Posted in My New Business, Ordinarylife, Running, SA Medal Hangers, Trail Running, Training, Ultra Marathons

New Website and Blog

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.

Start with your Why 8 Weeks to 5 km 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.

8 Weeks to 5Km (1).png

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Posted in Ordinarylife, Running, Trail Running, Training, Ultra Marathons

This week I am proud of…

This week I am proud of myself for completing my first trail ultra – and not losing my sense of humour once.  It is the second longest running race I have ever done and by far the longest time on my legs.  It took me 7h21 minutes.  I did the Addo Elephant Trail Run 44 km.  My first of 3 planned Ultra‘s for the year and the only one on trail.

I am not going to lie it was tough, but I loved it. There were parts where the trail was so steep that I slid back and a hill where I began to wonder why on earth I had not done more (read any) squats or lunges in preparation but all in all I did not find it too bad.

My sister and I and more than a few friends completed the 44km Addo Elephant Trail, there was also a 76km, which I did not even contemplate, although my husband has said he will not be surprised WHEN I tell him I am going to do it 🙂

I was a little nervous going into this – the route profile is hectic and well, it is 44km on trail so not for the faint hearted, but I had heard it was beautiful.

Addo Elephant Trail Run 44km Route Profile
Addo Elephant Trail Run 44km Route Profile

We ran through the Addo Elephant Park – but not the section with the elephants or lions (I might have run bit faster then….) and the area is absolutely breath-taking.  We started at Kabouga Gate and ended at Zuurberg Mountain Inn.  The scenery and terrain varied so much from dense bush to open plateaus with spectacular views.  There was even a rock pool that we swam in at the 37km mark and it was very difficult to get out of that cool water.

Here are few photos but they and my words do not do the area justice.

 

Addo Elephant Trail Run - The Start (do we look a little nervous....)
Addo Elephant Trail Run – The Start (do we look a little nervous….)
Addo Elephant Trail Run - still early(ish) on.
Addo Elephant Trail Run – still early(ish) on.
This was rather steep....
This was rather steep….
Sister Selfie
Sister Selfie
At the top
At the top
Addo Elephant Trail Run
Addo Elephant Trail Run
Addo Elephant Trail Run
Addo Elephant Trail Run
Addo Elephant Trail Run
Addo Elephant Trail Run
Yes, I know... It might have taken less than 7 hours 21 minutes if I had not stopped to take photos of spider webs
Yes, I know… It might have taken less than 7 hours 21 minutes if I had not stopped to take photos of spider webs

Thanks to everyone that ran with me, especially Heather, Nicola and Georgie.  Well done to everybody that finished both runs.

Not a medal, but very a very nice finishers memento
Not a medal, but very a very nice finishers memento

This year’s race was superbly organised by Free Spirit Adventures.  It was their first year having just taken it over and although I am not sure what it was like before to me they did a fantastic job.

 

What are you proud of this week (remember it does not have to be sports related)

Posted in Comrades Marathon, Medals, Ordinarylife, Running, South Africa, Trail Running, Training, Training

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

 

 

 

Posted in Baby OL, Cats, Children, Chocolate, Comrades Marathon, My New Business, Ordinarylife, Running, Training

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

 

Posted in Ironman, My New Business, Running, Training, Training, Two Oceans

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

Posted in Cycling, Ironman, Medal Display, Medal Displays, Medal Hangers, Medals, My New Business, Ordinarylife, Running, SA Medal Hangers, South Africa, Trail Running, Training, Training, Triathlon, Two Oceans, Work

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.

081

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!

Posted in Family, Medal Display, Medal Displays, Medal Hangers, Medals, My New Business, Office, Running, SA Medal Hangers, Swimming, Trail Running, Training, Triathlon, Work

Last day!

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!

SA Medal Hangers
SA Medal Hangers

SA Medal Hangers
SA Medal Hangers – Table Mountain MTB
SA Medal Hangers - Triathlon
SA Medal Hangers – Triathlon
SA Medal Hangers - I LOVE MEDALS!
SA Medal Hangers – I LOVE MEDALS!

 

And I agree – I lOVE MEDALS!

Posted in Ordinarylife, Running, Training, Training, Two Oceans

2014 – My goal!

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.

Posted in Charity, hiking, Hiking Trails, Ordinarylife, Port Elizabeth, Running, South Africa, Trail Running, Training, Training

The Rhino Run 2013

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.

Photo by Willi Lawson
Photo by Willi Lawson

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!!!

The view from the top
The view from the top

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!!!

Photo by Willi Lawson
Photo by Willi Lawson

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)

Posted in Art, Baby OL, Family, My New Business, Ordinarylife, Parenting, Running, Sketches, Tenants, Trail Running, Training, Training, Women

A quick catch up

My poor blog – so neglected…..

I start a post in my mind and then stop.  Too much information, too boring, said already or whatever the reason the thought gets ditched.

So, I am writing this one, one not thought out ahead of time.  I have nothing much to say but so what…. Here is a basic update of what is happening in my Ordinary Life.

  • I am still doing the Art Techniques course through Coursera.org and loving it.  I don’t feel that I always have enough time to do the art project but you only are required to do 2 to pass and I have already done two, so am not too concerned if I miss a week here or there.  I am just completing all the theory quizzes and that will be enough.  Here is a picture I drew (the London taxi) for one of the assignments, the topic was “Mail Art”

Mail Art

  • I am driving Mr OL batty with thoughts of trying to start (another) business.  I constantly have ideas in my head but generally they don’t get much further than the planning stages
  • I bought another property – think I already mentioned this – and have since found out that the tenants that I was led to believe were “good” have not paid rent in 5 months.  I am hoping that the current owner gets rid of them before I take over.  I am sure that it is a breach of contract or something if he said that they were paying when I signed for it but they were not???  Any ideas?
  • My foot is …. I am actually not sure.  All I do know is that I still can’t run.  I am going to take 6 weeks off and then hope for the best.  We do know that there is no muscle damage, no tendonitis, no ligament damage and nothing else that can be seen in x-rays or an ultra-sound.  These however do not rule out a stress fracture.  In the meantime I am going to go for Gait Analysis because something I am doing has caused this.  I am also going for massages (yay) and to the chiropractor who is doing dry needling as my muscles in my legs are in knots.  I am hoping that this all makes me stronger. I am also trying to stretch in.  I really need to get in the pool and on my bicycle…..
  • I am having a serious case of “mommy guilt” at the moment.  Next weekend I was due to go to the Knysna Oyster Festival to run the HoutKapper Trail… Mr and Little OL were going to stay behind in PE.  Now obviously the running is out – however I have already sorted out my accommodation….. So…….  A weekend away sans husband and kiddy????  I am going to go but why do I feel so guilty about going away by myself for the weekend?  My mom, brother, sister and a multitude of my friends are all going, Mr OL does not want to go….urgh!  Would you feel guilty?

Wow, for a post that I did not think about I sure had a lot to write.

Oh, yes – MR OL surprised me with an Asus Transformer – well, he actually surprised me by asking if I would like an iPad Mini – I said no.  After he got over the initial shock I explained why.  So he helped me get the Transformer instead.  I LOVE IT!