Surfcoast Glory

Last Saturday I took part in the annual Surfcoast Century, a 100km trail run in beautiful Anglesea along with three other crazy mums.

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We did a leg each and I have to rate it as one of my favourite runs in the calendar year. Big call hey?

The atmosphere at the briefing on Friday night was electric. Over 750 runners crammed into the Anglesea town hall, all listening intently to an overview of the big race.

I had been very apprehensive leading up to the day. More so than any other run I’d done before. With a diagnosis of plantar fasciitis dictating whether I would run or not, three other team members relying on me and a husband on the other side of the country for work, the pressure was on.

The unknown can be a good or a bad thing when it comes to doing trail runs. If you haven’t trained on the course before, you’re never really sure just how difficult it is going to be. All I knew was that I had to run a half marathon on sand! Eeek.

My sleep the night before was very unsettled. I set two alarms on my phone, two on mums phone and two on my mum’s partners phone, just in case.

I dreamt about missing the start line and letting the team down and my four month old baby woke twice in the night for a feed. Not the shut eye I had hoped for.

I was wide awake at 4.30am and with the race starting at 6am, there was no point in going back to sleep. One of my gorgeous team mates, Nic drove me to the start line.

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Weather conditions were perfect. Many had discussed the chilliness of the morning but my adrenalin took over and I didn’t seem to feel it. All I was thinking about was whether my injury would take me the distance.

As I took off into the darkness with hundreds of other trail enthusiasts, I found myself gazing out into the ocean, lost in the sheer beauty of this spectacular place.

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The first 4kms flew by and I was well on my way as I finally found my stride.

This place is pure magic and if you had any stresses of day to day life lingering around in your head, this scenery is guaranteed to delete them.

I was mindful not to over exert myself. My goal was to finish the run. At around the 6km mark, my lower back started to ache. Like really ache. I had taken some anti-inflammatories before I set off which seemed to help my foot but they did nothing to ease the incessant back pain. It was too late to back down now.

Hitting the 11km mark, I found myself chatting to a kiwi mum who had flown over for the run. She was doing the full 100km’s with her husband. I was truly inspired and started getting all these weird and wonderful thoughts about having a crack at the 100 next year.

My back pain wasn’t easing but the absolutely breathtaking views seemed to counteract the pain.

The terrain was flat for the majority of the way with a few stair climbs and hills thrown in for good measure. I’ve never run on sand for such a long distance. It was challenging but challenging is good. That’s why I was here in the first place, to challenge myself.

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One of the highlights for me was watching the surfers at Jan Juc take on some pretty awesome waves. I thought that I was insane running at 6am on a Saturday morning along a coastal Victorian beach until I saw these guys.

As I ran into the transition area, I learned that our fourth runner, Anni, the amazing woman that made this event happen for us was too ill to run.

This same inspiring woman introduced me to trail running and it was absolutely devastating to see her not be able to compete.

Having seen how unwell she looked earlier that day, I knew that she had made a wise decision. Thankfully we had a standby who did an absolutely stirling job given that he had not done any training for the event.

It took just over 12 hours for the Coastbusters to cross the line. What an unforgettable experience.

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The experience is what trail running is all about. If you want a break from road running, I highly recommend giving the Salomon Series a go.

The support crew rock!

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Now I’m going to share a pic with you that is very confronting for me. The picture on the left was taken two weeks after giving birth in May this year. The second was last Saturday at 19 weeks post partum.

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Anything is possible if you put your mind to it.

We all challenge ourselves in different ways. What do you do to challenge yourself?

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Running To The Beat Of My Own Stride

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This time tomorrow I will be taking part in the annual Surfcoast Century along with 750 others in coastal Victoria.

The word picturesque doesn’t even do this place justice. Breathtakingly beautiful Anglesea will also play host to the final trail run of the Salomon Series for 2014 with approximately 2000 runners descending on this little slice of paradise over the weekend.

The 100km run on Saturday can either be done solo or as a relay and so the Coastbusters were born. Four determined women with one goal in mind, to get their team to the finish line.

I excitedly agreed to compete in this earlier in the year but didn’t think that I would be sitting here less than 36 hours from race day feeling a little frazzled.

It’s been a big year in the Nichols household. The third edition to the tribe joined us in early May and with some unexpected changes to Daddio’s employment status, we found ourselves relocating to Perth for a month. Throw in the diagnosis of plantar fasciitis and my training has been somewhat stagnant.

Anyway, no time for excuses! I’ve got a race to run.

With the help of the fabulous Operation Move team, I have followed a training program to the best of my ability and will head out there on Saturday with the support of my team members and my beautiful family and run to the beat of my own stride. If you have never run before but deep down know you want to, Operation Move are the crew to speak to.

Running used to be competitive for me but as I’ve got older, I’ve realised that it is not about being better than anyone else, nor is it about getting a record breaking time.

It’s about getting out there, it’s about having fun, it’s about taking in the stunning scenery, it’s about clearing the mind, it’s about taking time out for me, it’s about just putting one foot in front of the other, its about showing my kids that active is good, it’s about looking forward to the cheers from them at the finish line. It’s about running to the beat of my own stride. That’s what it’s all about.

Wish me luck and feel free to send a cheer or two my way.

Image Source

I’m flogging my blog with the fabulous Grace today for FYBF.

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<img src=”http://www.withsomegrace.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/fybf.gif”width=”155″/></a></center><br />

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Eczema Awareness Week – 7 Tips To Manage Eczema

imageThis week is Eczema Awareness week in Australia.

Did you know that:

“Australia has one of the highest incidence of eczema in the world. 30% of children live with Eczema every day, this is why the Eczema Association of Australasia is shining the spotlight on children for this year’s Eczema Awareness Week 2014″ (eczema.org.au)

Eczema is a skin condition that causes, itchy, red patches on the skin. The severity of it varies from person to person and it can be moderate or severe. The most common type is atopic dermatitis.

Having lived through countless appointments with pediatricians, chinese doctors, allergy specialists and GP’s over the past 4 years, I think that I am confident to be able to share with you what I believe are some effective ways to keep eczema under control.

With 2 out of 3 children who suffer from severe eczema, it has been a lot of trial and error with various specialists, lotions and potions and experiments with food.

After trying literally everything, I now know that eczema is triggered by various factors including the environment and in many cases the food that we consume.

Here are my top 7 tips to manage eczema in children.

1. Keep your child’s bedroom cool at night. Heat generally exasperates the condition and will make for a very uncomfortable sleep. Also ensure that your child’s bedroom is free from dust as this can also be a trigger.

2. Use bath oil whilst bathing (Hamilton’s oil works exceptionally well for us) and simply use warm water to wash your baby. Steer clear of any unnatural bath washes and bubble baths. A cap of bleach, yes bleach is also a great way to treat eczema as it kills any bacteria caused by infection. It took me 2 years to try this as I was very nervous about it burning my child’s skin but it proved to be very effective.

3. Use only cotton clothing on your child. Get used to reading the labels on absolutely every item of clothing that you purchase. Also ensure that all bedding, blankets etc are all made from cotton.

4. Eliminate ALL processed foods from your child’s diet as well as highly acidic foods. Think tomatoes (even in pasta sauces), kiwi fruit, oranges, pineapple. You will be surprised at the difference you will notice.

5. If possible, get your child to swim in the beach as the salt water is fantastic for their skin. If you don’t live close to a beach, alternate your bleach baths with salt. Two tablespoons is all you need.

6. Lotions and potions – buyer beware! Be wary of products that promise the world. They don’t. We have spent thousands of dollars and I’m disappointed to say that many of them just don’t work. One product that we found to be fabulous and all natural is Moogoo. It’s an Australian product and I’m sure they will love me for giving them a shout. They are based in QLD and their service is brilliant.

7. Try different things. What works for one child may not necessarily work for others. Food elimination tests are always a good starting point as is getting your child allergy tested. Just make sure that you persevere. It can be very frustrating and and heartbreaking seeing your little ones in pain and they are relying on you to help reduce their pain.

To find out more about the Eczema Association of Australasia or to make a donation, click here.

Do you have a child that suffers from Eczema? What has worked for you?

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7 Reasons To Get Family Active

Spring has hit the Southern Hemisphere and I don’t know about you but the warmer weather has put some extra spring in my step. Pun intended.

Back in January, I started Family Active Day. The concept is simple. Get active with your family on either a Saturday or Sunday throughout 2014. It can be with your kids, your sister, your dad, your long lost aunt.

My family and I have done some sort of activity every weekend in 2014 and it has done wonders for us as well as the little people in our house. There have been times when only one of us have taken the kids out.

To be honest, the kids don’t really care whether it’s with both of us or not, so long as they’re getting out.

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What I have loved the most has been seeing the kids confidence levels grow whilst playing sport or just interacting with others.

Here are 7 reasons to get family active.

1. It reconnects you with loved ones.
Lets face it, our weeks seem to be getting busier and busier. Taking time out on the weekend for some physical activity with family members is a win-win if you ask me.

2. Moods are lifted.
I could be feeling down and out but as soon as I exercise, I instantly feel good. Exercising with family members creates happy, positive vibes. Fact.

3. Increases Fitness Levels.
I often here people say that they are too unfit to get active. You don’t have to run a marathon to keep fit. Just 30 minutes of activity on the weekend with the family is a great start.

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4. Encourages creativity.
There are so many things that you can do to keep active with family members. From bike riding, to kicking a ball,to going on a bush walk. The ideas are endless.

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5. Decreases the risk of illness.
The more active we are, the healthier we are. We all know that inactivity along with other things can result in a number of illnesses including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression – just to name a few.

6. Be seen as a great role model.
How do you want the children in your life to see you? If you keep active with them when they are young, it will encourage them to lead healthy, active lifestyles when they are older.

7. For the fun factor.
When was the last time you had some fun? Playing tag with the kids down at the local park or going on a horseback ride with your sister are fun ways to keep active without it feeling like hard work.

So who would like to crawl out from under their doona and join me for Family Active Day this weekend, and next and the one after?

If you happen to take some active, happy snaps, feel free to hashtag #FMHfamilyactiveday.

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Outdoor Activites To Take Up This Summer

One thing I am really looking forward to is taking my kids camping. We haven’t done it yet.

I used to love camping when I was growing up. We would pack the brown Volvo with the trailer attached every Boxing Day and head to either Eden or
Merrimbula. It was all about the fishing. Dad loved it and somehow made us love it too.

With Summer just around the corner, there are so many great outdoor activities that you can take up as Alex Chisolm writes below.

This post is in collaboration with MOTackle.

Summer is fast approaching and that means it’s time to get outdoors and enjoy the sunshine. What better way to make summer even more fun than partaking in some new and exciting outdoor activities?

Here are five great activities to get you out and about this summer.

Kayaking

Why not get close to the water by spending your summer days kayaking down some of Australia’s finest rivers and estuaries? Kayaking is also a great way to keep fit whilst enjoying some nice scenery and serenity. If you’re game enough, you can also take on some of the stronger currents or rapids around the country as well, but this should only be done if you’re an experienced kayaker.

Stand up Paddle Boarding

Stand up paddle boarding is an activity that is certainly more first-time participant-friendly than most. It is one of those awesome activities that can be done in the surf, on lakes or even on rivers. Stand up paddle boarding is certainly an exciting activity that everyone can get involved in this summer and makes for a great day out with friends and family.

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Spear Fishing

Do you easily tire of throwing a line in and sitting there bored out of your brain? Well it may be time to try spear fishing, an activity that gets you up and about. Spear fishing gets you under water where you get to pick your target and catch it with a variety of different methods. This is an activity not for the faint hearted, but certainly an exciting one to join in on this summer. For all your fishing needs, remember to check out an online supplier such as MOTackle.

Snorkelling

If you live near an area where there are some reefs offshore, why not take up snorkelling? It’s an activity that does not require a lot of equipment yet allows you to see the beauty of natures wonders underwater. You will no doubt be amazed at what you see. Just make sure you have an underwater camera handy to take some incredible photos that you can share with your friends and family.

Body Boarding

The warmer weather brings people out in droves. Beaches are packed and what better way get amongst the waves than with a body board. Body Boarding is a lot easier than surfing, so it’s ideal for beginners. You don’t have to be an expert, just make sure you follow the surfer’s code of not stealing anyone else’s wave.

What other outdoor activities could make this list? Do you have a unique outdoor hobby?

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Copyright 2013 Fit Mother Hubbard