Sunday, March 19, 2017

Back to it...

The rest is over.

Back to work. Back to training. 14 weeks until the next full marathon.

Training is gradually building and I'm still not back to previous fitness levels and try not to get too discouraged by slow progress.
running the whole 5k, Karen behind stuck with me and got her PB

Parkrun has been a good start. My first week back I just wanted to see how I went and had walk breaks. The following week my goal was to run the 5k without stopping and I'm happy to say each week has been a little faster. I've had loads of encouragement and have felt really well.

Maribyrnong Parkrun and had to leave Hayley behind to run all the way

My shadow in the white managed to run the whole way too
 I am particularly happy with this last run. I could hear the young girl close behind the whole way and as we turned for the last 300m she came level with me and I said to her I wondered when she was going to pass me and to go strong to the finish. After we crossed the line I had a laugh with her about her shadowing antics with a swoop at the end. She said she was using me as her pacer and thanked me for getting her across the line, she felt she would have given up otherwise and walked a bit. A PB in the bank for her and I was pleased to help her out. Way to go Kayla!


Track nights have been a bit tougher, not quite managing the whole work out but doing the best I can and reaching a little further each time.

I was asked to fill in for Ladies Mon night tennis and won the 2 sets but felt I wasn't playing to full capacity. Weekly sessions at Cardio Tennis will see an improvement there too. Last Friday we had a circuit that involved skipping and I'm happy to say no leakage occurred! A big step forward.

The first of our racing events was run this morning. It turned out to be a 34 degree day as we hit the trails for a 10k through Brimbank Park. I couldn't run the whole way and spent time walking up the steep hills that ring the valley and river.

MCR girls rule!

at the top of a very big hill


the hills were brutal

thanks for helping me out
happy to finish

another medal is always a nice reward
Today's run shows I still have a long way to go but will keep chipping away, supported by my running team mates and my very special Running Buddy.


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Time to start up again...

My 4 week enforced break from activities is up and I have tentatively started back on the training track. I've left my books and crafts and projects to put my runners back on. My running gear is a little more snug than it was a month ago. It doesn't take long to soften up and put on weight when you aren't doing too much and have been cooking up a storm.

How much fitness I have lost was brought home last night at my first real track night. I was huffing and puffing and bringing up the rear. The Wings for Life World Run Ambassadors attended to run a promotional fun night culminating in a mini chase. I couldn't keep up. I tried not to give up but couldn't maintain the pace. I've also noticed how well the girls have been doing as they maintain the training runs and gym sessions, getting PBs  and looking fab.

spectating at the Bellarine Flying Brick Sunset Run
 This little girl is such a sweetheart. She endears herself to everyone and is a handy little runner. She tries to keep up with her Dad and big sister. We often run with her and she helps us as much as we help her.
Dunny art
While the girls were running their respective 10k and half marathon races Martin and I walked up the hill to the pub for refreshments before making our way to the finish line to cheer the finishers. Couldn't resist a cheeky pic of this lovely mosaic work that depicts Portarlington but has been unceremoniously mounted on a toilet block.

I haven't been cooped up at home the whole time, I volunteered at parkrun and at track night and cheered others on. I attempted my very first run at parkrun and did Ok without pushing myself too much. I walked 10k at the Relay for Life night.


MCR was the winning team with the most laps completed
Running Buddy tells me that next week is the beginning of my 16 week training program leading up to the marathon. Thankfully such programs start off fairly slow and build up so it should all be OK. Tennis is allowed again and then back to work to try to fit everything in.

Whilst I am itching to get back into it it has been nice to have had this break to regroup and centre myself.

Monday, February 6, 2017

The hiatus...

If you have to have a hiatus from running, mid summer is a good time to do it. It's been really hot and humid  and the odd bit of running I've done til now has seen me dripping with sweat. I know my form is off having only done bits and pieces since early December. Tennis had finished for the Summer break as well, so the hiatus has been timed pretty well.

It's been a while coming. Time spent on a waiting list, time allowed for things to improve on their own but didn't. And here I am recovering from a hysterectomy feeling pretty good and itching to get back on to my feet. I'm hoping related issues will all be resolved with this surgery. Dry pants during a run will be a big plus. Menopause will be a bit trickier to define but no bleeding to contend with is a huge bonus.

The surgery itself was long and the first night post op not good but since then I have continued to improve and feel well. Under Dr's orders I'm not to do any 'impact activity' like running or tennis for 4 weeks of my 6 week recovery time. I've watched these activities start up again without me. Soon enough I will be back into my training and I've had lots of time to read and to find new events. Time to plan what the year will hold and to set some goals.

A coffee date with the girls has set out the first few months of the year, incorporating an overseas trip and holidays into our training plan. I sadly told the girls I'm not going to join them at the Gold Coast this year but plan to do a trail marathon on the Surf Coast here in Vic instead in June. We will do our training together as the two events are only 2 weeks apart. We have Run 4 Kids, Hanging Rock and Great Ocean Road penciled in as part of our marathon training.

So instead of running I've been pottering around in the garden, getting Chris to drive me to different nurseries so we can fill the little nooks with plants. I've been reading actual books, not just websites and pulled out some crafts to do. When my sister visits we'll start, and probably finish, a jigsaw.

As good as I feel I am a little nervous about running again. I will take it slowly and try not to rush back into all the activities too quickly once my enforced time out is done.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

The Project...

The problem with running so much is that housework gets neglected and projects are put on the back burner. But with the next running goal some months away the intensity of training has waned and I find myself at home at little more looking at things around here that I have put off.  I have had a few runs in the last month and still trying to get to track night but the heat puts me off. I suspect I will pay the price when training does ramp up again.
 So this Summer break we were able to achieve a project on the house that we have talked about for ages.

Chris is very handy about the house and garden. Not really a gardener but he will build just about anything I ask him to and do it well. The outdoor area needed a finishing touch which we finally got around to.

before the screen... Chris built the pergola and paved this area


Things were measured, re measured, lined up and rechecked...


He used Ekodeck screening which is a composite bamboo/plastic product which is 'guaranteed not to warp or twist and doesn't need painting or oiling'
finished!
The screen completes the area and it has been a lovely place to sit in the afternoons.

Thank you my dear for being such a skilled and meticulous craftsman, it turned out exactly how I imagined it would.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Anniversary...

As the years roll by the milestones accumulate along with them.

This year saw us celebrate 32 years of marriage. The photo at the top of this page is one of my favourites from that day in 1985. It was a spontaneous moment and captures our surprise perfectly.

We thought this year was going to quite low key but we took advantage of a gift from Hayley and went on a helicopter ride over the city. Hayley had been saving up our birthday and Mothers/Fathers Days gifts to culminate in this fabulous experience.

I had wanted to do a helicopter ride for my 50th birthday but it hadn't happened.

Chris was quite anxious about the flight, he was concerned about our safety. And when I saw the tiny craft my anxiety rose as well. But we survived and managed to get a lot of photos while we were enjoying the view. The wind did buffet us a little but were reassurred by our experienced pilot, John.

As it tragically turned out today, you can be run down in the middle of the city on the footpath and die in a random accident.

I took a lot of photos, here a just a few...

Melbourne city

bayside

Albert Park

MCG


Tennis Centre Australian Open in progress
I sat in front so could take photos
John was an excellent pilot pointing out landmarks etc. Over the radio came information that the police helicopter was in the area, sadly now we know why.

I thought to myself as we flew over that I have run in so many places in our lovely city. It looked magnificent from the air but my feet have taken me all over it as well. The MCG, Albert Park, Beaconsfield Parade through to St Kilda and Elwood, Flemington racecourse, Royal Park, the Zoo, Bolte Bridge, Alexandra Gardens.

We thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it as a wonderful experience.

Monday, January 9, 2017

the short getaway...

at the last minute we decided while we had a few days off together we would go for a short getaway. I had been wanting to go somewhere in the week between Christmas and New Year but hadn't been able to commit to anything. I had a visit to Robe SA in mind but we decided on Phillip Island, being able to find some accommodation at short notice was the clincher.

We ended up staying at the Aussie Golf Ranch at Cowes and it turned out to be just perfect. A single cabin style on the 9 hole golf course was just what we needed. It was a 10 minute walk through the bush and over the dunes to the beach, and a short drive to the town of Cowes. I was surprised at how busy Cowes was, I was expecting it to be similar to Port Fairy but it was larger and very busy with the influx of tourist visitors. The traffic was bumper to bumper before we even got to the Island and I imagine during the Grand Prix it would be worse.




 Our first, and only, visit to Phillip Island was back in 1984, before we were married. We had a weekend away on Chris' motorbike with a few friends from his Sth Melb workplace. Much has changed since then!

So we set out to explore the island, visiting the Nobbies and the Blow Hole, spying some fairy penguins in their nesting boxes. It was warm and drizzling rain but that didn't deter us or other tourists. Large facilities at the Nobbies and the Penguin Parade have been built for the tourists since our last visit and it has become very commercial. We enjoyed our visit to the Grand Prix circuit but it was too wet to try out the go karts.

the Blow Hole

at the Nobbies

fairy penguins

the Nobbies
Back in the day you could walk over to the Nobbies and explore the rock pools etc, but I suppose to protect the wildlife and the environment there are rules and restrictions in place to prevent you going off the board walk. Nevertheless we enjoyed ourselves.

Grand Prix home straight

still raining at Rhyll
sunset beach walk
 the weather did clear and become very hot and I was a little jealous of the surfers at Woolamai Beach

Woolamai 
We explored briefly all ends of the large island and I feel like we had a good break. I love the beach and really enjoyed this break. Now I am ready to face 2017 and new challenges.


Sunday, January 8, 2017

The hot Christmas...

Christmas day this year was a scorcher...37 degrees. Very few photos were taken, we were busy staying cool in Big Sister's pool in between courses. I am grateful that we can spend time together as a family at Christmas, enjoying each others company.

from Hayley's instagram

Each year it changes a little bit, the children are now all young adults and are entertaining us instead of the other way around.
And all too soon the day is over, the decorations get packed away and we look forward to the approaching year.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

50 Parkruns...

I managed to squeeze in this milestone this morning on Christmas Eve. Luckily parkrun starts at 8am so we were done by 9 to fit in last minute preparations for Christmas.

I first attended parkrun back in February 2014 when Toolern Creek parkrun was launched and it has taken me nearly 2 years to rack them up. 46 of them were at this home base, 2 at Maribyrnong, 1 at You Yangs launch and 1 at Toowoomba while we were visiting family in Qld. There has been both hot and cold mornings, and some rain but every Saturday parkrun goes ahead.
I also have volunteered 12 times and enjoy being part of the parkrun community.




This morning 6 of us reached this milestone including a family of 4 and when the photos are posted I will attach them here. Lots of the group of 60 odd got into the spirit and celebrated Christmas and running at the same time on this hot morning. Thunder rumbled a Happy Christmas before we started and we were pleased some lightning was moving away to the East.

thanks Damo for the snap
Running Buddy was able to attend also and I was grateful that she was able to squeeze that in her busy day with family duties, to run with me. Poor old Mel had to work (but then let us know there were no patients in the ward to look after anyway - better that people stay out of hospital at Christmas).
I wore a sequinned skirt that was very festive but very scratchy so will be kept for very special runs in the future. A few commented that whilst festive hats and headbands are fun they aren't that comfortable!



I'm glad I was able to have this run this morning. With us being so busy and the weather heating up finally, running is on the back burner.








Now off to prepare for Christmas dinner with Hayley and Ben.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Trails, hills and creek crossings...

Running Buddy and I joined up with some of the MCR crew and ran our first proper trail event. It was a tough event with even some of the experienced trail runners saying it was a hard event. Put on by the Running Company Ballarat the aptly named Gold Rush Trail Run resulted in some more bling.


The morning was beautiful as we waited beside the Daylesford Lake for our 10 o'clock start.

Melton City Runners
We got to see some of the 22km runners come past as our start line was their half way point. We set off into the bush to hit the trails. Some of it was narrow with the blackberry bush trying to impinge on our path. Some of it was rocky with tree roots trying to trip us over. Most of it was up hill and then down, the down hill sections being tricky and just as challenging as the up. We crossed several creeks and tried not to get our feet wet. We used muscles we haven't used in running before.

We were encouraged by all runners not just the members of our group. We tried to enjoy the surroundings which were quite beautiful. We did not see any wildlife thankfully.


We stopped at this waterfall to appreciate the view before we climbed to the top of it.

It was nice not to be focused on a time but just to enjoy the running and the different challenges the trails presented. A challenging but very rewarding morning of running.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Year of running...

The running year is almost done.

It has been quite an extraordinary year which has seen me achieve goals I never imagined possible. Hundreds of kilometres in training and in events have been recorded on my Garmin and loaded onto Strava. Hardly any of these kms have been run on my own. I've had my running girls by my side for all the tough parts and for the rewarding parts. I've made new running friends at MCR and at parkrun. I like to think I have inspired others on this crazy running journey.

1500 kms of running adventures
After deciding in January that this would be the year we would finally take the step to run the full marathon we set out to make that goal a reality.
We ran not just that first full marathon but went on to run another full and 5 half marathons. We ran some of the same races that we had done before and tried some new ones too.
I loved our road trip weekend away to run the Great Ocean Road half and of course our interstate adventure to the Gold Coast will always be a highlight. My times haven't changed much but I have learned things about myself along the way and thankfully the body has held up without injury.
I have also really enjoyed learning more about running and being part of a running group. I would never have got to this point if I was out there on my own.

I have accumulated quite a medal collection now and I look back on those mementos and remember the effort and struggle to get each of them. I will be adding two more before 2016 ends, one for the virtual run and one for the trail run next weekend. I always said I would do more trail running after I had run the marathon and maybe that is the direction for next year.

One thing for sure I'll still be running