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2013 in review

31 Dec

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 9,100 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Sydney Coastrek challenge to help end avoidable blindness

15 Nov

My next challenge will be the Sydney Coastrek 28/2/14-1/3/14. As if I haven’t had enough of walking! However, I will be doing this as part of a team with 3 other amazing women.

On 28th February and 1st March, we’ll be trekking for many hours along Sydney’s beautiful coastline between Palm Beach and Coogee Beach all to help restore sight to people who are needlessly blind.

Our team of four, Skinny Flat Whites, is participating in the Wild Women on Top Sydney Coastrek, in support of the amazing work of The Fred Hollows Foundation.

Did you know that 4 OUT OF 5 PEOPLE WHO ARE BLIND DON’T NEED TO BE?

SO PLEASE SPONSOR MY TREK and help end avoidable blindness! Together we can make that difference!

Please click on the following link to make a donation to a very worthy cause:
CJ’s fundraising page

Thank you
:)

TREKKING TO RESTORE SIGHT

20131114-223509.jpgThree-quarter of needlessly blind people on this planet are women and girls like H’Nhi. Your support will help to restore their sight and give them a second change in life.

The packing dilemma

28 Oct

It is the day before I leave for Sydney, before heading off to New York. And true to form, I still have an empty suitcase. Why? Because I keep changing my mind about what to pack. I’m procrastinating. I can’t make a decision.

It’s easy, says everyone.
Just pack the bare essentials, says everyone.
Travel lightly, says everyone.

Fine.
But it’s not easy.
I confess I’m the world’s worst packer. I cannot travel lightly. It’s a genetic thing. Well, ok, I might be exaggerating a touch but I’ve had years of packing stuff…just in case. I start off with the best of intentions – the bare minimum but then a little voice pipes up and says, maybe you should throw in that top (or jacket, or dress, or pants, or jumper), just in case.

I’ve also endured years of I told you so’s, the alleged voice(s) of reason, the raised eyebrow, and also a million and one reasons why I don’t need to pack so much…from everyone.
You know, suddenly everyone is an expert and their way is the best way.
Which of course frustrates me no end. It’s a bit like people giving advice on how to taper, how to train, the best way run a marathon, etc. Which is fine if I’ve asked for advice.

And also I was at work today. So it was hard to get in the right headspace for packing. I know I’m going on holiday but it’s hard to get too excited when I still had meetings, last minute emails and other work things to do.

So either tonight (hasn’t happened yet) or tomorrow morning there will be this frazzled woman madly throwing all sorts of clothing items in her suitcase, hoping that somehow she will get an outfit out of it once she arrives at the other end!

Worst case scenario? I guess I’ll have to go shopping in New York! At least I have a shopping buddy. :)

There were no more long walks after Thursday’s cortisone injections. After a quick poll I was quickly made aware that doing a long walk on the weekend was probably not the wisest thing to do. So instead I did a weights session followed by a 45min xtrainer intervals session at the gym. And I’ll do the same again tomorrow…maybe. Then that will be it until Sunday 3 November 10.55am when I start the NY marathon.

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Aaaargh!

9 Oct

WordPress keeps crashing tonight. This is, hopefully, third time lucky.

My first entry was an eloquent piece on whether plodders have a place in a marathon? I had recently read a New York Times article addressing this question. Well you will have to take my word for it as the application crashed and I lost the lot.

Anyway I wasn’t sure whether to feel offended, amused, angry or a mix of all these emotions after reading this article.

Apparently walkers, and slow runners, are ruining the marathon’s mystique and disrespecting the distance.

“It’s a joke to run a marathon by walking every other mile or by finishing in six, seven, eight hours,” said Adrienne Wald, 54, the women’s cross-country coach at the College of New Rochelle, who ran her first marathon in 1984. “It used to be that running a marathon was worth something — there used to be a pride saying that you ran a marathon, but not anymore. Now it’s, ‘How low is the bar?’”

Arrogant? Elitist? Has a point?

“…more than half of the people at a marathon are just overweight and “trying to get a shirt and medal … looking to one day tell a story about the saga and the suffering of their 11 minute pace ‘race.’”

And this in the comments section: “The marathon has become a circus, no doubt about it. I have no problem with people plodding their way through a course in 6 or 7 hours. Of course, they shouldn’t be given the same medals and acknowledgment as someone who busted their buns for months in training and completed it in four hours.”

I’m sorry? I’ve not busted my buns in training for months? Those bruised toenails, the shin splints, the endless hours on weekends spent walking…if that’s not training then I don’t know what is. I have trained as hard for this event as I would’ve if I’d been running. Of course I’d rather be running but that’s not going to happen. And be damned if I’m going to travel all that way to watch on the sidelines. No siree. I will be out there plodding for 7 hours. And bloody well proud of it.

Today I spent 45 mins on my favourite machine, the xtrainer. It’s always hard backing up after legs day at the gym. And tomorrow is more leg work, along with arms and shoulders. Followed by the xtrainer again on Friday. And then a 27km walk on Saturday. Fun times :)

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The object of my attention

2 Oct

This morning, while on the xtrainer for 45 minutes, I spent an inordinate amount of time focussing on a pair of calves in front of me, and not of the bovine variety.

And strictly speaking, while I appeared to be focused on this pair of calves, I wasn’t actually ‘focussed’ on them, if you get my drift. I was looking but not ‘looking’.

I find when I am engaged in a monotonous activity, ie 45 minutes on a xtrainer, I might look like I’m staring at something ahead of me but actually I am zoning out. So it’s not that something in my line of sight has captured my attention, it’s usually because I’m a million miles away, lost in my thoughts, or immersed in the temporary discomfort of 30 second intervals, always a fun activity, says no-one ever.

So there I was, slogging away on the xtrainer focussing on the pair of calves in front of me – belonging to a guy on the xtrainer in the row in front of me. Nicely muscled and not too hairy now that I come to think of it…not that I was paying any attention. Really. Truly.

It just made me realise the things we inadvertently do when we’re focusing on something else. Normally I wouldn’t be so fixated on someone’s calves!

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The best laid plans…

23 Sep

stress

Well…it’s been a stressful couple of weeks.  But now I think I can take a breath, sit back and contemplate how things have radically changed from just two weeks ago.

Injury-wise, it’s not great news. I do have a hamstring attachment tear (semitendinosus) identified in an ultrasound scan but as they couldn’t determine the extent of the tear, decided against a cortisone injection without an MRI. However I also seem to have some sort of hip issue going on as well – it feels like a cartilage tear (I have had one of these before). So at the moment I can’t walk long distances comfortably, let alone run. My cardio at the moment is confined to 45 minutes on the xtrainer, about 4 times a week. I did do a slow 10km walk yesterday but I’m feeling sore today. However I haven’t given up yet – not while there is still breath in my body!

Holiday-wise, this has been turned upside down and inside out. Two weeks ago I thought I was spending a month in the States – New York, Vegas, San Fran, LA and Hawaii. Flights and most of our accommodation had been booked and paid for. However, for reasons I won’t go into, now I am spending a week in NY then meeting up with son #3 and spending a week each in Paris, Barcelona and Rome. But to get from there (US holiday) to here (US/Europe holiday) has involved what I refer to as the week from hell, followed by another week of frantically sorting things out. Yes, there has been money lost on some flights and credits used for new flights plus extra paid for new flights (with the amount I’ve spent on flights I could’ve flown business class). However, I was able to cancel US accommodation and get all my money back within 2 days (sometimes miracles do happen – thank you Hotels.com). I have now booked apartments in Paris, Barcelona and Rome so fingers crossed these work out. I have also booked flights between these cities.

So a lot can change in a week or two. There has been a lot of stress (yes, I do admit to having have a mini meltdown), lots of angst and loss of sleep. But I do believe we have the makings of a grand adventure, even if it is radically different to what I had originally envisaged.

Now the only thing to do is get the injury under control, or at least get a cortisone injection!

postscript: I have just finished a 60 minute xtrainer session at the gym. I thought the treadmill was bad enough, but try staying on a xtrainer for any length of time and not lose your mind. Or is it just me?!

Sometimes I don’t JFDI

23 Aug

Normally I bang on about how I JFDI, no excuses, get up and out there, and how great I feel once I’ve started.

However there are days when I know deep down, intuitively, that getting up and getting out there is not the best thing for my body.

It’s a different feeling – a heaviness, a fatigue fog that descends, and I have absolutely no energy.

Interestingly when I feel like this there is no internal battle between good and evil ie “I don’t want to get up and exercise” vs “I’ll feel so guilty if I don’t get up and go for a walk, the gym or whatever”.

It’s like my body knows that I need a rest and my mind knows better than to argue with it.

This morning was one of those mornings.

I felt so tired and definitely feeling the fatigue fog.

Even the thought of getting up, dressed and out the door for a walk was tiring.

And I didn’t fight the feeling.

I need to rest.

So be it.

There is always another day.

Today I rest.

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