Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Checking in...

Life is all consuming at times. There doesn't seem to be anything startling to report but the day to day grind keeps us going.

Until this week.

I'm having a few days off, not to go anywhere exotic or to do anything spectacular but just to regroup and catch my breath.

I resent the break in activities like tennis or pilates during a school holiday break but tonight I did think it was good not to be rushing off anywhere. So I suppose I need a break too but I hadn't realised it. Yesterday was busy though with a 10 k run in the morning and then 2 hours of tennis with the girls. Sunday morning after dropping Erin and Liam at the Zoo, I set off around Prince's Park and Royal Park for an hour and clocked up 10k but my GPS went flat at the very end so it didn't save. My iPod shuffle has a really good running track to listen to when I run on my own. Hitchin' a Ride' by Greenday has the exact beat/cadence that gets me back in rhythm if I get out of step which I can do when I am running by myself.

Erin had her birthday and was beyond thrilled with her gift from her father. But can you believe it the gift was a vinyl record of her favourite group. To play on a record player. Lucky we still have a functioning one in the lounge room. In this digital itunes-y age this was an unusual request and one I had said a flat no to but he is more obliging than me, especially when it had to shipped from the USA. He is so obliging he took Erin shopping while I was at work. She had her eye on a dress at Ally and they were having 30% off. He thought she said Aldi so her took her there. Chris is the typical man shopper. No browsing allowed. Get in, purchase, get out. But he took her into the right dress shop, helped her look for the dress and asked 100 times 'is this it?'. Then he had to ask the shop assistant for assistance and made her try on the chosen dress. Difficult for both of them as he hates dress shopping and she is painfully, debilitatingly shy. But a purchase was made and they both got home unscathed. A surprising first for him and shows the difference in parenting your third child.  She is growing up in a house as the youngest child and getting more attention than the others ever enjoyed now that Hayley is far away and Callum is far away in his own way.

I am now psyching myself up for a group of her friends to come over, to celebrate her 17th birthday. I'll let you know how that goes...

Monday, June 30, 2014

Why I dont jog...

Jogging is a dangerous past time.

Sure you can get fit if you engage in regular jogging sessions. You can meet some great like-minded people who are in to fitness and a healthy lifestyle. You might even lose some weight or challenge yourself like never before. But be warned...jogging is dangerous.

Whenever you see a startling headline associated with runners and crime they are always...JOGGING.

"Joggers find body in park" (last week in Melbourne on the Tan track where I have run before)

"Jogger gets attacked" (also in Melbourne and they went on to warn women not to wear headphones while running)

"Jogger is hit by car"

"Woman is mauled by dog on her morning jog"

and recently I saw "Jogger found an abandoned baby" and "2 Joggers chased by a bear" (U. S. headlines)

I started running not jogging 3 years ago with a walk/run program, and have built up to running in 10k events and completed a half marathon last October. I love running. I still get out of breath and often procrastinate when it is cold or rainy but I still love it. The feeling when you are finished is phenomenal. But I don't like the inference that I am jogging as it seems as if you aren't trying or aren't doing it properly. I haven't seen any headlines that associate crime and running, you don't see "Runner abducted while running". The implication is joggers are slow and runners are not.
I have found the running community is very supportive and I try not to put myself in dangerous situations. I usually run with my Running Buddy, never at night and our trails are not remote at all. Traffic can be a bit hairy and I once nearly got hit by the ambulance coming out of it's driveway (I was too speedy because I was running). We also came across someone lying on the grass at our usual track on a very hot day so I stopped to see if he was OK. He was just resting while looking slightly dead.

If I was to come across a body or a baby I want the headline to read "Runner finds..."


Saturday, June 7, 2014

Haircut time...

My Friday plans were slightly adjusted and that left me with time to myself in between Cardio tennis and taking Erin to her exam. I have needed a haircut for a while but am notoriously bad at making an appointment. So I took my chances with a walk in salon at the new shopping centre. I was a little taken aback when the next available hairdresser was a man. I haven't had my hair cut by a man since Stanley was in Puckle St about 35 years ago. Not that there is anything wrong with that, its now a rarity in this area. We used to have a Tonsorial in this area who had a walk in business for men. You would wait for your turn with the barber in the old fashioned barber chair and get a $10 haircut and perhaps a shave if you wanted one. Keith retired a couple of years ago and a nice young woman took on the business.
I am very pleased with the cut. Mindo did a great job on my fine hair which is a challenge for any cutter. Even today I am happy.

Do you know of any male hairdressers for women?

Monday, May 26, 2014

Bush bashing...

After tennis again on Saturday I was pleased my running chums wanted to do something a little different on Sunday afternoon. We headed out into the nearby National Park and tried running on the trails. We set off on track and when faced with the choice of the 'Long Point track' or the 'Steep track' we took out chances with the Long rather than the Steep. That was the last sign we saw and we made what could have been a fatal mistake when assuming they were circuit tracks. No.
We ran along for a couple of kms and didn't seem to be heading around back to the start. For a long track it was very steep in places and the trail terminated at the top of a rather big hill. Instead of just turning back and running the way we came we reasoned that the trail must loop around towards the car.
The trail disappeared completely and we scrambled down another steep gully, over a creek and caught up the trail again. We laughed about the fact we hadn't really told anyone where we were running that afternoon and all 3 of us had left our phones in the car. We all had GPS Garmins on but they would be only helpful after the fact. We hadn't imagined it would be so ...... wild. And we didn't see another soul the whole time.

Running Buddy is going to go to the library to get a map of the area and we will try the other tracks that look like circuits. We ended up running about 6kms but it was challenging going up the steep bits and just as hard trying to run down them too.

We had a laugh, got sweaty and burned up some calories and didn't need rescuing so all in all a good day.

At the very beginning of the run we passed behind a property that used to belong to family friends of ours. I knew they had moved closer into town a while ago but was pleased to see children's bikes and toys around the backyard. It was nice to think a young family had moved into the home and was able to enjoy the pool, the space and bushy location.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Afternoon tea...

I've always loved to bake. I would rather make a sweet item than a savoury one and cooking a meal every night does not inspire me. I used to make a lot of biscuits and cakes but found that I was the one who ate most of it. I would then bake and take it to work to share until it became expected that I would provide the baked goodies and was questioned as to where was the cake today?
So I started to say that I was on a diet and while there is an element of truth to that I ran out of time, I was working more than not and I was enjoying running and exercising rather staying at home to bake.
Until recently, where providing some afternoon tea after our tennis competition is the go. I was asked to fill again this weekend (I am an emergency fill in and I must have been OK for them to ask me again. That or they are completely desperate). Being at 'home' means bringing a plate. And rather than plop a packet of Tim Tams on the table I have found a  renewed joy in baking. Yesterday I made a sponge filled with jam & cream and some tomato pesto savouries.


I looked with relish at my book of favourites today to see what nice thing I can make if I get asked to fill in next weekend.
I remembered a recipe that involves a can of 'pie peaches' and sour cream. Easy, quick and yum. But do you think I can buy the pie peaches now? I looked in both our supermarkets today and only the pie apple is available. That one might have to wait until I go further afield, or to Woolworths, to find some. I am soaking some mixed fruit in hot Lady Grey tea to make a fruit cake tomorrow.

I might even share at work.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

A big week for exercise...

I hadn't intended my week to be so full of activity but that's how it turned out.

First up on Monday Running Buddy asked me and a couple of our friends if we would assist her daughter in filming a step class. T is undertaking a fitness instructor course and needed to submit for assessment herself leading a step class. So we went up to the gym and followed along being the participants that she was instructing.

It was tough.


I haven't done a step class before as I am too uncoordinated for aerobics and Zumba and the like. Pilates is OK as it is a much slower pace and it is all about the stretching and strengthening.
For 2 hours we did this class and I tried to keep up. Afterwards she told her Mum we did very well and she was surprised at how fit we were, it was no ordinary step class it was the top level 'athletic' one.
I felt it the next day. My calves, thighs and upper arms all were complaining (there were many burpees involved). I was glad to do it for her but I wont be signing up for any more step classes.

By Wednesday I was glad to go to Pilates to stretch out my sore muscles.

Thursday night I played two long sets of tennis and won both. Lots of scrambling running to get the ball. Just the sort of tennis I like.

Friday morning was cardio tennis and another good workout of running and hitting.

Saturday I unexpectedly was asked to fill in for the Macedon Ranges Tennis comp and played 3 sets at the Gisborne courts between showers. That was good tennis as well and the better players didn't give any quarter for the 'fill in'. Long rallies with scrambling running ended up with 1 win and 2 losses. Our Bacchus Marsh team won by one game on the day.

While I was out in the afternoon Erin made macaroons for Mother's Day, and kind of cleaned up all the mess.

Today on Mother's Day I went up to the Mother's Day Classic at Ballarat. It was a cold morning but not too bad and we ran 12km around Lake Wendouree (twice for us). I was happy with my time on the nice flat course. There were about 3000 registered to run or walk and the Ballarat group ran a very professional event. Lots of pink and some inventive costumes coloured our morning.

 The Invictus crew had a big group in support of Sam Hatfield who has lost his mother and mother in law to cancer. I had to tape his shin splints for him before he ran. It was nice to be part of a group within the event. This is not so much a race as a collective tribute to women and families who endure breast cancer. The community feeling is wonderful to be part of. I even bumped into Sue, my Breast Care Nurse colleague.


photos from www.unravelling.com.au thanks!

While I was running a runner with a 'Super girl' cape and pink undies over her tights gave me some encouragement, it was a nice boost along the way, such is the spirit of the day. My time for the 12 k's ended up being 1:18. Looking back at the exercise I've done this week, not a bad effort.





Mother's Day has been just lovely. Time spent doing what I enjoy, time with the family and a heartfelt message from my faraway girl.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Run the Rock

Today was a lovely run in a beautiful bush setting of Hanging Rock, Woodend.

It was a cold start and as we drove over to our destination the misty mountains were pretty but a bit daunting. How cold was it going to be??


 

When we arrived at the reserve at 830 it was a balmy 7 degrees C. (It only warmed up to 9 degrees by the time we left at 11am)















We collected our race bibs and waited until the very last minute to shed our jackets. The little bit of sun was nice but not enough to take the chill off. At least it wasn't raining, it would have been really miserable if it had.
 Running Buddy found some gloves to try out while running. The salesman told her she would be fine with just a T shirt and these wonder gloves to keep her warm. She wasn't so sure at the start but she did shed them as she warmed up. Once we were running and the sun peeked through the clouds it was just fresh, not freezing. I also bought a pair of the gloves and I think the left one will be good to wear during winter night time tennis games.
 I wore my colour run socks and my Lorna Jane top and was warm after the first 2 kms, when we finished I was sweaty and got cold again.

Hanging Rock is a lovely spot and while we didn't run UP the rock we ran around the base and had some difference in opinion what constitutes undulating.

We ran the 10k in a little over an hour and were pretty pleased with ourselves. We were home by lunch time and able to get on with the normal Saturday duties.

It always feels great when you are done. Being able to run in different locations has been very motivating and I would highly recommend it.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Back to running...

Heads up: this post is about running...

Now I am back to work our routine is also back on track. This means running on Monday afternoons, Pilates on Wednesday, mixed doubles tennis on Thursday night and a cardio tennis workout on Friday mornings and then running with the group on Saturday mornings. We had an extra run on Wednesday afternoon as well this week to get ready for tomorrow's 10km run at Hanging Rock. The prep is done but I am a little concerned at the forecast Livinia warned me about tonight - cold, possible hail probably just about 10 degrees in Macedon, could be a little uncomfortable.
While I was running around the tennis court this morning my calf felt good and I thought to myself I love this feeling. Being able to run, dash around the court, reaching for shots, getting out of breath and sweaty felt really good.

I hope I feel like that tomorrow.

Monday, April 21, 2014

A week off...

My week off work turned out to be 11 lovely days of doing not much culminating in our Easter Family Picnic today.

Erin and I shopped.

I read and watched TV.

I ran pain free.

I scrapped a tonne of photos.

I stayed up late and slept in.

I pulled weeds out of the garden.

Yesterday I went to the local ANZAC march to commemorate the fallen servicemen and women from the local area.


And today we braved a cool windy day in Ballarat to have our picnic.




 We walked around the Botanical Gardens after lunch and saw the Ex POW memorial with its thousands of names, and along the Prime Ministers walk. Kevin is the last addition, we want to go back and see Julia's bust when it is installed. I just did a quick google search to find out about Julia's piece and apparently it is finished but they are being slow about installing it.

 I had to take a pic of Mercury as he is the symbol of Chris' old Signals unit and meaningful to us. The photobombers were afoot.


We also recreated a childhood photo. Big Sister is no longer the tallest, the reverse is true in fact.

And I was reminded of this photo, taken on a different trip to Ballarat,  with our adored Nana in her winter coat while we feed the swans. The swans were about today and quite aggressive, not yielding to cars or humans. Not close enough for any injuries, just memories of intimidation.


Lots of memories triggered today.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Coaching...

I was able to attend a running assessment and coaching session with Will Wragg yesterday. 6 of us gathered at Albert Park and listened to his tips. Will is a very personable young man who made a lot of sense as he talked us through some adjustments to our running technique.



I found it very valuable and tested it out this afternoon on a very muddy river track. The style was very comfortable but I found I was running quite fast and getting out of breath. I am keen to share some of the tips with Running Buddy as we both seem to fall into the same problems.

Erin came with me so we could do some shopping in Prahran afterwards and asked me why I was doing the class. My reply was that 3 years ago I wanted to run so just started running but have never been shown how to do it properly. Seems that a bit of expert tuition is a valuable thing. Will is going to send us the before and after videos he took for our reference and I am keen to see this.

Seems I need to lengthen the torso not the hunch over style I've adopted, relax the lower body, not pushing off the ground with my feet and to lean forward for momentum. Oh and a good tip about the arms. I could have read (and probably have) these tips before but to be shown and then try it and get feed back is a great learning tool.

I highly recommend it.