Thelma is a single mom with two grandchildren. In her late forties, she decided she wanted to become an ultra runner. In this year’s Comrades Up-Run she will be running her 5th. The goal, for now, is to reach 10. Each year the running the Comrades has been different. I sat her down for a quick Q&A just before Comrades 2016.
How fast has the first half of this year been around!
We were discussing the other day at the office, that it feels like just yesterday we were all wishing each other the best for 2015. It won’t be long now, before our office manager comes around asking us again when we plan to take our December leave!
Yoh! Where’s this time racing to?!
First half of the year is over, and I think I can proudly say that I achieved much of what I’d hoped to in terms of my physical activity at least. I managed to run the Dischem21km back in January, did the OmDieDam21km later in March, and my ultimate, the Two Oceans Half Marathon in April. For someone that was initially content with just running a 5km, I’m super impressed with myself.
For this second half of the year, I have the 5150 Ekurhuleni African Championship at the Germiston Lake, a triathlon taking place later this year. There are a few before but I’m focused on this one for now. I’m hoping it will be the one that will hook me and drive me towards Ironman in 2016.
This weekend is time for another weekend of training with the Dare To Tri Academy out in the Eastrand. For me the main focus is the Total Immersion swimming workshop. Targeting both the novice and more experienced Triathlete, who are keen to improve their swimming techniques …efficiency and speed come to mind. Georgie Thomas is an experienced triathlete herself, having completed a number of Full Ironman and Half Ironman Championship events. I enjoy swimming so am super excited to attend this workshop this weekend.
Then there’s the DSTV KIDS Xtravaganzastarts tomorrow and promises to be another opportunity for parents looking for ways to keep their toddlers entertained over the school break.
Children’s favourites Teletubbies and I Can Cook are the star attractions at the DStv Kids Xtravaganza, happening at Vodacom World in Midrand from 4th July to 9th July. Show start at 09:00; 12:30 and 16:00 followed by 90 minutes in the Fun Zone. Tickets are available at Computicket at R135 a person and includes entrance to the live shows as well as the play time in the Fun Zone.
Expect to be wowed by Dipsy, Laa-Laa, Po and Tinky-Winky characters from the popular Teletubbies can be watched daily on CBeebies (DStv Channel 306). Katy Ashworthpresenter of the I can Cook showalso be around for a fun session in the kitchen too!
The Beautiful Creatures trio will bring interactive sing along shows to audiences on the Montecasino Outdoor Piazza Stage on the following weekends on July 4th and5th at 11h00, 13h00, 15h00 and on the 22nd and 23rd of August 2015 at 11h00, 13h00, 15h00.
The 20 minute shows will feature some of Beautiful Creatures best loved songs, including Imvubu the Happiest Hippo, Lucas the Lazy Lion, Harry the hungry Hadeda and Mafutha the Elephant. So why not take the family over to Monte Casino for a bit of exciting fun for all.
In an effort to regain my running fitness, I’m waking up real early on Sunday to go an run through the streets of Greenside. My legs can feel I’ve not been hitting the road for a while. I need to get my fitness levels up again both for running and cycling.
If you’re not doing much, why not join me and many others on the road to fitness and support the Pirates Running Club at the event this weekend?!
So I started running by accident. Hubby ran the local Parkrun one cold Saturday morning last year, then tempted me to do the same. Taking up his challenge, off I went one Saturday and attempted it. It was all Trail Running, full of people of all ages, shapes and sizes. There isn’t a prize at the end, it’s just a brilliant way to get people off their couch on a Saturday morning and do something physical. Its all of 5kms and over before the hour is up!
My first one wasn’t too far off hubby’s time, and that I believe was what got be to attempt to do more. Before I knew it, I was waiting for the entries for the Two Oceans to open for 2015. I had it diarised and had made sure that no meetings were planned for the period. Once secured .. the question was “how do I finish it now?“
I was soon running more 10km runs, building up towards 21km races. It was awesome fun, I know I’m not really running fast times just yet. I’m not running close to what I should be, if I want to improve these times. I had thought of running the 56km full Two Oceans Marathon in 2016 .. not so sure it’s where I want to go anymore.
The focus now turns to improving my cycling road confidence. Have cycled twice now with the Cruisers and it’s been loads of fun and learning. First time was an outing where I was almost blown off my bike by a passing truck and this past weekend I participated in my first 50km cycle race for the charity – Bell of Hope for Mental Wellness. Finished it! If it wasn’t for the cramps towards the last 5kms I’d say it went amazing!
Ok! the cold start wasn’t something I thrive to experience a lot of. We started the ride as a group of 5 individuals, Adele, Charysse, Danie, Louise and I. At some point during the initial 10kms … that’s how long my legs take to warm up .. we lost Adele and Danie. I was just cycling way too slow for their liking 🙂 Charysse and Louise would take turns babysitting me .. a bit kak .. but alas .. I’m sure you can count the number of cycle rides I’ve done in one hand. They were super supportive and I’m hoping that in the short future .. I will be dragging them from the front for a change 🙂 The ride was overall extremely well organised, traffic was managed and a fun experience. Hopefully it won’t be so cold next year …
It was also the ideal time for me to try out my Team Vitality Cycle top! Loved it! Now just wish they had a bib that complimented it….
June 2015 sees the start of my official Triathlon training with the DareToTri group of athletes. They claim a very high success rate of taking individuals from novices to completing their first major Triathlon. I’m hoping to add to their success and complete at least .. this is the main goal for 2015/16 the 5150 Triathlon out in Gauteng and the Midmar Mile. These are both achievable with training, and with the ripple effect .. I will finish the 94.7 Cycle Challenge this year that hubby has so graciously entered us into! Talk about no pressure!
So from Monday 1 June … I have a strict training schedule I need to be following …
On a different topic altogether … our young man is now officially sleeping through the night .. no nappy .. no wetness in the middle of the night to deal with .. touch wood .. it will continue that way. We’re super proud of our boy! We have a full bag and some loose ones now, and gorgeous bin for them not being used!
This afternoon hubby went to collect him from school, our young man and little L have become real good mates. Home time today they both decided that they would be travelling with L’s gran home, so promptly sat themselves down in the gran’s car and refused to budge. L demanded to confirm himself that our young man’s car seat indeed was stuck to the car and could not be moved between cars. I’m sure he was entirely convinced but allowed it the adults to think they had. His face on the other hand spoke volumes .. and nothing pleasant mind you!
I see us having to plan another play date in the not so distant future … justsaying!
I’ve been back at work for a week now, and it certainly feels like a month! Yes, the break we had seems like a distant memory at the moment. Still not feeling all down about it, because we have another mini break coming up. We stayed home for the Christmas break, so now we’re driving down to the coast for a bit of a swim before our young man returns to school next week. As a family we’re all super excited and looking forward to. Our only wish as parents is that our young man is brave enough to enjoy a swim in the ocean!
Last week beside starting the new year at the office also saw me completing my very first 21km! It was such an amazing experience. Ran it with hubby, we managed our pace and made sure we remained hydrated and nourished. This was our training run for our main race over the Easter weekend – Two Oceans.
The Dis-Chem21 was an awesome race! Yes it tested our endurance, but if you had put in the mileage you would have had a fantastic time. Weather was kind, it was cool for most of the run, with only the last kilometre being hot. It was really well organised and we had our results soon after sent to our phones. How efficient was that!
We have a few more runs before the Easter weekend but now I know what to expect. Needless to say training hasn’t stopped and after a day and bit of recovery it’s time to get back into training!
I’ve also entered a few cycling races in the course of this first quarter so need to put some bike time as well. Yep between cycling, running and hopefully more open water swimming, I will eventually enter another Triathlon that I will manage to complete.
Back to the office, I’ve been trying to get more of my colleagues to get more active in the office. Not sure it’s working as yet.
H of Arabia stopped smoking this year or was it in the dying days of 2014, doesn’t matter. What does matter is that through sheer self-discipline he has committed to not smoke another ciggie. How amazing is that! Now, if you click on H of Arabia above, it will take you to his own blog, specifically to the entry where he ran his last red mankini run.Yes, he proclaims to have worn one .. we have no pictures as proof of this fact. So, on the 30th January there will be a similar run taking place in this city, the Daredevilsrun . This time though they changing colour to purple! I’ve tried to convince him to do it, but he hasn’t bitten as yet. We have a few more days .. so I will continue to “ask”. It’s all for a good cause after all.
This is the year for us all to be more active… so here’s hoping that whatever fashion we decide to use to get to our goals .. that we’re all successful!
WOW! It’s almost time to run through the streets of Soweto once more.
Earlier this year this race almost didn’t happen. Nike ZA came to the rescue and here we all are braving the heat and queueing to get our race numbers and goodie bags.
Via Twitter I’ve managed to see a few pictures of the situation “on the ground” … it ain’t pretty! I only hope now that the race organizers do a better job compared to the #SandtontoSoweto race held a few months back.
A friend has just mentioned she is off to collect her number. Looking forward to her update on the status quo. It is only day 1/3 … I’m hoping that when hubby goes off tomorrow morning … yes bright and early the situation will have improved drastically! Else I’ll never hear the end of it! #justsaying
All that said, I have to admit that I’m really excited about this race on Sunday, and looking forward to running the route with more confidence than I did the first time round a few months back.
Furthermore, I’m aware of a few mates too running the race’s various distances too. One of them is a colleague here in the office. He is so excited to be running his first “big” race in Jozi, he got everyone else in the office excited as well.
Hubby may be running the route with our young man too .. if for anything to test the new running wheels he got this week so that we’re all running .. #runningfamily. Gear is all sorted #Nike of course! The #Nike+ App is all sorted too on the new phone! Now we just need to make sure we get to the start on time post finding parking amidst potentially 21000 cars!
Friday was uneventful, evening part anyway. During the day I’d popped into Tribe on Main and purchased myself a race belt. Until then, I had no idea what it was. Needless to say I was disappointed when I saw what it was. Nothing really exciting, just a standard belt, similar to the one Garmin uses for my heart rate monitor. Only this time it has strings hanging off it used to hold one’s race number during the bike and run sections of a Triathlon.
Saturday was mostly about getting ready for my first Triathlon, the rest was groceries as one does at month ends. Managed to get our little man a set of new running shoes too, because he uses them as brakes for his bike, they don’t last too long at the moment. The nerves also kicked in late Saturday afternoon. Yep and toilet and I were friends all the way into the morning just before we left for the race.
We got to the race reasonably easy. However, the venue for the event looked rather dodge when we got there. Broken glass on the ground, so we had to dodge those carrying your bike and bag with gear, while pushing a pram. Did you try picture that? 🙂 Then as we walked on further there had clearly been some form of festivities at this park the day or night before as it was ridden with empty bottles of a variety of drinks and empty food packets. Not the best reception I tell you. I got to the registration building, did my thing got my number and swimming cap before my family and I found a spot next to the dam.
Throughout this the wind picked up and JJ was restless. He has always hated the wind. I recall back last year, he was about 4 months when we visited Cape Town. The one day was extremely windy and he just cried and cried until we got into the car away from the wind. Yesterday was pretty much the same.
The event organisers eventually informed us that the mini Triathlon had been downgraded to a Duathlon because the wind had made the waters too rough, and this also included the Kiddies triathlon. Alas, the main sprint Triathlon was going ahead for the seniors. I was now super nervous! Still when my heat was called up, off I went to the starting line, got into the water and that .. is where I started feeling the panic creep in … when the announcer says that the mini triathlon that was for novices had been called off because the waters were just too rough! Hmmm … really dude! How can you say that! When, here I am attempting my first in this group! How can you say that! I guess normal people would have packed up there and then and moved on, not me! I stayed frozen in my spot in the water!
Water wasn’t that cold, I’ve swam in colder waters before where your whole body goes numb it’s that cold!
The whistle was blown and everyone started swimming, me included. A short while in I realised my goggles weren’t over my eyes! LOL! Dropped those pretty quickly over my eyes. Then I looked down as I do normally in the pool and all I saw was murky water! I looked up and I don’t see a support boat near me. I swim some more. It just feels like I’m not getting anywhere, yet the shoreline is drifting father away from me. My mind races! What if this .. and that .. and this happens? I look up again, still no boat close by, swimmers are slowly moving farther away from me around the first buoy while others are reaching the mainland after their 750m swim or thereabouts .. you see the buoys kept moving farther out because of the wind.
That’s it! I took an executive decision and made my way back to the shore. Today, I realise the distance I’d swam out and back to the shore I would have been halfway through the swim route! Too late! For the first time in my life I quit something I’d started! What a kak feeling!!
After getting my bike and gear from the transition area, my family and I drove home basically in silence. I was so feeling sorry for myself. Disappointed with the fact I’d not completed something I’d been wanting to achieve in the longest time.
Thank you to all my friends and family for your words of encouragement. As hubby says, “Lift that chin up, train some more. Reach out to the professionals in your circle and focus on doing the next one!” So, that’s what I’m doing. Today is the first day of training towards my next one! Can’t confirm if December 14 will be the one .. but I’m working to actually completing my next attempt!
On a more happy note, this morning I dropped off our son at school. It’s been 3 weeks now. I was half expecting our usual routine where he cries foul when I drop him off. Nope! Not today! Today he was a big boy! He reached out to one of the teachers to carry him and didn’t shed a tear! Yes! Our young man seems to have finally settled into his new routine!
Now to focus on my Nike Soweto 10 km Run in November!
Today is a public holiday in South Africa, yep, it is Heritage Day!
On this day we’re celebrating the vast cultural differences found in this country, making us the Rainbow Nation that we are. That said, it has also in the last few years, begun to be known as Braai Day. Where we also celebrate the arrival of Spring and warm weather.
This year, I entered the FNB Heritage Run. Yes, it’s a 10km run taking us past the many beautiful heritage sites around this amazing city we call home, Johannesburg.
Next a couple of pictures of the various sites we will run past:
Yes, we live in a beautiful city don’t we .. a bit of everything really, concrete, greenery, wild life … and amazing weather!
It certainly does feel like hubby, JJ and I have been physically active the last couple of weekends. Not sure how we got caught up with all the running and cycling, but we’re all actually enjoying every minute of it I promise you!
September 6, 2014 hubby and I entered and completed our second Duathlon this year.Momentum Health Oatwell powered by PeptoPro started a new series this year to cater for the avid cyclist and runners out here in Gauteng. It’s been a great series thus far, with the last race in the series taking place October 25, 2014. I’ve found the races to be both challenging to the beginner and the more experienced athlete. It caters more for the lovers of the bush as the cycling is Mountain Biking and the running is Trail. It is definitely ideal for the family to spend some quality time outdoors. There are races for kids with their own bikes, mom, dad and the teenagers who don’t believe they are kids anymore. If there’s a parent that doesn’t want to ride nor run with a child too young to participate, they have activities to keep the children entertained too.
We will definitely be participating next year too!
If you’re out here next year .. why not give it a try too? It’s an amazing way to keep the family fit and health!
Last weekend was a busy one in terms of running at least. Saturday morning I woke up and did the local Parkrun. I didn’t manage to break through my 30 minute barrier yet, but it was fun. I met up with Stephan and Lucy there too, we all ended up running at our own pace and meeting up again at the finish line. If you haven’t done one yet, what exactly are you waiting for already! Either visit the Parkrun official website to see where the nearest one to you is, or ask around the office. I have no doubt someone is either doing the run every weekend or is able to direct you to who is 🙂 It is such a great family event, with no pressure from anyone, other than yourself, to get active and enjoy the outdoors!
Sunday morning there was to be no lazing around either,we participated in the 4th Annual Douglasdale Community Police Forum Fun Run . Yep, this was another family fun-filled event. It turned out to be an amazing learning curve for me, where my new-found love for running is concerned.
Hubby and JJ entered the 5km Walk while I did the 5Km run. I found the route contained just the right amount of challenge with a mix of flat runs and hills. My education came when we hit the first up-hill. I confirmed that it is certainly a mind over matter challenge here. The minute I saw the hill, my mind switched off and told the rest of me that it wasn’t going to happen today. No way were my legs going to carry my body up that hill! This topped by the vision of a multitude of other individuals in the race walking the hill just didn’t help!
During the initial phase of the race, I had run alongside a woman. I don’t know her from anywhere. However, we seemed to be running at the same pace for a while then somehow I left her behind me. I had no clue how far behind me she was either. Suddenly from behind me I see her alongside me as I walked up the hill. Very sternly she tells me to get my ass into gear and run the hill! I’m like .. lady there ain’t no way I’m gonna run it! For a second I thought she would have just left me and carried on. NO! She would NOT give up so easily! Not missing a beat, she turns to me and tells me words that I will hold onto at every uphill going forward. She said to me “Don’t look up, look down as the road looks flat then and you WILL run the hill!” Trues BOB! I ran the long and short hills left in the race and all the way to the finish! I didn’t walk again and kept pace with the stranger woman that shared this running tip with me! I am grateful lady!
If like me you’re struggling the uphills .. why not give this tip a try to see if it helps you?
Turns out after the race was done that I need to make more of an effort to run in the week too. It’s the only way I’m going to enjoy the weekend runs more. Right now I have fun, but I find that I can struggle some from time to time. So, for the next week that’s my goal and it seems to be working. I ran my first, yes flat, 10km that wasn’t in a race last night in roughly 58 minutes. I was thrilled but hubby wouldn’t let me enjoy the moment. Very quickly stated that it was on a treadmill and not quite reality. I get his point .. but hey let me enjoy the fact that I managed to run it all on a treadmill with no break .. reality or not.. it was an achievement for me .. and my Nike+!
It’s only been roughly 4 months that I’ve started all this long distance running, and to be honest I’m enjoying it a lot more than I ever thought I would be.