It’s been one crazy week.  I’m still at the office and have developed a bit of a nervous twitch, while obsessive-compulsively chewing sugar-free Airwaves gum (because chocolate / tequila is the only alternative and we all know where that will lead).

Sunday: Bike Time Trial

  • Group mission: ride approx 40km, as fast as we can
  • My mission: ride said 40km in lightning speed, as to move up on the training group’s general classification list

What actually happened:  We had a family party the night before, so when I got up at 6am on Sunday morning, after less than four hours’ sleep, I was feeling a tad fragile.  But I had a ride to do, so I got dressed, grabbed my stuff and drove to Camps Bay.

Steve:  “Leonie, where are your running shoes?”  (we were scheduled to do a post-ride run)
Me: “Oooooooooooooh _%E@&E@E*&&@!!! But don’t worry, I’ll just run in my socks.”
Steve: *gives me that look he always gives me when he hears the unladylike language that comes out of my mouth*

So we were set off and I fell into a comfortable pace, just behind the front group. Yeay!!! This was going to be one awesome ride…

Until I got past Oudekraal and realised that I couldn’t adjust my gears and that they were stuck in the heaviest setting. I fell back a little, grinding my gears, knees and teeth up the hill to Hout Bay (still in my heaviest gear), while softly swearing at people riding past me on their mountain bikes – on knobbly tyres. Going up Chappies was also a mission, still in the heaviest gear, and I was REALLY glad to get to the turn-around point.

But then I started going up Little Suikerbossie (the section between the Spar and the only traffic lights in Hout Bay) and my chain started coming off every minute or so. First in the front and then in the back… repeatedly until I stopped and did the girly thing by turning my bike upside down and staring at it with my hands on my hips. Thankfully some of my group stopped to see if I was OK and the quite fantastic Inge (former fattie-in-the-back, now awesome slinky-in-the-middle) called Steve to declare my bike officially dead.

But I had a plan. So I grabbed my bike, ran home, took my mountain bike and rode back to the finish. In the rain. And the wind.

  • On the way up Suikerbossie again, this time on my mountain bike, a kindly stranger from Team Spartans rode up next to me and offered to give me his jacket as I looked very cold. It turned out to NOT be a stranger, but rather none other than the wonderful Ierefaan Williams, who does all the podium flowers for our bike races!!

Anyhoo, my bike is now receiving some TLC at the shop and I hope to get it back before Saturday.

** by the way… what’s up with cycle shop assistants?  Why do they treat you like a moron?  And why do they roll their eyes at you when you ask them why the gears are stuffed, two rides after a major service? SERIOUSLY???!!!???

Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday:  Work / Life / Shit Happens

We’re days away from opening entries for the 2013 Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour.  I now have a seven-page to-do list of everything I need to accomplish before Friday and have been spending late nights at the office and in bed, trying to plough through my workload.

I was pretty bummed that I couldn’t train last night and had planned to do some speed work early this morning with fellow former Shape diarist and new friend Tanja.  Sadly I woke up this morning at 3am with a fever and feeling like death.  I didn’t plan to go into the office, but when I realised that my internet connection was non-existent, I had no choice but to put on my big girl panties and come through.

I’m still not feeling any better, but hopefully with enough self-medication I’ll be fine enough to swim tomorrow night.

What’s up with my diet?

OK, so I’ve been following a plant-based diet since March last year and things were going well.  I got sick just after Two Oceans and tests revealed that I had severe anemia and a bunch of deficiencies.  In order to remedy it, I started introducing fish back into my diet and while we were in Namibia I lived on game steaks!  The problem is that I’m now back where I was when I started eliminating animal products from my diet:  I have sinus problems and a rash (which brings with it a terrible itch) from the dairy, and my digestive system is rebelling.

I’m not sure what to do.  At this point I want to go see a naturopath to help me balance my diet (and the fact that I actually want to maintain a plant-based diet) with optimum health, because I sure as hell can’t seem to get it right on my own.

The only problem is money, and I’m loath to spend cash on yet another thing.  I recently calculated the cost of being on this programme and it’s scary…

The stuff you spend money on to prepare for Half Ironman

  • Monthly training group fee
  • Road bike (Until a few weeks ago, I only had a mountain bike)
  • Wet suit
  • Tri gear
  • Bike maintenance
  • New running shoes (my current ones are entering their twilight years)
  • Spare goggles & swimming caps
  • Race entries
  • Travel costs to travel to training & preparation races
  • Nutrition

In hindsight, I should have (a) become a trophy wife, (b) been born a shit-hot natural athlete that rakes in sponsorships, or (c) been born a natural freeloader who can shamelessly ask people for freebees.

Sadly, I’m just your average mom who has to work to help pay the bills and school fees.

This, too, shall pass.