Saturday, November 27, 2010

Tussen die Boom en die Bas

Directly translated it means "Between the Tree and the Bark" but the more appropriate translation in English for this Afrikaans saying is "Between a rock and a hard place"

Struggling with my knee for the past two weeks has made me irritated and demotivated. It feels if I have lost my Mojo as Simon would say.

I can't do any running and when I bike it is not painful but I notice the discomfort. Coach has changed my program and I am doing a lot of swimming (which I hate) and some biking.

After describing to coach the symptoms, she suspect a torn Meniscus. I've also read up on the Internet (which can make you even more negative) and I am afraid she may be right.

The problem is I can only get to my "sport" doctor next Friday as she is fully booked and with the holiday season upon us, she is closing early December.

Apparently the only way to treat a torn meniscus is by way of operation as the piece that got separated can't heal by itself. Coach is waiting for a report from the doctor, as she is one herself to determine how bad it is, if it is a torn meniscus. The "ball" I was talking about in my previous post is the piece that got separated and is now "floating" around in and around my knee.

If the piece is on the inside I am fine but as soon as it is on the outside or at the top of my knee I can't run and walk with a limp.

We will then decide if I can carry on this way up to March/April next year for Ironman or do we do the operation now and hope for a speedy recovery.

DJ had her birthday Thursday and she turned 12. It will be a birthday she won't forget as she cut her finger open and instead of spending the afternoon with Kim shopping and visiting coffee shops and having some mother/daughter time, they spend the afternoon at the doctors emergency room and she got sticthes to her finger.

As she walked out of the classroom at school she cut her finger open as she moved passed the teacher's table which has a glass top on top of the wooden top. If the teacher wasn't my sister, I would have made a big thing but hey family need to stick together.

I guess DJ took one for the family, but I did tell Heloise to have a look at her table and make it safe in case it happen to someone else.

Back to the birthday DJ didn't want to go to a restaurant for dinner( a first for this family) and wanted to spend the afternoon with family. My mother baked some snacks and a birthday cake for DJ. She didn't want anything fancy, just her name with some candles.

On another happy note, Eddy is himself again after the Owls moved. They had a little owl on our neighbours porch and the local newspaper even came and took some pictures. After the little one learned to fly it wasn't long before they moved along. Will see if I can still find the newspaper article and scan it and put it on the blog.

Oh and we are baby sitting again this weekend. Kim's sister is attending a wedding and asked us if we can babysit Aiden. So tonight I will enjoy my sleep and Kim will have the "pleasure" again of how it feels to me a mother again, awake most of the night.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Injury Ghost

Have you ever had that feeling where you know what's wrong and you know what to do to fix it but you don't wanna do it. Sound silly but that's me.

Last week Sunday morning as we prepared to go to Church my knee gave in under me and I had this pain. I didn't make anything of it and still did my long run without any hassles later that day.

But Monday morning I couldn't put pressure on my right leg and my knee was hurting. This was so bad that I did my swim session but couldn't do my run on Tuesday or my Bike and Gym sessions on Wednesday. It feels if there is a small ball just under my skin which is pretty sore when I put pressure on it.

Don't know if it's the same ball but sometimes it's on the outside and sometimes on the inside of my knee.

It is the same knee that had two operations done on it and I am too scared to go back to the doctor.

My last operation was in 2006 and the Doctor's words popped up in my head as soon as my knee started giving me trouble. Being a competitive wrestler for so long in my younger days, my knees took a bit of a hammering and when I had my operation to remove some loose cartilages and cut my ITB the doctor said my right knee is in pretty bad shape and with the little bit of cartilage left I won't be able to run forever.

He said he can't tell but I can run for one year or maybe for twenty and advised me not to do ultra running events as this may shorten my running career. I am too scared to go back to be told that it's time to hang up the running shoes.

My knee's been better since Thursday and I could bike and run but as soon as that ball (I think) move into the wrong place my knee suddenly give in under me.

Luckily there's been some great surprises this week.

First surprise was I received a postcard form Bryan Payne this week. One he sent from Kona, during Ironman Worlds with a special message for me. Thanks B

Later in the week I received a package from Nina with whom we stayed during our Kona trip last year. I received a book and Ironman DVD from Newton and used their address to ship as they didn't want to sent it to SA.

Nina was so nice to forward me the parcel with a card from her and Dana as well as a copy of the pictures they took while we were there. Thanks Nina

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Can you spot my weakest discipline? Yes it is the Swim part of a Triathlon. During last Sunday's race I had the 55th "fastest" swim in my age group.

My bike time was 4th fastest in the 40+ division, even thou I paced myself on the bike. I am an Ironman athlete and I am used to pacing myself for the 42.2km run waiting at the end of the bike.

But feedback from coach after Sunday's race is we don't pace on Olympic distance racing.

The email from my coach almost sounded like the Windhoek lager advert, South Africans will know but it's this guy instructing the other dude: "We don't drink pink drinks". Well when you do an Olympic Distance triathlon: "We don't pace our self"

And then on the run I had the 3rd fastest time in the 40+ division, something I am very happy with, a 41:41 run on the 10km.
Above is the Garmin file of my bike and run. Only after reading @bigbradbrown blog did I go and check and yes the bike course was more than 2km's longer than the 40km they said it will be.
Official results here

This weeks training was shorter sessions but at higher intensity level. Can't wait for those long hours on the bike and run waiting for me this December and January. Luckily this week was a "easy" week, hours wise as I attended two school functions and made a quick visit, or so I thought to the new company's HQ on Friday.

On Tuesday we attended the Christian Society's evening at DJ's school and I was happy for her to be elected as a leader. Then on Thursday it was the Merit awards evening and highlight of the School year.
DJ was so surprised to be named the Hockey player of the year and was also elected as one of the leaders for the new year. She also received Academic honour colours, definitely Kim's child, not mine.

Friday I flew down to Port Elizabeth (a 1h25 flight) and had an early 3am start. I flew back at 7pm and thought I will have an early night compare to the previous one.

Well not quite, I had my first "break down" in a VW in 18 years. Somehow the car's key lost it's coding and although I could open the car it didn't want to start.

VW assist was quick to respond and help me but they had to take the car to a dealership as they couldn't code the key on the spot. That was quick but getting the car out of OR Tambo airport's parking almost took me forever.

Never knew you had to complete so many forms to tow a car out of the airports parking. Well five hours later I was in bed just to be up and running in 4 hours to DJ's National championships dance competition.

She did great and reached the quarter final in the Freestyle division and the semi final in the Slow dance division. She almost made the final in the slow dance division. They called back 4 girls after the semi final to dance for a spot in the final, think their scores were tide. Unfortunately she didn't make it but for her first year dancing, I am proud of her and she did great doing so well at the National Championships.

This sign is on my way to work, maybe some advice, what do I need to do. Stop or keep going.

Here are some more of Windhoek (my favourite beer) ads

Monday, November 8, 2010

11Global Triathlon Race Report

After struggling with a slight cold for the past two week I didn't expect much from this weekends Triathlon. Friday before the race I even considered not doing it as I am not that sick but just sick enough not to go full out.

DJ had her year end dance school concert on Friday and Saturday evening and we as parents were asked to help. Both nights were late nights and leaving Sunday morning at 3:45am on a 2h30 trip to Sun City didn't do my body any good.

And I don't know if I missed the info or if the race organizers didn't tell but we weren't allowed to park close to the race venue and had to park right at the resorts entrance. Then everybody was shuttled up to the race event with buses, meaning long queues. Then I had to face another long queue at race registration to get my chip, swim cap and T-shirt before racking my bike.

They only had medium T-shirts left and Kim now has a Triathlon shirt to wear. I had to rush getting everything sorted in transition and luckily they announced that they are postponing race start with 15 minutes to accommodate everyone.

Not being critical but compared to previous years the event was not up to standard and the organising of it wasn't good considering the entry fee.

But I am glad I did the race. No PB or placing but I am happy with my performance and the way I felt on the bike and run leg. No cramping or any major hick ups apart from the swim.

I started well during the swim but after about 200 meters I suddenly struggled to breath. My chest felt tight and I was coughing, or trying to. I struggled to make my way out of the masses and was looking for a life guard and wanted to quit. My mind was set that it was the flu symptoms. Lucky for me I couldn't find a life guard close by and they were way to far to get their attention.

I continue with breast stroke for a while and the started swimming freestyle again at a very slow pace. After about 5 minutes I increased the pace a little bit and continued to complete the swim.

Transition from the swim to bike was the longest I've ever done and was about 400meters. Then after I got my bike it was another 200 odd meters to the bike mount line.

They bike course was nice with one nasty hill and I enjoyed it and made up a lot of places on the bike. My average watts were 270 and although I felt that I could push harder I knew the run course had a nasty hill and didn't want to push it too hard.

As I was passing a lot of people I just maintained the pace and also kept my heart rate in the mid 150's.

The run was good and I started of slowly and after climbing the hill I increased the pace. My legs were feeling great and for the last 5km of the 10km run leg I could maintain a sub 4min/km pace.

I usually pass a lot of people on the bike leg and only one or two on the run leg but this was the first time I passed so many people on the run leg.

I am happy with the result and how I felt during the race especially since I am not really good at shorter events and prefer Half Ironman to Ironman distance racing. Amazed that I could increase the pace the further I went without feeling any flu symptons, maybe just want I needed.

On the home front the two owls sleeping on our roof has given Eddy a freight and now he's scared to go out during the night and do his thing as one of them tried to catch him one night.

When I took him out last week one of the owls came right at him and tried to grab him. I couldn't believe it and said to Kim people won't believe me if I tell them the story. Kim spoke to our neighbour and she told Kim without knowing about our experience that she's concerned about these owls as they tried to catch her poodle.

Now Eddy is scared at night and don't wanna go outside if I don't go with him. These are one of Owl feathers we picked up on the lawn.

11Global Triathlon: 1.5km/40km/10km

Swim: 30:53
T1: 3:42
Bike: 1h13
T2: 47sec
Run: 41:41
Total: 2h30:14

7/99 in 40+ age group
38/407 Overall