Yes, yes, I know – bad blogger…..
I don’t even know where to start it’s been so long and so much has happened.
I guess the first thing I should say is I LOVE WORKING FROM HOME! It is has now been 3.5 months and it still feels like I am just on a Christmas holiday… Saying that, I have NEVER been as busy (you might have guessed by the lack of blog posts….)
My word for last year was DO and I think I am going to keep it for this year too – the picture that Cat gave me is up on my office wall and I look at it daily.
Besides starting a business I had another goal for last year and that was to run a stand-alone marathon (one not in an Ironman). I did not do that before December, but I am VERY proud to announce that I have however finally done one. I have however decided I am very odd (yes, I know…. ) A stand-alone marathon has scared me. I don’t know why? I know I can do the distance, I’ve done 2 Ironman races and they have a marathon in them, so I am not sure what I was worried about – and then I entered Two Oceans and needed a marathon to qualify. Suddenly a marathon did not scare me anymore. It is just a distance I needed to run to qualify for Two Ocean – which for some reason does not scare me either. Maybe it is just that I really like a challenge. Maybe I just needed a bigger goal? Who knows – all I do know is that I have now run a stand-alone marathon (with very little training) and have qualified for Two Oceans. FUN!
Now the real training begins…..My first Ultra
I cannot believe that we are mid-way through December and I have not even started my Christmas shopping yet…… YIKES!!! My family is easy – we do a Secret Santa and so only have to buy for one person. I happened to get Mr OL, which is a bit of a problem as I now need to get him 2 gifts. We also all generally give my mom something additional as well – but she likes hand made stuff so that’s done. At least Father Christmas is on the ball so Little OL is sorted. My in-laws…. hmmmmm I really need to get to the shops soon.
I have a good excuse for not having gotten to the shops earlier… I have been working hard! So many people have contacted SA Medal Hangers for custom made or personal medal hangers – it has been awesome. I love coming up with the new designs. But because of that , I have decided to create a new blog. This will showcase SA Medal Hangers’ custom-made or personalised medal hangers. We have created so may awesome one off designs and they won’t all get displayed on our website, so to give people some inspiration or ideas when ordering their own medal hanger I thought this might work. What do you think?
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.
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
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!
Today is my last “official” day at work. I say official because I have only been popping in and out over the past week (trying to get used to unemployment 🙂 )
I must admit that I am quite sad to leave this job. I have been working here for the past 6 years, which has been my longest stretch at one place. Before that my longest was 3 years. I have met some amazing people and have learnt a lot. People have had confidence in me and I have changed positions in the company a couple of times with my latest one being Compliance Liaison Manager, a position I enjoyed and nothing like I have done before.
But, I am also excited to leave. Although it was not my choice it is most definitely time. I have known for a while that me working full time and Little OL being at the school she is at just does not work. The days are too long for her if left in After Care and although I could fetch her at lunch and take her home which I have been doing for the past few months it is far from ideal.
Now I will be working from home, so get to spend the afternoons with her. My hours will be more flexible (set by myself) and it is something that I am passionate about. I LOVE sports, and I get so excited by what others have achieved. It is awesome that I get to see the medals that people have earned and that they are telling me the stories behind them. It also great that I am getting to be creative with the designs of the medal hangers. (can you tell I am excited about this…… lol)
So, today is a mixture of happiness, sadness and excitement. Another chapter begins!
Here are a few photos of customers hangers that they have sent me. I love seeing them!
I need a challenge. I train better when I have a goal and it must be enough of a challenge that I won’t be able to just cruise through it, but not too much of a challenge that it totally scares me off.
So… I have decided on and entered Two Oceans Ultra marathon in 2014 – 56km! Scary yes, but very exciting. My goal for this year was to run a marathon – now it is more than just a goal, I actually have to do it to qualify for the Ultra. There is a local one in December that I plan on doing.
To say I am excited is a bit of an understatement. Initially I had not planned on doing it as I thought I might take my medal hangers to the expo – but the prices of the stands where published and they don’t have any of the smaller options – so I am running.
Yay for a Birthday weekend in Cape Town.
The other day little OL uttered words that I never thought I would hear a daughter of mine say…. “Mommy I want to wear a dress!”
Thankfully her Great Aunt bought her a beautiful dress for her Birthday in February, which she had not previously worn, so I did at least have something to put on her. She does have a few skirts as well, but they were not good enough – not like a princess. Sofia has a lot to answer for!!!
Now I have had to go shopping! Urgh, not one of my favourite things to do. (she does look really sweet in a dress though)
I know I have said this before, but I have been blown away by the support I have been receiving for SA Medal Hangers – and I know it seems weird to say, but I am stupid proud of them. I have one up on my wall and I stare at it all the time. I am not sure which I am more proud off, the medals that hang from it or the actually hanger.
I also know it is early days, I know I still have far to go and I know that having a full time job has been a huge cushion for me in starting this business, but I am really proud of myself for taking what could have been a blow and trying to make it a positive.
Before starting this I did keep most of my medals, but they were hanging on a broken clothes hanger in the back bedroom cupboard. I would not look at them, but just add another medal as I got it. It was actually Mr OL’s suggestion that we display them but could not really think of a solution and then I found this idea.
Now that the medals are up and I can see them I realise just how far I have come. I started running again in 2005 and did my first Ironman in 2007. In the past 8 years running and triathlon have become a huge part of my life and I love it!
I know that not everybody wants to display their medals, and a lot of people don’t even take them at races, but since putting them up on the wall I have started seeing them not just as the metal and ribbon, but as something more than that! As an achievement – and something I should be very proud off.
To give somebody else the opportunity to feel that sense of pride and achievement I have decided to run a giveaway on SA Medal Hangers’ Facebook page. The details are all there, so please go and have a look. You could win a 65cm triple bar medal hanger of your choice! (Sorry – Open to South African Residents only). CLICK HERE for details.
Summer is coming and this year I might have a bit more time to do the beach thing. With that in mind I have decided to cut down on the junk food – I am not going to say I want to be bikini ready as I very rarely do bikini’s but I would not mind getting back into the same shape as I was December last year (Click for bikini photos from then). Also with the Dryland Traverse coming up on 5 weeks being a couple of kilograms lighter might make quite a difference!
So, I was about to tell Mr OL my plan and I started with…..“I stood on the scale this morning”
Little OL, who was close by and overheard, piped up “Mommy did you cry?”
I nearly did, with laughter, after that comment!
It took me a couple of seconds to realise that she thought I had hurt my foot by standing on something.
On Sunday there were various Rhino Runs held around the country and there were 2 to choose from in our area. One at Kenton-on-Sea and the other at Crossways Village near Van Standens. I did that one. It was a lot closer to town, and I love that area.
(Its an annual event – so next year why not find one in your area.
As you know, I have not been running much lately, my furthest run as been 11km so I was not really sure what distance I should enter. There was a 6km, a 12 km and a 20km. As I have the Dryland coming up in November and I really need to get some distance in I chose the 20km. Yikes!!! But it was fine. Or at least it was fun up until my Garmin said I had already done 20km then my mind said I needed to stop. Those last 1.8km were tough!!!
All in all though it was a stunning race – tough but stunning. You know you are not out for a walk in the park when at the race briefing they say “and then you run around and up the back, over the top then down the front of Lady’s Slipper Mountain to the finish”! When “hilly course” and “over the mountain” are mentioned in the same race briefing you know you are in for some fun!!!
You see the “hill” behind me…. Yip, I had just run over it! (this was also at the 20km and the legs fell off in about 5 steps from here……) EDIT: I think this might be the first photo of me EVER where both feet are off the ground at the same time and I actually look like I am doing something resembling running!
I managed it in just under 3 hours and was extremely happy with that time (I even stopped and took a couple of photos). Even if I had been training it is pretty much what I would have expected. In fact it is a lot better than some of my runs of a similar distance. I am now very excited for the Dryland – I know I need to work on hills a bit more but my foot gave me no hassles when I was running and I am loving my new trail shoes – (Innov8)
So my brainwashing plans are not working so well……
It is 4 (and a half) months to go before Little OL turns 4 and she has decided that she no long wants an airplane party! Hmph…… That is itself is not too much of a problem. I am adaptable (kind off) but she wants a Teddy Bear party!!! She’s had a Teddy Bear party! Her second Birthday Party was a Teddy Bear’s Picnic party.
I guess I should be flattered – she liked it so much she wants it again! But somehow I suspect it is less to do with her remembering her party and more to do with the fact that Door Stop (her teddy bear) never leaves her side.
In the background is a work in progress painting of Little OL and Door Stop, from a photo taken just before she turned 2.
So it looks like we are going to compromise, a Teddy Bear in Airplane Party it is going to be (for now at least). Very cute idea actually. I have started pinning stuff.