Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Advent Challenge

Hot potato Kate is running an Advent challenge. It's exactly what I need this silly season. I'm cheating a little, because I don't actually have an advent calender, instead I'm going to use the stickers + my diaries. I'll switch over to the new diary two weeks in.

Anyhoo, there's 25 stickers each with an exercise task, there are a couple of rest days, because hey, there are Christmas parties to attend, there's some light days, and there's certainly encouragement to get moving. Obviously I won't have the chocolate, but I thought for every sticker in my diary I'd put away $2 - and at the end I'll treat myself to a Women's Health magazine subscription. Or something like that.

I finish work at the end of next week, I'm looking at another Interstate mini break, I then enter the Academy the week before Christmas, for a week! The next three weeks are going to throw up their own set of challenges, so at least I'll have one focal point!


I have just had the pleasure of two and a half gorgeous days in Sydney with one of my girlfriends. I've been going up around this time of year for the past three or so years to visit her, but never, never have I encountered such glorious weather.

The first day was all about ferries, Cockatoo Island, checking out some Banksy at Outpost, lunching at Aria; the quinoa crusted celeriac is still playing on my mind! There was strolling through the Botanical gardens, and catching Cate Blanchett in hands down the oddest play I've ever seen and I've seen a few.

Day two was all about walking and swimming. We warmed up by walking the Bondi to Bronte section of the coastal walk and upon returning swam at Icebergs. My first time swimming laps in an ocean pool. There were goosebumps towards the end of my short swim!

Sun, Mon, Tues; walking: 6 hours
Tues; swim: 15m | 600m. I had thought I'd have another chance to do another set, but it wasn't to be.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Santa Fun Run

It was that time of year again. Santa storms the docklands for 5km of running, walking or a little of both.

Sun; run: ~31m | 5km | 6:12/km. Annual Variety Santa Run. There's nothing quite like a sea of Santa. Ran with a friend, I felt as though I could have pushed the pace, but she wasn't really up for it.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

We're going to be good friends

Running home and I are going through a difficult patch. However the Salomon XA 10 pack and I are getting on famously. Initially running with it during the adventure race was a touch awkward, I just wasn't used to it, but I love being able to run home with my stuff without the bounce. Anything moving while I'm running irritates me no end, I don't even like to carry anything in my hands. I also don't end up with sore shoulders which cannot be said for running with my regular backpack.

Now to find the hydration bladder that belongs in there. I hung it up in an ingenious place to dry out, whereabouts currently unremembered...

Run: 52:08 | 7.85km | 6:38s/km. Ugh. Another attempt at running home, no better than last time. I'm questioning my fitness big time. It was warm, I probably could have done with some water but it seems 10km after work run is a struggle.

Hands free

While it was hands on in the kitchen last night (mango, avocado, chili, lime & coriander salsa), my workout was strictly hands free.

About a week ago I stumbled upon the website. Initially it was all incredibly intimidating. People with abs I am unlikely to ever have (never say never!). To see hosts struggle through the sets made me wonder how I was ever going to manage. But tonight I gave it a try.
There were a few modifications made, but I did it nevertheless and I have to say, the 20 mins went pretty quickly.

The only equipment I used was a free interval timer app for the iPhone! 50 sec of work, 10 sec rest, 20 times over.

My stats:
Star jumps: 52, 53
Get ups (I sucked at these): 6, 4
Star jumps: 53, 51
One legged bridge (right leg extended): 18, 17 *oh the hamstring cramp*
One legged bridge (left leg extended): 21, 19
Star jumps: 53, 54
Jump lunge: 25, 29
Star jumps: 53, 54
Leg lift: 17, 14
Star jumps: 50, 53

Strength/intervals: 20 min

Monday, November 21, 2011


I didn't feel so ravenously hungry today. I'm not sure if it was the additional protein in my breakfast (protein powder + overnight oats is a winner, providing you don't mind the taste of your powder!), the tuna at lunch, the appetite suppressant that can be running or the fact that we ate and drank very well over the weekend in celebration of a wedding.

I was however craving chocolate, obviously! As if the above wasn't enough my artificially sweetened/lo-cal hot choc wasn't photographed. Honestly I try to avoid that stuff, the
asapartame usually upsets my stomach, but I couldn't help myself.

Oh, and this recipe is a keeper.
I subbed green beans instead of asparagus.

: 45m. Played with the kettlebells. How's the fatigue!

: 49:16 | 8km | 6:10/km. Speed session. Warm up: 15 min. Main set: 3x 800m effort (4:15, 4:10, 4:24 - they were meant to be at 4:06) 400m rest mostly jogging, some walking. Cool down: 12 min. I always wonder why I don't do more speed work, until I get out there and do it. It's hard. I find it incredibly uncomfortable and really tough. But if you don't train to run fast, I guess you can't expect to run fast.

Friday, November 18, 2011


It was all about a river run this morning, it's been a while since I've been down there and there was some new (to me) graffiti art. Small ceramic dog plaques. I love that the path is ever evolving!

I've also been keenly recording what I've been eating and noticed a fairly significant mistake in the recording of my breakfast. So I haven't quite been hitting the deficit like I thought. Which makes sense because my weightloss has stagnated at the -2-2.5kg/4.4-5.5lbs mark. Next week I'm going to switch back to overnight oats but experiment with adding protein powder. To see if it can help with the satiety. In fact I'm going to try and have some protein with every meal.

I'm getting increasingly interested in adding some intensity to my my work outs soon, to mix things up and get the calorie burn going. Watch this space!

: 1:05 |10km | 6:30/km. Long run for the week. In tough conditions, hot and windy. I swear I've run 30kms that have felt easier than this.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Just compensation?

I am suffering the effects of hay fever. It keeps me awake at night, at least the streaming eyes and nose do. I am exhausted. The past couple of days have been rough with little sleep.

The redeeming quality to this time of year is that it's mango season. I'm loving them sprinkled with a little bit of hot chili powder. I'm so looking forward to nectarines and peaches! As someone who cant tolerate too many apples & pears, the new summer fruits are a welcome addition to my diet.

: 40m. I nearly fell over when the Man walked in the door just after 6pm. Usually it's just after 8:30. So we had time tonight for a neighbourhood walk. I wasn't up for much else.

Tues; run
: 52m | 8km | 6:30/km. Garmin played up so distance/time an estimate. I attempted to run home. I didn't make it all the way. This run was broken into two. Mentally I was pumped to tackle the 10km, physically I didn't have it together. My calves were still sore/tired from the Vibram run. I was exhausted, it was warm, somewhat windy and I felt as though I was lacking energy even though I had some chews before running. All in all, disappointing.

Mon; kickboxing: 45m. I'm still sore from this. So many push ups.

Mon; commute: 1:10 | 20.6km |17.66km. So windy on the way home. There was one stage I swear I was being blown backwards, I had to get off my bike and walk.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

No socks required

I am loving the warm weather.
Warm toes on the bike? Yes, please!
Dry feet when running on grass? Yes, please!

Run: 21:11 | 3.56km | 5:57/km. First Vibram run in a very long time. I wanted to take it easy on distance for the sake of my feet, but gosh, I do enjoy running in them. Tried to stick to the nature strip, then in the park did three loops of the gravel trail.

Sat; ride: 1:01:48 | 25.9km | 25.18km/hr. Warm & windy. The Williamstown ride has enough bends in it that the wind isn't at you 100% of the time. I likey.

Weekend; strength: 25m. 2kg weights and a whole mix of things.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Big and little

Little activity. Big news!
There may have been a champagne or two to celebrate.

I resigned yesterday. I will finish up three days short of 11 years. 11 years! It blows my tiny mind. I've documented more injury and disease (and absence of injury!) than I ever thought possible. I've loved my time in forensics, but it's time to move somewhat sideways. I've sat numeracy & literacy tests, been deemed medically, physically and psychologically fit, sat a panel interview and finally after many months of obsessively checking the mail, been accepted as a new recruit to enter the police force. I am so very ready for a new challenge. I am so excited to have a huge opportunity before me.

I said I'd make a career move this year. And finally it's done!

Run: 54:30 | 8.6km | 6:20/km. Ran sans Garmin. No feedback at all. I battled a little. Dehydration is the most likely contributor. Nice along the foreshore without the wind.

All week; strength: 10m. Just punishing my triceps with dumbbell kickbacks.
Mon; kickboxing
: 45m. Another hard session, this one involving kettlebells.
Mon; commute
: 1:10 | 20.6km | 17.66km. Heh, I wore my HRM. I wanted a rough estimate of calorie burnt. About 220 cal each way. Riding the Gazelle is a mix of strength & cardio. To say it's not light is an understatement.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Kathmandu Adventure Race - Lysterfield Lake

L: Fresh. R: Not so fresh at #12

Time: 4:29:32 | No idea of distance covered!

This race had been on my radar since doing the trail running. I'd shared the idea with my Bro who was keen, but also the Man, who astoundingly also put his hand up. It was touch and go whether the Man would be able to compete given he dislocated his shoulder last weekend, but he had a good week with the shoulder and was able to forge ahead. Which was fortuitous because my Bro ended up going to Sydney for the weekend for work.

Anyway... we had our (borrowed) mountain bikes loaded on the car the night before. All our gear was laid out and we knew exactly what we'd be wearing.

Ate a light breakfast, had coffee and left slightly later than anticipated. Which is usually the case with the Man in tow! Drove out the 45min or so to Lysterfield Lake Park

Event warmup:
There's an hour or so after race registration, whereby we were given our maps and directions and set about marking up the maps, making note of which trails we'd be running or cycling. While the Man was in charge of the navigation, I was responsible for the timing chip at each checkpoint.

We also racked our bikes in transition and had a look at where we'd be kayaking. Making note of where we would be heading to.

The smart move would have been to find the map board at the park and make note of the trail numbers or names. Traps for young players?!

I ate my second breakfast of a jam sandwich.

Race comments:
Checkpoint 1-5 Run
After an initial hands up that 60% of competitors had never done an Adventure Race before, we felt a little less intimidated.

And then we were off. As to be expected it was pretty crowded for the first two checkpoints. By #3 the crowd had thinned out. The aim for the day was to run all the flat/downhill sections and walk the hills. For the most part this section was run. It was a little awkward initially running with my hydration pack. In hindsight I should have done a run or two while wearing it, but considering I picked it up the day before I didn't have the luxury.

Checkpoint 6-12 Mountain bike
Got in and transitioned ok. Or so I thought. I ended up waiting for the Man, which indicated that there was a problem. In the sun, the hydraulic brake fluid had expanded essentially forcing the back brakes on. The wheel was turning, but not freely.

We opted not to doing anything to it, the risk of not having back brakes wasn't worth it so he rode on. We reached #6 and #7 without problem. But leaving #7 we opted for a different route than we had marked on the map and as a result missed checkpoint #8. Our game plan was to get all the checkpoints regardless of how long it took us. So as we were halfway to #9 we had to double back and get #8. This was a pretty big set back as the trail we'd opted to take was quite technical for a novice like myself!

After #10 we stopped for water and a quick snack. At this stage I couldn't believe we hadn't come halfway! We then hit the Commonwealth games track picked up #11 and headed for the bike drop at #12.

Checkpoint 12-16 Run
And this is where it got hard. Hills and hot hot heat. Next to no shade at all. Oh and there was next to no running - there was even stopping for some shot blocks, it wasn't until we got to #15 and knew that that road back to #16 was flat that I could comprehend jogging.

Checkpoint 16-24 Mountain bike
I never thought I'd be so happy to be back on a mountain bike. It would give my HR had a chance to recover. We descended to #17 (lucky another team was in front of us because I fear I would have missed this checkpoint). Across to #18 was a little painful, mtbs are really not so awesome on the flat! We took a wrong turn to #19 but quickly righted ourselves and made up time. Regrouping with a bunch for #20-#24 even having enough time to sit and chow a bar down.

Checkpoint 24-27 Kayak
A bit of a scramble to get the life jackets on and get paddling. The wind wasn't really our friend, the boats were heavy and our control of the vessel was questionable. Add a very sore shoulder, two tired racers, screaming hip flexors and cramping legs.

The good bit? The water was refreshing because it was freakin' hot.

We kept our lead on the couple behind us and had the wind at our backs on the way back in. Getting out of the boat was a disaster. My right quad and something leading up into my groin cramped, I couldn't even help pull the boat out of the water. I could hardly garner the focus to take off my life jacket.

The sprint to the finish was more jog. The couple we'd managed to hold off passed us. But in the end, we finished, and the Man ranks it as the second hardest thing he's done behind the Tour Down Under stage.

There's no way I could have done this race by myself. My map reading skills leave a lot to be desired. The Man was awesome, he's much faster & fitter than I (without any training!) and he was super patient. We might even live to run another adventure race together!

What would you do differently?
• Attempt to mark up the track numbers/names.
• Neither of our bikes had a odometer - which may have been useful to estimate distances between checkpoints.
• Hill & mtb train
• Drink more! Yikes, I drank 2x 750mL water bottles plus roughly 1L from my hydration pack, plus 2 cups of water at the finish and I still couldn't keep the dehydration at bay.

Warm down:
We finished about an hour and a half behind the winners and there was still plenty of lunch to go around. Even vegie burgers! No electrolyte fluid though, which was a touch disappointing.

We found a shady patch and ate our lunch while listening to the presentations.

In the end we were winners! Of a spot prize! We scored $100 worth of Kathmandu vouchers. And they gave away event t-shirts too. Double score!

What limited your ability to perform faster:
The heat was a factor - our first 30C (86F) day of the season, it was draining and given the event didn't start until just before 10am we were out there for a whole lot of the heat.

I also seem to have an inherent fear of logs. And mountain biking in general. Definitely cautious out there.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Something borrowed, something blue

So much stuff! Some of which I'll be wearing, some of which I'll be carrying. I spent the day sourcing gear and borrowing bikes from family & friends.

: 37:07 | 6km | 6:11/km. I drove down to the Beach last night so I could pick up a bike. Did a foreshore run, didn't feel great and some hip pain arose (opposite side to ITB!) I think my compression tights are aggravating it somewhat. I'll wear my usual capris tomorrow and monitor.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Off the beaten path

This is what we're doing on Saturday. Part nervous, part super excited.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Race Day...of the horse variety...

I went to The Cup, I saw horses (unusual for those in the Nursery car park), there was tippling and tottering. But my head and feet pulled up so well I got a run in today. That makes up for the loss I had in Race 9!

Run: 38m | 6km | 6:20/km. A little procrastinating this morning. Pretty happy I didn't leave it any longer, because the rain did indeed fall. My Garmin was out of battery so I ran to feeling rather than being guided by pace. To be honest I'm just happy I ran.

Kickboxing: 45m. A tough one tonight, but really I much prefer the harder sessions.

Monthly totals: October 2011

Ride: 9:17:00 | 196.4km
Run: 3:18:58 | 33.9km
Swim: 1:15 | 3400m
Walking: 3:40
Kickboxing: 1:30
Strength: 10m

I spent the start of October primarily focused on the beep test. I was nervous prior, but on testing day I felt strong and that I could have advanced past 6.10.

I also got my bike on! Making the commitment to commute a few days a week and adding cycling back into my weekend saw my totals soar. It's not huge volumes by any means, but its a start to being bike fit again.

With regards to running, well I had a couple of weeks break and am slowly slowly making a comeback. My sights are on a 10km in early December.