Having fun at Nerf Blaster Masters

Nerf invited me to attend the Nerf Blaster Masters event happening this weekend at Jozi X in Bryanston. Bradley wasn’t in the mood, but Connor was oh so very keen. He LOVES anything to do with Nerf guns, and a whole day of them, playing with them, and having fun on obstacles was just heaven to him.

We took a friend with us, but in hindsight (if we’d had clearer info), I would have taken two so that we could make up a team of three. We ended up with a 5 year old on our team who kept wandering off, and he wasn’t strong enough to load the guns… it wasn’t ideal at all.

nerfblastmasters-001
nerfblastmasters-003

ToysRUs cleverly had a pop-up shop selling the Nerf guns, and they were making a killing while everyone was hanging around in the sweltering hot sun waiting for their heat slots. There were a lot of guns that the boys hadn’t spotted in the shops yet.

nerfblastmasters-004

We chilled out in the VIP tent, which was awesome. We were out of the sun and the kids got to play with the Nerf guns, and have a bit of target practice before we hit the obstacle course.

nerfblastmasters-005 nerfblastmasters-006

The kids loved having the choice of which guns to play with… but sometimes it was a bit frustrating because we lost so much time loading them with foam darts before they could actually play.
nerfblastmasters-008

 

nerfblastmasters-009

Skateboarder Jean-Marc Johannes was on top form today, and kids had fun trying to shoot the Nerf guns at his board mid-flight. Glad I managed to get these shots, just after this, he was whipped away for an interview. The boys, who were playing on a course just behind the skate ramp, missed it though, which is such a pity.

nerfblastmasters-010
nerfblastmasters-011 nerfblastmasters-012 nerfblastmasters-013 nerfblastmasters-014

nerfblastmasters-017 nerfblastmasters-018
The kids favourite part was the water slide down the big hill. By the time we got there, the water Nerf guns had been used by people not in teams yet… but by then the kids didn’t actually care and they just wanted to slide down the slope.
nerfblastmasters-022

The kids had an absolute blast, and had worked up quite an appetite by the time we left. Every child got a medal at the end, and they didn’t want to take it off at all! That’s a great sign that it was a great day out.

If you’re planning on going to Nerf Blast Masters tomorrow, take a lot of patience with you… it was chaotic! All the heats ran late, in fact, our heat was only the second one and it was half an hour late! So that meant a lot of bored and hot kids roaming around until it was their turn!

Saying that though, it’s an awesome day out with kids and I’ve just seen on Facebook that they still have space available. So, pack some sunscreen… and the kids… and have some fun.

Comments { 3 }

About running and finishing the Cape Town Marathon

I did it! I ran my first marathon! All 42.2km of the 2016 Cape Town Marathon! I finished it and I’m oh so very pleased with myself! And you know what? I reckon I want to do it again. I could run another marathon.

Listen, it wasn’t easy, by any stretch of the imagination. I didn’t get the time I was hoping to get. However, when I realised that I wasn’t going to make 5 hours, I just decided to enjoy the experience and have fun… it was no longer about chasing a time. That made a huge difference! I ran into the stadium with a smile on my face… not a grimace.

I didn’t slack off completely, and in fact, I ran the last km or two without stopping at all, but it wasn’t about chasing the clock, it became about finishing it. I did however, take the time when I was walking to Whatsapp my family to let them know how far I was, and how I was doing, and I sent them a few photos along the way too. Connor even sent me back a video chanting “you can do it”. It was the best thing for my head at 32km 😉

After my last blog post about running the marathon, I got ill. In fact, until 2 days before the race, I wasn’t actually sure whether I was going to be able to run it… let alone finish it. I had a cold and then a severe ear infection that antibiotics just couldn’t clear. Thankfully, on the morning of the race though, my ear behaved (and the weather gods decided it shall be a windless day), the buff did the trick and kept my ear intact.

The night before the race, we went out for an early pasta dinner at Il Leone in Green Point. By then, I’d already got my race stuff in order! Race numbers were on my club shirt, the timing chip was strapped to my shoes, and my race belt was filled with race bars, panados and tissues.

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Hilary dropped us off before dawn so that we didn’t have to worry about the traffic, and we sat in the freezing cold waiting for the race to start. Karen and Lance started in the D group, and Nick started in the E group so after we took the selfie we headed for our own starting pens.

Processed with VSCO with h3 preset

There were 8000 runners that took part in the Cape Town Marathon, and amazingly it didn’t actually take very long for us all to get moving. By the time we reached the starting point we were already jogging… this is unheard of in most big races I’ve taken part in. I actually loved the beginning part of the race running along the promenade. Pity I wasn’t wanting to walk a bit to take a few photos then… but hey, at that stage I just wanted to get going.

Processed with VSCO with g1 preset

When we ran past this gorgeous steam engine, I had to slow down for a walk to take a photo. It was just so gorgeous! This was about 7km into the race.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

I just loved the bands along the way. This was the first one we came across, just after the steam engine. These bands, the singing groups, the drummies and all the groups of running clubs cheering along the runners made such a difference to the race and took my mind off what I was doing.

Processed with VSCO with h2 preset

We could see Table Mountain for a fair bit of the way, which is not the most terrible sight in the world ;). In fact, the views in general, and the streets we ran down were so interesting to look at.  I mean how amazing are these views?  I loved that the Cape Town Marathon route stayed close to the mountain and you could see it from most spots along the route.

Processed with VSCO with m2 preset

Processed with VSCO with m2 preset

At 12km, I needed the loo and lost 5 minutes waiting for the portaloos. While I was there, the 5 hour buses ran past me, and I just knew I wasn’t going to be able to catch them. So, I decided to have fun. I ran as fast as I could, took in the scenery and the atmosphere. I stopped briefly when I spotted Sally Jane and her kids just before the 21km mark (and got a few Super C’s from them which were a lifesaver)… and then again to chat to Lauren, Ross and their dogs at the Rondebosch Common. It was so AWESOME spotting people I knew along the way!

I was so grateful to the Tsogo Sun crowd at the Newlands hotel who were handing out Bar Ones and Smarties. The random running clubs handing runners raisins, Super C’s, oranges, crisps and snacks were a godsend too. Even though I had racebars, I really did a bit of variety and I was craving something salty to eat.

Processed with VSCO with k1 preset

The flags along the walkways in Company Gardens were gorgeous, and I was so very thankful for the shade then. My oath, the route is very open… with hardly any shade.

Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset

Then I just had to smile when I saw the firemen close to 40km spraying off everyone. I LOVED it! I think I smiled from then until the finish. No-one complained about the water in their eyes or water dripping down their legs, it was such a relief from the heat.

Just as we turned the corner after this, we went up a ramp and the guy next to me just collapsed. It became real then… really real. And as we got over that little bridge, there were 2 photographers waiting, and I had a genuine smile on my face for the first time. This was where I got emotional. My only thought then was “I DID IT”. It didn’t matter about the next 2km, I’d done it. And I ran from then on, without stopping.

Processed with VSCO with f1 preset

Processed with VSCO with m5 preset

It wasn’t easy at all. In fact, it was really hard. I probably should have trained more, I know I should have done a few more longer runs. But the training I did paid off, and the hills we slogged over prepared us well. This race was really flat compared to the routes we’d been training on… and in a way the race was harder because we had to work all the way… you couldn’t slack off on a downhill because there really weren’t any downhills!

img_9866

And would I do it again?

Hell to the yes!

I’m definitely keen to do the Cape Town Marathon again, it was incredible. I loved every minute of it. The organisation was amazing, the start fantastic, the water points were just perfect, and the marshalls were incredible.

I’m determined to finish it under 5 hours next time, I’m sure I could have if I hadn’t have been so ill.

As for longer distances, like I was planning… the jury is still out. I didn’t make the 5 hour qualification time for Two Oceans as per my original plan, but I’m still thrilled with what I achieved.

Seriously guys, this is BIG for me! Before 3 years ago, I’d never considered running… ever… let alone run a marathon! I’m the most unlikely person to have done this. And I actually enjoyed it! Who would have guessed. Not bad for someone who started running in their 40’s 😉

This has one of the greatest achievements in my life. It’s been a huge thing for me to conquer. And I loved that I got to do it with amazing friends, and to have Hilary waiting at the finish line for us, cheering us all the way. I loved every minute of our race-cation.

Comments { 13 }

We’re going to recycle our household glass

I’ve been challenged by The Glass Recycling Co to recycle my household glass. I know, I should already be doing this. I’ve always thought it was a bit of a mission though and I’m a pretty lazy recycler to be honest.

This week is Clean Up and Recycle week, so it’s an ideal time to start I suppose.

recycling-001

When I first got the information and the little bag to help me start, I thought that we didn’t really use a lot of glass. But thinking about it, we actually do.

Apart from wine bottles, and the odd beer bottle, I definitely have glass jars of pasta sauce that I could recycle every week. And thinking about it some more, coffee and spice jars are glass and so are the jam jars and random sauce jars. So… I reckon it’s a worthwhile exercise.

My parents are really good at it, and my dad has this weekly routine where he takes the glass to the glass bank at Lifestyle Garden Centre and then he goes and wanders around the book shop and has a cappuccino. I think I’ll create a similar routine… it’ll give me a great excuse to have a good cup of coffee!

I’ve already checked out the “Find a glass bank” list on the website, and found a lot of glass banks in my area. It should be easy, if I remember to pack the glass in my car when I drive past one of those places.

I think I’m going have to get a proper bin to put the glass in, because this little bag, although cute, won’t work for our family. When I blog about it again, I’ll let you know what worked and what didn’t.

I’ve explained the concept to the family, so let’s see if we can get it right. I’ve explained about rinsing the glass first and removing lids before putting the glass in the recycling bag. I know I’m going to have to police it for a while, because I didn’t actually realise that you can’t recycle broken drinking glasses and window pane glass. Not that we break a lot of windows, but we do break glasses every now and then.

So let’s see how this goes!

Do you recycle glass?

Comments { 5 }

3 weeks to go to my first marathon

Actually, I know the title says first marathon, and I know I said I’d do the full Two Oceans ultra next year, but not sure about that right now. I’m not sure I’ll run another marathon after this one.

Right now it seems like one heck of a long way to run.

We’re running the Cape Town Marathon on 18 September.

My plan was to run this under 5 hours. At this point in my training, I doubt that’ll happen. I’ll finish it… and then collapse… but I doubt I’ll finish it in 5 hours. I should finish under 5 and a half hours though, I think 5 hours is just pushing it. And if you’re wondering, the cutoff is 7 hours, but I want to do it in 5 hours as a Two Oceans qualifier.

Flights are booked. Airbnb is booked with friends, and our car hire is sorted. There are 5 of us travelling, and 4 of us running the marathon. The weekend is going to be busy… yet quiet. We’re not planning anything for Saturday to make sure our legs are rested. I actually cannot wait for the weekend away though, it’s going to be awesome traveling with friends again. The marathon, however, will take up most of it. We’d better book a special evening out for Sunday night with loads of good wine 😉

Back to the training..

Don’t ever underestimate the amount of training you need to do a marathon. In the beginning it’s ok, but right now, I’m tired. Getting up at 5am on weekends to run umpteen kilometres is not easy. It takes hours out of your day… and when you’re finished the long runs you’re so exhausted that you can’t do much for a few hours.

We’ve got 2 weekends left, which means only one weekend of long runs left. The last weekend has to be tapering, which means shorter runs.

I’ve now run 30km twice… once in April, and last weekend. Last weekend’s run with Harriers was the most intense run I’ve ever done. If you know Joburg, you’ll know what I mean when I say we ran UP Golf Club Terrace, along Ontdekkers, and then UP Northcliff hill… and then through Linden to get back to Randburg. This is sure getting us the hill training we need… but my word, it was intense!

marathon training

 

The best part of the long weekend runs have been running with friends. Even though it’s tough, I love running with Lance and my friends. The water points are the best thing after running up a tough hill, and I try so hard to have a smile on my face for the camera that I know will be facing me as I get there.

I’ve skipped 2 weekends of training because of our trips to the bush, and thankfully haven’t managed to get sick or injured, and I’m roughly on track according to the training schedule I was following, but I’m still feeling under prepared!  I’m feeling every single niggle, and trying to wrap myself in cottonwool.

And I’m still not running fast enough!! It’s SO frustrating!

My only hope now is the sea level magic 😉

Wish me luck, next weekend I have to do a double 21km… and then start tapering until race day.

 

IMG_9617

 

Ask me AFTER my first marathon whether I’ll run another one… I’m not sure if I’m keen to carry on with this training regime. To do more and to train for the full Two Oceans would means another 7 months of this! That’s hectic!

 

A family weekend away to Madikwe Safari Lodge

We went to Madikwe Safari Lodge (at the Lelapa Lodge) for 2 nights last weekend with the kids. It was possibly the best holiday we’ve had as a family… even though it was so short. This was the first safari trip we’ve been on with the kids, so we’d been looking forward to it for ages. It […]

Win a R1000 shipping voucher with Postbox Courier

It’s a mission to buy goodies overseas and ship them back home to South Africa. You’re never sure how long it’s going to take, or whether you’re actually going to get them. And then, you have some online retailers that don’t ship to South Africa at all… they mark up the shipping costs so much […]

We stayed at Lion Sands Tinga for one night

After our night at River Lodge, a ranger drove us to Lion Sands Tinga Lodge… which is only 5 minutes drive from Skukuza Airport (really handy when we left!) We stayed at this magnificent luxury lodge for one night too. This lodge is also on the banks of the Sabie River, and has the most […]

One night at Lion Sands River Lodge

We went away for the weekend to experience the Lion Sands Private Game Reserve. Lion Sands is part of the Greater Kruger National Park, and there are 4 lodges to choose from on their property. On the first night of our amazing weekend, we stayed at River Lodge. It was a bucket list kind of stay, […]

A morning at a Pokemon hunt

We drove to Walter Sisulu gardens this morning to go to the Pokemon hunt that I’d spotted being advertised on Facebook. So did hundreds of other Pokemon GO addicts… and the gardens clearly didn’t get the memo, because they did not staff up the entry gates! LOL! We stood in a long queue to get […]

A date with Connor

Bradley went to a friends house to watch a movie marathon (Harry Potter), and Lance met a friend in the afternoon… so Connor and I went out for a date. He absolutely loves these alone times with me. Our plan was to find milkshakes in Parkhurst and then to go Pokemon hunting at Delta Park. […]