Wednesday, September 5, 2012

It's time to share

Thought it was about time to share some layouts I created over the month of August.  I have been so crazy busy lately and meaning to write more - particularly about what's been happening with my running, or rather what has NOT been happening.... hopefully I will get my act together soon!

Anyway, here are some of my scrappy projects:

The first one is "all smiles" - I thought I'd try something out of my comfort zone and it's something a little different for me. I love the photo of us taken by my bestie, Laura!

"Super fun" is a photo of my little boy Mason and me swimming - another photo taken by Laura. I love the summer colours in this one.

A photo of my big boy, Jared at his dance concert at the IPAC for school - he was "centre stage" in this one and not scared at all! I was such a proud Mummy :)

This one is Jared's school group that danced at the concert.  The theme was ULURU and the song they danced to was called "Raining on the rock":

And last one is the half marathon Nella and I ran together in May last year. Still so proud of the time we did 1 hour and 46 mins... one day we are going to beat it!!

So, that's it for now... be back soon :))

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

And the winner is....

Thanks to everyone for playing along at the Stuck?! Sketches blog hop!  I chose Ronnie randomly as the winner of my RAK.  If you could PM me at I will arrange for this to be sent to your chosen address.
And with that, this is me signing off from the Stuck?! creative team.  I am very grateful to Sara for the opportunity to create and share my layouts through the stuck blog. I absolutely LOVE her sketches! I'll still be checking out the blog regularly and entering the sketch challenges.
But before I go... here is one last Stuck?! LO I'd like to share - the bonus #2 sketch:

and my take that was actually created yesterday (not a great photo, sorry!):

Despite having a difficult and very busy month with selling our house, hubby in a motorbike accident (no broken bones - phew!) and Mason having to be taken to emegency for asthma, I still managed to turn on my creative side and get a few LO's done.  Will share them soon along with a running update, of course! lol...... Go check out the new Stuck?! CT at the blog!
Thanks for stopping by :)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Stuck again and another bonus!

It's been flat out around here lately, with selling our house, weekends away, running events and every day life, looks like I am late again sharing the latest Stuck?! sketch with you... the 15th August sketch:

And my take of my gorgeous Jared... I felt the photos were so nice, it really didn't need too much, but then that's how I scrap!

The bonus sketch #2 is already up over at the blog so go check it out!! See ya next time :)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Stuck?! Blog Hop

If you have arrived here because you are hopping along with the Stuck?! Sketches blog hop, welcome! If you've just discovered the hop, you can get started here.
Stuck Sketches is celebrating its 5th birthday this month. And to celebrate, we are having a giveaway on each of the CT members blogs! That’s an amazing 13 prizes on offer! Here on my blog, I am giving away this RAK.

For your chance to win, leave a comment here and on each blog on the hop. Once you have been to visit all of the blogs, email your name and address to Emails are to be received by midnight Sunday August 26th.
And, here is the full list just in case you get lost...
Linda .... you are here!
So, you're next stop on the hop is …………Lindy!!!
Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

It's that time of the running year again...

Yep, the 2012 CITY TO SURF will be held on Sunday 12th August and I can't wait! This will be my 6th city to surf run and I am hoping to run a personal best. There, I said it! I haven't had as much race preparation this year as I did last year, but between then and now, I managed to fit in two marathons, both of which I am very proud. The time and training for those marathons took a huge toll on my body and I feel like I have really only just recovered from Canberra way back in April.  I guess we will find out on Sunday!

Anthony and I after running the 2010 C2S
(LO Class by Anthea Peterson at Savvy-Delights Retreat)

So, my time to beat is 68:22- my PB and the time I surprised myself with last year. A huge jump from the first city to surf I ran in 2003 in a time of 85:16!  I put that down to all those Tuesday training sessions and races with Kembla Joggers.  Oh how I used to dread even the 2km warm up run, let alone the intervals!

I just love the atmosphere of city to surf.  There is no other race like it! Over 80,000 people take part and raise money for charity.  I am lucky enough to be in the Illawarra Coal team with my husband Anthony. We have run in this team together for the past three years. This year they are raising money for Prostate cancer and all money raised by the participants is matched through their Matched Giving Program - a fantastic initiative! 

This year after the run, we will be glued to the TV watching the Olympic men's marathon.  Just spare a thought for Michael Shelley and Martin Dent who will be competing.  Michael Shelley placed 2nd in City to Surf in 2011 and 2010.  Martin Dent was 3rd in 2011, and 4th in 2010.  Jessica Trengove, last years female winner raced in the women's marathon and placed 39th last weekend.

The 2010 C2S winner, Ben St Lawrence raced in the men's 10,000m a few days ago and placed 20th with a time of 28:32mins. Just goes to show the quality of athletes that take part in the event.

I wonder who will win it this year?

Monday, August 6, 2012


Bonus sketch #1 is now up over at the Stuck?! Sketches blog... This is the first of two bonus sketches for Stuck's birthday month.  There is also the two regular sketches and twice as many opportunities to win scrappy prizes if you enter the challenges!

So... here is bonus sketch #1:

My take is using a photo of me with my close friend and running buddy, Nella after we finished our first ever marathon, a memory I will treasure always: "Marathon effort" ...and I love how it turned out! What do you think?!

click here to check out the rest of Stuck?! CT layouts.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Happy birthday Stuck?!

There's a party going on over at the Stuck?! blog... It's Stuck?! Sketches 5th birthday this month and Sara has organised a whole lot of extra bits and pieces to keep your mojo flowing!

Happy Birthday Stuck?!

There are two bonus sketches as well as the usual two sketches for the month as well as a blog hop with loads of prizes up for grabs.  Well... what are you waiting for? August 1st Sketch is already up! So, head on over to the blog to find out more...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

July 15th Sketch

Stuck?! for July 15th have an awesome sketch:

my take: "Major prize winners" is a photo of me with my running buddies and married couple, Nella and Grant at the 2011 Kembla Joggers presentation.  We all won encouragement awards and Grant posted that we were "major prize winners" on facebook that night! Such a joker lol.

Be back soon to share more Layouts and more running stories :)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Running update :)

I haven't posted about running since Canberra in April.  Much has happened since then. Always a learning experience.  My recovery after the Canberra marathon was very different than after Sydney.  Yes, I was sore, but I felt great! I went back to yoga and was running 4 days after... then I made the mistake of racing a week later. Big mistake! I had what was similar to a cramp in my calf during the last 10km of the marathon and that pain would return everytime I would push myself in a run.  I tried to do too much and paid the price.

Four weeks after the marathon, I was still hurting. I felt like a wreck everytime I ran. I was very worried my plans to run the Mount Beauty half marathon with my friend, Helen would not happen.  This was Helen's first half and we talked about our race plan and I warned her that I may have to pull out if my injury was too much.  But I made it. The run was hard, but my injuries didn't re-surface.  Very proud of Helen on her efforts in her first half!!!

Helen & I before the 2012 Mt Beauty Half

Training after Mount Beauty was still a struggle and I felt like a wreck every time I ran.  The gold coast marathon was not far away and I just didn't think I was ready to be running that distance... so a month before the race, I "down-sized" to the half.  I had originally planned to run with Nella so I felt bad leaving her without a running partner, but she understood and continued her training for the full marathon. 

In the weeks leading up to gold coast, I contined training and visited my chiropractor weekly.  Gradually my injuries were healing and I felt good about the run.

The day came and I had planned to meet another running friend, Bridget at the startline but she slept in! So, I started the run alone (with 10,000 other runners).... and at the 6km mark, I spotted Bridget! We ran the rest of the race together. It was so good to have someone to share the adventure with.  For probably 5km of that race, I hated running and swore I'd never run again - haha.  We finished in a time of 1 hour 49 mins. Stoked!

Me & Bridget after Gold Coast Half

After the race, Anthony and I went to watch Nella run past the 26km mark of the marathon. She was looking confortable and was still on target to do sub-4:15.  We met an ecstatic Nella at the end of the marathon. Very happy with a time of 4 hours 25 mins.

Me, Nella and her husband, Grant

Now feeling better with cutting back the training and focussing on shorter races.  Next goal: City to surf in August. Hoping to run a PB, sub 68 mins... wish me luck :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A quick catch up...

I didn't realise just how long it had been between blog posts! Well... lots to catch up on scrap-wise and running-wise. But I'll start with scrapping and all my Stuck?! Sketches pages.

May 15th sketch:

June 1st:

June 15th:

 July 1st:


I will be back again soon....

Stuck Sketches DT Call

What?! OMG I can.not.believe it has been over two months since I have blogged! Where did that time go?

Anyway, it is THAT time of year again when Stuck Sketches has their Creative Team Call.  So... if you want to be part of the team, head over to the blog and apply!

I will be back very soon to show off some scrapping... finally :)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A new month brings a new sketch!

I absolutely loved this one from the Stuck?! Sketches blog:

and my take is a series of photos of Jared with his cousin, Ishan. Kinda fitting really since my sister has just returned with Ishan after 5 months overseas. Can't wait to see them!

Monday, April 16, 2012

My first solo marathon

The Australian Running Festival was held over two days on the weekend of the 14-15th April 2012. I ran the marathon event, my second marathon but my first solo effort. This run was different from the first in so many ways. The most noticeable difference was the absence of my training partner and friend, Nella Magnante.
I feel so very lucky that Nella, despite not being able to run the event, ran with me for every long training run I did leading up to the event.... and that training began 16 weeks prior! My training was not everything I would have liked it to have been - I was not able to fit in the number of runs I thought were required, but a typical training week looked something like this:
MON - Rest or tempo run
TUE - Interval training with Kembla Joggers
WED - Yoga for runners
THU - Weights/Pilates
FRI - Run (between 8-12km)
SAT - Rest or tempo run
SUN - Long Run (between 18 to 36km)
It was a lot less kilometres than I did in the lead up to Blackmores but I always made sure that I ran that long run every.single.week.
I registered for the marathon early and started looking for accommodation options. There were a few places around the start/finish line but we had a free night at the Novotel so I booked a room there. My very supportive husband, Anthony said he would make the trip down with me and we decided to bring the kids with us and make a weekend of it.
Having the Blackmores marathon behind me, I was confident of being able to complete the marathon but unsure whether to aim for a time. Being unable to train as often, I had to make sure that the training I did was quality. I had a fantastic last long training run (my 36km) 4 weeks prior to the event and I decided I would go for a 4 hour finish time goal (about 5:40mins/km). So my race plan was similar to Blackmores, only with a time in mind. I would find the 4 hour pace setter, take water at every drink station, take energy gels - one before, one after an hour of running then one every half hour after that. I would re-assess my pace at every 10km, just see how I am feeling and whether I am comfortable at that pace or if I should slow down. And lastly, enjoy! Enjoy the run, the sights, the excitement.
But the marathon race plan begins before the race, it starts after the hard training is done. I tapered my training 2 weeks before the run and in the week leading up, I ran only once, went to yoga and rested. The two days before were spent carb-loading and making sure I was fully hydrated. I was determined to stick to this plan as it is so important to prepare yourself as best you can before a long run that takes such a huge toll on your body.
We took the kids to questacon on the Saturday before the race and they had a ball. One of the best things was watching them trying to fly the kites we bought them on the lawn outside in the stillness... there was no wind! Way too cute! It also helped keep my nerves away. We checked into the hotel and had dinner at the restaurant there - I had a yummy prawn penne with a side of baked potatoes for extra carbs! The kids were so tired so we put them to bed after dinner and I began getting everything ready for the race....
If you know me, you will know that I am very particular with everything and I like to be organised. So, I fiddled around for a good hour getting everything ready so I could just get up, get dressed, eat then wake the boys up and go.... it also helps me get rid of the nerves, but when I finally went to bed, I had the biggest wave of nerves pass through me. All those questions and fears: What am I doing? Why am I running so far? Why am I doing this alone? I don't know if I can handle the pain... Needless to say, I didn't sleep well.
I woke up before the alarm went and quickly turned it off, changed and ate. Nerves again so I woke Anthony 10 minutes early telling him I was anxious and that I wanted to get going. The plan was to get the boys up and for Anthony to drop me at the start line. For some reason, the marathon website had said that public transport was the best way to get to the startline but no buses were available before 8am (the race started at 7am) and I didn't trust a pre-booked taxi to show up on time. So.... we are up early, boys are dressed and we head down to reception to get the keys... to find a long line up... uh oh...
Luckily, one of the guys in the line up decides to ditch his car and get a taxi so we share one to the start. It is 6 degrees celcius at the start line, but it just feels fresh and it's a clear day with zero wind - perfect conditions for running! Yet, I'm still nervous. I wait in the long line for the (lovely) portaloos... and finally with 15 mins to spare get to do a quick warm up, set the garmin and ditch the jumper. I overhear the guy on the microphone calling us to the start so I head over and see sets of coloured helium balloons attached to random people lined up at the start.... the pace setters! I find my 4 hour pacer (purple balloons - my colour!!) and head towards him. The countdown begins and I realise I have forgotten to take my gel - damn! I quickly get one out and take it literally seconds before the gun goes... but it is a slow walk to the start line... and then we are running. The crowd and runners begin to cheer and it is actually the first time I feel psyched! Yeah!!!!
During the first few kilometres I stick close to the pacer. We make it to the first drink station - at 2.5km but the official is telling everyone it is not yet a drink station - what the? Next drink station at 5km mark and I am on the other side of the road.... I try to get across amongst the mass of runners but don't make it. Damn! Finally I get my first drink at 7.5km...
Running past parliment house.
After a while, I notice that we are running slightly faster than 4 hour pace - 5:30 sometimes 5:15 and 5:20... it starts to worry me. Then I overhear the pacer telling another runner that he is aiming to get to half way 2 to 2 & 1/2 minutes under goal time. Well, that wasn't MY plan... I am a bit peeved at him about that! I run past the 10km mark at 55 mins... wow, under goal time. I stay with the pacer for a few more kilometres but he starts getting away from me at the drink stations... and I am still running under goal time. At 18km I decide to back off and run at 5:40 pace... remembering how running too fast at the start of the last marathon really slowed us down toward the end.
At about 26km... still smiling!
Along the way, I realise I have been so caught up with worrying about pace and drink stations that I forgot to enjoy the scenery. Canberra is beautiful. So clean and fresh. Slowly it becomes less crowded, especially after the half marathoners turn off toward their finish. There wasn't much of a crowd but they were really encouraging and were cheering everyone on, not just the people they knew.
I reached the point where the half marathoners turn off and we run along the lake... I see a few familiar faces along the way running back - Peter Berry and Chris Llewellyn, fellow Kembla Joggers - I call out and cheer them on and they yell out support back to me. I run through the halfway point at 1 hour 58 mins - two minutes under goal time... too fast? I feel good but there is still another 21.1km to go. I make a mental note to try and stay at 5:40min pace. At this point I am onto my fourth gel and they seem to be sitting in the pit of my stomach. After the next half hour, I decide to wait another 10 minutes before taking a gel. Seems to work....
It's getting warmer but still not too hot and no breeze at all. My pace has slowed a little but I am still feeling comfortable. I only stop very briefly at drink stations to drink without choking! At around the 25km mark I start chatting with a fellow runner who is on his 9th marathon - his best time 4 hours and 17 mins and the only person I chat to for the entire run, although I don't mind. We run together for a few kilometres before I go on ahead after a drink station. Then somewhere between the 28 and 32km marks, I start feeling my calves cramping up. It is so painful but I tell myself to keep running. My pace has slowed considerably ... I still think that I can still make my goal time. I just need to run the last 10km in 6 min pace. So I try. Then the runner I was chatting to previously catches me and slowly runs on ahead. I struggle and my breathing starts going crazy. It really hurts. I make myself keep going. If I can just keep running and only stop at drink stations.... but those stops are becoming longer as I really need to stretch.
The look on my face says it all...
I continue on and feel a little relief when I make it to the turnaround point along the lake and there is 8km to go. I can run 8km ... easy! Ha! Not easy... the hardest 8km of my entire life. Pain in my knees, my calves, my hamstring and no Nella!! I remind myself of her support and that of all my friends... Janet, Sarah, Helen, Lisa, Alicia... what would they think if I gave up?! It takes all my strength to keep going. The cheers of the few spectators along the course help a lot. Then I am running past the car show at old parliment house for the third and last time, just after the 39km mark and after I tell myself that I am not stopping until I get to the finish. I see two little boys waving and yelling "Go Mum!!". I wave and am overcome with emotion and pain at the same time. I shed a few tears and say to Anthony as I run past, "This really hurts!"... so he takes a photo! lol...
Approaching the finish line... my legs were screaming with pain, and I was trying not to listen! haha.
The last 3km were run with my mind. My legs just so wanted to give up! I had to keep telling myself that the pain is only temporary and I will never forgive myself if I don't put in everything! The final straight seemed to go on forever and when I finally turned the corner and saw the finish, I just went for it and it really took everything not to just collapse in a heap over the finishline! 4 hours and 8 minutes!!! It was weird not having anyone to share that elated feeling of completing such a challenge.... but that self satisfaction knowing that I gave it everything was enough for me.
Finally finished!!! Yahoooooo!
I am forever grateful for the support of my husband, Anthony, my training partner, Nella and all my friends who have never stopped believing in me! This run helped raise $610 for the McGrath Foundation. Including the fundraising efforts of my previous runs, that's over $3,200 raised!! Thank you so much.
So... what's next? Well, I'll continue running with my running club, Kembla Joggers and next big one will be in the lovely town of Mount Beauty with my amazing, crazy cycling friend, Helen... followed by the Gold Coast marathon with Nella. Maybe then I will take a break from long distance running... maybe... !

Are you stuck?!

I'm not!! Because Stuck?! Sketches has a great sketch to get the inspiration flowing every month.... 2 in fact! This one is the April 15th sketch which I loved interpreting using a Christmas theme. Here is the sketch:
And my take of my boys with their cousin, Ishan getting into the Christmas spirit!
Head over to the blog to check out what the rest of the DT has come up with. Have a go yourself and upload your take before the end of the month for a chance to win!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Pre-race nerves?!

So... in two days time, I'll be attempting to run the Canberra marathon. That's 42.195km... 26.22miles... whichever way you look at it, it's a long way to run.
It has been 7 months since I completed the Blackmores marathon with Nella in a time of 4 hours and 19 minutes. That seems like a lifetime ago now! To be honest, I am not completely sure how I am feeling leading up to this race. After my first effort, I felt so enthusiastic and determined to run a second marathon... almost like it was the start of my marathon "career"! But over the past few months, that determination has seemed to diminish and I have found myself asking "why?"
The toll that those long hard runs take on your body and the mornings after when I wake up as "cranky mum" makes it difficult to justify making the effort... at the same time, I feel so free when I run, it feels so natural and I always return from a run on a high. Like that saying goes... running is my "ctrl alt delete"! I truly believe that. The thing is, the difference between running distances up to a half marathon to running a full marathon is huge. Its the extra mileage, the extra time, the extra preparation, the extra recovery... the extra pain. In saying that, running a marathon is a real commitment and needs to be put high on the priority list. I guess what I have realised is that to maintain balance in my life - between time with my boys, building a new house, work and scrapbooking, I need to choose my races. I have two marathons planned for this year which I am very excited about.... but I think after that I will be taking a break from that distance to give myself time to concentrate on other priorities. That does not mean I am giving up running!!!
With all this going through my mind, it was quite difficult to maintain the motivation required for marathon training but I am confident that my love for running will get me through it. I am going into this race prepared for the pain but also to just enjoy the run.
If you don't already know, I am raising money for the McGrath Foundation again with a more modest target of $500 this time. I have already raised $420. If you'd like to donate, it is easy! Just click on this link:
Two sleeps to go... all the hard training is done! Just carbo loading, keeping hydrated and resting before the big day :) Wish me luck!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A successful scrappy month :)

Much to my amazement, I managed to get several LO's scrapped during March, thanks to my bestie's push for Tuesday scrap afternoons! Thanks Sar! Now to share:
Firstly, this one is of my son Mason giving his baby cousin Zak a kiss... so adorable!

Next is Jared and his American friend, Alana all dressed up as Toy Story characters, Woody and Jessie for Halloween:

Next is Mason and Anthony in "Daddy's shadow":

And finally both my boys mucking around out the back. Sometimes Jared is a little bit too rough!

It's hard to believe it's nearing the end of the 2nd week of April. I already have some LO's done and can't wait to share...

Until next time, keep smiling :)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Stuck?! 1st April...

A new month already? And a new sketch from Sara at Stuck?!
I loved putting this one together! I took a few ideas from some of my bestie, Sar's layouts and came up with this: "He doesn't tell me how to live, he lives... and lets me watch him do it".
My little Mason following his Daddy around... love it!!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Name change...

Just a quick one from me tonight. My blog has had a name change! Yep, thought it was about time. I started this blog in 2010 as part of my application to Stuck?! Sketches and also to keep a journal of all my scrapbooking and running adventures.
Lately I have been very slack on blogging about my running... especially since there is only 10 more sleeps until I run my second marathon, but this time I will be running alone. It is a bit of a scary thought. I just have to keep remembering that I have done all the hard work, just gotta turn up and run! Easy... right?!
So, from tonight on, I will be posting motivational quotes every day on facebook - much to the annoyance of some of my FB friends hehehehehe!!! Ah well, they'll live!
Here is one to think about:
Just keep running.... just keep running.... ;-)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

March 15th Stuck?! Sketch

is up over at the blog... go check it out and have a go to win scrappy prizes ;)
This is it:
and my take is of the Savvy-Delights Retreat group from last year. I just love that retreat.
Keep smiling :) :) :)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

February is over and the mojo is still flowing...

I am so pleased that I have made time to scrapbook at least once a week since the beginning of the year and I have managed to keep it up. So I would like to share the LO's I did during February... including 2 doubles!!
Firstly, "World champs" is my husbands Mines Rescue Team. The photo was taken before the Australian championships in 2010 where they went on to place 3rd... and from there went on to win the world championships later in the year. This one was done with the latest Scrapbook Savvy He's Savvy Kit.
This second LO was done with the remains of a Scrapbook Savvy He's savvy kit. I just loved this kit! My boys posing for the camera on Australia Day last year... "Team Aussie". The "team" is a journalling card that I have hidden behind the photo and pulls out with the embellishments. An idea I got from the lovely Anthea Peterson - thanks Anthea!
This next LO is done with the same kit as the previous one. I just love the serious face in the photos...
Next is a double of the time we spend with our friends in QLD over a year ago now.... and such an original title (lol): Having fun with friends.
Finally, another double: Our girls weekend with all the trimmings. I printed out so many photos of this weekend and have created a few single page LO's so decided with the remaining photos to put them altogether and came up with this:
I am just hoping that the mojo keeps flowing for the rest of the year... and next year... and the year after... forever and ever lol