A Complete 360….

You often hear “if only time stood still!” I’ve been thinking that so much of late. As each week passes this year, I am getting closer and closer to having my last baby go to school. The shear thought of this makes me feel sick to my core. I still remember that feeling when Bailey and Sienna started school, but I always had another child to keep me busy so I didn’t have time to really feel those raw emotions. 10 years of having babies, watching them grow and develop into little preppies and once Mia starts prep next year, my life will bring a whole new world!

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Last week I saw a snapshot of what my life will be like next year when I drop all three kids off at school. For the first time since before I became a mum, I dropped Mia at mum’s place for some much needed nanny and Mia time (requested by both parties) and then went to the shops. I met up with a girlfriend, we shopped, had morning tea and ended my expedition with an hour massage. 5 hours to myself on a school day – unheard of – and obviously it’s going to be like this everyday!!! I’m not going to lie – I had a great day, but was bursting for Mimi cuddles by the time I picked her up!

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Mia was such hard work last year. There were times when I questioned – how will I ever get through to her going to Prep and still be sane?!?! But since returning from our trip to the States, turning 4 and starting preschool, she has matured so much and her smart and funny character is the highlight of my day. We have so much fun together and our conversations are amazing. She is my mini me, my shadow, the one who I can turn to when the two older ones come home cranky from a big day at school…I think I’ll be spending a lot of time talking to our dog Sonny next year lol!

There will be a lot of adjusting to begin with, but I know I will learn to enjoy time to myself again. I can’t believe my life has almost done a full 360!!! I will go from “mum this and mum that” to silence. Pushing a pram or holding a little hand to strolling through the shops and leaving without indigestion from shoving my lunch down, before needing to go home for day time naps. My time will be able to be spent a lot more effectively fitting in many more jobs as I’ll be able to be a lot more efficient – it’ll be weird finishing a job without stopping 10 times lol!

I’ve already starting putting a few things in place that’ll I’ll be working on from next year. It’s amazing how many options you’re faced with once you’ve been granted time. I was only saying to one of my friends last week – “how can anyone be bored in life – the options are endless!!!!” Some of my options are: studying my masters, starting a fashion blog, relief teaching in my kid’s school, planning our next trip to the States, moving house and of course working on my next running adventure!! I don’t think I’ll ever find myself lost in the silence of all my children at school!

It’s been a long 10 years with the constant health issues all three kids have presented with, but the light at the end if this tunnel is getting brighter as each year passes which is fantastic!! We are getting to such a great place in our lives with the kids. They all so independent and helpful now, I actually get to spend more quality time with them as the cores around the house are now done by everyone! Yesterday was a classic example of this…before we went to basketball everyone was given a part of the house to tidy up and within 5 mins the house was spotless. The girls also cleaned out the car yesterday while Bay did his project and I pottered around doing other chores…a complete 360!!!!

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Looking back over the years I’ve been lucky enough to be at home with my babies, they will always go down as the greatest years of my life. They haven’t been perfect. They have been hard at times and full of hurdles that together as a party of 5 we have jumped hand in hand together. But one thing is for sure, I’ve loved every moment and will always miss this time for the rest of my life.

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My aim has always been to start each day fresh and always put one foot forward in front of the other. Some days this has been simple and other days this has been a drag. But I can honestly say with each step forward I’ve definitely climbed a huge mountain and as I look back at the mountain I’ve climbed, I’m very proud of what has been accomplished. I now will look forward to the new phase of my life and can’t wait to experience the ‘older’ years with my babies!

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My First Half…

Today I achieved something I thought I never would be able to. Not only because of my heart condition, but I never thought I’d have the ability to. But I do and now I can say I have run a half marathon, without stopping and under 2 hours!!!!

I’ve been working towards this since the beginning of the year with 20k as my furthest run which I did a month ago! I’ve been running 15-17k runs each weekend and slowly increasing my pace. I had actually planned to run 20k next weekend, but with so much rain around this week and I’d only run 5k on Wednesday, I figured my legs would be as ready as they’d ever be.

I spend the last two days fuelling my body with lots of water, protein and of course fruit and veggies. I was as ready as I could be. I got everything ready as I do the night before, which included my water bottle, sachet of fruit and a charged watch and iPod! I woke to overcast conditions this morning which I was completely happy about and set off at 6.15. This is how it played out….

I really thought by not running much this week, my legs would be feeling great – not so much. They were a bit achy and when I reached my first kilometre at 5.15mins I was a bit disappointed. By my third kilometre (which was 5.38mins) I was really disappointed! I even remember saying to myself “oh well today isn’t the day – just get these 20k under your belt!” It wasn’t until I got to the eighth kilometre that I was starting to get a nice consistent pace that I felt in control of the run.

It was during this eighth kilometre that I started to make my way home to fuel my body with water and fruit. I didn’t want to at first as it meant going up two hills which made a total of three hills in the first 9k. But thankfully I kept up my pace and even with a dropped water bottle, which cracked the lid and I lost half my water and I almost dropped my iPod, I stayed on track. But after this comic of events, I started to feel sore again. I found myself thinking again “I don’t think I’ll be keeping up this pace!”

It wasn’t until I saw my time at 11k under an hour that I thought “you might just have this!” From there I kept up my pace. My next aim was to make it to 15k which is where I had the rest of my fruit sachet – and note to self – suck don’t pour in your mouth – not as easy as it seems lol! From this point the rest of the run couldn’t have gone any better.

Last week I ran 16k (more hilly) in an hour and a half and this week I hit 16k at 1 hour 26mins. I was stoked with a 17k pb of 1 hour 31mins – my previous pb was 1 hour 36 mins!! By this time I knew I was about 5 mins in front of the last 20k I had run a month ago…I was pumped!!! I was so focused I couldn’t let myself get excited! It wasn’t until I got 17k that I told myself “you are making it to 21.1!!” My goal was to run my first half marathon under 2 hours and if I knew I wouldn’t make this time I would stop at 20k just like I did last time. When I reached 20k at 1 hour 51 taking almost 5 mins off my pb, I knew that I could achieve my half marathon goal.

That last kilometre wasn’t pretty. I was sore. I was ready to stop. I kept looking at my watch every minute and counting down the metres. When I reached 21k I counted down the last 100m from 10 out loud and at 21.1k I stopped my watch and let out the loudest cheer – a couple were walking past and I think I scared them but I didn’t care – I’d just run a half marathon under 2 hours!!!!!

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I was in disbelief. I did it…I really did it!!!! And I know that I can do better!!! This week I got the confirmation from my cardiologist to run the Gold Coast half marathon. As soon as he confirmed it and after a check up with my doctor on Wednesday, who was very happy with me, I’m now all signed up!!! I’m so pumped and ready to take on the challenge again. My aim…to beat today’s time:)

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When I was diagnosed with my heart condition, no one knew how I would be effected. I have many limitations and work really hard everyday to keep it at bay. But one thing is for sure, my heart condition hasn’t made me scared, it’s made me a stronger, more determined person to achieve things I thought wouldn’t be impossible. My heart condition doesn’t control me…I control my heart condition.

To achieve anything all you have to do is believe and never give up!