Last Decent Run and a Dedication

Today was the day – last day of training for the half marathon. Quite relieved actually as I’m getting tired and know I need the week off to recuperate a bit and because I’m a little over the longer runs and longer training sessions. I am not bashing the training or the longer runs as there have been some almighty rewards throughout this journey to the race. I have shed over 4 kgs and a much needed 4 kgs. I feel so strong, I feel abs and other muscles where I have never seen them before (or it’s been quite a while since I’ve seen them that I’d forgotten what they looked like). I have more energy, it’s so nice not being as tired as I used to be. I have clarity and I’m calmer. So yeh I have every reason to be proud of what I have achieved in my training.

I have not tired of Hagley Park once throughout my training and again I have surprised myself as I really like change. It’s just so close to home and offers a  variety of terrain, with good distances and the ability to twist your runs to make them longer. I’ve watched it go from Summer to Autumn in Hagley and it’s sooooo beautiful at the moment, I love crunching all the fallen burnt orange leaves under my feet. Autumn is my favourite month by far and I must admit I had a twinge of sadness as I went into and completed my last lap. A blessed moment of thanks, thanks for always being there, thanks for always providing a solid grounding for my body and soul to pound. I have had many epiphanies, many emotional thoughts and many releases that are physical and emotional. It has been quite a journey Hagley and my interaction and love for you will never cease. I will be back to shed a couple more kgs!!!

Today when I ran I thought alot about my dear friend who has terminal cancer. She has slipped into a coma now and it’s only a matter of a few days. Thoughts of her over-whelmed me today and I had to stop running a couple of times to get my breath back as I was getting a bit upset. Trying my best to think about pink bunnies and puppy dogs I continued on. Mr Darcy suggested I raise some money for the Cancer Society for my run and I should have. He is so thoughtful and I wasn’t. I really wish I had and next time I will keep this in mind. So realising in hindsight I should have taken Mr Darcy’s advice I have decided to dedicate this run to Tania.

I am dedicating my run to her, to show her us woman are strong and we don’t give up lightly. Not every battle is won, but we fight damn hard to do the best we can in life.

Cancer Society

Oh Tania, I will miss you so much.

Anyhow, I am going to spend the rest of the week leading up to the race next Saturday taking in a bit of rest. Upon saying that I do have a little plan for a couple of activities…

Tomorrow I might do the Rapaki Track. An uphill track within Christchurch that takes you to the top of the Summit Road with beautiful views over the harbour. It’s a 334 metre ascent and 3.37 km in length for which you go there and back. It’s become such an easy walk but a fantastic one to do with a friend and have a good gossip on the way. It’s a popular track in Chch and not only attracts walkers and runners but mountain bikers as well. Mountain biking I love, but give me the downhills anyday, I’d rather be a dare devil downhill than sweat buckets slaving it up to the top! Coming down is lovely as you get a grand view of Christchurch and currently there’s yellow at the top, orange in the middle and green on the bottom. Looks fantastic..

I was also thinking perhaps some yoga on Monday and maybe walk to work on Wednesday. I’m going to play it all by ear. But no running, the running will be saved up for Saturday.

So good luck to all us ladies on Saturday! We’ll drive up to Blenheim (about 3.5 hours north). I am looking forward to the girls trip, the race and the vineyard lunch booked for after. Lovely wine, world renowned! and lots of laughs.

Hey my surname is Vine, so it fits really! Bring on the wine!

Vineyard Running

Vineyard

vineyard_lunch-basket

Before or After???

Absolutely fabulous

Not the Best of Friends

What’s not the best of friends?..

Asthma and Running.

Running and Asthma.

They don’t even sound good together and together they are certainly not peas and carrots or garlic and rosemary, Mork and Mindy, whatever..

I’ve had asthma since I was 3 years old, so nowadays I have quite a good handle on it and am barely a sufferer. The asthma siege normally takes place when the seasons change or I get really ill. In this case I think it’s the seasonal change and everything that comes with the weather becoming colder. Heaters go on and blow dry air, home dehumidifier goes on and blows built up dust from it’s filter, the workplace is having earthquake repairs so the plasterers and sanders have been working around us.

I don’t get the wheeze, I get the restriction in my lungs, thickness in my throat and a sudden shortness of breath that leads to coughing explosions. Lovely..

Two weeks now and I’m over it. Last weekend it was starting to get me down, I can’t even laugh without coughing uncontrollably. It’s hindering my running as I have a general reluctance to venture too far. Thursday night’s uphill run up the Harry Ell Walkway to The sign of the Kiwi was a nightmare.

As much as I’m over it and with the half marathon 5 weeks away it’s slowing down my progress I did get out this morning with sheer determination to conquer at least 90 minutes of running and a little walking if things got worse. I am proud to say I did two big laps of the parks, 15km in total. Yes there was some walking and there was a kids triathlon in full swing in one of the parks, but I managed to do 15 kms in 1 hour 43 mins. My first lap 53 minutes and my second 50 minutes. I was thrilled to beat my first lap.

Success-Baby1

The running was good, better than what I thought and when I walked to give my lungs some attention, I was attacked by coughing explosions. I came to grips with the fact that the running was going well and I was only getting asthma when I walked, hence the faster 2nd lap.

I’m happy with the result and I hope next weekend when I do it again, the asthma will have settled.

Asthma is a part of my life, I’ve learnt to work with it so it doesn’t stop me from enjoying life.

However, I wish it would sod off forever..

10 days of 10 sun salutations

I needed something to keep me grounded

I needed something to keep me centred

I needed something to practice and improve on

I needed the energy to get me through

 

My salvation – 10 sun salutations a day – for 10 days.

I feel strength in my arms, shoulders, core, back, legs and I feel strength in my spirit.

Everyday, every morning. Day 8 I went hiking and did my 10 in the rolling hills.

I feel strong and I feel energetic

sun salutations

I’m now doing 10 days of no coffee and limiting the sugar and bad fat intake. I don’t even think about the coffee, Day 4 of sugar intake not so good, but I’m on day 5 now and back on track.

I attended another workshop at my yoga studio, this time, standing poses. Challenging for me and invigorating. A reminder how much I love the challenges of yoga, but my journey has really only begun.

Is this my next 10 day challenge? Maybe. Maybe I’ll practice my sun salutations some more..

Feeling yummy. Namaste.

 

Easter Hike: Gebbies Pass to Packhorse Hut

This hike is on the outskirts of Christchurch, about a 40 minutes drive. I generally do this hike to this hut, but from a different start point called Kaituna Valley. I was curious about the hike from this direction and took the opportunity yesterday as my usual hiking partner was down hiking one of NZ’s Great Walks this Easter weekend. Highly recommend NZ’s Great Walks, I have done a couple and there’s more on that bucket list of mine.

So generally I found this hike to be a bit of a ramble. Through tussocks and forest land and very up, down. I was quite uncertain at times what I was actually ascending or descending as I really couldn’t tell what I was doing more of. I became clear on the return trip that I had mostly ascended! Oh yes, this hike is a route, not a circuit so if you need your car to get home, you need to come back through this track.

I spent quite a bit of time in the forest, there were lots of lovely native birds and one of my favourites the fantail (piwakawaka is the maori word). They chatter away to you in squeaks and as much as you think they’re your forest friend (and they are), they are really hanging with you in the hope your boots will dig up a delicious bug platter from the dirt below. They are lovely to watch.

I also came across a little private hut surrounded by very well looked after native bush. Someone’s wee getaway from civilisation.

Gebbies Pass Walk 9

Anyhow after sometime I was keen for the forest to spit me out. I was ready for some visuals of where I was, how far I’d come, how much more there was left to go and another gander at the scenery. Finally that came and along with high winds given the altitude there was a lovely day with lovely views over the peninsula looking back at the Christchurch hills and harbour.

Downfall: Our summer has been spectacular (bonus) but it has dried everything to the bone. It is brown and dry and has been for quite some time. Some farmers are losing stock due to this long dry summer, it’s really sad. As much as we have basked in the sun day after day this summer, we do yearn for a rainy day sometimes and those green rolling hills. Unfortunately it’s brown lumpy hills for this hike. But still a lovely hike none-the-less.

After being spat out from the forest I think it was about 15-20 mins to the hut. A nice jaunt to the saddle in which the hut lies. Next year the hut celebrates 100 years. More about Packhorse Hut here

Gebbies Pass Walk 8

It was an 1 hour and 30 minutes to the hut. I did stop and take several photos and I’m not the fastest hiker around. It took me the same back but again I stopped and took photos and stretched my legs for a good 10 minutes.

There are several hikes that continue from the hut. As mentioned previously you can come up different tracks and then also continue further to more huts and higher summits.

That’s one fantastic thing about NZ, we have huts everywhere for your hiking needs and pleasure. Some seriously old and some beautifully new. I’m proud of the systems we have set up to nuture human beings love for the greta outdoors.

In all, an ok hike. It’s great for families or people who don’t like to constantly ascend and enjoy the wee descents inbetween to catch their breath. Bring back the green rolling hills…maybe a rain dance is in order..

Enjoy the photos. I will endeavour to take my actual camera next time and not only my iPhone.

Gebbies Pass Walk Gebbies Pass Walk 11 Gebbies Pass Walk 9 Gebbies Pass Walk 8 Gebbies Pass Walk 7 Gebbies Pass Walk 6 Gebbies Pass Walk 5 Gebbies Pass Walk 4 Gebbies Pass Walk 3 Gebbies Pass Walk 2

Defining yoga moments

In time, your yoga practice on your mat will teach you to surrender more and more to what is. You will learn to stop resisting what is and to stop trying to change things. Next, you will be able to apply that perspective more in your life off the mat. The peace that comes from being able to accept what is will be great, I promise. – Esther Ekhart

I went to a workshop this weekend focused on sun salutations. Each pose was broken down slowly with full instruction and examples. It was so good to see the studio I attend do this for a change. In our usual classes of vinyasa the poses move with the breath and for a beginner or even intermediate yogi it is easy to slip into something that suits quickly and not consider the bandha’s and internal locks so you don’t collapse in your poses and therefore injure yourself in the long run. Or get into bad habits for that matter..

I was really nervous going as I treated it as part of a step towards becoming a yoga teacher myself and perhaps a defining moment in my decision. I loved it and within the first 10 minutes I wanted to be the teacher up the front giving the guidance and instruction. I received fantastic feedback on my poses and I took away some advice as well. It was interesting to see where you can collapse easily and me being one of many females who hyper-extend I need to be very conscious of this.

When I talk about being nervous I sometimes wonder if it is fear or my intuition kicking in. So I sit with it for a while and if I feel myself contract and go inwards I know that it’s not right for me and the fear is there because it’s a bad decision. But if I expand outwards in pride and excitement from my nervous thoughts I know it’s my intuition telling me to just do it and enjoy it!

I walked away feeling so uplifted and educated in sun salutations that are taught at my local studio. My nervousness was my intuition excited and my decision to become a teacher more solidified. I have to admit my arms were still shaking for 15 minutes after! And today they have become increasingly sore.

But it’s that ‘good sore’, you know what I mean..

The workshop in the weekend felt like a sign, a really positive one. I’ve been asking for new opportunities and changes in my reiki whilst sending love to those in need. So bring on those signs because I’m ready for some change in my life! As I surrender to my mat and I open myself up in my reiki this will also reach into my present life and present the changes I desire.

Words for a Beautiful Friend

The last few days have been a bit rough on me. My daily kriya and yoga practice had to take a sideline (there went my 60 day sadhana) as I came down quite ill. The pain was excruciating on my right side and I suspected my gallbladder was not happy chappy. As I have a high pain threshold and wasn’t sure really what the pain level was and being one not to self diagnose I became concerned, so at 5.30am yesterday I got myself in order to head to the after hours hospital. Thankfully it was empty in the waiting room and I was taken immediately by nurses who pampered and prodded me. I was shocked to be given morphine for the pain, not being a sickly person it was my first time and it seemed rather extreme. But it sure did help! Waited for the ultrasound at 8am and then a diagnosis from the doctor. My internal organs were completely clear of anything so at 11am we (mum) left and the diagnosis was a tummy bug with bowel spasms. So home to bed and man did I want to sleep.

There’s another reason why I attend to these niggles these days. Yes the big scary ‘C’ word that is becoming more and more common in our world. One of my closest friends ignored her niggles for a year and then she was diagnosed in March 2012. She is 35, one year younger than me. She lives in Australia and I have been visiting her twice a year. She has a gorgeous wee daughter who is nearly 2 years old and she married her partner of 4 years at Christmas time, for which I was maid of honour. It was so beautiful, everything encapsulated their love that day.

Wedding Pic

Yes that’s me with the dreamy ‘I’m so happy for you’ look on my face.

Often I put myself in her shoes and the fight she has had to undertake, the decisions she has had to make, the fear she has to face. It breaks my heart and I wonder if I was faced with this would I cope as well as her. I am sure a lot of the time she doesn’t cope and she has an awful lot on her mind. My last trip to see her was really hard, cancer was not just sucking the life out of her, but also out of her family, there was darkness surrounding the home and I felt it take me in and when I left to head home I felt really depressed and mixed up. It took me some time to get my thoughts and feelings back together.

Everyday I send her love and hope. I send strength to her family.

In the year she has been diagnosed she has had her dream wedding, had a family holiday with extended family, had a beautiful honeymoon in the Whitsundays and they are now building a new home so her daughter can live a quality life. I am so proud of her and her courage on this battle to not only try to save her life, but to live her life to the fullest and to love her family with all her heart.

My friend is losing her battle 😦 She has been given a very small time frame now. I was told last week. Two of our friends are heading over tomorrow to see her for five days. I am looking for flights and some time off to go as well. I have been speaking with her on the phone and we have a strong friendship because we are past the “be strong, keep fighting”, “you’ll win” talks. She has stopped her chemo and she is breaking down, so our talks are very frank and she tells me appreciates this, because she lives a real life and what is happening to her is real. I live life real as well, I am honest.

So we talk about love, we talk about death, we talk about her thoughts on the other side, we talk about her partner grieving and her daughter growing up without her mum, we talk about the videos and books she is currently making her daughter and we talk about her husband having a future partner one day. We even talked about her funeral which was a really hard conversation.

I am going to miss her so much

Why did I choose to write about her? Because she rang me yesterday to see if I was alright and to offer me support to feel better. It was so sweet, I have a tummy bug and she has terminal cancer, and she wanted to support me. She has a big heart. Since she is no stranger to hospitals like I am she wanted to check they had checked me thoroughly as she learnt the hard way with not addressing her niggles and then an order to go back in two days if I don’t feel better.

We talked for another hour and I felt closer to her than ever before.

I send her love everyday

McMahon-178

These words are for my friend today, but I also don’t forget the people who live in my city who came to my aid. Numerous phone calls, texts and visitors to help me yesterday were highly appreciated. I have a great support network of friends and family and I am grateful for their support this week. Not only have I been ill, but my daughter HRH decided last week she needed space so moved out to her Dads for a few weeks, this has been hard as she is playing the teenage card against me and her father. I also went running (8km, very proud) but tripped over an exposed tree root and landed flat on my side! A few scrapes and bruises. But all ok none-the-less. Returning from my run discovered I had also locked myself out of the house!! Argh…

It’s all happening for a reason

Not once have I gotten upset or angry over the last few days. I have actually remained really upbeat about it. I believe what is happening with HRH is for a reason and if she needs the space I will respect her. I have raised HRH alone for nearly 17 years. So why not let her father take it on for a while and I can be weekend mum for a change. She’ll come back when she is ready. At the moment I know she is in safe hands with her father, so I can look after myself at the moment and continue to support my friend.

On this note I will sign off with big love for my friend, big love to my daughter, big love to my friends and family and big love to anyone out there that relates to this, whether you are a fighter yourself or a supporter of a friend or family member who is fighting. xxx

Big love everyone xxx

P.S My sadhana will just have to start again when I’m better