Sunday, July 6, 2014

Moving house

Well not literally, but moving blogs.

Aghast, but I've had this blog since 2006 !!!!!

Okay here's where I fess up.  I have two blogs.   I know, shock horror right?

When I started 12wbt I started a health and fitness blog, it was about losing weight and all the shenanigans I was getting up to.  And there was no way no how I wanted my friends here to know how much I weighed, eeeeek!  So I kept it secret.

But it's hard keeping two blogs going.  And well let's face it, all the health and fitness shenanigans flow into every day life now.  So a lot of the posts in recent times have just been copy/pasted onto each blog.  And that's just silly.  So hopefully this will mean one blog = more posts.  Or at least more regular posts.

And so why move this blog?  Cause it's a silly blog web address with the two --'s in it.   I've always hated that.

So please move your bookmarks and come join me at :  Finding Carol.     It will still contain family news, crafty endeavours and all my running escapades, just all in the one place.  See, now isn't that a better blog address!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Forgive me blog but I am still here

Truly!  Busy busy busy.  But you will forgive me when you see these photos of goodness.

We are grandparents!!!

Beautiful Saxon Michael David (the middle names a nod to the two grandpas) was born last Saturday.  

After having niggles during the day they got worse.  We were out at a dinner saying goodbye to some friends here in town and got a text message to keep our phones close and up loud!  Tab ended up going to hospital to check out the niggles and got admitted!  Then it all started happening.

Saxon was still breech but she really wanted to try a natural birth.  Aaron put out the call to the three grandmas as Tab wanted us in the delivery room with her.  But by then Saxon wasn't waiting for anyone.  Two hours after full labor started and Saxon was here.  And the grandmas all missed it by minutes!!! 

As it happened because of the breech labor Tab had 2 doctors and 3 midwives and the doctor said there wasn't enough room for us anyway.

A little after he was born Aaron floated into the waiting room and filled us in on the name and details.  Seriously Tab is superwoman in his eyes.  She didn't have time for an epidural and did it by gas alone.

About an hour after his birth we were allowed in, the three grandmas all crying happy tears and Mike.  What a moment to share with the new little family.  And how serenely beautiful she looks here, and how privileged I was to photograph this special time.

Absolutely gorgeous.

The room was dim so I needed to bump the ISO right up and was shooting at f1.4 hence the depth of field, but I think that adds to the moments captured here.  I took about 90 photos that night!!!!

Nanna and Grumpy are over the moon happy for the new little family.  They are home now and all is right in the world.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Run Forrest ... DNS

So I had Run Forrest yesterday.  Totally excited, looking forward to the run and the resultant festival afterwards.  We were out the door by just after 7am to drive the one and a half hours down there.  Had to take my car as Mike's is out of action, waiting on a part.  Today also marked 17 years since my grandpa passed away from pancreatic cancer.  I had planned to run with this photograph in my pocket.  Hold on tight grandpa we were going for a run.

We'd gotten as far as Camperdown, half an hour away, and the minute Mike hit the brakes there was a nasty grinding groaning sound.  Now my brakes have been making a bit of a sound but nothing like this.  Stopped the car, took off again and it was a horrible metallic sound.  Mike wasn't happy at all and at that moment I knew what was coming, we weren't going anywhere.  

He turned the car around on the highway and went off to a small road and got out to check.  He said the front left brake was red hot.  There was no way we were heading to Forrest.  We limped our way back home at about 60kmh and of course I cried the whole way home, big fat silent ploppy tears, and he was feeling bad too, kept saying sorry, which made it worse as he has nothing to be sorry about.  And even being a two car family we couldn't even take his car as it's out of action whilst we're waiting for a part for his.  Stuck.

DNS.  Did Not Start.  First time I've ever had that against my name.

Home, started unpacking, and still feeling in the miseries decided right, I'm already in my gear, at 10.30am I'm going to head out and run my 10km around town at the same time as I would have been doing Run Forrest.

It wasn't pretty, it was slow, but I'm so glad I did.  I took my grandpa in my pocket and we just ran and ran and ran.  

Although at one point I thought I was being stalked.  A van had followed me very slowly, there was some writing on the side but I couldn't make it out.  It would disappear and then reappear again.  Far out, it really was following me.  Then I was over on the other side of town and there it was again, slowly slowly inching it's way up the street, it turned and came up the service road after me.  I was at the stage of trying to work out fight or flight, what to do, then it passed me ... it was the Google mapping van!!  Oh that'd be right, my arse will probably end up on Google with it's own address code!  

And later on that night, a friend of mine sent me this.   Firstly he sent me a message to check if I'd had my concrete yet.  Concrete I asked?  He said yeah, to toughen me up a bit!  He knew I was disappointed about missing the race but told me I needed to start being super proud of myself and to celebrate how far I'd come, and be thankful about that.  I still went out and ran 10km, I don't need a medal to know I'm now a fit woman who can belt out 10km whenever I want to.

Yep, thanks Bruce, point taken!  Got to love the people who make me keep it real.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Still here, alive and kicking

I have been ridiculously busy and lacking in sleep, that's what's having a neurotic old dog suffering stages of dementia will do to you.  She is doing my head in.  She just wakes up in the early hours and wanders up and down and up and down the passageway.  I will wake and find her staring at the wall.  Mind you we keep a light on for her and have music playing so the house is not in darkness or quiet.

Then she settles and goes back to sleep and usually about an hour before my alarm goes off she starts all over again.  I get up, put her coat on her (because it's chilly now with Winter started) and she goes outside.  And just lays in the middle of the lawn.  No, she doesn't use the nice comfy dog bed with the big pillow up on the porch under cover, no she won't use a kennel, she just lays on the grass.  And at times in the rain.  That just breaks my heart.

So broken lack of sleep is doing my head in, because of course Mike doesn't hear it at all.  He used to say I would wake him up back when I used to snore, but he doesn't hear Molly.  Go figure.  Selective male deafness I think.

Work is busy, life is busy.  We had an unexpected visitor last weekend when one of my mum's longest friends was in the area on the way through on a caravanning holiday and called in.  Oh it made my heart sing.  Mum and Pam were childhood neighbours growing up as young children.  Now Pam is 69 and mum is 72 (I think) and their friendship is still strong.  Pam and Tom having three sons, I was always the daughter they never had and Pam was always my "second mother".  We had the best best morning ever.

And in amongst it all I've still been running.  I've been heading over to Terang for some different scenery of a weekend.  It's a very volcanic area around the south-west Victoria where I live, and there is an area called the "Dry Lake", which is the inside of a crater I believe from time gone by.  It's a 4.5 km loop so is good for two laps and a nice 9km weekend run, and is just wonderful, throughout the circuit that vista changes remarkably as you hit the different sections.  Running clockwise you start off in a bush trail, and you'd swear you were in the middle of the bush.  It smells nice too.

Then as you leave this area of the circuit you end up in country paddocks running in with the cows.  The first lap there were no cows but as I headed around for the second lap the cows had moved along the track grazing.  

There there, nice cow, you're mighty big up close, there's a good cow, let me pass!  I was ready to take off sprinting in case they charged!!

Through another gate, yes there are gates to open and shut all the way along this route ...

Then you head through the grounds of the nursing home.  Firstly it's really nice for them to allow runners and walkers through their grounds, and secondly I imagine the residents must enjoy seeing people run through calling out a cheery hello.   Not to mention what the sight of my sweaty Lycra tights must have done to heart rates! Hahahaha

Then through another gate and you head up a grassy hill to the top and then wheeeeee! down you go, that's the good part, along a track down the side of the hill down to the flat area below. 

Then you head past some paddocks with horses through a lovely straight stretch, which was bathed in the Autumn sun.

And back along the north side through an avenue of beautiful trees, where I was rained on by the Autumn leaves floating down, very magical.

Back up to the main road, and along to the start again.  Fantastic!  REady to do it over.  It's a great run and good training for running on different surfaces.

These photos are a combination of the last two weekends of long slow runs around the Dry Lake.  How lucky I am to have this area so close to vary my training.

Saturday, May 17, 2014


For those 'in the know' that stands for Great Ocean Road and for those REALLY 'in the know' we know that a person is talking about the Great Ocean Road Marathon carnival at Apollo Bay.

I decided to enter the 14km Paradise Run and it was fantastic.  I am so proud of myself too, Mike couldn't make it and I didn't know anyone else from my neck of the woods going to it so I took myself off on the 2.5 hour drive (through some hairy roads through the Otways).  And look at the day!  It was spectacular.  I popped across the road to check out the water, absolutely gorgeous.


The only thing about going to these events alone is that unless you find a kind soul to help out you end up with selfies!  The other thing is tha you just end up wandering around and making some chit chat with people as you pass by.  And coming back over the finish line and you are all elated and you just want to hug someone and share the moment and there's no one.  But I can't expect Mike to come to all the events with me, I just need to find a like minded local that wants to do these events as well and share the experience.

Pretty soon we were lining up on the Main Street to start, crowds had lined the street, I was a bit closer to the start than I was comfortable with so I kept way over to the side so I didn't get in the way with too many people, and then we were off.

Up the Main Street and soon enough we had left town and were making our way out to a paradise.  Kind of a cool,ring to it, hey today I ran to Paradise!  What a gorgeous setting to run in, lush green vista on each side of the roadway, beautiful country scenes.  We passed a paddock with some amazing looking horses and they were having such fun galloping up and down the fence line as the runners ran past.  

It was hot!  And looking ahead in the sweeping road it was amazing how quickly the pack had spread out.  I was just past the the 4km mark and the front runners, two guys, were already passing us on the way back (the 10km Mark for them).  They were positively sprinting, I can't wait to see the results to see how close they finished.  All the runners around me, myself included, broke out in spontaneous applause as we all passed them.  It was amazing seeing their stride.

I continued m plod, the water stops were very welcome, I was drinking a cup then dowsing myself with another cup.  Soon enough though we were up in the beautiful fern filled shady treed area, the shade was bliss!  I hit the 7km turnaround point and was slightly ahead of my goal.  I wanted to finish by 2 hours, yes I am a plodder!

It's funny, I look at the elevation and it looks horrendously steep, but I would more say it was undulating, although obviously gradually raising.  It was nice thinking I was homeward bound, and not last by a long shot, there were still plenty of runners making their way to the turnaround point.

At one stage the ambulance went past and shortly after we saw a fellow in distress being worked on.  This is obviously a wonderfully run event, a number of motor bikes up and down the road checking on runners, and St Johns Ambulance were out in force.  I was also taken with the support by the people.  People were out and about calling encouragement. The Main Street was positively packed with people cheering as you were coming down the straight.  I heard "Another one Bites the Dust" being played over the loudspeaker and I sprinted to the end.  1 hour 45 mins or so I saw up on the board, I'll have to wait to get the official time.  I was rapt, well within the 2 hour limit I had said.  Not a cracking pace, but on target for me.

And I finally got bling!  It's been a running joke with my friends that I sooooooo wanted a medal.  Not a convertible keyring, not an embroidered facewasher, but a medal, undeniably a medal.  And I now have one.  And it's beautiful and quite heavy for it's size.  I wandered back around to the finish and snapped this photo.  I had just run 14km and I think I was on a high, I didn't look as exhausted as I felt.

Oh, you'd like a closer look ;-)

And here's the course...

I wanted to get going home pretty quick smart, to get through the curly bit through to Colac before dark, and I did, but not before stopping at the bakery and buying a chocolate milk and a sausage roll!  I deserved it.  2.5 hours later and I was home.  And now about ready to drop.  What a great day.  Fantastically run event, completely enjoyable with amazing scenery, I would certainly do it again in a heartbeat.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mothers' Day including the MDC

Okay so Mother's Day is a pretty special day for us in Australia (just for my overseas friends reading this), not just because it's Mother's Day, but it involves the Mothers Day Classic.  People all around Australia take part in a running event in cities and towns across the country, all raising money for breast cancer research and awareness.   It was this time last year which was the first time my mum had seen me run.  And she couldn't wait for it to roll around again this year.  Mum used to be a keen walker (comes from not having a drivers licence) and I know she would have loved to have taken part in the walk, but for her hip problems.  However she is an amazing cheer squad.   And once again it was fun taking part in the Geelong event with mum.

So the day started early, here's my alarm!  Pushy isn't it?

We had a quick breakfast so it would subside by the 7.45 start and donned our pink, and in our opinion the brighter the better!   Check out mum's runners!  Yes my mum is short, cause I'm not the tallest by a long shot, but mum is 4'11 and a half inches tall (yes, she says that half is very important!!)  It was a PERFECT morning.  No wind, no rain, it was just glorious.  Overcast, but then the sunrise was beautiful.  Couldn't have ordered a better morning.   

It was a fun fun morning because some of the runners from the 12wbt Runners Connect group were there and funnily enough recognised me from my hair!   ha.  So I got to meet Shev and Trish as well which was super super great.  I love that this running gig brings you into contact with the most wonderful people.   Not to mention my partner in crime at the Geelong Half Marathon Sarah.  We made our way to the start line as we were taking part in the 8km run (mind you Sarah finished and then did the 4km walk with her family, go Sarah!).

Lots of people there, they had flipped the course a bit this year, and we had to make our way up the extension of Brougham Street up along the water front at the top of Eastern Beach.  Ouch.  That's a nasty start to the race.  A bit excited lining up at the start, and Sarah with her trademark smile, does this girl ever have a down moment?  ;-)

It was a fun morning, there was an 8km run and walk and a 4km run and walk, but it was only the runs that were timed.  The official times are now on the website:

  • My time:   57:17    (last year I was 56:37 so close, I'm blaming the hills)
  • Overall placing:   606 out of 676 runners in the 8km run
  • Gender:  470 out of 528 females in the 8km run.
  • Category (female 40-49):  118 out of 128.
  • An average pace:   7:09 min km, which is fast for me, so I'm happy with that.

There's a bit of a running joke in our 12wbt Runners Connect group that I am holding out to finally get a medal.  And that I don't count a convertible keyring on a lanyard as a medal.   I don't want a transformer medal, I want something that is undeniably-can't-be-used-as-anything-else-medal.   But still, I'm pretty pleased to get another one of these.

And a princess sash!  What can I say, it's official, I'm a pink princess!  Mum won a spot prize of an umbrella too, she was rapt (it was white with butterflies all over it).  They put us in front of the wall and took our photo and stuck a big bow on mum's head!   Got to love it.

What a great mornining.  Mum had enjoyed it down there as they had singing and entertainment, a number of stalls, it's a gorgeous water front, she had a ball chatting to people and soaking up the atmosphere.

Article from the Geelong Advertiser so you can see the fun of the day and the beautiful area we had to run in.

Home, shower, change and then it was a lovely lunch at Empire Grill for us, for their special mother's day lunch.  We've been going out to a lovely restaurant for years now, but for the last three have kept going back to Empire Grill.  Sensational.

All that running ans spectatoring meant we were in fine spirits to enjoy a beautiful three course meal, including a yummy dessert.

After dropping mum home I finished off the day going to the cemetery to leave some bright coloured flowers on my mother-in-law's grave, and stopped in at Rebel Sports for a bit of a look see and then the long drive home.   And the surprises didn't stop there, waiting for me was a little box of chocolates and a mother's day card, such a clever menagerie we have  ;-)

So what's next ... Saturday the 14km race as part of the Great Ocean Road Marathon Festival, the 14 km being from Apollo Bay to Paradise, out and back.  I'm a bit uneasy thinking of the elevation, but eh, I do believe there may be a finisher's medal involved.  A real-live-medal.  I got my race pack in the mail today, squeeeeeeal !!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Not nice !

I had my first bad blogging experience day before yesterday after all my years of blogging.   My stepdaughter sent me a message to say that one of the photos from my blog was on a site on facebook that she happened to see.  Huh?  I went had had a look, and someone who had a less than desirable facebook page with pictures and captions of people saying they were from suburbs in Geelong and being quite derogatory in his terms of phrase, had taken one of MY pictures that I HAD TAKEN so it BELONGED TO ME, and put it on HIS facebook page.

It was a photo of my husband's uncle who came over to visit us from Scotland.  It was a day that we had taken him and his wife to Halls Gap to visit around the area, and it was hot.  It was hot for us, so it was waaaaay hot for a Scot.  So he ended up stripping down to his shorts and white singlet for the day.  Who cared.  Anyway I had a picture of him in the bush, and let's just say he is a rotund type of fellow.  Well this facebook person has happened onto the picture and saved it to his computer and put it on his Geelong site with a less than flattering description.

Since when did this become acceptable practice?

So I pm'ed this person and asked him who gave him permission to use my photo and how did he get it, and I got a smart arsed comment back that he found it on Google and if I have a problem with it, take it up with Google, and he told me the search word he used, which I won't use here because there were less than favourable pictures when I searched.  And I scrolled down as far as it would let me, and nope, my photo of my husband's uncle was not on it.

So I pm'ed him again and asked him once again to take it off his facebook page, it belonged to me, it wasn't on the images when I searched what he said, and I got another smart arsed comment back that that I have no idea how to use the internet.

I beg to differ.

At this stage I was trying to work out what to do, Mike was livid.  I pm'ed him once again and said maybe so, but I would like you to take it down, there are plenty of other photos he could use in its place, this photo belonged to me, etc etc.   I think he realised I was not going to let up.  I was ready to let the masses know to bombard him.  So I got "alright alright" and the photo is now gone from his facebook page.

And I have in turn found out how to make the photos on here so that you can't right click and save to your computer.  Or if you can after what I've done to the code, I don't know how, so it might slow people like this ... errr ... gentleman down.

Lesson learnt.  This whole blogging thing is a bit of fun for me, a way to memory keep which I'm all about.  But it can turn to crap in an instant when someone abuses trust you place in the internet.