Posted in Baby OL, Family, Medal Display, Medal Displays, Medal Hangers, Medals, My New Business, Ordinarylife, SA Medal Hangers, South Africa, Work

This week I am proud of…..

This week I am really battling to think of something I am proud of….

 

I know there are some things I probably should be proud of, but mostly I am pretty disappointed in myself.  I let a ball drop and now it feels like the whole lot are about to come crashing down.  I know I will probably look back in just over a month and realise it is not nearly as bad as I think (I HOPE), but at the moment it seem pretty terrible and getting worse.  But, it does not affect my family, health or anything that is really important to me so I will just have to deal with the problems as they arise.

 

So, what am I proud of??? This week I am very proud of my daughter. I was away all of last week in Cape Town for the Cape Cycle Tour Lifestyle Expo and she stayed behind with Andrew,  our nanny and my mom.  She coped remarkably well, even though she was sick.  I felt terrible about leaving her, but could not do anything about it. I am proud that she is such an independent soul.

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I am also proud that even though I was having a major pity party last week Wednesday, when my stand at the expo came crashing around me about 30 seconds after I had finished putting it up, I managed to give myself a stern talking to and pull myself together, rebuild the stand and have a great expo.  At that stage I really just felt like coming home.

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What were you most proud of last week?

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Posted in Comrades Marathon, Medals, Ordinarylife, Running, South Africa, Trail Running, Training, Training

Friendly City Marathon

On Saturday it was the Rafi’s Friendly City Marathon and it was my first big race for the year.  After the marathon in December I was not holding out much hope for it…

I trained a tiny bit more this time with a couple of runs around the 30km mark, but  I also realised that before my last one I did everything wrong so this time I made sure my race prep was better.  I ate properly the entire week leading up to it and especially the day before.  For me this means staying off the grains, eating more fats and making sure I get loads of green veggies in.  I also made sure that I was off my feet for most of Friday.

My other plans was to implement a run/walk strategy right from the start. They had a water point every 3 km and I planned to walk every single one of them, right from the third kilometer, whether I felt I need to or not.  I also planned on walking the two hills.  My plan in the December marathon was the total opposite.  I planned on running until 21km and then seeing what happened.

So, how did it go?  ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC!

The smile says it all.
The smile says it all.

I could not have asked for a better marathon.  Not only did I get a personal best of over 21 minutes, I got a better seeding for Comrades (so now my sister and I are in the same batch) and better that all of that I loved every minute of it.  There was not a minute in the race where I felt like it was too far or I was aching.  There were a few points where I was counting down till the next water point so I could walk, but they seemed to come pretty quickly.

Right from the start I walked every water point.  It was so tempting to run the first few, especially the 3km one as I felt fine but I stuck to my plan.  The first time I walked not at a water point was on the first hill and that was in the last 10 km.  I had planned on walking that anyway.  I think my last 5 kilometers were about the quickest of the entire race.  I cannot believe the difference from the marathon 2 months ago!  It just shows what a difference a clear plan and good race prep can do.

Time Friendly City Marathon

I now feel so much more confident for the rest of my goals for this year.  My next major one is at the end of the month – the Addo Elephant Trail Run 44km.  At least with this, it’s a trail run so I will be taking my camera and appreciating the amazing scenery of the Eastern Cape.

Friendly City Marathon Medal

 

 

 

Posted in Baby OL, Children, Family, hiking, Hiking Trails, Ordinarylife, Parenting, Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Starting young

I took a couple of days leave last week to spend the last few days of holidays with Little OL and boy was it FUN!  Time flew.  I am not sure I could ever be a “stay at home” mom, but days when I don’t have to go into work are pure joy.  (who am I kidding I could totally be a stay at home mom)

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While off I wanted to do some active stuff with Little OL – she is becoming a bit of a couch potato and I don’t like it.  Unfortunately during the holidays the nanny has been putting her in front of the TV and that is pretty much where she stays – given the option though she would rather be doing something else, so I made sure we did “something else”.

I roped my mom in and we went out.

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My mom is always up for a trip somewhere and on Thursday she suggested we go and climb Lady’s Slipper.  It is a hill just outside PE that my mom climbs regularly but I have never done before.  I was definitely keen!  It was awesome, we did not go all the way up, as I did not want to have to worry about Little OL and her safety, so as soon as it started getting a bit rocky and steep we stopped.  Saying that we still got more than ½ way up.  I loved it and Little OL is still bragging to anyone that will listen that she climbed a mountain.

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It was pretty cool having all 3 generations walking up the hill together and hopefully it was the first of many hikes that we will all do together.  My mom and I used to hike quite a bit together before Little OL was born, and now that she is getting older hopefully I will be able to get back into it.  I think I have mentioned before that for my mom’s 60th Birthday my mom, sister and I climbed Kilimanjaro…… Let’s see what Little OL and I will do to celebrate my 60th…. (thank fully still quite a few years away.

Kilimanjaro Summit 2005
Kilimanjaro Summit 2005

It felt really good to get my hiking boots on again!

Posted in Children, Cycling, Family, Ordinarylife, Running, South Africa

This is about more than cyclists!

The death of Burry Stander has highlighted the need for more awareness and better safety for cyclists.  There are calls for a 1.5m campaign, changes to road design and various other actions to improve the safety for cyclists and pedestrians on our roads.  I am normally a very positive person and as a cyclist, motorist and runner I am very aware of how dangerous our roads are.  I totally agree that campaigns are important and that they might and hopefully do bring awareness to the plight of cyclists and pedestrians but I am afraid to say I don’t think they will help.

The problem in South Africa (and possibly in other places around the world) is bigger than a lack of awareness regarding cyclists or pedestrians or even motorcyclists.  I am afraid that South African’s have absolutely no respect or regard for human life, our own or each other’s.  Can you honestly tell me that in a country where parents don’t even have enough regard for their own children’s lives they actually care about a random stranger on a bicycle?  Look around you next time you are in traffic – is the child in the car next to you strapped in?  Probably not!  Is your child?  Are you?

Look around you.  Look at that bus or taxi driver.  He has one job – to get his passengers to their destination safely.  Is that top of his mind?  Nope, probably not, getting the next fare is.  Look at him speeding, weaving in between cars, overloading, look at that un-roadworthy vehicle.  If he or his boss actually cared about the lives of the passengers would he be doing any of that?  Nope.  He has a lot of lives to take care off and has no regard for any of them, not even his own. Why would he care about the life of one little cyclist.

Look at your own speedometer?  Think about every time you answer the phone, text somebody, adjust your GPS or take a photo of that idiot in the car next to you, put on your make-up, shave, read a newspaper (yes, I have seen that) all while driving. Do you care about your own life?  Do you care enough about your kids in the backseat?  Or is that call or getting to your destination on time more important to you?  Think about it.

Look at yourself, look at your friends you were out with.  Think about those glasses of wine/beer whisky you had before getting into your car. What?  You were fine to drive… Really?  What was more important, the R100, R200 or even R300 or so Rand you saved on a taxi or the lives you could have taken.  Think about the following morning?  Were you still over the limit when you drove to work?  I was at a braai this weekend and everyone was laughing and joking that one of the guys had slept in his car the night before.  Not too drunk to drive home… oh no, he made it to his driveway.  He was just too drunk to walk the 10m from his car to his house.  Every time something like this is laughed at or condoned it we are saying we approve.  We are saying we have no respect for human life!  South Africa, it is NOT a joke.

Cyclists, look at yourselves!  Did you stop at that red light?  Why not?  Oh wait, it was so you did not need to unclip… right, because that is really difficult to do, takes forever to clip back in, it will interrupt your cycle and slow down your average speed.  Get over it! Have respect for the rules of the road and each other.

Motorcyclists, look at yourselves!. Weaving in and out of traffic – pick a lane!  Or is getting there quickly much more important that your own life?

Look at our crime rate, especially the violent crimes.  People get killed for a cell phone or less… Can you tell me that those criminals value human life enough to actually worry about passing a cyclist with a distance of 1.5m?

Look at the rape stats in this country!!!  Can you tell me that those rapists care enough about human life to consider the consequences of their actions in traffic?  They don’t care about human life in general.

Look at the HIV infection rate!  If people valued their own lives more this would not be so high.

Look at the death toll on our roads over the festive season!  1465 lives lost.  That is 38 people PER DAY.  Shocking South Africa, shocking!  (STATS HERE)  What are you personally doing about it?  I read a very good article how we were each responsible for the death of Burry Stander (read it HERE) and we are!

In a country where life is so undervalued, where babies are disposable, where our own children and their futures and education are just tossed aside,where people are raped and killed every day why would the life of the cyclist be of any more value?  We as a country need a drastic attitude change and soon!  This is about more than just our cyclists, our pedestrians, our fellow road users.  This is about our lives!

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 Baby OL, Children, Family, Ordinarylife, Plettenberg Bay, Swimming

More photos…

Here are two more pictures from the weekend.

The first one is of me throwing Little OL as far as I can in the pool. She loves it!  If you look carefully at the photo you will see that, at that point, only her feet are in the water.  She goes right under and comes up laughing.  I love the fact that she loves swimming.

Throwing Little OL around in the pool
Throwing Little OL around in the pool

The second photo I just like.

Relaxing at the Beacon Isle pool.
Relaxing at the Beacon Isle pool.
Posted in Baby OL, Children, Crafts, Family, Ordinarylife, Plettenberg Bay, South Africa

Random photos

Little OL trying to distract  us from the fact that it was bed time by being super cute.
Little OL trying to distract us from the fact that it was bed time by being super cute.
The pony tail lasted a whole 30 mins.  Which is about 29.5 mins longer than ever before.
The pony tail lasted a whole 30 mins. Which is about 29.5 mins longer than ever before.
We spent a morning hanging out here!  Plett - one of my favourite places
We spent a morning hanging out here! Plett – one of my favourite places
Ready for some early morning swim training....
Ready for some early morning swim training….
my silhouette cameo arrived. Can't wait to use it!
my silhouette cameo arrived. Can’t wait to use it!

 

Posted in Baby OL, Children, Family, Ordinarylife, Port Elizabeth, Running, South Africa, Training, Training, weather

30 Days of Gratitude – Day 1 – Day 6

30 Days of Gratitude (as seen on Ginger and Spice) as well as a few other blogs.

Ok, so I am a little late in getting started but I think it is a great idea.  I have so much to be grateful for, but sometimes need a little reminding.

I will play a little catch up here, to bring me up to date. Day 1 – Day 6.  Hopefully from tomorrow I remember do it daily.

Day 1 – Grateful that I have  friend that is prepared to drive all the way across town before 5am to “cycle” in my lounge with me.

Day 2 – Grateful that at least one of my tenants finally paid all their rent!  (read about my tenant problems HERE)

Day 3 – Grateful I am able to run!  And that I am getting better at it.  Such a good feeling. (related blog post HERE)

My 1st Silver Medal (Top 100) – and 3rd place.

Day 4 – Grateful that the weather was stunning so we could enjoy the Johnny Clegg concert!  It was awesome.   Also grateful that I live in such an amazing city that has spots that you can drive to when you need to “get away” – or drive till Little OL falls asleep and naps.

Little OL enjoying the Johnny Clegg concert
Enjoying some quiet time at Schoenmaker’s Kop
While Little OL had an afternoon nap in the back

Day 5 – Grateful for modern technology that makes keeping in touch with my sister so much easier.

Day 6 – Grateful that my mom lives in the same city as I do and that she loves watching Little OL so I am able to go and do the club runs on a Tuesday night.  Also grateful that the club I am a member at runs along the beachfront. Seeing the sea is good for my soul!

 

Posted in Family, Ordinarylife, Port Elizabeth, South Africa

This is MY city!

PE gets a bad rap.  It was once written in the Lonely Planet that the only good thing about the city was seeing it in your rear view mirror as you drove out of town and generally in the past people, myself included, have not been that complimentary.  That was until I moved away.  It took me a while, but after having lived in 6 more cities, in 5 different countries I came to really appreciate what had been on my door step all the time.

Now, I LOVE this city. I love the beaches, the parks, the people.  I love that I can do the sports I love in relative safety and I love that nothing is far away.  Yes, it maybe that I am now “older” (as some idiot youngster on the plane last month decided to point out) and it maybe that my priorities have changed from in my teens and twenties but I love living here and defend my decision to move back passionately.  This is where I want to be, this is my city.

I also love that there are others like me that LOVE this city and that they are putting a huge effort in to make it an exciting place to live.

This weekend was the first of the Signature Trail Run Series, an 11km race through the Baakens Valley, right in the heart of the city.  It was awesome on so many levels.  It was well organised and well-marked (although I did hear that some people took a bit of a detour).  The route was challenging and fun but mostly it was awesome because about 280 people took part.  It was so exciting to see everyone embrace this event and get excited about something in the heart of the city.  The next one is on the 17 June  and I for one can’t wait!

I would really like to thank everyone that puts an effort into to make stuff like this happen.  Not just for Saturday’s race but all the events that have been held in and around PE over the last few years.  It is greatly appreciated.

Read HERE for a more sedate event that was held in the same park on Sunday.  And HERE and HERE for blogs from an awesome ambassador of our home town Port Elizabeth

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….