Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Running to the end...

When I look back at the year, one theme has dominated.


I've (mostly) enjoyed the training and the results. I've run in old places and new ones. I've run races I said I wouldn't do again and got talked into 2 half marathons so am counting that as having done a full. We've mastered running in the rain and learn something new with each race we enter.

There has been plenty of times when I wanted to give up or haven't enjoyed running but these marvellous girls have kept me going. And it looks like they aren't letting me off the hook next year. There is talk of an actual full marathon and talk of looking further afield for races. 

I've recorded 650kms on my Garmin but one of the best runs was one where I didn't turn it on properly and just paced myself on how I felt.

I can see new shoes in the near future. I've managed to be injury free but some little niggles are creeping in

Here's to running on in 2015.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

2014 is nearly done...

The year is drawing to an end.

There has been so much build up to Christmas and holidays. Lots of work had to be finished off before leave could commence.
Work Christmas party number 1

We entertained homesick English visitors and tried to make the season as Christmassy as possible. I pulled together a Christmas Eve dinner and we wore paper hats and had a great time. I think they appreciated the effort and perhaps it eased the pangs slightly. The hot weather has really thrown them off balance, it doesn't seem like Christmas to them at all and it has been interesting to hear how things are different and some are the same. A cruise around looking at the Christmas lights was a highlight as well.

We enjoyed our family Christmas celebration today after a less frenetic gift exchange than we are used to, having grown up children changes the dynamic somewhat. It was lovely to have Hayley back in the fold.

long time since there were 3 kids in the back seat
 Hayley withstood the barrage of questions about her time away and entertained us all with her witty ways.
Hayley is dismayed she is officially the shortest cousin

Everyone gathered for their family shot and the big group photo taken with the timer

Where's Callum?

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And behind the scenes...

It was lovely to spend time with these goof balls.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

First week home...

Hayley has been having a lovely time reconnecting with her Australian and English friends. Surprises for some, all pleased to see her back home. She has begun job hunting fervently and has managed to spread the contents of her giant pack around the house. We've had some meals and outings and it has been really nice to hear her say 'that meal was the best'. She has been rediscovering some old favourites that she had missed or just wasn't the same. She has relearned to drive and relayed tales from her time away. She is different now and has become a bigger personality than she was before. Meeting her new friends reveals a bit more of herself to me.
Erin has had some adjusting to do too. Her position in the family has shifted back and now that they are all older it's quite different. I'm seeing Erin in a new way as well. Even Chris has been different with Hayley in the house.

I know that Hayley won't stay permanently, that there are more travels and adventures and friends to come so I am enjoying this time.

And I haven't stopped smiling.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Race report no: 30...

Today was the worst conditions we have run in. Constant rain overnight set up the course for the Sussan's Women's Fun Run as full of puddles and a muddy finish. We lined up in the rain. We ran in the rain. We went home in the rain. During the race rain constantly dripped off my hat. Despite the rain the race went really well and I did a best time of 2:18:40 a whopping 5 mins off my first attempt and blasted October's time. Our preparation was not as focused as previously, we had done a few long runs but I wasn't as stressed as last time. Mentally I had a plan and it paid off.

The girls got to the finish line a couple of minutes before me and we were all pleased with our results.

It's still raining, we are wet through but happy to be finished

Mel's husband gets the saint award as he made the effort to get to the finish line in the rain. It was her goal when she started running at the start of this year to run a half marathon by the end. I am glad that this last race of the  year meant I finished on a high.

And now I have 30 bibs in my book and a few medals on the hook.

The rain meant that the tennis club championships would have been cancelled. I haven't  had confirmation of that but if they reschedule I might be able to play after all.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Surprises at tennis...

Thursday night mixed doubles tennis went off with a bang. We won 3 sets and that was enough to bag the trophy, the 5th set didn't go ahead, we were already celebrating!

the winning team, thanks guys for a great season

I lost the first set though but came through to win my second set and was lucky enough to pull off a blindingly good shot to win the game and the set. I headed up to the clubhouse on a high and optimistic that the 4th set that was being played out could be a winner. While I was chatting and cooling off I got the surprise of my life.

 Around the corner came Lucy then Erin and THEN HAYLEY!

I let out a little scream as I was so pleased and surprised. She had come home a week early to surprise me, set up with Abi and Robbo. I couldn't let her go. We were laughing and crying and I was like,
WHAT, HOW, WHY, HOW?????? Lucy had already been surprised the night before when she landed on WEDNESDAY. Hayley didn't want to surprise me then as I had to work Thursday and wanted to be able to spend the day with me Friday. She had been home and surprised Erin and Chris and Callum. Luckily she came when I had finished playing as I would have been way too distracted to finish any tennis.
My plans for today had already changed as Big Sister had meetings and Cardio had been cancelled and this unexpected happening has been wonderful.