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

Monday, December 12, 2016

The heart attack...

The day I played the Ladies Tennis Tournament my Big Sister messaged me to say her husband had had a heart attack and she had been called into the Emergency Dept. I was a bit shocked at this news but went on to play and win a trophy.
I waited for updates and snippets of news came via text during the day, people have heart attacks all the time but the way it had unfolded turned out to be a remarkable story.

Seems his day started off as usual and he walked a short distance from his home to the nearby train station but then collapsed on the platform. Bystanders came to his aid and commenced CPR and an ambulance called. Intubation and more CPR followed as he was transported to hospital, the same hospital that he normally works at but had a city meeting to attend that morning instead. Still unconscious he was taken to the cath lab where stents were to be inserted. The ED staff had contacted my sister  and she rushed to be with him. Examination showed stents were not a viable treatment and he was quickly taken into emergency theatre to have Coronary Artery Bypass Grafts. An eventful week in ICU was to follow and after 6 days he finally woke to make a recovery.

Because he had not been awake to answer any questions the search began to find those first responders. By the power of a facebook plea entered by his niece, pieces of the story started to come together. Local and Melbourne radio picked up the story and the locals who had stepped in so quickly were identified and thanked.

CPR save lives.
Early CPR gives people the best chance of survival. We are so grateful that those people knew what to do and put their CPR training into action.

He is recovering at home now with my relieved sister and niece, looking forward to Christmas celebrations and we are grateful that this story had a wonderful outcome.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Another parkrun convert...

I mentioned to Erin that running at parkrun would be good for her, to meet some new people and to try out running. To my surprise she agreed, without any hassling or cajoling. We found some gear for her to run in, printed her barcode and borrowed an old pair of shoes. She got early (no makeup!)and came to parkrun with me.

I wanted an easy run before the half marathon the next day so we walked and ran and chatted. We ran until she was out of breath and then walked til she recovered. During her stints of running she dashed off for short bursts claiming I run too slow. Slow I might be but I can keep going.

Being the self conscious thing she is she didn't want to take off her jumper or be photographed but she allowed both things to happen.

trying to hide behind me to avoid the photographer



She felt sick after the unaccustomed activity and told me her goal was to be able to run further without feeling sick. That will come if she listens to her mother and builds up gradually.

At least she said she will give it another go and was a bit chuffed when her results were emailed to her (first in her age group!)