Monday, May 30, 2011

Great Ocean Road Marathon Festival.

 There are some runs which will stay in my memory as one of the best. And for me the Great Ocean Road Half Marathon is one I will always remember as one of my best running experiences.The scenery along the run was truly spectacular and made every step an absolute thrill.
This run followed the Great Ocean Road along the south western Victorian coastline from Kennet's River and finishing in the main street of Apollo Bay. The run was not for a beginner as it was quite hilly for most of the course  plus it had some quite long challenging climbs.

 Dear friends Ros, Ava, Erica, Melissa, Brian, Moi and the Chubby Hubby all drove over to Victoria together for a long weekend to compete in this event.We stayed in a luxury apartment right above the finishing line with spectacular views, and have already booked it for next year to run again.
These are some of the photos I took along the way, although I did cheat and take some the day before.

 The run was really well organised and supported and the local residents lined the roads to encourage us and watch the mass suffering.
The finish line was very exciting and people lined the last 200 metres to form a tunnel of support.
My finishing time was 2hrs 18mins which I was very pleased with given the nature of the run. The Chubby Hubby ran in 2:50 and he was very happy with this given that this was his first road run. The rest of our friends all finished around the same time as me.
My only disappointment was that I did not attempt the full marathon as when I crossed the finish line I still felt that I had plenty of running left in me. So hopefully next year I will run the full distance.

Happy running,
Cheers Karen.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Just Stitching

Although I seem to be having Big Trouble with my sewing Mojo these days, I am still getting small amounts done.
Madame Bernina and I are not on speaking terms right now but are soon to have some relationship counselling. A dear friend has offered to give me a couple of lessons on stippling. She is a beautiful quilter, and has so much knowledge to give. I'm hoping that if I can master the stippling technique I will be able to attempt to stipple a few of my smaller projects. Who knows, one day I may stipple a large quilt and save myself a fortune at the quilters.
Am I the only one starting to baulk at the price of quilting supplies here in Australia ? I look on internet sites in the USA and almost feel suicidal at the low prices the girls pay there. Nearly up to 2/3 cheaper for the exact same products !
I do not believe that it costs that much to fly things over the Pacific to us. It strikes me that someone somewhere is making a huge profit out of us Aussies. I have always tried hard to support my local quilt shops, but one by one they are closing, so what's the point ?
I ordered some lovely fabrics from Fishkin Fabrics in Canada last week. They arrived 7 days after I placed my order, beautifully packaged, beautiful quality, cheap as chips and with a free fat 1/4 included.

Anyway back to the stitching. The above cross stitch is   " Harriet  "  a Wool Whimsy by Heart in Hand. She is the first in a set of six.

This next little sucker is my 5th block in Shores of Hawk Run Hollow. Now if I ever attempt another BAP like this I expect you all to warn me peoples. It's taking forever, is almost big enough to be a bloody bed spread but I am actually liking what it looks like. When I go to meet my maker I'm hoping I will have good light up in heaven because I'm still going to be working on it when I get there !

Still far to much work to go as you can see.

Today is a very cold day here in Adelaide. I've been for my daily training run, the fire is on, my doggies are asleep, so I'm thinking a Jane Austen DVD and some stitching.
And perhaps some chocolate to keep my nutrition up !!
My photos are a bit crappy. But, it's my birthday in July and I'm dropping mega hints to the Chubby Hubby about a new wizz bang idiot tolerant camera.

Happy stitching,
Yours in Chocolate

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Running with Scrambled Eggs.

The Cyberspace Gods have been playing tricks on me the last couple of weeks. Last Thursday I posted on my blog, several people left comments and then without warning it all disappeared from my blog into cyberspace.
My face Book page has also had the same gremlins. Messages have appeared and then disappeared, friends have been unfriended and then magically refriended without me doing anything. Other friends are still showing on my friend list but at their end have been unfriended. Weird huh ?
Hopefully all is sorted now but if you have been unfriended from my FaceBook site or deleted as a follower from my blog, well it wasn't me.
Some of you may already read the blog I posted, but since it has disappeared I will try and duplicate it.

Those of you who visit my blog regularly will know that I had a breast cancer scare just recently. My annual mammogram showed a concerning abnormality and so I was called into the Breast Assessment Clinic for a day of The Works .
This involved a repeat more detailed mammogram, ultrasound, aspiration and biopsy. Fortunately all was well, none of the tests were really uncomfortable at the time, but I was left with quite alot of residual discomfort , including a very sore sternum. ( breast bone. )
Now my husband will happily tell anyone that my boobs are only the size of poached eggs but I can tell you they felt well and truly scrambled after these investigations.


Despite this discomfort however I still competed 2 days later in the South Australian Trail Running Championships. Not my wisest decision !  But I did make a small concession however by just running the shorter 12 km. course instead of the 24 km. long course.
At the pre race briefing we were told to enjoy and have fun, but also advised that the local pistol club were out target practicing !!!  Any slow runners were MARKED !!


The first 6 km. went straight uphill. Although it was a cool morning most of us soon became really hot in the sun and the first water station was a God Send. The scenery in the Adelaide Hills above the city was beautiful. As we have had good Autumn rains the hills were a lovely green instead of the usual brown.


The first water station.

A challenging but pretty course.

The Scrambled Eggs coped well going up the trails but when it came to running back down things turned ugly.
Every step I ran sent a jarring pain right into my sternum and it made running quite difficult. Despite this I still came second in my age group, ran a good time, didn't get shot by the pistol club and  finished before the Chubby Hubby.

Daryl crossing the finishing line.

 Happy Running.
Cheers Karen.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Southern Charity Classic.

SAARC Attack Team, The Twisted Sisters and the Chubby Hubbys.

In April, Twisted Sister Susi no Bum and Moi, plus Chubby Hubbys Daryl and Mike competed in the 60 km. Southern Charity Classic. This is always one of my  favorite race events for the year and is run from Goolwa through Pt. Elliot, Victor Harbor, Yilki, over the Bluff to Encounter bay and Back Valley.
In previous years Chubby Hubby Mike has always been our support person but this year for the first time he competed with my husband Daryl.

Susi no Bum and Moi waiting to start.

This event is well organised by organiser Brad Butler and his volunteers, and it has the added bonus of being a very casual, relaxed and fun event.

Terry Cleary and Chubby Hubby Mike  at the start.

The weather threw absolutely everything at us; cold and gusty winds, squalls, horizontal rain and hail. 
Many runners cancelled on the morning of the run due to the extreme weather conditions. others opted for the shorter distances available.
But not the Twisted Sisters . We might not be the fastest runners in town, and we certainly are  
directionally challenged, but we are TOUGH. Pffft to dud weather, nothing stops us.

Moi waiting to start and feeling very, very cold.

The starting line. Only about 200 brave souls turned up.

At the pre race meeting everyone huddled under trees and any available shelter to try and stay dry as it was already raining Big Time. About 200 runners competed but only 13 of us did the full 60 km. course. The long course is for teams only, mainly because much of the run is quite isolated and with only minimal support. It is also quite common for some teams to finish in the dark.

Heading towards Pt. Elliot.

Susi no Bum and I had two main goals to achieve;
- to finish the race before it finished us
- to beat the living crap out of our Chubby Hubbys.

Heading towards Victor Harbor , with another storm coming our way !

Susi no Bum and I completed the first 21 km. in around 2 hours and had already dumped the Chubby Hubbys ! The weather was so bad it was funny and people seeing us could be excused for questioning our sanity.
BIG CONFESSION HERE , but please keep it to yourself as it is not my proudest race moment !
..... at Yilki Susi found a lovely little coastal coffee shop. Now we were both very cold and wet, we are both coffee addicts and we still had 38 km. of tough conditions to go with no more support. The plan was to run in  , grab a take away skinny flat white
and run and drink at the same time.

BUT, the cafe was warm , the fire was toasty and so like the ladies we are, there we sat mid race and had morning tea ! OMG !!
The man in the coffee shop who knew all about the run was quite incredulous that we were running 60 km. yet still ordered SKINNY flat white. Well a girl always has to watch her waistline ! 

Well lucky we had our coffee, because our next challenge was to get our selves over this Bluff in the strong winds.

At the base of the Bluff and ready to start the climb.

Over the other side , and now to run along this rugged coast at Encounter Bay. It was here that we got caught in a hail storm.

Even the tide was right in, so more wet feet.

Susi having a What the F$%K am I doing here moment. It was at this point that Twisted Sister Tracy rang us on her mobile to give us words of encouragement. She was not competing due to ill health but was more than happy to share with us that she was still in her pyjamas, curled up on the sofa with the fire going and watching a Chick Flick !! Even the sanitized version of what we said to her is not printable.

The 35 km. check point.

Daryl's expression says it all, he was drenched to the skin.

Susi and I kept up a fairly steady pace. We were leaving the 35 km. check point as the Chubby Hubbys arrived. We had been there about 20 minutes changing into dry clothes and shoes and having some hot soup. So we were still well ahead of the boys even though we had stopped for coffee.
At 45 km. both of us had no feeling in our legs from the cold and being so wet. We still had the daunting task of running through the pine forest and up Mt. Robinson.

Susi and I finished the event in 9 hrs 57 minutes. We were second team in and took over an hour off last year's time. The Chubby Hubbys were third team in at 10 hrs 40 mins. Some runners did not finish and the last team finished some 3 hours after our boys.

Cheers for now.
Mt. Robinson.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Catching up Again !

My posting has been very patchy of late and so I have lots of catching up to do. I had a bit of a cancer scare in April and my new motto became " when life throws you curve balls ...... Stitch. "
All is well now, but whist waiting for medical appointments I kept myself busy stitching to keep my mind off things. That's the trouble with being a Registered Nurse, a bit of knowledge is dangerous.
We worry about things others don't even know about. Now I didn't get quite as far as planning the songs for my funeral .... but you get the picture.
Above is a freebie from Plum Street samplers for St. Patrick's Day. I love the hare family and this is the second one in the series I have done.

Next to show off with is my pin up board using hexagons from a Black Bird Designs Book .  I thought I had done enough hexies but I was not able to get the recommended size frame here in South Australia so I have had to add another 3 rows to it.  Oh well, nearly done.

Lizzie Kate's Green Flip It Series is fun to do. I really love the fun and whimsical designs that Lizzie Kate does. Plus they are quick to stitch up.


 This quilt is one have have just finished for my new nephew Blake.
The design is called Birdie Birdie by Ellen MacGregor here in South Australia. I purchased it as a kit so I have no idea what the fabric is. I backed it with very pale blue Minkie which I absolutely adore. 
It's so soft and gentle for a baby although I should say the baby's Dad said he wouldn't mind a snuggly in it himself.

For those of you who follow my blog for my running exploits, yes I have continued running over the last few weeks. I will post tomorrow on my latest runs.

Happy stitching
Cheers Karen.