April 19, 2009

Back to it

Well, I am home now and it has taken me a full week to feel like myself again (get myself sorted/get things organized, catch up on sleep and get back into my regular schedule). One thing I realized after taking 2 weeks off is that: I have a very busy life! My schedule is always full and I never have a down time moment to spare! I am not complaining though, as for those of you who know me well, know that when I do have "down time" I end up trying to fill it anyway! So in any event, I am very happy to be home! I had a wonderful trip and I really loved it but, I missed my regular life.

On the bike front, it still has not arrived!!!!! I a crossing my fingers for tomorrow or Tuesday! Today I borrowed Ang's bike (we are the same size and her bike is exactly like the one I am getting) and went for a 2 hour ride with Ken and Phil. We headed out early enough that we only saw 1 other cyclist on our route. Afterwards, I attempted a brick run which I have not done in about 3 months due to my injury - let's just say it was less than spectacular. But, it takes time to come back after an injury and I know that; however patience is not something I have. Not much I can do though but stay positive; at least I am running again - even though it is slow. I do know though if I stay calm and keep at it, it will come.

Well, lots of work to do (swim planning, athlete programs, clinic planning, etc).

When my bike does come in, I will post pictures. Fingers crossed it comes this week!

April 11, 2009

Heading back home

Just a quick entry before we leave for the airport in a few minutes. Yesterday (my last day in Australia) was a great day. We slept in after a late night at Easter dinner and then got up, went for a run, went for a swim and then we came home and hung out and packed. We then headed of to watch an AFL game (Aussie rules football, or "footy"). It was so much fun. I love this game. It is fast paced and rough! I could very much be a fan and go to many games if I lived here. I do have pictures but no time now to post the so I will do so when I get home. 

Ok, I am off to sit on planes and in airports for 30 plus hours bow! See you soon!

April 9, 2009

Past few days

Here is what we have been up to:

Wednesday - We got up and went for a morning swim (in the outdoor pool of course). We then headed to Southbank for the afternoon. This is basically Brisbane's equivalent to what Eau Claire should be in Calgary. We found some cool shops and I managed to find an Australian bike jersey.  We wandered along stopped for lunch and then Carole wanted me to try some Hokey Pokey Ice Cream (Hokey Pokey is a flavour of ice cream, invented in New Zealand and consisting of plain vanilla ice cream with small, solid lumps of sponge toffee)

It was delicious! So we sat in the sun for a bit and then headed back home via the Cat to go to Carol's spin class at the university. It was finally sunny as almost everyday that we have been here it has rained. 

Thursday -we went to Carole's friend's house and had a traditional Aussie Barbie with rissoles (hamburgers) with beetroot, and snags (sausages).  We also brought marshmallows from Canada for them to try and they loved them as they are quite different here in Australia. We taught them how to perfectly roast a marshmallow, how to make ghost gum, and we made S'mores.

Friday - today is a bit of a mellow day as it is Good Friday and most things are closed.  Tonight we are having a big Easter dinner at another one of Carol's friend's houses. She is amazingly talented and a fantastic cook and baker - so I was told to go hungry! We might head up to Mt Coot-tha today as well; this is apparently Brisbane's best lookout point.

Tomorrow we are not quite sure what we will do during the day but tomorrow night for my last night in Australia we are going to AFL game (Aussie Footy)! I am so excited!!!!! The Brisbane Lions are playing the Sydney Swans. I have heard it is quite a brutal game. It also seems this is the league the bad boys play in as every paper you pick-up here has a headline about something either illegal or stupid/extremely controversial a pro footy player did. 

I can't believe my trip is almost over! I will enjoy these next few days as much as I can before the 30 hour journey home on Sunday.

April 6, 2009

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

Yep, I got to hold a kola today! We went to Lone Pine Sanctuary today. It is a sanctuary with koalas, kangaroos, wallaby's, wombats, and more Australian animals. 

Up until now I had no idea that koalas can be so active. They still sleep 20 hours a day but, we happened to be there at feeding time. These little guys are so cute and inquisitive when they are awake. They love their food (Eucalyptus leaves) and love jumping from branch to branch in search of the very best leaves. We watched them for hours. We were so fascinated with the koalas, and we hung around them most of the day. There were so many of them in various parts of the grounds. In total there are over 130 koalas at Lone Pine. And the handlers can tell all of them apart.

Today I also saw a spider that someone had to say "stay away from that one!".  It was a Green Jumping Spider that is not toxic to humans but, has a very painful bite. Yikes!

To Janice (my mother-in-law) - I haven't emailed because I don't have your email address! I am really missing you though!!!

The loss of a dear friend

Although I am having a great time here in Australia, I have to let you know of some sad news. Many of you follow my blog and know that it has been sparse over the past month up until now. The truth is I have not wanted to share what was going on.   My dear friend Terry, has finally lost her battle with cancer. A few days before I left for Australia I had the opportunity to say good-bye,  which was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. She told me she wouldn't be there when I got back and part of me knew that was true. On Thursday, I got the email from Ang that I had been dreading. It is easier being away but, the reality of missing her funeral and being away from my friends is hard. I have been able to suppress it for now but I know once I hit home, it will be hard. The reality that my Monday routine of going to Terry's for tea and cookies (and what ever else she would bake us) after swimming has forever changed.

I will miss Terry very much and will keep her memory alive.

Seeing Chrissie Wellington at Ironman Australia

Ironman Australia spectating

I just got back from the pool from a fabulous evening swim at the University of Queensland. I love outdoor pools. It is just so different to swim outdoors all the time. I am going to be sad coming back to Canada and having to swim indoors again. 

We just got back from Port Macquarie today. It was a fabulous (but very rainy) weekend. I don't suspect I will arrive back in Canada with a tan. Friday we spent driving down to Port Macquarie with a quick stopover in Byron Bay to frolic in the ocean. 

Saturday we walked about town and mostly hung out in the cabin as it was very rainy. We tried to go see what was going on with the Ironman 1km Ocean Swim but it had been cancelled. The waves were huge and we were both a little relieved after we saw the huge waves.  Sunday morning I woke up to the most pelting rain I had ever heard. I felt sick to my stomach for the athletes. It had cleared u however by race start but not before it dampened T1 and T2 as much as it could (it was already more than damp!). We missed the pros going off but were there for the 1500 age-groupers as they headed down the river. We followed much of the race moving from spot to spot to see the pros and age-groups race. It was very exciting to see Chrissie Wellington and she really is amazing! She was smiling and waving at the crowd even as she pushed on throughout the race. I got alot of photos of here and an autograph! She is so nice and I also got some amazing video footage of her which I will post when I can figure out this darn video camera. Her finish and post race interview was amazing (for the record, she finished in 8:57!!!!!)

We left Port early this morning and it took most of the day to drive back up to Brisbane. As I said before, I snuck away for an evening swim and now we are just hanging out at Carole's. It could be an early bed tonight as we were up late last night cheering on the late night Ironmen and Ironwomen.

April 1, 2009

Busy Day in Brisbane

I woke up early and puttered trying to get my luggage sorted out. We then gathered our things and headed out for a run before the heat of the day hit.  Finally after 9 weeks of no running I am able to start slowly running again! It was so nice and warm I was loving it - I wanted to run forever - I really miss marathon training. We ran along the river path and Carole had to constantly remind me to stay to the left (in Canada we would stay to the right).  We ended up at a great coffee shop and the girl looked at me oddly when I asked for a coffee; Carole had to explain to me that they don't just brew coffee you have to have a specialty drink. OK, twist my arm,  I'll have a latte. It turned out to be the best latte I have ever had and we even got fresh squeezed apple juice.

We meandered back home, I collected my swim gear and walked to the university (University of Queensland) for a swim - unfortunately leaving Carole behind to study.  The pool is a 50m outdoor pool and it was a perfect temperature. It was 28 degrees out and I had a great workout.  After I finished, I got out and chilled on the grass eating my post-workout snack. I then headed back to Carole's. We ate a big lunch and headed into Brisbane via the Cat. We made our way to the Story Bridge for the bride walk. Did I mention I am afraid of heights? As we headed up my legs were starting to shake but, as we climbed higher I actually started to relax. The views of Brisbane were spectacular!!!!!

Today it has been pouring rain!!! There are floods on many of the highways so we delayed heading to Port Macquarie until tomorrow. We are heading down the coast to watch Ironman Australia. I am so excited to go see. Some of the big names racing on Sunday are Tim DeBoom and Chrisssy Wellington. Although we wanted to be racing and are not, it will be a great weekend. I am always happy racing or watching any triathlon and love being around all the hype of Ironman. I will try to blog but may not be able to until we get back from Port Macquarie

Until then....