Saturday 31 May 2014

Injury Update & ABA principles for soccer

Injury Update

So today is one week since I pulled my hamstring.  I've done no running at all.  It still hurts a little and I'm going to try to not run until 11th June (day after the most godforsaken, hell-on-Earth anatomy and physiology exam ever).  I'm not a big person, but I reckon I've put on a couple of kilos and my muscles are starting to disappear.  I also find when I'm not running I eat more rubbish…and the vicious circle continues…  at least I'm sleeping more (but probably not as well).


Consists around looking after the boys and studying what is supposed to be anatomy but because my lecturer used to be a chemist he is hell-bent on giving us bio chemistry calculations.  If I'd known this I'd have perhaps got a tutor.  One quiz question I copied down and my husband (he's a teacher) is going to get the physics teacher to give me a worked answer (yes, its that difficult). I know this is all very boring but that just about sums up my life for the next 10 days

Let's talk soccer… T1 scored 3 goals today, was named player of the week (and truly was the best player on the field today).

T2 used to be the worst at colouring in and HATED it.  Now he is AMAZING and does it for fun.  I have the same plan for soccer.

T2 is getting better.  He almost accidentally scored a goal today :)  It does grate on me a little that the coach says in a loud voice to the ref there's a boy with autism on the field and he may need extra assistance etc etc.  I know its for the best and its my problem, but I still find it hard to swallow.  I've always tried to get the twins to 'blend in' as much as possible.

In the last few weeks T2 was removing his shirt during the game.  Then the parents and kids would laugh.  Then he thought that was great so would do it again.  So in desperation I told him if he kept his shirt on during the game we would have McDonald's for dinner.  It is working of course (as all powerful reinforcers do!).  The team manager pointed out that he is no longer taking his shirt off.  I innocently remark 'that's great isn't it' as if it just 'happened'.

Other kids and parents are remarking on T2's improvement on the field (running, kicking etc).  But its all down to reinforcement.  Every time he kicks the ball he gets a Pez.  But not only that, he gets a lot of praise.  And I think he's really starting to enjoy soccer now.  I love the principles of verbal behaviour.

Monday 26 May 2014

My first DNF & life's too short to study! Swissotel and Ottos


Maybe I should have titled this section not running.  Saturday morning I headed off to my local Parkrun, ready for a hard run.  Which was probably my problem because I must have moved suddenly and pulled my hamstring on the very first step.  At first I thought it was a spasm or cramp but after 500m I knew it was serious and pulled out.  A couple of tears were shed on the walk of shame back to my car.  But as I was driving home I thought how this could have happened at the start of the half-marathon and how relieved I am that it didn't.  Its still pretty sore.  My husband is going to give it a massage tonight and I've decided no running for 7 days.  Then I'm going to hit the pool - try my hand (or legs) at pool running or swimming if running doesn't feel good.
Just before the Parkrun - If I could turn back time….


Yesterday I had a final essay due.  I'm so relieved I handed that in (with one hour to spare!).  Then tonight I had a science mini quiz - its supposed to be on anatomy and physiology but I think my lecturer is a frustrated physicist  and I think he may be a sadist :-).  The calculations were so difficult.
But I haven't let my injury or studies interfere with having a good time.

Yesterday eldest, MIL and I headed to the Swissotel high tea buffet.  Eldest and I got excited about the chocolate fountain.  The service is always wonderful and they even remembered us from our last visit.  We drank peach cocktails (OJ for eldest), and devoured savouries and sweets until we were bursting.  I must say a simple cucumber sandwich was so delicious.  Other highlights were the cheesecake.  I must say that the scones weren't up to par this visit (I'm not sure what happened) and my tea tasted suspiciously of Earl Grey rather than the ordered English Breakfast.  But not to worry.  We were given a lovely window seat and there were plenty of delicacies to indulge in.
Yes please

My MIL loved this 

My savouries  - cucumber sandwich and egg wrap were the best

The cheesecake was delis and melted chocolate - what could be better?

View of the State theatre from our table

The tree next to St James station - if only trees could talk!

Today I had lunch at Otto's Woollomoolloo.  Yes - the Ottos.  I was chosen to be on the lovely Retromummy's table and had the most wonderful afternoon.  It was part of the Olympus OMD EM-10 launch.  Have I mentioned I have no idea how to use these cameras?  I had to ask how to turn it on, but after a little while I got the hang of it (well kind of).
Lucky me!

I love how this camera looks - so retro!

I was seated near some Olympus employees who were great at telling me about the camera in plain English.  I love how it looks like a 1970s camera.  Its a really good camera and if I was going to buy a camera I know I'd buy this (you do know no-one pays me to say this - I wish they did!)  One of them had done the half-marathon last week so we had lots to talk about.  It was a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon and the food. drink and service was excellent.  Lucky me - it was completely free of charge!  Back to Earth and suburbia now - it was fun while it lasted :-)
Can you tell I'm trying to be arty taking this?

Barramundi was beautiful

I've forgotten what this was but sure tasted good

Such a beautiful day

Thursday 22 May 2014

Stiff as a board; New shoes; The Power of Pez and Life


This morning I was up for a very early 10km.  I knew it would be slow but it felt (and was!) ridiculously slow.  My legs are feeling a little better since this morning's run and some stretching so I hope to be back into regular running by Saturday.

I also used this morning's run to break in my beautiful Fuscia Brooks Transcend.  I've been running in Gel Kayanos for many years.  About 7 years ago I thought I'd try Nikes.  I lost the toenail off my big toe and vowed never to be unfaithful again.  But the beauty of the Fuscia Brooks overpowered me.  For the first couple of kms I doubted my decision, but by the time I turned for home I was in love :-)!

Today was my husband's day off, but it also clashed with eldest cross country zone carnival.  So we decided to check out the newest Italian eatery on the block - Mercato and Gucina.  I'd been craving chocolate croissants (I know - they're French) for some time now so I ordered that and a pot of tea (real tea leaves - tick!) while my husband had a lemon tart which I could tell he really enjoyed.

This place is huge - has a restaurant, deli, bakery, pizzeria and plenty of seating


I think I'll aim to try each one this year

Chocolate croissant

Lemon Meringue

Extra points for the marshmallow and heart

….and tea leaves

Then it was off to watch eldest run his cross country, where he performed valiantly and ran really well.  Unfortunately, although when eldest was born he was 7 days overdue he just missed out on being a New Year baby.  I was wondering why my sports mad husband and brother-in-law starting showing an interest in the due date as each day passed.  Apparently being born at the end of the year means you are competing with kids much older.  If he'd held off a few more days he would be down an age category - so think about that when you're thinking about conceiving your future sports stars! :-)

the power of Pez

T2 isn't that into soccer, but things are changing.  People have said to me maybe he'd be more into this or that.  Well frankly,  unless he's taught, he isn't into anything (except lying on the lounge, eating and watching Thomas on TV).  But he loves Pez at the moment so I discreetly put 2 packets into my pocket and followed a continuous positive reinforcement schedule. Every kick of the ball in training= a Pez, immediately delivered.  It worked like a dream.  He was amazing!  I'm going to keep it up and gradually fade and hopefully he will get more into it.  I'll keep you posted.

Placement is over (for now) and they've offered me casual work (yeah!).  After my exams I'll be working.

I just handed my draft essay in.  Getting 100% in the first assignment was awesome but I'm feeling like the only way is down (hopefully not too far down).  I hope she doesn't return it with lots of changes to make.  This essay has felt interminably long in the making and is making life miserable.

I think I need a holiday - away - so tired!

Saturday 17 May 2014

Race Recap - SMH half marathon

So today was the big day that I've been training for (though I still have that full marathon in my sights).  It was a beautiful morning for it and I had my two favourite people as my support crew, eldest and my husband.  My beautiful MIL was holding the home fort, looking after the twins and all three are also my favourite people :-).

Dinner the night before - I had pasta and bruschetta for lunch
I had signed up for the yellow group which was the slower runners, which I thought was reasonable as I don't think people wake up and decide they're going to run a half.  But I think I underestimated myself and after the starting gun was fired I spent a good 3 km overtaking people.  I felt so excited and felt really strong for the first 5kms or so.  Then the hills started to kick in around Pyrmont - and they just kept coming. Not terribly steep like heartbreak hill, but just so many of them.   My little support crew had promised to meet at 5km, 12km and 17km and helped so much. At the 12km mark as eldest ran a little beside me I started blabbering to my eldest how I loved him and he was the best son ever.  That was after I had barked at my husband to do up my shoe lace and thrown the Gu on the ground.  Maybe I'm a running diva!… I do get a little emotional on a tough run.
I love this photo…... did I have my tag out for 21.1km??

Beginning of the race

Hubby is quite the photographer!

Just before the yellow group starts - scenic port a loos in the background

At about 16km, when I was running along the Cahill Expressway my knee started to feel 'funny' so I slowed down a little and it improved abit.  Then one km later I felt it give and started to panic I pulled up to a shuffle for about 100m and it seemed to feel ok.  From that point I made sure I spent a little bit of time walking at the next drink station.  That seemed to do the trick and  although the last km was hellish I'm very proud that I ran the whole way and only stopped to walk when getting a drink.  I had this secret goal of running under 2 hours if at all possible.  My strategy was to go hard while I was feeling good and hold on for as long as possible.  This strategy paid off and despite all the hills my official time was 1 hour & 53 minutes.  I am so happy with that!!!
It was all worth it :-)

When I finished the race I looked around for my eldest and husband but couldn't see them, so I helped myself to a banana and fluids and then I saw my husband.  The first thing he said was 'I can't find eldest.  I've lost him'.  I took some deep breaths and tried to stay calm and my husband and I split up to look for him.  After about 10 minutes of not finding him I staggered back to the fountain, ready to burst into tears, when there they both were - phew!  I could have done without that.

And guess what happens around here after a half-marathon? I was chauffeured home, soaked in a hot bath, was given green tea and freshly baked cookies, then a half hour leg massage and am now lying in bed while my MIL serves me lunch in bed.  I just told her I might do a half marathon every weekend!  She replied she might join me :-)

I know you want the stats - so here they are!
How good is a Garmin - I LOVE it!

My legs are SO, SO sore.  I can hardly walk - seriously.  Doing placement on my feet all day tomorrow will be - interesting.

Monday 12 May 2014

Last 10km & work is killing me!


Yesterday I managed to get 10km in after placement.  My secret was to walk through the door NOT sit down (oh how I yearned to), get my gear on, tell myself I would take it easy and get out the door asap.


Having to be at placement at 6.30am 5 days a week is messing with my mind.  I have kids to look after in the arvo and assignments to finish at night and I just don't have enough energy to do it properly.   I end up getting to bed far too late and feel like a wreck!  On a positive note, I'm really settling in to the routine of it when I'm there.  I hope they will offer me part-time work but I have a terrible feeling they will only offer me 4 shifts a week - I don't know if I could juggle all that.  I don't know how I'm going to get my essay in on time - I'm thinking of asking for an extension.  What will I use as an excuse? :-)

10km; cruel and unusual punishment & happy mother's day!


The beauty of having to get up at 5.30am weekdays is that on Saturday morning I sprung out of bed and ran 10km with little effort.  Today being Mother's Day I decided I just needed a little extra sleep.  So no run today.  I'm hoping I'll be able to manage another 10km tomorrow and some cross country training with eldest on Tuesday and Wednesday.


I meant to make these cute Easter biscuits during the school hold and although we bought all the ingredients we never go around to making them.  So we decided to make them yesterday into heart shaped mother's day biscuits.  My gorgeous MIL also made the most delicious chocolate cake.  So today after working all week I told everyone I would like to stay home in my trackies, eat chocolate cake and be as lazy as possible.

I don't think anyone informed my lecturer that this weekend is mother's day and that it would be cruel and unusual punishment to subject his students to an online lab quiz over this weekend.  So last night and this morning I've been churning out lab reports and reading textbooks - on the bright side, at least I've had chocolate cake and my feet up..and many cups of green tea.  I plan to do the quiz as soon as the kids are asleep and then crack open wine, choccies and watch Call the Midwife.

I have such gorgeous kids and even though the stress can sometimes be overwhelming I can say that they are such beautiful people.  Today I've especially been thinking of my eldest as he is growing up so quickly and I spend so much time trying to help the twins that I wish I could spend more one-on-one time with him.  I shall make more plans.

My poor MIL also lost a beautiful son at an early age and she must be feeling a little sad today.  Sometimes the worst things happen to the best people.

Happy Mother's Day to all the mums!

Friday 9 May 2014

Working full time is over-rated! Running is suffering!


1 week until the half-marathon and I only ran once this week- aaaahh!  There goes my goal time of 2 hours.


40 hours down, only 60 to go!  Its been such a full on week.  But I don't feel so useless now, and I'm starting to get to know the residents at the facility I'm at and am gaining some useful practical skills.  I also have my fingers crossed that I'll get part-time or casual work there when I finish.

What I miss -

1) running!!!  I start work at 6.30am and finish at 3pm.  Then I rush home to be with my family.  And this week I felt so physically and mentally exhausted that I knew I couldn't run.  Well I tried once and it was a disaster.
2) missing out on school things for my kids - watching my eldest's Fri arvo soccer match, missing helping at the Mother's Day stall, not attending the Mother's Day Mass and next week I will miss the Kindys singing at the Australia's Biggest Morning Tea.  Hopefully, someone will film it for me.  Also I missed a mum's dinner because I was just plain exhausted.  Full-time working mums - I take my hat off to you all!
3) Studying - I am SO behind and have another ugly anatomy online quiz.  This subject is plain cruelty (yet so interesting)  I really want to do nothing on mother's day but I may have to run/study for part of it - we'll see.
4) Messing around on the internet, reading blogs, coolrunning, wasting time etc…..

This blog is being neglected - apologies for lack of posts and photos.  Hopefully I'll be able to spruce it up over the weekend.  This blog has been great 'therapy' for me, along with running.

Monday 5 May 2014

speed session; day 1 of work placement;


I was up with birds (or the annoying rooster that someone in the street thinks its appropriate to keep).  It was fantastic running just before sunrise, except for thinking I may roll my ankle at any moment.  1km at race pace with 200 metres walking recovery X3.

Clinicals - Day 1 - 8/100 hours complete
I am so tired I hardly feel like blogging my day.  It was day one of my placement and after not working for 6 and 1/2 years, it took its toll.  I'm ready for bed.  I didn't have to do to much today.  This morning I started by learning the fire drill, watching dvds on infection control, elder abuse and manual handling, having a hand washing assessment and then shadowing another worker for the afternoon.   Tomorrow I have to start at 6.30 in the bloody morning!  When am I going to run?????   Waaah!  I got home with enough time to drop my bags and head to the boys school for an hour long meeting.

On a happy note I got 9/10 for an anatomy quiz on blood vessels.  It was a uni test and I got the highest score that anyone revealed on the course Facebook site.  Many posters revealed a failure mark and I was very stressed before hand.  Phew!  A confidence boost that I needed.

So tired right now - bath- bed (and maybe a little/lot of chocolate please!)

Sunday 4 May 2014

20km & A Day Out with Thomas


Yesterday I ran 20km!  In less than 2 hours!  Well- not too much less than two hours.  I'm pretty happy with that though I did push pretty hard and the course was pretty flat.

A Day Out With Thomas

I won a family ticket to A Day Out With Thomas (the benefits of spending too much time on the internet!) so off we went to Thirlmere for an ASD kid's dream day!  It took about an hour and 15 minutes to get there and we got there pretty early to get started before the crowds built up.

It was a fantastic day.   The twins went on jumping castles, had their faces painted (I was amazed at how still T2 sat while he got his face painted) slides, explored beautiful old trains, rode on little trains, got to watch a movie about trains, sampled some sausage sandwiches and had a 40 minute ride on a real steam engine.  We were there for four hours and the boys played impeccably.  A lot of littlies became overwhelmed and I believe ages 4-6 is the perfect age for this outing.  We managed to avoid buying the masses of merchandise available for sale and had a really, really enjoyable day.

The steam train we went on - Donald I think :-)

Thomas and Toby mini rides

T2 sounding Thomas' whistle
Never too old for a train ride!
T1 enjoying the view on the ride
The Fat Controller made an appearance - T2 loved him and did really well answering his questions
Inside the mail train

The train yard

Such beautiful old engines

Now I'm about to do an impossible anatomy quiz that my fellow students have mostly failed (nothing like Facebook for creating student hysteria).  Ironically its mostly on blood pressure (think impossible equation calculations) and mine is going through the roof right now.  Afterwards - chardonnay, Call the Midwife and a bubble bath - oh and chocolate of course!

Thursday 1 May 2014


8km this morning.  Didn't want to worry about pace.  Hopefully it will help me to sleep better tonight as I was up half of the night last night worrying about T2 and how he 's going at school.  The joys of being an autism parent.

I have an anatomy quiz this weekend - woohoo!  I've taken quite a few university courses over the years but this is the most difficult by far.  It all ends June 9th.  Must go and study now….