• blog post,  training & racing

    Smiles, Tears, Lessons & General Madness: A Year In Review

    The past 364-and-a-half days have been one of those extra-large-value-pack-mix-bags of fun, laughter, tears, frustration, love, life lessons, friends and much more. Here are some highlights: Da Son started Grade 1 and Da Chick went into Grade R.  Being a year apart has its pros and cons, and they’re now at the stage where people ask me if they look like twins – which they obviously hate.  Not a day goes by that I’m not in awe of their wisdom and strength and unconditional love… That said, I also realise on a daily basis that it’s my sole responsibility to ensure that they grow up to be respectable human beings…

  • blog post,  training & racing

    Flying the #EmbarkTri Flag on Reconciliation Day

    16 December is more than just a public holiday; it also happens to be my grandmother’s birthday (happy 88th birthday, Ouma!!). And yesterday, for the first time in many years, I missed my gran’s birthday party to participate in two races with her on my mind. Race 1:  Gugulethu Reconciliation Day 10km Run “Wanna come and run the Gugs 10km with me on 16 December?” Sofie enquired a few weeks ago. It certainly sounded like fun, but the idea of spending more money shortly before Christmas left me a little underwhelmed. But Sofie would have none of my indecision.  “Think about the kids!” she said.   All the runners bring…

  • blog post,  inspiration,  training & racing

    Thursday Motivation: I CAN

    In 39 days I’ll be known as Race Number 2712 when I line up in Wave 5 of the 1.9km swim at the 2013 Ironman 70.3. Following the swim, which I must complete within 1 hour and 10 minutes, I have to cycle 90km (4:05 limit) and run a half marathon (3:15 limit). That’s a pretty big thing to achieve for anyone. Since I started my training under the watchful eye of Evil-Steve I, like many of my training partners in the group, have faced many personal, physical and emotional challenges.  Some couldn’t cycle well.  Others had to work on their running skills.  I had to learn how to swim (and…

  • blog post,  training & racing

    Race Report: Jailbreak Tuffy Escape

    A dream finally came true for me this past weekend when I had the opportunity to participate in the Jailbreak triathlon out at Brandvlei Prison, situated on the Brandvlei Dam between Worcester and Rawsonville. Before I got bitten by the tri bug, I used to listen with wide-eyed wonder as my friends recounted their Jailbreak experiences and always hoped that I would one day be able to do this race too. As our final triathlon of the year – and ahead of Ironman 70.3 on 20 January – Jailbreak would show us where work still needed to be done, so it was an important race for all of us Embarkers.…

  • blog post,  training & racing

    I have finally realised…

    … that there is a way to get some kind of stroke rhythm in the water. It came to me earlier this week when Sofie and I met for a morning session at Sea Point pool, and I was trying to get my head around relaxing and breathing and focusing on my stroke and and and… And then I remembered what helps me cope with hills whenever I cycle or run. When I started training for Two Oceans earlier this year, I’d often struggle with my MP3 player’s ear buds slipping out of my ears from all the sweat.  And while I had some songs playing in my head, I found…

  • blog post,  training & racing

    Die Burger Cycle Tour wrap-up

    To most, this is just photo of me on my bike, riding along some arb road, doing some arb cycle race.  But I remember the exact place where this pic was taken.  I know exactly how I felt.  I dared not look around or speak to anyone.  The only thing on my mind was the fact that the stomach cramps were back, and so began my plea to the universe: Pleasepleasepleaseplease don’t let me poop my pants… Having received special permission from my office to ride Die Burger Cycle Tour, I was a little concerned when my tummy expressed its general unhappiness by refusing to hold onto any kind of…

  • blog post,  training & racing

    Emotional Rollercoaster

    Coach Evil Steve promised us two things the first time he met us: The friends we were about to make on this 70.3 journey would stay with us for the rest of our lives.  We would experience a rollercoaster of emotions as the programme progress. He was right on both accounts. I have probably experienced more ups and downs in the past ten days than what I have experienced during most of this programme. Up:  Langebaan Lagoon Challenge (80km), 17 November I’ve heard a lot about the Langebaan Lagoon Challenge, and although I had toyed with the idea of participating, I didn’t really give it any serious thought.  It wasn’t…

  • blog post,  training & racing

    Revenge of the Tri Nerd

    OOH – this blog post is WAY overdue, but things have been a little hectic at work and in training. Stay tuned for a wrap-up of this past weekend, coming to a PC near you in the next 48 hours. First things first…  I have a very important message: Last Sunday was undoubtedly one of the most awesome days of my very short and very limited tri life.  To fully understand what I mean, you need to remember what happened to me last year. As a first-timer at the 2011 BSG tri in Worcester, I didn’t really know what to do or expect.  I didn’t know anything about transition. I…

  • blog post,  training & racing

    Feeling like a superstar

    Can somebody hand me my cape please because I feel like a freaking superhero!! The morning started like most canal mornings.  I drove to the Waterfront at warp speed because I was running late.  Arrived, sniffed the air to get a feel for the stink level (conclusion:  ripe) and went through the ritual of shoehorning (and being shoehorned) team mates into wetsuits.  <<Meg actually came up with a pretty nifty term for what we do each other:  “POP”.>> Then I looked around to spot a few friends (unsuccessfully, since we all look like seals with orange swim caps on), jumped in (gets easier every time) and had the usual panic…

  • blog post,  training & racing

    Why Egg-Mayo is a NO-NO

    I’ve been fretting about this blog since Saturday.  After all, what can I say about my disastrous opening tri for the season without sounding like a total whiner? For most it was a great race.  In my case it turned into a bit of a non-event.  In a nutshell: I had a bit of a panic attack beforehand which included a few tears (aahhh… the old ugly cry…) Had a great warm-up swim Started feeling sick a few minutes before the start Felt so ill that in the time it took the others to complete two laps, I could only manage one Had a few quality puking sessions on the bike before…