Posted in 30 Days of Gratitude, Baby OL, Family, Ironman, Ironman 70.3, Ordinarylife

30 Days of Gratitude Day 27 to Day 29

Day 27 – Today I am VERY grateful that Home Affairs has moved.  The new building is so much better and you don’t get harassed as you enter. They have secure parking – and the queues even moved pretty quickly.  I finally changed my ID and Passport into my married name.  It was not as traumatic as I was expecting.

Day 28 – I am grateful for the help and support I am getting to make changes in my life.  Hopefully this has a long term positive effect on life in general as well as my marriage.  I suppose I should really be grateful besides my friends and family who listen to me that I can afford to hire somebody that is helping me do this.

Day 29 – Today I am in a totally soppy mood and just feel like writing a whole list of things I am grateful for. There is not one specific thing that stands out more than the others.

  • For my friend and training partner that also does not take this whole Ironman thing too seriously.  But takes it seriously enough to drive to my place at 5 am.  We went for a run this morning, but after 2 km’s decided to walk instead. Such a beautiful morning, we just kept walking and talking.  In the end we probably walked about 5 km.
  • To Mr OL, just because. (what can I say – I am feeling soppy)
  • To my neighbours – for having 5 daughters, and that the oldest 3 are able to baby sit.  Very useful.
  • I am grateful for one of my work colleagues – who is much more of a friend that a colleague.
  • I am grateful that we have made a decision on Little OL’s school and after parent night last night we are even happier with that decision.
  • I am grateful that nobody laughed out loud last night at the restaurant that Mr OL decided to have dinner at after parent night.  We forgot that we had on very large name tags Little OL’s name on them.  Yike – blind.
  • I am grateful that sometimes Mr OL totally ignores my opinion and does what he wants.  Like replace the floors in our house.  They are gorgeous – and I fought him tooth and nail.  Yes, you were right – sorry.  Now all I need to do is paint the walls and buy new curtains.  Happy girl.
  • I am grateful to my 2 year old for being so totally absolutely adorable!!!

Ok, I could actually go on – as I said I am in a totally soppy mood right now.  I guess what I am trying to say is I am in a happy place right now.

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 Ironman, Ironman 70.3, Ordinarylife, Running, Sunshine Coast Triathlon, Training, Training, Triathlon

3rd in my Age Group!

Lately I have been running quite a bit and it is finally beginning to show in my times.  For those “runners” out there I know – still pretty slow. For me however it is fast, so just let me have my moment of glory and say “well done”.

This weekend I podium’ed!!!! Yes, for the first time since ever – or at least since I left school.  I cam 3rd in my age group and I was not even there to collect my prize.  I knew I was pretty far up the field but was not sure where I had come. It did help that there were three races, a 27km, a 10km and a 5 km so I am guessing that all the super quick girls did the 27km.  But – I am not going to look for justifications!! I came 3rd in my age group fair and square. I ran my fasted “stand-alone” 10km ever (yes, believe it or not I have actually done it quicker in a triathlon).and I got my first silver medal – which I only realised the next day when I was taking it out my car. That means that I finished in the top 100.  Today when I looked at my results I actually came 73 out of 306 people, so I am VERY happy.

Now I just need to work on my bike and I will be a happy girl!  At this rate I will not even make the bike cut-off and so my runs will be for nothing!  I have not ridden my bike (besides on the indoor trainer) since April!

Posted in Food, Ironman 70.3, Ordinarylife

Cutting sugar

At the beginning of November last year my sister gave us a challenge. She said “cut sugar”.  What she meant was stop adding sugar to tea or coffee and stop eating sweets/ chocolates and no drinking soft drinks.  The challenge was until Ironman 70.3 this January.

I decided that while I was about it I should maybe do a slight overhaul of my diet. Generally I felt that I ate quite healthily but my lunches needed some serious work.  It was pure laziness and I would grab whatever was at hand.  In my case that was white bread.  There were some days when I was having up to 9 slices…. Yikes.  My other problem was that if I was out of the office anywhere near lunch time I would get takeaways.  I decided to cut those out too.

I found that it was actually the habits that where hardest and not the foods. The temptation to pick up that chocolate bar at the counter when doing your shopping (and eat it in the car on the way home).  The temptation to go to the kitchen at work and butter a slice of bread (or 3). The temptation to just pop into KFC at lunch time if I was out – even if I had food in the fridge at work.  I did however battle with the cutting sugar out of my tea of coffee and gradually started reducing the amount I added.

The results were nothing short of astonishing!  In the 3 months I lost 8 kgs.  Ok I was also training for a Half Ironman so upped my exercise dramatically – but I have done that before and never lost similar amounts of weight.  I was pretty shocked.  I thought my diet was pretty healthy to start with.

After January I gradually started adding the breads and the take-aways back into my diet.   I generally don’t drink sodas so no problem there.  And there was nothing gradual about the reintroduction of chocolate.  I did however keep reducing my intake of sugar in the tea and coffee.  It took me exactly 1 year to stop adding sugar – yes, I can now say that as of the 1st November 2012 I DON’T add sugar to tea or coffee.  Over the year I started to put back on some of the weight – not all of it thankfully.

This November I have decided to do the challenge again.  I need to plan better to ensure that I am not tempted to sneak into the kitchen to eat the bread – very tempting when somebody makes toast… I am a total sucker for white bread!  But I am being strong.  It is probably going to be easier this time as I don’t have as much to cut back – but the temptation is still there.  I was out at lunch time  and all I could think was…. Hmmmmm KFC! But I resisted! I have however decided not to cut chocolate all together – I am sticking to 2 blocks of dark chocolate – 85% (just as well I love it)

I wonder if it will have the same effects on my weight as last time?  Although it is not the reason I am doing it.  It will however be easier to get a lighter me up the hills in East London in January!  I will keep you up dated.

Posted in Baby OL, East London, Ironman 70.3, Ordinarylife, Swimming, Training, Triathlon

Back in the swim of things

Last night was the first time that I have taken Little OL to the kiddies club at the gym. Please tell me why I have been worrying about this????

She played, I swam and it was great.  Right up till the point where we tried to leave.  She was not having it and wanted to stay longer.  I see lots more trips to the gym in our future!

It did take some organising though.  I packed everything the night before, picked her up from school and rushed home to feed her dinner.  If she does not eat at about 5pm she gets very grumpy and loses her appetite (much like her mom –without the losing my appetite part).

It was so good to be back in the pool and now that I am able to get to the gym to swim I see the possibility of doing the Half Ironman in January being much more realistic.

Posted in Baby OL, Children, Cycling, Family, Ironman, Ironman 70.3, Ordinarylife, Running, Swimming, Training, Training, Triathlon

When / how do you train?

I need to get creative – and this time I am not talking about painting or drawing.  Mr OL is away for nearly 2 months and unless I get creative, this is seriously going to impact my training.

I normally do all my training in the morning, while he and Little OL sleep.  Obviously this is not going to work if he is not there.  I am also trying to decide on whether or not to enter Ironman SA 70.3 which is 20 weeks away, so if I enter I will need to start training for that shortly as.

Here are my ideas so far:

  • Put my bike on the indoor training for early morning training (3 times a week)
  • Run once a week in the evenings after work. Granny OL can watch Little OL.
  • Run once a weekend – usually in a race. Granny OL or a kind friend that has already volunteered for 3 races can watch Little OL.

Then I also need to swim.  The gym has a very good kiddies’ area – so I might enrol Little OL there.  I could then go home after work, feed her dinner (she needs to eat at 5 or becomes unplayable) and then head off to the gym and put her in the kid’s zone.  I could also maybe swim once a weekend as well.  I would quite like to get Little OL swimming too, so might swim myself first and then get her from the kiddies’ area and swim with her too?

My concern is that I don’t want to spend what little time I actually have with Little OL training.  I work full time, so only get to spend the evenings and weekends with her. I don’t want to be training every night. It is one of the things I love about early morning training, it does not interfere with my time with her as she is usually asleep then anyway.  As is it I go to Art Class once a week so that time is spent away from her, which is normally not a problem, but now if I throw training in there a couple of nights a week too I will never see her.

Anyone have any creative ideas….. Or want to sponsor me a treadmill for 2 months????

Posted in Cycling, Ironman, Ocean Racing Series, Ordinarylife, Port Elizabeth, Running, Sunshine Coast Triathlon, Swimming, Trail Running, Training, Triathlon, Wetsuit

It was not always so!

When I was at school I did a lot of sport but none of it conventional school sports. That might have had something to do with the fact that I have ZERO eye hand co-ordination and cannot hit, catch or throw a ball.  As we had to do at least one winter and one summer school sport I did swimming and cross country but I was not very good.  I did not like to practice and as most of my other sports did not involve endurance I could not run very far without stopping.  Swimming was bit better (natural talent) but running…. Oh I hated it!  The races were 4 km every second Wednesday afternoon at a different course.  I would show up, run/walk/wheeze then go home muttering and moaning that I was not a runner.

After school I did nothing for many years.  I loved walking and rollerblading and did that a lot while overseas. When I returned to SA I figured I really needed to do something again.  I took up paddling (canoe and surf ski) I was unfit and always last but it was fun.  The people there were all very fit though and spoke of running and races and things.  It was infectious and I decided I was going to enter the Spar Ladies 10km race.  My first run was not good.  I managed less than 1 km before I turned around and walked back home.  Thankfully the race was over 9 months away.  I remember a conversation with 2 girls at the canoe club, both multiple time Comrades finishers.  I was seriously impressed and mentioned that I had just started running, that I was hoping to run the Spar ladies, but it seemed sooooo far and I doubted I could do it. They just laughed (thankfully not unkindly) and told me that that was how it started.  First a 10km, then a 15 and so on.  My words were “I will NEVER EVER go further than 10km”.  At that stage I seriously doubted I would even make that.  Their parting words were “we will see”.

Well, they were right.  I did a 10km, and signed up for the Knysna half marathon in 2005.  In the end I did not do it that year due to injuries, but I did Two Oceans Half 2006.  Then in 2007 I completed my first Ironman.  Yes, I had only done 1 half marathon, and a lot of people did not think I would manage. In fact a couple of them have come to me since and said they would have bet their house that I would not have finished.  Well, finish I did.  I managed to squeeze in a few minutes before the midnight cut-off.

Me – Sunshine Coast Triathlon 2009

Since then I have run quite a bit more.  I have done Ironman again, taking over 3 hours off my previous time.  I have competed in a quite a few triathlons and open water swims and have recently gotten into trail running. I love it!

Ironman South Africa 2009

I am always enthusiastic and positive when somebody wants to try something new like running or triathlon. I am a firm believe that if I could finish an Ironman then just about anybody could.  I was not athletic, I was not a runner, I was not a triathlete. I did not even own a bike.  I  would probably be last, but I knew that I would finish it and that is what counts.

Me – keeping it fun at the Urban Run 2011

For people that are just starting out with running, my main bit of advice. Take it slowly.  Walk when you need to.  Look around.  Keep it fun.  Do races or something for the social aspect and so what if you come last – somebody needs to.  More often that not it has been me.  Mr OL likes to joke that I get full value out of my race entry fee.

But most importantly just get out there and do it!

And for the girls – get a good sports bra. When I started the one I used was too tight, and I could not breath. Except I did not know it was the bra, I thought it was just because I was that unfit.  Tight is not always better –support is what counts.

Sunshine Coast Triathlon 2009 – 3rd lady out the water and 6th lady at the finish.
Posted in Family, Ordinarylife, Parenting, Running, Trail Running

Running in the family

I think I might have a genetic problem or abnormality.  That is the only thing that can explain the insanity that has over taken my life.  And seeing as my sister has the same problem I am blaming genetics – more specifically my mom.

Earlier this week my sister sent me information on a trail run coming up this year. She actually sent it to a few people and asked how fit were we feeling… Nobody responded besides me!  I just said “I’m in!”

Well entries were limited to 100, so we set our alarm clocks to be sure we were 2 of those 100..  We made it.  I am skipping around and all happy for most of the morning– and then realised that I now actually have to run 40km on a trail!!! Yikes.

I might have mentioned before that I have never actually run a marathon before (Ironman marathons don’t count as you walk a lot of that).  It was my goal for this year to run the Knysna marathon, which I was pretty scared about doing – and now I am going to do the same distance on dirt tracks – I think insanity is the only thing that can explain this – and my excitement at doing this.

The race I have entered is the Baviaans Trail Run.  40km through the Baviaanskloof Reserve.  It should be AWESOME!  And to do it with my equally insane sister FUN!

When I told my mom about it, she did not help her cause.. Her reaction… “wow that sounds awesome!  Maybe I could do that?”  Yip, definitely a genetic problem.  But one I would not trade for the world! Thanks mom.

Posted in Hobie Beach, Ironman, Ordinarylife, Swimming, Training, Triathlon, Wetsuit

Corporate Challenge

I know that there are many people in Port Elizabeth who complain about Ironman, about the road closures and the cyclists.  I understand (not really) their frustration however instead of sitting “trapped” in their houses why not get out and be part of it. Go to the nearest closed off road and see why and what is actually going on.  It might put it into perspective.  Or not…

For me I love it, I love the atmosphere and the build-up.  I love that they include so many people in various events before the “main” event on Sunday.  There is so much going on and most of PE’s people have really taken to it.  On the Friday they have the IronGirl, a 10km run.  On Saturday they have the Corporate Challenge as well as the Pritt IronKids.  I believe that both the Corporate Challenge and the IronKids are the largest of their kind around the world.

With the Corporate Challenge you can either choose to do it as a team event or as an individual.  I chose to do it as an individual as did one of the other ladies in our office.  We also entered a team.  It was the other girl’s first triathlon and a very good one to start with.  There are loads of people on mountain bikes, it is shorter than a sprint, people are not so concerned over their times and the support is fantastic.

With our medals

I totally loved it.  I am fitter than I thought and the weather and the sea were fantastic.

The distances are 10% of a full Ironman so:

380m Swim

18km Cycle

4.2 km Run


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….