Going bush

Gradually the return to running is happening.  Slowly slowly wins the rehab race.  Tonight 8kms through the forestry tracks near Montana Falls, just a few kms from the farmhouse.  The ground was soft underfoot but with rocks and branches to navigate.  The bush was quiet except for the odd rustle, thump, thump as a wallaby bounded away through the undergrowth.  The sounds of birds calling and sometimes the bellow of a love-sick bull in the distance.

Hurting my knee has truly sucked.  I had to let go of a running dream.  Initially I was devastated.  It so happened that at the time we were going through some serious rubbish on the farm that could’ve seen us packing bags there and then.  Then my beloved pussy cat died.  Over the last few weeks when it’s all got too much and the old black dog has been at my heels, I’m not sure if my tears have been for the lack of running, the troubles of the farm or losing my pussy cat or all of it all together.  And we still don’t know what our future holds.  Our hold on the farm is tenuous.

Thank goodness for the lend of those bikes and the wonderful positive thing that training for the little triathlon has brought.

Tonight it was back to my true love – running.  Slow running on a Wednesday night out in the bush close to home.  You cannot wipe the smile off my face right now.

montana-run

20161207_185225

20161207_183218

20161207_185230

20161207_185445

20161207_185711

20161207_190355

20161207_191253

20161207_192624

20161207_192707

A perfect place to increase the kms a little.  8kms slowly through the bush with Pauly.

far happy always

Happy running🙂

Montana Falls

Another Quacker becomes an Ultra Marathoner

Back in 2013 after a bit of internet research, keen for more running experiences, I came across the Bruny Island Ultra.  Back then I thought there was no way that I could ever run that far.  I hadn’t done a half marathon so 64kms?  It didn’t seem possible.

quackers logo

This is the wonderful graphic that CJ did for our team.  She is not only creative and talented but just the most lovely lady x  Her blog is wonderful CeeJayKayFit.

2015 saw Pauly line up and four Quackers, Louise, Grant, Janette and Unsporty, run with him in a relay.  We loved it!  Every step.  Not so Pauly who cooked himself during the first 42kms and found the last 22km tougher than tough.

Bring on this year, 2016.  Team Huey and Louie (Pauly and Louise) lined up at the start to run the whole way as solo runners (that means not in a team, that means running the whole entire long way).

What a difference a year of running makes.  This time Huey and Louie paced themselves well.  They fueled and hydrated perfectly.  It didn’t make it any less tough but they ran smarter than Huey ran last year.  They made it and had fun along the way.  Time was 7:35:23 for both of them, a bit slower than Pauly’s time last year but finishing so much stronger and happier.  Pauly was 27th out of 46 male solo runners and Louie was 14th lady out of 21 female solo runners.  This was not about times, it was about the experience; the experience that all the Quackers had was AWESOME!

The Quackers Support Crew, Grant, Janette and Unsporty, crewed smarter this year as well.  We learnt so much from our first attempt at supporting an ultra marathoner.  We had their hydration and nutrition planned and laid out.  We had less mucking around and more economy in the way we supported.  We also had our cheering planned.  We had a music play list and many times during those stops (every 2kms) we had other supporters want to be near us because we were where the party was at. We cheered every single runner regardless of the death stares some gave us.  We learnt from last year that for many runners, they are taking in those cheers and encouraging words but not able to show it on the run.  But at the end?  We were hugged and thanked by many.

A Support Crew selfie at the very first stop. We stopped every 2kms along the way at designated stops. We love our Quacker caps that Louie surprised us with.

A Support Crew selfie at the very first stop. We stopped every 2kms along the way in the designated areas. We love our Quackers caps that Louie surprised us with.

Janette with everything laid out for the runners.

Janette with everything laid out for the runners.

Looking wonderful!

Looking wonderful!  Is that Louie singing???

This is Bernadette, she husband Grant was running solo, I think she had enough Jelly Beans for the entire field of entrants!

This is Bernadette, her husband Grant was running solo, I think she had enough Jelly Beans for the entire field of entrants!

20161203_080719

On the Isthmus…

20161203_090103

As the runners went off to keep chipping away at those 64kms the supporters were busy making plans for the next stop and what we would feed them.  We were busy the whole way, I’m glad we had three of us because we all supported each other as well as the runners.  I don’t think we stopped laughing or smiling the whole time.

20161203_094916

A marathon done and a half marathon to go!

There's the Unsporty Woman having a little run too - 6kms, her longest run since hurting her knee :)

There’s the Unsporty Woman having a little run too – 6kms, her longest run since hurting her knee🙂 When possible, the supporters drove slowly alongside the runners blasting out some motivational tunes.

This is the famous bridge where Pauly did his Troll impression last year - fortunately this year there was no troll-like behaviour.

This is the famous bridge where Pauly did his Troll impression last year – fortunately this year there was no troll-like behaviour (as in going under bridges or being grumpy).

Fueling on coffee milk like a real running dairy farmer.

Fueling on coffee milk like the real running dairy farmer that Pauly is.

screenshot_20161205-124025

Everyone loved our music and Louie even found the energy to dance and sing quite a few times. Let’s just say that Louie is a much better runner than she is singer….🙂  Grant had a motivating and uplifting playlist that got everyone grooving, even tired runners.

The byline of this blog says in part …Encouraging everyone to get active and have a go.  I hoped that 2016 was going to be my year to try and run those 64kms.  It wasn’t.  But what I did was support two of my favouritest running people in the whole world achieve a massive goal and that warms my heart and makes me happy.  AND I got to share the support with two wonderful running friends, Janette and Grant.  Being a supporter on Saturday meant that all three of us lived and breathed this statement helping out two people who are special to us.  What could be better than that?

We had the best weekend.  A weekend that shows why we work hard and train hard:  so that we can get out there and have some fun leaving our day to day concerns at home just for a little while.

If ever you think you can’t do this running thing, please remember this…. It was only a few years ago that a certain runner said to Pauly and I that she would like to join us on a 5km fun run but she wasn’t feeling confident about being in a fun run with lots of people.  She wanted to come with us for a bit of friendship and moral support.  She aced that 5km fun run!  Next she eyed off the Cadbury Half Marathon but she wasn’t sure she could run that far.  She did.  In fact she dragged me along.  Soon we were training regularly together and as I glance over my shoulder I see multiple half marathons and five marathons.  The lesson here is don’t ever doubt yourself.  Believing that you can run gets you half way there, then comes the gradual increase in distance and the dogged commitment to training.  If the small voice in your head says that it’s too much and you can’t, please remember my friend Louie who started with a 5km fun run and on Saturday she became an Ultra Marathoner.  Believe in yourself Dear Reader, believe.

And now for some finishing photos…

Look for a tiny orange dot and a tiny white dot, Huey and Louie making their way to the lighthouse and the finish...64kms almost done.

Look for a tiny orange dot and a tiny white dot (between the red roofed buildings and the green roofed building), Huey and Louie making their way to the lighthouse and the finish…64kms almost done.

...almost at that *beep* lighthouse!

…almost at that *beep* lighthouse!

FINISHED! Two Quacker Ultra Marathoners!

FINISHED! Two Quacker Ultra Marathoners!

This is Louie when she thought that they had run out of medals :)

This is Louie when she thought that they had run out of medals🙂

screenshot_20161205-124059

Found one!

Finished!

Finished!

A kiss for his wife <3

A kiss for his wife❤ – looking just a little pooped!

Back at Allonnah for the presentations and time for a Bruny Island Cider for the girls and a pumpkin soup for Grant.

Back at Alonnah for the presentations and time for a Bruny Island Cider for the girls and a pumpkin soup for Grant.

More surprises - Louie had a medal made for us that said Best Support Crew Ever <3

More surprises – Louie had a medal made for us that said Best Support Crew Ever

Happy running🙂

…and next year it will hopefully be the turn for two more from Team Quackers to cross the line and become Ultra Marathoners…. I’m believing.

Celebrations back at the beach house. Love the view from the deck.

Celebrations back at the beach house. Love the view from the deck.  Notice the cap and goggles?  You’ll never guess what some of the Quackers are doing next weekend!  It involves swimming, cycling, running and bubbles.

Go Louie and Huey!

imagine-believe-achieve

It hasn’t been the ideal lead up for either of these two running ducks, but what I do know about both of them is that they have guts and determination.  On Saturday they will start at the start line and chip away at those 64kms step by step and then cross the finish line triumphant!  The theme song will be masses of cheering from Grant, Janette and the Unsporty Woman.  We believe in them and know they can do it.  Bruny Island Ultra here we come!

Two sleep Team Louie and Huey, two sleeps to go!

1375970_643171522369775_695099100_n

Happy running🙂

PS I was second last at the triathlon but really happy with the results over all.  Three people go out of the water after me.  The time for the swim includes the swim to bike transition so I really do need to work on my toe drying, sock putting on and shoe lace tying skills…either that or forget the socks and go with wet feet (ewww).  The next triathlon is on 10 December!  Another opportunity to try a tri🙂  Looks like I was the oldest old girl who was prepared to have her age listed!

firsttriresults

Having a try at a tri

When life gives you lemons make lemonade they say.  Not being able to train for and run Bruny Island Ultra this year has been a huge disappointment.  What to do?  Thanks to Bruce lending me a bike and giving lots of encouragement I entered and completed a triathlon today.  It’s my 52nd birthday too.  A baby triathlon called a Super Sprint:  300m swim, 10km ride and a 2.5km run.

For the last six weeks since my knee has started to heal I’ve been carefully testing it out with little brick sessions (a brick is a ride followed up by a run).  It’s gone really well; slowly slowly wins the rehab race.  Wednesday night I ran 5kms with no issues.  The knee is about at 98%.

The sun was out for triathlon number one.  24°C.  The water was like a pond, calm and clear but icy.  I’m really pleased with how it went.  The objective was to finish.  I did that and I’m thinking it was under the hour but I don’t know for sure because I didn’t fuss with any timing devices (even though my Polar RC3 GPS records cycling and running, I left it at home).  I wasn’t last.  I think I was second last.

Here are a few little videos that Pauly took.  I need to work on my swim to ride transition!  There were two events on at the same time, the one I was in and a Sprint distance triathlon which is pretty much double what I did.

20161127_100217

Mum, Dad, me and Janette pre-start.

I want to say a big thank you to Pauly who took me out for a trial of the race a month ago.  He kept me going.  I want to say thank you to Mum and Dad who came to watch and clapped and cheered.  I want to say thank you to Louise for encouraging me and keeping me strong.  I want to say thank you to Janette for encouraging me and keeping me strong and she made a super human effort and was able to come and watch the start before zooming off to other commitments.  I want to say thank you to Sam for her inspiration and encouragement.  I want to say the biggest thank you to Bruce for lending me the bike.  He lent me the bike before I hurt my knee and at the time I was feeling very unsure about attempting a triathlon so close to an ultra.  As it turns out focusing on the triathlon was the best thing ever.  I am very grateful for wonderful friends and family.  And as for that Canadian Cheer Squad – you ladies should hire yourselves out!

20160328_105545

This is how I like to remember my beautiful orange pussy cat, outside in the sun being free and doing his own thing with Poppy.

This week has been a tough one.  For the last three weeks my beautiful pussy cat Minite had been hiding in the cupboard and just not himself.  Initially I put this down to the Tasmanian Devils living under the house.  In the last week he lost quite a bit of weight.  He wasn’t himself so I took him to the Vet.  After a scan it was confirmed that he had advanced intestinal cancer.  I made the gut-wrenching decision to allow him to go to sleep.  I am heart broken.  He was more than a cat to my family.  He was a cherished family member.  The person who knows all our secrets.  The person who gave us unconditional love (as long as we fed him that is).  He was with me during some of the most troubling times in my life before I met Pauly.  Then my beautiful Mintie adapted to being a farm kitty without a hitch.  In fact he loved his eight years here more than his eight years as a town pussy cat.  He was in his element.  My beautiful boy was 16 years old.

Today I nearly gave up and didn’t do the triathlon because my heart is just too broken.  I’m glad I didn’t.  For life goes on.  The worse thing that I could do for the memory of Mintie would be to give up.  He was no quitter that beautiful cat.  I will never forget the hard times he helped me through.  Today was for him.

It’s time to mourn and be sad.  But soon the time will be to remember the happiness and joy that my cat brought to my family.  I’m so grateful that the stars lined up and Mintie joined our family.  This grief is worth the richness that he brought my children and I.

It’s with a lot of sadness that I tell you that my beautiful friend Louie lost her most cherished puppy dog Eddie only a few weeks ago, also to cancer.  I didn’t want to write about this because she has been so sad and I didn’t want to upset her.  I hope that we can navigate this time of mourning and find our happy again very soon.  Our running will help us and soon Louie, I will be back running distance with you complete with non-stop talking and chatter and laughs and shrek-like noises!  We will never stop missing and loving our fur babies but one day soon we will find our happy x

With finishing a triathlon I have a problem.  I simply can’t call myself Unsporty when I’ve completed a multi-sport event.  I can run with the notion that running is an activity and not a sport.  But this notion of activity doesn’t run to swimming or cycling.  More on this later.

Next Saturday Louise and Pauly will be lining up for the Bruny Island Ultra.  Go Team Louie and Huey!!!

Happy running🙂

Plans and Projects

I love running I really do.  A day with a run in it is always a good day.  The cleansing and healing power of sweat caused through exertion is better than any therapy or drug.  It clears the mind and soul and makes the heart soar.

I truly do love to run.

far happy always

Now that my runs are shorter and less frequent my appreciation of them has grown even more.  I’m at a point in the Rehab Race where it is perfectly feasible to start increasing distance and frequency of running but guess what?  I’m not going to.

768

Nope, I’m sticking with my 2km to 4km runs for the next two weeks.  You see, Dear Reader, I have a new project.  Something challenging, different and hopefully lots of fun.  Something that is totally terrifying me too!

37-120213142728

Next Sunday I’m turning 52 and on that day I’m going to step out of my comfort zone in a huge way and try something new.  I’d rather fail trying than fail by not giving it a go.

1012359_558344033671_313307205_n

I shall tell you about it then.

b43957fe6ca6f921f1e5b1427c10abe1

Age is only a number.  Who says we have to behave a certain way or dress a certain way just because of age?  Here’s to growing older creatively and actively.

Happy running🙂

101693-age-is-just-a-number-meme

 

Running in Tasmania – plans can change just like that

Tasmania is the island State of Australia.  Our Island sits south of the Australian mainland at 41.4545° S, 145.9707° E.  To the north is Bass Straight, to the East is the Tasman Sea, to the West is The Indian Ocean and to the South is the Southern Ocean and Antarctica.

Our weather is known for its variety and severity.  We can get all seasons in one day and just because on the calendar it says it’s spring (like now) doesn’t mean our weather will be spring-like at all.  We’re on the cusp of summer and today is wild and wintry.

Today is Point to Pinnacle and due to dire weather conditions the race was not from Wrest Point at sea level to the Pinnacle of Mt Wellington at 1250m in elevation.  It was Point to Point – 10.5kms up and 10.5kms down.

How bitterly disappointing for those who trained to run all the way up the mountain.

Each year it’s always a possibility that a point to point course may be decided on due to the weather conditions and race organisers are up front about this.

I say to anyone who lined up today that you are a star.  You trained to be at that finish line and were prepared to take on the mountain no matter what mood he decided to be in.  Very well done!  You are a Pinnacle Star and no one can take that away from you.

pinnaclestar

Things don’t go to plan quite often in this mixed up world that we live in.  Being able to adapt and come up with a new plan is one of the most wonderful things about being human.

if-plan-a-doesn-t-work-the-alphabet-has-25-more-letters

When I first started this blog finding information about Tasmanian running events was not easy.  I started a page especially to list events.  I try and update it once a quarter (the date it was last updated is listed at the end of the page).  Today I’ve done an update and have included some new runs – new and new to me.  A brand new run for next year is the inaugural running of the Gone Nuts 101 in February.  This event has three distances and can be run in a team.  The longest is 101kms.  It’s firmly on my wish list for one year in the future – a team event or the 50kms that is.  I’m not nuts enough to want to run 101kms.  The name comes from where the race starts.  The little town of Stanley on North West Tasmania has a unique geographical feature known as The Nut.  If you get the opportunity to see the movie The Light Between Oceans, some of the filming took place in Stanley.

Since this blog started, running has grown and grown in our island state.  While it’s disappointing when the weather conditions cause events to change, the great thing is that there is always another event to choose from.  Something to train for. Something to challenge us.  No matter what happens on the day the aim is to keep on running.  To the Point to Pinnacle organisers who made the call to change the course today, I say Good Call!  I can’t imagine it was an easy decision.

Happy running🙂

Boot Camp Farm-style

Pauly and I have often talked about the concept of a live-in boot camp on the farm.  Every day is one big boot camp for Pauly.  Over the years we’ve seen many a rookie farm worker go from looking soft around the gills to toned, fit and tanned in a matter of months.

What if we could do this for stressed out bean-counting, pen-pushing, computer-chained city workers who sit all day to make their living?  City people who leave home in the dark, get sucked into a high rise and then spat out at the end of the day once again in the dark.

How about some honest hard work out in the fresh air to tone up the body and cleanse the soul?  Sunshine.  Fresh Air.  Wind.  Rain.  Getting dirty.  Moving, carrying, lifting, walking, pulling, pushing all day every day.  And at the end of the day tired from a hard day of physical work rather than tired from the air-conditioned stress  of working in a politically correct office environment.

It’s an interesting concept.

I had time to think yesterday while I supported Team Huey and Louie’s longest long run in their Bruny Island Ultra training.  This support crew thing is quite hectic.  Yesterday the team opted to run 30 minute loops due to the looming bad weather and Louie with the final lingering bits of a nasty cold.  They are so ready to run those 64kms!

A view of Meander River

A view of Meander River

20161111_094354

20161111_094822

There’s Pauly in his orange fluro and Louie running too

Up and over one of the foot bridges

Up and over one of the foot bridges

Pit stop

Pit stop

What if I were to add custom running training with support to our little concept of Farm Boot Camp?  Now that would be so much fun!  One problem though, I’m not a coach or a PT.  But I would be extremely good at keeping my victims guests on track with a program that they brought to the farm with them.  Dedicated and disciplined.  That would be our motto.

Rehab Race Update

That checkered flag is so close now.  It’s not looking like I’ll be able to run the half marathon at Cadbury Marathon in January, but when I wondered about the 5km my beautiful Osteo asked if there was a 10km run because I’d be able to do that no worries.  10kms!  TEN. WHOLE. KMS???? Oooooo sweet!  Yes please.  Pauly came in with me to my appointment and asked about me doing Great Ocean Road Marathon in May 2017.  My Osteo says that is totally doable.  Bruny Island Ultra dream for 2017 is born.

More needling and more cupping and the ITB is feeling so much better.  Yesterday I ran 3.5kms and it was better than good.  Slowly slowly wins the rehab race.  The Osteo pointed out that my fitness regime has what she called straight line activities:  running, swimming, cycling.  She wants me to start to do more boot camp like exercises.  Yay!  I have so missed my burpees.  I LOVE burpees.  And lunges.  Oh how I have missed those.  It’s still carefully carefully though.  I’m not quite up to full on leaping and jumping but getting there.

And today I walked parkrun in 39:45.  I always say to myself If you’re going to walk in a race, walk like you mean it!  Launceston parkrun turned four today.

Here is a list of the exercises I’ve been doing for the ITB, 3 x 10 of each:

  • Bridges
  • Table top:  from table top, tap one foot down and then the other
  • Knee drop:  lie on back, knees bent, slowly lower one knee to the side, return, do the other knee, repeat
  • Theraband:  sit on chair, loop the band around chair leg, put band around foot and extend the leg
  • Squats using a fit ball
  • Russian twists
  • Planks
  • Upright rows with barbell
  • From standing position, hold a 2kg weight in each hand with hands by sides, raise weight to level with waist, lower and repeat
  • Push ups
My home gym

My home gym complete with baby moo cows out the window

Borrowed bike and wind trainer, thanks Bruce.

Borrowed bike and wind trainer, thanks Bruce.

To finish up piriformis and quad stretching with a full body foam roll.

Oh and five minutes of mindfulness.

I’m doing my own version of boot camp here on the farm.  And my view is lovely.

To anyone running Point to Pinnacle tomorrow, all the very best to you x  Go claim that mountain!  I sincerely hope the weather forecast is wrong!

Happy running🙂

Here’s a video of some Tasmanian Native Hens and their babies and one of a Swan and her cygnets.