Blogging from Down Under

Archive for the month “October, 2014”

It’s been a bad day – please don’t take a picture.

I’m borrowing a few words from REM today because, well, . . . .clues in the title.

If I’m honest it’s been a bad few days but I couldn’t find song lyrics to suit, so just work with me.

I have been feeling pretty low over the last few weeks really, nothing horrendous, just life getting on top of me a bit. It’s hard work this stay at home mum lark.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not  suggesting for a minute that it is any easier being a working mum I am just saying that in my situation as a stay at home mum I’m struggling a bit.

I am tired,

Read more…


Melbourne Half Marathon 2014

You can do this
Just put one foot in front of the other
You’ve got this
Mind over matter

My mantra as I took on my first ever half marathon nearly 10 months after the birth of my second beautiful baby Flo-Bear.

I signed up to give myself a goal to work towards, I train better and stay more focused when I have a set goal to hit.

I’m not gonna lie, back in June when I first signed up it seemed like a long way off, plenty of time to train, plenty of time to get the mileage up. It’s all good, I will take it slow and steady, I won’t be stupid about it I will build up my miles slowly.

Then the niggle started,
then the niggle got worse.
I went to see the physio, I foam rolled (owww) I stretched, I did my rehab exercises, I stopped increasing the mileage.

Still the niggle niggled away until I was in so much pain I thought I would not be able to run at all.

I saw the chiropractor in a last ditch attempt to run pain free and although he worked a minor miracle in 10 minutes, still it was not quite right and I set off on my first ever half marathon wondering if it would hurt, when would it hurt and would it beat me on the day.

Before the race. ahh look at me, so happy in my blissful ignorance!

Before the race. ahh look at me, so happy in my blissful ignorance!

My question was answered within 300m from the start, as I rounded the corner towards iconic Flinders Street station, feeling myself being pushed along by the wave of runners surging past me.

I need to take it slow
I need to pace myself
Slowly but surely wins the race

You can do this
Just put one foot in front of the other
You’ve got this
Mind over matter

Onwards I trotted trying to take in the atmosphere, enjoy it and not think about my knee.

3KM – spurred on by my lovely little family cheering for me, I continued to take it steady, the pain pulsing quietly in the background.

I'm In there somewhere, can you spot me?

I’m In there somewhere, can you spot me?

6KM – the pain spreads round to the side of the knee, and by 9k my whole leg is seizing up. I pop my pills, and down an energy gel and this gives me a boost to carry on. I employ some of the tactics that my chiropractor gave me for race day to loosen the muscles up. It doesn’t really work.

You can do this
Just put one foot in front of the other
You’ve got this
Mind over matter

13KM – my glute is getting tighter and tighter, the tightness spreading down the back of my leg behind my knee making it extremely difficult to stretch my leg properly with each stride.

17KM – please be over soon, please be over soon, please be over soo . . . wait! hang on, why are all the marathoners going this way? Where are all the half marathoners? Crap, where have all the half marathoners gone? Am I going the wrong way? – please no, no, no, no. . .

Oh wait there’s another half marathoner, thank goodness I don’t have to carry on the marathon route.

Just keeping running, just keep running – man I’m getting delirious now.

19KM – when are we going to get to 18Ks! Seriously, this is the looongest km EVER

You can do this
Just put one foot in front of the other
You’ve got this
Mind over matter

Oh yey, 19KM, how did I miss 18, doesnt matter, 2 ks to go, 2 ks to go, ee I addio 2 ks to go!

19.2KM – Holy Crap, why is my knee hurting so much, have I broken it? why won’t it bend properly? I want to cry, don’t cry, don’t cry you’re nearly there.

You can do this
Just put one foot in front of the other
You’ve got this
Mind over matter

20.6KM – 500m to go, must run the last bit, I will run the last bit if it’s the last thing I do, you can’t run the last bit, your leg is going to fall off. Hell no, it’s not, oh there’s the finish line. I’m sprinting, what am I doing, I’m actually sprinting, how am I doing this? My knee is killing, keep going, keep going.


imageimageimageimageThank goodness that’s over.

Bloody Hell, my knee is hurting. I can’t really stand up now, that was a rubbish time.

The rest of the day was spent like this. Ouchee

The rest of the day was spent like this. Ouchee

But you know what?! I actually finished.

It wasn’t pretty and it was by no means fast, but I got it done.


Now what is my next challenge going to be?

Half marathon jitters!

Today is Tuesday, in case you didn’t know!

No wait don’t go I’m really going somewhere with this honestly!
Ok, so, today is Tuesday which means that it is 5 days to the weekend which means that in just 5 days I am going to be running in my first ever half marathon. . .

Weeeeeell I say running it, clearly I am using the word in the loosest possible way. What I mean is I will be dragging my gammy right limb all the way round the 21.1kms to (hopefully) finish up in the mighty ‘G’. (MCG – aka Melbourne Cricket Ground) .

Since I finished my longest training run (and longest run of my life – ever) of 18k a couple of weeks ago my knee has been playing up in spectacular fashion. I’ve had many a diagnosis including patella tendinopothy, and ITB issues all the way down to the ‘very technical’ tight arse – granted that wasn’t from a medical professional.
Ah, If only that was meant in the way I wish it was!

Anyhoo, having not run for 11 days as I tried to rest my knee, I decided to do a loosener today. My last before Sunday and alas 5 minutes in the knee began hurting again.

Not boding well.

I’ve also been recommended a shedload of drugs to help me through on race day too, none of which I can actually take because I am breastfeeding.


I’ve been stretched within and inch of my life today by the PT at the gym and he’s recommended a chiropractor in a last ditch attempt to run pain free on Sunday. So I am off to see him tomorrow.

So at the moment my plan is to . . . . Ah who am I kidding? I have no plan!

Did I say Awesome?

You know that proverb about the hardest race being in your mind (or something),

It’s crap!

All things Bright and Beaut(y)ful.

This past weekend we spent a few days away in Country Alpine Victoria. Our plan was to head off early on Friday to make the 4 hour trip.

Husb was very organised, getting up early and going to the market as soon as it opened to get our food for the weekend.
Husb then cooked said food for the weekend and packed it all ready to take with us.
Husb then packed all the stuff for himself, the Bear and Flo-bear. To get us ready to go.

Husb did all this while I ran around in circles.

Nope not a euphemism, not a witty way of saying I am not very organised (although I’m not). No, while husb was doing all that stuff I was literally running around in circles.
18k’s worth of circles actually.
You see Friday is my ‘long run’ day in preparation for my first ever half marathon that I will be doing in just 2 weeks time.

I am somewhat contained on my runs though as I put the kids into crèche which means I am not allowed to go out of the confines of the park so I had to make an 18ker out of the finite amount of paths there. Hence the loops of the park and circle running.

Anyway, circles done, we headed off, making our way along the Great Alpine Road towards Victorias ski country.

We were headed for a place called Dederang via Myrtleford, which is famous for its butter.

Dederang is about 50k from the town of Bright, the more well-known town in the area, which is famous for its beautiful autumnal colours. Why didn’t we stay in Bright? Well the place that we were staying came highly recommended by our friends in Melbourne who have now sadly returned to the UK (boo) so we were really excited to go.
It was called The Farmhouse bed and breakfast is located on a farm (clues in the name). It is run by a lovely genuine lady, who is very warm and welcoming going out of her way to give us an enjoyable stay.

I would highly recommend a stay here if you are visiting the area, we loved it and are already making plans for going back.image

Check out the website here

imageThe Bear was in his absolute element, helping to herd the cows, feed the chooks and collect the eggs and not forgetting the piece de resistance – driving the tractor.

imageHe absolutely loved it and all the way home (yes all 4 loooong hours home) he repeatedly told us that he didn’t want to go back to Melbourne and instead wanted to stay at the Farmhouse for ever and ever. High praise indeed. (Although I must say, after 2 hours of it – I would have quite happily left him at the farmhouse ‘for ever and ever’ as requested, just to get a bit of peace and quiet!)

I was up early the first morning and after feeding Flo-Bear in the warm snuggles of the bed while the rest of the family slept I took her out into the lounge to give the boys a bit of extra sleep time.
The sun was just starting to rise and the morning mist still hung on the mountains waiting to be burned away by the strengthening sun.

imageThe view from the front verandah of the little farmhouse was absolutely breathtaking. Arriving in the dark we hadn’t yet had the opportunity to see the glorious alpine landscape properly and to finally be able to view it so early in the quiet stillness while the outside world was just starting to come to life, was a calming experience.
imageI sat on the verandah and breathed it in for a little while, feeling the stresses and rushing of yesterday’s running, packing and travelling melt away up high into the mountains. (I didn’t hang around too long mind, it was cold and I was only in my PJ’s).

Our first day in Victorias alpine country was pretty awesome for a couple of reasons, the first being the breathtaking countryside that we were in and the second was that the Bear rode his bike for the first time without any training wheels on the farm.image

Proud does not cover it, I was ‘totes emosh’ as he cycled around the bumpy ground of the farm like it was second nature, with barely a wobble. He didn’t need us to get him going or help him stop, he just went for it.
Once he started there was no stopping the boy either, we drove over to Bright and followed the Canyon Walk and Rail Trail cycle route around Bright and he was well away. He couldn’t understand why I kept hugging him though, he didn’t seem to quite get the momentousness of the day. But he was happy, cycling around even standing up cycling at some points and going on ahead before stopping and waiting impatiently for us all to catch him up! Love him.

On Sunday we headed up to Falls Creek. Falls Creek is one of the Victorian ski resorts. It was the last day of the ski season and although we had no intention of actually skiing, given the fact that both Bear and husb were in shorts, we wanted to go up and see how the Aussies do it. We looked at it as a bit of a recki for next year.
imageimageGiven that it was the end of the 2013/14 ski season there was no snow in resort at all and to be honest there was barely any on the slopes either. I think they’d done a stellar job of keeping some skiable terrain as long as they had. That said, it was easy to see where the snow had been and it looks like it is quite a good, if small resort with plenty of ski in/out options for accommodation. Certainly ideal for a first time four year old skier.

Obligatory snow done we made our way back taking in the Fainter Falls walk on the way back. Husb giving me a heart attack by leaving Flo to her own devices above a raging torrent of water. image(Only slightly overreacting, but I’m not, ok I was!)

Between renegade Flo-Bear and kamikaze Bear running around on the narrow precipice path and tripping over repeatedly, I thought I was going to have a heart attack!


imageimageDuring the rest of our visit we made it up to the village of Mount Beauty, an Alpine Village about 40 minutes away from Falls Creek. It was very quiet when we were there but I can imagine it will be heaving in high season.

All around that area is great for skiing in the winter but it is also set up very well for mountain biking in the summer with plenty of trails to take for all levels. Even for the Bears newly found biking prowess.

We also managed to get up to Beechworth a town famous for its honey and obviously, we came away with the obligatory jar or 3 of Beechworth honey after I’d taste tested every jar in the shop first. Well you’ve got to make sure you’re making the right decision don’t you? Couple that with our haul of grass fed butter and ghee from Myrtleford Butter Factory, freshly laid eggs, mandarins and lemons from the farm  and we have done pretty well for ourselves in the food stakes this weekend.

This region of Victoria is absolutely beautiful and there is so much more that we wanted to see but just didn’t get the chance, like the Brown brothers winery and the gourmet cheeses from Milawa.

imageThis area is rich in history being the centre of the gold rush era and couple that with the natural beauty of the area, 5 days wasnt nearly enough time to see all that the area has to offer. We would have loved to do some more walks Round the area, do proper cycle routes and learn about the rich history a bit more.

imageThis region is our new favourite place and I can’t believe it has taken us 2 and 1/2 years to get here. Husb was eagerly pointing out property for sale in the area and excitedly telling me how we could make it work.
Seriously I thought I was on location, location, location, at some points. Not that he gets himself carried away or anything!

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