Archive | March, 2012

Just being

31 Mar

Relaxing – that hasn’t been happening a lot lately. But after a frenetic morning catching up on washing, shopping, cooking, cleaning, I decided that I would have the rest of the day off. That meant no studying or checking work emails. If I wanted to sit and read magazines all afternoon, I would. If it meant having an afternoon nap, I would. I needed to recharge my batteries and not worry about deadlines for a while. Which is why I was sitting out on the front deck late afternoon (my favourite spot) eating natural yoghurt with chia seeds and fresh raspberries. I tarted it up by serving it in a glass. It was perfect – the weather was warm and sunny with a slight breeze, just right for sitting outside and doing nothing. No checking emails, or Twitter, or Facebook. Just sitting, just being.

Run #123 this morning was 10km including intervals. I needed to shake it up a bit after a dismal week of running. The original plan was to do a long run but the thought of plodding along for 20km did my head in. So I opted for 3 x 1km, 3 x 400m, 3 x 200m and 4 x 100m with rest period in between plus a warm up and cool down. Much better 🙂

Old Ted and Neliphant

30 Mar

Theme for today: toys. So here are a couple of old faithfulls – a 51 year old teddy, aka, Old Ted, given to me by my grandfather when I was born, and a little blue and white elephant, nicknamed neliphant, one of a pair given to us when the twins were born, almost 30 years ago. The elephant is ageing better than poor old ted who’s looking very threadbare and limp! He did have a harder life than the elephant though – dragged around, dropped from strollers, eyes pulled off, and other indignities inflicted upon him over the years. But he’s been very much loved. Mr N even secretly consulted with a teddy bear doctor a few years ago hoping to restore him to his former handsome self, as a surprise, but was advised against doing anything because so much work would have to be done he’d be unrecognisable. I’m glad he took the advice. I always think of the story The Velveteen Rabbit: “Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

Run #122 done and dusted. Lets hope tomorrow’s run, #123, is an improvement – all my runs this week have felt like I’m running in quicksand – getting nowhere fast but sinking rapidly.

Photo a Day Challenge

29 Mar

In case you haven’t noticed I’ve been taking a photo every day so far this year and posting it here, and for 88 days I managed to do this. However trying to think up different things to photograph every day is doing my head in, and considering I still have 278 days to go, I headed to Google for inspiration, where I came across the following blog http://www.fatmumslim.com.au (aka Chantelle) and her Photo a Day challenge. Yay- no more having to think of things to photograph, I’ll use the list she has so generously supplied for each month. Today the theme was ‘feet’ hence my shoe shots. I’m on the lookout for new shoes anyway so this wasn’t a difficult task at all 🙂 though there are so many lovely shoes and only so many dollars to buy! Fortunately, Mr N is at the coast this weekend so there is opportunity for retail therapy with no questions asked or the usual raised eyebrow!

Run #121 this morning was a plod – I woke up tired, struggled out of bed and for the first few kilometres was searching for shortcuts to head back home. However I managed to slog out 8km before calling it quits. An early bedtime tonight and hopefully I’ll feel more energised tomorrow.

It’s a long way to the top…..

28 Mar

It’s a long way to the top – figuratively and literally some days! I walk up 4 flights of these stairs every day at least twice a day, some days even more. And in the mornings I am lugging up a heavy backpack as well. I have to confess there are some mornings when I look up and feel buggered before I even start, especially if I’ve just done a legs workout at the gym but it’s always a case of HTFU and JFDI. Its steeper than it looks in the photo, or maybe its the weighty backpack that makes it feel that way. Either way it’s just habit to walk the stairs every day. Very rarely do I catch the lift. And when I hear that familiar lift alarm ring I feel a little smug that I choose to do the stairs rather than get stuck in the lift! 🙂

Run #120 this morning – it was raining but I didn’t even think twice about not going for a run. After all, what’s a little rain at 6am?!

Medals & memories

27 Mar

Just some of the medals I’ve got over the years, and all of them associated with memories – some good, some not so good! But the thing is they all represent consistency, stamina, that never-say-die attitude and self belief (some would say stubbornness too!). Probably the medal that means the most to me, however, is the one on the left – Ironman 2004. Going from someone who really struggled with a 400m open water swim in my first triathlon (truth be told, probably the first dozen open water swims – I am not a swimmer!) to being able to complete a 3.8km swim before a 180km cycle and then finishing with a marathon – all.in.one.day – I still find it hard to believe I did that! I don’t think I’ll ever match that feeling of running down the hill towards the finish line, after 13 hours of swimming, cycling and running, and hearing my name being called out as an Ironman finisher. Wow!

Dig deeply enough and you’ll be surprised what you can find. 🙂

Brainiac breakfast

26 Mar

The nutrition mid-term exam was this morning….finally. I went for my early morning run to recharge the batteries and then followed this up with my brainiac breakfast – poached egg on baby spinach, tomato, avocado and toast. Eggs are a good source of riboflavin, vitamin B12 and phosphorus, and a very good source of protein and selenium. Avocados are a source of dietary fibre and B-complex vitamins that support metabolism and energy production, as well as the immune system.  Avocados are also high in vitamin C, vitamin K and potassium, which is essential for muscular function and blood pressure regulation. Not only healthy but also delicious! And my egg poaching skills are improving! 🙂

Exam done (enough said on that) and it was off to work for the rest of the day. The bonus was, I actually finished the day while it was still daylight. 🙂

Sunday = sleep-in, markets, study and run

25 Mar

Finally……..a sleep-in this morning. I had been looking forward to this all week! I think I eventually got up after 9am – there was a brief thought for those doing the vets run at Stromlo this morning. After a leisurely breakfast we headed off to the Old Bus Depot Markets at Kingston. We have a routine we follow whenever we go to these markets: first, a coffee from the The Outpost, then we walk around the upper area (which is mostly arts, crafts, clothing, furniture, etc), stopping whenever something catches our eye. I particularly love the stalls selling hand dyed wools – really beautiful colours and textures. Then we head downstairs to the food area – my favourite 😉 Today I stocked up on Real Chai (the best) and Mr N bought fudge easter eggs for his sister. I bought a chocolate dipped strawberry, as I always do, from the berry stall.

The afternoon has been spent studying for tomorrow’s exam. I also went for a run later in the day. It was beautiful conditions for running – warm, sunny and no wind. It was a pleasant run – not fast but who cares; I’m over fast these days, I have nothing to prove 🙂

 

A chilly 20km

24 Mar

I was up at 5am this morning to have something to eat plus a coffee before my long run. Today it was a planned 20km so I needed to fuel up before. There have been a couple of occasions recently where I’ve neglected to eat before the long runs and I’ve paid for it in terms of no energy and feeling faint and light-headed. I had a feeling it was going to be chilly outside because the heater had come on – that’s not a good sign.

For the first 10km I ran a loop around the suburbs of Scullin and Page as it was still dark and I needed the street lights to see where I was going – I really don’t need to do a CJ at this point of my ‘training’. Then for the second 10km I ran along the cycle path through Florey as if I was heading to the lake, before turning and heading home. It was a comfortable run though I did feel like I was plodding because I was cold and couldn’t warm up. By the time I finally got home I had lost all feeling in my fingers and my feet were also starting to go numb from the cold too. I think I need to start dressing appropriately for the colder mornings

By this stage I was also looking forward to my breakfast – after all, a banana only fills me up for so long and I had run 20km after all. I used a recipe from http://www.teresacutter.com/aka the Healthy Chef. She has a lot of great healthy gluten-free recipes and I was looking forward to trying this particular recipe for the Quinoa Power Porridge. It was great – quinoa has a nutty taste and combined with grated apple, milk, cinnamon, vanilla and LSA, it was delicious, healthy, full of protein and carbs and definitely filled a gap. 🙂

The best laid plans……….

23 Mar

A healthy start to the day and I needed it. My energy levels were almost non-existent though I did manage to fit in a 4km run (#115) before breakfast with two of my favourite people at Cream cafe. I think the two glasses of champagne that I had at dinner last night didn’t help either – I’m not used to having alcohol, its been a while.

At 2pm today I was going to be sitting my mid-term nutrition exam and so the plan was to spend the morning cramming for it since I’ve had no opportunity the last couple of weeks to do any proper study (and came perilously close to calling it quits on my course).  I’d already been granted a week’s extension to sit the exam. Fine. Except when it came time to sit it, I was told that it would now have to be postponed until Monday because the person supervising had to go home due to illness. That’s not what I wanted to hear! Plan A had been to do the exam today, and then spend the weekend catching up on all the lectures I had missed in the last couple of weeks for the next exam which is in 2 weeks time. Oh and do an assignment as well. So now its Plan B – do the assignment this afternoon, catch up on lectures tomorrow combined with studying for the exam on Monday. Hope I don’t get too confused 😉

The little things…..

22 Mar

Lately, probably as a reaction to all the work craziness that is happening, I’ve been really appreciating the small pleasures in life. The figs from our tree literally ripening overnight and bursting with deliciousness, fresh strawberries which always taste best when eaten as soon as they’ve been picked, impromptu coffees with good friends who are willing to sit and listen to me unload all of my problems, the cockatoos walking along the ledge outside my window at work, the chatter of the rosellas high up in the trees as I pass underneath on my way to work from the car park. And tonight, dinner with friends who, while they may only live several streets away from us, we never seem to catch up with often enough.

We had dinner at Morks, a Thai restaurant in Florey, and what a hidden gem of a place this is. We went along expecting a typical suburban Thai menu but instead were pleasantly surprised. For entrée I chose Angel Prawns – seven sizzling king prawns coated in a kaffir lime leaf and coconut base sauce, served in an earthenware dish. It was delicious. The guys both chose an open wonton of green curry prawns on a bed of basil and pea mash for their entrée while H had the steamed asparagus served with a mild green curry, coconut milk infused with Brie and crispy rice noodles. For mains I chose the Duck Maryland, slow cooked in spices then fried, in a red curry sauce, with lychee and tomatoes, crispy rice cakes, and crisped basil leaves – so good. Another dish chosen was braised pork belly with cracking, English spinach, boiled quail eggs served with five spice pork reduction, chilli and garlic relish and rice fried with basil and chilli while our vegetarian friend had the soft tofu squares on round beans wok tossed with pickled mustard leaves served with streamed rice.  We all agreed the presentation was great and the food was delicious. This was helped along with a couple of glasses of champagne and lots of good conversation. After having spent many a night over the past 3 weeks eating my dinner at work, this was a really nice change. I am truly grateful to have such wonderful and caring friends……

……and I highly recommend Morks. 🙂

Run #113 was an 8km run early this morning. I almost ran into a fellow runner in the dark when we crossed paths, even though he was wearing a bright headlight. That early in the morning my brain doesn’t always compute! Otherwise it was all quiet out on the streets at 5.30am – funny that.