• blog post,  training & racing

    Revenge starts here…

    Tonight at 6pm I’ll be starting my 6-month journey to Ironman 70.3 again.   You may remember how my previous attempt ended with me going for a little sleep in the ambulance and waking up in the medical tent at the finish line – followed by an ugly cry. So I’m excited to seeing some old faces and meeting new people, but I thought I should take stock of where I’m at so I can  start my 2013/2014 Embark programme with a clear mind, focused on revenge. Share the love...

  • blog post,  training & racing

    Looking Ahead (a.k.a. Escape From Robben Island)

    I’m literally counting down the days and hours until my cast comes off… Friday, 7 June @ 10am Needless to say I can already taste the freedom and smell the Veet that will be applied to get my leg silky smooth the moment I get back home. 18 days & 20 hours… probably a reasonable time to wait, hey? My patience is wearing pretty thin and I’m thinking of cunning ways to escape from this prison without anybody finding out…  Like the other day when my friend Natasha, who also happens to be a teacher at my kids’ school, told me that they use the same stuff my cast is made of…

  • blog post,  training & racing

    Just one more sleep!!

    Take four friends, one epic road trip that lasted almost 16 hours and two cheap-ass hotel rooms, and what do you get? Ironman 70.3 Race Weekend, of course! Three sleeps to go… We arrived here on Thursday night, having decided to spread the load over two days before Race Day Sunday.  And immediately realised it was the best decision we’ve ever made. First, it’s HOT. And terribly humid.   Perspiration?  What perspiration?  I was sweating like a damn pig!  And I huffed and puffed all the way up the stairs to our room. On the upside, we had two full days to acclimatise and were looking forward to seeing our…

  • blog post,  training & racing

    It’s come down to this…

    I’m busy with the last bit of preparation before Sofie, Radesh, Megan and I leave for East London tomorrow morning at 4am. Our road trip is the culmination of six months’ worth of hard work, blood (literally), sweat, tears, laughter, fun, panic attacks, cycle races, running races, triathlons, canal swims…  And it will all come down to about eight hours of swimming, biking and running this coming Sunday. Life-changing journey I can honestly say that the past six months have been a life changer.  I’ve said it before.  Every single person arrived at that first evening of Embark orientation with a goal in mind.  Some have dropped out along the…

  • blog post,  training & racing

    Top tip: breathing in choppy water

    9 days to go until Ironman 70.3 (EEEEEEEEEEK!!!!) and I have had a few rough open water swim sessions lately which really sucker-punched my confidence. But I came across this clip which provides some awesome tips on how to deal with choppy seas.  I’m hoping for some rough water in Hout Bay this weekend so that I can practice these techniques (while also learning to swim in a straight line) ahead of the race. Share the love...

  • 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…