ticking one off the bucket list

At this morning’s parkrun, I finally managed to do something I’ve wanted to do forever – I ran 5km. Without walking. I know for many of you, that’s not a big achievement, but for me it was that illusive goal that I didn’t think I’d ever reach.

I almost didn’t get out of bed – a week of work has left me feeling tired and I was tempted to sleep in. When I made it down to the river, I could see it was an absolutely beautiful morning for running and was glad I hadn’t let myself stay in bed.

11150323_10152821647437083_2044851493008598980_nOnce the starting gun went, I can’t say I had a particular plan or even an intention to run it all today. I was just trying to stick with my goal of ‘running happy’. Run when I want to, walk when I don’t. And it just happened today that I wanted to run. Even after I got tangled in the lead of one of our parkdogs, I still didn’t let it faze me and I kept running.

The only place where I even thought about walking was not too far from the finish line as that’s where I’m traditionally gathering the energy for a final burst across the finish. But I just kept plodding along steadily and had the hugest grin while I crossed the finish.

crossing the finish line & feeling amazing :)

crossing the finish line & feeling amazing 🙂

I didn’t run a PB time-wise but I really didn’t care – it wasn’t about speed today (not that it ever is for me!), it was all about running and achieving a goal I had thought I never would achieve. Even better, my foot held up well and didn’t give me pain, either during or after the run. I’m crossing my fingers that it won’t be too creaky when I wake up in the morning.

Five trips I’ve taken

This week, I’m joining the link up party with Cynthia at You signed up for what, Mar at Mar on the run and Courtney at Eat Pray Run DC. The theme for this week’s Friday Five is ‘Five trips I’ve taken’ and is a perfect theme for me as, if there’s one thing I love even more than running, it’s travelling! So hard to just choose 5…..

1. Running in Maui, Hawaii. Incredible trip. Probably my favourite at the moment because it’s my most recent overseas holiday. If you haven’t already, check out my blog post about the half marathon I ran while I was there.

2. Our holiday to UAE, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Belgium and the UK in 2013. We were lucky enough to spend 4 weeks exploring bits of these countries and having some great experiences along the way – riding a camel in the middle of the desert, visiting the original Legoland, overnight train trips, a week on a canal boat touring around the north of England, a mad hatter’s afternoon tea in London – the list goes on. It was indeed a very special trip.

3. Weekend road trips around Victoria. I feel so lucky to live where I do, in the best state in Australia. We have such diverse scenery and none of it is really too far away. I live about an hour from the Great Ocean Road, with it’s spectacular cliffs and breathtaking forests and only a couple hours in the other direction from unique desert habitats. Some of my favourite trips have been taking the camper trailer out to explore the local sights.

4. Campervanning it around New Zealand. If you haven’t been, you must. The scenery is beyond words – you can’t believe anywhere so beautiful can exist, especially down in Fjordland National Park on the South Island.

5. My backpacking adventure when I was 21. Like many Australians, I headed off to backpack in Europe at 21, with my life on my back and a ticket to come home in 6 months. 5 years and lots of adventures later, I finally made it home with a larger bag…. and a husband 🙂

What are your 5 favourite trips? Or 5 trips you’d really like to take?

Tackling ‘The Tan’

It’s school holidays which guarantees both that I will run more and that I will seek out different places to run, unencumbered by boring details like having to get to work on time.

Collage-the tan

‘The Tan’ is a circuit track around Melbourne’s Botanic Gardens and is an immensely popular place for runners and walkers. The 3.8km track takes in some of the beautiful sights of Melbourne, with city skyscraper glimpses, a section along the mighty Yarra River and another past the majestic Shrine of Remembrance.

So that’s where I headed yesterday afternoon. The adventure didn’t start off particularly well. I found a parking spot pretty easily but then realised I’d forgotten my wallet. Luckily for me, the parking meters could be paid for via an app on my mobile so a quick call to hubby to set that up and I was on my way.

First stop, the toilet. One thing I love about this track is that there are ample toilet facilities when you need them and they’re actually quite pretty too (as toilets go!)

Facilities nearby? Tick!

Facilities nearby? Tick!

The first part of the track is definitely the hardest – the dreaded Anderson Street hill. I’m not a fan of hills – the best thing that can be said about this one is that it doesn’t last for too long.

Around the corner is my favourite stretch of the run – past grand looking Botanic Garden gates, the Herbarium and the Shrine of Remembrance. The trees around Melbourne always look spectacular but Autumn is definitely my favourite season and the colours were starting to show yesterday. Before I knew it, I was back on the home straight – circuit done.

On my run, I saw a lot of other runners and walkers as well as footy fans on their way to the opening game for the season at the MCG. The signs along the way say that the track lighting is turned off from midnight to 5.30am so I imagine it is pretty popular at all other times. As much as I enjoyed my late afternoon run, I’d like to try it out for a dawn run as well some time, just to see the difference.

My verdict? A great place to run and I’ll definitely be back 🙂