The Marriage Course

We love being married!

We love being married!

Paul and I have welcomed two beautiful children into the world, moved house three times, travelled to Japan four times together, been to WA, NT, ACT, NSW, VIC and SA on trips, shared only one car, studied full time and part time, worked and stayed-at-home, yet have still only been married for four years. Four years! It seems so much longer than that…in a really good way. I mention this not because it is our anniversary (no, that was a very busy day on our recent Japan trip which sadly had not a lot of celebration time worked into it), but because we are currently doing ‘The Marriage Course’.

Don’t worry, we are not in any way facing crises or difficulties that require counselling or therapy. We are very much in love and enjoy being married to one another – praise God! Our church runs the course every year as a way to nurture and strengthen marriages. People in all sorts of marriages can participate. And until now we haven’t been able to join in, as Paul always played basketball on the night of the course. As he is no longer playing, we were excited to give it a go!

The course we are doing is officially called ‘The Marriage Course’, created by Nicky and Sila Lee, and is a part of Alpha International. We have been heading out each Monday night once the girls are in bed and in the capable care of various, generous babysitting friends of ours, looking forward to some time together, delicious dessert, and time to really invest into our marriage.

Each week has a different topic, and so far we have done ‘Building Strong Foundations’, ‘The Art of Communication’ and ‘Resolving Conflict’. Overall, I have been quite impressed by the quality of the course. Each week we watch a DVD, where Nicky and Sila, along with other couples who have been interviewed, discuss the particular topic. You are given moments where the DVD is paused, where each couple talks only to each other about a particular issue, or attempts a particular exercise (listening etc). There is no group discussion about issues, and you can’t really hear the other couples talking with each other. It is definitely less corny (hokey for my American friends) than I was expecting. Nicky and Sila have a very genuine, comfortable presenting style, with warmth and laughter that I really appreciate. I have to try  not to giggle fairly often. I think that’s a good thing.

I don’t think we have come across any new, amazing information that we were completely unaware of before, but it is great to remember some things we may have forgotten, and to try and implement some of the suggestions just to see how they go. Doing our homework together has been really fun too! So far for me the two most significant things have been:

1. Remembering again the ways that Paul feels most loved by me

In the first week of the study, we are encouraged to make time for each other and to nurture each other. And how can we nurture each other if we don’t know each other? So we took a look at the things that we felt most loved by, and discussed those things with each other. We already had a fair idea about what those things were. Paul loves ‘Practical Help’, or as the Five Love Languages book describes, ‘Acts of Service’. Which in an extremely unfortunate turn of events, probably is just about the lowest for me. I am no good at this. And so enter difficulty number one.

Every day I want to show Paul that I love and care for him in ways that mean a lot to him. It just happens that it does not come naturally to me at all, and is a struggle sometimes. OK, often. But Paul is a really very wonderful husband who encourages me, is gracious to me, and understands that most of the time I am doing my best. I don’t feel pressure from him. It’s just one of those battles with sin. It’s easy to do only what is easy and comfortable. But I want to love in a selfless, sacrificial way. A Christ-like way. But it is hard, a lot of the time. But isn’t that what marriage is? Loving each other even though it’s not easy? Committing to do our best for one another, even when we are so inclined to be ugly, mean and selfish?

So it was a good reminder for me.

2. Practicing better listening skills with one another

This has been excellent! For those of you who know Paul and I well, you won’t necessarily be surprised, but one of the unique attributes to our marriage is that we don’t suffer from that typical problem of a quiet, closed, un-talkative husband. My husband is a great communicator. Truly. It’s just that sometimes I need a bit more talking room. And through doing this course we have both realised significant ways that we can improve our listening. I need to stop “giving advice” – and I thought that was just what men did! I was wrong! When I realised that…ouch! And don’t mention interrupting. Oh boy!

Since we have both been trying to stop doing the wrong things (interrupting etc), and do some active listening skills, our interactions and conversations have really changed. Deepened. Opened up. We are learning about each other more than before. And it’s lovely.

We are by no means perfect, and we definitely don’t have everything figured out. But it is great to be investing in our marriage both for the future, but also for now. It is definitely not easy to take the time out for each other. Having two little ones means that we could just collapse in tiredness at the end of the day. But it has been worth it, even if we are tired and grumpy in the car on the way to the course! It’s a great thing to do, and if you have the chance to do it one day, I would encourage you to give it a go. Your marriage is precious, important and worth investing in.

And a big thanks to Russell and Helen who host the course at their home. The yummy desserts and lollies really help get us there some weeks!


Stay at Home Mum: Taking my own advice!


Mummy. Mama. Mum. Mom. Mumsy. So many different words to express that one special relationship. What is it in your household? I am currently known mostly as Mummy, occasionally as Mama, and frequently (by Pippa) as Mumumumum. It’s amazing though how just one word, one concept, one relationship, can effect your life so wholly, completely and utterly. While I worked part-time when Heidi was a baby, I am currently a Stay-At-Home-Mum (SAHM) with the desire to continue being one at least until our hoped-for move overseas in maybe 18 months. It is an absolute privilege to be able to do this. Many women (millions, I’m sure) have no such option. The choice is, well, not even a choice. No work? No money. No money? No food. I am entirely aware that pretty much primarily due to being born into this wealthy country, Australia, that I have even an option here. And it is one I am truly grateful for.

This does not make it an easy task though. And it is one that has been a little challenging lately. I feel like I am going through the crazies associated with being at home with small children a lot, mostly for the first time. Considering my oldest is not quite two and a half, I feel like this is not such a bad effort. But in saying that, maybe it’s happened before and I am simply choosing to suppress and forget those feelings! Either way, it feels fresh for me right now.

I’m feeling overwhelmed by the responsibility of bringing these two little people up into the world. I’m feeling underwhelmed by the prospect of another day trying to get a baby to sleep and needing to entertain a toddler. I’m feeling frustrated by my lack of enthusiasm for getting out and about. I’m bored from being home a lot. In short, it’s a conflicting time!

I spent some time thinking about the advice I would give to myself, if I was the giving advice to myself kind of girl. Here is that  advice:

Don’t be ruled by the routine. Even though babies and toddlers need to sleep and eat, try not to be controlled by their routine. You are the Mama, you make the decisions. If you need to get out of the house even though it’s in the middle of nap time, just go out anyway. You will feel better, and more able to care for the kids if you are feeling good, calm and present.
My rebuttal: But the kids’ sleep is way more important than my sanity. If they sleep they won’t notice my crazies. Until they wake up…oh…then they might notice the rubbish in the fridge and the vacuum up the tree. Hmm.

Enjoy the little joys in the day. That first wobbly moments of standing alone for a few seconds won’t happen for much longer. That tender stroke on the face and whisper of “You’re so precious Mummy” will spark a fire of affection for your toddler that can keep you going in the middle of the next tantrum. Hold onto the good moments like they are a life jacket in a stormy gale – they may just keep you afloat the next time you think you are going under.
My rebuttal: Sometimes good moments are nice, but what I really need is a 10 minute break and a hot chocolate. Oh. Maybe I could do that. Yes. Good idea me. (So here I am!)

Pray together. With the kids. Even the little ones. Remember Mel, those times when you were having a grumpy morning and you could feel those frustrations rising and your patience decreasing (why not the other way around) ?You should sit and pray with Heidi. Out loud. Thank God for her. Ask God to help.Think of the wonderful things about Heidi and thank God for them. It really helps. God really helps.
My rebuttal: But I like being grumpy. Self-pity makes me feel worse. And I love revelling in my disastrous life. It’s awesome down here. Or maybe not so much.

Have a plan. Even though you are not a naturally super organised person, it can be helpful to have just a few things roughly in place. When you might have lunch, and what you might do before lunch. Stop looking at Pinterest and feeling crap. You don’t need a perfect morning filled with crafty creations that cost a fortune and make you lose it because it’s not quite working. Say something like “Let’s draw” – with blunt pencils on crumpled paper. Or “Let’s go for a walk” – which consists of the baby being popped in the Ergo and the toddler walking about 50 metres over 20 minutes, examining each gumnut, crack and leaf on the ground. The walking part of “Let’s walk” is so insignificant it can’t even count as exercise!
My rebuttal: But I can’t be bothered. And my kids are bored which is so annoying. Oh…

Talk about it with your spouse. There is nothing like bottling up feelings, seething resentment and bubbling bitterness to make life suck. Talk, listen, specifically explain your feelings. Remember that generally guys have a harder time hearing the feelings we are saying, and not just listening for the problem. So to help him out, be clear. And then clearer. And then add some clarity. Getting it out of the system is half (if not more) of the battle.
My rebuttal: But I like Paul to walk on egg-shells around me wondering about what is wrong. Then we can snap and argue ALL the time. I love that.

So I think I may have just convinced myself to take some of my own advice. I might just have to let you know how it all goes. Next week is looking better already!


Sleeping Like A Baby…Finally!

Being a baby is really tough...

Being a baby is really tough…

Babies and sleep, how much sleep they have, how to get them to do it, and how long they do it for are all hot topics for parents-to-be, new parents, and weary-eyed parents. Other people also seem to be interested in babies and their sleeping habits too. A baby is often deemed a “good” baby or not in regards to how much they like to sleep. And I have to admit, a sleeping “good” baby contributes significantly to whether you feel like you are a “good” parent or not – untrue as that may be. So please join with me as I jump for joy with excitement, enthusiasm and, well, joy (!) as I announce to the world…Pippa has finally worked it out. Yes, that’s right. It only took about 8 months of practice but she now knows how to sleep. And an extension of that is, you guessed it, that now I (and Paul) can get some rest and sleep too. Mind you, it still feels like there is a possibility that it may all just change again, but here is what happened and why I am currently enjoying the benefits of a sleeping baby!

Cracking down on routine

During the Semester break, sleep was getting worse. After our tiring (yet brilliant) trip to Japan, and with Paul and I both being at home, there was not much of a routine for Pippa. We had always been fairly strict on an eating and sleeping routine with Heidi when she was a baby, and she always did sleep well, but we had let things slide a bit with Pippa. So as we headed away for some family time for 5 days at Phillip Island, we decided to really make a big effort to help Pippa sleep during the day. She generally has slept well during the day, but only when at home. She isn’t such a deep sleeper that she nods off the moment the car or pram moves. Which makes for some hard decisions: go out, have fun and Pippa misses her sleep, or stay home, be bored and at least Pippa sleeps. Up until the time away I had generally been choosing the first option. But when, as we intentionally gave Pippa solid time and opportunity to sleep, it really helped. She began having 2 naps each day of about 2 hours each. That’s a good amount of sleep! But the big change was a baby who slept in the evening!!

Evening sleep had been ever elusive

Pippa had never slept well in the evening. Prior to the recent ‘crackdown’ I could have literally counted on one hand the amount of times she had slept for longer than 30 minutes in the evening (roughly 7-10). This might not seem like a big deal, but when you are up with your toddler and baby from 7am or so everyday, and then you put said children into bed around 7pm, that evening time is precious. Time to yourself, time with your spouse, time to clean, time to relax…oh those few special hours before bed are golden. And we had been enjoying them for quite some time when it was just Heidi in the picture. And then picture all of those golden moments of blissful peace and quiet being snatched away…that’s right, go get some tissues! The first half of this year rather than enjoying that time of the night, it was the dreaded black hole of the day. Time no longer existed, life just seemed to get sucked out of me, of Paul, and Pippa just whined and cried and whinged and…you get the picture. And then it happened! Once, then twice, and then, most of the time! We found that the old adage is true.

Sleep is conducive to more sleep

When Pippa began getting good sleep during the day, she began to sleep well in the evenings. And, she also began sleeping well overnight too. As did I! I am not really sure at what age this principle ends. I am guessing there comes a point where too much sleep is just too much sleep, but for babies it seems that the idea of keeping baby awake so that they will sleep at night would be a disaster. They need sleep to sleep. And Pippa definitely proved this point!

Food and more food!

Just keep eating, just keep eating.

Just keep eating, just keep eating.

Just after we began seeing some amazing changes in the way that Pippa was sleeping, they stopped again. It had maybe been 6 nights and then she began waking up a couple of times each night, screaming and screaming. We tried letting her cry a little, but nothing helped except for a drink of milk from Mummy. We couldn’t work out what was going on. Then at our routine Maternal & Child Health Nurse appointment, the nurse noticed that Pippa hadn’t gained quite as much weight as might have been expected. She recommended more food. And then I thought about it. Yep, she was a slow eater. And we weren’t giving her enough time to eat. The next night when I really paid attention, she ate for at least an hour at dinner, and ate more than I had seen her eat before. Way more! And she began sleeping again.

So it continues

The drastically improved sleeping has continued. She sometimes wakes for milk in the evening around 9 or 10pm, but now she often sleeps from 7pm-7am. It is like we have a different baby, and it has given me new energy, new enthusiasm for life! I feel fresh and ready for the day when I wake up! Well, maybe not everyday, but definitely a whole lot more than I did before. Pippa is a happier baby, and I am a much happier Mummy/wife/human being!



My Disclaimer

In saying all of this, I am not giving specific advice but merely sharing with you what has helped my family, specific even to Pippa. She has settled into a great routine, and sleeps well consistently now, rather than consistently badly as she did before. There is often no easy solution for helping your baby to sleep, but perhaps trying a couple of the things that helped us might help you too.

Run Melbourne 10K

Me and the nearly 9 month old Pippa post race!

Me and the nearly 9 month old Pippa post race!

Last Sunday was the BIG day.

I had been nervously anticipating Race Day for a little while, and when I woke just before 7am I was considerably pleased that the original forecast for rain & hail had indeed been incorrect, as the skies greeted me with frost and sun. I ran around getting ready, and decided to only eat two pieces of toast for the fear that my usual breakfast of porridge would not sit well in my stomach during the race. I had put my clothes out the night before, pinned on my race number, even making sure I had the right underwear. I didn’t want to run around disorganised in the morning and miss my train. After breastfeeding Pippa, and saying goodbye to the family I headed off to the train station. It really was a beautiful morning, albeit cold!

I arrived at Flinders Street Station at around 8:30, and with my wave of the 10K starting around 9:30 I was fairly confident I had enough time to do the things I needed to do. First stop, like just about every other female in Australia, was the toilet. The line at the Station was huge, so I ran around and found some at Hungry Jacks. There were even lines there! The solidarity of a group of ladies, clearly in their running gear, standing at a Fast Food Restaurant toilets early on a cold winters morning was great. We smiled knowing smiles at one another, and laughed about the hunt for a toilet, and trying to avoid queues, all the while standing in one.

The next step was bag drop-off, so I headed back to Flinders Street, trying to get to Federation Square. It was so congested. Due to safety, we couldn’t simply cross the road at Flinders, but go down via an underpass and there was a terrible bottleneck. It took maybe 15 minutes simply to get over to Fed Square. I was really glad that Paul had decided to come in later with the girls and the giant double pram (which I love by the way), and would be able to miss the worst of the crowding.

After finally getting across to the bag drop off area, and convincing myself that despite the chilly temperature and icy wind, that I was not cold and didn’t need a jumper, I still had about 20 minutes or so until the race, so I had a look around the place.

I have only done a few Fun Runs – maybe 5 all together. But I think this one might have been the biggest! There were stands for all different kinds of things – charities, companies etc. There were bands playing, games happening, and the atmosphere was generally quite exciting. I tried not to get carried away in it too much, not that I could really as I was feeling increasingly nervous as the time approached.

But before heading over to the Start I made my way down briefly to the World Vision tent to say hello to some friends, who had finished the Half Marathon already (!!), and then off I went.

There were a lot of people doing the 10K (about 7,000), and so that meant that despite having 4 waves of runners, it was still very crowded. I began running with a wave and a smile to a photographer, guessing that I might not want to smile in any of the other photos! Those of you who run a bit will know that some days you step out and feel good from the start. Some days every step you take is hard, and your body seems to fight it the whole way. Unfortunately, I felt pretty rubbish the whole run. I’m not sure why – maybe I was a little hungry, hadn’t gotten enough sleep, was not hydrated enough – whatever it was, it was yuk. So I knew I wasn’t going to be making a good time. So I focused on getting it done as well as I could, and tried to have a good time.

Around the 3K mark my knees were feeling sore (sometimes happens, sometimes doesn’t), so I had a short walk break, but no longer than 30 seconds. I did this a couple of times during the run, as my knees respond well to just a little break and then I can keep on going.

The kilometres felt loooonnnngggggg. Each time we came to a distance marker I felt as though I had done double! Not knowing the course well, or ever having run that way, might have contributed to it.

Towards the end (last few K’s) I was keeping my eyes out for Paul and the girls, but wasn’t sure if I was see them. So I was super excited when I heard “Melly!” and say Paul next to the road with the girls. A big smile and a wave made my day. And as I cam back past them, Heidi was out of the pram and waving too, and that really helped me keep going. By that stage of the run I was just trying to finish and have fun. I spoke with a few people running alongside me, encouraging them to keep going, and that they were doing a great job. I would have been thrilled had someone done that to me, so just figured it would help some others along too.

As I neared the finish line (gotta love a downhill finish!) I was quite eager to stop running! I got across the line and moved on through the crowds, collected my medal and show bag, had my tag taken off my shoe, and slowly (gingerly) made my way to the World Vision tent where I had planned to meet Paul. After a little stretch (not enough!), a banana and some water, Paul found me and I chatted with some friends.

It was a great morning, and although I didn’t make the 60 minute time that I had originally hoped for, I knew that wasn’t going to happen. I was happy to finish in 1:13 – a time that I can hopefully improve on one day! More importantly though, I am so proud, with the help of family and friends, to have raised over $400 for World Vision and the amazing work that they do around the world to help vulnerable and impoverished people. If I had walked the whole thing I would still be proud to have raised the money. What a joy it is to give to others!

I am also so glad to have reached my second (of two) major fitness goals for the year: To run a 10K before Pippa turns 1. Pippa is almost 9 months old, so I have beaten my deadline by 3 months! Yay! And I am happy to be an example of a healthy lifestyle to my two little girls. I love it that when I put on my running clothes Heidi says, “Mummy’s going for a run!” I am FAR from perfect, but I hope to encourage them towards an active and healthy lifestyle.

Finally, thank you for all of the support, encouragement and donations that you have given to this great cause. May we do what we can to make a difference, somehow. Thank you for giving your change to make a change.

PS. In case you were wondering, donations can be made up until the end of August…


Thank You!

I just wanted to say a quick thank you to everyone who encouraged me, asked me how I was going, and donated to World Vision as I trained for and ran the Run Melbourne 10K over the weekend.

So far I have raised $415 with your generous support. Thank you.

Fitness Fill-in & Fundraising

This is the most true statement of all true statements. About running. And treadmills.

This is the most true statement of all true statements. About running. And treadmills.

Quite obviously I have sucked at blogging each Friday about Fitness. There is no denying, avoiding or ignoring it. I tried that for a little while, but have chosen to move on. Ha. So I have oh-s0-intelligently named this post “Friday Fill-in & Fundraising” because I know that a wonderfully creative post title will help you to forgive me more easily. Thank you.

As many of you will know, largely due to the countdown on the main blog page, the 10K is coming up in 6 days!! This Sunday!! And here is how I am feeling.

10 weeks is a long time to be in training. Maybe it’s not really, but I feel like it is. Well, it’s a long time to stay on task with something that is difficult. Perseverance is required. Perseverance is hard. My perseverance may not have been perfect. But I’m still here.

Running is a mental battle. How a run goes depends almost entirely on my mental state at the time, with slight input from my physical state. A few weeks ago I was still struggling to get back into the habit of a long slow run without walking breaks, as I had been doing lots of quick runs-walk break type running/training. So I decided to go for it, and did 7K fairly comfortably and easily. I was somewhere new and different, with a route more scenic than the usual footpaths around home, and had left Paul to bathe the girls and cook dinner, so felt obligated to really go for it and make the most of the run. My mind determined before my run pretty much if it would be a good one or a bad one.

Fundraising is hard. Much harder than I was expecting. On that note, please think about donating to World Vision! I have no shame!

My motivation has risen and fallen – currently low. I am counting down until Sunday, so I can stop thinking about the training I have to be doing, and how it is all going to go. I know I should be getting more excited, and I think that is beginning, but mostly I am just not feeling great about how my training has gone. I am super glad to be raising money for World Vision, and to attempt a 10K race on Sunday, but it’s not been easy.

What I find hard is finding a balance between being sensible, and making godly decisions, and just doing something regardless. It’s hard not to feel like taking time off from running because my girls have been sick, and I have had a cold/cough for a few weeks (almost cleared up now), and with Pippa not sleeping well. So am I just giving up/weak/looking for reasons and failing at my preparation? Or is that wise when I think about my family? Urgh, it’s so difficult to know. Probably it’s a mix. Sometimes I should have pushed harder, other times I made the right decision.

Running on a treadmill is not fun. I have done it once. I did not like it. See above funny yet true picture.

Running is a family sport. In the sense that Paul really supports me well, and without that I wouldn’t be able to do it! If he doesn’t make time to look after the girls, (and then occasionally encourage me to get out for a run), it doesn’t happen.

I have kept at it. I have run usually 2 or 3 times a week, but my distances have not been long, with 7K being my longest. I am hopeful I can do the 10K! Any advice for my last week, having just recovered from a nasty cough? And what the heck do I do if it pours with rain all through the race – cold, wintery, blustery Melbourne rain? I’m not sure how I feel about this very real possibility…!

Thanks again though for all of your support. And please, any amount of support for World Vision would be life changing to someone, somewhere in the world. And encouraging to me. Thanks.


Catching Up

It has been just over a month since I last blogged – sorry! I hardly know where to start again tonight, as there are so many things that could be said…I will do my best!


Snapshot of the last month or so:

Busy busy busy as Paul studied for exams
Paul finishes exams
One day to pack for Japan
Two weeks in Japan!
One week at home recovering – mostly trying to sleep
Five days at Phillip Island
One week at home preparing for the upcoming Semester

Throw in the midst some sick kids, an unwell me trying to continue training for the 10K NEXT Sunday, an 8 month old baby who still doesn’t sleep well overnight, a toddler who exhibits at times some challenging behaviours (slightly understated) and I can definitely say it’s been a full on time! So please be gracious in excusing my poor blogging habits. I have had generally poor life habits lately!

Over the next couple of weeks I will play a bit of blog-catch-up as I write about what has been happening over the last while, and reflect on some good things. Thanks for taking the time to reconnect with me and my blog. 🙂


Fitness Frustrations

My running has not gone well over the last 2 weeks. And being in the middle of training for my first 10K this is not such good news.

I teeter between feeling like I have reasons for this, and guiltily suspect they might be excuses. But I think they really are reasons. Maybe. My reticence to even decide what they are shows my inner turmoil!

Last week Paul was studying like mad as he had 3 exams in 4 days. We then had Saturday to pack, and we left our home at 4:30 Sunday morning. So my decision last week was not actually a decision. I didn’t have time to get out of the house because Paul had so much study.

This week, we arrived in Japan late on Sunday night. It is hot, humid and rainy, and the days have been long. But the major factor in all of this has been a certain child of mine who has been up numerous times during the night. Think 10, 12:30, 2, 4:30 etc. so I’m fairly exhausted and in the I frequent moments of time where I could have an opportunity to get out, sleep is winning.

When I think that my reasons for running are health and family, these reasons to have not been out to run are valid. Putting family first in this way must happen. I know fitness is important, and is part of caring for my family. But that doesn’t always mean I can run when I want. The struggle is to not feel like a failure, but to keep going as soon as I can.

My commitment to doing the 10K hasn’t waned, but my ability to run has just at the moment. I’m actually still hopeful to get out tomorrow. Pray that I can! I want to run at least once in Tokyo!!

Japan Day One

It’s warm and balmy here in Tokyo tonight. A nice change from the drizzly Melbourne weather we left, even though the clouds leave a similar gloomy haze in the atmosphere.

We left our home at 4:30am yesterday morning, caught 2 flight and 1 train and arrived at the place we are staying about 10:30 Melbourne time (9:30 Japan). Safe to say, we were quite tired!

As I looked around on the flight yesterday I noticed that while there were a few kids and babies, there didn’t seem to be anyone else with a toddler and a baby. We certainly don’t always go with the easy options!

Heidi and Pippa were amazing though, and we all managed to actually get some sleep on the plane (though not all at once). No major tantrums (from Heidi at least), and we all arrived, along with our luggage, just as we had planned.

And now here we are. It’s amazing really. One long day later and bam! You’re in a far away country! When you don’t see any of the distance travelled its an odd kind of thing. Mentally your brain has to make a giant leap without a lot of cues to get you there. Good thing we humans are adaptable!

We met with OMF Japan Field Directors today, as well as the financial advisor. Both were warm and helpful meetings, and we are feeling affirmed in our decisions. Alex also arrived this morning, and we have enjoyed his time here with us so far.

So many thing assault the senses, but the biggest is just the obvious need for hope in Jesus Christ. He’s missing everywhere. Hope is nowhere. People rush about, but where are people actually heading?

May we be a beacon of hope even on this trip. Please pray for us.

(I hope this post makes sense, as I a really very tired…)

Fitness Friday #5

This week has been more encouraging. I am steadily following the 10K program, and while I’m still a way off the actual 10K, I feel that my running is improving. One of my main struggles is speed. I seem to just run very slowly, without a lot of variation in pace. The program I am doing at the moment though, and my concerted mental effort, have seen me running a little faster. Well, at least I feel like I am anyway!

So far this week I have done 2 of my 3 scheduled runs.

Tuesday: 5 x(6 mins run/1 mins walk) Total time = 35 mins. I went about 5.4K in this time, which considering some of that time is walking, means that I am definitely running faster than before.

Friday: 7 x (4 mins run/1 mins walk) Total time = 35 mins. I got changed and ready to go so that as soon as Paul got home from study I could leave. This worked well, as thunderclouds were looming so I knew my time would be short. I managed to fit the run in before the steady downpour that still continues. I feel like my form is good too. When I know the route I am doing, and have done it a couple of times I run holding my head much higher. Running on paths rather than trails helps with this too. I felt good tonight, but I am working hard.

I have a run tomorrow to look forward to – a 50 minute run (well, run/walk). I hope that the rain can hold off, or at least ease for long enough. I think I might head to a park or running track, rather than just run the streets around home.

My exciting news (well, exciting for me!) is that tonight I spent some birthday money and bought an iPhone armband, and new headphones and am currently in the middle of syncing music to my phone. I am excited to try running with music again.

Do you prefer to run with music or without?