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 30 Days of Gratitude, Baby OL, Cycling, Ironman 70.3, Training, Triathlon

30 Days of Gratitude – Day 20

Day 20 – Today I am grateful to my friend and training partner. Who not only puts up with unexpected cancellations and working around Little OL but also drives all the way across town at 4:30 am to cycle with me, whether it is indoors on our trainers or like today when we finally actually got on the road!

Ironman 70.3 South Africa is only two months away and this morning was the first morning that I did a training ride on the road! And boy was it awesome.  It is already just getting light at 4:30, the weather was perfect and the ride went better than expected.  I also did a triathlon on Sunday and was quite surprised by how well it went, seeing as the only riding I have been doing has been indoors.  I have been running quite a bit so am stronger there than I normally am.

I am loving training again, I have a good schedule that works for Little OL and I and she now gets to see her Granny at least once a week.  Happiness all round!

Posted in Baby OL, Cycling, Family, Ordinarylife

I listened – eventually.

I don’t seem to be blogging that much at the moment (stating the obvious).  I am not sure why, it just feels as if I don’t have all that much to say – or don’t know what to say.  I am going to start with how my weekend went.

It started off great!  My sister and I did a sea swim on Friday, the sea was rough (ish) but clear and awesome.  For some reason I prefer it with swell and chop as opposed to flat?  Yes, I know – not normal. 

It all went a bit pear shaped training wise from that point in.

I was supposed to do a Masters and Ladies cycle race on the Saturday morning.  My alarm was set for 4:45, however Little OL decided at 4:20 that she would wake up.  After trying to get her back to sleep for the next 40 minutes I woke Mr OL to watch her.  I needed to get to the start of the race – which I missed anyway!

My group starts before most of the other groups (yes, I am that slow), and I was late – only by a minute or so but still.  On the way past one of my friends I jokingly said to her “I think I should give up now and go back to bed” I did not know how right I was….

After cycling for only 1.6kms I got a puncture.  As I was busy changing it all the rest of the groups passed me.  I changed the tire and cycled the whole 1.6km back to my car and went home.  I am a firm believer that the universe looks after me.  I maybe did not listen to the first 2 warnings that for some reason I should not be cycling that day, but by the time it came to warning 3 I was all ears.

The rest of my weekend was great – Little OL is just getting cuter and cuter!

Posted in Cycling, Ordinarylife, Training

I’ve gone and done it again!

And NO I am NOT pregnant! 

BUT what the HECK was I thinking!!!  Or at least I think that is what I will be writing on Monday.

Never one to back away from a challenge I have entered a corporate mountain bike race on Sunday.  I thought others from our company would be doing it too, but it turns out – not so much.  Our CEO is doing it and then we have “adopted” two cyclist to do the longer legs.  Turns out they are taking this a bit seriously… YIKES.  The time is taking for all 4 participants and then worked out based on that.  I might be letting the side down a bit.

Did I mention that I don’t even own a mountain bike…..

I am going to borrow my sisters for the day.  I have not ridden a mountain bike in over 4 years, and even then it was only once and also on a borrowed bike.  I have not even sat on my road or tri bike in over 18 months! What the HECK was I thinking agreeing to this……..  Oh well, how hard can 20km be exactly?

Posted in Cycling, Ironman, Ordinarylife, Pregnancy, Running, Sunshine Coast Triathlon, Training, Triathlon, UNISA

2009 Round up!

I was out for coffee (read orange juice) on Saturday morning and we were talking about 2009.  She was saying that it was a non-event year for her and I agreed.  I felt like I have not achieved much this year – especially compared to other years. And then I actually thought about it. 

What the HELL was I thinking – this has been a huge year for me! 

Firstly sometime last year I discovered I actually quite liked cycling – who’d have thought!  Then in January I realized I more than quite liked it I was thoroughly enjoying every minute of it!!  This helped a lot with the Ironman training! 

That brings me to point number 2.  I completed my second Ironman.  This time I did not feel like I was faking it and was very proud of my finish.  I trained hard and enjoyed it.  Even though it was an absolute cooker, nearly 40ºC on race day and at one stage I was questioning my sanity I loved the race.  13hours 32 minutes later – I will now proudly say I am an Ironman.  After the first one in 2007, I was bit embarrassed to say I was an Ironman.  I finished in 16hours 36minutes but I really could have put more of an effort into my training.  I kind of felt that somehow I was not really worthy to say I had done one.  Doing a second one and doing it well proved that the first one was not just a fluke.  

Sports wise I had a lot of personal bests.  Not only did I have a PR in Ironman of over 3 hours but I also had a PR in every other distance I entered.  Who knew that training worked!  In the 21.1km I managed to get under 2 hours which I was very pleased about.  In the 10km I managed about 54 minutes and in the Olympic Distance not only was I 3rd girl out the water, do a 54 minute 10km, come 6th girl over all but I also managed to finish it in under 3 hours.  Happiness is! 

Also in April I graduated – I FINALLY received my degree.  A Bachelor of Commerce in Tourism Management!  Yes it took a while but I did it correspondence, I paid for it myself and I finally got it.  Whether or not I will ever work in tourism again is another question.  But at least I got the degree.  

Then the BIGGIE, on the 16 June I found out I was pregnant!  The baby is due on the 18 February!  

And I guess that is pretty much it.  So it looks like the 1st 6 months were a lot more eventful than the past 6 months. 

I am very excited to see what (and who) 2010 brings.  It should be a good year!

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

Race Day – The Bike

I got my bike out of transition and headed for the road.  My goal for the bike was to average about 26 km/hour.  The course is 3 loops each of 60 km.  The first section is a “gentle” climb to the highest point on the course.  There is then a very nice down hill, and the rest of the course is relatively flat. 

 

I was feeling great!!!!  The first two loops of the bike went fantastically well.  I saw quite a few spectators along the way that I knew and it was awesome to get their support.  My heart rate was higher that I would have liked, but nothing to cause too much concern.  My average speed for the 1st two laps was just under 30km/hour and I could not believe it.  I had never been that quick before.  I did help that there was NO wind, which in Port Elizabeth is unheard off.  The only problem with having no wind was there was nothing to cool you down and it was HOT!!!!!!  I was enjoying myself though, and was making sure I drank LOTS of water.  At every Aid Station I would grab a bottle of water, drink some of it and pour the rest over myself.  I also had 3 bottles of sports drink on my bike, but for some reason it tasted too sweet?  I did force myself to drink it, because water alone was not going to work.  The drink on the course was Infinite, but I had never tried it before and had heard that if you weren’t used to it, it could cause problems.  I steered clear of it, just in case. 

 

I stopped a couple of times along the way.  The first time was on the 2nd loop.  I pulled over and covered myself with sunscreen again.  The second time was also on the 2nd loop.  My feet were burning!!!  It felt like I had a whole swarm of bees in my shoes and I could not figure out what was wrong.  Eventually I realized that it must be the plasters I put on my toes to stop blisters during the run.  With the heat and stuff my feet must have swollen and now the plasters were too tight.  I pulled over, took my socks and shoes off and pulled of all the plasters – what a relief!!!!!!  The 3rd time was at the Special Needs Station.  I had put a meal replacement shake in my special needs bag so I stopped to drink it.  I am not confident enough on my bike just to grab it and carry on cycling, so I stopped to drink it.  During both of these laps I was feeling confident.  My average speed was excellent and I was starting to do calculation in my head.  What would my cycle time be if I could keep this up?  What would my overall time be?  I did say to myself to calm down, it was a long day, and I still had 60km left on the bike. ANYTHING could happen.  I must just be thankful I am where I am so if I get a puncture or something at least I have time to play with.  I was not really expecting what did happen to happen though. 

 

As soon as I headed off up that hill for the 3rd time I hit the wall.  I had been feeling great and then suddenly I just could not climb.  It did not look like I was the only one though.  I think the heat was beginning to get to most people.  I put my bike in the easiest gear and tried to not to stop pedaling.  All I wanted to do was get off and push but I knew it would not help, and I could not push my bike up that entire hill.  I just kept saying to myself, just catch that guy in front of you.  It did not help that almost every time I caught the guy in front of my he would stop, get off and throw up!!!  I have never seen so many people throwing up in my life.  I think on that hill alone I saw about 8 people.  There were also people lying next to there bikes at the side of the road in every shady bit? 

My internal dialog went something like this;  “Just catch that guy, yay, crap, what’s he doing stopping, you just keep peddling!  What the hell are you doing?  You have nothing to prove, you have done this before.  Don’t kill yourself, just get somebody to call Andrew to come and get you.  Don’t be a woes, you can do it.  Just get to the top of the hill.  If you still feel this bad at the top then stop.  Just get to the top then stop.”  At the top of the hill there is a large FNB sign, and I have never been so happy to see one of those blowup arch things in my life.  I got to the top of the hill and pulled of the road.  I put my bike on the ground and sat down next to it.  I got out some food; I had packed a honey and peanut butter sandwich which I ate.  I also had a GU, some of my energy drink (which I think had gone off in the heat as it was disgusting), lots of water and 2 salt tablets.  I also poured two bottles of water over myself and then covered myself in sunscreen again.  I spoke to one of the guys at the aid station and they said they measured the temperature there and it was 38ºC.  BLOODY HELL, no wonder we were all battling.  My average speed had dropped from just under 30km/hour to just over 26km/hour after that hill.  At least I was still on target and the rest of the course was pretty flat.  I got back on my bike and headed off…..  I was VERY glad that I had stopped though.  I think it did me the world of good.  I felt fantastic for the rest of the cycle, and managed to get my average speed back up to just over 27km/hour by the end of the cycle leg.  It did cross my mind at one stage though that if I slowed my cycle down I would not be running in the heat of the day?  It was only a brief thought and I did the cycle to the best of my ability. 

 

So that was 2 legs down and just one leg to go. Once again the internal calculations were starting.  It looked like I would make my goal of 14 hours 30 if nothing untoward happened on the run.  I had learnt from the bike that you just never can tell though.

 

So my time for the bike – 6:47:17

Posted in Cycling, East London, Ironman, Ordinarylife, South Africa, Sunshine Coast Triathlon, Swimming, Training, Triathlon, Wetsuit

I am NOT walking!

I finally found the photo’s from the Sunshine Coast Triathlon.  I knew they had been taken by Rob Pollock Photography but up until now they had nothing on their site.  I also knew that they were up in a shopping centre in East London, a little bit too far just to look at photos.  But, woo hoo they are now online. Well it was woo hoo until I found the photos of me!!!

 

Why is it that I do my best time ever in a 10km EVER and yet in the photo’s it looks like I am walking!!!!  I was not walking, I promise.

 

Also why is it that I just look like crap in all my “action” shots!  I will never be that cute little girl that looks hot while competing.  I will always be that girl that just looks hot (as in about to die from heat exhaustion) while competing.

 

This is the first photo of me on my bike, I am pretty happy with it.  At least it looks like I am going forwards.

3rd Girl!
3rd Girl out the water!
I am NOT walking - dammit!
I am NOT walking - dammit!
So I might be freewheeling??
So I might be freewheeling??
The finish line!
The finish line!
It’s funny, these photo’s are taken by a Pollock, because lately the way most people seem to have stumbled onto my site is because of that post I did about the Jackson Pollock picture our art class was inspired by.
Posted in Cycling, Ironman, Ordinarylife, Running, Swimming, Training, Triathlon, Wetsuit

3rd Girl out the water!!!!!!

We went to East London for the weekend to help celebrate a friend’s 40th but when we phoned another friend to ask if we could stay with him, he said it was fine, but he had entered a triathlon on the Sunday morning so it could not be a late night.  Woo Hoo! I did not even realise there was one on (the downfalls of boycotting the local radio station).  PERFECT!  An Olympic distance tri fits nicely in my training schedule for the weekend.  BUT, I was not going to race it – I was going to watch my HR and just have fun. 

 

As I was swimming I tried to look back at one stage and saw nobody behind me and thought “Crap I am last – oh well, just enjoy it!” Then when I got to the beach at the end of lap one and looked around I realised there were a few people behind me.  When I ran up the beach at the end of the swim people were shouting “3rdgirl out the water”!

 

THIRD GIRL OUT THE WATER!!! Screw the Heart Rate – the race is on.  I have never had such a fast transition before.  Who knows how I got my wetsuit off that fast?  But I went flying out on my bike – until I hit the first hill.  Hmmph!  My cycling still needs a bit of work. 

 

These were my thoughts on the bike.  “Third girl, third girl, third girl!!!!  Who knew I was actually a Type A personality after all? Third girl, third girl, third girl”  Infact I was thinking that pretty much until the 4th girl passed me, and then the 5th – DAMMIT, my cycling has improved dramatically but not enough.  I figured I would probably blow it on the cycle, so I must concentrate and worry more about my HR, I have bigger fish to fry in 3 weeks, so I calmed down, slowed down to a more doable pace and enjoyed the race – but BLOODY HELL East London has hills.  Ours look more like mole hills compared to theirs. 

 

I was trying to figure out where I was in comparison to the other girls.  How many had passed me on the bike?  What position was I in – normally not a problem, because I am usually last?  On the run I concentrated more on my HR and tried to keep it between 160 – 164 beats per minute.  The first 2km were hard.  I was beginning to wonder if I was really ready for IM after all.  I mean here I had only cycled 40km and I thought I was going to die!  But it got better, much better.  I was also trying to see where the other girls were.  It was difficult to gauge as we had now mixed in with the people doing the sprint triathlon.  But our numbers were different so I notice a few girls doing the Olympic but because it was 2 laps of the same course I was not sure if they were ahead or behind me.  It was only at the final turn around that I realised a few of them were behind me, and pretty close behind – SCREW THE HEART RATE – RUN DAMMIT!  So that is what I did.  Only one girl passed me on the run, and that was in the final kilometer.  I just could not keep up!  But I managed to stay ahead of the others. 

 

So, 3rd girl out the water!  Passed by 2 on the bike and 1 on the run!  Makes me SIXTH GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Not last girl, Sixth girl.  WOO HOO.  Ok, so it turns out that there were only 10 girls competing so no matter what I would have finished in the Top 10 but still.  My run time was my fasted 10km run EVER!  Not just in a triathlon – EVER!  It was 54 minutes 39 seconds!  And I was THIRD girl out the water!  My final time was 2 hours 56 minutes.  This means I was nearly a HOUR quicker than my last Olympic time, which I did 2 seasons ago.  A whole HOUR – looks like the training is actually paying off?? 

 

I gave my husband my camera and asked him to take photos – Hmmm, so maybe not, I got one of his foot and two of his friends…

 

3rd girl out the water, 3rd girl out the water, 3rd girl out the water – and just for good measure – 20 days till IMSA!!!!

Posted in Cycling, Family, Ironman, Ordinarylife, Training, Triathlon, Windsurfing

Apparently my brother is an Ironman?

I realized yesterday that my dad has no idea what I do, or what Ironman is or what is involved.

 

This was our conversation yesterday.

 

Dad:  “Not long now till your sister gets here.  Is she doing that thing again?”

Me: “Yes she lands in less than a month and Ironman? Yes, she is doing it again.”

Silence

Dad: “Are you?”

Me: “yes I am”

Dad: “Is your brother?”

Me: “No, it is just your daughters that are mad.”

Dad: “But he has done it before.”

Me: “No he hasn’t”

Dad: “Yes he has.’

Me: “No he has not.”

 

This carried on for a while….

 

Me: “Dad, I can guarantee you that he has never done an Ironman.”

Dad: “So then what was that thing that he borrowed my old bike for?  That involved a swim and then a bike ride.”

Me: “Huh?”…….“Uhmm, possibly just a normal distance triathlon”

Dad:  “Maybe, but I am sure it was Ironman.”

Me:  “No”

Dad: “But he could do one?”

Me:  “Yes dad, he could do one. Anyone with training can do one.”

Dad: “No, I mean now, he is fit enough.  And he could borrow my bike if he wanted”

Me:  “OK”

 

My brother - Having fun!
My brother - Having fun!