Last year I started a new little venture. It was not even supposed to be a venture when I started it, but it is growing and I am super excited. Mostly I am excited as I get to share my absolute love of running with more and more women.
Over the past few years, I have been getting asked quite a bit about running. Mostly by the mom’s at school when I drop Kaylin off but also by other people I meet. I seem to spend most of my time in running clothes (and it is my main topic of conversation – yes I am that person)
The questions I was getting were all quite similar.
But how do you do it?
I’d love to start running but have no idea where to begin…
I’ll never be a runner, I can’t get around the block or even the next lamp pole.
I can’t breathe when I run…
I don’t even know what clothes or shoe to wear…
I was not really surprised to be getting these questions, I used to think most of them myself when I first attempted to run. What did surprise me was how often I was getting them and then how many women came to me a month or two later and said I had been the motivation they needed to start running and my comments had really helped them. Quite a few started running regularly and we now run races together. A number of even suggested I put together something to help more women. After thinking about it for a while I decided to do just that. Informally at first, but last year October I made it a little more formal and held my first 8 Weeks to 5Km Challenge. I had 50 women sign up – I was totally blown away!!!! I did not realise just how many women wanted to start running but just needed a little bit of guidance and support.
Over the past year I have hosted a few more 8 Weeks to 5km Challenges, put together a website and am now trying to hold a new Challenge every 6 weeks or so.
I have a new Challenge that started today and I am super excited. I love getting to share this journey with women who either have never run before or who have been out of running for a while and would like to get back into it. I have also decided to start blogging again mostly about running. My new website is www.8weeksto5km.com and my blog is over there as well.
This week I am really battling to think of something I am proud of….
I know there are some things I probably should be proud of, but mostly I am pretty disappointed in myself. I let a ball drop and now it feels like the whole lot are about to come crashing down. I know I will probably look back in just over a month and realise it is not nearly as bad as I think (I HOPE), but at the moment it seem pretty terrible and getting worse. But, it does not affect my family, health or anything that is really important to me so I will just have to deal with the problems as they arise.
So, what am I proud of??? This week I am very proud of my daughter. I was away all of last week in Cape Town for the Cape Cycle Tour Lifestyle Expo and she stayed behind with Andrew, our nanny and my mom. She coped remarkably well, even though she was sick. I felt terrible about leaving her, but could not do anything about it. I am proud that she is such an independent soul.
I am also proud that even though I was having a major pity party last week Wednesday, when my stand at the expo came crashing around me about 30 seconds after I had finished putting it up, I managed to give myself a stern talking to and pull myself together, rebuild the stand and have a great expo. At that stage I really just felt like coming home.
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.
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
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 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.
(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