One week post marathon

I can’t believe that it has already been a whole week since I ran my first marathon! It’s all a bit surreal like it never happened but I am SO glad that it did and still giving my medal a little rub and a polish every now and then ;) I have spent the week resting, eating ice cream and reading books!
I felt pretty tired and hungry when we got home last Sunday as I didn’t manage to eat more than half a banana and a bit of white bread afterwards. I do remember having a very nice tasting Milo (chocolate milk) that my lovely friend Karen made me! As soon as we came home I had a shower and then pretty much put my beloved 2XU compression pants on and jumped (crawled) into bed. I wasn’t feeling to great after having 5 GU gels…. yuk.. and even though I felt hungry I couldn’t really eat anything. I did manage to have a couple of salty chips and some water before I finally fell asleep. Woke up a few hours later after a fidgety sleep, had scrambled eggs, toast and baked beans and felt great. Later that evening I sat in the couch with a glass of wine and a big grin on my face, I did it, I ran a full marathon…….! Yay for me!
I have recovered really well this week with stiff legs the first two days and then pretty much fine except my right hip that is still bothering me a bit. Had a sports massage on Thursday and even though I am still a bit tired I feel really good. Apparently it takes about 3-4 weeks to fully recover from running a marathon and this week I am only doing slow short runs and gradually adding more in the next few weeks.
I don’t remember much of the last couple of km’s in the marathon except hearing my own inner voice telling me to stay strong and keep running! I also remember thinking that I am never ever doing this again!! Funny that I only two days later would sit in front of my computer looking at new marathons to run…..! No, I have not caught the running bug, I think that I’m actually possessed!! Yes, it was really tough in those last few km’s but the feeling of stepping over that finishing line, the medal around my neck, my friends and family there to congratulate me makes it all worth while! Fundraising to help kids with cerebral palsy, some that will never walk or run is something very close to my heart and made this whole experience much more worthwhile! Running a marathon has never been on my bucket list but after finishing one I get it….. I really do and I will be coming back for more! :)
IMG_4687   medal

Perth Marathon 2013

I did it! I ran 42.2km in the Perth Marathon yesterday! I still can’t quite believe it and keep looking at all the photos and my beautiful medal as proof that it really happened :) My legs are pretty stiff today but overall I am feeling pretty good. It was a perfect day for running, a bit cold in the morning with only 5 degrees or so but warmed up to a lovely 17 degrees I think. _DSC9374I wasn’t too nervous and actually managed to sleep quite well the night before. The only thing that bothered me was that I two days ago realised that my sports drink that I have been training with has no carbs in it which means that I only had about 20 grams of carbs per hour when training for the marathon. The recommendations are somewhere between 30-60g/hour…. meaning about one gel + sports drink should be about right. That made me nervous but decided to have a gel every 45 minutes instead, there was nothing else I could do as you really don’t want to change anything on race day.
I started out well and it was just magic watching all the runners along the river around Burswood and East Perth. The advice I got before the race was to try to run the first 20km with an easy pace and that worked quite well. I was enjoying the scenery and there was lots of people along the course clapping their hands and cheering the runners on which was really nice. Along the way towards Applecross the leaders of the pack were coming back and they looked fierce! Absolute machines and utterly amazing runners! The winner came in at 2.24…! A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!
Around the 27km mark I had a bit of a dip and felt tired but pushed through thanks to my lovely support team out there. Mike and the kids kept popping up along the whole course and also had some friends cheering me on which was so nice!
_DSC9390I got to the 32km mark and had 4km along the freeway to the Narrows Bridge where my running buddy Kath was waiting for me. I always hated running this bit in training as it just a straight road and seems to go on forever but now I felt really strong and my legs were just pounding the pavement like a machine – what an awesome feeling! I got a bit bored half way and found myself counting cars driving on the freeway… weird, I have never done that in training! Came up to the 36km mark and saw Mike, the kids and my gorgeous friend Karen waiting for me! It was great seeing them again and at this point I felt really good!_DSC9399
Met up with Kath and at about 38km I felt really tired and decided to have my last gel to fuel the last couple of k’s to the finish line. Gulped down the gel and realised I had no water or sports drink left at all in my fuel belt….. Luckily a water station was coming up and Kath helped me fill up one of my bottles while I had a big drink of water. Walked a bit and really didn’t want to start running again but in the end I did and all I could think was – keep running, you are strong, don’t stop, keep running, I can do this… Finally the 40km mark came up and after what felt like forever the 41km and then the beautiful 42km mark came up – YES only 200 meters to go, I am going to make it, I am going to finish a marathon – YAY! YAY! Friggin YAY!
I got a medal around my neck, hobbled over to a table and grabbed a drink before I met up with my gorgeous friends Karen, Frida, Helen, Erika and of course my amazing husband Mike, Nathan and Cayla that had been following me around the whole course cheering me on! I got flowers and champagne and nearly had a cry…. I can’t believe that I have actually ran a marathon! What a great journey it has been; the training, my running buddies, half marathons, aches and pains, fundraising for TCCP finally leading up to this amazing day. Oh and my time was 4hrs and 20mins.
THANKS to everyone that has supported me by donating to Cayla’s challenge! A big thank you to my amazing support team that was cheering me on yesterday – Kath, Jo, Vanessa, Karen, Frida, Helen, Erika, Cheryl and of course my hubby and the kids! Love you guys! _DSC9410 _DSC9418 6 8 Perth Marathon

It’s Taper Time!

I have nearly completed my Marathon program which means I have less than 3 weeks until Perth Marathon! I did my last long run of 32km last Sunday and felt a bit so and so…. didn’t feel 100% well and ended up walking the last 800m but got it done so happy with that. This week I am still putting in nearly the same amount of training as last week but the longest run will only be 19k. These last 3 weeks are all about tapering which basically means slowly cutting back on training so the body will be all rested and fit for Race Day.

Perth-MarathonStill can’t quite believe that I am actually going to run a full marathon! I really enjoy running and curious to see how far I can push myself so will just have to ignore any negative thoughts, trust my training and do the best that I can! Mike and the kids will definitely be there supporting me on the day and I even have a friend who has kindly offered to run the last 10km with me! :D

I am running this marathon not only for myself but also to raise important funds to help Cayla and other kids with cerebral palsy. I am at the Centre for Cerebral Palsy (TCCP) most weeks and I can’t tell you enough how much the wheelchairs, walkers, modified bikes and other specialised equipment means to these kids. Their happy little faces when they finally have a chance to do something we all take for granted such as riding a bike or to be able to move around independently with a walker or a funky electric car. There is a whole range of equipment that can help make these kids lives a whole lot easier so please please please click the link to Cayla’s Fundraising Page and make a fast and secure online donation from anywhere in the world! Any donations are greatly appreciated – large or small! Thanks! 

Marathon and Fundraising

So I have registered to run a full marathon.. and I am scared and excited at the same time and hoping it will all come together on the day…..!
I have been training pretty hard over the last 5-6 months and is now following a Marathon Training program. I have registered to run the Perth Marathon on the 16th June which is only about seven weeks away..! It’s a pretty flat course running along beautiful Swan River so should (!?!) be a nice run and hopefully not too cold and windy as it will be winter here in Perth!

We have decided to once again take part in an event called Wheelie Big Challenge (WBC) which is organised by The Centre for Cerebral Palsy (TCCP) here in Perth.
This is a year-long event where people become ‘champions for cerebral palsy and challenge themselves to achieve something remarkable. The champions decide on a fundraising target and then do a variety of things to achieve it such as organising a fundraising event or perhaps running a marathon! We learned about Cayla’s diagnose in February 2010 and that was the first year we decided to take part in Wheelie Big Challenge and raise money for the very important Early Intervention Program (EIP) as a thank-you to TCCP for all their help and support. TCCP BannerWith the help of our families and friends from all over the world we raised an amazing $4400 in just over four months! These funds went towards the purchase of a number of important items on centre’s Wish List for children in the EIP program such as early activity systems, switches and toys and different types of walkers. The aim of this program is to provide therapy and support for children from the earliest possible time to ensure that they develop, enhance and maintain skills both in their home but also at school. Actions such as rolling, crawling, standing and walking, which are all essential  to childhood development and quality of life, can be very difficult for some children with cerebral palsy hence the importance of accessing specialised equipment early on in life. Last year Cayla was able to get an AAC system (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) called “Vantage Lite”  which is helping her with her speech. Without funding it wouldn’t be possible for everyone to purchase as this small but important piece of equipment costs about $10,000…!

Cayla’s dad Michael and I have picked up running and cycling since we learned about her diagnose of cerebral palsy and will be doing a variety of races throughout the year to raise funds for The Centre for Cerebral Palsy.
I started running on a treadmill at home about 18 months ago after realising that going to the gym for my usual classes just wasn’t going to happen due to Cayla’s all therapy and hospital appointments. I really enjoy running and last year I completed two half marathons, but running a full marathon (42.2km) is certainly going to be my biggest physical challenge in life so far…! Mike started bike riding end of last year and has a couple of races in the calendar over the next few months all around 80k and the “Hell of the North” (135km) in Lancelin on the 15th September.
We are kicking this year’s Wheelie Big Challenge off with “Joondalup Half Marathon” and “Kalamunda Bike Ride” both in the morning on Sunday the 19th May.

No doubt we will be training hard in the next couple of months and we definitely need your help and support! Feel free to get in contact with us if you would like to join us for any rides/runs as we would love to have you on our team!

If you would like to show your support and help us reach our fundraising target please click on the link and make a fast secure online donation!
All donation over $2 are tax-deductible! Please feel free to share the link to Cayla’s fundraising page with friends and family, all donation are greatly appreciated, large or small!

Wheelie Big Challenge

Intensive Speech Therapy – NAPA Center

My head is full of things
to be researched or organised in some way and because I change my mind all the time it is difficult to make a decision…! So we have been looking into a non invasive surgery called SPML which is being preformed by only two doctors based in America. This would be a costly business for us and after much thinking we have decided to wait with the surgery as Cayla’s gait/walk is actually really good now after the Botox. She is putting her left foot more flat on the ground than ever before and it seems like she is even extending her left knee a bit better as well so at the moment we are happy with that. I am not loving the Botox and having to go to hospital twice a year but maybe we just have to deal with it as it seems to be working really well for Cayla at the moment. What we do know is that her speech is going to be a challenge (and hard work) for her so we have been looking at different ways to improve her it. Her speech is quite delayed and unclear, especially for people that doesn’t know her very well. We are still not sure if she has dysarthria or dyspraxia or a bit of both to be honest but maybe it’s treated the same way (?) and maybe it doesn’t matter after all? After reading some more online I am starting to think that Cayla might have Apraxia of speech which is also a motor speech disorder. Children with apraxia have problems saying sounds, syllables, and words. This is not because of muscle weakness or paralysis. The brain has problems planning to move the body parts (lips, jaw, tongue) needed for speech. The child knows
what he or she wants to say, but his/her brain has difficulty coordinating the muscle movements necessary to say those words. Research shows the children with apraxia have more success when they receive frequent (3-5 times per week) and intensive
treatment. We believe that intensive speech therapy would really benefit Cayla but this is something that isn’t really offered here in Perth unless the child has gone through a major surgery. However, an American company called the Napa
is offering three weeks intensive training and are currently doing two trips to
Australia (Gold Coast) a year. They send a couple of therapists and usually have 7-12 families to work with during the three weeks. The Napa Center provides many different types of therapy, one being speech therapy which we are really keen to do. You can
choose to do 2, 3 or 4 hours of therapy daily and you can mix it up by doing two hours physio, one hour OT and one hour speech for example. The Napa Center is now planning a 3-week training course here in Perth in October this year which is great
as we wouldn’t have to travel anywhere. I have no idea if Cayla will be up for 2,3 or 4 hours of speech therapy a day so it will be interesting to hear what the offer and what the program will look like. The cost is $6000 – $8800 depending on how many hours of therapy we decide to do. It works out to be about $150/hour which is the same price as we pay for private therapy here in Perth. A lot of money but as a few people have suggested already, maybe we could use our running and bike riding to help raise the money needed… lots to think about and I will keep you posted!

By the way, I would love a bigger size of this skirt (see picture) from H&M in Sweden for Cayla so if anyone happen to see it please buy me one in size 4-6 years – thanks! IMG_4627