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.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

More tennis...

Since the last big race tennis has been the centre of my attention. We had the Annual Ladies High Tea Tournament for the local hospital. 140 women came along to support the fundraiser and play some (at times very competitive) tennis. The trophies were well worth winning but Rosie and I in our first pairing together couldn't take one home. The weather was perfect and the day successful.

The next tennis outing was the semi finals on Thursday night, which we scraped through into the grand final next week. The deciding 5th set was a nail biter but we came up trumps.

Today was a fund raiser for Relay for Life. We played 4 sets in hot temperatures and what at times felt like blazing sunshine. I wanted a bit more cloud cover and the forecast storm never took the sting from the sun. I am very thankful for well applied effective sunscreen, so I feel like I beat the 36 degree day. Couldn't win the afternoon but took out a raffle prize. It was a good hit up leading up to the grand final with fun people, just the sort of day I really enjoy.

Next focus is the Sussans Womens half marathon next weekend and have my fingers crossed for good weather and a good run.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The race is done...

The City to Sea 15k is done. In the bag. All wrapped up. And I am pleased to say it was a ripper.

Not once did we grizzle when the rain did not let up.

No complaining about being cold while we waited.

And no whinging about distance, soreness or being wet.

Our throw away ponchos and op shop finds were discarded at the last minute and did a fabulous job of keeping us mostly dry. The rain decided to stop at 820am when the gun went off. The race was run under damp and overcast condition with about 9000 runners who were not put off by the weather.

For the first time in 30 races Running Buddy and I had to make a pit stop at the half way porta potties. There would be no holding on. So we paused our timers and 'used the facilities'.

The course was really nice and we all ran really well. I was very happy with the 1:34 time and feel much better about this years event. A coffee in Fitzroy St and a tram ride back to the city car park finished off a great morning. During the car ride home we analysed every km, the highlights and the amusing sights. These girls are such a boost to me and I love doing these events with them. I might even buckle and do the half marathon on 7th December. I will have to forego the tennis 'Club Championships' and the MRA Toy Run to do so. Even today's event clashed with the Eureka Stair Climb and a Color Run at Flemington. I would highly recommend doing a colour run once in your life. It's a great experience and you don't need to be physically fit to participate. The stair climb on the other hand seems very daunting and difficult.

I learned today that wet running pants are very hard to pull up in the confines of a porta loo when you are in a hurry...

Friday, November 14, 2014

City 2 sea...

This is our next event, the City2Sea and as you can see its just 1 day away. I have been looking at the forecast each day and was happy a few days ago when the bureau said it was going to be 24 degrees. But each day it has deteriorated from cloudy to showery to rain.
We did this race last year and being close to the half marathon I thought I would be easily able to pull off the 15km but I really struggled. I still find some days and distances are tough.
This year we have kept up the training so we can finish strong. It's a lovely course from the MCG down to St Kilda and a very popular event.




We have been very lucky not to have had to run in rain very often and are perhaps a bit spoiled having great conditions for our events.


90% chance of rain...in the morning...

I was thumbing through my race folder and counted up the bibs. Sunday's event will be my 30th race. That's an average of 8 per year since I started. Not what I expected when I took up running.

I just have to remember this




Saturday, November 8, 2014

Holidays are over...

Back to work this week and the 3 days have been busy. Busy catching up, busy clinically and then a forum to attend in the city on Friday.

I should have known that there would be as many 'what did you do? did you go away?' questions on my return as there were prior.

I felt like a had a long break, it didn't feel rushed and it was as productive as I wanted it to be. Sometimes I feel like making up a lie about an exotic adventure to satisfy those who are aren't satisfied with a 'nothing much' answer. I have added in a 'training for and recovering from the half marathon' answer for some who just cannot comprehend what seems to be a wasted time.

Someone at the forum said if your employer doesn't replace you while you are away then you shouldn't have to catch up on what didn't get done. If it needed to be done someone should have done it. Doesn't really work that way for me and rather than not receiving the 300 emails, it took me 3 hours to wade through and prioritise them. It will take me a couple of weeks to get back to where I was before. The forum didn't help either just gave me lots of ideas for new projects to start on...

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Not a running post...

Bored with what is on offer on the TV and having read everything in my feed reader and used up all my lives on Candy Crush I started reading back through my blog posts.

Not bad if I say so myself.

But very heavy on the running posts. Sorry about that. So to change it up a little here is a post about...tennis.

Today being a Public Holiday in Melbourne AND the last day of my leave I played tennis all day.

my new partner
Kath and I partnered up for the first time and battled the heat and the very windy conditions to play 5 sets of good tennis. We had some wins and losses and are a very even match up. It was a lot of fun. we got a second in the sweep and third in the round robin. Kath was very organised and bought us matching tops to wear so we really looked the goods. It was a lovely way to end up my holidays. 

A big shout out to my Running Buddy who celebrates her birthday today. Even though it fell on the public holiday she still had to work and be normal etc. Happiest of birthdays my friend. I hope you always feel like you crossed the finish line in first place.

AND in very exciting news, Hayley has purchased her ticket home!! She will be home for Christmas and will skip winter this year and return for an Australian baking. Much like our Nana used to do, switching between Cairns and Melbourne to avoid the cold. It will be good to have her home and be able to catch up on her news in person.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Who knew...

Who knew today would be such a good day?

Not me.

The weather was not the best...pretty grey and cool and threatening to rain.
The preparation was not the best either...a bit haphazard.

But it all fell into place at the Lara Fun Run, a race I hadn't committed to until the last registration day (Thursday). A race I have done twice before and was not really interested in repeating.



Turns out that set of circumstances produced one of the best runs I have had. Ever. I ran a PB of 58:58 for the 10km. I busted that elusive  60 min barrier. I felt really good the whole way.

Running Buddy made us laugh today as she tried out her 'selfie pole'


and I was just a bit happy with myself


It has been a week of excitements. I have been trying to catch up with Hayley's bestie from the UK. Messages back and forth haven't come to fruition so imagine my surprise when she walked into my Pilates class.

I was even happy with this snap,
we had run 6k up hills in the heat in the afternoon
 and then got bent out of shape in the class

It was almost as good as seeing Hayley herself. Abi has spent more time with Hayley while she has been in the UK and I can see why the two of them have become close.

Much happiness...

Saturday, October 18, 2014

One week later...

...I am recovering well.

I've had a 5km run,  a good stretch at Pilates, 2 sets of mixed doubles on Thursday night, a good cardio session on Friday and another 4 sets of tennis today.

Perhaps not the relaxing post half marathon recovery week but not having to work has really helped. We have had the debrief hash out about how we could do better/different next time. Yep...next time. And we have planned out the next few weeks events, the next long run being City to Sea in November (15k)

This week I also learned that Suze broke her arm when she fell at tennis last week (that's 2 for 2 now) and Emma suffered a meniscus tear. l learned my  pilates instructor is expecting her first baby. And I found out my eyesight has deteriorated some more so need glasses for long and short distance focus. I didn't need a test to know that, but snazzy new glasses to wear most of the time should take the edge off. I met up with Hayley's 'UK Abi' when she had a shift at Baby Black but work kept us from having a proper catch up.

Half way through my holidays and it has been mighty fine.