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

So, Ironman South Africa???

The big question everybody asks me, even before I completed the 70.3 is whether or not I am going to be doing the full Ironman again this year.

I must admit that it is tempting….  Both my brother and sister are going to do it again – it will be my sister’s 6th full Ironman. WOW.  And it is on my birthday.  I can just imagine how emotional it will be standing on the start, on my birthday with both of them waiting for the canon to blast.

That is until I think of all that is involved and the commitment it takes with regards to the training.  I am not in the right space to do it.  It is not a priority in my life.  Mr and Little OL are.  I don’t want be on my bike for more than 3 hours on a Saturday morning.  I don’t want to then have to run the next day for more than an hour. I want to be at home.  I work full time and the weekends are the only time I get to spend with them.

That is also one of the reasons why I don’t like training in the evenings.  For the 70.3 I was able to train in the mornings before Little OL woke, if I wanted to do the full Ironman I would need to train in the evenings as well.  I am not prepared to do that.  I already go to art classes one night a week, so miss her that night.

And I would need to be asleep by 8:30 – 9:00pm.  I just don’t have the time at the moment to do that.  I am enjoying baking and crafting and the only time I get to do that is in the evenings after Little OL goes to sleep.  I would not be able to do these things.

Don’t get me wrong – I absolutely LOVED training for Ironman last time, but I was in a totally different space.  I was able to make it a priority and put my all into it.  Now I just don’t want to.  Maybe in a few years’ time when Little OL is older I might want to do it again.  That is not to say that this year I am not going to set myself challenges or give myself goals.  I am useless with training without a goal.

This year I would like to run a marathon.  I have never run a stand-alone marathon and would like to.  I would also like to do the Dry Land Traverse in November.  It is a 4 day stage trail run.  It looks awesome.  I think those are big enough goals for the year. Then of course there is Ironman 70.3 next year again……

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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 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….

Posted in Cycling, Hobie Beach, Ocean Racing Series, Ordinarylife, Running, Swimming, Trail Running, Training, Triathlon, Wetsuit

No excuses!

Sporty or active residents of Port Elizabeth and surrounds (and those visiting over the holidays) have NO reason to complain that there is “nothing to do”.  In fact the list is so extensive you actually now have to pick and choose.

I have decided to compile a little list here just to highlight exactly how much is going on in PE over the next month or so.  And these are only the ones that I know about.  If you have an event in the area over the holidays you can let me know and I will add it to the list.

Triathlon

Summer Series   

16th December 2012 – PORT ELIZABETH (Competed)

23th December 2012 – POLLOK BEACH  (Competed)

26th December 2012 – PORT ST FRANCIS

The races are sprint distance – so 750m swim, 20km cycle and a 5km run.  It can be done as an individual or as a team.  There is also a run, swim run event which will be held at Port Elizabeth and Pollok Beach events.

Website for more info:  Zports Summer Tri Series

Trail Running

15 December  Van Der Kemp’s Kloof Trail Run

Organised by the Malabar Athletics Club – Starts at 8:00 am, at Van Der Kemp’s Kloof, Water Road, Bethelsdorp

Distances 16km, 5km, 3km

Website for more info:  Van Der Kemp’s Kloof Trail Run  and Malabar AC Facebook Page 

15 December        Discovery Beach Marathon

18 km St Francis to Jeffrey’s bay (3km on tar road followed by 15 km along beach (including a river crossing)

Website for more info: Sunflower Discovery Beach Run

17 December        Cape Recife Trail Run  (Competed)

5km, 10 km and 20km options

Website for more info: Cape Recife Trail Run

Every Thursday – Sixty Minutes of Mayhem

Held every Thursday night at 6pm, run as many loops of 2.6km as you can in 60 minutes.

Website for more info:  Sixty Minutes of Mayhem

Every (or most) Wednesday nights

An informal training run in Baakens Valley starting at Bridge Street, meeting at 5:15 – 10km.

Website for more info:  Free Spirit Adventures – Facebook page

Open Water Swimming

Ocean Racing Series (ongoing – and competed in a few)

Every alternate Sunday at Hobie Beach –starting again on 13 January 2013.

Website for more info: Ocean Racing Series

22 & 23 December – Marina Mile

Held in Marina Martinque with various distances from 25km (ouch) to 500m.  There is more information on their website with regards to the different distances.

Website for more info: Marina Mile

31 December – Nelson Mandela Bay Mile  (Competed)

A one mile (1.6km) swim from Humewood Beach to Kings Beach (one way)

Website for more info:  Nelson Mandela Bay Mile

Mountain Biking

Every Thursday – Sixty Minutes of Mayhem

Held every Thursday night, ride as many loops of 3.1km as you can in 60 minutes.

Website for more info:  Sixty Minutes of Mayhem

17 December – Hopewell Open Day Ride

Starting at 8:00 am and held in conjunction with Masters and Ladies Cycle club, there are various distances from 12km to 30 km.

Website for more info:  Masters and Ladies Facebook page

 So now you have absolutely NO excuse not to put on your running shoes, dust of your bike or put on a swim cap and goggles.  Get out there and do something this festive season.  (then no guilt for that extra Christmas Mince Pie)

Facebook pages to like if you want to keep informed of events in this area.

Trail Busters

Mountain Events

Nelson Mandela Bay Events

Trail Running EC

Swimming Plus

Go Trail Editor

Zports

Posted in 30 Days of Gratitude, Cycling, Family, Ocean Racing Series, Ordinarylife, Plettenberg Bay, Port Elizabeth, Swimming, Training, Triathlon, Wetsuit

A long fantastic weekend.

I am happy!  I am not sure if it is because I am training lots, if it is because I hired a life coach and I am seeing the results, if it is because of the 30 Days of Gratitude, if it is because it is summer or most probably a combination of all of these but whatever it is long may it continue!

This weekend definitely added to my “happiness” feelings.  A while back I decided to take Friday off.  I could not get my regular hair appointment; the only one available was during working hours, I booked it anyway.  After I booked it I was wondering how to go about getting the time off and then decided to take the whole day and do a total pamper spoil day, something I have never done before so I booked myself a pedicure and massage as well.  Ahhhh – the joys.  My biggest problem was ensuring I kept my toenails (running and toenails are not good friends).  The day was awesome – not that I will have much leave left after January, but this is something I will do again.

Then on Saturday the OL family took a trip to Plett for breakfast.  A really good friend and her family was visiting from the UK so we met them at the Beacon Isle Hotel.  It was stunning – we ate breakfast and then headed to the pool for the rest of the morning.  I could have stayed there for quite a while longer.  We used to go to Plett often growing up and it is one of my favourite places – definitely a “happy place”.  The last time I was there was when I was pregnant and we went to see the same friend.  Between us we now have an extra kid each.  But it was still like we saw each other not so long ago – I miss her.  You can see photos from the last time we where there over HERE.

Beacon Isle Hotel
Beacon Isle Hotel
The 2 "new kids"
The 2 “new kids”

 

Enough photos mom!
Enough photos mom!

On Sunday morning I met a friend at Hobie Beach for a quick ride before we took part in the Ocean Race Series swim.  It was my first Ocean Race Series swim of this season and I was reasonably happy with the results.  It was supposed to be 1 km, but according to my Garmin it was about 1.53km (some of this extra was probably down to my zig-zagging but not all) and I did it in 29 minutes.  If I swim that pace in East London at the 70.3 I will be fine.

All this beach, sea, sand, pools and sun has got me feeling like it is summer holidays.  One more week of work.  I cannot wait!!!

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, Cycling, Family, Ironman 70.3, Ordinarylife, Training, Training, Triathlon

30 Days of Gratitude – Day 24 to Day 26

Day 24 – I am grateful, that even though I had a bad run this morning, I was still able to run.

Day 25 – I am grateful to Mr OL for watching Little OL for the whole morning.

Day 26 – I am grateful I am a morning person – however, I am battling a bit this afternoon. 3:30 am is a bit early even for me….. It was stunning though and well worth it.  We had a fantastic ride – I am also grateful that it is light at 4:30 when we hit the road.

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!