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?
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
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!
Today is my last “official” day at work. I say official because I have only been popping in and out over the past week (trying to get used to unemployment 🙂 )
I must admit that I am quite sad to leave this job. I have been working here for the past 6 years, which has been my longest stretch at one place. Before that my longest was 3 years. I have met some amazing people and have learnt a lot. People have had confidence in me and I have changed positions in the company a couple of times with my latest one being Compliance Liaison Manager, a position I enjoyed and nothing like I have done before.
But, I am also excited to leave. Although it was not my choice it is most definitely time. I have known for a while that me working full time and Little OL being at the school she is at just does not work. The days are too long for her if left in After Care and although I could fetch her at lunch and take her home which I have been doing for the past few months it is far from ideal.
Now I will be working from home, so get to spend the afternoons with her. My hours will be more flexible (set by myself) and it is something that I am passionate about. I LOVE sports, and I get so excited by what others have achieved. It is awesome that I get to see the medals that people have earned and that they are telling me the stories behind them. It also great that I am getting to be creative with the designs of the medal hangers. (can you tell I am excited about this…… lol)
So, today is a mixture of happiness, sadness and excitement. Another chapter begins!
Here are a few photos of customers hangers that they have sent me. I love seeing them!
I need a challenge. I train better when I have a goal and it must be enough of a challenge that I won’t be able to just cruise through it, but not too much of a challenge that it totally scares me off.
So… I have decided on and entered Two Oceans Ultra marathon in 2014 – 56km! Scary yes, but very exciting. My goal for this year was to run a marathon – now it is more than just a goal, I actually have to do it to qualify for the Ultra. There is a local one in December that I plan on doing.
To say I am excited is a bit of an understatement. Initially I had not planned on doing it as I thought I might take my medal hangers to the expo – but the prices of the stands where published and they don’t have any of the smaller options – so I am running.
Yay for a Birthday weekend in Cape Town.
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.
Summer is coming and this year I might have a bit more time to do the beach thing. With that in mind I have decided to cut down on the junk food – I am not going to say I want to be bikini ready as I very rarely do bikini’s but I would not mind getting back into the same shape as I was December last year (Click for bikini photos from then). Also with the Dryland Traverse coming up on 5 weeks being a couple of kilograms lighter might make quite a difference!
So, I was about to tell Mr OL my plan and I started with…..“I stood on the scale this morning”
Little OL, who was close by and overheard, piped up “Mommy did you cry?”
I nearly did, with laughter, after that comment!
It took me a couple of seconds to realise that she thought I had hurt my foot by standing on something.
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.
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!!!
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!!!
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)
(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
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
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.
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