Half Iron Man 70.3 (and the uneven, pothole infested road that’s got me there).

*Disclaimer. You’re about to get knee deep into the biggest pity-party this side of 2016. Sorry.

In 13 days’ time I will be standing at the start line of 70.3 Durban, and hopefully finishing less than 8.5 hours later, with a second Half Iron Man medal under my belt.

I’m dreading it. I feel like the odds have been stacked against me from the very start of this race.

Firstly, the race is on 19 June, slap bang in the middle of Winter. Which means training has been happening leading up to, and in Winter – dark mornings, dark nights, freezing weather and less than ideal circumstances. Have you ever been swimming at 5:30 am on a Monday in -2 cold degree, in the dark? It’s super kuk.

When I last did the race I was kid and fancy free. I could train twice a day, and train with my now-husband and some friends. Now that we have a son we have to split our time – so one of us will do the morning run while the other trains, and visa versa in the evening. That means apart from a very lonely 5 months of exercising alone, I also never see my husband, and get to tuck my child in bed 50% of the time. We are like 3 ships in the night.

I’ve also had the worst year, health wise. I was recently diagnosed with severe anemia, which is a relief, because I genuinely thought I had caught a bad case of the stupid. I’ve given and received bronchitis several times and had more throat infections than Zumas has wives. I’ve pretty much trained through antibiotics, iron drips and the plague.

And then the broken sleep, and sick baby, and teething baby and baby in general. Holy hell. My one-year-old gives zero shits that mommy needs to be up at 5 for a spinning class, and then a full day of work afterwards. And it’s fine, because I have dragged this kid through the trenches with me. We wake him up at godforsaken hours on the weekend, bundle him in layers of clothing and trek him from race to race. He has been a champ, and I think when he gets fed up of having to attend one more training session or Club V class he decides to grow 18 molars in the space of a day. Just for payback.

So I’m really tired, and exhausted, and so looking forward to this day being done. I’m also really scared that I don’t finish in time because despite it all I’ve given it 100% and tried my absolute best from day 1. I’m so worried of what people will think or say if I fail – how silly am I?

Also, have I told you that despite training 7 days a week for the past 4 months I HAVENT EVEN LOST ONE KILOGRAM? Anyway.

My husband slash coach asked me yesterday what my next goal is after the race is done. My answer? Chill the fuck out. (Until the next family gathering when after one too many glasses of wine I agree to another race, like Comrades or something equally stupid).

Freezing morning rides
Freezing morning rides
Solo Wattbike classes
Solo Wattbike classes

IMG_4984

Early dark morning at Germiston Tri
Early dark morning at Germiston Tri

IMG_4860

Finishing Germiston Tri
Finishing Germiston Tri
Supporting mom at her race
Supporting mom at her race
Does an iron drip qualify me as an Iron Man?
Does an iron drip qualify me as an Iron Man?
Continue Reading

The Little Device That’s Keeping Me Very Accountable

I’ve entered another Half Iron Man. With MUCH cajoling and bribery from my family-in-law might I add. I think I’m crazy. Work is busier than ever, I have a very demanding 9 month old, 2 dogs, a husband, 16 hours of traffic a week, no nanny and am starting an additional career advancement course through my company. So what possessed me to now dedicate a further 8-15 hours per week to training is beyond me. I suspect it has a lot to do with the fact that half my family is doing the race, and a lot more to do with the fact that I am fiercely and stupidly competitive, and a dare – in pretty much every shape or form – will have me agreeing to do it.

So here I sit, crapping bricks about how my life is going to work for the next six months, but also so excited about getting this arse into gear and re-learning a skill I last utilised in January 2013.

So, what’s keeping me accountable? 3 things; the people who now know I’m doing this race (AKA all of you), my own sense of warped pride, and a little device that has become my new bestie: Fitbit.

Fitbit Charge HR

Confession – when Fitbit was first launched I thought it was another glorified step counter that allocated 5 movements for every fart or sneeze. Then several months ago a trainer suggested I get one to stay accountable. I scoffed at the idea, but like any seed that gets planted I decided to let it grow, and a few weeks later I bought myself the entry level one.

I was hooked – the band, along with the app turned me into a crazy woman who started watching her wrist like a hawk, waiting for the lights to show I’d done my 10 000 steps for the day. I logged food, training and started competing with friends and colleagues through my phone. A few months later, being the gadget-whore I am, I upgraded to the Fitbit Charge HR and my life was turned around. A very dramatic statement sure, but suddenly I was wearing a device on my arm that measured not only steps but meals, heart rate, calories burned, floors walked and workout sessions. I was so used to strapping myself up like a pysch patient before this – my Polar watch requires a chest strap, the watch and a separate GPS tracker just to do what the Fitbit can.

fb4 Fitbit dashboard

There’s something very rewarding about feeling your arm vibrate when you’ve hit your step target for the day, or when you see you’ve consumed less calories than you’ve exerted (yay weight loss!). I do suspect though that the greatest reward is are the free smoothies at Kauai, because the Fitbit is linked to Vitality Active Rewards, and gives you points just for moving.

The Charge HR is available from iStore, www.myistore.co.za, Incredible Connection or DionWired for R2 999. They come in small and large and in colours black, blue, tangerine and plum. I have the plum one and when I wear it I kinda feel like this lady (except a bit fatter and with more sweat)

Fitbit Charge HR

Fitbit has a device for every level and comes in a variety of shapes colours and sizes. Plus, news just out is that they’re lunching a brand new device called the ‘Alta’ which is the high school cheerleader of the Fitbit range. It’s slimmer, sexier and more fashionable. Basically everything I want to be in my next life. *Swoon*.

Fitbit Alta

Continue Reading

To Thai For – Win One Of Two Experiences with Enmasse Massage!

Guys, I hardly ever do the spa scene. I am truly the most awkward spa-goer there is. Firstly, I always wear the wrong things, I feel completely lame in front of the therapist and I generally lie there as stiff as a rod wondering if my feet smell from the pumps I was wearing that day. Don’t even get me started on bikini waxes – when suddenly my cellphone becomes the most important thing in the world while the therapist pulls and yanks things that not even my husband has seen. So, it was with slight hesitation that I agreed to accompany some friends for a Thai massage this week.

I’m so glad I said yes though – because Enmasse is absolutely amazing. It’s not your typical spa – all burning incense and humming dolphins. It’s beautiful; dark, stark and minimalistic – with modern music, a tea bar and extraordinarily friendly staff.

CT Aerial People High Res

Assuming this would be the typical spa experience – where one emerges as oiled up as a Brakpan mechanic, I arrived suitably prepared with 3 day old unwashed hair. Awkies. One remains clothed and un-oiled the entire time. (Because, according to Enmasse, it’s not that kind of party). The massage process, for want of a better word, is neat and clean, there are no standing beds with head cutouts, instead the massage areas are partitioned off by white linen walls and patrons lie on the floor on fancy feeling duvets and pillows.

My masseuse, Thandi, was lovely – she didn’t even snort when I apologized for being fat. She simply made me feel totally at ease while she bent and manipulated every part of my body. I didn’t even worry about sweaty feet. Alas, the loser in me reared her awkward head at the end of the massage when Thandi left me lying on the ground. Do I wait here I wondered? Ya, I’m sure I wait here. So waited I did, as still as a plank. After 5 minutes with no return of the Thandi I started hissing for my friends. ‘Lauren!?” “Jasmine??”. “Guys?”. Eventually I stood up, only to find all the massage areas completely empty and made up. No sign of human life remaining. I skulked into the main parlour and found them giggling (not at me, they promised) on the couches drinking herbal tea, or ‘betrayal beverages’ as I now call them.

Check out their website for their offerings. They even do pre-natal massage which is something I desperately needed when I was preggers. Sadly, asking my husband for a foot rub didn’t quite do the trick.

So, even though I may have overstayed my welcome a tad, no-one made me feel uneasy. Not even when I dropped an earring under a chair and had half the staff on hands and knees looking for it. I am not kidding when I say I’m that person.

The fabulous owners at Enmasse would now like you to experience what I went through (minus the sweaty feet and awkwardness, of course). I’m giving away two 60 minute massages valued at R420 each.

Entering is easy:

  • Like Enmasse on Facebook
  • Follow Rupert Approves
  • Leave a comment on this post. Any comment will do, but I will be swayed by bribery of ‘You’re so pretty’ and ‘Gosh you look thin today’.

The Ts and The Cs and the thank you pareese.

  • Enmasse is located on Corlett Drive, Sandton. Winners must make their way to and from the venue
  • The competition closes at 5 pm on Friday
  • The prize is not transferrable
  • Competition mechanics must be followed in order to stand in line to win
  • I was only kidding about nice comments. Kinda.

As an added bonus. Enmasse is offering R100 off a massage for every Rupert Approves reader. Simply use the top secret code word ‘Rupert Approves’ when claiming and booking.

Continue Reading

Vegetable soup

Really you ask. Veg soup is the topic of this post?

Let me tell you, dear friends about the unsung hero that is veggie soup. Never has a dish so versatile been found. This food can cure the common cold, encourage weight loss and take the chill out of a cold winter night. Also, having just come back from a rather pleasurable evening with my beastie and her fiancé and after having drunk several bottles of red and devouring a bowl of home made veggie soup, I thought it would be fitting to pay homage to this simple yet classic dish.

Kate’s veg soup :

Chop as many veggies as you can get your hands on – paying special attention to celery, carrots and beans.
Sautéed onions in olive oil until transparent, then add a few tablespoons of paprika and sautée for a minute more.
Add various vegetables until you think it’s time to add water ( relax, its almost impossible to cock up up veg soup)
Add a tin of tomatoes or a small tin of tomato paste
Add a stock cube or stock pot. If you don’t have these, a tablespoon of marmite or a dash of worstershire sauce does the trick.
Salt and pepper to taste
Chilli to taste
Make sure you add in whole celery leaves – these add great flavor and can be scooped put before serving.
Simmer
(I often add in red kidney beans or potatoes/pasta shells/ brown rice for starch. It it’s completely up to you)

Simmer for a few hours and enjoy (soup can also be frozen and is about 99% cheaper than your local quality grocery store. (No names mentioned, but rhymes with FullBirths).

20120609-211935.jpg

Continue Reading

(Skinny) Bitch, Please

This is the anti-cupcake post. I need to get off the carb train and hit veggie central. You know those Kellogs Special K ads where they show ladies trying to squeeze into a pair of jeans by twisting themselves into various unnatural positions? That was me this morning. You also know that feeling when you see a reflection of a chubby person who looks a bit like you. Then realise it is you? Ya…

Luckily for me the Sleek Geek challenge is kicking off on Monday, and having heard various (awesome) things about it, I’ve decided to give it a go. The fact that I have to pay to enter, upload a before photo and actually change my body in 8 weeks is motivation enough.

The Sleek Geek challenge is open to pretty much any willing South African who wants to get off the couch and give their best body, their best shot. I have entered in the ‘toning category’ and so far there are 40 contestants who have signed up. The loot will be split at the end, so the potential monetary reward at the end is also a huge motivator.My end goal is to lose around 6 kilos. And to not wear jeans on the beach in December.

There are no rules as to how you can lose the weight, so each contestant is encouraged to find a programme/diet that works for them, and go with that. I’m pretty fit as is, running/gymming/mountain biking at least 4 days a week so all I need to do is stop eating food for a small village, and I should be OK.

Weigh-in and measurement is this Saturday. No, I will not post before pics. Well, maybe…but make sure you aren’t eating at the time.I have posted a pic of me currently, and 4 years ago form a magazine shoot. I want to look like that again.

If you are keen to enter or check it out, check out their Facebook and Twitter pages.

20120607-154411.jpg

20120607-154421.jpg

Continue Reading