Reflections on 2014

What a year it has been.  I am a big believer in reviewing, reflecting, and making plans to improve, and this seems to be the time of year that lends itself to doing just this.  One of the great blogs that I have come across in my blogging journey this year, Maxabella Loves, has come up with 10 great questions to ponder as the old year draws to a close.  I really loved these thoughtful questions and decided to use them as a way to reflect on the year gone by and plan for 2015.

1. What word do you think best summed up 2014?

‘Transition’ would be the most apt word for our year.  New job for the husband, a big move from Townsville to Perth, living a FIFO lifestyle, all four boys in school (youngest Kindy), first year not working at all (harder than you think), sold a house and bought a new house (actually lived in four different places this year), bought a new car and trying to sell an old car, and trying to work out what we need as a family to be happy.

2. What did you do for the first time this year?

I love to push myself to do things I have never done before, from the small things like driving home a different way, a new walking route, or playing in a different park, to the big things like living in a different state or competing in an event for the first time.  So many firsts this year but the big ones for me for 2014 were:

  • Moved to Perth
  • Survived as a FIFO wife and mum
  • Started a Blog
  • Learnt to kayak
  • Completed my very first Enduro Adventurethon

3. What is one thing that happened that will have lasting consequences?

My husband taking this job with Rio Tinto has been a game changer for our family.  It has opened up experiences that we could never have imagined.  As I announced on my Facebook page earlier this week our adventures are set to continue as we move to a small, remote, mining town of 800 people in the Pilbara region, Western Australia in February 2015.  I am excited for the future and hopeful that this will bring some more happy times for our family.

Panna

Image Credit

4. Was there anything you wish you’d done differently? Why? How?

There is not much that I would have done differently.  Maybe pushed harder for a residential posting a little earlier in the piece to avoid FIFO?  In saying that we have learnt a lot from the experience.  For me I have learnt how to be a lot more self reliant, I value my husband and family time that much more, and I realised that I missed working and will be looking for something as soon as I can.

5. Do you have a favourite moment from the year? What made it special?

I really have had a great year with many fantastic moments but my top 3 moments would be:

The two weeks with my mother when she helped us first move over to Perth were a pretty great way to start our time over here.  It was exciting, new, and surprisingly relaxing.  There were no expectations, no great plans, and aside from finding a house to rent and a school to enrol in, we had no deadlines and no one else to please but ourselves.  We had fun. (Also great that I got to finish the year with a couple of weeks with my Mother-in-Law).

The perfect weekends when Rod was home and it just worked.  The sun was shining, the kids were happy and healthy, we were just enjoying being together.  Throw in a little outdoor adventure and happy days.

Go camping!  Great way to recharge the batteries and have some quality family time.

We made it out alive, one little torch between us.  Let's be honest, it was a little daunting.  It was cold, wet, and very dark in the middle of the tunnel and you just had to trust that there was nothing nasty waiting for you!!

Rottnest4

Kalbarri was another favourite.  It was a beautiful place, so relaxed, we had the Grandies visiting, and it was just fantastic.

Kalbarri 2 Kalbarri3

Warm up walk to Island Rock which is where I started my run and the boardwalk ended.

I could go on and on but I guess the common theme is spending quality time with those nearest and dearest.

6. What lessons has 2014 taught you about yourself? About others?

The lesson I learnt in 2014 was that your ‘village’ is so important.  It’s not just family, it’s friends, it’s co workers, it’s other mums at school, it’s teachers and coaches that impact you and the way your kids are raised.  With the move I lost so many of my support networks and it wasn’t until I lost them that I realised how important they are.  They help pick you up when you are down, help give you direction, empathise with children dramas, they are the place I can drop in and recharge, or where my kids can drop in and I can really recharge.  So I have learnt to pick myself up and do the best I can.  I found it hard to be ‘just’ a stay at home mum.  There is no real yardstick for success as a parent.  Am I failing if they aren’t always happy?  If they aren’t getting straight A’s or doing well at sport?  How do you measure success as a parent?  Lucky this parenting caper is an ongoing process that I am still striving to improve at.

7. How will the lessons from this past year change the way you approach the new year?

The new year will definitely bring more family orientated activities based on the day to day stuff.  More family fitness, more one on one child time, more balance.

8. What do you most want to do in 2015?

I really want to be working again this year.  I also want to train for an event with my husband so look out for that in the new year.  Also striving for better balance, not so much struggle during the week.

9. What do you most want to change about yourself? The world?

I have really felt like I was the Dictator with the kids this year and would like to not be so cranky with them.  I want to enjoy them more and hopefully with the hubby back at home each night with the move to a residential posting this should be more achieveable.  I am still working on my plan to conquer the world but would definitely like to be a part of something that has an impact on a bigger scale.

10. What one word do you hope will sum up what you hope to achieve in 2015?

PROGRESS

Well that is my reflections on 2014.  I would really like to thank everyone that has dropped in and followed along.  It has been an absolute pleasure to share my journey over the last six months and hopefully as I learn more and try more different things the blog will continue to improve.  Happy New Year Everyone!!

celebrate-new-year

Image Credit

Journey to Adventurethon – Update 5

It is coming up to crunch time for my preparation to Albany and I am actually a little worried.  The bike and run components are coming together but I am officially worried about the kayak leg.  I have no training under my belt for this and at this point I don’t even know if I have a kayak that I can race.  As some of you may know I did manage to score a kayak off the side of the road which by some good fortune the previous owners were giving away.  It is old, a little dirty, but apart from a new bung and small leak that hubby assures me he can fix, this kayak looks like it could be a goer.

The only major problem seems to be whether or not I will be able to stay on it!!

The only major problem seems to be whether or not I will be able to stay on it!!

I don’t know a lot about kayaks or surf skis but from what I could learn from Google I am not entirely sure that this is a beginner level surf ski.  Only way to know whether I can use it come race day is to get some practice on it.  This is also causing some dramas as I need roof racks to transport it to a body of water that doesn’t have sharks that can eat me if I fall out!!  We have ordered roof racks for the car but that will be another week or so before they can be installed and ready to go.  Tick, tick, tick….goes the countdown clock.  Aaaggghhh.  If all else fails ‘the barge’ is ready to go and steady as a rock.

The Barge

The Barge

Well it is no use dwelling on things that can’t be changed so it is back to the grind in regard to my training.  The last two weeks have been pretty good and I have seen some progress in running distance, strength, and getting outside for my rides a lot more often.  Frequency of sessions has been a little hit and miss due to having lovely visitors, and I have also found that recovery has been a little slower.  Whether that is because I have increased the intensity of my training or not having the down time I usually would I am not sure.  I have another lot of visitors this coming week, therefore I might use this week to book in a yoga session and maybe a massage while completing what exercise sessions I can.  Then it will be head down, bottom up to put away some really solid training weeks. Here is my training summary for the last two weeks.

WEEK 9

Monday – Rest day after a very busy weekend.

Tuesday –  Crossfit session in the morning.  4.8km run in the afternoon.

Wednesday – Hilly mountain bike ride.  I wanted to try and do the ‘Ride through the Hills – Part 2’ ride that I found through the Perth Tourism website.  I took a couple of wrong turns though and ended up doing a modified version of the loop including a very steep ride up the hill to the Perth Observatory.  This ride ended up being 28km and took me 1 hour 40 minutes.

Thursday – Crossfit.  I did manage to squeeze in a 2km row before the class started.  It is amazing how much just a small tweak to the routine can make everything just that little bit harder.  I also did a basic 4.5km run in the afternoon.  Really didn’t feel like it but knew I would be in the car all day tomorrow as we were headed to Kalbarri for a long weekend, so I just had to do it.

Friday – Big 6 hours of driving to reach Kalbarri.  Kids had a small play at the beach and in the park that afternoon, so beautiful.  I managed to sneak a 3km beach walk in just to stretch the legs out.

Saturday – We hit the stunning gorges for some hiking today.  Nature’s Windows hike was only 1.2km return.

Nature's window Collage

Z-Bend gorge river trail was 2.6km return but we probably ended up doing 3km total as we did some extra exploring down the bottom of the gorge.

zbend gorge Collage

I also managed to sneak in a quick 10km bike ride that afternoon to Red Bluff point then walked 2km into the main beach where I met the boys fishing.

Sunday –  After dropping Mum and Dad off to start their epic coastal hike, the kids, hubby and I went for breakfast followed by the Pelican Feeding session by the Kalbarri foreshore.  It was great.

Pelican

I then went and completed my amazing 8km coastal run which you can read about here.  I rode the 6km home from Eagle Gorge before having a fantastic lazy day at the beach with the family until the sun went down.

Lazy beach Collage

WEEK 10

Monday – Back in the car for the return trip to Perth, boo hoo, did not want to leave Kalbarri.  No exercise today.

Tuesday – Road ride 18km in approximately 50minutes.

Wednesday – CrossFit.  Completed Filthy 50’s workout which was brutal (apparently someone turned 50 earlier in the week and this is how we celebrate….hmmm, I don’t want to know what happens when someone turns 60!)  Was going to run in the afternoon but I was absolutely wrecked from crossfit.

Thursday –  50 mins on Exercise bike (30km) followed by 3km run.  Had my first migraine tonight in quite some time.  Not surprised as I have been pushing a little harder this week, lots of travel, poor diet, and not getting quality sleep meant that it all fell in a heap.  Timely reminder to look after myself a little better.

Friday – Rest day.

Saturday – CrossFit.  I was only just feeling not so sore from the last crossfit session and then I was hit with another killer session.  Apparently Saturday’s partner workouts are known for being a little hardcore, well now I know.  Completely stuffed.

Sunday – Ow…Ow…Ow…so bloody sore.  Legs not so bad so saddled up and did a 30km road ride (actually managed to do the proper ride I tried last week).  Not my favourite ride, managed to swallow a fly (lots of gagging after that one, ewww) and then a bloody magpie started swooping me.  I must have looked like an absolute idiot ducking, swerving all over the place, and yelling at the stupid bird.  The things we do….

I am a little sad that my parents have had to go home after a lovely couple of weeks having them stay, and its awfully quite in the house.  I expect you may see a few more blog posts from me again…until the next visitors.

 

 

 

5km Done and Dusted in Beautiful Kalbarri, Western Australia.

So for those of you who follow my facebook page you will probably be aware that I finally hit that 5km milestone.  I have been sitting just under 5km on my training runs three times a week and I knew it was time to step it up.  On the weekend we travelled to Kalbarri which is a small coastal town about 580km north of Perth in Western Australia.  On our arrival into Kalbarri we pulled into The Grandstand Lookout to check out the view…..

Grandstand Lookout

Grandstand Lookout

I noticed that there was a path leading in and out of the lookout and on further research discovered that there was an 8km trail that hugs the coastline from Natural Bridge to Eagle Gorge.  I decided then and there that if I was going to complete the 5km hitlist task then I was going to make it memorable.  This coastal run would be the first time that I have run more than 5km after having four kids and the first time I have run this far in more than 10 years.  I think the last time I ran any decent distance was the 14km City to Surf event from Sydney to Bondi.  It would also give me an idea of how I was travelling fitness wise for the upcoming adventurethon.

My parents are visiting at the moment which is one of the reasons we were out exploring some of WA.  My mother was really keen to walk the trail, my dad not so much, but he didn’t want to miss out so he bravely put on his best walking gear and came along for the experience!!

My father's best walking gear....not quite the party he thought it was going to be. Haha.

My father’s best walking gear….not quite the party he thought it was going to be. This boardwalk was misleading, it only went for the first 800m.

I was going to head out early with my parents but woke up with a headache (didn’t drink enough water the day before) so I decided to go a little later after rehydrating.  This actually worked out for the best as I ended up finishing about the same time as my parents.  I will let the pictures do the talking as they tell a far better story of the magnificence of the trail then I ever could.

Start of the walk - Natural Bridge lookout.

Start of the walk – Natural Bridge lookout.

Warm up walk to Island Rock which is where I started my run and the boardwalk ended.

Warm up walk to Island Rock which is where I started my run and the boardwalk ended.

Running literally on the edge of Australia - pretty amazing.

Running literally on the edge of Australia – pretty amazing.

Just under halfway point was the Grandstand lookout.  This is mum contemplating the view....and waiting for Dad!

Just under halfway point was the Grandstand lookout. This is mum contemplating the view….and waiting for Dad!

This is the point that I caught up to Mum and Dad 1km from the finish point.

This is the point that I caught up to Mum and Dad,1km from the finish point.

Cutting inland a little as I ran to the carpark at Eagle Gorge where hubby and the boys were waiting for us.

Cutting inland a little as I ran to the carpark at Eagle Gorge where hubby and the boys were waiting.

My boys were cheering, what's a girl to do?  Victory salute, haha.

My boys were cheering, what’s a girl to do? Victory salute, haha.

Stretching at the end of the 8km at Eagle Gorge.  Feeling quite a sense of satisfaction at this point.

Stretching at the end of the 8km at Eagle Gorge. Feeling quite a sense of satisfaction at this point.

Apart from the first 1km of wooden boardwalk that I walked for my warm up, the rest of the trail was either really rocky or sandy.  This meant that the going was quite slow but I found that the slower pace meant that I completed the remaining 7km quite comfortably.  This is good news for the Adventurethon, just have to do this after kayaking 5km, running 2km on sand, kayaking 3.7km back to mainland, and riding 22km on mountainous terrain.  Shouldn’t be a problem……..