Charlie's Bird

living the dream with Charlie and Thandi and chirping all the way back to the nest.

Making lists

…the stage I am at. Making lists of what to pack; what must still be done; shopping to be done for the weekend. Collating all the information we need on holiday – booking confirmations, car rentals, air tickets. I am a veritable organizational geek at the moment. Saying that, preparing for 3 weeks away from home is quite daunting. Thankfully we really do live in a global village, so we will never be far from contact.

So what is left to organise? I simply need to rethink what we pack, temperatures are a lot lower than I thought they would be, so some of the lighter clothes will be getting swopped out. I am still looking for a funky running shirt to catch some attention with. It is really hard to find any SA branded stuff, some one suggested the airport, which is a bloody good idea, so I will peruse duty free while I am there. Charlie needs to get a suitcase from his mum. And then we need to pack!

6 more sleeps till we go, 11 more sleeps till my first marathon

My crazies

..have arrived too…

Let the crazies begin

… that week before you go on leave is always crazy! The punishment for taking a break is exhausting. I hope I get through these next 4 days in one piece. I am shattered at the start.

The weekend was good. Work was quiet, but I managed to be busy nonetheless. Between running and giving talks and a bit of work, it ticked over. Thandi had a huge weekend – she had parties and playtimes and ended with an enormous vomit before collapsing into bed for a very restless sleep. I think she is also just worn out, poor kiddo. I’ve kept her at home today, time to just relax, slow down, catch some sleep, and feel better! Wish I could have stayed on the couch with her too!

11 & 16

…more sleeps until we leave for Paris and until my first marathon. Squeeeeeeal! I really can’t believe how close it is getting! Last night I sat and drew up my lists of things I must pack. I must say, I think we are going to be well sorted. Well, I really hope so, if I think of all the planning that has gone into the trip. I’ve also now printed out all the email confirmations and details, like directions and all that jazz, stuck it all into a file, so I will, if nothing else, be organised. The only things really left to do now are to pack and get my forex. Oh, and I have to do this weekend on call, do a talk at an antenatal open day (which I must still put together) and get through next week’s work.

Feeling better

…shoowee! If I ever stop exercising again, someone kick my butt! A week ago I was morose and miserable. Sunday I cried because I didn’t think I could anymore. Today I feel so much better, and it’s all down to my running and exercise. Flip! This morning’s run was not even pretty, I feel a bit off the whole run, and was actually quite nauseous afterwards, but the endorphins arrived and I turned into a much nicer person. So moral of my story is, exercise is my best antidepressant!

14

…more sleeps! And then we climb on the plane, head to JHB, before climb on another plane and head to Paris!!! I cannot believe after all the planning and plotting; all the talking and dreaming, it is almost here! And it’s not quite real to me yet that after all this training and all these hours on the road I am going to run my first marathon. There are a few things on my list this week, we need to get another suitcase, finalise an international drivers license, book a hire car and I need to start making lists of things to pack. I’m really pleased we are staying in an apartment in Paris where we can do our laundry, so I don’t have to haul stinky running clothes all over France with me. Medicine chest needs to be checked and restocked; and money finalized.

So, our itinerary is more or less sorted – any must sees you think we should see, my loyal blog readers?

Back to form

…what a relief! I managed to get some good, tough runs in this weekend. A tough 12km trail run on Saturday through the mountains, that has left me with skinned fingers after a slip; and a solo 3 hour training run yesterday, which did test me mentally.

The trail was stunning. I mentioned we were heading to the mountains with our friends, so we ran through the little hamlet in the mountains, taking a course along one of the hiking trails, which saw us see the big tree (and it really is big), 2 waterfalls and some gorgeous scenery. I was lucky enough to have MB run it with me. He is one of those naturally very fit and athletic kinda guys, but he looked after me well; waiting for me, making sure I got water at the watering points, helping wrap my hand up after my slip. It would have been rather a lot less fun on my own. I felt good afterward, which is where I can feel my fitness and training paying off. On Sunday I was a little stiff in my hips, but that I think is because of my layoff because of my injury; which thankfully has fully recovered, and the nature of the terrain we ran along. I really must say it, trails are not for sissies!

Sunday, we had a lovely morning wandering the farmlands around where we staying. We took the girls for a walkwhinewinge to see the damns and rivers where there are trout swimming around. The scenery really was gorgeous, and the walk loosened up the stiff muscles. We headed home, and then my test long run awaited. It’s quite hard to run for that long around the suburbs, on your own. Charlie is very protective of me, so lots the route ideas I had he vetoed, with good reason. So it took some creative planning on my point, but I managed to find a decent route. Charlie and Thandi met me along the way with water and nutrition. It was good to try out different potions and options. The one I liked the most was probably the Steers soft serve ;-). Being a small town, I did meet a few people along the way, and those occasional shouts of encouragement from friends and random strangers do make you kick up those legs. Right towards the end of my run, when I was really flagging, a very experienced runner friend of mine came across me and got me through 2 more kms at a pace I didn’t think I still had in my legs. He was a life saver. And at least the chit chat vaguely distracted me from the ache in my hips! I was supposed to run for 3 hours, but finished in the dark with 15 minutes to spare, and thought that that was probably good enough. So long run done! Paris, I’m coming to get you, ready or not!

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