Sunday, April 13, 2014

Catch up from last Saturday

Gosh I'm hopeless, too many projects, too little time.  A quick catch up from last Saturday.  We went to my dear friend Sheryl's 60th birthday party.  I have known Sheryl for 27 years, she was one of the first people I met when I worked in our Geelong office when I first started.

Well the theme was Italian, everyone was to wear red, green or white.  Eh, romped that one in.  Could I possibly be the only person who owns three green coats!!!??? ha.  We got changed at my mum's being that we were shopping down in Geelong earlier in the day.  Hey, I was holding up my feet so mum could fit my green shoes in the shot.


Well Sheryl had outdone herself.  Her back yard had turned into Italy.  There were details everywhere.  Grape vines, red/white check table cloths, all the buys got these mafia style hats to wear.  Sheryl had gone to such detail.  Her water feature was entitled Fountain of Shezzi instead of Fountain of Trevi.  She had a fellow wandering around playing the piano accordian.  Oh my he had the cheesiest Italian accent ever!  (although just quietly he sounded as Aussie as you or me, Mike was talking to him during one of his breaks).    She had family pizzas delivered by the dozen, a big bain marie of lasagne and pastas.  And best ever, there was a gelato cart where we could sample eight different flavours of gelato in these tiny sized waver cones, which made you feel a little less guilty going back for seconds as they were small servings.



Birthday girl in the middle and my dear friend Kerri on the left.







And at the end of the night when the guests were leaving WE all got a gift.  There was a lucky dip in which Sheryl had put together all Italian inspired gifts, to thank us for coming.  I got a china mug with a Tuscan scene on it.  Mike got a watch with an vesper on the watch face.  Fun fun.  Good friends, good times.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Another week over

Well for me anyway, a work week that is.  I have tomorrow off where I'll be doing a run in the morning, some housework, a bit of scrapbooking and then off to CWA in the afternoon.  Need to bake some Anzac cookies as that is our mini comp this month.  I may even talk Mike into going to the pub for tea.  Hmmmm.

A perfect day off ahead if you ask me.

I did spend the first few days of this week in recuperation mode.  Nothing drastic, just a sore spot under my right knee, mainly when going down stairs.  All great now.  Last Sunday I did my ...

LONGEST ... RUN ... EVER !!!  

I set my goal to achieve 18km last Sunday and by heck I did.  I've been told if I can run 18km then I'll be able to run a half marathon with the energy and excitement and adrenalin on the day.  I'm counting on that anyway.  I'll back track a bit, as it wasn't ideal circumstances in which I ran the 18km on Sunday morning.  Saturday night Mike and I headed down to Geelong to a birthday party of a dear friend of mine.  Dress ups, fun fun fun, the whole shebang, it was terrific.  I drove home the 2 hours (Mike married well, me being the designated driver!!) and we didn't get home till 12.30am.  Wind the clock back for the end of day light saving so okay lets call it 11.30pm when we got to bed.  Knackered!

So the alarm went off Sunday morning and I opened one eye and thought, urrrgh, late night, can't I just roll over and hit the snooze.  Nine minutes later it went again.  I remember my friend Munuela once saying that the pain and agony I would put myself through NOT doing a run and beating myself up about it, would be worse than the pain of the run itself.  So I dragged myself out of bed, splashed water on my face, woke myself up and got ready.

I knew I wanted to do 18km, this would be it, this would be the top run of my half marathon training and Mike had suggested running from Mortlake to Noorat would be about 18km.  So Sunday morning about 7.30am I set out.

It's a long road for sure, cows in the paddocks for company (actually the cows ran from the fence faster than I was running, that's for sure), I ran on the side of the bitumen against the traffic and the handful of cars and trucks that came the other way were very courteous,a few toots of encouragement, and of course I jumped all the way into the gravel or grass when they went by, urrgh prickles!

And look.  Look at this!!!  2 hours 30 minutes.  I wonder if this puts me in good stead to do the half marathon in under 3 hours.  It's only another 3 kilometres right?  That's my goal, under 3 hours.  Actually my goal is merely to finish, but under 3 hours would be great.  No, not just great, but FLIPPING FANTASTIC.


The aim of Sunday's run was to run to Noorat where I would ring Mike to come pick me up to take me home.  Around about 2 hours after I left, little did I know that Mike decided to drive up to see how far I'd come.  I hadn't seen him drive past and when I got to a certain angle of the road I looked ahead and see him leaning against the car parked on the side of the road.  Got to love it, as he saw me approaching he ran across to my side of the road and held out the drink bottle!  In true race style hey?  I stopped for a bit, bemoaned that my knees were hurting and that I didn't think I could run the rest, but he told me to pull up my big girl panties and just go for it.  He knew I wouldn't be satisfied if I got that far and didn't complete the rest.  As once I hit the mount up ahead it was downhill all the way.


So then he got in his car and slowly drove a bit further up the road yelling out encouragement and parked again and snapped a few photos.  Very blurry, but yes, that Mount in the background there is Mount Shadwell on the outskirts of Mortlake.  Yep, I had run THAT FAR!  Blows my mind.


So off he went again yelling out he'd meet me at Noorat.  I tell you, running downhill into town was the best feeling.  A sleepy tiny little town, no one in the main street except for Mike cheering as I got to him.  Yay, I had done it.  "Not quite" he yelled, I had to keep going another block up the road to hit the magical 18.  I begged to differ, but I did it anyway.  He said he couldn't live with my moaning if I had only done 17.99! ha.

GRAND TOTAL 18.24km and Runkeeper gave me a nice trophy there.  Thank you Runkeeper, I live for the recognition!


So wow, what can I say, I'm very VERY lucky to have Mike as my support crew in my corner.  He's so very proud of me and what I have been achieving and he too is looking forward to the half marathon coming up.  Oh and what a guy, he even remembered to bring the chocolate milk for when I finished my run.  Yes folks, I'm enjoying a choccy milk recovery at the end of a long run, a hint given to me by an ultra-marathoner that I work with.  Yum.

So I expected to feel sore after Sunday.  And yes Sunday afternoon and evening I was walking around like a little old lady.  But I have sprung back surprisingly well apart from a little twingy knee which has completely gone now.  I was surprised.

I am still yet to tell you about the fun party we went to on the Saturday night, I'll leave that till tomorrow's post.  Fun fun fun.

Monday, March 31, 2014

A Surprise Gift

I have a group of friends.  We all met well over ten years ago when we were planning our weddings on a wedding forum.  Well our weddings came and went but a small group of us remained tight and created our own private forum.   Over the years a couple have dropped off, but our small group remains.  We check in with each other and chat almost daily.   We've been through ups and downs, highs and lows, we've been through births and deaths, tragedies and celebrations, and we've met up,a few times over the years too, despite us being from all over Australia - Victoria, NSW and Queensland.

So imagine my surprise yesterday when a huge box was delivered to me from my friends, and inside was a gift to Mike and I and a huge beautifully wrapped gift to my stepdaughter Tabby.  I can't wait to catch up with Tabby to see what they have given her.  However the gift to Mike and I had a card enclosed to "the Grandparents to be" which had written "Your first editions for Nanna and Grandpas new library for the little one!"

 



How beautiful and what wonderful friends.  I'm so lucky to have these girls in my life.  Thank you Victoria, Cheng, Polly, Penny, Kylie and Lucy.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Coming to you from Beastie Boy !

My new super sonic runs like the wind ultra quiet computer.  So quiet I told Mike it wasn't working the other day, but I'd forgotten to turn the screen on and I couldn't hear a sound out of it.  I love that I turn it on and wham it's ready at the start screen.   And the programs, super super fast on my solid state drive.  Previously I'd click on Photoshop, walk up to the kitchen, boil the kettle, make a cuppa, bring it back down here and it would be just opening.  Not any more.  I click on Photoshop and wham, there it is.  I'm signed up to the Cloud now too, so I have Lightroom which I'm totally lost in, but will be studying up some tutorials.

I did a run today, my longest run ever.  16.6 km.  I was flipping ecstatic.  I woke up this morning, thank you alarm, how on earth can a person hit snooze when I have it set up like this ...


It was still dark when I left, but I ran through town under the street lights in the FOG !!  Hoping for a lovely sunrise, was not to be, the whole just over two hours was foggy, it didn't lift.  As you can see behind me here.  This was at the just over 8km half way point, before I turned around and ran all the way back to town.  I was sodden by this stage, a combo of dampness from the fog and (what we call) liquid awesome (sweat) !!


End result... ouch.  I am slow, I will grant you that, but I ran about 95% with only a handful of short walk breaks.  I quite liked running in the fog, apart from having to remain completely vigilant for the few cars that came out of the fog to make sure they saw me running up the side of the road, but the fact you can't see all the distance in front of you, so you don't end up psyching yourself out of hills or rises, or the long long road stretching out ahead.  It was like take each step as it came.  Worked for me.


Before I go, another update on my beautiful stepdaughter.  She really is just the picture of serenity.  I am loving creating these pages for her.


Credits Designer Digitals.   Now off to bed for me.

Monday, March 17, 2014

I took on the Elephant yet again!!

So yesterday I took on the Elephant again this year.  It was the second annual Derrinallum Market to Mount Fun Run, 5km from the Football Oval on the far side of town, a lap of said oval, then up the Hamilton Highway, through the town, past the Sunday market, out to Mount Elephant and then scale that darn elephant any way you could to finish on the top of the peak.

So to set the scene, the area around here is full of old dormant volcanos.  Kind of makes you feel a sense of thrill right?  They're dormant, not extinct, they could blow at any moment!!   So just so you know (Leitchy I'm not crazy!!) but I took these photos AFTER the race had finished and I was on my way back into town.  But just showing you them here in order as I would have seen them on the run, to set the scene.

So we ran out of town and hit a head wind.  It was nasty.  All I could think of was when I turned to head to the mount it would be at my back.  No, not so, the wind turned.  Gaaaah!  I hate that.

So here's the view of the mount as we left the highway.  It doesn't particularly look like it here, but in some angles it actually does look like a big old elephant laying down.


Continuing up the slight rise dirt road almost to the base.  The gravel was nice and smooth here, not too bad at all.


Until we hit the first cutting which in the photos above you can see diagonally rises from the base on the right up towards the middle.  It is nasty scoria and some of the rocks are big.  There was no running at this point, it was one foot in front of the other just to make it to the top.  Don't worry, we knew what the track would be like, we were warned well in advance, and I did this run last year so was expecting it.  Somehow though it felt harder this year .... hmmm perhaps because I'm another year older!!


You get to the top of the scoria and have a slight reprieve where the track dips down slightly and a welcome water station, and then rises yet again, but this time it's two tyre tracks and cut hay.  It was like we were heading up to the clouds!


Closer and closer to the finish at the top, one more turn around at the top and the flags were in sight!  Yep, it was steep alright!  And funnily enough I got to the top, saw the flags and took off at a run to finish and the Rocky theme started on the headphones.  How appropriate!  I resisted the urge at the top though to jump around arms in the air like a mad woman.  All I wanted was more water!


The pain soon subsided though when the elation of having made it took over.  I was on top of the world, you could look out in all directions as far as the eye could see.  Just to the right of my head there is the township of Derrinallum where I had come from.  I look really short in this photo, now I might not be the tallest of people, but this really is an optical illusion.



So times...

Last year I did the run in 47 mins 33 seconds.
This year the official time has just been posted today ... 46 minutes 55 seconds.

I beat my time by 38 seconds and that is a win in my books!  That's all I wanted to do was beat my time.

Plus I came 45th out of 64 runners so I was happy with that placement in the field.  I definitely wasn't last (not that anything would be wrong with that).  I might add that there was (at a guess) a 70 year old man ahead of me, he was remarkable, obviously athletic.  I told him at the top I was keeping an eye on his butt the whole race.  He was delighted!




And check this crazy elevation map out from my Runkeeper.  This is nuts seeing how the 5km panned out.  Mind you the steeper the elevation, the slower my pace got until it was almost non-existent!


So after a bottle of water and a banana at the top, I started making my way down again.  This was where I slipped and fell last year, so I took more care this time round.  We were able to get down to the base of the mount where there was a bus that would shuttle us back into town.  Pffft to that, I decided to run back into town, so all up a 9km day (5km out and 4km back) back to the market where I met back up with Mike and had the best egg and bacon roll for breakfast that I swear I've ever eaten!!  Then waited for the presentations.


It was a long day yesterday, we ended up travelling through to Ocean Grove to meet up with Mike's family for a farewell lunch as his sister and family are heading overseas for a wonderful holiday.  We decided to try an Academy Award style selfie a la Ellen deGeneres.  We may not have broken Twitter, but I don't think the kitchen chair fared too well at the back! ha.



Soooooo the next race I've entered is the Half Marathon at Geelong.  40 days to go.  Gulp!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Some more baby pages

A wee little update on some baby pages.  Tab is now 24 weeks.  My goodness, this is going so quickly now.  And she really is the picture of health.  I'm still madly scrapping the photos she is sending me through.  Here's the latest baby belly page back when she was 18 weeks pregnant.  I absolutely love this pic, she looks like she's from another era and how cute is that headband too.


And they have the cot and chest of drawers now.  I was sooooo worried that when they went to collect it, if it wouldn't have been what it looked like in the photograph, or if they opened the flat pack if it had a dirty big scratch on it, or if it was flimsy and not sturdy.  But it was everything they had hoped for and more.  It's absolutely gorgeous and A has done a great job setting it up.

I quickly sent a text to Tabby and said to make sure she got pics when he was setting things up for the nursery as Mr. A definitely deserves his own page in this baby book too.



I love that Tab is excited when she sees these pages, I can't wait to get a few more and then send them off for printing, when she gets the actual page from Persnickety, it looks just soooooo incredible having something tangible for an album.  Ahh heck, I might just do one more bump page and then send off for printing anyway.  Waiting is overrated, right?

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Noorat to Terang

What fun last night.  Another great locally run event with a wonderful atmosphere.  Local runners all combined to run the 5.92 km race (sheeesh for an even number girl, that number really annoys me!!!  Why couldn't they start it 80 metres up the road, call it 6km and be done with it).  It was all very cruisey and low key, no timing chip, you got your race time on a slip of paper at the end for the certificate you would pick up.  It's all fun, run by the local Lions Club.  

I did another jump for joy at the start, don't mind the crazy eyes.  You may remember I did this last year too.  Looks like it will be an annual event.  (Mind you it took Mike about 10 goes to get this pic in focus, I was knackered by the start of the race!!)  Yes, this is a little country town, you'll notice the stone wall fences behind me.


And of course some of the fabbo girls from our Warrnambool & Surrounds 12wbt crew were there.  Sue here from the crew, and a friend from the town I live in.


And here's Jill and my dear friend Lynn who makes a regular appearance at these events on my blog.  


I'm also in a 1000 km Facebook group, which has the aim to run or walk 1000 km in 12 months.  My goal is to run it.  I'm up to 146 km for the year.  The group is all inspiring and from all over Australia, we just check in with our distances and a bit about what we've been doing.  However Adrienne here is a local girl, and we've never met.  I told her what I would be wearing and she found me.  Here's to new running friends!  Although I might say I didn't see her for dust, she took off and I was a plodder near the back of the pack.


Here's the race start, the walkers had taken off at 6.30pm and they would be using the walking track between the two towns.  The runners however got to run on the main road as the cars had been stopped.  Ready set, waiting for the starters gun, bang!  And they took off.  All except me.  I had started my Runkeeper and was fiddling trying to get my blasted phone in my Spibelt and I looked up and everyone had gone.  Mike was up a little bit waiting, waiting, waiting with the camera, wondering where the heck was I.  Then like a little red caboose I sprinted on past him with a wave and a cheer.


Here I am coming down the home straight, the finish line was in sight.  Hey you don't usually see a pic of me self-levitating, both feet off the ground, go me!


A look of sheer concentration, putting the sprint on to the end.  I had a PB to make.


Oh come on Mike, what have I told you about the bum shots!!!  There will be NO BUM SHOTS!



And winners are grinners!!!  I have no illusions, I will never make a a cracking pace, and mind you the pace did go out fast which saw me get a stitch and had to have a few walks along the way to catch my breath, ouch!   But I was extremely happy.  Last year 43:07.  This year 42:10.    Only 57 seconds faster, but I'll take that and run with it, literally!  :-)


Now I have to pay kudos to Mike, he took lots of photos last night, of friends at the start, of runners passing by, he was snapping like a wild thing, and that camera is heavy you know.  Scoop here taking a rest at the finish line!!

Seriously ... I love this man.  He's always by my side, always cheering me on.  He would have been running last night if not for his knee and ankle problem which he is working on strengthening.  He may have been a bit wistful as the runners ran by.  But I tell you he was there cheering me at the end.  


Next Fun Run is Derrinallum, Market to Mount, 5km finishing at the top of Mount Elephant ... 16 March.