Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tagged! I dig your blog

Kate was kind enough to tag me for the I Dig Your Blog Award.
The rules are that I am to give three random facts about myself, and then tag five other bloggers to receive the award.

1. I did work experience at a restaurant consistently voted as one of Melbourne's best. I still remember the chicken breast that the kitchen cooked me as one of the best I'd ever eaten at age sixteen. I'm yet to dine there as a paying adult, but it's on the list.

2. My favourite score at the football is 15.10.100. Apart from actually watching the game I also like checking out what other people bring for snacks.

3. Shopping used to be my sport, until I actually took up sport.

I'm not even sure five other bloggers know I exist... I won't retag Kate or Lisa but over to you, gals!
Megan; Shrinking Sheep
Jess; That's just how I roll
Cilla; Sassy Dr Cil

Beep test: Level 6.3. As long as I'm improving I'm happy.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Weekend snapshot

My weekend started Friday with a glorious swim, a much needed ITB massage and a cortisone injection in my knee, resulting in plenty of pain during the Hawthorn vs Collingwood preliminary final at the 'G.

However Saturday I woke up pain free and was able to enjoy our impromptu weekend away in Daylesford, complete with lunch at the Lake House.

And today I ran for the first time in 12 days. I've been continuing my hip and glute exercises, stretching, taking anti-inflamms. I felt like it was time. And so I ran, pain free. The cortisone? The rest? Who knows. But a beep test was done and while the results were less than impressive, I was able to run!! And return to kickboxing. Happy times.

Fri; swim: 43m | 2000m | 2:09/100m. Alternating pull buoy and freestyle. No knee issues at all.

Beep test: Level 5.5. Not overly impressive, definitely need ventolin prior.
Kickboxing: 30m. I sat out a lot of the running elements, not wanting to push my luck. No pain, but iced the knee afterward just in case.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

An artist's impression

The pain in my knee didn't let up Wednesday, so I made an appointment at the physio. Iliotibial band syndrome resulting in lateral knee pain. Gah! It didn't even cross my mind it could be ITB related, I've hardly been racking up the kilometres in the last month.

I am so lucky that I was able to run Gold Coast Marathon injury free, but the impending Melbourne Marathon isn't looking so good. More importantly I need to be able to run the beep test in the next month or so, as a result I'm doing everything I can to help my situation out.

Until next Wednesday when I see the physio again I can't run, cycle or walk too far. Which pretty much leaves swimming as my only cardio option. Hip strengthening exercises are a must and any upper body strength is allowed. Bless my physio, I love how he draws my exercises!

At rest my knee feels fine, if I take an anti-inflammatory with breakfast I usually won't have any pain until late afternoon. And it's not debilitating pain, just a little achy. So the rest is definitely helping, but I can't help but feel lazy.

Fri; swim: 43:30 | 2000m | 2:10/100m. A pull buoy swim. No kicking at this stage. 2x 500m and 1x 1000m. I had the lane to myself, it was bliss.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Little list

Good things:
• Another year older and a perfect low key weekend spent celebrating with family & friends.
• New graffiti on my river run
• Ebay. Someone is paying me to take away our ugly dining setting!
• Further progression on job application, references are being checked.
• So very close to a newly plastered ceiling

Not so good things
• Motivation for marathon at low point
• Dodgy knee
• Likelihood that this weekend will be spent painting said ceiling

Run: 1:38:48 | 15.2km | 6:29/km. Had planned for an easy 20km. heading out was pretty tough into the wind, but I was listening to Shantaram audio book so I was well entertained. However at 15km in I stopped because my right knee was kind of sore. I had a bit of a stretch and started again. But there was a searing pain in my knee. I had to walk/limp the 5km home. At times it was so excruciating I was almost in tears. Hopefully it was just a one off, I've been icing and anti-inflammatory-ing. I was hoping to go really long come Friday.

Mon; kickboxing: Did this session showcase my weak upper body? Hell, yes.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Settling back in

September's focus is about getting back into a good training routine. I'd lost a bit of motivation there for a while. News had stopped on the new job front and getting back into a working routine was tiring.

But things are finally progressing, an email from a recruiting officer today, yay! And I'm generally feeling like I have a bit more energy. The aim for this week is 3-4 runs and 3 kickboxing sessions. I might even get a swim in this month!

Mon; kickboxing
: 45m. Lots of new people, a few hard exercises but not exhausting.

Mon; run: 1:05:33 | 10.13km | 6:28/km. Run home from work. I felt a little tired and it was into a fairly fierce headwind. I also ran with a backpack for the first time and boy was I regretting that decision 5km in. My shoulders and neck were screaming in pain, plus the bouncing kinda messed with my stride. But no part of me wanted to stop running. A good feeling.

Fri; run: 3:24:26 | 31.3km | 6:32/km. I wanted to run 32km. So close! I felt good all the way out, but at 17km things started to get hard. It was warm and windy. I had a tail wind the whole way home. So much so I took a kilometre walking break 2km from home, I'd run out of water and wasn't feeling awesome.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Babycakes Vanilla Cupcakes

I borrowed Babycakes from the library. It couldn't have come at a better time. Last night I dined with my closest girlfriends to farewell one who's off on a fabulous working adventure for the next two years. Between them they are gluten, wheat, dairy and sugar free. It threw up a few challenges. But I was determined to succeed.

The book really is lovely in terms of it's design and photography. And I wanted to believe everything would work. Alas I read some reviews and a lot of people seemed to have had quite a few issues with the results. Given the ingredients aren't overly cheap and can be difficult to source. I did a whole lot of reading prior to measuring and this is what I came up with.

Firstly you can find the cupcake recipe
here. Health food it isn't!

Notes for the cupcakes:

• I used canola oil instead of coconut oil and dark agave nectar/syrup instead of light.

• I made my own apple sauce, just by chopping apples and cooking them on the stove top until soft. I absorbed additional moisture by placing the 3/4 cup applesauce on paper towel prior to folding into batter. A lot of commercial sauces I looked at had sugar added.

• I believe you can substitute one cup of the besan (chickpea) flour for 1 cup of rice flour. I didn't, but will try it next time.

• I reduced the temp from 190C to 170C and baked for 22min. I also tried 165C for 25min. Both worked, though the lower and longer cooking time resulted in fewer cupcakes sinking in the middle.

Babycakes (Vanilla) Frosting:

Enough to cover 24 cupcakes

• 1 1/2 cups soy milk
• 3/4 cup rice or soy milk powder*
• 1 tablespoon coconut flour
• 1/4 cup agave nectar
• 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
• 1 1/2 cup liquid coconut oil • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
I used my kitchen aid and wouldn't do it any other way.
I added the powdered ingredients first and slowly added the wet.

However, once I added the additional 1/2 cup of coconut oil it turned into a curdled disaster, so I added

• 1 tsp xantham gum

It's an emulsifier and smoothed everything out.

The flavour was heavily soy based, so while the consistency was right, the flavour just wasn't, so I added
• 1/2 cup cocoa powder

I think I added more agave nectar to kick up the sweetness.

Next time I would:
• Use coconut or rice milk to minimise the soy flavour
• Only use 1 cup of coconut oil

The icing/frosting is quite forgiving once you get it right. For an even smoother consistency I placed the kitchen aid mixing bowl in a bowl of hot water to melt the coconut oil as it has a tendency to bead. I then beat it again until smooth.

The girls could detect a slightly different flavour, initially thinking it was ginger. But when I asked if it was 'beany' they nodded in agreement. It was commented that the cupcakes themselves were a lot less sweet, and far lighter than most gluten free treats. A thumbs up for those who do have dietary restrictions!

* I could only find soy milk powder, sourced from Sunnybrook Health Store.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Monthly totals: August 2011

Bike: 3:10 | 66.44km
Run: 20:59:09 | 195.41km
Hiking: 2:50
Kayaking: 3hr
Kickboxing: 5:30

Massage: 1:45
Walking: 1:20

Mid August saw me go back to work, albeit four days a week. I'm managing to get my long run in on my day off, but getting the other runs in during the week is proving challenging. I think my focus has to be on running foremost, then kickboxing. I think I'll need to revisit kayaking after the marathon.