Posted in Cycling, Hobie Beach, Ironman, Ordinarylife, Port Elizabeth, Running, Shark Rock Pier, South Africa, Swimming, Training, Triathlon, weather, Wetsuit

I am chicken! And not afraid to admit it.

So as I said in the last post, I am pretty happy with my body at the moment.  It is doing what I want – now I just need to work on my MIND!!  It is seriously letting the side down.

 

I am a chicken – I don’t deny it.  Lots of things scare me!  Heights, strong winds, big seas, sharks, jelly fish, success…Actually the list could go on. 

 

Most Friday afternoon’s we go for a sea swim from Hobie Beach.  There are usually quite a few people there but when the wind picks up, in particular when the Easterly picks up most people stay away, most sensible people – not my friends.  I went down expecting (hoping) them to cancel.  I hung around, sure they would cancel.  There was a serious Easterly blowing, which means rough seas and if the easterly has been blowing long enough Bluebottles (man o’ war) and jelly fish.  I rarely swim if there is an easterly, but my excuse of bluebottles was falling on deaf ears – the sea was still clear!  They decided to go out!  I was going to have to do this.  I need new friends? 

 

Bluebottle
Bluebottle

As we were entering the water we spoke to a few people coming out, they said it was fine until you turned around and tried to swim back.  Hmmm, ok!  So we went in and they were right, it was fine.  So what if you smacked down as the wave passed, or that you swallowed half the sea?  I was actually enjoying myself.  So WHY, oh WHY did I decided to swim ashore at the turn around and walk back.  I was scared!  Or at least I thought I should be scared!  East’s scare me, right?  I had felt the rip, and knew it would feel choppier on the way back.  But so what!  I am a chicken, it is the only excuse I have.  As I walked along the shore I felt disappointed, I could see my friends swimming and they were doing fine.  I could have done it, and here I was walking!  I felt like kicking myself. 

 

And then what do I go and do????  Almost the exact same thing on Sunday!  You would have thought I would have learnt.  The only difference was this time it was on the bike.  I pulled out at the ½ way stage in our ride.  It was windy and raining and I am scared of the wind – I always say I am scared of the wind.  I don’t ride if it is windy?  But I was actually enjoying myself – so why did I pull out?  I think my MIND just is not up for this.  It thinks I should be scared so then tells me not to continue. 

On a calmer day!
On a calmer day!

 

 

 

I know I should be proud that I went out even for the 1st halves.  Most people did not, and as I am reading what I have written I am beginning to feel a bit better about the whole thing.  There were not many people in the sea on Friday.  Less than ½ of the usual culprits, and yet I still went out.  So, I walked back – I had already swum nearly a kilometer by that stage.  And on Sunday, there were only 3 of our group that even started cycling and we did not see many other cyclists on the road.  I still did 62km, and I was not the only one to pull out at the ½ way.  In fact only one girl continued; still I should have joined her.

 

But I suppose I am getting better, slowly.  At least I went out!

Posted in Cycling, Hobie Beach, Ironman, Ordinarylife, Port Elizabeth, Running, South Africa, Swimming, Training, Triathlon, weather

The disadvantage!

Port Elizabeth - on a calm day.
Port Elizabeth - on a calm day.

And now for the disadvantages of living in Port Elizabeth – the wind!  It really scuttled my training plans for this morning.  Well, I suppose there has to be some reason why it’s called “The Windy City”.

 

My alarm went off at 4am, I got up and peered out the window into the darkness to try and see what the wind was doing.  I figured although I could hear wind it probably was not too bad so got changed into my cycle gear.  And then I received an SMS – “too windy – cancelled”. 

 

Now what?  I did not know whether to be elated or devastated!  I really wanted to go cycle but it did mean that I could climb back into bed and get and extra 2 ½ hours sleep.  Or should I stay awake and go for a run, or to the gym and swim???  Sleep won.

 

The only funny thing that happened after that was my husbands alarm went off at 6 and I shot straight up saying “Oh shit!”  Yes I swore – loudly.  And then burst out laughing.  My immediate thought when I heard the alarm was that when my alarm had rung I had turned it off, fallen back asleep and it was my cycle partners phoning to find out where on earth I was.  My husband already thinks I am a bit crazy so was not too surprised that his wife was firstly swearing and then laughing her head off at 6am for no apparent reason.  It took me a while to stop giggling and explain myself.  He just shook his head.  I went back to sleep for another hour – or at least I tried to.  My cats decided that seeing as I had already been up twice I must not need any more sleep and decided to use my bed as a spring board to launch attacks on each other.

 

The wind is unfortunately an Easterly – so it has also scuttled my plans for a sea swim.  Looks like I will be heading to the gym pool today after all.

Posted in Cycling, Ironman, Ordinarylife, Port Elizabeth, Running, Shark Rock Pier, South Africa, Swimming, Training, Triathlon, weather

Added advantage!

I am really lucky to live in the city where Ironman South Africa is held.  Well, I probably would not even know that such an event even existed if it were not for the fact that it were held here, so luck probably does not have much to do with it – but still.  If I were lucky I would have won the lottery last night!

 

Anyway, living in Port Elizabeth most definitely has a lot of advantages.  We get to practice and train on the route and swim in the sea.  It helps a lot.  You get more confidence and get to experience it in all different conditions.

 

Take this weekend for example; on Friday evening after work I went down to the beach for a swim, as we usually do most Friday’s.  There was a strong Westerly blowing, but the sea was flat (usually is when there is a west) and really beautiful (not to clear, so I did not have to shut my eyes) and there were a lot of swimmers in the water (I like my odds then).  I think I had my best swim of the season.  We start at Hobie Beach, which is where the actual race starts and although we don’t swim as far out as we would in the race but we do swim in the general area.  I feel very sorry for competitors from other parts of the country or world where they are not able to get this experience.

 

Then on Saturday we cycled the route.  In Ironman South Africa the cycle leg is a loop that you do 3 times, each one is 60 km.  Once again there was a strong Westerly blowing and a bit of rain early on, but we decided to go anyway.  I am really glad we did.  We did the loop twice, and our speed was pretty much the same on each loop.  I am sure if we had done a 3rd loop our speed would not have dropped much more either.  In fact it might have picked up as the wind dropped.  I am really happy with the improvements in my cycling (although I am still unsure about how much of the improvement is me, and how much is my bike).  This was the first time that I have done the route since my last IM, and my average speed was 4km/hour faster than it has ever been on the route before!  If it carries on like this I am hoping to drop an hour of my cycle time!

 

I am sure that most of the improvement has to do with the bike, but I do know that some of it must be me.  On my ride this morning my bike computer passed the 1000km mark.  That means that since I received my bike in December I have done 1000 km.  Woo hoo – 1000km, well 1006 to be precise.  If you add this to the kilometers I did on my old bike since I started training again you get nearly double the distance I did in training for the last IM.  DOUBLE!! And I still have 8 ½ weeks left till race day.  I think I will probably add another 800 – 1000 km on the clock. 

 

I suppose the strangest thing to me about all of this is how much I am enjoying cycling.  Before I just would not get on a bike!  If I did ride I was a total stress bubble by the time I got off.  I would look for any excuse not to ride. A slight breeze – it was too windy!  Dark clouds – it looked like it might rain!  A Saturday morning – might be too much traffic (yes at 5 o clock), rather ride on Sunday.  If anybody asked me what was my weakest disciple I would instantly say cycling.  Now I don’t really know?  I mean, it is not that I am good or fast in any of them, it is just that I am not really much worse at one that any of the others.  I like it this way.  

Posted in Cycling, Ordinarylife, Port Elizabeth, South Africa, Training, Triathlon, weather

What a way to start the day!

What an awesome way to start the holidays.  Well ok, work today kind of gets in the way for a few hours but I can cope.

 

I went out for a ride on my new bike this morning and the weather was and still is spectacular!  I think the new positioning will take some getting used to and having the gears at the end of the bars is a bit different but other than that it was great!!

 

I finish at 2 today and then am going to go for a run and a sea swim.  The sea should be flat as there is NO wind. That in itself almost deserves a whole post.  No wind in December in Port Elizabeth!!! That NEVER happens.  Maybe I should not speak to soon, it does sometimes pick up in the afternoon.  Let’s hope this is not one of those afternoons.  Or if it does that a west blows.

 

I live in an awesome place. This morning we rode past a zebra!  However after that all I kept thinking was that that horse still had on his pajamas.  See what happens when you get up at 4:00am!  And no, it was not wild; it was in field with other game.  I have seen the springbok in that field before but never the zebra.  This morning I also saw a bushbuck, which I think was actually wild. 

 

So… 3 more hours of work and then 3 weeks of holiday.  I am ready!!!

Posted in hiking, Ordinarylife, weather

Rain, rain

Hogsback
Hogsback

We are supposed to be going hiking this weekend……

 

 

 

The weather forecast?????  Worst rains seen in the areas for the past 10 years!  Hmmmph, let’s hope they are wrong.  I have really been looking forward to this and if the weather continues as it is the hike will be cancelled.  So much for our summer, we are having worse weather than we did most of the winter!

 

Oh well…

Posted in Ordinarylife, Port Elizabeth, Tenants, weather

Rain drops keep falling on my head

Holy crap – when I said we needed rain yesterday I did not mean this much!!! 

 

And now the tenants in my house just phoned me!  The roof is leaking and there is water everywhere!  Drat and damn, if it is not one thing with those houses then it is another.

 

Lets just hope that it is not a major problem.

Posted in Hobie Beach, Ironman, Ocean Racing Series, Ordinarylife, Port Elizabeth, Shark Rock Pier, Swimming, Training, Wetsuit

Global warming, I think not?????

On Sunday it is the first swim of the Ocean Racing Series!!  I have been waiting for this for – well since the end of the last series in March. 

 

There is only one little problem – the weather forecast!!!  Where the heck is global warming????  It is October and supposed to be spring going into summer and it looks like this – maximum 19!  Surely that can’t be right???

 

Let’s hope they have it wrong (quite possible) and it turns out to be a beautiful day.  I am holding thumbs

  

 

Sunday, 05 October 20085 October 2008

 

Min Temp:

8

Max Temp:

19

Weather:

Partly cloudy.

Wind:

light southerly but fresh easterly in the afternoon

Precipitation:

 

Sun Rise:

05:49

Sun Set:

18:22

Moon Rise:

09:14

Moon Set:

xxxx

Moon Phase:

0