Saturday, February 28, 2009

Where's Donald

Since I started at my new job last year July, which is in another city, 110km away I've been traveling the same route everyday, 6 days a week. The biggest part of the route(90km) is on the freeway and there is a small pond next to the freeway about halfway on the route. The pond is only visible when I return home in the evenings as it is very small and is in a ditch. After a few days I noticed this little duck all on his own in the pond, but didn't think much of it. As I became a seasoned traveller on this route, the duck became part of my trip home and I would look at this duck every afternoon as he keeps himself busy in the water. You guessed right I named him Donald, although I have no clue if it is a male or female. Lately I would even slow down and see what Donald is doing. For me Donald is part of my trip home but surely Donald sees thousands of cars everyday so I am just another car passing by. Without exception for the past eight months Donald was always in the pond until last week Monday. There was no sign of Donald but I didn't think much of it, but it has been now a whole week and Donald is still missing.

It is funny how something this stupid can upset you as you think of it every evening and hope to see the duck. As they say you only realize how you miss something until you don't have it anymore. Donald was never mine but he became part of my everyday journey. I hope nothing bad has happened to Donald but instead maybe he found a new bigger pond or even a mate and moved away.

The last two days was big training days and tomorrow is also big with a 3 hour run. Today was another killer with a brick session consisting of a 6 hour ride and a 30 min run and that after a gym session this morning. Luckily next week is a taper week for my half Ironman on Sunday. Last year I did a PB at the same event but was on a whole different training program. I don't expect to do that well as I just finished my power gym phase and my legs still need to recover with the Chisel phase starting now. But that is all part of my plan to be in the best shape ever for Ironman South Africa on the 5th of April.

Yesterday's workouts

Swim: 1h24, 3.5km, 121 bpm ave, 1013 kcal
Run: 40min, 7.8km, 124 bpm ave, 5:08min/km, 497 kcal
Bike: Intervals 40min, 25km, 37.5 km/h, 126 bpm ave, 513 kcal

Today's workouts

Gym: 1h07, 529 kcal
Brick--Bike: 6h03, 175 km, 28.9 km/h, 3950 kcal
Run: 27 min, 5.5 km, 4:54 min/km, 132 bpm ave, 367 kcal.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Sometimes we need to be deaf

Training for an Ironman can be tough and one makes a lot of sacrifices to fulfill your dream. Someone told me this story and it is so true when your dream is to become an Ironman.

"The story of the Tiny Frogs
There once was a bunch of tiny frogs, who arranged a running competition
The goal was to reach the top of a very high tower
A big crowd had gathered around the tower to see the race and cheer on the contestants
The race began Honestly--
No one in the crowd believed that, the tiny frogs would reach the top of the tower
You heard statements such as "oh way too difficult, they will never make it to the top"
or " Not a chance that they will succeed, the tower is too high"
The tiny frogs began collapsing one by one
Except for those who in a fresh tempo were climbing higher and higher
The crowd continued to yell " It is too difficult , no one will make it"
More tiny frogs got tired and gave up
But one continued higher and higher and higher
This one wouldn't give up, at the end everyone else had given up climbing the tower
Except for the one tiny frog that after a big effort was the only one who reached the top
Then all the other tiny frogs wanted to know how this one frog managed to do it?
A contestant asked another tiny frog how the one who succeed had found the strength to reach the goal.
It turned out that the winner was DEAF

The wisdom of the story is: Never listen to other people's tendencies to be negative or pessimistic, because they take your most wonderful dreams and wishes away from you.
The ones you have in your heart
Always think of the power which words have because everything you hear and read will affect your actions.
Therefore ALWAYS be positive and above all
Be DEAF when people tell you that you can't fulfill your dreams

Always think: I CAN DO THIS"!

There are so many comments when people hear you are training for an Ironman such as " Are you mad", "If i want to go 226km I use my car", "How can you start your training at 4am in the morning are you crazy". These are just a few of the negative comments you hear. Therefore one needs to be like the tiny frog and be sometimes deaf when people are negative about your dream

Today's workout
Swim: 1h44, 4.5km, 114bpm ave, 960kcal

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Panorama Nite Race

Tonight was the annual Panorama Primary School Nite Race which is sponsored by McCarthy Volkswagen, the company I used to work for, for the past 17 years. This was the first year in the 6 years the event is being sponsored by McCarthy VW that I wasn't involved in the organizing. It started as a small nite race to generate funds for the school and has now grown into one of the biggest nite races in our town. The school is less than two kilomters from our house and Dejone is also a learner at Panorama, so the school is special to us.

Must say it felt weird just going their run the race and get back home, no presenting of medals, removing of all banners and cleaning up afterwards. Had a nice chat will all my ex-fellow workers and glad to see that they are all doing well. I don't get to spend that much time with them anymore as I still stay in town but now work in another city which is more than 100km away.

Dejone did the 5km run and I must say she finished in a well respected time, faster than what I though. I did the 10km run and it went well, considering it is a very hilly route and I did a 20km run yesterday. I am also struggling with stomach cramps the whole day. Don't know what it is but I woke up this morning with this stomach cramps and I just could not do my Long swim session. Later in the day it became better but I still have this little cramps.

Guess I jinxed myself by saying yesterday that I am healthy and the training is spot on, one never knows what will happen the next day.

Have send an email to markallenonline to help me with my training tomorrow, don't know if I must do the gym session tomorrow morning or the swim session I missed today. Like I said before, miss a session and that workout is gone, you just can't catch up.

Today's workout

Run: 10km race, 43:04 157bpm ave, 796kcal, 4:17min/km

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

40 Days

40 days to Ironman South Africa. When I looked at my watch this morning after my run I couldn't believe it was just the other day that it said "50 IMSA 2009". I remember when I was at high school it was a big party if your were in Matric(final year) and it was 40 days until the final exam started. Today was no party but I felt good as I managed to get all my training done.
Life is good when you see that your training program( is working and you just have that feeling that everything is falling into place.
I haven't been sick since my 20 week program started after my Half Ironman in December. Hope it can stay this way as I don't want a repeat of December where I got flu two weeks before the event. There is some fellow workers that have flu at this moment and I just hope I don't get sick at this stage as this can give my training a set back.
I have lost some more weight the last week although I am following my nutrition plan 100%, don't think I am eating less. Am eating actually more as I suddenly have this craving for chocolates, hope it is just a temporarily thing and not something my body tells me I need.
The pain in my upper back is still there but not as sore as yesterday. Will see what happens tomorrow morning as I am doing my endurance swim(4.5km).
Today's workouts
Run: 1h43, 20.2km, 5:06min/km, 132bpm ave, 1358kcal
Bike: 1h51, 62km, 123bpm ave, 1300kcal

Monday, February 23, 2009


Over the weekend I felt this strain in my upper back, but this morning it really hurt when I was busy with my swim workout. I think it is some spasm I have. I decided today that I need more massages in the last 6 weeks towards Ironman as my muscles are really beginning to take strain of all the workouts.
I had a real hectic day at work and decided before I make the same mistake as last week and start missing workouts I will swop my easy bike workout that I am suppose to do tomorrow night with my moderate bike workout that was suppose to be tonight. Jumped on the Computrainer as it is too late to ride outside by the time I get home during the week. Don't know what it is but I just don't have the energy on Monday evenings for my workout. I'm fine and can still manage my morning swim session but there is no energy in the evening. It seems that the long hours over the weekend takes it toll and it only kicks in on Monday nights.
Today's workouts
Swim: 1h26, 3.5km, 1040kcal, 126bpm ave
Bike: 1h00, 27.7km ,118bpm ave

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Happy Birthday

It was my Mother and younger sister's birthday yesterday and we took my mother out for dinner.
My sister's friends had a party planned for her so she could not joined us but me, Kim, my mother and my eldest sister with the two girls had a nice evening out. We had a power failure yesterday at about 3 o'clock in the afternoon and it lasted until today just after 6 in the evening. One only realize how you need electricity when you're without it for more than 24 hours. Luckily the restaurant had power as it is in a different neighbourhood.
I was a bit tired at the restaurant as i only finished my brick session at 7pm and then had to get ready in the dark and we were at the restaurant at 7:45, but that did not put a damper on the evening.

Yesterday morning started early with my Gym workout but as the Gym only open at 6am on Saturdays and I had to be at work early I decided to only do the leg part of the power workouts, instead of missing the whole workout. While I was at work Jacques or Jakkals(meaning Jackal in our language) called me and said he could not make the long ride with me anymore as he ran over 50km on Friday night for a Cancer charity event. Well done Jakkals. So I was on my own for the 5 hour plus ride. Just before I started I had a look at the weather bureau's website and they said that there was a 0% change for rain and the wind was coming for the west. This would mean that I would ride half the time into a head wind but coming back I would have a tail wind. But guess what, after I made my turnaround it was plain sailing for half an hour and then the wind was ride into my face, an easterly wind. But there was a bigger surprise coming. Into the fourth hour of my ride I saw some heavy clouds above me and then it started raining. Don't mind running in the rain but cycling is not that nice.

While I was struggling back home the last hour and a bit I wondered if I ask the weather bureau what's my changes of finishing in the top 10 in my age group at IMSA. I would be happy if they say 0%.

Today was a boring day as we were without electricity the whole day. Took an afternoon nap before my long run, felt rested after it as I don't get much more than 6 hours a night sleep these days with all the training. I was still tired in the pool and on my long run but that is because of my power gym workouts. Just one more week then the chisel phase start and I shouldn't be as tired anymore. I am a good 15sec/km plus slower on my long runs than my normal pace.

Yesterday's workouts

Gym 33 min
Brick- Bike 5h15, 156km, 128bpm ave, 3989kcal.
Run 27min, 5.4km, 138bpm ave, 5:03min/km, 387kcal

Today's workouts

Swim 1h15, 3km, 124bpm ave, 941kcal.
Run 2h30, 29km, 131bpm ave, 5:11min/km, 1960kcal

Summary of week's workout's
Swim 14km
Bike 191km
Run 63km
Total 19h14, 268km, 13792kcal.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Happy Days

My sister came to visit us for the weekend, and I haven't seen my Mom so happy in a while. Today is also my sister in law's birthday, Happy birthday Marle. Have a killer of a day and enjoy the barbecue tomorrow. Tomorrow is also the birthdays of my mother and my sister, going to be a busy day with all the training, work and birthday party. The day was right on schedule with the training. Did my swim session this morning and a nice easy run tonight. Tomorrow it is gym and long bike. As I'm working tomorrow I need to do my long bike in the afternoon, Jakkals will join me at 1pm and we will hit the road for 5h30. After that it will be a 30 minutes run before I can join the birthday celebrations.

Today's workouts
Swim: 1h14, 3km,
Easy Run: 40 minutes, 7.7km, 129bpm ave 5:14min/km

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Heavy Legs

The Bike speed workout tonight was especially hard as I am now in the mid of my power phase in the gym. With the markallenonline program I was warned that during the power phase of the gym workouts you will feel sluggish and expierence heavy legs and I felt it tonight. Part of the bike speed work was two 12 minute Time trials and it was killing me. Luckily for me there is only two weeks left of power training and then the Chisel phase starts.

Today's workouts
Gym: 1h12
Bike: 1h08, 35km, 128bpm ave, 158bpm max.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


It is so easy to loose focus. In my case I had a busy week but that's no excuse, so one shifts your focus from training for an Ironman to all these other things that take up your time. When I did not do my workout Monday night it didn't seem like a big deal missing one workout. On Tuesday night I took the guys out for Dinner and missed my second workout. The workout was suppose to be an easy bike session so one think, that not to bad missing an easy session. Then it is Wednesday morning and you feel tired of the late night last night and say to yourself let me skip the morning session I'll catch up tonight, but guess what. You never catch up, a lost session is a lost workout. Before you realise you are on the brink of only completing half you workouts for the week and are only doing one session a day instead of two. Today I said to myself FOCUS, Stemmet, Focus. With the Half Iron coming up on the 8th of March I have less than two weeks of hard work, one week easy, two weeks hard and two weeks taper before IMSA. Now is the time to push and don't loose focus. Luckily I am back on track and have done my workouts for today.

Had an exciting run tonight whereby I had to run past a snake in the road. One of my running routes is through a new neighbourhood where they've only started building houses and there is no street lights yet. I guess with all the building the animals are looking for new homes. Luckily a motorist warned me as he was coming from the opposite site. Quite scary but also some adrenaline rush if you need to decide are you going to continue, turn back or make it a sprint for the next 100m.

Today's workouts

Swim: 1h42, 4.5km, 120bpm ave.
Easy Run: 55min 9.8km 130bpm ave.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Watch the weight

This week has been hectic so far. Yesterday I did not feel like cycling and tonight I am taking some guys from our performance group out for dinner. This means I am only able to workout once a day for the first two days of the week. With all the restaurant food it also means gaining weight. One must be so careful of what to eat not to add those kilo's you've been shedding.
Guess it will be a late night tonight as I need to drive back home after dinner and working a hour from home does not help. Will definitely feel it in the pool tomorrow morning. Though of switching my swim and run session tomorrow but I just don't have enough energy at night to swim. It is also my long swim session(4.5km) tomorrow so i just need to get it done and can take an easy run tomorrow night.

Today's workout
Speed run 1h00 11.3km 139bpm ave

Hawaii Ironman, 2008

Hawaii Ironman, 2008

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Monday, February 16, 2009

Some Days

The day started great with a 3.5km swim, but I suppose that is where it ended. Got the news later today that my sister-in-law had a miscarriage. Later I also heard from my mother that my sister is having some personal trouble. With a busy day at work and the sad news I just did not feel like doing my bike workout tonight. Dejone went to a restaurant to do some back up dancing for a girl who participated in a talent sing competition and seeing that I did not feel like working out I joined Kim to watch the kids. This was maybe just the right medicine to take my mind of all these issues. Must say I am feeling much better now. Well I need to get a good night's rest as I am doing Speed running workout early tomorrow.

Today's workout
Swim 1h22 3.5km

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Bring on the Beef

We went for Lunch at Piatto's today, something I've been looking forward to the whole week. Had to decide if I am going to take it easy or treat myself. Nothing against vegetarians and I do respect them but I had the best steak in a long time. When I went to the NADA conference in San Francisco last year I saw this sign on a back of a guy's Van who's selling snacks and food at the top of one of the many hills in SF. Thought of this sign when I had my steak, nothing like a good steak. We invited my mother along and we had such a great time.

Did my early Long run this morning and it really feels like everything is coming together, had a great run. Apart from the drunkard who was spitting at me. He must have been drunk as not any person in his right mind will hang out of the passenger window without a shirt on in a car that goes way above the speed limit and spits at you, all this at 5h15 in the morning. First I wanted to react but decided I am not going to let these two guys ruin such a beautiful morning. Don't know what it is with me and these drunk people lately when I go for my runs.

The rest of the afternoon was real relaxing apart from me still trying to sort out my new cell phone. Will give the guys a call tomorrow again as I can't get my email to work from this new phone.

Today's workouts

Long run 2h10 27km 4:50min/km 138bpm

Easy swim 55min 2.5km 115bpm

Weeks summary

Swim 12.5km

Bike 329km

Run 61km

Total 22h09 401.5km 15 362 kcal

Saturday, February 14, 2009

50 Days to Ironman SA

Today on Valentines day it is 50 days to IMSA.
Went for my LONG ride today and as the picture
suggest it was dead slow with a strong wind. At first for the first two hours it was quite nice but as i changed routes it was tough. Though that it would be better when I turned around but it seems that the wind then just came from everywhere. Round about the 4 hour mark Kim and Dejone brought me some water and Infinit drinks to refill my bottles, THANKS Girls. As they drove off it was heartbreaking to think I still had some 3 hours of riding left. From then onwards until the 6 hour mark was tough but I guess that last hour fly by as you heading home and you know it is close. Rest of the day I am going to rest to be ready for my Long run tomorrow morning. After the long run it is of for a 2.5km swim and then it is my treat. We are going for Dinner at Piatto. Can wait to have a decent steak, haven't had one in ages.

Today's workout

Long Ride 6h53 196km 4315kcal

Friday, February 13, 2009

My Little Valentines Girl

Tonight is a big night for Dejone. She is going to her first Valentines dance. She got a new dress and matching shoes for the night not to mention the whole preparation since early today. She is so excited about the evening, it makes me so happy to see the excitement in her eyes. Everyday i just see more of me and Kim in our daughter. When Kim dropped her off at school her partner for the night waited for her at the gate and gave her a small gift. Wish i could see that. Had to force myself not to ran past the school when i went for my easy run to see if my baby is enjoying herself as we only stay 2 kilometers from school.
All this excitement made me forget about my busy day. Did my speed swim session this morning but just could not get enough air into my lungs and had to change it to a moderate swim. Hope I am not getting the flu.
After some work this morning I drove through to the cellphone head office and exchange my phone i only received 5 day ago as it packed up, and then it was back to the office for some more work. I had to rush home to see my daughter before she went to the dance and had to quickly stop at the sports shop to get some Powerbar gels for tomorrows long ride. After all the rush i went for my easy run and I really enjoyed it.
On my run a young guy stop next to me as drunk as a sailor and ask me if I need a lift. I politely declined the offer and after I declined his comment was and I quote him "i can really give you a lift because i can see you are in a real hurry". Never a dull moment, first i thought it was very funny but as i was running i realised that this was just after 7pm and the youngster is already that drunk. Can you imagine in what state he will be at 11pm tonight and his driven around in his car. This made me furious.
Just finished preparing my bike for tomorrows 7hr long ride, it is going to be a long day.
Today's workouts
Speed/Moderate Swim 3km 1h16 128bpm
Easy run 40minute 7.8km 126bpm

Thursday, February 12, 2009

35 Kg's and counting

When I jump on the scale today I realized that i lost 35 kg's since i started doing triathlons. The biggest weight lost is during the first part when one is overweight. then your weight sort of stabilise and you loose some again. after a while you don't look at how much you lost but concentrate on where you want to be. Maybe that is how it is with life as well, one tend to always concentrate on where you want to be or where you are going but forget where you came from or where you've been. I am now 2kg's lighter than what i was at IM South Africa last year. With the volume picking up now I am sure I will loose another 4kg's before IMSA in 7 weeks time.

The weeks training has been spot on so far, haven't miss one workout and feeling good. Kim is a great support by motivating me. It was not easy so far this week with the weather( raining all the time) but if I only suggest to skip a workout or cut it short she's there to motivate me to go the full distance. Kim is taking me for dinner on Sunday. Am looking forward to it after a hard week of training.

Dejone will go to her first school dance( Valentines Ball) tomorrow night. I think I am more excited than what she is, to see her all dressed up in her new dress and ready to party.

Today's workouts
Gym 1h07
Bike- speed work 1h10 40km

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

55 days to IMSA

Today it is 55 days to Ironman South Africa. Did my swim workout this morning. when i looked at the guy in the lane next to me i realised that i do need a swim coach if i want to become competitive in my age group. Later on i looked at the swim times of the Half Ironman i finished in January and thought of this two picture, which were taken on our holiday in Namibia.

the top one is me and the bottom one is the top swimmers in my age group

todays workout

swim: 1h13, 3km 131bpm

easy cycle 1h00 32km 116bpm

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Big week ahead

Just finished my 3hr run and had a look at my training schedule for next week. When i looked at the schedule i was shocked but I realised that Ironman South Africa is not that far away-56days, and i can see it in my training. The training is now becoming LONG and HARD. This week i need to swim 12.5km, cycle over 13 hours( including a 7hr long ride on Saturday) and over 5 hours running. Since I've been training with i have seen big improvements, so i guess i just need to stick with the program and see what happens on April 5th.

Long run today. 3h00, 34km, 5:17m/km, 137bpm ave.

The weeks summary
Swim 12.5km
Bike 249km
Run 69km
Total 330km, 21h35, 15045kcal

Felt good in Pool today

I had to do my long run(3 hours) this morning but after my 5h30 bike late yesterday i did not feel like going out this early. Instead went to do my swim this morning and will go for my run later. Felt great in the pool, did 2.5km and enjoyed every bit

Easy Swim 2.5km -56min -122bpm ave