the stories she tells. She is like her father though, and does not talk that much, so when she does its really cute.

Little OL

Swooning over:  Succulent gardens….. I can’t even believe that I am writing that!


Planning:  On hiring a new nanny, although now we are looking for less of a nanny and more of a cleaner.  Possibly only 2 days a week although I don’t know what we will do when I travel to the various expo’s.  My mom normally comes with me but we might have to hire somebody to work the expo and have my mom stay and look after Little OL.  I hate having to interview people!

Eating lots of:  Lindt 70% Chocolate……..  LOTS!!

Excellence 70%

Feeling:  Excited, happy, nervous, proud, betrayed, stupid and cross all at once.  The excited, happy, nervous and proud part are life in general. The betrayed, stupid and cross part is just last week – nothing serious and I will get over it in the next week or so.

Discovering:  That I love Ultra-Running, but I am not good at training.  I need to get my butt back into gear and hit the roads again.  Please don’t tell anybody, but I think I want to run Comrades Marathon next year.  I just need to figure out a way to have a stand at the expo and run the marathon and have somebody at home to watch Little OL.  Unfortunately with Mr OL’s job it is not possible for him to take the time off to watch here and as he works 40km outside Port Elizabeth, in Uitenhage, he is not able to get back in time to fetch her from school.  Thankfully I have a year to figure all of this out.

Looking at:  Granny square blankets on Pinterest…. How hard can it be???

Wearing:  Boots, it is just about the only thing I love about winter.  That and I totally love the winter sun. Especially when it is cold outside and you find a patch of sun somewhere – I am like a cat…..

Cooking:  Tonight I made an awesome Butternut and Carrot soup – I surprised myself – especially as I just used left overs…. We had a roast meal on Sunday and had left over butternut and carrots.  I put it back in the oven and roasted/caramelised it a bit more tonight.  I then put it in a pot with some cream, milk, veggie stock and a little cayenne pepper.  I boiled it for a little bit and then pureed it.  Oh my word!  The roasting made it taste great.  I really hope it is a soup I can recreate.

 Wondering:  How I can convince Mr OL that his clothes really don’t need ironing….  I would put off hiring anybody at the moment if it were not for the fact that Mr OL wants ironed clothes.  He is fussy like that :-)

Trying out:  Various recipes from the Tim Noakes Real Food Revolution and Low Carb Living for Families.  Who knew you could do so much with cauliflower….

That’s about it from me for now.  What are you up too?

Thanks Julia, Mrs FF, Lynette and Robyn for the inspiration


An update…… (Yes really)

After a bit of “encouragement” from some fellow blogging friends, I have decided to update my blog.

I have no excuses except life and a new business got in the way.  I love blogging and stopping was not intentional.  I used to blog during working hours (my lunch break if any of my ex bosses are reading…..) and now that I am at home I don’t get that opportunity.

So, here are few things that have happened over the past couple of months

  • Business is going well and I LOVE working from home.  I am finding it a lot more stressful, and I am a lot busier than I was when I worked a full day.  I am not exactly sure how that works but I seemed to be able to fit more in back then.
  • I ran Two Oceans Ultra Marathon and LOVED IT!  It was tough, I was not sure I would finish at about the 15km mark but as soon as I got passed halfway I started to enjoy it.  I fell over one of the stupid cat’s eyes in the road but I think it might just have been the shot of adrenaline I needed.  Even though I hurt my hip, shoulder and elbow I had no grazes which was lucky.  I just wanted to finish under the 7 hour cut off and I did 6h53 so was very happy.

Halfway! With my running partners.


  • I am travelling more.  I should probably just say I am travelling.  More implies I did a little bit before.  I didn’t.  Now I do.  I am going to all the large sports expo’s around the country and having great fun.  My mom came with me to Durban for the Comrades expo and it was awesome.  It is so nice to meet up with so many people that I have only previously “met” via my Blog, Twitter or Facebook.  I will be coming up to Johannesburg again in November so hopefully I can make a plan and meet up with a few people when there.
  • Myself, and pretty much the rest of South Africa seem to be following a lower carb diet.  I dropped sugar from my tea and coffee about 2 years ago and am now consciously trying to eat less carbs.  Through this, I have realised that wheat and me don’t work well together.  It has been a very interesting experiment of one (me).  I started following the LCHF way of eating in January and have lost 8kg since then, although weight loss was not my primary reason.  I had not been feeling great for a while and although I did not realise it, I was having digestive issues.  By removing most carbs from my diet and then by reintroducing them (cheating) at various stages I noticed that I felt really awful after some things but perfectly fine after others.  I am still doing the LCHF thing unless Mr OL makes mash potatoes.  He makes great mash.


Then a few random things:

  • I still love trail running and my sister and I have entered the Dryland Traverse again – this time as a team. I am so glad its trail running season again.
  • I have decided after 42 years of not liking the look of succulent plants I want a succulent garden…… I went to a wedding and they had succulents as centre pieces and it looked amazing.  I have been collecting plants from various places so will keep you updated.
  • I want to learn how to crochet again…. I learnt at primary school but have not done any since.
  • Little OL is growing – and 4 is a gorgeous age (so much better than 3)

I must be getting old – succulent plants and crocheted items alway makes me think of old people – yikes

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

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

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  You can also visit our Facebook page for more photos… SA Medal Hangers

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.


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!


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