Monday, September 30, 2013

In my shoes...

Maybe not the exact shoe but pretty close

I was curious as to how far I have run since I purchased by latest runners. With the aid of my Garmin I added up the kms clocked in my new New Balance shoes. Since March I have run 500 kms. I'll have to check now at what stage you should replace your shoes. The fist New Balance runners bought about 18 months prior, when I first started out on my running journey, had no tread left on them at all they were completely flattened. And they had been great shoes. I never had a niggle of soreness in feet or knees wearing those.

This second pair has been great also and only now we are clocking up 15-18ks each run do I feel any soreness. I don't think I'll get another pair just yet, they still have good tread on them and keep me going.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Great news...

Hayley has secured her first paid job in the UK at a Lush store.

She will be selling her favourite products like these...

Well done Hayley, just try not to spend all your earnings in the store.

We had a lovely long chat on Skype tonight, even though we 'chat' on messages every day it was lovely to hear her voice and catch up on news and the differences between the cultures.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

A mixed up week...

What a week it has been. Now that I am on holidays I can reflect on that hectic time.

Monday started with Erin and her friend going in to the Melbourne Show on the train while I was at work. I was thinking about her all day, how she was navigating train timetables, platform changes and vomit inducing rides. She did well.
Meanwhile I was at work trying to navigate my own way through National Standards introduction, Risk Registers and Quality improvement strategies. Not my favourite things but these will consume my non clinical time until 2015. After that I will need more than a Bex and a good lie down.
Thankfully there was no tennis on Monday night because I had to go back to the hospital for a doctors meeting. To tell them about the National Standards. How did I get into this?!?

Tuesday was another busy, but good, clinical day. No school run in the mornings means a leisurely arrival.

Wednesday I had another intense day of the National Standards steep learning curve at a National Symposium in the city. I had to choose whether to battle the traffic or battle the train travel. I chose the latter. And I always regret it at the end of the day. And I got back too late to go for our usual training run. I probably needed it more that day than any other lately as my head was overflowing with information. At least the food was good and I came home with a notebook full of prompts, suggestions and ideas.

Thursday I tried to tidy up loose ends during our busy day so I could have a week off. No tennis or guitar during the holidays also means a leisurely departure from the building.

Friday Erin and I had a little drive in the country to Romsey to check out their gift shops and cafes. Not a lot to see but we had a nice day. A training run in the afternoon topped off the day.

Last weekend was the local Relay for Life and luckily it wasn't this weekend, the rain and wind would have made them miserable. I had a good catch up with a friend who told me about the banjo ukulele. I want to learn how to play the banjo so maybe that is an option?

Today we went back to the jeans shop and this time I got jeans. Finally some that fit well so I don't need a belt! On the way back I was spoken to by a motor cycle copper. As I was following a tram down the narrow Sydney Rd I wasn't in the lane properly, he told me 'there are 2 lanes, pick one'. I'm sure he meant it in the nicest possible way!

And as I look out my window into the burgeoning grape vine, I know it is Spring. I can see pigeons procreating.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

A fantastic run...

Just 3 weeks until I attempt the half marathon distance of 21kms in the Melbourne Marathon. We have escalated our training in preparation for the event and it is starting to take its toll. My sore shins and hips know I am running longer distances.

I talked to my niece who is also suffering with shin splints and she offered some advice on taping and exercises to help. I was able to get the tape at the chemist but they had run out of flesh coloured tape and I had to get flouro pink. Anyway it did the job. A bit of research on trusty Google and I set off today to do 18ks. Not a hint of shin pain during the run or for the rest of the day.

We set off on our course and along the avenue we had to go single file along the roadside and I managed with my 6:30 pace to leave Running Buddy and PT girl behind. Our plan was to do 2 laps of the river course and back along the avenue. I knew I would meet up with them on the way back. Other runners out on the course were chatty and friendly asking what distance I was training for. I've never had that before. One girl asked if she could run a lap with me on the second pass. So she turned and ran beside me. I learned lots from our 20 min stint. She quickly established that she was a seasoned marathon runner and was doing 35k training run this morning. She loped along and chatted while I listened. Her name was Tina, she has done 3 marathons previously and ran 30k in the Yarra Valley last weekend which she described as tough. She has 3 young children and runs for herself. She was very encouraging of my efforts and gave me fantastic advice about race fuelling and hydration. I knew she had slowed down to run with me but she still pushed me at a 6:15 pace. That lap was a highlight of my run and I hope I meet up with her on the track again. I doubt I will see her on race day, about 7,500 are registered and she is doing the full. She said to me if you can do a half you can do a full, and she said it in a way I almost believed her.

I ran on with my predetermined plan and stopped at Olwyn's where I had stashed a drink earlier and had a very short break and a welcome drink. The girls arrived quickly intrigued by my new buddy. Running Buddy was in all sorts of strife this morning so cut short her run and PT girl and I kept going. Even she was flagging with her sore hips but I felt great. All the somethings were in alignment and I know now I will be able to do the race in 20 days time.

As long as I have my tape, my compression pants, my breakfast, and my fluids all in harmony.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Time lapse...

I'm sitting here at my desk, reading items on the laptop, playing a game or 5 of Candy Crush and looking out the window. Its been raining steadily since about 2pm after some very loud thunder at lunchtime.

My view changes everyday and I should have taken some photos. The grape vine over the arbour that Chris erected to shade this window has sprung to life. Each day a few more leaves uncurl and the ornamental grapes bud. It is literally growing in front of my eyes. Every time I sit down and look out the window there are more and more leaves and the patches of green are joining up. Trees are madly blooming everywhere you look and the blossoms are beautiful.

And even though the rain has washed out tonight's tennis I am enjoying this start to Spring.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

On your feet...

Talking with Hayley tonight reminded me of our pre children days living in Elwood.

She was telling me about walking into town, downhill on the way in and up on the way back. She is getting herself around without a car and will get used to the exercise.

When we lived in Elwood we had a flat on the third floor. I used to dash up and down those stairs. I remember (Big Sister too) moving furniture up those narrow stairs with all those turns. It wasn't just going in and out of the flat that kept me fit. The clothes line outside was on top of the carport roof so I had to go down 3 flights then back up one to get to the line. The block of flats was owned by a nice Jewish man who lived in a house next door. He was nice to us but used to have some loud rows with his wife which we heard through a common wall. It was a fantastic spot in Elwood, closer to the shops of St Kilda than Elwood and close to our jobs. Chris was working at a printer type shop in Sth Melbourne making micro fische and I was at the Alfred Hospital doing my RN training. We started in a small flat on the ground floor and once a bigger one became available we moved upstairs. I dont have any pics from that time of the interior but I remember the parquetry floor and our shabby collection of furniture.

We moved to the suburbs when I wanted to live in a house and we got all grown up and had a lawn mower and everything!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Ups & downs...

I recovered from my tennis thump and had a good cardio tennis session with the girls on Friday morning. I had to run solo again on Sunday morning and set off loaded up with a good breakfast and some Powerade. I had my tunes strapped on and a plan to do a 15km training run. I set off about 1030am and the weather was perfect, clear & cool. I got the hilly part of the run done in the first 5k and it was all downhill and flat after that. I think this plan is a good one. I knew that I would finish the 15 at the base of our big hill and I did just that. Usually after 12k my mind plays tricks on me but I had a goal to run to Maccas so I did. Along the way I thought of the people I know who live nearby who I could pop in on and ask for a drink. But then I kept running. Past Tara's, past Mels, past Erin's, past Running Buddy's (who was in Sydney but her husband would have given me a drink), past Lucy & Alex's and even past Baby Black who would have let me have a drink too. A big motivating factor in the last 3 ks also was running down Gisborne Rd. It's a busy road and no doubt someone would have spotted me and told me 'I saw you walking'. I don't care if they see me walking back up the big hill but before that, now that spurs me on.
During the run at the 5.5k mark I began to get an intense pain in my left shin. The first time a pain like that has sprung up while running. Maybe it was the down hill running that stirred that up but I pushed through and it faded away after the 8k point. The next day was when I began to feel another new pain. This time right behind my left knee and feels like I could hyperextend my knee. I limped around for the next 2 days doing some gentle stretches when I remembered and played tennis on it on Monday night. Today that pain is completely gone but with one thing and another (Running Buddy caught a cold in Sydney) I haven't tested it with a proper run since. It will be interesting to see if it returns. I cant have an injury now! We are in to the countdown of days till the Melbourne Marathon Festival begins. There have been ads on telly and all!

Hayley is back in the UK and she never received her parcel from us for her birthday but she sent another little gift to us!

She'll have to come home to read it to us

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Battered but not bruised...

I filled in for Thursday night mixed doubles tennis and played really well. Even a whack on the back from MY team mate while he was serving didn't throw us off our game. Well he was a bit rattled, as I was, after he had hit me but we went on to win. The surprising thing was though the ball hit me really hard square in the middle of my back, Phil has a powerful serve,  it has left no mark or bruise. I wasn't standing in his way but I think he was trying really hard to ace our opponent and it got me. It could have been worse. If it had hit me on the head or on my kidney region I might have been injured.

Just shows I am tough stuff.

Today we had to vote. The Federal election campaign has left me uninspired with all of them and scared of some. Last night at about 9pm I got a call from Kevin Rudd himself (alright, a recorded message). I didn't listen past 'this is Kevin Rudd' but it did give me a giggle that he was calling om my home phone with his 'important message'.

We'll see what direction we'll be taking tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Moving on...

Hayley's time in Spain has come to an end and she flies back to the UK tonight. She wrote a lovely summary poem that she posted on facebook and hopefully will put on her blog as well. The link to her blog is on the right there under her pic so check our her adventures for yourself.

4 weeks ago I posted a small gift to her Spanish address for her birthday, not an expensive thing but a collection of things that would be meaningful for her while she celebrated turning 25 in a foreign country. Just a little taste of home. Lucy's gift arrived after 2 weeks but ours still hasn't been delivered. I am very disappointed to say the least. She received a letter I sent before that but we don't know where the parcel is now. She might get it one day.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Father's Day...

Happy Fathers Day to all the Dads out there. We are celebrating the father in our family by giving him a job to do - installing his gift. A remote garage door opener will add to the laziness level and keep him dry in rainy weather.

My father has been gone 28 years now and I still mourn for the loss of an adult relationship with him. He was a great father and would have been a wonderful Grandfather as well.

I saw this in my reading this morning, an article about the Sydney International Food Festival. Click over to see the imaginative flags made from foods local to that country, very clever!

Go over to see some more.