Posted in Cycling, Family, Feb Blog Challange, Ironman, Ironman 70.3, Ordinarylife, Training, Triathlon

FBC – Favourite photo / Best Friends

I don’t think I have a favourite photo of my and my “best friends” – in fact I am not sure at the moment how to determine what best friends are or who they are.  It is not like when I was school and I had two “best friends” and we did EVERY thing together.  I think as you get older you have more facets to your life, more interests and there fore sometimes require different friends for different aspects.

I have my sister – who is most definitly my “best friend” in all aspects but then I also have other friends that could also fit in there som where.  A “best” friend with who I train, you chat a lot while cycling/running/swimming (which might go some way to explaining my time…..), a “best” friend that I have made since having Little OL, a “best” friend at work (who keeps me sane) and a long standing “best” friend, who when looking from the outside, might not seem as if we have that much in common but who is invaluable in my life.  And then of course my internet “friends” who sometimes know more about me that people I am in contact with in real life.  It is not often that all my best friends will get together – in fact I can tell you that they never have – so I don’t have a photo of all my best friends.

I will instead post one of my most recent photos of myself, my sister and my bestest training partner at the top of Maitlands Hill on our last (and only second) long ride – we did a whole 59km…… The week before IMSA 70.3 in January.  I know, even I can’t beleive I actually made that bike cut-off with the minimal cycling we did (although we did use our indoor trainers quite a bit in winter)

The best friends and training partners a girl could ask for
The best friends and training partners a girl could ask for


They have now left me in the dust and are trainig for Ironman together – I am feeling left out…….. BUT I know that I could not commit to it at the moment, it is not a priority, but I do get jealous when I hear that they went cycling without me.  Hopefully from next week I can join them on their morning (shorter) rides again.



Posted in Family, Feb Blog Challange, Food, Ordinarylife

FBC – 10 people I would like to have dinner with

Little OL’s middle name is Elizabeth; I called her that after my Granny on my mom’s side. She was an amazing woman who I unfortunately did not get to see as often as I would have liked.  My parents immigrated to South Africa just before I was born and while growing up we only got to see her every second year when she come out to South Africa while she was still able.

In 1994 I moved to London, and every opportunity I got I went up to Edinburgh to visit my Gran. In 1995 I decided to move up to Edinburgh for a year and moved in with her.  It was fantastic to have that opportunity before she passed away, but there is so much more I want to ask her and learn about her life.  I know that my mom would also love to get to see her again.

So, my 10 people would actually need to be quite a bit more than 10.  I would love to have dinner with all the woman on my mom’s side of the family.  Some I have met, but most I have not.  I have been very fortunate to have the opportunity to “meet” one of my cousin’s via Facebook as well as the wife of one of my cousins.  If I included Myself, Little OL, my cousins and their daughters, my aunt as well as my mom and my sister we would be quite a bit more than 10 – but seeing as this is my blog, I am making up the rules.

The menu….. Tough one!  I guess it would depend on location and time of the year – I am going to say outs ide under some shade on a lovely Eastern Cape day and so we would have a long lunch of salads, quiches, tarts, grilled veggies (on a braai) and a selection of cakes. Yum

Little OL and her Granny (my mom)
Posted in Art, Baby OL, Children, Family, Feb Blog Challange, My Art Work, My sketchbook, Ordinarylife, Sketches

February Blog Challange Day 1

Cupcakemummy is running a blog challange for February – I can’t guarantee that I will do everyday, as I try to avoid my computer on weekends, but I will see how far I get.  As it is I already am 1 day late.

The first of Feb was meant to be a self portrait.

I funnily enough did actually take a photo of myself yesterday – after I drew this picture – of myself drawing this picture.  Does this count as a self portrait…..

A sketch of me sketching me, sketching me.....
A sketch of me sketching me, sketching me…..

And then an actual photo


Posted in Family, Ordinarylife, Parenting

Sometimes luck has everything to do with it.

This week has calmed down again, but at the moment I kind of feel that everything is just getting a little bit out of control.

Last week my dad had a stroke – very minor and we were VERY lucky.  It could have been so much worse.  Thankfully my brother had somebody working at my dad’s house that my dad was supposed to open up for.  When my dad did not open he called my brother.  My brother then phoned my dad who insisted he was fine and would open up in a few minutes.  He said this each time my brother phoned.  My brother phoned 5 times!  Thankfully his painter kept phoning him back and telling him that my dad had not opened.  Even when my brother when around there my dad said he would open and did not.  My brother eventually told him that he had 5 minutes to open the door or he was breaking in.  He broke in!

We hate to think what could have happened had we not had that painter there.  My dad was unable to get up out of his chair, but kept telling us over the phone that he was fine – and he sounded fine.  I have told him that next time he tells me he is fine over the phone I am rushing over there straight away.  Normally when you phone to find out how he is he moans about this or that or need this or help with that. The one time he does actually require help he says he is fine.

He spent a few nights in hospital but is back at home again.  He has refused to come and stay at my place, even for a few nights. We have him on a waiting list for an Old Age Home, but he has been on their emergency list for nearly 2 years now….. We are also going to arrange a carer a few hours a day from Algoa Bay Council for the aged, so hopefully that is sorted by next week.

It is a tough one, getting old sucks and seeing your parents get old sucks even more.

I am very fortunate though to have both my siblings in the same town and to have my brother who has taken on so much of this.  How he remains so patient with my dad is beyond me.

This photo was taken at my brother’s wedding in 2009 – yes, I was pregnant at the time.


Posted in Baby OL, Children, Family, Feeding, Food, Ordinarylife, Parenting

Its not easy

I generally love being a working woman.  I get satisfaction from bringing in my “own” money and from the interaction with my peers. Especially when asked for my opinion or for advice.  I feel equal in my relationship and that I don’t have to answer to Mr OL on how I spend “my” money.  (Not that I feel a SAHM/D should either – another debate) However at the moment I am really battling with the conflict of being a full time working woman and a mom.

Little OL loves her new pre-school but I am finding that having her in the after-care is making the day just too long for her.  Last year she was a day care till 5 as well, but it was geared towards the younger kids. They had strict nap times and (I believe) that they ensured they all ate – although I did have my doubts that she ate everything they said she did.  She’s never been the biggest eater.

Now, every day her lunch boxes are coming back untouched or pretty close to it.  I am trying all her favourites but no joy.  I would not stress too much about this, but she is also not napping at the school and so comes home exhausted and falls asleep in the car.  The first day I woke her but that was a total disaster, now I just put her to bed. She sleeps through – yip, over 13 hours straight.  The problem is that she is then also skipping dinner.  I need to get food in the child at some stage!

I have spoken to the school and we are trying different options.  Yesterday was better and she did actually nap at school and so was awake for dinner. Happiness, but generally this is making me question my reasons for working full day.  I know that this is something that gets worse not better.  As she gets older she is going to need me more and more in the afternoons – what with homework, after school activities etc.

Unfortunately even going half day is not really an option at the moment though so it is just something I (and all the other full time working parents) am going to have to deal with.  It sucks!

Posted in Baby OL, Children, Family, Montessori, Ordinarylife

Pre-school – tiring work

Turns out there is a huge difference between pre-school (with aftercare) and day-care.

Little OL fell asleep in the car on the way home from work and only woke up again at 6:15 the following morning.  She did not even wake when I washed her face, undressed her or put on her pajama’s.


dirty work -this pre-school thing
dirty work -this pre-school thing



Posted in Cycling, East London, Family, Ironman, Ironman 70.3, Ordinarylife, Swimming, Trail Running, Triathlon, Wetsuit

Ironman 70.3 South Africa 2013


I am not very good at writing race reports but here goes – I finished in 7:33:45 and I am very, very happy.   At least this year I actually got to the start line and finished.  A big step up from last year.

I have realised that I am very lucky when it comes to Ironman races.  I have yet to have a puncture or a serious technical malfunction, both of which could end my race.  I did however have a few minor issues, but none of them were race threatening, more of an annoyance.  My bike computer gave up on me at about the 10km mark – it kept telling me I was doing 14 km/hour, which was fine, except I was going down a hill and it fell more like 41km/hour.  When I got to the turn-around point I actually turned if off; it was more of an annoyance than a help.  I then tried to calculate my time to transition based on my watch time.  My Garmin also stopped reading distance after the swim, giving me only the time. Thankfully that was enough on the day.

Then the actual race:

The swim was ok, I am not good at going straight and try to avoid the crowds so swim wide – this meant that according to my Garmin I actually swam 2.3km. The final bouy also moved and ended up on the beach.  I was a little surprised when a wave crashed on my head as I rounded it and my first though was oh crap this is going to be a long 100m if I need to swim it with waves crashing on me all the time, and then I saw the girl next to me stand up. It was waist deep.  My thoughts then were off relief.  I did not have any further to swim.  My swim time – 44:36

I heard later that two men died on the swim.  It is very sad, imagine your son, father or husband (or wife, mother, daughter) goes off to race a triathlon and does not come back.  Chances are you are also going to be there watching.  It must be devastating and my thoughts are with those families.

The Bike – besides my bike computer not working I had fun.  It was not nearly as bad as I expected, and although I could have done without the headwind we faced heading back I enjoyed it.  I was so happy to reach the turn-around in a decent time that I burst into tears.  I knew that that bar any issues it was do able.  My only other problem in the bike was my sunscreen got into my eyes and they started to burn (probably because of the tears earlier).  I could not see a thing and it looked like I was bawling my eyes out.  Luckily it happened near the end and just before the horrid hill everyone was telling me about.  I think it distracted me as I did not notice the hill.  I guess not being able to see can do that to you.

Then the run… The whole time I had been thinking – as long as I can get to the run I’ll be fine. Well I got to the run and it SUCKED!  I just could not run.  My legs just did not want to run – they wanted to walk.  It was hot and I was tired.  I think I must have pretty much walked the whole 1st 10km.  Luckily as I passed the 11km mark everything seemed to click into place and I started to run again.  Besides Bunkers Hill (which is not nice) I pretty much ran the whole of the last 10km and I loved it.  I finished on such a high, and was smiling and happy, although if I look at the finish photos my sister-in-law took I don’t look that smiley.  I look like “where the hell is the line”, but at least my hair looked good (not).  And few seconds after I crossed the line the tears started again.

So as I a round up – I loved it.  I will do it again!  Can I say that I will train more, nope, probably not?  I am very happy with how this race went considering my serious lack of cycle and swim training, who knew that muscle memory is there.  I do think that the trail running has helped a lot though.

So to everyone that supported me and cheered – at the side-lines or from afar, thank you very much.  I really appreciate it!  It means a lot to me.

Ironman 70.3 South Africa
Ironman 70.3 South Africa
Posted in East London, Ironman, Ironman 70.3, Ordinarylife, Port Elizabeth, Triathlon, Women

Essential Ironman Preparation

There is a lot that goes into getting ready for an Ironman or ½ Ironman race.  Obviously there are the months and months of training and the mental preparation.  That we all know about, but once you have done that there is so much more to do.  I am talking about the more important stuff!  The stuff that really matters on race day – like ensuring your toenails are painted (preferably matching your bike), your legs and under arms are shaved or waxed and your hair is done.  In my case when I say done I mean coloured.  Horror of horrors, your finish photo has the grey showing!  So, to ensure that this disaster does not befall me I am off to an emergency appointment with my hair dresser this afternoon.

A few weeks ago I realised that my next appointment was only after the 20th I called him in a panic and asked if he could please, please, please squeeze me in beforehand.  He laughed and said yes, and I was the 2nd person that week to phone him for the exact same reason.

Very glad to see that we PE athletes have our priorities straight!


Posted in Baby OL, Children, Family, Montessori, Ordinarylife, Parenting

And so it starts!

Little OL started at a Montessori school this morning, so I am now officially the mommy of a pre-schooler!  Although she does have 3 years before she starts actually starts Grade R.  Here are a few photos from yesterday when she went in for orientation.

Comparing the picture from fthe irst day of day care last year
Comparing the picture from fthe irst day of day care last year
Intrigued by the photo taken a year ago.
Intrigued by the photo taken a year ago.
What a difference 1 year makes
What a difference 1 year makes
Building a puzzle - happy
Building a puzzle – happy

When I picked her up she was full of smiles and when I asked what she did all I got out of her was that she built puzzles (her all-time favourite thing) and climbed a tree.  And she had some mud on her, which I always take as a good sign!


PS- Look at the size of her classroom, it is huge.  I am hoping that because of this she will be sick a whole lot less this year!

Posted in Cycling, Family, Ironman, Ironman 70.3, Ocean Racing Series, Ordinarylife, Running, Swimming, Training, Training, Triathlon

Ready or not!

Ironman 70.3 is next weekend and I am not going to lie, the bike cut off is going to be a bit tight if not damn near impossible.

I have not cycled nearly enough (when do I ever?) and I have done ZERO hill training.  Yikes.  Here is a quick breakdown of my cycle uhhh training (cough).

I have done 10 or so training rides on the roads, only one of which was slightly longer than 60km – but not much….  The rest were all about 45km.  I have only done one ride that included hills (4 small hills to be exact) and a few rides (half hearted) on an indoor trainer.  I have also done 3 triathlons (sprint distance….).  Those of you who are also doing the 70.3 or who have done it in the past can stop rolling around on the floor laughing please.

Will I finish Ironman 70.3 in East London – I sure as hell hope so.  For some strange reason I am more confident going in this year than I was last year.  Not sure exactly why though – I think it is due to the fact that I have not had the opportunity to realise just how bad it actually is going to be.  Last year I rode a lot more, we did a lot of hills and I knew it was going to be tough – this year I am relying on muscle memory and a strong mind.  Last year though I only rode – I did not do much running or swim training.  I had not done many (any) sea swims.  This year, as long as I can actually get to the run, I should be fine.  In fact my main goal for this year is to start the damn race!

I am much more excited this year than last – I have up’ed my vitamin intake. Actually I have up’ed the entire family’s vitamin intake.  I am not taking any chances this time.  I have also booked myself a hotel room close to the start and have told Mr OL he and Little OL need to find somewhere else to stay that night (callous I know!)  Ok, don’t’ look at me like that – Mr OL is from East London and his friends and family are fighting over who gets them for the night (or at least that is what I am telling myself to alleviate the guilty feelings)

So – this time next week we, along with loads of other nervous and excited athletes will be heading to East London.  I cannot wait!  Please wish me luck if you see me, unless you have a sniffle – then please stay away….