Day 21 – I am grateful that FINALLY I have the keys to my property. The tenant has moved out and no damage has been done – except for dent in my pocket the size of a couple of month’s rent.
Day 22 – I am just grateful in general. I am not sure if I am a lucky person, or just choose not to focus on the negative but generally stuff is good and I am grateful for that.
Day 23 – today I am just grateful it is Friday!
Here is another picture of Port Elizabeth, Hobie Beach. It was taken from the balcony of our running club on Tuesday night after the run. Seriously can the view get any better? I don’t think so! Body Concept must have one of the best views and locations of any running club in the world!
On Tuesday, 16 June it was Youth Day in South Africa and this is how I spent it.
In the morning I woke up early and went for a run. The sun rise over the sea was awesome, the run was great and the company was fantastic. For somebody who has enjoyed running alone all these years, I have certainly gotten into group runs. It was great fun, very social and the perfect way to start the day. There were about 10 people running, one of whom was my brother. There was also a couple and their 2 kids and another girl who pushed her 12 week old baby in jogging stroller. We started at Hobie Beach and ran along the beachfront and round the back of the University. We planned on going in the back gate, through the Varsity and back to the beachfront. When we got to the gate though it was locked. No problem, we all climbed over, passing kids, babies, prams and bikes over.
In the afternoon Mr OL and I went to watch the Southern Kings play the British and Irish Lions at our new stadium. I think more people went to see the stadium that actually wanted to watch the game. Besides being VERY cold it was great. The stadium was very impressive! I am very impressed. They might need to work on their security a bit though. After the game armed robbers came in and robbed the bar of the takings. Here are some photos of the stadium.
All in all it was a fantastic way to spend a Tuesday.
On Tuesday night I went and ran with the running club again. It reminds me how much I miss running along the beachfront. This is the view from the club house and was taken just before we went for a run.
It was a stunning evening, if a little cold (as far as PE goes).
We did 10km, mostly in the dark. I think I must be a creature of habit, because even though I was running in a group I realized half way through that I had still brought my pepper spray?
This photo is pretty much taken from the same place as my header. Why is it that the sea is perfect when I am not planning on swimming?
I woke up and everything was fine!For about 10 minutes, then I seized up again. CRAP, CRAP, CRAP!But as I had woken up fine I decided that it was NOT an injury, I must just be stressed and as soon as I stood on the start it would go away.However, just incase, I stretched LOTS, I took a couple of anti-inflammatories, and I said LOTS of prayers to just about anybody who I thought might be listening.Luckily it was not nearly as bad as the day before and I figured the swim would probably loosen it up if nothing else helped.
After waking up at 4:00am, I made myself breakfast of Instant ACE porridge (my favourite prerace meal), a banana and a meal replacement shake.One good thing about having to check your bike and transition bags in the day before is that you have less to worry about in the morning.Basically the only things you need to take with you are your swimming stuff and your nutrition.I had heard the weather was going to be HOT, so I was hoping that I had enough liquids.
I met my mom and sister down at the start.My sister and I went to check on our bikes and put our food in the relevant bags.It was still dark but the atmosphere was awesome.There was not a breath of wind… and it was already HOT!The sea was FLAT and it looked perfect!After soaking up the atmosphere for a bit we put on our wetsuits.We met up with another of my friends and the 3 of us headed down to the beach.On the beach at the start they have signs for where you should stand, depending on how fast you are expecting to swim.My friend and I decided to stand in front of the sub 1 hour 20 sign.My sister decided to stand near the 1 hour 40 sign, so I said good bye and good luck to her.
Standing on the beach at the start is amazing.The African drummers are playing and it almost feels like your heart beats to their beat.Then the helicopters arrive.This time there were 3 of them, just hovering out over the ocean, just past the breakers.There were also boats in the water.It really makes you realise that this is a big race and you are part of it.And what do you know, standing there on the start my neck was fine……….
My plan for the swim was to stay far right, so I did not get tangled up in the mass of swimmers.Go wide round the buoys and keep a consistent pace.I was not really sure of what time to expect.On my pre race target I had said 1 hour 30, but was really hoping for 1 hour 20 or less.I knew that is what I could do easily in the pool for that distance and was sure I would not be that far off in the sea.The swim is two loops, each loop is 1.9km.Between loops there is a short run out the water, along the beach and back into the sea.I checked my time at that split and I did the first loop in 37 minutes.My over all time was 1hour 14, which means I did an equal time for both loops.At least I knew then that I was swimming consistently and had not slowed for my second loop.
It was interesting swimming amongst all those people and even though I kept to my plan of staying out of the fray I did catch some of it.Although I think I accidently gave more than I got.I think somewhere along the way I really walloped somebody – if it was you, sorry.Somebody else did get me back though.Someone bit my foot (or I kicked them in the mouth but I am opting to believe that they bit me) my thought at the time was; “hmmm, that was teeth, but seeing as my foot is still there I am going to assume it was not a shark”.Odd the things you think about when you are swimming.
So I was off to a good start!My swim time was 1 hour 14 minutes 47 seconds.Better than I was hoping for.Woo Hoo, but not a time to get excited.It was just the start to a very hot and long day.
In transition I stripped out my wetsuit and costume and put on my tri shorts and top.I also made sure that one of the volunteers COVERED me from head to toe in sunscreen.Even the places that you think you would not burn.I learnt the hard way last time and still have the scars two years later.Then I head out to get my bike.1 leg down, 2 to go……
The problem with being away from the internet for so long, especially when so much is going on that I want to write down everything but can’t. Also it would make for rather boring and confusing reading.
So, the summary is:
My sister arrived safe and sound.
I completed Ironman
I went hiking
Yes, this has been a busy week.
I will start with Ironman!
WOOOO HOOOO, I think I am still grinning from ear to ear.Although on the day before the race I was anything but grinning. Infact I was feeling rather panicked and nearly burst into tears!
Everything was going fine; I did not think I was nervous at all.I knew I had prepared well, my transition bags were almost packed and I had ticked most of the things of my to-do list and my sister and I decided to go and watch the MTN Corporate Ironman Triathlon which is held the day before the main event.It is 10% of the Ironman distance and can be a team event.It is quite fun to watch and we had quite a few friends that were taking part.We figured we had better go and cheer them on because we knew that they would be cheering for us the following day.
Well, just as I picked up my bag and walked out the house my entire neck, left shoulder, arm and back seized up.I had done NOTHING and here I suddenly could not move.I got to my mom and sister in the car and I was in PAIN!I did not know what to do, but figured it might just go back to normal.I mean I had not done anything so it could not be an injury…… Could it?????So we went down to the beach front and it was not getting any better.I was beginning to get rather stressed.I had prepared so well for this race and now….What the HELL was going on.I was just felt nauseous with worry and did not know what to do.All I wanted to do was go home crawl into my bed and cry but I knew that was not going to do any good.I also remembered that at the Ironman Expo there were Physiotherapists giving massages.Maybe that would help.I had also been training with a girl who is a chiropractor and knew that if I really was in trouble she would help me out.I phoned her and asked if she thought I should go for a massage and what advice she could give me.She said massage, stretch, ice and if it did not get better then I would see her at the race briefing in a couple of hours and we could see then.
Unfortunately the massages were fully booked – more panic.Luckily my sister’s friend is a sports therapist and lived just around the corner from the beach.She called him and he said to come round and he would see if he could help.Thank you, thank you thank you!!!!!He massaged my neck and shoulder and it loosened up quite a bit.I put ice and heat on it when I got home and figured it was a lot better.Hopefully a good night’s sleep would help.I was VERY worried though.Also I felt very guilty bugging these people as they also all had to prepare for the race.
When I woke up in the morning it was fine…. for a whole 10 minutes and then I seized up again.CRAP!!!Not good.But I figured it must just be stress, or at least that was what I was convincing myself it was.I mean if it was a real injury then it would not have been fine when I would up???It would be FINE as soon as I was on the start line.It just had to be.
And the panicked phone calls, sms’s and Facebook comments about the weather have started appearing.
Have you seen the 7 day forecast?What’s the wind doing?Oh my word is it true – 32 degrees?It’s an East!!!!And such like….
Well I was not going to look.I had decided that there was nothing much I could do about the weather so I was not going to stress about it (just yet). I know the forecast changes by the hour and 6 days is a long time to be on a weather vigil.
But it got to me – I succumbed to peer pressure and went online and looked.Actually I “consulted” 3 different sites.
So this is what I found out.It might be anywhere between 28 and 34 degrees maximum.The wind might blow, if it does it might be anywhere between 7 knots and 25 knots.The direction might be a South East or North West???And the weather man knows nothing.
The only thing they all seem to have in common is that it is going to be hot, LOTS of sunscreen is going to be necessary, there is no rain forecast and there is going to be a light wind, the direction of which is questionable.
I suppose at least the light wind might cool us down…..
I went down to the beachfront on Friday and they have started building the scaffolding and stuff that will be the walk ways over roads, that will mark off the transition areas and various other things.The flag poles along Shark Rock Pier (yes, unfortunate name) are up and it is all VERY, VERY exciting.
When it gets this close I miss not living down at the beach front.You can almost feel the excitement building, even amongst those people that are not competing.I know some people who have booked hotel rooms down on the course for that weekend just so they will be down there early and have a good vantage point.
Can you tell I am getting excited?I think I might just have to start taking my Rescue Remedy soon or I am not going to get any sleep or be able to eat anything!
It is weird how you remember stuff from your childhood.Things that you have overheard and at the time had no bearing on your life what so ever!Or maybe that is just me?
I remember arb stuff.
Like a conversation that two older guys(they were probably only about 18 or 19) were having about girls who shaved their legs and how far up a girl should shave – I was no where near the age of where I would have started shaving my legs but for some reason that conversation stuck.I can’t remember the names of the guys, but I can remember the conversation very clearly and have not shaved my legs any further than they suggested was sexy….. Luckily I don’t have very hairy legs.
Another conversation I overheard when I was a child came flooding back yesterday – at the MOST inopportune time.My parents had friends that used to race Hobie Cats (ever wondered how Hobie Beach got its name?)The conversation I overheard was about how every time they went out they would see Hammerhead sharks circling the “coke can”.So when did I remember this conversation, hmmmm possibly last night as I was a kilometer out to sea and SWIMMING around the “coke can”.The “coke can’ is a large metal buoy painted in the colours of – well a coke can.It has been an icon off our coast for as long as I can remember but not one I usually chose to swim around.
(click HERE for a link to a photo of the coke can)
The swim went well though, even if I was slightly concerned… The sea was really cold but flat and clear and I loved it.It is an annual swim for Ironman entrants and I would say there were probably around about 80 – 100 people swimming.It is free to enter and they always have excellent speakers, LOTS of free food and really good lucky draw prizes – of which I won NONE!
Raynard Tissink is a past winner of Ironman South Africa, a local and was one of the speakers last night.I really hope he wins again this year (I bet he does too).He has such support from the local community and it is always good to see a local win it.Although it looks like he will have serious competition this year again, 2 other past winners competing.Good luck to him, I will be holding thumbs!!!!OK, maybe not literally as I will be too busy talking part, but will wish him well as he laps me (twice) on the bike.
I am lacking motivation to blog at the moment.Infact I think I am lacking motivation to do anything at the moment.That is anything besides Ironman related stuff.I said I was not going to let this take over my life but at the moment it is all I can think about!
26 DAYS!!!!Woo Hoo.
So please excuse me if this blog is a bit lack luster for the next month or so.
Training is tapering and excitement is growing……
I am already beginning to think of the transition bags, what to put in them, what to put in my special needs bags etc.Actually who am I kidding, I am not “beginning” to think about it.I have thought about it A LOT.
I will write a list later, just on the off chance that anybody is interested in what will keep me going on the day.
I have also begun to think about my goals. What time would I like to do?I had one time in my mind when I started training for this year, but am readjusting it as my training has gone on.I am just worried that I am putting too much pressure on myself.Maybe I should keep my goal at what I originally set out to achieve.
Goal number one is obviously to finish – you never know what can happen on the day!Then the initial time I wanted to do it in was 15 hours 30 minutes.
But now………… I don’t know, should I leave my goal there, or move it.Challenge myself a bit more.The only problem then is if I don’t make my new goal I might be disappointed.Or I might push myself to hard and bomb out totally.
Let me just write it down
New goal – when I am feeling optimistic
Swim – 1h30
Transition 1 – 15minutes(these should not be this long, but it gives me time to play with)
Bike – 7 hours(averaging at +/-26km/h)
Transition 2 – 15 minutes
Run – 5h30
This gives me a total of 14h30…………So, I guess it is official (now that I have written it down).I want to finish Ironman South Africa in under 14 and a half hours.Unrealistic – I hope not!