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….

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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, 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 30 Days of Gratitude, Art, Baby OL, Children, Cookies, Family, Food, Ordinarylife, Port Elizabeth, Triathlon, weather

30 Days of Gratitude – Day 15 to Day 19

Day 15 – I am grateful for the ladies at my art classes I go to. I have been going for over 11 years and it is more about the social aspect that actually getting any painting done.

Day 16 – I am grateful that it is Friday!

Day 17 – I am grateful that I get to spend the day with Little OL.  She is getting cuter and cuter each day.

Day 18 – I am grateful to Mr OL for watching and entertaining Little OL so I could do a triathlon in the morning and finish decorating over 100 Christmas cookies that a friend ordered.

Christmas Tree Cookies iced and ready for wrapping.

Day 19 – I am grateful that it feels like summer is well and truly here!  I woke up this morning and it just had that summer feeling about it. When I was out in my car at lunch time the temperature said 30 degrees (which made me grateful for air-con). But I love summer!!!!!

Wrapped Christmas Tree Cookie

 

 

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 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 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