Monday, January 31, 2011

Stairway to Hell.

 The Marion coastal trail.

 The Twisted Sisters including Moi are now all well into our Summer training. Our first big distance event for the year will be The Southern Charity Classic in April. This is a 61 km. event through the Southern Vales of South Australia. Meanwhile we continue to compete in shorter 10 km. events.

Most of our training in summer is on well established fire trails. This makes for an easier exit if a bush fire starts. The weather is scorching hot and the last few days the temperature has been well over 40c or 105f. Right now on our trails it is also Snake Central and so being on the fire tracks enables us to see the snakes before we stand on them.

Susi No Bum, Tracy and their Chubby Hubby's are all training for the North Face Challenge in May. This is a gruelling 100 km. event which attracts elite trail runners from around the world. It is run over a 28 hour time limit through the Blue Mountains in New South Wales.
I have decided not to do this event mainly because I have difficulty with night vision. I can't go to the bathroom at night without walking into a wall, so climbing rocks and racing at night is so not going to happen without it turning ugly.
However we all continue to train together as much as possible.
Whilst the others are doing the North Face, Chubby Hubby and I are going over to Victoria to run the Great Ocean Road Marathon with friends Ros, Melissa, Ava, and Erica. Plus we are planning to do the Portland Marathon in November. Both these marathons are very hilly and challenging.

The Road Runners Trail run for January was the Marion Coastal Trail. A 21 km. return run between Brighton Beach and Port Stanvac. This trail follows the cliff line along the coast and whoever thought up this trail and built those 1,756 stairs has issues. I repeat ISSUES !

Mike, Daryl and Susi no Bum on the coastal trail.

 The stairs are never ending for mile upon mile and by the time we got to the second to last flight of stairs my legs felt like they were dislocated at the hips and I was coughing my lungs out.

 Mike and Daryl on the trail.

 This was a reassuring sign to see when you are on the edge of a cliff ! Which way to jump ?

 We also had to run across this rocky beach. Brilliant for the sore feet.

 So tempting to end all the suffering.

 Moi and Susi no bum soothing our feet at the end.

Thanks for dropping by.
Cheers for now

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Goodbye Miffy / Crazy January Challenge.

 I haven't felt much like blogging this past week. Reason being that last Sunday one of my four legged children " Miffy " went to Doggy Heaven.
Miffy was nearly 15 and I know old age and illness eventually catch up with our furry children, but this did not make her loss any easier.

Miffy was probably the laziest dog ever !! She was the Doyen of our bedroom, and would sit or sleep for hours in her bed in our room, supervising and directing the entire household.
There was no compromise with Miffy. It was her way or no way !!

Miffy only barely weighed 3 kg., but 2.75 kg. of that was her tongue. My God, she had the biggest tongue ever. Most dogs have a tongue. But we had a tongue with a bit of dog !!!

The pain of loosing Miffy has been almost unbearable at times. But some comfort is to be had in knowing that she was only sick for about 24 hours and that she died peacefully. She has just left big paw prints on our hearts.

I have of course not done any stitching this week and so have fallen badly behind in the Crazy January Challenge. However this week I will dust off the sadness and get my needle stitching .
Here are 2 more of my projects for the January Challenge.

A freebie by an unknown designer for my Sister's Pink Basket.

The Green Flip it Series by Lizzie Kate on 32 count light Mocha Belfast Linen.

I am also back trail running and cycling again with lots of new goals for the year. I plan to do a running post in a couple of days.

I cannot end this post without acknowledging the dreadful floods we have been having in 5 states of Australia. It's hard to imagine that whilst we are flooding now , that for the past 6 to 8 years we have been in severe drought. As well as the enormous cost to humanity, spare a thought to all our animals who also suffer badly in weather extremes.

 Cheers  Karen.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Summit to Sea and a Crazy January Challenge.

On Sunday the four Twisted Sisters and three of the Chubby Hubbys competed in the Summit to Sea trail run here in Adelaide. 34 km. from Mt. Lofty, the highest peak in Adelaide and down to the Brighton Beach Jetty. This is a deceptively tough run and not all down hill as you would think. Plus the last 2 km. is on the soft beach sand. On previous years this event has been 31 km. but an extra 3 km. had been added this year.

The day is a very early start. Up at 4 am. and then drive to Brighton beach by 6 am. to leave the cars and catch the chartered bus up to the top of Mt. Lofty for a 7 am. run start.
It was absolutely freezing at the top of Mt. Lofty ( well by Adelaide standards anyway ) with low cloud and fog. Race Director Terry took a few moments to acknowledge the Traditional Land Owners, and then officially welcomed Chubby Hubbys Daryl and Mike. He laughingly told the group that they had the dubious distinction of coming last the previous year, but then went on to tell all about their achievements during the year. 

 Chubby Hubbys Mike and Daryl, the centre of attention !

Some of our group before the start; Susi No Bum,Babette, CH Simon and Mike, Moi and CH Daryl.

Our team all ran in pairs for most of the event ; Tracy and Susi no Bum, Mike and Simon, Daryl and I and Babette joined in with a couple of other runners. Reputations were all on the line here, all of us wanting to beat the others. We are all the best of friends but are not above sabotaging each other for a good laugh and to cross the finish line first.

Tracy and Susi no Bum took off at a quick pace and happily for us soon went in the wrong direction.
Simon and Mike were on a mission and also started strongly. But , as with most men their age their Prostates required frequent nature stops and we soon caught up with them.

I ran the event with my CH Daryl. His work commitments  preclude him from training as much as the rest of us so he can struggle a bit. I started Daryl at a slow pace to warm up and then gradually picked up the speed. He is very good at directions so there was little chance we would get lost. I had also told him he was only allowed one Nature call , so he had better tie a knot in his spout. Personally I didn't care if his Prostate was falling out his nostrils , there was to be NO stopping.

Moi out on the trail.

The first 10 km. was an easy run along undulating fire trails and we kept up a fairly consistent pace. The next 10 km.  was tricky. The trail here was very rocky and much of it was along creek beds. There were a few spills and injuries in this section and some runners had to withdraw.
I set a brisk pace through this section, mainly because
 Creek Beds + Water + Hot Weather = SNAKES ! And I was scared shitless.

The last 14 km. was a battle of wills between the Chubby Hubby and I. He was starting to tire but I was fired up and wanted to get the Hell out of the long grass and finish. I was particularly inspired by a sign on one fence;
" Snakes on the move, watch your step." 

I loved this tree trunk we ran past and just had to stop and say Hello to it. I wonder how old it is and what it has seen.?

CH  had by the final 10 km. started his usual sniveling. Threats of the usual 3 D's quickly sorted him out.


We were still well ahead of our time plan here and I could feel a great finishing time in my Waters !! If of course the Chubby Hubby kept going. 
I had no idea where the others were but then as luck would have it, a couple of km. down the track I saw CH Mike and Simon heading down the wrong way. CH Mike was limping quite badly.

Now I love all animals, I really do ! And I do try to be a good person. But Seriously, I can not be expected to tell a limping one legged Turkey in a race that he is going the wrong way !!
Especially when the potential to beat him is so tantalisingly close.

 Our first view of the coast.

I stayed with my Chubby Hubby until the last 2 km. and then I left him and went off at my own pace to the finish line.

MEGA SPEW !! When I crossed the finish line CH. Mike and Simon were already there.
Karma you say ! No Way.
The Turds had got so lost that they took a short cut, taking 3-4 km. off and finishing 20 minutes before me.
Susi No Bum and Tracy had finished about 25 minutes before and predictably were not entirely sure how they had got there.

  Brighton Jetty, the finish line.

 Brighton beach and what a contrast to the weather up on Mt. Lofty.

Overall we were all pleased with our times. CH Daryl took a whole hour of last years time, plus remembering it was an extra 3km. this year. I finished 25 minutes faster than last year even with the Chubby Hubby.

 Resting at the finish line with Susi, Kym, Daryl and Babette.

Like most cross stitchers in Cyberland I have decided to attempt the Crazy January challenge. One new project per day until January 15. Hopefully these projects to be finished by the end of the year.
Now I am a painfully slow stitcher so rather than show my new project each day I will wait until I have made some significant progress with each of them.

So here is January 1 project;
IRA RAY CROW. by the Goode Huswife.

Happy New Year to all.
Thanks for dropping by,
Cheers Karen.