Charlie's Bird

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

Archive for Charlie

Days of wonder

…ah, guys, the weekend was so good and restorative. I am so glad we got away, chilled and revitalised ourselves; and celebrated Charlie’s birthday! After I’d spent an inordinately long time at the hairdresser in the morning, getting some, as my friends have described it, unicorn hair, with pink green and blue highlights, I packed up all our requirements, fetched Thandi from her late afternoon music lesson and we hit the road to our beach house. Because none has been there for a while, and it was after sunset, with a huge cold front blowing in, the house felt icy, but we soon warmed it up and settled in.

We then headed off to an organised nite series run (just 5km) over a trail at a little nature reserve nearby. Thandi was super excited – her first night run, and we even encountered a very tame giraffe on route, who gave Charlie a slurpy kiss on his bald spot! We all enjoyed it and I was super chuffed at how Thandi coped with the distance and conditions – much better than our last park run some months ago.

Saturday dawned clear and cool, and Thandi and I hustled to sing Charlie Happy Birthday, spoil him with some love and gifts. We cooked up an enormous breakfast, which, after a quick clean up and shower, we walked off on the beach. It was so quiet – just divine to have a whole beach to yourself! The rest of saturday passed in quiet contentment, as we pottered around the house, sorting out a few snags, baked a cake (tres leche cake – YUM!), and prepared for a little braai in the evening. So nice to fall into bed after a lovely day!

Sunday I was lucky enough that my club had arranged it’s long run for out near the beach house, so I was able to do a nice long run (25km) and I felt really good about it. Today I am not stiff and sore, and am positive that my training is on track for the Cape Town Marathon.

After getting back to the beach house we had an early lunch, because one of Charlie’s gifts had been tickets to see Jeremy Loops in the afternoon. Except we arrived at the advertised time of 2, to discover he was only going to play at 6! Hmmmm…. so we went back to the beach house, all 3 of us had an afternoon nap, and then we headed back at 5, more appropriately dressed (the weather had turned during the afternoon), met friends there and settled in for a good evening. The young lad eventually sang at around 7, for an hour, which we all enjoyed. I think Charlie and I may have created a rock concert junkie – Thandi made it to the front row, sang along and jumped and danced and clapped – she loved it! She collapsed in a heap during the drive home, and we got her into bed at around 9pm! (Don’t tell her teachers!!!)

And now it’s Monday, a new week begins – go out and smash it, friends!

Wild Coast Challenge

…so last Wednesday Charlie and I made our way to the Transkei to run home again. It was, to use a cliche, incredible.

We set off from Mazeppa Bay in cool, but windy conditions. My chest misbehaved for the first hour and I coughed and coughed and choked and spluttered, but then it settled down and we got into a bit of a rhythm. Thursday was also 1 year since I kissed my mom goodbye for the very last time. My heart was very sore.

I love this stretch of the coastline and loved sharing it with my Charlie.

Day 2 dawned at Seagulls, where there had tragically been no water!!! Really, 46 smelly runners and no showers (a supply issue affecting the whole village) so I was happy to get back on the trail. My feet were a little less happy. 2 blisters, but I felt fine. 45 long kms down the beach – not so much.

We set off a little earlier feeling the pressure from the rest of the fitter herd, but we’re delayed at the Kei river. It was coming down, the pont was refusing to run, so we all had to wait for a rubber duck to arrive and take us across. (No swimming, there are sharks!) we waited an hour and a half, so we lost our head start. It also meant that in a particularly treacherous stretch of rock hopping, it was high tide, and I lost my nerve for heights. Badly. Once we’d traversed that section we were on soft sand because of that high tide for about 10 soul (and sole) destroying kilometers. By the time we arrived at Crawford’s cabins I was broken. My feet were so very sore. The medic even felt bad for me.

The one saving grace on day 2 were the pumpkin shells. Pumpkin shells were Dawny’s favorites, and everywhere I looked, I saw them. It was as though she had paved my path with them. Kept me motivated to push on.

Day 3 began. I dug so deep. My feet were agony. To top off my multiple blisters and bruised toenails, they had swollen and my shoes felt too small. I could no longer run, so we powerwalked our way to the finish line. It was cool, overcast and drizzley all day – another gift from Dawny I reckon. It was super tough, and I really struggled. But my will is strong, and we made it home.

he kept his distance, was I smelly or something?

And now I am left with some priceless memories and very very sore feet. (Will I ever walk again?)

(Professional photos will come tomorrow, there are some beauts to make you all jealous!)

Weekend round up

…so what did I do this weekend that fulfilled those goals I typed out last week ?

  • did a 15km run with Charlie on Saturday. It was a slow run, I coughed quite a bit, but managed to finish. I am really hoping that slow steady progress will win my race.
  • I was on call, and did some work (welcome Baby Jody and Baby Austin), so I worked on the bank balance.
  • I did some sewing – I managed to make myself a very simple shirt, and I cut out some cute masks for Thandi’s birthday party (yes, I know, I am 4 months early, but I’m being prepared!) which I will glue together tonight.

I am ok after the weekend, wish there was more time every day, but 24 hours is all we get. I did intend to get another run in, but I was foiled by the work on Sunday, and it got seriously hot yesterday, there was no way I could have run on the afternoon without melting into a messy puddle on the pavement. So there we go. Project Save this Birdie is underway.

the family that plays together

…gets hot and sweaty together!

Yay for us, this weekend I coaxed my little family out the front door. Charlie and I ran 10km on Saturday (his furtherest voluntary run ever) and 8,5km on Sunday. Thandi accompanied us on her bike, and I was super impressed that she managed to keep up. We managed to teach her quite a lot about gearing up and down, so hoping she starts to get that spontaneously now. She was a little legend; and Charlie was a big legend. Battling cramps calves on Sunday, he pushed through, despite me keeping routes and distances a secret from him. And didn’t moan excessively last night; although did wince every time he had to stand and walk anywhere.

(and therein the joy of becoming by married to a doctor, anti inflammatories and some arnica will sort him out easy easy!)

Running

…okay, so I seriously slacked off in December, I was broken – there’s (once again) lots going on in the background that is going to take me a while to deal with. I was more stressed than I have been in be-ages; and I could not deal with the pressure of getting up early and running. Facing the crisis I was, I could not have one more demand placed on me, even if it was something that had previously been my salvation. So I allowed myself to heal, to sleep, to rest, to be restored, and in so doing I hope I have restored my love of running, because in all honesty I have not loved anything about ti the last few months, I have resented the sleep it took from me, I resented the havoc it has played on my skin and hair, I hated that my family seemed to not get it, and that it seemed to be taking from our family life.

But this year holds new promise. The few runs I have done in the last 2 weeks have reminded me that I love the feeling of blood pumping into my legs, I love the renewed energy endorphins give. And I have roped Charlie into running with me, so we have had family excursions, Thandi on her bike and Charlie and I running in companionship. (We’ve even taken our hooligan dogs along, which was fabulous for them, not so much for our backs and arms) We are tackling a big challenge together in February, Charlie and I. We are running the RBAfrica Wild Coast Challenge; 110km from Mazeppa Bay to Nahoon in 3 days. I want to show him how special this trail running thing is, and even more so trail running on the Wild Coast. So watch this space for our training updates.

Looking at my stats, last year I totalled 1280km, and this year I ran 1362km, so 82km more, basically 2 marathons more. I was certainly much more consistent (except for December) and I incorporated more hill work and speed sessions into my log. This year I intend to be more consistent with my running, and I am going to aim to get 5 runs in a week, to increase my stamina and endurance. I also want to review some medication I am on that I feel may be impacting on muscular function and therefore my performance. I want our family runs to also be consistent, and would love to commit to one run together every week, but I appreciate that once school gets going, things may change.

 

2017

… my year of tremendous highs and horrendous lows. Above all, a year that taught me endurance.

My lows – in a word I could describe this as my year of loss. In January our divine nanny, Thandi’s second mother Noxy left us for a new opportunity, the chance to live full time with both her children, a chance that we couldn’t begrudge her. In February my dear mom died. I miss her everyday with an aching heart. In July our German friends left and what a blow that was to everyone, loosing such dear friends to another continent. Thankfully social media has made the world very small. At the end of August we closed the doors on our little dream project, my little deli, Salut. Hard to close up, but a completely cold financial decision and it has now revealed the true extent of its destruction of almost all my savings.

The highs – 2 marathons, one ultra marathon and a stage trail have been some good runnings highs for me. I’m very proud of what I have achieved running given the rest of my life. Winning the Regional BWA businesswomen achiever award in August was a lovely indictment of my work achievements. Someone has noticed, someone thought I was the most successful professional woman in my city. Good one!Our holiday to Scotland was just fabulous – sights, sounds, food, family, divine.

And through it all, the highs and lows I’ve been blessed with incredible friends and the most special family. Without Thandi and Charlie, this girl wouldn’t have survived this tumultuous year. Thank you both for standing by my side through the proverbial thick and thin; and thanks for agreeing to join me on the adventures that 2018 will no doubt bring.

To my friends in the computer, thanks for being there with a comment or a like; thanks for blogging and letting me have a glimpse of your lives; stay awesome, keep blogging.

9 years

I said yes. I still do, every day. Love you, my CharlieBear.