Thursday, May 21, 2015

Mother's Day

I had a lovely day on Mother's Day.

Unlike last year all my children are nearby and we were able to spend the day together. I was spoiled with gifts that were perfectly appropriate.. footcare for my punished feet, new slippers and a big mug for my morning cup of tea. We had a lovely high tea at our favourite cafe and overall a very nice time.

I'd had plans of making each of the children a reverse Mother's Day card and if I could have gotten into the study, found some space and inspiration I would have followed through with the idea.

What I wanted to say to each of them, in those hand made cards, on Mother's Day when the focus is on mothers is that I love them with all my heart. Whatever I do for them I do willingly. I want to see them grow and develop into happy content humans. I want them to realise their dreams knowing that I will always be there to support them. Each of them is my favourite. Each has their own uniqueness and I love them for it.

While we all have our own parenting styles and we don't do things the same or even agree what is the 'right' way but I'm going to keep on my way. I will also think of these 3 as my children even though they are adults now.

I will always be their Mumma.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

A reunion...

A dinner was arranged to gather together the women who were part of the local Nursing Mother's Group dating back some 30 years. I went along to catch up with those from my involvement 20 odd years ago.

We built our house when Callum was a baby and moved in to celebrate his first birthday just 4 weeks later. I remember that time as being a busy one. Dealing with a new baby, working part time, caring for Hayley, building the house and making regular trips up the highway to check its progress.

When we moved in we had Chris' brother Vince living with us and we set out to settle in to this country town.  We still travelled back to the city to work, I took Hayley to her Kinder for the remainder of the year and often dropped both of the children to Mum's to babysit overnight when I was working night duty. Hayley can remember stopping the car mid way home so I could close my eyes for a few minutes, the fatigue being too much to get home safely.

One of the first things I did to meet people in our new town was to attend  a Nursing Mother's meeting. I was still breast feeding Callum but not in the position to join a 'New Mums Group' and when I saw the notice in the local paper I called the Leader and pursued it.

I remember Joy picking me up and taking us all to the Coffee Morning. From there I met and made friends, the kids met and played with children that have become life long friends for them too. Soon those women became an important part of my life and I was reminded of that on Thursday night. We shared stories from that time 20 or 30 years ago and laughed about the commonality of it. Trying to cope with new babies and toddlers and learning that we were all in very similar situations.

The  group faded away and closed some years after I was no longer involved. The name changed from NMAA to Australian Breastfeeding Association to more accurately reflect its purpose so it is sad that it is not a resource for local new mums any more. Our children attended local Kindergarten and schools, and after 6 years I was able to get work locally so stopped driving down that damn highway. I made many friends in town from a few different sources but still value that first contact as an important step.

We  have gone in a lot of different directions. Many of them are grandmothers and proudly showed off photos and stories of their grandbabies. Some of them have had loss and sadness, travel and change but all have loads of proud moments with the children that caused us to all come together in the first place

It certainly triggered some memories for me, I haven't thought about that time when our children were small for a long time....I should get out the albums and remember again.

Monday, May 4, 2015

An awesome day...2 race wrap edition

It was a huge day but ultimately rewarding and punishing at the same time.

Melissa, AKA Running Buddy No:2, and I headed over to Werribee Mansion to participate in an inaugural event. The Werribee Mansion Fun Run put on by PB Events was the first of 2 challenges for us this day. The 11km course around the manicured gardens surrounding the historic homestead was beautiful and challenging. There was a section of stairs and a steep hill up to a ridge that backs onto the Werribee Zoo. Doing a 2 lap course means you know you have to do those steps and hills twice. I was pretty pleased to come 10th in my age group in a field of 176 participating in the long course. Mel was ahead of me the whole way and finished 7 minutes ahead of me. She is much younger than me!
some steps
some paths

some bridges

After post race lattes we headed home to rest up for the next challenge.

At 530pm we headed into the city to join in the Wings for Life World Run. Not great timing that the 2 events fell on the same day. I hadn't remembered signing up for Werribee and then signed up for the second run at the behest of another running friend. Running Buddy had been ill for the past 3 weeks and sensibly bowed out of the morning run favouring the bigger World Run instead.
Because it is a world run, being run simultaneously around the world our event started at 9pm Melbourne time. We had to kit out in reflective vests and headlamps for safety and it made for quite the spectacle.

The roads were closed along Beach Road and we headed out with the chaser car ready to take off after giving us a 30 minute head start.

Spectators lined the route and cheered us on which was quite unexpected. They had come out of their posh homes or sat up on their balconies and gave us encouragement. I had originally set my goal for an ambitious 15 km but then settled for 10 so was very happy to actually get to 11km before the 'catcher' car caught up to us. Once you are overtaken that is your race done. We started sprinting when the car approached but my legs couldn't keep it up for long. The mood amongst our group was high, we had done a good job. Running Buddy and I had run from Elwood to Black Rock.
the Australian female winner ran 51km!
The male winner ran an astounding 79kms.
My result is recorded as 11.15 km with an overall rank of 14594 out of a world field of 68,740. I like my category rank of 659. But then I checked my Melbourne results and my category rank is 19 and overall rank is 597, not bad stats from a field of about 2,100. I was surprised how good I felt and am really happy with my performance. In effect I ran a half marathon just with a 12 hour break in between.

After the finish things went downhill. A crammed bus ride squeezed in with other sweaty runners back to the start then another nausea inducing bus ride back to the car made me feel quite unwell. Even though we got our jackets on fairly quickly once back at the start we got cold. The only drink to have was the sponsors Red Bull which I couldn't face so I downed a can of lemonade thinking that would help but no. I had to pull over on the freeway and have a good chuck. That relief meant I could get home but what I really wanted was to be warm and dry and tucked up with a hot cup of tea.

Looking back on the day I was very happy overall, a couple of negatives did not detract from the sense of achievement I felt. We ran in a unique race where the finish line catches you, we raised money for spinal cord research and we ran for those who can't.

We don't plan to do anything quite like that again.

Friday, May 1, 2015

2 Funerals...

2 farewells this week for patients we had grown quite attached to after years of care.

2 good tributes which gave a nice reflection of their lives, not just their illnesses. We were able to share with the gathered family and friends and acknowledge our own feelings of sadness. There were nice touches of a horse drawn hearse for the old bushman and a personalised rego plate on the casket for the car mad younger man.

Unfortunately, but is the nature of this nursing, I foresee some more sadness ahead.

Monday, April 20, 2015

A new run...

Sunday was a first for me. We had entered our first City Trail run, a 12k event around the city of Melbourne.

Turned out that Running Buddy was still suffering with this flu thing and couldn't participate. So I headed into the city on my own. I haven't done an event solo for a long time.

I found a car park really close and waited in the car for the showers to pass and wait until the very last moment to throw off my jacket. The queue for the porta potty was short and I lined up in the chute shivering in my singlet knowing I would be warm once I started.

We runners felt very hard core as we set off in the cold drizzly conditions. But I know I can run in the rain now. No problem.

 Couldn't find an actual photo with  me in it but you get the idea of the conditions

We ran along The Tan, around the MCG, up and down steps of stadiums, across bridges and along the Yarra. I didn't enjoy the last trail run I did in the You Yangs but this was a bitumen and concrete trail marked with little red arrows and pink tape and despite the weather was a really great run. A few people were whingeing last night that they had gone off course but like any trail run you have to pay attention to the trail markings. I was thinking as I was running along that Running Buddy would have struggled with the unstructured style but she would have loved the event.
I was really pleased with my 1:20 time & enjoyed the whole thing. I'm sure the girls will want to do this run next year.

And I will too.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Tennis is back Pilates is not....

Congratulations to my Pilates teacher Karen on the birth of her first baby, a son named Edward. My intention to keep stretching at home has fizzled out without her direction. Kaz said she would be back soon but I hope she enjoys being at home with little Eddie for quite a while.

We had a really good game of tennis on Thursday night, we just had one week off for Easter but it felt like ages and it was really good to get back into it. A win for Paul and I (our first as a partnership) and a close loss for John and I.

Next weekend a new adventure for Running Buddy and I as we prepare for our first city trail run.

And I saw that the injured cyclist recovered to compete in National waterskiing championships and win several of her age divisions. Good recovery Lucy, well done.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Jogger witnesses cyclist hit by car...

Yep, while I was out 'jogging' I saw a girl get knocked off her bike at the roundabout. I ran over to help her and luckily she wasn't badly hurt and was more distressed about the damage to her expensive racing bike than the grazes on her arms and legs.
It was quite disconcerting to witness but was glad I was able to comfort her until her Mum came to take her and her mangled bike home.
Hopefully she is out on the road riding again soon.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Hayley moved out...

I am slowly reclaiming the house after Hayley moved out.  She found a one bedroom flat in Ascot Vale so will be close to her job in the city and her friends. The first time for her living on her own, and she is liking it already.

Amazingly it next door to a block of flats that Big Sister lived in about 35 years ago.

We packed up her small amount of furniture and belongings and helped her settle in. I am resisting the urge to take over and fix things up for her. She is now beginning to feel grown up as she organises things for herself and establishes herself as an independent person. Erin was asking what would be left for her to take when she moves out. My mind cannot comprehend that concept just yet but I reassured her that there would be just as much help for her as there has been for Hayley. For Callum too if and when he is ready to be independent.

She is such a gorgeous girl and we will miss her big presence in the house everyday. Somehow I feel differently than I did when she lived locally. This is a different feeling than when she was overseas for all that time too. This feels a bit more permanent than previous arrangements and I need to step back and appreciate the job we have done as parents to get her to this point and to recognise her part in it as well.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Run 4 the Kids 2015

A sunny warm day greeted us for what was to be my 3rd time participating in this big event. I wasn't going to do it again but it was the 10th  anniversary of the event and Melissa's first time.

We had half heartedly trained for this one knowing the hills and bridges pretty well. My race was not spectacularly good and the Bolte bridge beat me again. I am yet to conquer it and may never. It will be my nemesis from here on.

When people ask me how was the race was I say it was a great day. It wasn't a great run but I am still grateful to be able to run, grateful to be part of such an iconic event.

Monday, March 2, 2015

New shoes...

and course they are running shoes.

My Asics shoes were worn down by the 700kms I've run in them since last January. It was time to hang them in my hall of fame. Time to get more support for my pronating feet

I had an excellent day at the Running Company store in Geelong where the attentive salesgirl had me running on the treadmill first with bare feet then in my old shoes then in new shoes. Based on Claire's recommendation and video analysis I am now the proud owner of Brooks Ravenna shoes.

Many more kilometres to come.