Sweat for a good cause

The response normally to the statement “We will do 9 hours on the bike” is normal confusion and admiration. “Why would you do it?”. My answer is “Why not?” if it is for a good cause.

This weekend will be the Cyclethon at Melrose Arch. It is a yearly event raising funds for a good cause. You can book your time and do 1 hour or 9 hours. So it was decided to go for 9 hours. There a people out there that are suffering a much bigger and permanent pain. Why settle for 1 hour if you can do 9 hours. The pain and exhaustion we will experience is limited and is worth every fund raised.  It is also not just the fund raising but creating the awareness and getting people to talk about it. Even if it is “My crazy friend is cycling for 9 hours for a good cause” as a statement that gets spread around. So when you read this you need to tell at least 9 people about it, or else ……..

It is not only the  Cyclethon fund raiser for The Smile Foundation and for Hospice. Jennifer started an entire fund raise for Uel Maree and a lot of energy is being poured into raising funds for Uel by creating awareness through sweating it out. Who is Uel …. I think it is better for you to visit the webpage. https://www.facebook.com/sweat4uel


We want your support. So open your hearts and make a donation and spread the word.

I will keep you posted. I think within 9 hours there is also a lot to think and a lot to write about.

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Busy week ending with a dual bang

It was a hectic few days. Training in Germany, flight back on friday, a quick pick-up at airport and onwards 5 hour drive to Durban for a race. Lack of sleep and fatigue definitely featured in that equation.

The plan was to do my A race for the season at Tri-rock Durban. Injury hampered the event, but I still did not give up in participating. With a little adjustment in the training regime and in the execution of the race, led to focusing on some of my weak points. Swimming and a bit of biking.

One of them is ocean swim. Not a weak point but definitely an unknown. I did not have the chance yet to do a full open water swim. A bit of body surfing and splashing around as a kid, but no long stretch swimming behind the shark invested, current prone waters behind the breakers. It sounds worse than what it is. A quick warm up swim before the race actually relaxed me and made me very confidant. I just had to focus and not get side tracked by the pretty views in the water.

The start was an easy run from the beach into the water in waves. Not the normal washing machine experience. Swim to the 1st and 2nd buoy was a breeze. But the long stretch to the 3rd buoy took forever. I made the mistake of using the one building as a landmark and it was frustrating to see it not move. Only to realize afterwards how strong the current was I was swimming against. But that meant the swim back to the beach was speedy. Out of the water in 37min. Not too great but also not too bad.

The transition went by quick and the biking was awesome. The plan was to keep the cadence high and not strain my foot. I kept the gears high and was spinning at a plus 90 rpm. Speed was acceptable at average 35km/h. The road out to Balito was clear. A few climbs and a small headwind. On the way back I opened up the taps and brought the gears down with a bit more power and speed.

I was able to maintain the aero position for a much longer time and my hamstrings felt loose. Thanks to a few weeks intense yoga. Now that I have started it and I will continue with minimum two sessions a week. The benefits in flexibility and in balance are paying off and I am interested in seeing my run.

I entered T2 with a struggle. I felt great and I know I am able to do a kick ass run. I had to hold back, hand in my bike and exit the race to avoid hurting my foot more. Decision was made up before the race, but still not an easy one to do if you feel great. I predict my time to be between 4:40 and below 5:00.

Now the focus will shift to African champs 5150 in germinston. I will give my foot one more week to recover and will start with a focused running regime.

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New name and new goal – Hello Quebec

Just as I predicted it will only take a few days before I figure out what to do next and tonight it hit me. Next weekend is the Ironman 70.3 world champs and I am looking forward to seeing some really good competitors racing each other. (Need to find ESPN somewhere to watch it.)

The light was going on as I was reading some tweets of athletes going. I was thinking I would love to go there. Maybe I can qualify in the SA 70.3 for World Champs. When I analyze the 5150 times I noticed that I would have been in a top 10 slot. Somewhere between 5 and 6 if I added a good running split to it, which I could do …. this time with a no broken bones.  I quickly looked at the slot allocation. There are 30 slots available. That will make the cut in the Age Groupers quite tight. I also quickly downloaded last years results and checked against mine and what I can do. Lake swim result vs Sea swim is probably a bit different and I hear East London has a nice climb on the ride. But what goes up, comes down very fast. But it is possible. I could get myself, with hard work and training and now being in position to swim better and be also having the mental virgin block out of my head. I could do a sub 5 hours and maybe get an AG slot in the world champs, which would have placed me in the 2 or 3 position.

tremblant new


Man  I think that is awesome and it motivates me to get smartly in shape and maybe learn some french along the line for Ironman 70.3 Mont-Tremblant in Quebec. Just need to ensure that I don’t queue any Celine Dion in my training sessions.  It will make me run faster though to deal with pain in my ears 🙂

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Road to recovery and staying sane

You could tell me anything and I will do it, if it helps with getting back racing again. This is a triathlete crutch. You can tell them anything to enhance their performance and they will try it.

It’s early in the race season and I am still have a broken 3rd metatarsal. On the road to recovery from the injury I am trying everything.

I upt my input of calcium, magnesium and bit d3. I drink a protein shake daily. I wear a storm trooper boot to stabilize it. Surprisingly I started yoga.

It was always on my mind. I know my flexibility is really bad. I felt embarrassed doing my flexibility test in the vitality fitness assessment. I just never got around it.

Now I started with yoga and I am surprised how cool it is. It’s brikam yoga, which is hot. It reminded me getting of the plane in Mexico in 2009 after a cold European winter and I went. “This is where I feel at home. Hot and humid” love it.

I do feel how it will help with getting a bit more flexibility in my body. I also enjoy getting some of the toxins out of my body, but then again I sweat enough doing cardio. I also enjoy feeling as cool and chilled as a surfer dude … It just relaxes me. I am pretty hyper and the last couple of days I was just on a different station.

So a few more classes lets see if I can strike better poses

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Need a new goal and name change

So Ironman Klagenfurt is done and dusted. The aura is fading and a new goal for next year should come in the next few weeks. Don’t know where to start with that one.

Any suggestions?

One I have is to gun for a top 10 position in my age group at the Africa champs 5150 in November. I hope I will be on form for that one after recovering from my injury.

There is also the elusive sub 3 marathon I still want to work towards. Only need to shave of a few minutes from current PB.

What ever it is I will need to come up with a new name for the site!

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The mystery behind the broken toe ….

Yesterday I finally went to the Doctor. I took an appointment at the Rosebank Center for Sport Medicine and Orthopedics. What a great place. Physios running around and lots of Sport Memorabilia hanging of the wall. I felt at home.

I went to see the Doc and tried to explain to him why my foot is hurting. He probably thought I am a big joke, not knowing when and where it happened. His initial diagnosis looking at it was a broken toe. If it was I would have felt it much more and I was still convinced it is something like Tendinitis or worst Tendinosis. He recommended X-ray, obviously, and luckily they had it in the building. A scan was made and I anticipated the verdict ….

Looking at it quickly on his PC I did not see anything at all. It all looked in place. As soon as we magnified into the toe we saw a nice little clean fracture in the bone.


The verdict is out. I just swam 1.5k, cycled 40k and ran 5k with a broken toe. What is the mystery is still where, when and how it happened. I do have a few theories.

Base theory: I was suffering pain in the foot the week before. It could have been a stress fracture already at that time. I thought it would go away and did not pay too much attention to it.  The treadmill run on Thursday before D-day was ok and did not hurt too much. So I went into the race with it.  What next and here the options start.

Theory 1: Warm-up swim

I did the warm up swim in freezing water. I felt my feet being ice blocks. Getting in and getting out was not easy and it was a bit rocky. I did remember stepping funny on a big rock. But not registered anything. Probably because feet were frozen and excitement high.

Theory 2: T1 Transition

I came out of the water being happy. I nailed a good time and I felt awesome. Obviously the adrenalin was pumping and I was looking forward to the bike. At the exit it was a bit dramatic for some athletes and the warning was to swim until you feel the ramp. I exit fine, but I could have stepped wrongly there somewhere …. The bike was okay. The cycle shoes offer good support and I did not feel anything. Plus the adrenalin was pumping high in the veins.

Theory 3: Flying dismount

Entering the T2 zone I did a nice flying dismount from my bike unto the road. Bare feet of course with shoes still clipped in. That is quite a lot of pressure that hits your sole and landing on the left foot might have caused a stress fracture to turn into a nice proper fracture.  This is were I started feeling the pain, but then of course I entered the run and that is a lot banging on the feet.

So the options are plenty where something could have gone wrong and I wont break my head trying to dissect it anymore. The result is a clean fracture at the start of my toe, not the end parts that one can wiggle about. Unfortunately no tapping together toes and see how you can motor through the training. For the next 4 – 6 week I need to wear a Moon boot/Aircast. Looks cool. I just need two to balance it out, but that will classify me as weird.

4 weeks rest which in my mind currently is – 2 weeks complete rest of my foot and no intense exercise on it. I went for a swim this morning and I can pull buoy and drag my feet without it being pain full. I will focus the next week on strength training. Will do some heavy weights and try and manage some cardio to keep the weight down and the fitness up.

After 2 weeks I will start cycling / spinning again. Get the legs pumping without putting too much pressure on the foot. I am investigating Agua jogging.  I will look like a pensioner with the flotation belt. If I stay long enough in the pool my skin will adjust and get all wrinkly too.

Tri rock is the 22nd September and I was looking forward to that one. I wonder if I can still do it. I was looking forward to the ocean swim. Maybe I should turn it into a duathlon. Swim and Bike and do an optional run. It will  be an ego wrecking DNF, but at least it will be intentional. But I will get the experience in the ocean swim that I am longing for.

If by some miracle I am strong I might just nail the run ……. but more important is rest and recovery (two words that I hear and don’t understand the meaning off)

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A breakthrough followed by a DNF at 5150 Bela-Bela

Yesterday was the 5150 Bela Bela race. It’s a non drafting Olympic distance race. 1.5km swim, 40k bike and 10k ride.

There was a big build up to the race. The entire Troi club worked in the training hours together. Swimming, biking and running. We all became close as we shared the sweat and glories together.

Bela-bela would have been my first short triathlon and I was looking forward to gunning it a bit. The goal was also to sort out my swim and I spend lots of hours in the pool with the team and Tracy whipping our butts.

And it paid off. All my previous open water swims were a bit choppy and too much breaststroke oriented. I can do the mileage in crawl in a pool but out in the open it all changes. The pool sessions were good. Shorter distances, but much more continuous swimming and much less hanging around the edge for oxygen.

It was a wetsuit swim. I did a nice little warm up. I had to get the ice bricks from my feet and I had to get the heart rate down after the cold shock. The start was good and then the best happened. I got a nice rhythm, I got a nice pace. My sighting was good. I actually swam 1.54k which means I hit the course on track. I did a 25 min swim. Which I am really happy about. I swam crawl the entire time. Yay!!!!! I beat the open water shock and awe affect and I can now go out and just do it.

The bike was uneventful. A strong head wind and climb out of bela bela and nice down hill with wind pushing you to 70km/h on the way back and repeat.

I hit the T2 zone. Got a bit lost. Own fault for not scouting out the area properly before. But then my feet hit the ground running. My left foot started hurting on the front and top of the bridge. In good old words of Mo “motor through it and deal with it” I thought it would go away. That it only is a bit of transition issues. My form started to go off. I thought, pick up the pace and bite on your cheeks it will go away. After 3k the shuffle turned into walking. I still refused to give up. The course presented lots of opportunities for it, with loops were I could stop the race and shortcut back to base.

At 5k I decided to avoid any further damage and pain, I should rather pull out. A big mind game. I never had a DNF and it does not come easy to make the decision.

I did have a BT on the swim, although I was bummed about the DNF. I do see the positive. It was not my A race this season. This will be tri-rock. But my swim is awesome now and I loved it.

The atmosphere was also great with some of our team members hitting the top 10 in their age group. Well done Mo and Mike. Also Gill did her 1st tri, 1st brick and 1st 10k run. What a rock star. Dinner was served at the good old family restaurant called Spur and we did feel like a family.

So what is next. Ice, kineseo and maybe a doctor next week. Need to get the inflammation down. It looks like tendinitis in the foot. Hope it’s not chronic. I will have to back off the running for a few weeks. I hope it won’t have a negative affect on tri rock preparations. Will keep cardio up with biking and lots of swimming and do more gym work.

Fingers crossed that it will blow over quickly.

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