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


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.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Meerkats at the hospital...

I attended a Forum at the new Royal Children's Hospital and got to have a poke around the new 1 billion dollar facility.

It is light and airy and child friendly. It has lots of play areas for the patients and green retreat areas for the staff and families. The forum was excellent and I learned something new about blood.

I also learned about meerkats. There is an enclosure of meerkats inside the hospital and they are very cute and distracting. They are maintained by Zoo staff and we were told that they stand to attention when the helicopters land with sick children aboard. Much like Radar on MASH, they can sense the helicopter before anyone can hear them.

A lot has changed since I worked there but it is still very patient focused and a leader in paediatric care. I still have great memories of my time and my 11 years there really shaped the nurse I am today.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

First trail run...

Running Buddy & I tried something new today, a trail run.

Perhaps our first run back after an injury shouldn't have been a hilly, slippery trail but we survived without incident (except RB rolled her ankle crossing the finish line)

The setting was the You Yangs National Park and the view from the top across to Geelong was magnificent at 8am this morning but getting to the top nearly defeated me.

My calf felt great and it wasn't that that slowed me down, it was my breathing. Just a 3 week break from running made a big difference. I don't like hills anyway and the trail was uneven, rocky in  parts and covered in leaf litter & twigs in others so you couldn't zone out and get into a rhythm, you had to pay attention the whole time. I enjoyed it though. The setting was lovely, the morning was perfect and PB events do a good job organising these smaller runs. I might not do another trail run but I'm glad I did this one

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

I'm back baby...

My leg feels normal!

Hooray I say, bout bloody time.And I can hop and everything so I am going to play tennis tomorrow night. I'll be stretching, massaging and then taping plus wearing my compression sleeves just for the reassurance that nothing will go awry.

Here goes!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

The pain of not running...

Last week at Cardio Tennis I felt a sharp pain in my calf as I ran across the court. I felt it as a 'ping' and it stopped me in my tracks. I hobbled off and sadly made my way home to get some ice. An Ultrasound revealed a grade 1 tear to the unpronounceable gastrocnemius muscle.

Now it seems that when you have one of these injuries everyone you talk to has had experience with it. And everyone has their opinion on treatment and length of abstinence from activity. Of course I did the R.I.C.E. treatment and avoided H.A.R.M.(heat, alcohol, running, massage) and consulted Dr Google (sports medicine). Each day has been better and after one week of walking only I am looking to get back into my activities. I keep looking for the shortest answer when I am searching the length of time to rest.
Its similar to the drug clearance chart I see at work. This chart shows the different times it takes for a clean urine after drug use. For example for marijuana it says 1-7 days but to assume it is the longer time not the shorter one, there are lots of factors which influence the clearance - weight, frequency of use, dose etc. That is the advantage of sharing an office with the Drug & Alcohol Counsellor on a Monday ... I know things.

On Saturday for the Debut I was determined for the injury not to hamper my night out. Luckily wearing heels was less painful than having my foot flat on the floor. My dance moves were not discernibly different.

When I read or hear 1-3 or 4 or 6 weeks of rest I assume one. I want it to be one. Having to miss runs or training or getting someone to replace me is as painful as my calf.

Today was the first pain free day with walking so I am even keener to try it out with a run but  Google Physio says I should be able to hop pain free before going back to running . Tomorrow I am going to try hopping and if that is good I am going to stretch stretch stretch and try a run.

The school holidays coming up is a forced break from tennis and Pilates and if I wasn't so impatient I would hold off running til Term 2 as well but if I start back too soon I will just have pain and the doomsayers will be proved correct in their prediction of a longer recovery. I am trying to be good and to do the right thing but it's hard.

Wish me luck (& patience)

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Dear Hayley- Debut edition...

Dear Hayley,
Prepare to be bombarded with photos from Erin's deb. We missed having you in our family group on the night and we talked about you often. But the night was a fabulous success and we all had a great night.

First the preparation

Louise made the dress and I helped at the end with a little sewing, she was amazing at adapting the pattern to Erin's vague specifications, making suggestions and making Erin's little sketch into reality.

Erin followed in the family tradition of feeling faint when standing up on the table having the hem levelled and changing her mind during the making process. In the end she was thrilled with the result and it turned out just how she wanted (just like you did).

On the day we had a hair appointment, I remember you had to work at the supermarket before you had your hair done before your deb. I took photos which she reluctantly suffered.

the first bun was too skinny, so was re-done

version number 2

When we got home she still wasn't completely happy with the look so pulled a few more strands out and then did a lovely job on her makeup.

Liam arrived with his mother and sister so it was time for some more snaps

Then we went across the road to meet up with the other couples and to see them off.

They set off at about 230pm to go and have the photos and rehearsal. Erin was excited and nervous at the same time. Liam is such a nice young man.

Dad and I drove over and Callum followed on his bike so he could leave when he'd had enough

 When we got there the 6 of us were joined at the table by Liam's family of 4. They turned out to be really nice people as well and it all worked out nicely. Erin couldn't have picked a nicer partner and it made the night even better.

Mr Neal made his usual speech and Micheal Love was the MC. I wasn't in the best spot for photos of the presentation but here it is

Orange gerberas and yellow roses

 Dad made a big fuss of his dance but I'm sure he loved it, he was very proud.

 Liam did a good job, didn't stand on her feet or drop her in the lifts.

 They had fun with the informal dancing after the official part and I even had a dance or 2.
My injured calf was better with the high heels and I was able to walk normally and dance away, one with Louise, Olivia and Elizabeth, the rest with Liam's mother and sister. I complimented them on what a nice lad Liam was and of course they said similar things about Erin. He gave her a nice bracelet as a thankyou and I think he was pleased with her gift of a cuff/bangle thing.

There was no 'after party' to go to so Emma came home with us and slept over. They have been to Laura's for an 'after BBQ' today and from the noise it seemed the good times continued today. For all the grizzling some parents did about it being a 'dry ' night it all went off really well.

When I came home I got out your deb album and had a little reminisce over your photos. I will have to do a similar album for Erin and I have plenty of fodder to do so.

I hope this has not been too long or too much data for you to view. Erin now has these memories that you also have.

Love you, safe travels in the next part of your adventure, Mum

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Colour Run

I wanted to do an activity with Erin that involved some physical activity. We decided on doing a Color Run together. I have done one in the past and had loads of fun and because I knew there was no pressure on Erin to run the whole event it was perfect for us.

We picked up our packets from Albert Park on the Saturday and I should have had a clue as to how busy it was going to be on Event day but I was still astounded at the turnout. We dressed the part in our shorts and white (supplied) T-shirts and fronted up to Albert Park for some colourful fun. We trammed it to the Lake and was squashed in with hundreds of others with the same good idea. Once we got off the tram we headed straight to the start chute. Waiting for our turn to start took about 20 minutes but with about 20,000 other participants that wasn't so bad.

While waiting giveaways were thrown into the crowd. I managed to catch a frisbee but then had to carry it the rest of the day.

With so many people in the event we gave up any pretence of running and just strolled along enjoying the atmosphere and the fun, we got caught up in it, it was hard not to.

We had a good day and I loved having a day out with my girl doing something a bit different.