Posted in Cycling, Family, Ironman, Ironman 70.3, Ocean Racing Series, Ordinarylife, Port Elizabeth, Running, Swimming, Trail Running, Training, Training, Triathlon, weather, Wetsuit

2012- A year’s Race Review

I am not going to review every race I took part in – that would take far too long.  I love racing!  Ok, I don’t like racing as such – I like races.  I like the spirit, the social aspect and the friends I have that race.  I don’t go out to clubs, pubs or bars.  I don’t even go out much to restaurants or coffee shops – I go to races.  This is where I get my social fill.  I meet up with good friends and acquaintances.  I see my brother and sister and mom.  I chat, I race and I go home.  I love it! (I also feel less guilty leaving Mr OL to watch Little OL if I am “racing”)

I am not saying I am not competitive, I am although it might not seem that way.  I don’t win, I usually don’t even place.  In fact I have been known to be dead cold stone last!  Yip, prize giving has been held and I have walked run across the line.  But I do check my results, I watch my time and I have been trying to get faster this year (it’s worked).  But that is not my main reason.  I just like to take part.

However 2012 did not start well.  My first big race was Ironman South Africa 70.3 in East London.  I got sick 2 days before the race and decided not to do it. A DNS. It was disappointing, but not as much as most people (myself included) believed it would be.  My goal for that race was to get back into training, and I did that. So whether I did the race or not I achieved my goal.

My poor bike - checked in and nowhere to go
My poor bike – checked in and nowhere to go

However, after the following 6 months I was feeling more than a little bit down hearted.  I pulled out of the PE Herald cycle tour after 75 km with very bad cramps.  It was my first cycle race.   A DNF.  Also, what was to be my first stand-alone marathon, Knysna Forest Marathon, was cancelled due to weather. (photo thanks to Mike Brewis)

Gouna Crossing 14 July 2012
Gouna Crossing 14 July 2012

I decided to withdraw a month before the Baviaans Trail run as I did not feel I would be ready.

Thankfully the smaller races went well, and I have enjoyed training. One of my favourites is definitly the Urban Run.

Resource

Urban Run - me on the right
Urban Run – me on the right

I have also rekindled my love for trail running.  I did quite a few of the local trail runs, with quite a few of them being longer than 20km.  I have also enjoyed the 10km road races I have entered and have seen my speed improve.  Also my 21.1km time is almost on par with what it was before I had Little OL and I am happy with that.

I have entered a few triathlons which have been fun.  The first one of the year was the Corporate Triathlon the day before Ironman South Africa.  We had stunning weather – unfortunately for the Ironman competitors it had changed by the following morning.

Me on the right
Corporate Triathlon – Me on the right

Although I have not done as much open water swimming as I would have liked to have done I am happy with how it is going. The last event of 2012 was on 31st of December being the inaugural Mandiba Bay Mile swim from Humewood Beach to Kings Beach.  The distance according to my Garmin was actually 1.94km and I completed it in 39 minutes – which came as a total surprise to me.

Zport's Mandiba Bay Mile
Me hitting the beach (photo thanks to Zports)

I just hope I can repeat that on the 20th January when I attempt to do Ironman South Africa 70.3 again.  I could not have hoped to end 2012 of on a better note.

I would like to thank all the people that make such an effort to bring all these events to PE and surrounds, I for one greatly appreciate it.

Let’s hope that 2013 starts a lot better for me.  I am positive it will and very excited for the 70.3 (although I probably should have been on my bike a bit more)

Posted in 30 Days of Gratitude, Art, Baby OL, Children, Cookies, Family, Food, Ordinarylife, Port Elizabeth, Triathlon, weather

30 Days of Gratitude – Day 15 to Day 19

Day 15 – I am grateful for the ladies at my art classes I go to. I have been going for over 11 years and it is more about the social aspect that actually getting any painting done.

Day 16 – I am grateful that it is Friday!

Day 17 – I am grateful that I get to spend the day with Little OL.  She is getting cuter and cuter each day.

Day 18 – I am grateful to Mr OL for watching and entertaining Little OL so I could do a triathlon in the morning and finish decorating over 100 Christmas cookies that a friend ordered.

Christmas Tree Cookies iced and ready for wrapping.

Day 19 – I am grateful that it feels like summer is well and truly here!  I woke up this morning and it just had that summer feeling about it. When I was out in my car at lunch time the temperature said 30 degrees (which made me grateful for air-con). But I love summer!!!!!

Wrapped Christmas Tree Cookie

 

 

Posted in Baby OL, Children, Family, Ordinarylife, Port Elizabeth, Running, South Africa, Training, Training, weather

30 Days of Gratitude – Day 1 – Day 6

30 Days of Gratitude (as seen on Ginger and Spice) as well as a few other blogs.

Ok, so I am a little late in getting started but I think it is a great idea.  I have so much to be grateful for, but sometimes need a little reminding.

I will play a little catch up here, to bring me up to date. Day 1 – Day 6.  Hopefully from tomorrow I remember do it daily.

Day 1 – Grateful that I have  friend that is prepared to drive all the way across town before 5am to “cycle” in my lounge with me.

Day 2 – Grateful that at least one of my tenants finally paid all their rent!  (read about my tenant problems HERE)

Day 3 – Grateful I am able to run!  And that I am getting better at it.  Such a good feeling. (related blog post HERE)

My 1st Silver Medal (Top 100) – and 3rd place.

Day 4 – Grateful that the weather was stunning so we could enjoy the Johnny Clegg concert!  It was awesome.   Also grateful that I live in such an amazing city that has spots that you can drive to when you need to “get away” – or drive till Little OL falls asleep and naps.

Little OL enjoying the Johnny Clegg concert
Enjoying some quiet time at Schoenmaker’s Kop
While Little OL had an afternoon nap in the back

Day 5 – Grateful for modern technology that makes keeping in touch with my sister so much easier.

Day 6 – Grateful that my mom lives in the same city as I do and that she loves watching Little OL so I am able to go and do the club runs on a Tuesday night.  Also grateful that the club I am a member at runs along the beachfront. Seeing the sea is good for my soul!

 

Posted in Knysna, Ordinarylife, Running, South Africa, weather

The race that wasn’t

Phew – it’s been a while… Hello.

So my second big race of this year was also a DNS (Did Not Start) and sugar coat it as much as you like that the race was actually cancelled and I therefore could not do it anyway I had decided to bail before the official cancellation came through.

I had been lying in bed listening to the rain and the wind thought there was NO WAY I was getting up to go and run a marathon in that.  Even more off putting than the running though was the standing outside, waiting for the taxi and then waiting at the start in the cold, wet and rain.  For those of you that don’t know the Knysna Marathon starts in the forest and to get there you need to take a taxi shuttle. The shuttles start running at 4:45 but the race is only at 7:00 (marathon) and 8:00 (21.1km).  So lots of waiting!

At about 3:30 and after BBM’ing my running partner who was elsewhere in the house, wide awake as well we decided not a friggin chance and went back to sleep.  To put me to total shame though my mom and sister both went to the start and where turned away – they did not bail.

I am pretty disappointed that I was not able to do this race.  It would have been my first stand alone marathon (not in an Ironman) and I was quite looking forward to it.

One of my friends decided to drive the route later in the day to see if it was actually necessary that they called off the race.  Below is a photo he took of a causeway that we would have had to cross… Yip, race organisers good call…. (Thanks to Mike Brewis for these photos)

Gouna Crossing 14 July 2012
Gouna Climb 14 July 2012
What would have been the finish line Knysna 14 July 2012
Posted in Ordinarylife, weather

Winter…. Love it or hate it?

I am not the biggest fan of winter, I much prefer summer!  So in order to cheer myself up I have decided to compile a list of all the things I do like about winter.

  1. Boots!  I love boots.  All kinds of boots but especially my brown leather riding style boots from Woolies.  I would love winter even more though if I had a pair of Hunters.  Ahhhh, my dream boot.
  2. Scarves.  I like scarves, especially longer ones, I have this misguided belief that they make me look thinner as they go over my tummy.
  3. Less mozzies.  I would have said No Mozzies but there was one in my bedroom on Wednesday night (why????? – it is winter dammit go away).
  4. Soup! Although this is good and bad because I eat LOTS of it!  But then it is winter so my scarf covers it….
  5. Chilling on the couch with no guilt.  Ok, I do still feel guilty if I just chill on the couch but less so.
  6. Winter PJ’s….
  7. Layers of clothing – yes I’m odd like that, I like layers.  Lots of layers so that I almost feel too hot.
  8. Thick duvets and winter sheets.  I love snuggling into my nice warm bed when it is cold out.
  9. Warm winters days.  They are like an unexpected bonus.  In summer you expect warm sunny days.  When they happen in winter they are special.
  10. Winter mornings, when it is still quite chilling but the sun is up and you are out on your bicycle or running.  Those mornings are the best!
  11. That after winter comes spring… which is followed by SUMMER!  Yay.

 

So what are your favourite things about winter?

PS:  In less than a month the days start to get longer again… yes I am counting down the 21 June.

Knysna on a cold winter's day
Knysna on a cold winter’s day
Posted in Family, Ironman, Ordinarylife, Port Elizabeth, South Africa, Triathlon, weather

So glad I was not there…

So you know I said I (almost) wished I was there.  As I lay in bed on early Sunday morning and listened to the wind howling and rain bucketing down I was thanking my lucky stars that I was not racing that day.

Oh my word the conditions were bad.  The wind was gale force, it was cold and it rained off and on the whole day and night.  And 1800 people had to do an Ironman.  Each and every single one of them gets all my respect.  In conditions like that to race for as long as they did… wow!  Somewhere out there for 17 hours, it was bad enough spectating and I had a warm rainproof jacket on.

Normally when I watch and Ironman I really wish I was racing and say that I would love to do another sometime.  Not this time. I am now saying NEVER EVER again. There is no way that I would want to put myself through that.  The mental toughness that they all showed not to give up when having to cycle straight into that wind was amazing.  I don’t think I would have that.  I would be the one sitting at the side of the crying my eyes out.

So to everyone that did the race yesterday – WELL DONE!!! To my brother on his first Ironman and to do it under 12 hours – wow Scotty fantastic.  To my sister – you are amazing.  I knew you could do it.  I always amaze and inspire me.  You are so strong and make me so proud.  Love you both.

Guess who was the one that burst into tears as my sister crossed the line – and it was not her….

Posted in Ironman, Ordinarylife, Port Elizabeth, South Africa, Swimming, Training, Triathlon, weather

A lost opportunity?

Alan over at My PE has asked an interesting question.

He asked if Ironman has lost it’s public appeal.  I VEHEMENTLY denied that this is the case as the crowds supporting were larger than ever but I do agree with his answer to my comment.  More should be done to advertise our beautiful city.  Much, much more!

We have one of the most beautiful cities anywhere!  Our beaches are safe to swim at, our climate is great, we have fantastic roads to train on, we have top game farms close by and yet our tourism attractions are closing down. Why is this and who is to blame?  Is it the people that live in PE, is it the organisations that should be promoting PE, or is it just that our attractions are not in line with what tourists want when they come to a city. (FireFly – opinions would be greatly appreciated)

I agree with Alan that we have lost out on a great marketing opportunity in not getting more video footage out there.  Not making sure it was on the news (dratted Charl Schwartzel going and stealing our thunder) on every radio station and in all the national papers.

This event filled our city, now we just need to find a way to sure that these people come back, tell their friends about it and that they broadcast how fantastic the race and city was.  Everyone I know that has competed raves about the race and the city. We need more people raving about it.

I know that there are a lot of people working very hard to promote our city, but it is down to each and every individual that lives here.  We need to get the word out that this is a fantastic place to live and visit.

Crowds lined up at the start of IMSA 2011

 

Raynard Tissink, out the water after the first lap of the swim

 

Chrissie Wellington running her way to victory
Some of the supports lining the roads
One of my friends with her daughter cheering her on.

 

Crowds at the Finish Line

 

If you have a look at the photos and not just at the athletes you will see that there is HUGE crowd support.  We just need to broadcast it a bit.

Posted in Baby OL, Cats, Family, Ordinarylife, Port Elizabeth, weather

Ok, explain this….

So explain this to me, Baby OL sometimes wakes at the slightest noise in the house. We have wooden floors and if you walk down them too loud it wakes her up.  If the birds start tweeting outside her bedroom at 5am she wakes.  If the cats scratch in my bedroom, which they do every morning, then she wakes.  If there is the biggest loudest most amazing thunderstorm directly over our house she sleeps…… Like a baby!!!!

I was awake, Mr OL was awake, the cats were awake, the dogs awake. Baby OL – sound asleep!  In fact she had the best night she has had all week and only woke at 6:15. 

The storm continued for hours, it was awesome.  There was thunder, lightning, hail and lots and lots of rain, which we desperately need.  Let’s hope it hit our catchment areas.

Posted in Books, Family, Food, Ordinarylife, weather

A Lazy Sunday!!

I have not had such a lazy Sunday in ages and I LOVED it!  I mostly stayed in bed reading.  I started and finished a book and it was heavenly.  

I did get a burst of energy a couple of times.  First I made breakfast for Mr OL and myself – then buried myself back under the covers and into my book and then at about midday I decided to bake some cookies – yum!  Then it was straight back to the book.  

I think Mr OL must have decided that if he wanted to eat anything else he had better make it himself.  So a bit later I was tempted away from my book by delicious smells of roast lamb……  Hmmmmm!  

It was perfect weather to do this, rainy, miserable, dark!  I could not think of a better way to spend yesterday!

The book I read was the first in the trilogy – Book of Words by J.V.Jones entitled The Baker’s Boy.  I really enjoyed it and now need to get my hands on book number 2.  Let’s hope it rains again next weekend……  (Baker’s Boy… Cookies…?  Do you think there might be connection????)

baker

Posted in Family, Hiking Trails, Ordinarylife, South Africa, Tsitsikamma Hiking Trail, weather

Tsitsikamma Hike

 So I am back at work.  At least it is a VERY short week.  I might just manage……I had a fantastic time off though and it was a great break.  Of course the best part was seeing my sister, but the rest was pretty good too. 

 

Other than Ironman, we ate lots of sushi, went to a spa for a massage and went hiking.  We should perhaps of had the massage after the hike but still, it was great.

 The hike was interesting.  We did the Tsitsikamma trail, starting at Blaauwkrans Hut.  Unfortunately we received a phone call from the trail director a few days before we set off saying that they had a fire in the area, and although it had died down it might still affect our last couple of days.  Apparently fires can lie smoldering for about a week?  He said that if we had hot windy days it could flare up again, but he would stay in contact with us and let us know what was going on.

 We set off with this in our minds.  The weather was fantastic for us, but not for the fires.  It was hot!  Luckily it would not affect our first few days and it made for good hiking weather.  We dunked ourselves in every pool or river we could find and it was awesome.  Pretty unusual for the rivers still to be as warm as they were, but then, after the temperature of the sea water last month, most water would feel pretty warm.

 On the 3rd day, as we approached Heuningbos Hut we started to see the smoke and it looked pretty damn close!!!!  I got out my cell phone and called Graeme (trail director).  He said we should not worry about that night, we would be fine as the wind was blowing in the opposite direction and there was indigenous forest between us and the fire but we would not be able to hike the following day.  He was actually on his way to evacuate the people that were staying at the next hut.  Yikes.

We had to cut our hike short by a night and headed back to Port Elizabeth the following morning.  It was a pity, but not something we had any control over.

I was also pretty surprised by my legs.  I handled the walking and even carrying the pack fine.  I thought I might battle a bit doing it so close to IM but no problems. 

 Here are some photographs.

 

Tsitsikamma Trail
Tsitsikamma Trail Tsitsikamma - smoke from fire near Sleepkloof
Tsitsikamma Mountains.
Tsitsikamma Mountains.