Monday, April 2, 2012

Mount Hayfield Trail Run.

Take a very hot late Summer's day here in South Australia and a bus load of crazy trail runners and you have the makings for a very spectacular run and a whole load of  fun. This is what we got the day we all made a very early start to tackle Mt. Hayfield on a 35C + morning. We had a very early start on the bus for the 2 hour journey but by the time we arrived at the starting point the day was already very hot.

The trail started with a very gentle jog through a cool sheltered pine forest trail. However as usual on our trail runs, people began to get quite creative with their directions. Maps were abandoned and many soon began to get lost.

What initially seemed like a gentle climb however soon became a hot, high hill of fun but torture.

This steep ascent continued for around 4kms in full sun. And it was hot, hot,hot. By half way up most of us were barely managing to crawl up it.

And so it continued, just going up. I don't do heat very well and so by the time I reached the top I was starting to feel a tad sorry for myself.

The trail flattened off for a few kms. but it still remained very hot in the full sun.

But just look at the magnificent view. It was so worth feeling like crap for.

Trail Director Terry knows full well how bad most of us are at going the correct way. That Terry's directions and instructions are not always known for their accuracy may have something to do with the fact that we don't always use our maps.However with this trail Terry excelled himself by going out a few days earlier and marking the trail with these Tee Pees.

19 kms later we all arrived back at the bus in small groups with most coming from different directions and all having done different distances according to how badly we got lost.
Terry and his wife Gay very thoughtfully bought along a big ice chest full of ice and cold drinks for us.
Now when I arrived back and I don't mind telling you that I was one of the last, I was so hot I was prepared to do anything to cool down.
And so I just sat my Butt in the ice chest thinking a short time sitting on the ice would help. What I didn't expect was to sink into the water under the top layer of ice.

And neither did I expect that Terry would take his chance here a tip a 5 litre tank of water all over me much to everyone's delight. But as usual with our trails we all had a great day out with lots of adventure and laughter.
Thanks for visiting my blog,
Cheers Karen.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Yes, I do stitch occassionally.

I don't post very often about my stitching exploits. And while I do spend most of my free time running the trails, every evening is my special time to sit and stitch. I must confess that very little time has been spent with Madame Bernina but I have been doing lots of Cross Stitching, although I am painfully slow at it. It's nice to have my evenings with the more ladylike pursuits of stitching as opposed to my days on the trails in mud and dirt.
This Lizzie Kate Design is my most recent finish. The Green Flip It Seris. I love the simplicity and the use of primary colours of Lizzie Kate design's. They are always such a pleasure to stitch.


I fell in love with the Monthly Word Play Designs by Brenda Gervais as soon as I saw the first one. Just knew I had to stitch them. I have started the October Design using some Valdani threads that I had on 28 count linen. These designs call for Week's Dye Work threads which are impossible to get here in South Australia so I have had to send to America for all the other threads required. I'm not sure why we can't get the variagated threads  in South Australia because we do have a big stitching fraternity here. Most of our needlework shops have long since closed so really we have no alternative but to shop online.


I'm still plodding on with The Shores of Hawk Run Hollow but Oh My God, it's a huge project.I pick it up and am quite diligent with it for a week or so, but then the enormity of the project hits me and I put it down for a quick project to do. However I have completed 5 blocks and am now tackling the big middle double block.

Finally I want to show you this little number that I dug up from the bottom of my ever growing UFO pile. This is a design from a Country Bumpkin Inspiration Magazine but unfortunately I no longer have the magazine or the design name to share with you. It is a 4" x 4" pin cushion stitched mostly in single strand french knots. It was an absolute pleasure to stitch but there is no way a single pin is ever going near it. It's just too beautiful to use.
I have noticed that quite a few ladies are writing on their blogs that they have set themselves a challenge of 15 minutes per day of sewing in an effort to reduce there UFO pile. I like this idea and whist hand stitching is not a problem for me, spending time with Madame Bernina is. I have a number of bags that I want to make for some dear friends plus a new nephew is due in April, so a quilt is a must for him.
Well happy stitching ladies
Thanks for visiting my blog
Cheers Karen. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Next catch up and then I'm all up to date.

The last couple of months have mostly been about bike riding for me. I don't run quite so much in the Summer as a medical condition means I don't cope with the heat particularly well. I find the cycling is great cross training and keeps the legs turning over. I'm even managing to stay upright on the bike more this year with not so many stacks.

The two main cycling events I have done since Christmas are the Big Red Ride and the BUPA Challenge Tour which is part of the Tour Down Under. The BUPA Challenge is the community ride associated with The Tour Down Under which takes place annually each year here in Adelaide. There were 4 distances to choose from ; 130 km, 100 km, 80 km and the 30 km. I did the 100 km with Susi no Bum and the Chubby Hubby did the 30 km with our friend Lil.

Waiting to start the BUPA Challenge from left to right; Pete Worley, Me, Susi no Bum and Sue Worley.

We had a perfect day for the ride and the whole event was really well organised. We started cycling at 0700 and had until 1400 to complete it before the professional riders came through as part of the tour.
Susi and I got off to a really fast start and reached the first check point at Williamstown, 25 km in well under our target of one hour. There were a few sizeable hills in this section and as I was having trouble with the gears on my bike I had to push really hard through the legs.
Once I sorted the gears out thanks to Susi we both powered on. There were check points every 20 or so kms. but we only stopped at the one just before we tackled the King of the Mountain. Before we started this climb we loaded up on fruit cake and energy drink.

The King of the Mountain was pure EVIL. It started with a long, slow climb for 5km and then straight up Mengler's Hill. It was absolutely brutal but the atmosphere on the hill was brilliant. People lined both sides of the road cheering you on, the music was blaring and lots of folk in weird costumes provided lots of laughs. I managed to get about 3/4 of the way up cycling and then I ran out of both gears and legs. After a short recovery walk I was able to get back on my bike and cycle up the rest of the hill and through the victory arch at the top. I got such a shock that I made it to the top that I fell off here :) The final 25km was a breeze. All down hill and lots of folk lining the roads, partying and waiting for the main event. They were all very encouraging. The last 5km was hard. I was exhausted, my legs were screaming and I was developing a mega case of Bot Rot. However the sheer joy of passing through a Tour finishing lane and arch was all worth it. Susi and I finished the ride in 4 hours 20 minutes. Lil and The Chubby Hubby also enjoyed their 30 km ride although they did have a few problems with going the wrong way on the route.

Susi no Bum and Me after going through the finishing line. My face says it all.

Four of The Twisted Sisters relaxing after the Tour. L to R; Susi no Bum, Me, Tracy and Jacky.

January 26th is Australia Day here and the South Australian Road Runners always celebrate by running the Marion Coastal Trail. We start at Brighton and run the trail through to Hallet Cove and back. 16 kms in total with 1,796 stairs, it's not for the faint hearted or those with bung knees.

A section of The Marion Coastal Trail. Stair Hell or Stair Nirvana.


I ran this trail with Dear Friend Sonya.

Sonya and I dressed up for the run in Australia Day T- shirts.

After the run we all had a swim at the beach to cool off. And then we hit the coffee shops in all our wet and sandy finery.

Sonya and I have entered The Tough Mudder event on March 31.We need to do lots of upper body strength work for this event and I have been practicing climbing trees. Well I'm always looking for any excuse to have a bit of a climb. I'll be posting quite a lot more about this event over the next couple of weeks. As part of this training I have also been doing rope work in the gym with Sonya and our trainer Duncan,

The two photos here are taken of The Chubby Hubby, Lil and myself after we had taken part in the 50 km Big Red Ride Bike event. Some of the professional riders from The Tour Down Under joined us on this event which was a huge thrill.

Take care,
Thank you for visiting my Blog.
Cheers Karen.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Big, Big catchup.

 Yet again a couple of months since I last posted. But as usual life gets in the way.
I can't begin this post without acknowledging the sad loss of my 16 year old pooch Lachlan just before Christmas. It was a devastating blow and to be honest I just haven't had ability to post until now.
But on a happier note we were very happy to welcome a new Doggie to our family. Meet Feebee, pictured above. She is a 4 year old Shit-zu who we have rescued from SA Dog Rescue. This organization retrieves dogs from the various pounds around our state who have not been adopted and are on the put to sleep list. She is the most beautiful and gentle little lady who is already giving us so much love. Can't understand why her previous owners dumped her.

 Me running the Portland half marathon in November, with weight loss well on the way.

Over the last 6 months I completely reviewed my eating habits and decided to stop acting like a dog and rewarding myself with food. Given the amount of running and training I was doing I should of been quite trim. But this was sadly not the case. I think I was making the same mistake  many long distance runners do ; that being putting in the long miles but filling up on carbs and junk food after because I was always so hungry. So with the help of a personal trainer I completely changed the way I was eating. 
I significantly increased my protein intake at the same time as gradually reducing my carb loading.The first 2 weeks were tough, with continual sugar cravings and feeling generally crapulent. But gradually the Brain fog began to lift, my energy levels soared and I began to lose about 500grams a week. I'm happy to tell that I have lost 8kgs, God knows how many inches and am really enjoying the type of healthy eating plan I now follow.
Also since my weight loss I have run 3 personal bests and am shaving massive amounts of time off my runs.

 Learning to climb ropes in the gym with my personal trainer.

As well as the long distance running I am still enjoying taking part in many of the bike rides we have here in Adelaide. The photo above is me with dear friends Jaqui, Lil, and Tracy just before we did the Gear up for Girls Bike Ride in early December.

This picture is of dear friend Sonya and I running together in the Glenelg Classic  just recently. I was almost at my goal weight here and for the first time in a couple of years ran 10 km. in under an hour at 59:12.

My next exciting achievement was only a week later in the Road Runners Christmas Fun Run and club championships. A 10 km. run which I ran in 56:39, a personal best for me and I won a medal for coming first in my age group. Plus I achieved this while dressed up as Mrs. Christmas in a very prickly dress.

Tracy and I in the Christmas Fun Run.

Me hamming it up for the photographer nearing the end of the run.

Best Friends, Tracy and I.


Me with Tracy's children. All three of us won our age groups on the day.

I then started the year off with a brilliant trail run; The Summit to Sea. This is a 33km. trail from the top of Mt. Lofty down to Brighton.This is the first time I have done this run without the Chubby Hubby in tow. Because of my new improved times I really wanted to see what I could achieve by myself. And as the Chubby likes to take very frequent walk breaks I have decided not to run with him anymore. Luckily Susi no Bum acted as course sweep for this event so the Chubby tagged along with her. She is recovering from recent surgery so was quite keen to take it slowly.
I had a massive result with this event and finished the 33km. in 4 hours 20. That's 1:50 hours quicker than last year. Needless to say I was mega excited. Below is a photo of running friend Nina and I together at the finish line. We finished together last year, both lost weight last year and this year ran the last 10 km. together and finished together.

Til next time folks, which I promise will only be a day or so as still have lots to share. My new year's resolution is to be a better blogger.

Cheers Karen.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Barossa Duathlon.

One of the goals I set for myself this year was to take part in a triathlon. Now this hasn't happened yet, but there is still time. However on October 16th. I competed in the Barossa Duathlon which was part of the Master's Games here in South Australia.
One of the main differences between the Chubby Hubby and I is that he is very cautious whilst I will have a go at anything and think of the consequences later.

The Chubby Hubby usually gets support from our Dear Friends John and Lil. Lil is very much like Daryl and tends to be more hesitant while John reluctantly joins me in my latest pursuit and hopes the Hell everything will work out. And so it was that I coerced John into doing the duathlon with me.


The duathlon involved a 5km. run, followed by a ride and finished with another 2.5km. run.
Both John and I are runners, although he prefers the shorter distance sprints. And we often go out for long bike rides on the weekends as a group. So on paper it all looked easy peasy and I couldn't see that it would be difficult.


The first 5km. run was a breeze and although I am more used to the much  slower pace of an ultra marathon I managed to keep up with the pack and came second in my age group in this leg at 27:40

I was a bit nervous about the transition which is where you have to go from running straight into the 20km. cycle leg.


Coming into transition.
The first 500 metres of the cycle leg was tough until my legs adjusted to the different muscle groups being used. But once the quads were warmed up it was manageable and I really enjoyed the challenge.There were a few gentle hills but with strong head winds they were hard work at times especially on my little hybrid bike.

I completed the cycle leg in 1:02:39, first in my age group.

Absolutely nothing could have prepared me for how my legs felt in the last leg however. Getting off the bike after a 20 km. cycle and going back into a run was hard. My legs felt like jelly and it was a weird feeling trying to get the legs to do what you wanted them to. I had very little awareness re how my legs were moving, however I again came first in my age group in14:32
My final overall time was 1:44:50, 2nd in my age group. And guess what, it was dear friend John who beat me.

Crossing the finish line on legs that felt like jelly.

John and I happily sitting in the gutter after finishing, and both of us very happy and pleased with ourselves.

Cheers and thank you for visiting,