Mums Who Rock – What does it take to become an Ironman Finisher?

I have recently returned from a three and a half week holiday travelling throughout the Kimberleys in Western Australia.  Lets just say I’m finding it a little tough to pick up the reins of real life again.  In my search for motivation I found the perfect story to give me a kick up the bum.  It has all the best ingredients: a strong, amazing leading lady, an impossible dream, hard work, setbacks and achieving the dream against all odds.

Without further ado I would love to introduce you to Rebecca Sheppard, Beck, who I first met way back in 2009 when we were both attending the Townsville Multiple Birth Association playgroup with a toddler and twins, dark circles under our eyes, extra baby weight and wondering when we would ever sleep or carve out any time for ourselves ever again!  I love her journey, I want to stand up and cheer for her crossing that finishing line, and I want to take my hat off to a fellow mum getting it done and making time for herself.  Beck has kindly allowed me to share her story…….

fam IM2

Beck and her family.

My ironman journey

People talk about their ironman journey and I never really appreciated this expression – until I finished one.

I am a 41 year old, mother to 3 kids (aged 9, 7 and 7) who decided 2 years ago to have a career change from a Fisheries Scientist to a full time high school teacher. While I have always been sporty and swam as a kid, I only completed my first ‘enticer’ triathlon 4 years ago, after getting fit again and loosing my baby fat. I then did the swim leg for the Cairns 70.3 and was hooked and thought I can do this myself! I bought a second hand bike and started riding, running (very badly) and swimming. In the following 2 years I completed local triathlons and two Cairns 70.3 races which I loved.

Last year I hit the big 40 at the Julia Creek dirt n dust festival…..and while being slightly intoxicated ….joked with a mate about doing an Ironman. Why not I thought? Then when I mentioned it to a friend, they laughed and told me there was no way I could train for and do an Ironman with a full time job and 3 kids.  I made the decision right then to do it. Never tell an Aries they can’t do anything! So a week after the 2015 Cairns 70.3 I signed up without telling anyone. I ‘mentioned’ it to my husband one day and while he was supportive he also told me I was insane. While I kept fit for the rest of the year, I didn’t start my ‘proper training’ until January 2016.

I didn’t employ a coach – although a friend from the surf club did my swim programs and another family friend helped with my ride and run sessions. As my husband works away a bit I had to change things up quite often and do lots of sessions with the kids in tow. Generally I trained every morning – up at 4am – so I could be home by 615am – to do the morning school, lunch, drop off rush – and get myself to school by 8am. Afternoon sessions were a bit ad-hoc and fit around the kids activities. I swam when they did swimming lessons, I ran around the footy field while Nate trained and the kids rode beside me on their scooters along the strand or around the block. Weekend sessions were the longer ones – sometimes up at 3am to be able to fit a 5-6 hour ride in AND be home for the football games, dance lessons or lifesaving patrol. The rest of the weekend was spent preparing meals for the following week, school work and marking, nippers, surf patrol and the never ending washing and cleaning.

The first 4 months training were good as the sessions weren’t really (really) long and I got into a routine with work, family and home. It was still hectic and tiring and I felt like a juggler (an angry, tired juggler), but I managed. I had cut out alcohol and processed sugar and physically was feeling strong. Running has always been my nemesis and something I have never comfortable doing – or good at doing – so being able to run 20km comfortably on a Sunday morning helped both physically and mentally. Which is why rolling my ankle and then developing plantar fasciitis in the other foot was such a big kick in the guts (and head). I did everything I could to help – physio, podiatrist, sports doctors, massage, drugs…… but nothing seemed to work.

I felt defeated – I had put so much effort, time and training in for so long and felt like it was all for nothing. Mentally I was a mess and ready to give up. Luckily I have some amazing friends who I could talk to, draw inspiration and reality from. Maurice from Skilful Thinking shared a saying with me that stuck with me through to race day….“Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional”. I needed to stop making myself suffer for a silly mistake (running in dark without a torch) and focus on what I could do. For the last 2 months of my training I was limited to water running and very short runs…..but could still ride and swim. So that’s what I did.

Leading up to race day was not as relaxing as I would’ve hoped as we were in the middle of exams and marking. I only had one day off – which was spent packing the car and driving with the 3 kids to Cairns. Once in Cairns I started to relax as my hubby was there as well as my mum. The day before was relatively quiet after making sure I was organised with nutrition, race bags, special needs and equipment! I did however spend some time reflecting on why I was doing an Ironman after a friend shared his ‘why’. As I had never raced/trained/exercised for more than 6 hours, I was unsure why I needed to do this…..but I took the time to think about it anyway.

These are my “WHY’s”.

  1. It is for me. Selfish – yes, but once you have kids nothing is ever about just you. But the training part of this race is. It’s to show myself I can be an independent, amazing and determined woman who can do anything.
  2. It is for my kids. To show them no matter what you want to do or how hard or stupid it may seem, you can do it. And you never give up. Never.
  3. Is for all the busy, tired working mums who are exhausted, overweight, depressed, under-valued and who feel worthless at times. I know how you feel because I WAS that mum. It’s to show you that you are and can be so much more.
  4. Is for all my friends, family, colleagues, neighbours and random people who support, train, wake up at 3am, lend a hand, babysit, cheer, encourage, smile and wave…..it’s for you that I will keep going when I want to stop…. because you helped me when you didn’t need to or expect anything in return. I’m not going to let you down.

Race day

The ocean was a bit wild and rough, but as a good swimmer, I didn’t mind at all. My goal was to do the 3.8kms in 1 hour.

swim IM

My first lap was good however my second lap was a bit slower as I got stuck in ironman ‘traffic’. It had also got choppier by then as a storm came in. I felt great as I ran up the beach and looked at my watch and read 1:00:20. Transition went smoothly and I was on the bike. The roads were wet so I took it fairly steady.

At the 29km mark I felt the dreaded lump in my rear tyre. A flat! In my 6 months of training….averaging 250kms a week – I never once got a flat. So I managed to get the rear wheel off, pull out the glass and put a new tube in. This took me about 15 mins and then another 5 mins to get the wheel back on. 1 km down the road and it was flat again. I quickly worked out I hadn’t put the tube in very well (got a pinch flat) so I took a little more care and changed it again. For some reason I was ok with this and wasn’t too stressed. I got back on the bike and got another 100kms on the bike and was feeling good. Then the worst happened – just outside Port Douglas – a third flat. With no tubes or gas left I had a bit of a cry and thought this was it. All over! 6 months for nothing. This is when my values, my ‘why’ and my mental strength helped. All I could think of was the reasons for doing an Ironman and my kids standing on the esplanade with their homemade signs, pom poms, bells and face paint waiting for me. I had dragged them to physios, chiros, pools and running tracks over the last 6 months……and for what? It couldn’t be for nothing. I had made them believe they (and I) could do anything they wanted. I looked at the time and worked out I had 4 hours to get back. Could I walk my bike back in that time? I was willing to try. Thankfully it didn’t come to that as an event person rode by and stopped. He didn’t have any spare tubes but he rode into Port Douglas to get one for me. In this time I turned my watch off – I just wanted to finish. 20 mins later and I was back on the road….fingers crossed that I wouldn’t get another!!!

The head wind and rain along the coast was full on but as long as my tyre was up I was happy! My friend Nat was still waiting for me at Yorkeys Knob (I was an hour behind my predicted time) and she drove beside me cheering, yelling at me and encouraging me. Riding along the esplanade and seeing my kids, husband and mum waiting was amazing.

I took the time in transition and strapped my dodgy foot before the run, took a nurofen and started. My good friend and training partner Trevor had said to me, once you get off the bike and start that run – you are an Ironman. That was forefront in my mind. Nothing was going to stop me. My plan was to run between each aid station (2-3kms) and walk through the aid station (while drinking and eating…..the flat coke was amazing!). The first time I saw the kids, my friends and the crowds was incredible. I felt fantastic and couldn’t stop smiling. I can’t remember thinking about much on the run…..but I loved every kilometre. As I had stopped my watch I honestly had no idea what pace I was doing (nor did I care) or what time it was – I just had to finish. The final 3 km were fantastic and having my friends and family there as I crossed the line will be something I will never forget. I crossed the line at 12:58 and can honestly say I loved every minute.

ironman finish (3)

3.8km swim, 180km bike, 42.2km run……BAM, that is how an Ironman is born.

Was it the hardest thing I had ever done: YES!

Was the training and preparation physically, mentally and emotionally exhausting: YES!

Did I finally understand why they call it a journey and not just a race: YOU BET.

Will I do it again: HELL YES!!! Sign me up for next year baby!

My Top Tips for Exercising with Kids

For those of you that may be thinking of exercising with your kids but don’t know where to start, this is a post for you.  As I have mentioned here and here, kids can struggle to meet the minimum requirements for physical activity as recommended by the American Council of Sports Medicine (ACSM), especially as they head toward their teen years.  Current guidelines are as follows:

  • Children and adolescents should accumulate a minimum of 60 minutes of physical activity daily as part of transportation, physical education, sport, free play and planned exercise. The activities should be a combination of moderate and vigorous intensity. Moderate intensity is defined as activity that increases breathing, sweating, and heart rate and vigorous intensity substantially increases breathing, sweating, and heart rate.
  • Sedentary activity is a strong contributor to overweight and low physical fitness. Sedentary activities such as television viewing, computer and telephone use, and inactive video games should be limited to < 2 hours per day.

While my kids are pretty active, I know I can be guilty of leaving them on technology for >2 hours per day especially on weekends.  Progress not perfection.  I believe that the first part of the equation is teaching our children to value and enjoy exercise and this is one of the most beneficial things that we can do as a parent, coach or trainer.  Here are my top tips for exercising with children.

  1.  Monkey See Monkey Do – Exercise in front of them.

We can try and teach our kids healthy habits in many ways but at the end of the day they will be watching and learning from the habits of those closest to them. Typically, most of us will head off to the gym or out the door for a run or ride on our own and sometimes the kids don’t get to see us actually exercise.  Trust me, I am all for a bit of time out while exercising but I also think it is important for them to see us huffing and puffing, sweating, and finding it difficult too.  This may mean taking them to the park and doing your workout while they play, taking them for a jog/walk in the pram, letting them scoot or ride beside you while you run, using attachments for bikes to take them along for a ride, or simply putting on a fitness DVD at home while they play.  More often then not I bet they join in.

2.  Variety is the Spice of Life

Mix it up, keep them interested.  Exercise doesn’t always have to mean running 4km, doing lap after lap in the pool, or just training with your sporting teams.  Although all of these activities definitely have a place, participating in a range of different movements has many benefits for kids.  These can include reducing the risk of overuse injuries and providing opportunity to develop a large range of movement skills, therefore increasing their confidence and the likelihood that they will continue to exercise long into the future.  Research shows that children who do not develop these
skills early in life may be less likely to meet or exceed recommendations for daily physical
activity later in life.  So get busy moving with your little ones.  Check out my earlier post on 7 Ways to get the Kids Active and Outdoors for some inspiration, or if you are stuck indoors (because it is nearly 50 degrees celsius outside as in Pannawonica at the moment), one of my children’s favourite games is ‘Just Dance’.  I have attached a YouTube link so you can see what’s involved but you can follow this link to purchase, it even comes as a smart phone app.  Just quietly, it is hilarious watching your kids playing when they don’t know you are looking.  I love it because they drop the ‘too cool’ facade and just boogie!!

You got up and gave it a go didn’t you??  Go on admit it….

3.  Watch out for Overheating

Be mindful that children have a large surface area of skin when compared to their little bodies, as such they are more exposed to heat and are also less efficient at cooling the body down when it does heat up.  Basically, this means try to avoid exercising during the hottest parts of the day, make sure they keep up the fluid intake not just during exercise but also in the lead up to physical activity, they will need more frequent breaks when it is hot, and keep an eye out for signs and symptoms of overheating.  You can read more about it here.

4.  Exercise as a Family – What is good for one is good for all…

Some of our favourite moments have come from being active as a family.

Just get out there and be active.

5.  Strength Training is OK

There is a lot of misconception surrounding strength training and kids but the research supports that it is safe and beneficial when performed correctly.  I found a great article that busts common myths and misconceptions surrounding children and strength training and you can check it out at this link.  My recommendations for introducing kids to strength training are as follows:

  • For the most part, body weight exercises are the perfect introduction to strength training and with all the variations you should be entertained for a long while.
  • Don’t expect perfect technique straight up, it takes time and repetition to develop new skills.  I find that I give them the basics and try not to pick at them the whole session.  As long as they are not unsafe I will cut them a bit of slack, especially in the first few sessions of a new program.
  • Stay with the same program for at least 4-6 weeks.
  • If at all unsure pay for an Exercise Physiologist or qualified health professional to design a program for your family.  You can have peace of mind from anywhere between $60-$120 depending on who you approach.  You may even be able to claim these sessions back through health insurance.
  • Technique, technique, technique.  Children need to master good technique and good body awareness before they even start thinking about introducing weights.
  • Should you decide to introduce weights to a program keep it simple.  Make sure you are very confident in the person instructing your children and the focus must always be on good technique.

Surprisingly kids love boot camp sessions.  We have recently started family boot camp sessions and apart from a couple of spots of whinging here and there, my kids are more than happy to work out .  I think they also know not to waste time trying to get out of it as it doesn’t work with me!  We keep these sessions short and sharp, usually all finished in 30 minutes from start to finish.  Crank out some great tunes and happy days!

6.  It does not always have to be fun.

Shock, horror, I know.  Nearly every article I read is about making sure exercise is fun for kids, blah, blah, blah.  It does have to be enjoyable but that is not where our jobs stop.  I think that if we set kids up with the expectation that exercise and physical activity is always fun I believe we are setting them up for failure.  Instead we should be encouraging them to find the satisfaction and joy in completing something difficult and teaching them how to deal with situations when the going gets tough.

Not everyone will agree with me and that’s OK. Not everyone will understand why I do crazy things such as 4km fun runs with my kids (and expect them to actually try and run it all) or complete boot camp sessions as a family and I am OK with that too.  For me it is simple, how can I possibly ignore four years of university training, nearly 15 years of working in the health industry, a multitude of research articles and my own experience with exercise, when it tells me that staying active is one definite way to increase our chances of living a full and healthy life.  Time will tell, but I am enjoying the journey in the meantime!

 

 

Here, There, and Everywhere

Hello my poor, neglected blog and hello to anyone out there still following along.  I feel like I have been here, there, and everywhere this hitlist with nothing going to plan.  Looking back over the last few months I actually have travelled some miles.  I have been to Perth three times, which is 4 hours driving and 4 hours flying each return trip, I have been to Bali which should have been for a week but ended up being two weeks away due to volcanic ash playing havoc with flight plans, and we snuck in a trip to Karijini National Park which is 10hrs driving to make the return trip from Pannawonica, all in the space of three months.  Phew…..it is time to slow down a little and take a breath.  I honestly didn’t know where to start after not posting for so long, therefore I decided to review my current hitlist and see where I am at with it.

Bahaha what a mess!!

Bahaha what a mess!!

Well, I did complete a ride past the Boot Tree while participating in the Tour de Panna, and I hiked up Tank Hill and walked the Yaburara Trail in Karratha which you can read about here.  Unfortunately I didn’t end up running in the Pannawonica City to Surf due to a change in dates, but was still able to use that goal for training purposes.  Hiking Mt Batur in Bali was fantastic and Yoga in Ubud was also ticked off the list.  I will be writing a post about our trip to Bali and all the great things to do there.  Due to circumstances and life I had to make a few changes to some items on the hitlist.  Visiting Karijini was definitely on my WA bucketlist and when the opportunity presented itself we jumped at the chance and  I can’t wait to catch up on the blog post for that adventure.  Obviously that meant we bumped the trip to Python’s Pool but it is not forgotten.  The other change was swapping the MTB ride to Pannawonica Hill for the kids, to organising the Great Aussie Camp Out.  The kids had a lot of fun on the camp out and you can read all about it here.

That only leaves two items on the current hitlist.  I have to admit to a fail on the new recipe front, I figure its enough that I am actually feeding my kids at all at the moment, right?  The final item on the hitlist is definitely still on my radar and I want to lock in a new challenge by the end of the year.  There are a few options to explore but I can’t decide which one to commit to.  Decisions, decisions.

On the blog front I am making a dedicated effort to write at least one post a week until the end of the year so I will see you with another post soon!

Tour de Panna

It has been a while since I have done a longer bike ride and I have never actually done a road ride.  So when the Tour de Panna rolled around of course I had to sign up and give it a go.  This race is an annual event in Pannawonica and is a chance to see the spectacular scenery in all its glory.  It is a very laid back event, everyone meets at 5am in the morning to load the bikes before a bus drops all the riders at the intersection of the Pannawonica turnoff and the North West Coastal highway.  It is 46km from town and it feels like you have been dropped out in the middle of nowhere.  With very little pomp and ceremony we were underway, here are some pictures to tell the story.

And that’s it all done.  Up at 4.30am, just over 2hrs to complete the ride and back home relaxing by 9am.  Not a bad way to start a Sunday morning!

Climbing an Active Volcano in Bali

Once a year, my two sisters, Mum and I, try and catch up for a girls weekend away.  We try and scratch out the time and money so we can catch up, reconnect, and often have some much needed down time.  Our first trip was to celebrate my Mum’s 50th birthday and we went to Bangkok, Thailand.

 

Over the years, between having kids, moving, living life, we haven’t always managed an exclusive girls trip each year, but we have had memorable trips to the Gold Coast, Palm Cove, Emu Park, and New Zealand.  This year my mum is turning 60 and my little sister turns 30 so we decided it was time for another overseas trip.  Sale fares cropped up for Bali and we spontaneously decided to book the trip well in advance.  This gave me plenty of time to research what trails, hikes, or special attractions that I would like to attempt while staying in Bali.

As you can probably guess if you have been following my blog, I love a good mountain climb, so not surprisingly Mt Batur Sunrise Trek caught my attention.  Trip Advisor had some great reviews of this hike and as it was a 4 hour return trip it wouldn’t take up too much time.  Let’s be honest those wonderful foot massages, cocktails by the pool, not to mention the shopping were all vying for my attention as well!

I managed to convince my little sister to come with me and our trip started with a 2.30am pick up from our Villa just outside of Ubud.  Yes, 2.30 AM pick up, arrrgghh what was I thinking?  It took about 30 minutes driving to arrive at the meeting point in the Kintamani National Park complex where we had a small breakfast of banana crepe and tea or coffee.  We were quickly ushered back into the car for a further 20 minutes before arriving at the base of Mt Batur.  As it was August, it was peak tourism season and the day we hiked there was upwards of 450 people on the mountain.  At just over 1700m above sea level, Mt Batur is not a big mountain so this is a lot of people to have on it at one time.  I have to admit I am really not a fan of hiking with this many people.  There was a lot of waiting before we started and there was a bit of stop and starting during the trek as well.

Before I left Australia, I had been talking to another couple who had just returned from Bali and had completed the Mt Batur trek.  Their advice was to take a head light which left your hands free for the steep part of the track, take a warm jacket for the summit, and they also warned that there were no toilets along the way.  I don’t know about you, but after breakfast, coffee and an early start, my bladder was becoming very demanding.  It was still early in the piece and easy walking, but I was remembering that there were no toilets along the way and we still had 3 more hours of hiking plus waiting time on the top of the mountain.  I figured that I would not be able to enjoy the rest of the trek if I didn’t sneak off for a toilet break under the cover of darkness.  My tips for taking the sneaky, stealth pee: Don’t forget to turn your headlight off;  Try and find a spot that the moonlight won’t reflect off your white backside; And finally, just try to forget that there are 450+ people walking around you and that your face isn’t glowing red in mortification.

For the most part it was quite an easy hike, only the last 45 minutes or so was quite steep.  There are plenty of breaks and due the number of people hiking single file the pace is very steady, therefore achievable for most people with moderate fitness.  It was a lovely clear morning when we started out, it was dark but the stars and moon were bright and there was that lovely morning crispness to the air that I love.  Once we started moving it was a pretty cool sight to see all the twinkling spots of torchlight winding up the mountain.  Now the one thing I had been looking forward to since i woke up at a ridiculous time that morning was a spectacular sunrise.  We reached the top with a little time to spare and sat there shivering in our sweaty shirts, lucky we had a jacket, but I would recommend a dry shirt to change into.  As the sun started to rise, we started to catch glimpses of the view that we had climbed to see, all bathed in a beautiful deep red/orange sky and then tragedy struck in the form of heavy clouds rolling across the mountain……NOOOOOO! Get a load of our eagerly awaited sunrise view……

IMG_2511

Sunrise selfie.  Yep, not too impressed with our sunrise. Haha suckers!!

While the fog was this thick we were seriously doubting whether this trip was worth it.  But then the sun started to rise and the clouds started to clear…..

Looking down at the blackened land, cooled lava from an eruption in 1963 that destroyed a village, was a stark reminder that we had just climbed an active volcano!  In fact it is Bali’s most active volcano with mild eruptions every 10-15 years.  It did make me pause slightly when I did some research prior to the hike that the last eruption was in 2000 and Mt Ruang, in nearby Java, was on the boil.    Our boiled eggs for breakfast had been cooked in the steam from the volcano.  We were standing on a bloody volcano!  C’mon it was a little cool.

It was a pretty great experience and my sister and I were both happy that we did it.  We ended up descending a different path than we climbed.  It was a nice easy walk down, but I would have liked to see the path we had clambered up in the dark.  Oh well, it was not a bad view on the way down regardless.

While this trek is a very commercial enterprise and you could quite easily do it without a guide, I was happy to pay the fee as it creates a lot of employment for locals and I was hopeful that I was paying for their knowledge on the status of this active volcano I was climbing.  The views as we drove back to our accommodation were spectacular and all in all I was really happy with the whole experience and will cross this one off the hitlist!

Hitlist Number 4

I love developing a new hitlist.  There is just something about sitting down and having a look at what can be explored close to home or opportunities for when you are on holiday.  It’s a chance to make plans to do all those things that you want to have a go at but never get around to.  I also love that it really gives me something to look forward to and keeps me focused.  Anyway, you get the picture….I love a new hitlist!  Want to see what I am getting up to in the latest hitlist?

Hitlist 4

To be honest I am still a little lost in regard to my next big training goal and until something really grabs me I am going to enjoy the little challenges.  I am also starting a new job as the Youth Recreation Officer here in the Shire of Ashburton, hopefully shaping the kids of Pannawonica to enjoy healthy, active, and creative lifestyles.  I am very excited to accept this role and can you imagine the fun I am going to have with these children??  Hehehe, they don’t know what they are in for……

Hitlist Number 3 – The Wrap Up

Have a look back over your last 12 weeks…..are you happy with what you have achieved?  Or are you still doing the same things, going to the same places, and achieving the same old results?  Sometimes it is enough that we make it through the week, but occasionally I want to try something different and feel like I am still progressing in some way and not just stuck on the treadmill of life.  I’m not talking about earth shattering achievements either.  It may be that you finally stopped in to checkout the short trail and lookout that you pass on the way home from work every day, or that you started jogging again, or simply signed up for the gym for the first time.  Those little deviations from the normal create momentum and opportunity for even bigger achievements.

A quick look back over my last 12 weeks or so and I have been able to complete most of Hitlist No.3.  Doing a little happy dance…..

Hitlist 3.2

1.  Completed the Panna 8 Week Body Fat Challenge – Didn’t quite lose the 5kg that I wanted but that is still a work in progress.

2.  I did find myself a fantastic training partner just by putting a request on a noticeboard.  Take a risk, ask your friends, ask another parent at school, or place a note on the noticeboard at your gym,  ask whether anyone wants to train together.  It is one of the easiest ways to help yourself reach your health goals.

3.  Completed all the different classes on the Panna Gym Timetable – happened to try them all in one week just for fun!  Keep trying new things you never know where it may lead you.

4.  Swim 2km.  Yep, did that even though it was a cold week that week (21 degrees in the water).  Quite chuffed that I can still swim 2km without too many problems, even managed 10 x 50m on the minute, alternating freestyle, backstroke, and breastroke.

Pool

5.  Completed the Mothers Day Classic 4km Family Fun Run – what a great challenge that was.

6.  Really proud to say that we managed to train at least twice a week for over 10 weeks.  Not always smooth sailing but definitely worth the effort.  You can read about it in this post.

7.  Kayak and Snorkel the Coral Bay Kayak Trail – I did kayak and snorkel in Coral Bay and it was stunning….I may not have completed the whole 2km of the official kayak trail.  Details, details.

8.  MTB to Pannawonica Hill was definitely completed and even did it again and dragged my training partner along just to be sure!  Great ride.

9.  Completed the Foundations of Technology for Healthy Living via the University of Tasmania.  This was actually quite an interesting course and the following bits of information were things that stood out for me:

 

Physical Activity
Sitting
10.  Clean up the diet and try some new recipes.  Our diet on the whole has improved but I have to admit that I did not get around to trying as many new recipes as I wanted to so I may need to carry this one over to the next one!
Another Hitlist bites the dust, now the fun part….choosing more challenges to place on the next one!  Any suggestions please let me know in the comments or over on Facebook. 

Mothers Day Classic 4km Family Fun Run

As I mentioned previously, this event was merely the icing on the cake on our journey to run 4km as a family.  All the work, the pride, the satisfaction came from training together twice a week, sometimes three times a week, in the lead up to the Mothers Day Classic.  By the time the actual day rolled around it was all about celebrating a job well done.  We decided to make a weekend of it and booked a unit in Dampier, near the beach, where we had a relaxing couple of days playing at the beach, park, and enjoying a dinner out.  The other important part of the weekend was raising awareness and funds for Breast Cancer research.  A big thank you to our family and friends who sponsored Team Campbell and all our efforts. I will let the photos tell the story of our day at the Mothers Day Classic 4km Family Fun Run.

It was a great event to participate in, and it may become a Campbell family tradition.  The husband has been a little forgotten in all this, but his story is also pretty impressive.  My husband would be the first to tell you that he is not the most athletic person but he was quite keen to sign up for this family challenge.  Hubby has never run 4km without stopping…..ever.  The first time he did this was at this event, with three of his boys, holding hands as they crossed the finish line.  Mr Exercise Hitlist was a little emotional, quite chuffed, and it is a moment that he will cherish for a long time to come.  Mission accomplished I say.  Another special mention must go to my eldest child, 8 yrs old, who managed to complete the whole course without stopping.  He wasn’t fast but he stuck to his game plan and just kept plugging away.  This is harder than it looks in this type of event, as there are people everywhere so it is hard to keep a steady pace as you try and weave in and around people.  There were also a lot of children in the event, which was fantastic, but most kids would walk a little, and sprint or jog a little, then walk again.  My younger kids found that hard as they wanted to walk when the others were walking even though they had run much further in training!  They all did a fantastic job, but especially the eldest who was probably one of the only kids to run the whole distance!!  I am beyond proud of my little family.

After returning home from our weekend I asked the kids and hubby what they thought about training, running in this event, and whether they would do it again.

B1 (8yr old) – What did you like the best about training?  Icy poles at the end.  Favourite training moment? When you and I ran that whole 3km.  Did you feel like you could run 4km without stopping at the start?  No way! It was really hard at the start.  What did you feel like when you finished the 4km on race day?  I was really proud of myself, it felt good.  I also felt like I was saving lives.  Would you do it again?  Maybe, not for a while.  I would rather train for a bike race.

B2 (7yr old) – What did you like best about training?  Icy poles.  Favourite training moment?  When we did that really good run all the way to the pool and then we got to have a swim.  What did you feel like when you first started running? I didn’t like it.  My legs hurt and it was hard.   Did it get easier? Yes!  Some days it was awesome.  What did you feel like when you finished the race? Awesome.  Would you do it again??  Yes.

I found this drawing B2 had drawn a few days after the race....I think he had fun right?

I found this drawing a few days after the race….I think he had fun right?  B2 is the one right at the top yelling ‘Weeeee….’

B3 (7yr old) –  What did you like best about training?  Icy poles.  Favourite training moment?  The days off.  What about the 3.5km run?  That was good.  When I ran the 3.5km, I felt like I could keep running and running.  What did you feel like when you first started running?  Sore after the run.  What did you feel like when you finished the race?  Good.  When prompted for something other than ‘good’? I liked that we all ran together.  Would you do it again?  Not really.  I want to do a bike race.

B4 (5yr old) – What did you like best about training?  Icy poles.  Favourite training moment?  When I sucked it up and ran all the way to the shed which was the longest run.  (Just over 2km)  What did you feel like when you first started running?  I didn’t feel like I could do it but I could.  What did you feel like when you finished the race?  Good.  It was my first time to do a race.  Would you do it again? Yes.

Hubby – What did you like best about training?  Icy poles.  Loved the occasional cheer squads from the locals.  The guys waiting for the bus to go to work, and the more sane locals who were sitting outside having a beer.  Also loved the ticker shown by B1, and B3 when they did their breakthrough runs.  It was hard work though and some days I really didn’t feel like doing it.  Favourite training moment?  It was a training run with Team Rangas, which started out shocking, but then they kicked into gear and ended up putting me through my paces.  What did you feel like when you first started running?  I doubted whether I could do it, I wondered whether my knees could do it.  I thought surely this is just a phase and Beth will give it up.  I was surprised when it got easier.  What did you feel like when you finished the race?  I was a bit emotional, I was proud of myself.  I was blowing out holding hands with my boys as we crossed the finish line.  I was really proud of the twins for digging deep, as we mixed up where the finish line was.  They thought we were done but then had to find something extra to run the extra 500m to the actual finish line.  I was really impressed that the eldest finished without stopping, thought he would be the first to stop given the attitude at the start of the race.  Would you do it again?  Yeah I would.  I would love to do a team event with the family.

Me – What did I like the most about the training?  I love the excited chatter when we got home from a run, when they would chat about how far they ran before stopping, how awesome so and so was today, what we should try next time.  All while sucking on their icy poles.  I think this is really why everyone loved the icy poles!!  What was my favourite training moment?  It still has to be the D-Man running the 3.5km, it just clicked that night, he ran so comfortably.  He was just buzzing, and I swear he would have run the loop again if I let him.  Proud mumma moment.  In saying that, all my boys had runs that just made me proud!  What did you feel like when we first started running?  I felt like this was going to be the longest 10 weeks of my life and it would be a miracle if I didn’t have a mass mutiny.  There was a lot of ‘Sometimes things are hard, and it hurts, but you just have to find a way to get it done’, ‘Suck it up princess’, and ‘We just have to get the job done tonight boys’.  There were a lot of runs where I was really proud of them because they gave up at some point, felt like it was too hard, but then managed to regroup and finish off strongly.  What did I feel like when I finished the race?  I stayed with my youngest during the race and he didn’t have the greatest run.  He was a crook with a small cough and a little overwhelmed by it all, so during the race I actually felt a little underwhelmed and not sure I had met my expectations of race day.  Looking back at it all, it was all that I needed it to be and a great family bonding experience.  My youngest wore his medallion for all of the next week, to school and everywhere.  He would have worn it to bed if he could.  Would you do it again?  Absolutely!

Stay tuned for our next adventure, looks like they are all on board to try something else!

Riding to Pannawonica Hill

When we moved to Pannawonica, the most well known landmark that cropped up was Pannawonica Hill.  Apparently, the township’s name was actually derived from nearby Pannawonica Hill.  According to Wikipedia the hill was named by a surveyor in 1885 after the corresponding Aboriginal placename which is said to mean “the hill that came from the sea”. The traditional legend is that two local Aboriginal tribes were arguing over the ownership of the hill which was located by the sea. The sea spirit decided to resolve the dispute by moving the hill inland. As the hill was dragged over the land it left a deep indentation which became the Robe River.   With such cultural and historical relevance to the town it had to go on my Hitlist, and in the wet season it was a good place for a swim too.

Last week the family and I took the 4WD out to Panna Hill to check it out and go for a quick swim.  We had recently had a little rain so there was some nice mud puddles to drive through which kept the boys happy and the river was quite full as well so it was great for swimming.  I was happy to discover that the drive out was under 10km so this hitlist item would not be a difficult one to complete!

Due to the fact that we are in a remote location and I didn’t really want to get up close and personal with any of the local snakes while on my own, I decided that the hubby would drive the kids out for a swim and kayak while I rode out.  That way he could scare off all the snakes along the way and would be looking out for me if I had a stack or pulled up with a flat tyre.  Win, win.  While I had driven out the week before there is something different about coming across Pannawonica Hill under your own steam, it really is quite….beautiful? spiritual? Quite something that’s for sure and it was a great ride there and back.

So there you have it, mountain bike ride to Pannawonica Hill crossed of my current hitlist.  Quite an easy and scenic 15km return trip from Pannawonica.

Why not explore your own backyard in as many different ways as possible, you will experience a different perspective each and every time!

 

 

Weigh Ins and Workouts – Week 6

Just a very brief update on my Week 6 weigh in results as you can read all about my week in workouts in this post on Rockin’ the Timetable.  The lessons learnt from this week include the reminder that you can’t out exercise a bad diet!  I had quite a physical week with 8 classes and 3 runs but my eating was terrible.  Lots of Easter chocolate and a lot more carbs than I needed.  That’s the problem with a lot of cardio vs strength work as the cardio tends to make you hungry, increasing the tendency to overeat.

I am actually quite happy with my results this week, they weren’t spectacular but I think it bodes well for a strong finish in the next two weeks.

Weight remained the same this week but Body Fat% was down 1%.

Total lost:  1.8kg lost and 2%BF lost.

Why am I so happy with that you may ask?  After finishing the timetable challenge I had a lot of muscle soreness, typically a result of challenging the body and tearing muscle fibers leading to an increase in muscle mass.  The whole point of strength training really.  My theory is that I would have held on to a little fluid on a cellular level as my body was adapting to the stress I had placed it under during the week.  My problem knee was a little swollen as well with the increase in high impact activities in the classes but this usually settles with a little rest.  So I am hopeful that with a return to a better balanced workout week and better eating, I should have some good movement on the scales this week.  Watch this space to see if I am correct…..;)

I am really impressed with my training partner, ‘Wayne’, as her numbers are continuing to drop and her weight loss to date is really quite respectable.

This week she dropped another 0.3kg but BF% was up 0.2% which is neither here nor there.

Total lost: 2.6kg and 3.7%BF

Two weeks left of this challenge and we are far from done!!