Run, Running

A broken heart and two left feet…still I run

Comrades 2018
Hubby AKA Darren

Comrade 2018Darren aka my hubby has decided that he wants to run Comrades next year, taking place 10th June 2018. Starting out in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. #Comrades2018 will be a down run and the 93rd. It’s a goal he has set himself after years of not running anything further than a 21.1km and his focus has been mainly in cycling until now.

He is going to be sharing his road to the start line through a series of weekly posts.

Continue reading “A broken heart and two left feet…still I run”

Cycling, Dare2Tri, Experiences, Family, Fitness, Milestone, Running, Swim, Tri, Weekend

Our cold active weekend …

Son and Hubby making their way to the start
Son and Hubby making their way to the start

Early Saturday morning we packed our family car and made our way to Northern Farm. For the second year now, we opted to support the Winter Ride n Run hosted by the Redhill School and FedGroup. It was freaking cold, but our young man was super excited that we were for a change packing his bike into the car and making our way to the main road to ride it. I’ve not seen him this happy in ages. Smiling from ear to ear and kept confirming if indeed he was going to ride his bike. I was also very promptly told that I would have to wait for them while they went off on their bikes.

What are we waiting for...
What are we waiting for…

Hubby left first, I had to hold our young man back as he felt he needed to be riding off with dadD. It took some convincing that he too would be riding off soon.

When we eventually got tot he starting pen, he was like .. “What are we waiting for now..?”  We eventually left and the race was on! He road off and was loving every minute of the experience. 

I thought bottlenecks only happened in the big peoples races, apparently not! It wasn’t too long after we left that we hit our first bottleneck!

Bottleneck ... seriously
Bottleneck … seriously

If he had his way, he would have been pushing forward and bumping his front tyre onto the bike in from to get them to move out the way .. so typical of many adult MTB races! If I could read minds, I am sure his would have been screaming ..“Move it!” 

Roughing it
Roughing it

I really loved how they made the route “technical”, keeping it real in terms of what MTB is all about! The young man was loving all the ups and downs, even overtaking the slow bikes on his own. It really was too special to watch and just share this moment with him.

This was the first time we’d been back to Northern Farm since he joined the family. We loved that he was clearly having a fun time. I don’t think it will be too long before we make it a habit. I have no doubt, this young man is going to be MTB cyclist .. he loves calculated danger, this was very clear on Saturday!

Fellow Runners
Fellow Runners

So great to see both Lucy and Stevie supporting the Redhill School event as well. They both ran the 6km Trail run, while Lucy’s hubby rode the 45km MTB race.

Festive Time
Festive Time

The event itself was very well organised, number collection was quick and much better compared to last year. The public support was amazing. If the event was better communicated this year, then it is a recipe the school and FedGroup should continue to use, it definately works!

There was plenty of entertainment for the little ones, space for the riders to park their bikes post the race, loads of food  and fresh coffee to warm us up being sold to the public as well.

Next year .. try and give it a go .. 🙂

 

 

 

Later on Saturday afternoon it was time to support two charities via the Otter’s Annual 6.7km Fun Run Challenge .. we clearly enjoying these annual events .. well some of them anyway with great causes. The Otter’s run supports The Baby House in Lonehill and Lesedi Children’s Home. I would have loved to include a link to the Lesedi Children’s Home, but either I’ve lost my touch with searching for stuff online or they don’t have a page at the moment.

I’ve included the link to The Baby House above, so you can read up on them as well. Briefly here is an extract from their website

The Baby House Lonehill

The Baby House was founded in response to the need for 5 million children who will be orphaned by 2015 in South Africa. The Baby House is officially a place of safety for abused and abandoned babies and toddlers… our style of care however is far beyond what you would expect in a typical children’s home. We value one on one attention, loving touch and good quality nutrition, medication and therapies to assist our little ones in healing from trauma and returning to a safe world of self-discovery. We opened our doors in 2011, to date the destiny of 21 children has been radically and beautifully changed. We are based in Johannesburg and house 6 children at a time. Our vision is to create more homes, with medical facilities to accommodate victims of infant rape as well as abused and abandoned babies. In order to do this we need to increase our sustainable income and to form partnerships with corporations devoted to the care and development of our current and future generation of children.”

They will be hosting a few events from September this year to raise funds for their charity, one of which includes riding for them in the forthcoming 94.7 Cycle Challenge taking place on the 16th November. I need to chat to hubby about raising funds for our kit and entry, so that we can proudly cycle through the streets of Jozi in the colours of The Baby House and at the same time not only raise awareness of this wonderful cause, but also help raise much needed funds so that they may continue to do their wonderful work. 

Otter's Fun Run Challenge
Otter’s Fun Run Challenge

Now back to the run… having run the route last year I was in familiar surroundings and what to expect. I am happy that I managed to run more of the route than I did last year, and the “killer hill” wasn’t so deadly this year. I didn’t run all of it perhaps next year, but I did run more of it than last year…hope that counts for something?

It was well organised and reasonably well attended. As it was held on Mandela Day, I’m not sure if all the other number of events taking place across the city this year overshadowed it, as it seemed a lot more low keyed in comparison to last year.

Still, it was beautiful to see the streets crowed by both local residents and visitors alike. Everyone running the streets of the Lonehill suburb as families, including their pets. After the run there were a few stalls selling food and drinks, while the children could run around the park enjoying the late afternoon sun around the park lawns.

Again, if you’re not doing anything else next year .. why not join us and the many families supporting this great initiative?

I dropped off my boys at home and after I was sure they were both washed and fed, I was back in my car and headed back to the local gym. Saturdays as part of my #DareToTri training is made up of a morning run and a swim session in the afternoon. I did the run, now I ached to complete the swim too. The gym closes at 8pm on Saturdays, so I managed to get there with just over an hour to spare. I’ve never been to the gym and found it so empty and quiet, a pleasant change. Changing from running gear to swim was the fastest I’ve done in a while, and before long I was in the pool. It wasn’t quite a brick swim, but I was motoring through the warmish waters. A goal of 2.5km was set and I was determined to accomplish it. Just under 50 minutes later I was done! Goal under the belt, I hit the showers and was out of the gym with 10 minutes to spare before they closed for the day.

Sunday morning came way too soon for my liking. Again, I had a goal to achieve. My legs have complained that I am not giving them enough road cycling time, so that was what would be happening Sunday morning. At 6am when the alarm went off, it was still way too cold for my liking. We waited for just after 8am when we felt the outdoors was slightly much warmer and made our way to the Cradle for my “lonely” ride. Lonely, only because I wasn’t riding with anyone else I knew but there were plenty of other riders on the road. I was supported by my hubby and son throughout the ride and that made it fun. At 9h30 I was cleated and hit the road. In no time I was out of the main Lanseria road and in the slightly more quieter road of the Cradle. Having successfully ridden on my own through the worst part of the Lanseria road for me … the section of the road is narrow and there is NO bike lane! Get the picture?!

Halfway Point - The Caves
Halfway Point – The Caves

I was on a roll. My initial goal was to cycle at least 60km, but would be happy with 50km at least, but nothing less than 50! First 30km was fun and I had a great pace. Met up with son and hubby at the caves for a bit of a breather and I was back on the saddle.

For a change I was also riding past some other cyclists 🙂 and not me being left behind as per norm. At the 40km point I began to feel my quadricep femoris muscles hinting that they were tired, they let me ride past it and when I got to the top of the road I was climbing .. I stopped! Cleated off and put my foot on the ground … OUCH! I was on a major road with quite a bit of traffic and hubby with the car was a whole 5km away from me. I could have called him and asked to be collected, but I was too proud .. yes typical male. After a brief rest and water .. leg seemed ready, I cleated back onto the bike and rode past the car all the way to the 50km point! That’s when I decided it was enough….

Hubby secured the bike back onto the bike rack. I changed my cycling shoes for running and hit the road. This time for my brick run. Yeah, my friends think I’m nuts too! What’s a brick run you may be asking …well it …

…refers to training on two disciplines during the same workout.

Bricks are a very important part of triathlon (and duathlon) training, one after the other with minimal or no interruption in between, just as you would do in a race (I am sure you knew this).

Let’s just say that after that run .. my legs were begging for forgiveness!

Next week we attempt again and the weekend after until it is all very normal for my legs. Now if only I could find a way of ridding my legs of cramps …!?

HKL

Fitness, Inspiration, Run, Running, Talks

Last night was FABZ!

Modern Athlete
Modern Athlete
Modern Athlete Seminar
Modern Athlete Seminar

Last night was the inaugural Modern Athlete Club Seminar, out at the Gooderson Fabz Hotel, in Lonehill. #RunTalk was all about just that … running. For the first event it was extremely well attended by a wonderful active crowd of runners both novices and those with loads more experience.

The host for the evening was the Modern Athlete Magazine editor @Sean_Falconer. He did a superb job as host, his passion for the sport was evidently clear throughout the evening. If you’ve ever been to a race that he has been the MC, I am sure you will agree that he is quite the character and adds so much humour and colour to the event! Last night was just that, an informative evening that was also relaxing and fun!

We were in for a treat, we had Ray Orchison, Bennie Roux, Justin Strout and Rene Kalmer all ready to share their experience with us. They certainly did a great job of keeping our attention throughout the evening.

Ray Orchison
Ray Orchison

Ray Orchison is the Modern Athlete’s club coach and known for coaching athletes wanting to run marathons. He touched on various points during his “20 minute” talk. For me these were the main take outs from his chat, that we should be focusing on our weak areas during the winter months. Concentrate on 3 main areas, Endurance, Strength and Speed. At least 3 times a week if you’re able to focus on these three areas, For endurance use a slow pace, that isn’t walking by the way, it’s at a pace that you’re able to have a decent conversation with your running mate and hear their responses. To improve on your speed, you need to grow your strength and endurance ..simple as that! Train your core with those plank exercises at gym so as to develop your strength. Lastly, he pointed out that in the event of an injury make sure that you address the cause and not just the symptom. You want to get rid of the problem and not have it continue to persist to a point you give up running for a while or altogether! Remember that when training to always select a programme that fits your level of fitness and the distance you intend running…

“Dreams don’t work unless you do – Ray shared”

Bennie Roux and I
Bennie Roux and I

Bennie Roux (@bennieroux) was next, man he was a character of note and so freaking awesome to listen to! He is an Ultra Runner mastering both the road and the trails. I have personally attempted Trail running via the local Parkruns, and I think until last night parked the whole idea of ever attempting another. I think after listening to him and how passionate he is about trail running .. he MIGHT have excited me enough to attempt it just one more … 🙂

One of the slides he shared with us, was about the differences between Road and Trail runners. I laughed … Roadies are similar to models with all their branded clothing, while Trail runners look like “homeless” individuals! There was no malice intended I assure you or intend to insult.

If you’re planning on attempting Trail running, he recommends you start off with short distances and build it up slowly. Don’t go investing in expensive gear until you’re sure it’s a discipline you are keen on pursuing. Shoes by the way should be at the bottom of your list of items to buy, assuming you already have your road running shoes of course. Those will do to begin with. Start off with a hydration carry pack and as you increase your distances, you will eventually get to the point where you will have a medical kit, running food, mobile phone, eyewear and a form of GPS watch to assist you while running around the serene forests filled with the singing of the birds and rustling sounds of the trees. He too encouraged all to strengthen our core, glutes with various forms of exercises.

“If it’s not on Strava, it didn’t happen – Bennie shared”

Enjoy this clip shared by Bennie on how to become an Ultra Runner …

At the end of the next speaker’s session, Justin Strout, I won this book  “The Barry Holland Story” and breakfast at the City Lodge Group of Hotels for two I believe .. must confirm. Justin is the Owner of Healthy Brands trading as Atkins SA.

He chatted to us about nutrition if you haven’t guessed, yet. Primarily about their product the Atkins Low-Carb diet, understanding the benefits of a low-carb lifestyle and healthy snacking.

I won!
I won!

I like that he mentioned that it can take between 2 – 4 weeks for your body to adapt and transition from using carbs to fat for fuel. We don’t get rid of carbs altogether though, we just reduce the quantity we consume to no more than 50g per day. WOW!

Along with the carbs goes the sugar too… you didn’t think you could keep that now did you?!

If you’re keen to learn more ..visit their website here.

Rene Kalmer and I
Rene Kalmer and I

Finally, the finale … the show stopper for the evening .. the moment we’d all been waiting for, Sean welcomed Rene Kalmer to the floor!

Such an amazing person! I thoroughly enjoyed listening to her. Learning about her journey to date and her aspirations in life. Last night though, was all about her Road to Rio – #myjourney – her hashtag on the subject.

Rene is currently one out of five female marathon runners training hard for 3 positions in the South African Athletics team traveling to Rio next year! Yep only 3 vacant posts… talk about pressure!

She’s currently nursing a hip injury, and we wish her speedy recoveries in time to run the required sub 2h30 marathon in order to make it to the Olympics in Rio.

A little bit of trivia on Rene I learnt last night. She is a qualified teacher .. did you know that :-), enjoys reading autobiographies and is currently sponsored by the Modern Athlete and Adidas.

“Turn a setback into a comeback – shared Rene”

Our Host Sean Falconer
Our Host Sean Falconer

Just like that our evening came to an end!

It was a fantastic evening, well worth it. Sean was a fantastic host, and the speakers he shared with us were amazing and super inspiring for me. I’ll be reading the Modern Athlete in anticipation of the next #RunTalk!

Thank you Sean!

HKL

Cycling, Inspiration, Run, Running, Talks

New or Not but have questions …

Modern Athlete
Modern Athlete

If like me you’re pretty new to running or perhaps you’ve been running for a while but have a few unanswered questions, then why don’t  you attend the Modern Athlete Seminar taking place tonight 16th July 2015 at 18h00? It’s FREE! and happening at the Gooderson Fabz Garden Hotel and Conference Centre . 

This is the first of many talks by Modern Athlete, and tonight they have Rene Kalmer who will be sharing about her journey to the Rio Olympics taking place next year 2016,  5th to 21st August in Rio de Janeiro.

Rene Kalmer - sourced online
Rene Kalmer – sourced online
Running Coach - Ray Orchinson (sourced online)
Running Coach – Ray Orchinson (sourced online)

Followed by coach Ray Orchison who will be available to answer any questions you may have regarding training, fitness and more.

There will be loads of prizes and giveaways, so be sure to book your seat and join the talk!

Promises to be an interesting evening and time well spent!

Now, if like me you’re not only interested in running but also cycling, don’t be fretting.

Complete Cyclist - Bryanston
Complete Cyclist – Bryanston

The team at Complete Cyclist will be hosting a “Shop Talk” on the 22nd July 2015. They plan to touch on how to make your training count, train with power vs your heart rate, use your power for more specific training when you’re on the clock and share on some of the power training tools and equipment you could use. 

This is an excellent opportunity for you that’s looking to improve on the experience you’ve already acquired or to find your way to optimize your cycling experience if you’re new to the cycling world.

The talk will be held by the husband and wife team of Nicholas and Diane White from the White Inc company. Nic an ex-pro cyclist has 13 years cycling experience, and has been cycling in some form since he was 15. You also get to meet the man who won the inaugural 94.7 Cycle Challenge in 1997.

Di, at the age of 12 completed her first Cape Argus Cycle Tour, and won her age group category. She has been in cycling for many years and enjoys both Road and MTB disciplines. Nic and Di created their company White Inc in 2014 to assist clients achieve their goals while still have fun while cycling.

This cycling talk is proudly brought to us by the Modern Cyclist magazine and starts at 18h30 on the 22nd July, at the Complete Cyclist Bryanston Store.

See you there!

HKL

Cycling, Fitness, hylery, Races, Run, Running, Tri, Two Oceans Marathon

Run.. Swim .. or Cycle?

Run.. Run.. Run..
Run.. Run.. Run..

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.

Cycling
Cycling

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….

DareToTri_SA
DareToTri_SA

 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!

HKL

hylery, Run, Running, Two Oceans Marathon

Two Oceans Conquered

My World
My World

May 13, 2014 I ran my first ever … and I mean EVER 5km run. I finished in just over 30 minutes. I crossed the line and could not believe it had happened. Little did I know that this was actually the start of my running adventure.

I recall getting to work the following Monday and informing my colleagues that I had run the 5km but that would be it. From then on I entered a few more 5km runs, and decided that I wanted to finally venture into the world of triathlon. See the Sprint version of the triathlon, you don’t run more than 5km at any one time. My theory was as long as I can run and finish the 5km within time I’d be good to go.

Leading up to August last year there was plenty of noise about the Soweto Marathon, part of the race was a 10km run. Hubby suggested that it was time for me to increase my distance. I accepted the challenge and surprised not only myself but hubby and friends by actually completing it .. 72 minutes later!

It wasn’t long before I was entering 10km runs almost every weekend, amidst all this I also decided I wanted to run the Two Oceans Half Marathon in 2015 out in the beautiful Cape. I found out when it was that I needed to register for the race, and hubby began training me for it.

Well that race finally happened over the Easter weekend this year. The three of us boarded a flight the weekend before the race and headed on to Cape Town. This was also the first time our young man got to fly all the way in his very own seat.

Wings of freedom
Wings of freedom

He loved every 2 hours of the flight. Jumping from middle seat to the window seat. Loving watching the clouds but mostly that he was allowed to sit on his own just like his dads.

Room with a view
Room with a view

We got our rental and made our way to Fish Hoek, this was going to be our home for the next 10 days.

Our two bedroom and two bathroom apartment was the best accommodation we’ve booked ourselves in a very long time. It has the most beautiful views, every morning waking up to an amazing sunrise.

Every evening we would have our dinner watching the lights of the evening traffic making their way home through the winding narrow streets of the fish towns, while listening out for the whistling of the last few trains taking those that worked in the city back home for the night. Truly awesome and highly recommended. You should try it out some time…

Running for a cause - Operation Smiles
Running for a cause – Operation Smiles

Now we travelled down to Cape Town early so that I could put in a run or two and get used to running in the city. Previous attempts the year before did not go too well. We entered the Spar Ladies Race, the first in the series hosted across the country, Cape Town’s race being the first.

All dolled up in a tutu and wig, hubby and I got to the start and ran. Everyone mentioned that running in the Western Cape is easier because you’re at sea level etc. Hmm … I don’t know. The race itself was extremely well organised, but I have now confirmed running on pavements and/or trail running isn’t for me. My legs hate it! It was a beautiful route on the promenade with just views of the ocean to our right, but I wasn’t enjoying it. Legs just felt like they were taking a hiding!

This scared me as I really wanted to enjoy and finish the Two Oceans 21.1km race the next weekend!

I didn’t mention it to hubby(coach), but on our run to Simon’s Town in the week leading to the Two Oceans, it happened again as the run was on paving. My legs just ached and begged for me to stop punishing them. Why is this happening to me! Reading articles on the run about runners that started the race and did not finish wasn’t helping either. At one point I read something about of the 16k participants that enter the race 3k don’t manage to complete it! I didn’t want to be one of them! No way! If I have to run through the pain and never run again, I told myself I would! This race is all I’d been working towards since August 2014. I desperately wanted to finish it and have proof too!

All this is happening in my head on the week leading to Saturday 4th April 2015, race day!

We collected our numbers, our young man’s fun run number and mine on the first day the collection started. It was a total breeze. First race I’d entered where this was the case. Normally there are queues to contend with and disgruntled individuals in a rush etc. #OMTOM numbers collection was superbly well organised, congratulations to the organizing committee!

Day before the main marathon is Fun Race day. Hubby, SIL and our young man all had their races to run. Hubby ran the 5.6km race and got himself a new PB – sub 30 minutes and then still ran 56m with our young man. Our son just wasn’t having any of it though when he reached the starting line. After having yelled at the top of his voice that daddy should get to the start so he could run, he was overwhelmed by all the other tiny tots at the starting line. Still he ran it on his dadD’s shoulders .. like many others and crossed the finish line getting himself a medal and goodie bag in the process. We will try again next year I am sure.

Race Day 2015 OMTOM
Race Day 2015 OMTOM

Race day arrived early. We were up at 3am on Saturday morning, breakfast and dressed before making our way to the starting line by 430am. The drive was quick and the streets quiet.. until we got close to the starting line. We’re part of the Team Vitality Cycling and Running club so hubby registered us for parking on race day. This was an awesome gesture! We didn’t have to worry about parking our rental somewhere unfamiliar or having to walk too far to the start line. The parking area was literally 400m from the starting line and after a nervous inflicted toilet call, we said our goodbyes and I entered my batch pen.

Our mate Max Cluer was one of the announcers that morning, and probably 20 minutes after entering the pen he was alerting that the National Anthem was about to be played. Wow! What a moment! The duration of the anthem I was filled with goosebumps and tears. For that moment we were all united at the start.

The first 3 batches started and 10 minutes later so were we. Unlike many other races there wasn’t a long period of shuffling before we were actually running. We ran .. and ran .. and steadily climbed our way into the M3 highway! I was loving it! Legs were not aching or begging that I stop. I was running the race I’d wanted to run all along. I was having the best time too and so was everyone else around me.

Truth
Truth

Hubby had suggested I start slow .. for the first 10km and then increase my pace for the last 11kms so that I was still fresh. I tried! Although it didn’t happen. I was pacing 7/6 per km for the first 3km, when I saw the 2h30 bus come past me.

I recalled my last 21km run just two weeks earlier, where I had been ahead of the bus for the bulk of the run and they pipped to the finish line with 2kms to go. It wasn’t happening again, regardless of what hubby(coach) had recommended. He wasn’t there. I was on my own and I was a man on a mission. My last 21km I’d completed in 2h26:32 .. I just had to somehow beat that time! I jumped on the bus and held on.

Their pace was fast 6:20/km .. fast in comparison to my standards that is. I held on. I wasn’t going to let them pass me again. Fortunately this bus also walked, but briskly! It was like this that we made our way to the top and overcame too the infamous Southern Cross Hill .. I even managed to laugh when I saw one of the race posters along the road, it read .. “It’s just a hill, get over it …!” Loved it!

We reached the 16km point of the run, and that’s when I thought .. OMG! The damn cramps decided that they were joining me on this run too. DAMNIT! WHY! Had me some water and race food and that got me through the next 3kms … before they came on back again. I was focused and still had me some race food. I am going to finish this run .. I will run through this pain .. my words to get me through the cramps. At the 20km point with only 1.1kms to go I’d run out of race food and could feel the cramps creeping back into my legs. I was feeling cramps in places I’d never cramped before. Fortunately at the last water station I’d collected extra water satches. I finished the last one, thanked my bus conductor for the support and dashed to the finish line with 100m to go. I could feel the cramp abate some .. but not complete go away.

I crossed the finish line! Sub 2h30! What an emotional finish for me.

I received my medal .. my coke and water satches and walked into hubby’s  and our young man’s arms. I’d done it! I’d completed the Two Oceans within the allocated 3h20 for the half marathon. I didn’t break any world records, but I’d finished what I’d set out to and in new PB too.

The Family Medals
The Family Medals

Hubby and Son, THANK YOU! Thank you for your patience, support and guidance through the journey to this finish line. Getting me to run when I least felt like it. Making us hit the road during the festive season and run two 21.1km prior to this one so that I wouldn’t be surprised when I ran the OMTOM.

THANK YOU!

For the rest of the year we will be running, but the main focus now will be getting my cycling up to scratch and completing a few more Sprint triathlon when the season starts again in October out here.

The surprise though is that hubby and I have now committed to running the OMTOM next year .. together .. but not the half marathon .. the ultra! 56kms of it!

OMG!!

Let’s watch this space for progress…

HKL

Dis-Chem 1/2 Marathon, Firsts, hylery, Races, Run, Running

It’s been a week ..

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!

Completed my first 21km
Completed my first 21km

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.

My Awesome City
My Awesome City

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.

Daredevil Run

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!

HKL

Celebrations, Cycling, Dis-Chem 1/2 Marathon, Family, Father and Son, Run, Running

A beginning to look forward to …?

Christmas 2014
Christmas 2014

Just like that Christmas 2014 arrived and left our shores!

It was a very different one for us, in that for the first time in a very long while, it was just us the family for Christmas. No extended members visiting us for the holidays, nor us visiting extended family. That said, it was special. Yes, it was our first with our son. We chilled. We danced. We swam and enjoyed the love we have for each other. We reflected on our blessing too, for there were many in 2014.

With Christmas over, it means that yet another year 2014, is coming to an end….

It’s been a year of blessings indeed as it was a year of challenges too. Yes, many a change awaits us as a family. Changes we have no control over, but believe wholeheartedly that GOD will make a way. Faith, is all we have now. HE has brought these winds of change for a reason. For now we may not know the reason, but with time the lessons we’re to learn will reveal themselves.

Hitting the road with more confidence
Hitting the road with more confidence

So for a bit of reflection on 2014:

  1. I ran my first 5km, furthers I’d ever run before was a 400m back in school until May 2014
  2. I also ran my first 10km, now the furthers I’ve officially run in a race … August 2014
  3. I ran 2x 10km road races – Run – in Soweto
  4. I lost my maternal grandmother a year and few months after her husband passed on
  5. Our young man is finding his bubbly personality and started forming short sayings, they not quite sentences
  6. Our young man migrated to a standard 3/4 bed
  7. Hubby, son and I visited a new place in our continent … Zanzibar for a wedding and a break
  8. I love that I’m finally appreciating and am OK with hubby coaching me on the road – running and cycling
  9. 2014 was also the year we had to replace gadget screens a total of 3x because our young man doesn’t care much to first placing it on the sofa or table before running off to the next best attention grabber
  10. I’m also grateful for our family’s health.
  11. Cost of living also became even more expensive
  12. Power cuts returned with the vengeance of 2008
  13. I surprised hubby with a High Tea with mates for his birthday
  14. This year JJ had a class birthday party
  15. My fitness level has grown
  16. I’ve officially entered these amazing races in 2015 – Dischem21 (to be recorded as my first 21km run in Jan’15), TwoOceans21km run in Apr’15, and OpDieDam21km Mar’15
  17. Yet again I didn’t ride the 94.7 – I had entered this year
  18. Grateful that I still have my parents and parents-in-law
  19. Grateful for the roof on our heads
  20. Grateful to be ALIVE
Cycling again
Cycling again
Cycling 2014
Cycling 2014

Since May 2013 I’ve not gotten onto a bike or been on the road with it. Monday 30th December 2014, it all changed.

I met up with Minessa, Ilse and Kurt at the Rhino and Lion Park and we road about 25km out in the Cradle. I think because of all the running, my fitness levels have improved. Riding the roads of the Cradle certainly brought back interesting memories of my previous rides out this route.

So, with the bike finally done. I’ve now broken through the open waters swim wall. I’m more confident on the bike and my road running is improving. I’m still to conquer ocean water swimming, but hey you have to agree that I’ve come along way since May 2014!?

I’m fortunate to have a partner that supports and pushes me to do better in these disciplines. Right now he is pushing me to get more road running mileage so that I’m ready for the 21kms I’ve entered. We’ve agreed that 2015 will hopefully see us do the 94.7 together .. finally 🙂 and as a personal achievement besides completing the 21km road runs, I’m hoping to compete and complete a few Triathlons.

I believe I’ve found a club and group making the Smart-Tri team. Looking forward to seeing results with them!

However you’re celebrating and welcoming the new year, please let it be safe, surrounded by genuine people who appreciate you. May 2015 be amazing for you, streaming with great health, abundance of love, constant flowing of funds to keep the roof over your head, and the car that you drive safe, and may it be a year of dreams being fulfilled, new friends made, new destinations discovered. May you achieve your fitness goals, and may you do something new.

To those that lost family in the recent air disaster in Indonesia, may their souls rest in peace and may GOD continue to give you strength.

All the best for 2015!!

HKL

Beginnings, hylery, Run, Running, Tri

Jozi is calm …

Work Crew
Work Crew

It is certainly mid December!

The roads are loads quieter, but not quite as before. Still a breeze getting to work from home. It’s going to be this way for a little while .. ok just another 10 odd days and then Jozi is back to its noisy self. Most will be fresh from their break, while others will be dreading the new year and what is ahead, and then there will be those that embrace life and all it will throw at them and make lemonade out of the lemons and limes it shares. At the end, life is what we make of it. No one said it would be easy, no one warned us about the challenges and wins adulthood brings with it. Alas, like everything else, it is what it is .. and only you can make it count… for you!

So last week Friday, very impromptu a group of us from the office decided we were going to have a Christmas lunch, seeing as the company doesn’t offer us any. It’s been the norm the last 4 years or so. Not to be phased by it and as some of my colleagues would be ending their “Financial” year as I like to call it, last week Friday we had one any way. The picture you see to your left is my “crazy” work crew. All special characters, and I don’t mean it in a bad way, but because of them my work world is what it is. Each one bringing to my world something that resonates with who I am. Some of them I’ve worked with since day 1 at the company, while others joined along the years and others still just the other day.

The odd dude bottom in the picture above – aka Henri, well he is the “craziest” of the lot. A recent acquisition to the office life. Every morning he is in and not travelling he will stop en route to his coffee for a quick chat. In the short time, he has reflected the kind of father I admire. He isn’t just a dad or the sperm donor, he is a father to his kids. He is their friend, their gang leader, confidante and father that commands their respect out of their love for him.

Then we the two crazy pictures above his. That’s a mixed masala bag right there.

Kanitha is my oldest colleague. Not old as in age but as in time at the company! I found her here and over the years we’ve grown to appreciate each other. She is a strong woman, stronger than even she realises at times. Life hasn’t always been kind to her, but she took those lemons and limes and conjured up some amazing lemonade and lemon meringues. Why, well because that’s just the kind of person she is. Someone with a HUGE heart, sees the best in people and sets an amazing example to her children.

Goldman is Mr. Sneakers. He loves his sneakers and takes immense pride in purchasing the right pair for the right reason. I’m yet to meet someone else that has so much pride. He is passionate about what he does and his basketball, after the sneakers. He can be extremely private, and I love that he feels confident enough to share some very personal ideas with me from time to time.

Nicci and Renee are relatively new to the team. Both names mentioned by the way, are not their official birth names but rather their preferred ones. We aim to please I say! Nicci is our fashionista. Anything fashion related she is onto it. If you ask her to source a fashion item, she will let you know it’s a done deal! She knows someone who will do it for you. Love that attitude, young entrepreneur in the making right there!

Then we have Renee, she’s the keen sweet tooth person to contact in the office. Makes amazing Milk tarts! These are made with so much love and dedication, that when you eat a slice you can’t but enjoy the love and passion she left behind when pressing the tart base and stirred the milky content. She’s also very organised. Don’t tease her about having missed a deadline .. you will fluster her … order is her way!

So, next year 2015, there are plans for us all to become more active. Yep plans to attend Parkruns, Bowls, Cycling etc are planned. We live in hope….

Smart -Tri Crew
Smart -Tri Crew

The rest of the weekend was pretty active. Saturday I did the local Parkrun in the morning and some open water swimming in the afternoon with the Smart-Tri crew. I’m really enjoying the camaraderie at our meetings. Amazes me every time how everyone supports everyone. You’re not intimidated to do anything you don’t want to either. Looking forward to great Tri results from this team next year!

I know Minessa and Ilse are already geared to do the 1st tri of the season early January 2015. They are both putting so much time and effort into their training, it is only bound to reap amazing times and results for them.

What I really enjoy of this group is how there are no airs or attitudes. Everyone is equal, granted some more seasonal that us novices, but no ones made to feel inferior. Everyone is extremely supportive and only keen to see another Tri-Athlete emerge.

Minessa
Minessa

This is Minessa, another strong woman with so much love and passion to share with all her mates. I’ve only known her for a short while but the person I’m getting to know is someone extremely special. If it wasn’t for her I would not be part of the Smart-Tri group, well technically I’m still not .. but she introduced me to the crew and wow!

Then hubby had me waking up bright and early on Sunday morning to brave the streets of Gauteng. Yep! I according to him I need to put more mileage on my legs if I want to run the 21kms next year and not cry about it afterwards!

Depending on which of my two recording gadgets we choose to believe, I either ran 13.9kms or 10kms yesterday morning. Route wasn’t extremely tough, but a good balance of both hills and flats. Traffic was fair, which was great for me!

I met a few fellow runners on the road too, and took note that those seasonal runners all greet as they run pass you. I quite like that, made me feel like I belonged on the road with them too. We then have the non-seasonal runners. I’m hoping that these individuals will be on the road through the year and not just now as part of a fad. These individuals sadly run past you as if you don’t exist. Sad really.

Home later as reward this was waiting for me ========>>> Check the picture … ok the pic below. Wine was amazingly refreshing. We polished the bottle pretty quick!

Rose Sparkling Wine
Rose Sparkling Wine

Now it’s a few more days at the office before we take a break.

Some will head on off into the sunsets in the fair Cape. While most will stay behind and enjoy the quiet of the streets in Jozi.

Whichever option you decide on, please be SAFE!

This is after all the season to be silly … but within reason.

HKL

Cycling, Dis-Chem 1/2 Marathon, hylery, Mandela, Run, Running, Unite4Mandela

Where have I been …?

Two Oceans Marathon 2015 - Source: TwoOceansMarathon site
Two Oceans Marathon 2015 – Source: TwoOceansMarathon site

Since our son’s birthday activity last week, we’ve been hectic with sports.

Yep there are a few activities taking place this November into next year that we needed to get sorted or ready for. This week’s focus for me was entering the Two Ocean’s Marathon 21km race 2015. Yes indeed, besides the Dischem21 that takes place next year this race is the one I actually want to run. Having heard from mates that entries go really fast, I was in front of my PC way before the scheduled 10am start so that I didn’t miss my chance to enter this amazing race!

It was so worth the excitement, I managed to secure an entry for next year! So, yes I’m doing my second 21km come April 2015 and God willing.

TwoOceans Entry Dates
TwoOceans Entry Dates – Source: TwoOceansMarathon site

If you also keen, the 21km race I’ve been told is the most popular of the races, so entries don’t last. Monitoring social media the last few days, it seems that this year the entries allocated to club entrants were all taken within 12 hours, 2013 I believe they went within 48 hours. There are still plenty of entries available for the Ultra Marathon still, and next week Wednesday a second batch of 21km entries will be released. So don’t rest if you’re planning to run the race in 2015!

21km Race Route Profile - Source: TwoOceansMarathon site
21km Race Route Profile – Source: TwoOceansMarathon site
Young man's 1st School Concert
Young man’s 1st School Concert

 

Yesterday was our young man’s school musical. The whole term he has attended a music class to help them improve their motor skills. Feedback from the teachers is that he is loving it and most of the time is the one that pays attention throughout the class. This was very apparent during the musical we attended. See from the picture how much attention he shares during class. He clearly enjoys it!

There’s a bout of Chickenpox at the school at the moment, so when our son woke up Thursday morning with a fever and runny nose, we thought the worst. Yep, he has had the Chickenpox vaccine … but it’s really not guaranteed … or is it? Following consultation with our doc he calmed our concerns and assured us that our young man is fine. All he has is a bout of ENT infection and would be sorted soon enough. YAY!

Almost forgot, earlier in the week the little girl sitting to his left in the picture decided she wanted a bite of our son. For no reason at all, go figure! We sorted it all out with the mother, so we hope it won’t happen again or that our son decides to pickup from where she left off.

New Personal Best 15th Nov '14
New Personal Best 15th Nov ’14

On an awesome note to end this entry, today I ran a 5km at the local ParkRun and guess what? I improved my best time and broke the elusive 30 minutes that just kept running away from me! I’m feeling really chuffed about it and has helped build my confidence in actually completing my two 21km runs in 2015!

Next week it’s the Unite4Mandela multisport and concert event. It is promising to be an amazing day. Peeps entering can either run, walk or cycle, whatever pleases your heart. Once all the races are complete, there’s a concert taking place right at the same place.

Sounds like it’s going to be an amazing day full of fun. I do hope that the weather plays along and doesn’t rain.

Tomorrow hubby does his 3rd Cycle Challenge, I was going to do my first. Having entered way back in March when the entries opened. Sadly, that was the extent of my cycling. I’ve not done anymore practice road rides through the year. For that reason hubby recommended that I stay out this year and attempt it next year. Taking his experienced word on it and will be staying home with our young man…. a better option I think!

Stay safe!

HKL