Taking Stock – November 2014

My sister recently completed a ‘Taking Stock’ post over at her blog Are We There Yet and it reminded me that it is a good way to stop, breathe, and review.  I also love reading them and having a little look into someone else’s life.  As it is really busy at the moment in the Campbell household I thought it would be a good time to do another ‘Taking Stock’ post.  You can read my previous one here.

Making :  It through the days at the moment.  Currently not feeling my creative side but I am hoping to bring it back in the holidays.
Cooking :  Trying to get away with the bare minimum at the moment, think salads, steaming vegies and making some basic protein portion for the meal (BBQ chicken, B&E pie, turkey mince wraps, chicken burgers).  Need to think about Christmas cooking.
Drinking :  Water, coffee, protein shake, and have brought back the Staminade, baby, for those longer endurance sessions.  Did you have Staminade as a kid?

Staminade - Sports Drink Powder
Reading:  Dragonfly in Amber, Diana Gabaldon, yep I’m on board for the Outlander series.
Wanting:  To have my husband home a little more.
Looking:  Forward to the holidays.  My mother-in-law is visiting to help us celebrate Christmas, which is great because Rod will be working Christmas Day.  At least we have just over two weeks holiday in Queensland in the new year.
Playing:  Uno with the kids.  They love that game.

Uno
Deciding:  What to do this weekend as the kids have a pupil free day.  Maybe strawberry picking?

Wishing:  That we had a definite plan or the new year.

Enjoying:  Learning to paddle my new (secondhand) kayak.  Really enjoying my time on the river.

Waiting:  For my Adventurethon weekend to arrive, think I will feel relieved to have it under way.

Liking: Pancakes!  I love pancakes.

Wondering:  What my next exercise challenge should be (will definitely be doing a fun hitlist first)

Loving:  My 2XU trisuit and thinking that I might have to try their tights.

Pondering:  What to get my little baby nephew for Christmas…in a crazy first I am actually fairly organised this year.

Considering:  Whether I am going to make it through the adventurethon injury free.  I am sore, and tired, and feel like I am plugging one leaky hole just as another one springs a leak.  Not too bad, just trying to keep the workload up for another week before tapering off a little before race day.

Watching:  First series of Outlander….I am impressed with the casting and just a little hooked.

Hoping:  That we can find a babysitter for the Rio Christmas Party this weekend.  It sucks being so far away from family and friends.

Marvelling:  That the year has gone by so quickly.

Needing:  A decent night’s sleep.  I never sleep well when hubby’s away, and the youngest is the most restless sleeper ever.

Smelling:  The smell of home cooked chicken pies that we had for dinner still lingers in the room

Wearing:  PJ’s.  Kids are in bed, time to relax and have some computer time.  Just waiting for Rod to get home.

Following:  The cricket tragedy with Phillip Hughes passing away after being struck by the ball while batting in a practice match against India.

Noticing:  That my house needs a good spring clean.  Agghhhh….

Knowing:  That the year is nearly done and Christmas is coming!!  I do like a good Christmas season.

Thinking:  That this has been the loneliest year of my life.  It has had many, many high points but it has been tough living so far away from family and friends, especially with the hubby working away as well.  Not that I haven’t met lots of great new people, it just takes time to develop that ease and comfort of old friends.

Feeling:  Inadequate at times.  As the raising of the kids has fallen mainly on me this year, I feel like anything that they are not doing well is on me.  Am I doing enough?  Am I giving them enough?  And then poor hubby comes home and I don’t want to think, or make decisions, and struggle to be everything that he needs.   Anyway, still working on finding that elusive balance in life.

Admiring:  People that seemed to have found that balance in life, and those that are so damn organised!  Not one of my strengths but I do have my moments these days.

Sorting:  Bloody washing.  I am happy cleaning it and hanging it out but I hate folding and putting it away!

Buying:  Final christmas presents.  I am on track this year, wahoo for me.

Getting:  Nervous for this upcoming Adventurethon…I know it is all about adventurethon at the moment, only 2 weeks today and then it will be onto bigger and better things!!

Bookmarking:  Nothing, if I don’t read it straight away I won’t get back to it.  Just saying…

Disliking:  That hubby will not be home for Christmas morning.

Opening:  A new pair of socks, hoping to stop the blisters.

Giggling:  My youngest’s attempt to put suncream on….’Is it rubbed in Mum?’…what to say about his little white face…’aahhh no not quite little man’.

Feeling:  Happy to have a long weekend with Hubby home.

Snacking:  On strawberries, freshly picked from a Strawberry Farm just outside of Perth.

Strawberries

Coveting:  A holiday, would love some time out and would even think of taking my hubby with me. 😉

Wishing:  That money wasn’t an issue.

Helping:  Another mum with juggling the whole working and kindy pick up drama.  Happy to have another little man come and play with Corey after their short day at kindy.

Hearing:  My husband snoring on the lounge beside me…oops better get off the computer!!

Taking Stock is the original idea of the very clever Pip from Meet Me at Mikes – go check out her site – you’ll love it!

Now feel free to copy and paste the prompts into the comments, your next blog post, or even on facebook.  I would love to hear where you are at.

Making :
Cooking :
Drinking :
Reading:
Wanting:
Looking:
Playing:
Deciding:
Wishing:
Enjoying:
Waiting:
Liking:
Wondering:
Loving:
Pondering:
Considering:
Watching:
Hoping:
Marvelling:
Needing:
Smelling:
Wearing:
Following:
Noticing:
Knowing:
Thinking:
Feeling:
Admiring:
Sorting:
Buying:
Getting:
Bookmarking:
Disliking:
Opening:
Giggling:
Feeling:
Snacking:
Coveting:
Wishing:
Helping:
Hearing:

Journey to Adventurethon – Update 6

This has been a long, hard two weeks and to be honest I am feeling a little defeated by this big goal I thought I could do.  It started with a run of visitors.  I love having visitors, in lots of ways it can take the load off, but it can also disrupt the rhythm of the household.  Its like when you are running and you find your stride, the whole run can feel quite comfortable (unsure what I’m talking about, yeah well, I don’t get that feeling very often but it has happened a couple of times so I live in hope everytime I run).  My point is that I feel like my stride is out of whack, everything just feels like hard work.  Then there was my back.  Not long after coming back from our road trip to Kalbarri, I did a couple of big crossfit sessions which, on top of the travelling, not so good nutrition choices, poor rest, and limited effort put into stretching, was a recipe for disaster.  The back flared up along with significant tightness in several other muscles surrounding the area as often happens.  So I implemented some injury management strategies including some anti-inflammatories, rest, massage, stretching, stretching, and some low impact exercise to get back into the swing of things, which seems to have got me back on track.

Now, there is the whole kayak thing.  As in I can’t stay on the bloody thing!! We are waiting on roof racks for the car so I can transport it, then hoping that I will be able to lift it on and off by myself so that I can train.  All this doubt, uncertainty, and negativity is exhausting.  Trying to stay positive when you are not really believing it is exhausting.  I am exhausted.  SO, I need to devise a plan of action that I can believe in because I need to stop wasting energy on doubting.  I have a few options to follow up on this week to see if I can stay on track for the full adventurethon or I move to plan B which is to swap over to the Dirty Duathlon (13km run, 22km mtb ride, 1km run).  13km run is scaring me a little also but I WILL be having a crack at something.  OK vent is over and now for a quick wrap up of what I did manage to do over the last two weeks.

WEEK 11

Monday – 5.5km run

Tuesday – Cleaning and running around in preparation for visitors arriving tonight.  Crossfit in the afternoon with 4 kids in tow.  They were very well behaved, did some homework, played on a big tractor tyre, and joined in with a little of the session from the sidelines.  Felt my back twinge a little in this session.

Wednesday – Rest Day.  Woke up like I had been run over by a truck.  Had planned to rest today anyway and catch up with my visitors.

Thursday –  Rest Day.  Massage in the morning and then out and about with visitors.

Friday – Touring the Swan Valley with visitors.  Quick low impact ride on the exercise bike.  60mins, 42km.  Then out again that night.

Saturday – Walking around Kings Park.  Completed a few stair climbs (Kokoda and Jacob’s Ladder) then did a 3km run.  Stretching.

Jacob's Ladder, Kings Park

Jacob’s Ladder, Kings Park

Sunday – Rottnest Island.  No training just a long day out and about.

WEEK 12

Monday – Girl’s shopping trip.  45mins on the exercise bike followed by a 3km run (my eldest boy rode his bike to keep me company).  This run felt really good and I had a glimpse of the possibility that I may just be able to still do this.

Tuesday – 30km hilly road ride.  1 hour 45mins.

Wednesday – Crossfit + 3 x 400m runs after the session.  Kids basketball in the afternoon.

Thursday – Rest Day.  Not recovering as well as I would like.

Friday – Crossfit killer session, followed by a 2km row (machine)  Went for my first kayak with my awesome cousin who showed me the basics in his kayak.  Fell out as soon as he let go of the boat!  Then fell out many, many, many more times.  Felt quite defeated and not sure I can do this.

Saturday – Unbelieveably sore.  Took the whole family out for an afternoon at the river.  Tried out my surf ski that I picked up from the side of the road.  I tipped out more than I did yesterday, and that is saying something.  Aaaaggghhh don’t know what to do.

kayak tip

Sunday – Tired, sore, and defeated.  My wonderful friend, Snooze, organised to take my four boys to the movies and spoil them rotten.  Hubby and I went for a date ride.  Hit the mountain bike trails and had some fun.  Only about 15km but blew some steam off.  Just went out to enjoy it and the hubby.

What to do, what to do?  Any suggestions or words of wisdom would be quite welcome. 

 

7 Days in Perth – 7 Great Things You Might Want to Do

The whole point of staying fit and active is so that I can enjoy life to the fullest and recently I have had interstate visitors in the form of my sister-in-law and niece.  They were only visiting for 7 days so I wanted them to make the most of their visit to beautiful Perth while still having time to just hang and enjoy each other’s company.  Here is what we did in 7 days….

1.  Kalamunda Town Square, Zig Zag Scenic Drive and Lookout.

After a red eye flight into Perth I did not plan much for their first day.  We spent a quiet day having a look at the lovely Kalamunda Town Square near where we live, taking the scenic Zig Zag Drive, and stopping at the Lookout to give our visitors their first glimpse of Perth City.

Lions lookout1

2.  Visit Fremantle

We had to do the express tour of Fremantle as we had to be back to pick the kids up from school. Initially we did a bit of a drive around just to look at the beautiful old buildings that make Fremantle so engaging.  We of course drove up Monument Hill, past the Fremantle prison and Fremantle Oval, and past some amazing schools and churches.

Monument Hill

Then it was off to lunch at Ootong & Lincoln which was delicious and the cafe had a really great vibe about it.  Of course we did admire the street art on the side of the building, those amazing zebras.  Street Art in Fremantle and Perth is just amazing.

Streetart

After parking at the harbour, we took a wander through the park past the great skate park and parkour area, and admired the view of the big ferris wheel amongst the tall pine trees.

Freo

Off for a quick look at the Round House, the oldest building still standing in Western Australia, before wandering down the cappucino strip and grabbing an icecream.

Round House

3.  Poke around Guildford before heading to Swan Valley

We decided that we must visit some wineries in Swan Valley, the oldest wine region in Western Australia, however as we headed off after school drop off we thought we may not get away with drinking wine at 9am in the morning.  Instead we decided that we would stop in at the little quaint town of Guildford first.

Guildford1

‘The history-rich village of Guildford in Western Australia was one of three towns established during the founding of the Swan River Colony in 1829. Perth was the administration centre, Fremantle the port and Guildford the market town.’

It has lots of old colonial buildings, antique and nic nac shops, and some lovely coffee shops.  You can also do a self-guided heritage walk trail about the small town as it has some fascinating history. These walks start at The Swan Valley Visitor Centre.  It is worth stopping in here as they gave some great advice about which wineries we may want to stop in at, although I don’t think you can go too wrong.

Wineries Collage

We only had time for limited stops so we chose to visit Sandalford Winery which is one of the oldest and largest wineries in WA.  It was beautiful and we ended up with several bottles of wine from here.  Next stop was Yahava Coffee….mmm, coffee….followed by a trip to The Margaret River Chocolate Factory. 

chocolate Collage

Seriously, how could we go wrong with this day?  Wine, chocolate, coffee…but wait there’s more.   The second winery we visited, Lancaster Winery, had cheese tasting as well.  I did happen to add another rather nice Verdhelo and a chilli club cheddar to my ever growing loot.  Next stop was the Honey House.  This was great too, they have a viewing window into a small portion of the hive so you can see the honeycomb and the bees working.  Sooo many beautiful products, honey tasting galore, and they even have honey ice cream.  Last stop was Whistler’s Chocolate factory with the chocolate fairy land….awesome!

4.  Twilight Hawker’s Markets Murray Street Mall

Friday was hubby’s fly in day this week so we decided to brave the busy Hawker’s Markets in Perth City for dinner before picking hubby up from the airport.

Hawkers Collage

It was really busy and in hindsight we should have gone a little earlier with the kids as we couldn’t really get a good look at what was cooking and ended up going tried and tested things that we knew the kids would like, which defeats the whole point doesn’t it??  But live music was good, the smells were delicious, and all in all I am glad we did it.  Would love to go back without the 5 kids in tow!!

5.  Kings Park – Anzac memorial, Tree Top Walk, and Synergy Playground

kingspark6 Anzac mem treetops2

Synergy play

What’s left to say about Kings Park Perth?  It is beautiful with so much to explore.  Everytime I visit I find something new to see and I still don’t think I have seen everything.  This is a must visit for everyone who comes to Perth.

6.  Rottnest Island

I have had Rottnest Island on my ‘To Do’ list for some time and having family visit was the perfect excuse to visit.  It was a lot more expensive than I expected, especially for a family of 2 Adults and 4 Children.  We elected to travel from Fremantle on the early bird ferry at 7.15am and come back on the 2.10pm ferry.  In hindsight, I wish we had chosen the extended day trip because we didn’t have nearly enough time.  Initially we thought 6 hours of sun and sand on the island would be enough for us and the kids, however, we found that by the time we had arrived (about 8am), waited in line to purchase bus tickets, and then waited in line to purchase some snorkelling gear, we missed the first bus to view the island.  Buses only run every hour so we had to kill some time in Thompson Bay, which lets be honest was not too much of a hardship.

Rottnest bound Rottnest5

We decided not to do bikes this visit (although I would love to go back and ride around the island) because our visitors were not hugely confident on the bikes, the thought of five kids riding crazily all over a place we didn’t really know was a little scary, and of course the cost and time factor played a role too.  The bus tour was awesome, the driver really informative, and it was a great way to see the island.  Once the sting over the cost of everything wore off we had a fantastic time.  We saw dolphins on the ferry ride over, quokkas, lizards, and the beautiful clear blue water against the white sand was stunning.

 

 

Rottnest3

 

If I had my time again I would seriously think of staying the night.  Looking after the fact, there are some great accommodation, ferry, bike, and snorkel packages that I think would give a much better experience to explore all the island had to offer.  Oh well, you live and learn and we still really enjoyed our visit.

7.  Bell Tower and Shopping on Murray and Hay Street

Bell Tower

Murray st mall

It is a novelty to have girls in the house and I took full advantage of the fact and dragged them along for a day’s shopping in the city.  Didn’t take much arm twisting let me tell you.  After a quick look at the sights it was all about the shopping!  Love the old London Court in the middle of Hay Street as well.

What do you think?  What are your favourite spots in and around Perth?

 

 

 

 

10 Reasons You Should Start an Exercise Hitlist

For those of you who are following this blog you may have missed my earlier posts on the reasons why I started my own Exercise Hitlists.  You can read about that here and here if you wish.  I also thought I would give you 10 reasons why you should start your very own hitlist!!

1.  Stop Procrastinating

Don’t be a should’ve, would’ve, could’ve person!  A hitlist is all about writing down those things that you have always thought of doing.  “I would like to run that loop around the river, it looks amazing”  Well put it on the list along with the things that you will need to do it.  ie Buy shoes, Start a running program, Begin a basic strength program.  BAM, you are already up to 4 items.  You can read my basic Hitlist Rules on this page, but don’t forget they are only a guideline do what works for you.

procrastinate

2.  Commit to your Goals

The very act of writing your goals down is a powerful way of committing to them.  A study completed by Dominican University of California has proven that by accountability, committment, and writing your goals down, you are 33% more likely to be successful.  An exercise hitlist can give you a very clear plan on how you (and your family) are going to become more active.

3.  Be a Tourist in Your Own City and Surrounding Areas.

Stop waiting for your next holiday to do something exciting.  I guarantee people actually travel to your home town for their holidays (amazing right?).  Have you checked out all the popular tourist spots?  What does your local Visitor Centre recommend for ‘Things To Do’ in your area?  Every visitor centre I have been to are very helpful and often have maps on walking and biking trails that you can do.  So much fun to be had without going anywhere!

All of these spots are within 20 minutes from home.

All of these spots are within 20 minutes from home.

4.  Get Stuff Done.

I have completed about 5 hitlists in total.  On some lists, I have a couple of things that I didn’t quite get around to, whether because I lost enthusiasm for that item, or other factors came into play.  But that’s OK, the positive thing is that I managed to complete 8 other items that may otherwise have been lost in the craziness of everyday life and not even attempted.  I find that I am now much better at finding reasons why I can fit something in, then automatically saying that I couldn’t possibly do that.

5.  It Inspires Others

Don’t underestimate your ability to inspire others.  Put it out there, take photos and share them.  Not only will you have people wondering where you are, you will have them wondering whether they could do more, and then before you know it they are doing more activity too.  In a nation that is high up on the obesity stakes, we can all do with a little inspiration.

6.  Quite Simply, It……Is……Fun.

No really, it is.  My hitlist, or your sister’s hitlist may not look that exciting and that’s OK.  Make it exciting for you.  Sometimes you have to try a few new things before you find the thing that floats your boat.  That’s the whole point.  Go on, try it.

7.  You Will Do Things You Didn’t Think Were Possible.

Ask me 12 months ago whether I could run 5km and I would have laughed myself silly and told you that I couldn’t run and wouldn’t be trying it anytime soon either.  It starts with you asking a question of yourself about whether it is possible?  It is a little spark of hope and belief that opens up a whole world of opportunity.  Because when you start believing in yourself anything is possible….and that is an amazing feeling.

One of the greatest momets

8.  Your Family Will Thank You

My husband and I have four beautiful boys, one 8yr old, twins who are 6 1/2 yrs old, and one 4 1/2 yr old.  Kids need to be active and benefit from exploring and being outside, surrounded by nature.  We have done quite a lot with the kids just by starting with a basic plan and the desire to try new things.  Check out some of the fun, simple, things we have done with the kids.

Lesmurdie Falls and Why All Kids Should Get Out and Explore

Indoor Rockclimbing

John Forrest National Park and The Troll Tunnel

9.  You May Lose Weight….Or You May Not.

To be honest you won’t hear me going on about weight loss too much here, although I am a girl and reserve the right to whinge about my weight occasionally.  The reason I don’t want the hitlist to be about weight is that successful weight loss is about a combination of factors coming into play such as nutrition, consistent exercise, stress levels, sleep quality, and gut health.  I have seen weight loss attempts being foiled by just one of these things not being right.  The Exercise Hitlist is about finding enjoyment in exercise, trying new things, being a positive role model for your kids or those around you, and its about making exercise a habit.  Hopefully by starting a hitlist you will be empowered and start to feel capable of tackling the other factors if your goal is weight loss.

10.  You Will Feel Awesome

Start ticking a few items off the list and you will start feeling awesome.  Complete a whole entire Exercise Hitlist and look back over what you have done, trust me, you will feel like a Rockstar!!  Don’t believe me, go on I dare you to try it…..

What would you put on your Hitlist??

 

 

 

My Top 10 Running Tips – From an “I Can’t Run” Mum and Exercise Physiologist

So you have decided to start running and are thinking that there is no way that your out of shape body is going to come to the party.  Yep, I’m hearing you, I have been thinking that since I finished having kids four years ago.  But its kind of part of the plan if I am going to complete an Enduro Adventurethon in Albany.  Now that I have managed to hit my 5km milestone recently I felt like I should share my top tips if you want to start running…..

1.  Buy some decent shoes.

This is where it all begins, protecting the point of impact and therefore reducing the loading through the knees, hips, and back.  This translates quite simply to less injuries.  Athletes Foot is a good starting point if you have no idea what you need in a shoe as their staff tend to be well trained and knowledgeable.  However, last time that I was at Rebel Sports store I noticed that they have a nifty little machine that tested foot loading pattern and gave feedback on what support you would benefit from and sizing info.  Usually you see this at Athletes Foot but good to see that it is a little more mainstream now.  If you have any specific concerns your best option is to review with a Podiatrist.  Also, if you find a shoe you love, I’ve learnt to stick with it!

Love my Brooks running shoes.  For me they are just so comfortable.

Love my Brooks running shoes. For me they are just so comfortable.

2.  Protect the Puppies

Researchers in Britain estimate that during sport, the average breast can move 21 centimetres (about the length of a box of tissues) in a figure eight movement. Breasts don’t only move up and down, they move side to side, and even in and out. Given the average breast weighs about the same as 1.2 litres of milk and is held in place by skin and Cooper’s ligaments, that’s a lot of bounce or slide.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/health/women-need-more-support-if-theyre-to-embrace-sport-20120831-255o8.html#ixzz3Dm0RsO5T

The following table is from The Exercise and Breast Support brochure that was funded by Sports Medicine Australia.

Sports Bra and exercise

So if you don’t want the boobs any lower than they already are than I suggest you do your best to bind those puppies up.  In fact, I believe that preparing for a run is like preparing for a cyclone…you have to strap down or tuck away everything that can move!   There are some great compression garments out there and I recently bought a 2XU trisuit for my upcoming adventurethon that was really comfortable.  For a cheaper option, I find wearing a sports bra and one piece swimmers under my running gear is quite good.

3.  Strengthen the Pelvic Floor

This means learning how to activate these muscles properly.  Its not just for the ladies either, men can also benefit from improving their pelvic floor strength.  You can read a little about it here and here, but sometimes its worth getting some feedback on whether you are actually working the muscles the right way.  I think it is worth the money to review with a Physiotherapist who specialises in pelvic floor training especially if you have any concerns.  There are plenty of tools out there to help strengthen the pelvic floor such as the Wave Chair (physio), the kegelmaster, Ben Wa Balls, or Luna Balls.  Just be careful googling some of those!!

4.  Participate in Regular Strength Training

Guess what, muscles have a purpose.  In simple terms muscles create movement, stabilize joints, and generate force and power.  The more muscle stability around the joints the less the risk of injury.  Also increased strength has been proven to translate into increased endurance.  Increasing core strength is also going to lead to increased efficiency in your running, reduced injury risk, and longer time running til fatigued.  Need more convincing?  Then you might want to read this article.

5.  Change your Mindset

Since having kids I have been a little overweight and not as confident in my body.  Even after losing over 25kg and getting somewhat fit I have been very hesitant to start running.  I am just shy of 5’10, and I am not lucky enough to be that lean and lanky kind of tall person.  Nope, I’m built like a good solid workhorse.  Running, after kids, has just been uncomfortable and honestly I have been happy to get my exercise fix from everything but running.  That all has to change now that I am stepping out of my comfort zone and doing an Adventurethon that includes an 8km trail run.  One of the biggest things that had to change was my attitude to running.  I started thinking about why I can run.  I started remembering that I actually used to be pretty good at running, especially cross country running.  I started to believe that it is a skill that can be learnt, endurance that can be trained.  These changes in my thoughts made all the difference, and guess what?  Running doesn’t suck quite as much as I thought it would.

Allow yourself to believe that you CAN.

6.  Learn How to Run

Seems simple doesn’t it?  Learning to run correctly from the start can make all the difference to how you go with a running program and is an important strategy for injury prevention.  Check out this video.

7.  Use a Running Program to get you Started

I am following a Couch to 5km program that is designed to get beginners running 5km in about 9 weeks.  I love having a set program to follow.  I don’t have to think about it or worry about when I should be running next….I just do as I am told.  I have tried this program before, not long after having the twins, when I was still quite overweight and had no strength training behind me either.  I really struggled and found it very difficult.  This time round I was excited to find the first 3 weeks quite comfortable and I was tempted to skip ahead.  However, even though my endurance was up to standard, I wanted to give my body a chance to catch up and develop the right muscles needed to run further and faster.  No injuries!!  If you need a little more support and encouragement then you may want to check out Operation Move.

8.  Stretching and Foam Rolling

If you are going to all the trouble and hard work in order to improve your running distance or times than set aside 10-15 minutes at the end of your exercise sessions to stretch.  Keeping your muscles loose, pliable, and hydrated means that your joints and ligaments stay healthy too.  Prevention is so much easier than rehabilitation.  I strongly believe that the roller has played a significant role in keeping me injury free during my training and really urge everyone to give it a go.  Check out my blog post on what foam rolling is all about.

9.  Enjoy your Rest Days

This is actually harder than it sounds.  I found that the more I improved the more I wanted to keep working at it, but intellectually, I also knew that I had to give my body time to repair and get stronger.  The rest day is a crucial part of the training program.

Rest Day

10.  Select Your Tunes

I actually don’t mind running with the wind in my face and only my thoughts to keep me company.  It makes a nice change from the noise and chaos that is four boys asking millions of questions.  Its a chance for me to sort through the things I need to do, any emotions, the good and bad things from the day, and finally to allow myself to dream big things.  In saying that who hasn’t gone for a run and been lifted up by an awesome song and gone that little bit faster or further.  Sometimes I have even run a little longer just to hear the end of the song.  And who hasn’t run to this song at one time or another….

 

I am linking up with Jess for IBOT so come on over and check out her latest post.

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……..

Journey to Adventurethon – Update 4

Time for my fortnightly update on how my training is going in the lead up to Adventurethon Albany.  I have to warn you that my week 7 was pathetic, the final week of school holidays got the better of me and I couldn’t be bothered juggling kids and exercise.  I could have done it, but I lost my mojo.  All’s well that ends well as I found that the decrease in the intensity of my training didn’t hurt and I had renewed enthusiasm for my week 8.

WEEK 7

Monday:  John Forrest National Park ride with the family.  Wk 6 Run 3 completed, 25mins running.

Tuesday :  CrossFit – dragged the 4 boys along with technology and food, bribed/threatened/and cojoled the boys to behave and let me do my workout.  Turns out they thought it was cool, music was rocking and they loved watching everyone train hard at Hillside CrossFit.

Wednesday:  Exercise Bike – 60 mins and 34km

Thursday: Off to the beach with the kiddos, could not be bothered to do anything today.

Friday:  Tried to do a run with four boys on their bikes.  Let’s just say it did not go well, we had fights over who rode which bike, tears that the bike was stupid, sore legs, sore backs.  I think I carried the bikes more than I ran, then they wanted to stop at the park for a play, then a chain came off a bike which amazingly I was able to fix.  I did manage to get a good run home so all was not lost.

Saturday:  10km hike with Snooze and friend.  Late night volunteering at OXFAM Perth with a 2am finish.  My lovely husband let me have a sleep in the next morning, taking the boys out and to the movies.

Sunday:  Finally an uninterrupted run.  25mins and approximately 4.5km.

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WEEK 8

Monday:  Didn’t do bugger all today, thanking God the kids were back at school tomorrow.

Tuesday:  CrossFit

Wednesday:  Exercise Bike 70mins and 40km.  Wanted to do a run in the afternoon while the kids were at basketball practice but I somehow managed to lock my youngest son in the house and was in the car ready to go before I realised I was one child short.  Understandably he was a little uncertain as to my loyalty and requested I stay and watch him train.  Feeling a little guilty for my momentary lapse what could I do?

Thursday:  Morning was spent cleaning the house (you know the kind you do before visitors come) well that kind of clean so I am claiming that as a workout damn it!  I did also manage to fit a 25min run in as well.  Also on the highlight reel….My parents are visiting for just over two weeks so happy days people!!

Friday:  CrossFit

Saturday:  Mundaring Weir Monster stair workout (while the family was checking out this beautiful location in the Perth Hills).  We then took our visitors to Lake Leschenaultia for lunch and a spot of canoeing.  45mins canoe session.  Final stop on our day out was at John Forrest National Park to check out Hovea Falls. 2km bushwalk.

Big Day Out Collage

Sunday:  30 minute run, approximately 4.8km.

I realised this week that I am half way through my training plan. 8 weeks down and only 8 weeks to go….gulp.  I looked up the Adventurethon Australia website to have a refresher and check out accommodation options.  While browsing I found that they have posted a course outline and there is an extra sneaky 2km beach run in the middle of the paddle leg…I was freaking out at making the 8km run at the end let alone adding more running!!

Albany Enduro

After a slight panic attack I am back in control and to be honest I think the scenery is going to be spectacular.  I will have plenty of time to enjoy it at the pace I will be running! haha.  So this block of four weeks I want to start doing a couple of block training sessions.  I thought I would start with adding some smaller runs after my CrossFit sessions and after my bike rides.  The other things I need to start doing are running with my camelpak, and I need to start kayaking some more.  One session is just not going to cut it.  I still have those vouchers to use and we have finally ordered a family kayak which, to be honest, more resembles a small boat.  My husband assures me it will be fine to race.  Well no one will get near me that’s for sure, I will be the big barge on the water….parp, parp.  Anyway we are still negotiating on a second smaller kayak that we still need so the whole family can kayak together.  Wish me luck.

 

 

Mundaring Weir Stair Workout – Stairs…..suck…..bigtime.

Now before you look at my stair workout, that I can now thankfully cross off my current hitlist, you must get in the mood by watching Rocky conquer his iconic staircase….this is exactly me today…well similar….kinda….OK not really…but it will still get you wanting to do a stair workout!!  Press Play, then scroll through the photos (it makes me look way better) then you will be able to catch Rocky finish his stairs…go on press play!

Rocky runs up the stairs from Antonio Gomis on Vimeo.

Ok, now here is me conquering three epic stair runs at Mundaring Weir.

Brought the kiddos and the Grandparents along for the scenic tour.

Brought the kiddos and the Grandparents along for the scenic tour.

This shows half the stair run.  I started at the little white building down the bottom, the stairs wind up to the right, then left, left again, then kicks back to the right for a small flight.  Halfway is level with the dam wall.  There is another whole world of pain up from the wall level!

This shows half the stair run. I started at the little white building down the bottom, the stairs wind up to the right, then left, left again, then kicks back to the right for a small flight. Halfway is level with the dam wall. There is another whole world of pain up from the wall level!

Heading down to start, not worried at this point, La la la.

Heading down to start, not worried at this point, La la la.

Off we go...

Off we go…

Officially worried...not even at halfway point of first round and puffing like a steam train!

Officially worried…not even at halfway point of first round and puffing like a steam train!

 

Kids doing some recon for me...realised at this point that I wasn't going to get 10 laps out (What was I thinking?).

Kids doing some recon for me…realised at this point that I wasn’t going to get 10 laps out (What was I thinking?).

Nearly there.  I started counting the steps but after losing oxygen to my brain I lost the ability to count.  I am estimating that there was over 300 stairs from bottom to top.

Nearly there. I started counting the steps but after losing oxygen to my brain I lost the ability to count. I am estimating that there was over 300 stairs from bottom to top.

End of the final stair climb!!  Thank God, stairs officially suck balls!

End of the final stair climb!! Stairs officially suck balls!

Weir Collage2

Volunteering at OXFAM Trailwalker Perth

While I was searching for an event to train for (I love locking in an event that is a bit daunting for me as it encourages me to get out of my comfort zone and stick at my training) I came across OXFAM Trailwalker.  This is an event that involves teams hiking 100km (yes I did say 100km) across beautiful, but difficult, trails in order to raise money and awareness for OXFAM causes.

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These are just some of the things OXFAM supports in less fortunate communities.  If you want to know more about OXFAM and what they do, head to their website.

After checking out their website I was totally inspired and wanted to get involved.  Unfortunately the Perth event was only a month or so away at the time I was looking, so I decided that I probably didn’t have the miles under my belt to participate in this year’s event.  Now, my sister had just written about her experience volunteering at an Ironman event with the Scouts Club that her sons were involved in and I remember thinking that it was such a great thing to do.  I often feel so bad for not donating to people collecting for different causes in the shopping centres or over the phone, but sometimes it is difficult enough looking after our own family and we can’t always afford to give money to all these things.  While looking at OXFAM Perth, I decided to volunteer my time instead.

I registered on their website and within 24hours I had received a follow up call and an email asking for further background details and a request for what shifts and work would be suitable.  It was as simple as that, I was allocated a role and a shift that suited and given all the information and contact details that I would require.  My role was an Operations Assistant Support Role, which was basically just a jack of all trades, help where needed position.  Some positions did require some basic training and full details were provided regarding this.  All I needed to do was turn up at the required shift, which lucky for me, was at the finish line from 8pm to 2am.

I didn’t really know what to expect, or what would be expected of me.  When I checked in for my shift, all the volunteers were very friendly and we were given a quick briefing of what needed to be done.  The old adage, ‘many hands makes light work’, is definitely true and I was a little surprised by how many people volunteer at these events.  Having participated in various events throughout my childhood and onwards, I guess I have been aware of the behind the scenes work that goes on but never really appreciated how much of it is completed by volunteers.  It really is the volunteers that can make or break an event.  Its not just the physios, paramedics, SES, massage, and podiatrists volunteering their skills, it’s the drivers and checkpoint staff, those doing data entry, checking toilets are stocked and clean, providing tea and coffee to other staff and volunteers, and doing the myriad of other details that make it all come together.

Volunteer extraordinaire....there are just some people that have the ability to lift the energy level of everyone around them.  Events like this are lucky to have people like this volunteer.

Volunteer extraordinaire….there are just some people that have the ability to lift the energy level of everyone around them. Events are lucky to have people like this volunteer.

The volunteers are also the heart and soul of the event, cheering on the participants at each checkpoint, creating the party atmosphere as they come up the final stretch, celebrating in their victory of staying the distance and hanging in there when they wanted to quit, and shedding a tear when the participants do, as you can literally feel their exhaustion and the emotion that is just so close to the surface.

I think that I really did get the best shift, I was entering the team numbers at the final checkpoint and printing out certificates for all the participants.  I thought I would struggle to stay awake past midnight (I’m not usually a night owl) but time passed quickly.  I was able to see so many teams complete their journey and it was inspiring.

This was at the start of my shift, all four members completing the 100km which was quite a feat.  Quite a few teams lost members due to injury or exhaustion.

This was at the start of my shift, 37 hours in for these guys and all four members completing the 100km which was quite a feat. Quite a few teams lost members due to injury or exhaustion.

Is it any wonder that after walking this distance that they succumb to blisters like these!  This man was quite proud of his blister lol.

Is it any wonder that after walking this distance that they succumb to blisters like these! This man was quite proud of his blister lol.

Even after hearing many participants say they will never do this again and that every part of their body was aching, I was still totally inspired and will be putting this event on one of my hitlists at some point in time.  Maybe next year?  Who wants to join me?

John Forrest National Park and the Troll Tunnel…A Picture Story

This would have to be one of the best family day trips we have done, I know big call, but it was just such a nice day with lots to see and explore for the boys.  Its another reason to get outside and explore all your National Parks as you never know what gems you may come across.

John Forrest National Park is located in the Mundaring Shire and can be accessed via Park Road off the Great Eastern Highway, or from the Western entrance in Swan View (cnr of Pechey and Morrison Roads).  We chose to park at the Western entrance as we wanted to ride our bikes and the old railway tunnel was located close to this point.  I thought we would need something early in the piece to grab the boys attention or we would lose them to their whinging about sore legs or that they were too hot.  If you are going via the Park Road entrance there is a negligible National Park entry fee.

Here are a few pictures from our wonderful day exploring a small part of John Forrest National Park.

 

After unloading all the bikes, helmets, and backpacks we were ready to go.

After unloading all the bikes, helmets, and backpacks we were ready to go.  We didn’t really know what to expect but that is half the fun of exploring.

After only 800m we came across the 'Troll Tunnel'.  You have to make it exciting and a little scary for boys.  In we go.....dah da daaaaa (thats supposed to be scary music).

After only 800m (we actually missed the first entrance as it was only a little trail off to the right of the main path) we came across the ‘Troll Tunnel’. You have to make it exciting and a little scary for boys. In we go…..dah da daaaaa (thats supposed to be scary music).

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!!

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!!

The tunnel itself is only 340m long and you can always see the light at the end of the tunnel, so while a little daunting it was achieveable and a little thrilling.  You can always ride around it if you are not up for it as the road loops around.

The tunnel itself is only 340m long and you can always see the light at the end of the tunnel.  So while a little daunting, it was achieveable and a little thrilling. You can always ride around it if you are not up for it as the road loops around.

Next stop was National Park Falls which was only another kilometre along the trail.  Spring is a great time to visit as there is plenty of water on the falls and the wildflowers are blooming.  Plenty of rock hopping for the boys too.

Next stop was National Park Falls which was only another kilometre along the trail. Spring is a great time to visit as there is plenty of water on the falls and the wildflowers are blooming. Plenty of rock hopping for the boys too.

At this point the boys were starting to wonder what was for lunch.  Lucky it was only another 800m or so to the John Forrest Wildflower Tavern.  It was great, the boys were able to feed the kangaroos that were lolling around.  We saw three joeys in their pouches too.  The birds were really friendly too.  We had a great pub lunch and really reasonable prices.

At this point the boys were starting to wonder what was for lunch. Lucky it was only another 800m or so to the John Forrest Wildflower Tavern. It was great, the boys were able to feed the kangaroos that were lolling around and we saw three joeys in their pouches. The birds were really friendly too. We had a great pub lunch, with really reasonable prices.

Next stop was Hovea Falls, again, this was not far along the trail.  I bet you are wondering what path I took across to this point??  OK, yes I did get my feet wet, doh!

Next stop was Hovea Falls, again, this was not far along the trail. I bet you are wondering what path I took across to this point?? OK, yes I did get my feet wet, doh!

On the return journey we let the boys have a bit of a splash in the rapids rambling past the Tavern grounds.  Water was still a little chilly and we found a few little leaches on one of the boys after they got out....eeewww.  Hate those suckers.

On the return journey we let the boys have a bit of a splash in the rapids rambling past the Tavern grounds. The water was still a little chilly and we found a few little leaches on one of the boys after they got out….eeewww. Hate those suckers.

Our little man learnt quite quickly to stand when Dad stands, sit when Dad sits, and laugh when Dad says pedal!  Time to go home.....what a wonderful day.

Our little man learnt quite quickly to stand when Dad stands, sit when Dad sits, and laugh when Dad says pedal!

Time to go home….what a wonderful day.