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.

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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!

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Posted in Comrades Marathon, Duathlon, Family, Ironman, Ironman 70.3, Medal Displays, Medal Hangers, My New Business, Ordinarylife, Running, SA Medal Hangers, South Africa, Swimming, Trail Running, Training, Wetsuit, Work

An achievement and a giveaway!

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.

SA Medal Hangers

Posted in Ironman, Running, Training, Training, Triathlon

Corporate Ironman Challenge 2013

On Saturday morning it was the Corporate Challenge or locally known as the “Corporate Ironman”.  It is 10% of the full Ironman distance, so a 380m swim, 18km bike ride and a 4.2km run and can be done individually or as a team.  I chose to do it as an individual however, if truth be told when race day rolled around, I was not that keen.  I am not sure why?  It was not because I had not trained properly (I hardly ever do), I just was not in the mood.

Until I got down there!

I always forget how much I enjoying being part of an event of this magnitude.  I LOVE the vibe, the atmosphere, the people, the excitement and most importantly I love taking part and doing something physical.  I have not ridden my bicycle or swum since January so I was a little nervous about those, but not enough to let it worry me.  It is a short race so I could just push the bike.  I swim at the same speed not matter what.

Our company entered 3 teams and 2 individuals, me being one of the individuals.  I got down there before sunrise and racked my bike.  It was awesome watching the sun come up over the sea and was a beautiful morning.  The race starts in waves with the individual girls starting last.  It was quite nice to get to watch all the others go off first.  Boy, some of those people can swim.  Then it was us.  The sea was gorgeous although I did swallow a huge mouthful of water when the wake of a jetski hit me.  My swim was ok, not bad, not good, just ok. When I first started swimming I had as serious pain in my arm, but it is one I have had before I know that after about 50 meters or so it goes away.  I just need to play with my stroke a bit.  After the swim was the bike.  I had a good ride condidering I have not been on my bike since the 70.3 in January.  My average speed was 28 / hr and I really pushed it.  I figured the race was short enough that I would not die.  Luckily I felt good. Even going into the run I felt good. In fact I feel good pretty much the whole way.  Right up till about 60m from the end……. I know I am a little bit competitive.  I have mentioned this before.  I know it does not appear that I am, based on my times etc, but I can be.  About 600m from the end a girl passed me – I did not realise that I actually knew her, but nobody had passed me on the run and I was not going to let somebody catch me right there so I tried to keep up.  Bad idea!  I have never ever before felt that I was not going to make the finish line.  I kept up for about 550m and then it went a bit pear shaped.  I started seeing black marks and my legs turned to jelly.  My thoughts where “uh, so this is what hitting the wall really feels like” I thought I was going to hit the floor in front of all those hundred spectators and it was not going to be pretty.  I had a decision, either slow down and hope the feeling passed or try to keep up and know that I was going to fall flat on my face.  I slowed down and let her go.  Thankfully the feeling did pass and I did make it down the red carpet…. As soon as I stopped running I felt perfectly fine again.

Corporate Challenge Sunrise

Well, what can I say?  I finished 27th girl overall and in a time of 1H17.  I am totally over the moon with that result and I bettered my time from last year (I had not trained for that one either).  I loved this race, every single moment of it (except when I thought I was going to land on my face).  I am so glad that I did it.  The weather was perfect once again and the support was awesome.  Can’t wait for next year…….

Swim: 11:06, Bike 44:05, Run 22.28 –Over all time 01:17:48

I seriously need to think about training for next years one……

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 Baby OL, Children, Cycling, Family, Ironman 70.3, Ordinarylife

Dreaming on

I have been thinking a lot about the comments on my “Dream On!” post.

And you are all right:

  • I am pretty adventurous
  • It is never too late to start (or restart) doing stuff that makes me happy
  • Life does not end at 40
  • I should be living the life I want to live

So – THANK YOU!  I needed that kick up the butt. 

I also need to realise that while Little OL is little it is going to be harder, but she won’t be little forever and even when she is little it does not mean that I can’t get out there and do something for myself.  Now I just need to plan for it a bit better.  I also need to get Mr OL on board.

I must also stop being so critical of my life.  I do actually love it!  I am training again and it is awesome.  Slow, but awesome!  Did I mention that we saw zebra and a couple of giraffe on the cycle yesterday morning?  (See I really need that camera… lol)

And lots of people would consider my Friday night sea swims pretty adventurous.  We have seen dolphins, rays and even a shark.

I think what I am going to do is write a list of everything I could do next year.  Narrow it down to one or two largish events (for the sanity of Mr OL) and maybe add a few smaller ones (for my sanity) then work hard at making them happen.  And try to take photos!  I mean they don’t really count unless there are photos – right.

First one on on the list is on the 22 January 2012 – I am dong the East London 70.3 Ironman.  (it is ½ the distance of a full Ironman).  I can’t wait although I am getting rather nervous.  It is 11 weeks away.

And just for the record.

  • I would LOVE a decent SLR!
Posted in Ironman, Ordinarylife, South Africa, Triathlon

Ironman South Africa 2011

Here are some photos!

It was an awesome day, the weather was stunning and the racing was superb.

My sister, hidden amongst the the other 1800 athletes at the start.

 

The start

 

Yip, this guy swam in baggies. And in a good time too!

 

Raynard Tissink - local boy and Mens winner (again)

 

Chrissie Wellington, womans winner - faster overall marathon, new world record, 8th over all and the list goes on. FANTASTIC and so inspiring to watch.

 

My sister - who did fantastically well beating her previous best by 2 hours.

 

And there he is again... Look at his shoes! Yes he ran the whole marathon in slip slops.
Posted in Baby OL, Family, Ironman, Ordinarylife, Parenting, Port Elizabeth, Running, Swimming, Triathlon

I need to go for a run!

It is the SpecSavers Ironman South Africa this Sunday – and I feel like crying.

Last year I did not mind that much that I was not competing. Baby OL was only a couple of months old, but this year….. 

It just feels like I have gone from being this fit person who did stuff to, well….  I don’t know exactly.  To somebody who does nothing.  I know, I have a beautiful little girl, who I would not trade for the world and that priorities change and blah blah blah, but that does not help how I am feeling right now, ok it does a little bit but not much.  I also know that a lot of it is my own fault and although I could not have done Ironman I could b e a lot fitter. 

I went down to the beachfront today and they are busy setting up. The transition area is ready, the flags are flying it looks exciting.  I want to be there on the start line!  But in consolation I am going to do the swim for our company team in the Corporate Challenge. At least it is something I suppose!

Me, in 2009
Posted in Baby OL, Family, Ordinarylife, Port Elizabeth

My swim – AWESOME!

My first open water swim in nearly two years was AWESOME!!!!!  I could not have picked a better day for it.  The sea was flat, cool and crystal clear.  I did not go that far but enjoyed what I did.  And my wetsuit still fits, although a bit tighter….. 

The sea was so clear that I even saw fish and rays.  Most of the time I just floated about looking down (thinking shark bait).  I have missed it so much.  Trust me to start at the end of the season again.  Oh well, there are still a few weeks left.

Baby OL at the beach
Posted in Ordinarylife, Swimming, Training, Triathlon, Wetsuit

Swim!

I am VERY excited!  I am going for a sea swim this afternoon after work.  Mr OL is baby sitting and I am hitting the ocean… Hopefully.  Last time I tried sea was choppy and an Easterly was blowing.  I have not swam in the sea since April 2009 and am not expecting to do that much but seeing as I am doing the swim leg of a triathlon in April for our company I had better put in some practice – even if it is just to see if my wetsuit still fits……

Also, thankfully we live on the Indian Ocean.  I have been watching footage of the Tsunami that struck Japan earlier to day.  What devastation.  My thoughts are with everyone affected and to Bree – stay safe.