Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Friday, January 24, 2014

A funny conversation

I had a funny text conversation the other day:

Incoming text: How cold is it down there

Me: 44 degrees.............who is this :-)

Reply: Yr father who else

Me: Not unless he has a new number.  Plus he txts long hand & punctuates.........

Reply: Smart ass what is missy doing in the heat

I didn't reply to that & can only assume it wasn't my Mum's middle brother as that is exactly the sort of thing he would say, as I didn't receive any further texts.  That uncle wouldn't have been able to help himself & would have messaged again letting me know it was him, plus hung a bit more shit on me for being impertinent.

I guess their identity will have to remain a mystery :0)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Monday, January 20, 2014

It's Official

Having logged 709kms in 2012 & 1190kms last year I think I can officially call myself a runner!!  That's 2 solid years me thinks!

Sure there are days & runs where I still think WTF am I doing; why am I punishing myself (or my lungs) with this?  

But in the end I'm usually ready to lace up my runners & go for another run (unless it's 40+ degrees C out which is what is was here all last week!).  I've had a few dates with the treadmill in the air-conditioned gym.

The best runs are the ones out on the road that turn meditative, where I'm not chasing a time or a hill: where I can let my thoughts just drift along, or away; or allow an answer to a problem to float into my head. Where I forget I am running & I just am. 

Those are my favorite runs. Usually in the cool (or cold!) of the morning, watching the moon go down & the sun come up.

sunrise at the end of my street last week

But, without a training program & a goal to achieve, would I run as often?  Would I have run as far?  I don't think so.  The chase of a PB can be pretty powerful, be it either a better time or a further distance regardless of the time.  Ultimately we all want to do things to the best of our ability do we not?  I mean why bother if you are never going to improve I suppose.

My running is in a good place at the moment with nominal ITB pain.  Although I am seeing a sports acupuncturist for that.  I'm having a couple of weeks without a set training program at the moment before starting a 12 week 1/2 marathon plan.

The Biceps tendinitis is almost sorted - I tried something in PT last week that made it twinge, alerting me to the fact that I have to keep up with the rehab exercises & take it very very slowly in resuming anything which involves supporting my body weight using my arms (push ups, side planks etc).  Physio is out to monthly visits now.

I have 5 running goals for this year; the first I've already accomplished.

1. Run a sub 50 minute 10km race.

2.Run a half marathon without knee pain (ITB); 

3. Run the above in sub 2 hours (or at least better than 2 hours 7 minutes & 36 seconds).

4. If I can achieve 2, I'd like to have a go at a full Marathon (which I've already been stressing about & am completely shit scared of!!!)

5. Run more kms in 2014 than I did in 2013.

So wish me luck & a dose of courage to give number 4 a crack!!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Surf T Surf 10km

I started the new year with a 10km fun run in Warrnambool. I did this same event last year & wish I'd read last years race report before this years run instead of just now!  HERE

I could have had C cheering me up that last bloody hill as I was sooooo close to stopping & walking it.  Last year I was hoping to achieve a PB of under 60 minutes.  This years aim was to crack the 50 minute PB.  There were pacers again this year & I easily spotted Mr 50 minutes as I lined up in the starting chute. 

This year the conditions were not as good.  Weather forecast was for 17, 90% chance of rain, & strong west to northwesterly winds.  None of us were looking forward to it based on Saturday's weather.  Thankfully when we awoke Sunday morning the sun was out & while it was cold, there was only a light breeze.  

This year Sis & partner signed up for the run (Sis did the walk last year).  Tess & here step sister did the 6km run again.  Mum & Dad were both signed up for the walk, but Dad hurt his back that week & was in too much pain to do it, so Mum stayed home with him but they both met up with us for post run coffee/brunch afterwards.

Once again the first 2kms were fairly hard & I found it hard to stick with Mr 50 minutes; but by the 3rd km I'd over taken him & settled into my pace & didn't see him again til the 6.5km mark.

There were plenty of people out cheering us along, although less with hoses due to the cooler conditions.  I did again run at the lovely bloke around the 5km mark just before the short killer hill & cool off under his hose, as I was well & truly hot & sweaty by then.

Mr 50 minutes overtook me at the between the 6 & 7km mark & just seemed to take off.  I became quite frustrated as was seeing my goal disappear & seriously wanted to stop & walk.  That last killer hill was almost my undoing - again I almost gave up & walked with a mind set of "I'm not going to achieve my goal now so why bother" but managed to talk myself around becoming aware at the 8km mark I was only 18 seconds off pace & that I would still run a PB (previous was 51.57 in July) & that I wasn't a quitter.  As the kids had said to me, "eyes on the prize Cat, eyes on the prize"!!!

As I ran back into the CBD I spotted my sis taking a walk break (I was now back on the 6km route) & ran up behind her, slapped her on the butt & yelled out "move your arse"!  She yelled back you move yours!!  So I picked up the pace a little knowing I only had one more incline before a long downhill to the finish line.

I could no longer see Mr 50 minutes & kept with the mantra "just get to cannon hill then its all downhill" which I did & then ran as hard as I possibly could down Pertobe road to the finish line.  I was a bit out of control & had to dodge kids, prams & trees at high speed finding Mr 50 minutes jogging on the spot checking his watch in the finishing chute waiting to cross the finish line at exactly 50 minutes!!!

I flew past him & across the finish line clocking 49.27 on my own watch!  I got the PB & was bloody stoked!!!!

Official time was 49.52 (I'm guessing that was the time the gun went off til the time I crossed the finishing line) & the net 49.26 (the time I crossed the starting line to crossing the finishing line as its about the same as my watch).

I didn't see Plumbing Boy cheering me on over the finishing line, I was just focused on breathing & smashing that time!!!!  I was puffing like I hadn't trained & felt like my lungs were about to explode!!!  

It didn't take long though before I was able to breath normally & stopped & took of my timing tag.  Not finding anyone to return it to, went for water & then in search of PB.  Of course only then did I hear over the loud speakers that the timing tags were disposable this year & no need to return.  A memento I guess of the run for me to keep :-)

All in all it was a good run but I definitely need to work on my mental toughness.  Wanting to stop & walk..........shakes head.

Next stop: the Geelong 1/2 Marathon April 27th.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Monday, January 13, 2014

Hot Air Ballooning

We were super lucky to be given hot air ballooning gift vouchers for Christmas 2013.  Nothing like leaving it til the week before they expire to book in & do it.  Seriously though, we'd planned to do this for a friends 40th around 4 years ago, but the weather was inclement at the time & the flight didn't go ahead, but we couldn't re-book because she was returning to Hong Kong where she was living.  We did try to arrange the flight with the same friends as she's now residing back here, but we just couldn't make the dates work with everyone!  So we went & had our own adventure the morning of the 31st of December to close out the year in style!

It was a very early morning start having to be in the city ready for a 4.30am departure (our alarm went off at 3.40am YIKES!!).  We met our pilot & piled into our allocated 4WD for the short drive to Albert Park where we were able to help set up the balloon & watch it inflate (above).  The glow from the burner made the surrounds glow red (below)!

The process took around 30 minutes, then we climbed into our basket & were up & away!!  There were 8 of us plus our pilot.  The views over the bay (St Kilda) & across the city were spectacular!!

See the MCG below (left) AMI Park to the right & the tennis centre precinct to the bottom of the photo.  I am told that Melbourne is one of the only cities in the world where you can float right over the city.

The best of the daft selfies we took.  Sorry for the odd expressions! I checked my camera the night before & we had 1/2 battery so didn't bother to charge it.  Of course it went flat before we even took off so I was taking the shots in the air nervously on my phone.  Thankfully I didn't drop it!!

The flight lasted about an hour & we saw a beautiful sunrise.  Our pilot Tim said the conditions were absolutely perfect proved by the fact that he was taking photo's too.  

It was very quiet up in the air except when the burner came on periodically.  That was quite warm too - hence the hats - we were advised to wear them to protect our heads from the heat.

Eventually we made it to & over the Eastern Freeway to our landing spot at Yarra Bend Park & very smoothly touched down.

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this experience providing the weather was good!  Although they don't fly in bad conditions, I could imagine with a little more wind & cooler air temperatures the experience may not be as gentle.  

We helped pack up the balloon (optional) but we had fun "rolling" the balloon back up & then drove back to the city for a champagne breakfast at the Hilton to complete the experience.  Nothing like champagne at 7am!!!  Plumbing boy refrained & stuck to coffee not being a consumer of bubbles at the best of times, but hey, I thought it was a good way to finish 2013.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Christmas Wrap

I can't believe it's been a month since I did a proper post.  Well, I guess I can.  Christmas is a busy time around here.  All our staff generally go on leave & it's just me & Plumbing Boy keeping up with the incoming work.  Add to that family who seem to forget this (us having to work) every single year & expect us to be able to attend or host various gatherings & things can get a little chaotic!!!

One of our lovely customers bought in this cake for us as a Christmas thank you for our help over the past 12 months.  How adorable are they & how cool is the cake!!

I did manage to sneak away the Sunday afternoon before Christmas to head down the coast to Warrnambool to see my sister & niece, who's 14th birthday was on the 23rd.  I was able to spend the whole day & night with her as she hitched a ride back to Melbourne with me & stayed the night before her Dad collected her on Wednesday afternoon.  
I don't get to do that very often, as some times she's at her Dad's & work doesn't allow; but this year we decided to close the office & she was at home so it worked well.

She had 7 of her friends over for lunch plus my sis, her man, his daughter, myself & her Dad's mum (Nanna).  My parents were in Melbourne & came over that night so we had 2 birthday cakes that day!!  My sis, Tess & I cooked up a bit of a storm with an Italian themed lunch for her party.

Tess made her own birthday cake, the fruit kebabs, the antipasti platter & helped with the salad & sides.  She loves cooking a whole lot more than my sis does!!!  The teenagers ate themselves stupid & then had a good run around playing hide & seek on my sis's 20 acre farmlet.  At one stage there were 3 in the tray & 3 hiding in the backseat of my ute.  My sis & I were out in her veggie patch picking stuff for me to take back when we heard the giggling & then spotted the heads bobbing up & down.  Was really cool to see them all running around outside having fun rather than being glued to the TV or other technology if you know what I mean!  Or generally just being too cool for hide & seek..........

I was super slack this Christmas & didn't send out a single card or email.  But I cooked on Christmas day at home for PB, my parents, his Mum & sister in law.  Turkey, Pork & Lamb with all the trimmings + veg.  Mumsy made the Christmas pud.  

We ate ourselves into a food coma.  I was doing pretty well until I decided I was ready for desert.  After that, I had to lay flat on the floor as I was about to explode!  

MIL is no longer allowed to drive & SIL had just come out of hospital the day before so PB had to drive 45 -1hr across town to pick them up & return them.  He was rather tuckered by the time he got home!

Boxing day was spent with more family for lunch (they hosted) & we were given some French Cider.  Bloody good I must say.  Possibly the nicest cider I've ever had the pleasure of tasting.  And the label is super cool :-)

Then onto friends for dinner with Sis & tribe to test out their new swimming pool/spa/sauna.  Bliss!!!!

New Years was spent at my cousin's partners farmlet towards central Victoria.  A gathering of 10, BBQ & drinks out under the stars.  Was a lovely way to bring in the new year.

As was the early morning start that day.............PB & I went hot air ballooning!!!! You'll have to wait until next week for that post!!!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014