Sport of Choice: Triathlon
I have been on a lchf/keto lifestyle for more than 3 years and went from +30% bf to 12%bf. I have gone from not being able to run 5km to completing Ironman. This year will be my 3rd Ironman. My goal is to quality for Kona World Champsionship in 2018.
My first triathlon was Olympic distance in 2013
Jan 2014 – Top 25 age group finisher – 70.3 East London
Aug 2014 – 3rd place age group – 5150 Bela Bela
October 2014 – 6th place age group – Half Iron-Distance, Tri-Rock Durban
November 2014 – 2nd place age group – 5150 African Championships
Feb 2015 – Top 10 overall Female – Half Iron-Distance, Tri-Rock Cradle of Humankind
April 2015 – Top 25 age group – Ironman SA Finisher
April 2016 – Top 25 age group – Ironman SA Finisher
Feb 2017 – 2nd Female overall – Buffelspoort Long Distance Triathlon
April 2017 – Ironman SA – 15th age group finisher – PB
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Q: When did you start playing sport, and what sports have you played?
I was active as a child. Played a bit of tennis, and netball. Tried Ballet but that did not go so well so switched to Karate which didn’t last all that long either. I Ran my first half marathon aged 13, more for fun and the ice cream on the way as to actually having trained for the event. I was part of the swim medley team that held the Medley Wes-Transvaal record. I also got provincial colors in two different provinces, Stellaland and Transvaal for Korfball age 18. I did my first triathlon age 16 to make up numbers and ended up winning the ladies race overall, even though I have to borrow a bike from my friend. The year after I entered and won again. For the next 20 years +-, I was active as sloth and just a flabby. I started back training, mostly weight training. I did my first Midmar mile in 2012 and decided if I can do that, I can do Ironman. I have completed a few cycle races for fun – not my thing though, and a few 10km running races. My first triathlon back was Germiston 5150 (Olympic distance) in 2013. Since then I have completed a number of Olympic distance and half ironman distance Triathlons with 4 podiums best being 2nd female overall in a long distance event and 3 full Ironman events.
Q: Has there been a significant event in person in your sporting life that drives you?
I drive me! I come from an abusive past. Words like “I will see you in the gutter” after being choked by your then husband after telling him you are ending it. Those are words that have made me strong. Ironman is my Everest! In 2014, I was homeless and lost everything. I had one goal in my head and that was to be on the start line of the 2015 Ironman in PE. That is all I focussed on. Up to that point in my life, from the age of 6 when I was first raped, every relationship I had was toxic! So when I was homeless, I also had no relationships, including friends, or a work where I was sexually harassed and put down emotionally. It was just me and my goal of starting Ironman. How I would get there, I had no idea, but my belief in being there overpowered all else. My mom came forward with the entry fee. I got a sponsor for 50% of my accommodation and 100% of my flight ticket. I also got a sponsor that paid for me to train with Lucy at Trifecta for 6 months. I got to realize my dream and stood on the beach for the start. It was amazing. I had an accident on the bike at 120km laying in 10th place in my category. I got up quickly and finished in just over 14hours in the end, with a torn tri suit and cuts and bruises. There was never a doubt in mind that I will not finish. I did not go there to give up. I went there to hear the words… “You are an Ironman” When I crossed the line, I knew I could do anything. That nobody has power over me and that I am stronger than all the people in my past that have abused me in whatever way. Ironman PE is like my retreat, my happy place, my sanctuary.
Q: What do you love most about your chosen sport?
It is me against me. Yet the camaraderie between fellow athletes is just amazing. I am not part of a tri team, and most of my training takes place solo or with my training partner. I have made some wonderful friends over the last 3 years though. Even athletes in your age category will encourage you, to be your best. When you race, it is you against the clock. So it is two-fold really – I love the individuality of triathlons when it comes to race day, and I also love the energy of fellow tri-fanatics
Q: What in your mind has been your greatest accomplishment in sport?
Other than results Making good healthy connections with people and building self-confidence. Breaking off the shackles of the past
Q: If you weren’t doing what you do. What other sport would you like to do?
Crossfit! I LOVE Crossfit. I helped out at a CrossFit box for about 6 months and got to train there 6 days a week. OMG! Addiction on a whole other level. I chose triathlon over CrossFit and have not been back. If I do ever hang up my bike, I will go back to CrossFit and I will aim for The Crossfit Games. I secretly think I am a “Dottir”.
Q: How has nutrition played a role in your sporting life?
When I started back training after a sedentary adult life, I formulated my own eating plan. I ate clean and green. I cut out bad starches but still had some oats and sweet potato so not really low carb. After I got to 12% Body Fat and made the decision to switch to triathlons, and with financial constraints, I had to make my own nutrition for the bike. I kept it to natural products. Dates and nuts for long rides and my bottles consisted of Rooibos tea with honey and mc oil, coconut water and mixed with some pea and hemp protein. So from 2014 that is how I fuelled. I also started researching the benefits of Low Carb and cut out the oats and sweet potato. I will include some butternut or sweet potato now on occasion depending on the training load as well as some honey. But I do not know any other way to fuel than without sugar. It has been my lifestyle since starting back. Since bumping into Keto Nutrition at last years 94.7 expo, I now only use these products to fuel me, be in training or racing. Today I eat mostly low carb as in between 25-50gr of carbs a day. I do find during that time of the month, I function better if I increase the carbs to at 75gr. If my nutrition is not on par, I pick it up in my training and that is frustrating. So I make sure that for most I have nutrient dense food. Food is my fuel and so important. I could not do my sport and aim to excel, with all the stress of normal life if my nutrition was crap.
Q: What has been the biggest difference since going Keto?
Regaining youth and my eyesight is improving which is super great. Also, the lack of illness is a major win.
Q: Do you have a race day ritual?
Not really – The day before though I will race in my head. Every step, through a transition. When I will take my nutrition. As much detail as I can and definitely crossing the finish line. Apart from that, when race day arrives, I pitch up, breathe and enjoy the moment
Q: If you could be any sporting icon who would it be?
Chrissie Wellington. She is humble, friendly and fierce. She lives with purpose and gives back where she can.
Q: Where has been your favorite place to visit/compete?
To visit – I love China. Been fortunate to have been there 3 times and I am going back one to do the Great Wall Marathon and I want to complete an adventure race through the Gobi desert. To compete – Port Elizabeth. I just love everything about the place and the race.
Q: What are you most looking forward to in the next 12 months?
Getting my nutrition/wellness/fitness coaching off the ground. It is taking longer than expected – currently dealing with some family emergencies. Want to finish my diploma in personal training ASAP. Getting certified as an Ironman Coach. Improving my running by ALOT – want to go from a jogger to a runner, so during the “off “season I have been doing miles and miles of running. Having lot of adventures to keep training fun.
Q: Which 5 main events will you competing in in the next 12 months and which one have you targeted as an A+?
1. Soweto Marathon – This is to get my head around the marathon so that comes Ironman the run leg does not seem so daunting to meA77
2. Johnstone’s Crane Hire marathon end of January
3. Buffelspoort Long Distance Triathlon – Mid February
4. IRONMAN SA – Mid April – The most important race of my season
5. Comrades – Mid June