Archive | September, 2012

Four weeks to go, & counting

30 Sep

Pear tree blossomThe final four weeks to the big event. Gosh that’s come around quickly! It’s hard to get my head around the fact that this time in 4 weeks I will have completed a half Ironman triathlon, my first tri for 8 years. And I can’t tell you how many times in the past 4 months I’ve wondered why on earth I’m doing this. Why on earth am I subjecting myself to all this training; all those long rides, the endless laps up and down the pool with the pull buoy (the bane of my existence), the running off the bike sessions? Why? Can’t tell you because I don’t really know myself. I had this crazy notion of doing another one, to see whether I could do this again, now that I’m 8 years older. Definitely not wiser though – otherwise I wouldn’t be in this predicament!

I bought a black two piece tri suit today from 2xu. Whoah, those things are expensive! Also bought socks, cap and elastic laces. My shoes arrived in the mail from Wiggle the other day – Asics DS trainers. The bike is booked in for a final service and new tyres 2 weeks before the event. At some stage I am going to have to try on the wet suit, to see whether I can fit into it!

This morning I did an ‘easy’ hour ride. Well it should have been easy but I had a head wind all the way along Ginninderra Drive – from Ellenborough St to Kingsford Smith Drive. Then later this afternoon I did an ‘easy’ 10km – again it should have been easy but I struggled in the last couple of kilometres – ran out of puff and had tired legs. I am still experiencing DOMS from Thursday’s gym session which is really unusual because it wasn’t a hard session. Its taking me a long time to recover from training sessions this week which is starting to worry me, as the sessions haven’t been hard (its recovery week). So I will make an appointment to see the GP and get some blood tests done.

I really don’t need this 4 weeks out, though.

Tomorrow: the plan is, I don’t have a plan. I will see how I feel and take it from there. Besides I’m waiting, with bated breath, for my new training program! 🙂

“Jogging is very beneficial. It’s good for your legs and your feet. It’s also very good for the ground. It makes it feel needed.” – Charles Schulz, creator of Peanuts comic strip


Because I can

29 Sep

Strawberry crumbleYou know what they say about the best laid plans? Yup, changed them. I was meant to do a 10km run today but I didn’t feel like it. So I didn’t. Another rest day. Oh well.

I had a crappy night’s sleep. Also I failed to mention yesterday that I was suffering DOMS from my weights session on Thursday – more than I usually experience. This week my muscles are really slow to respond to any demands put on them. Anyway I was still feeling pretty sore this morning. And I’m lacking in energy big time.

The weather wasn’t helping things either. Ranging between bursts of sunshine, gusty winds, bitterly cold, drizzle – it just wasn’t particularly inviting to get out and run today. So I didn’t. Because I didn’t want to. Because I can.

Instead we watched the AFL grand final on TV. It was a great game – close the whole way. In the end the Sydney Swans won. Wouldn’t it be funny if Melbourne Storm win tomorrow – it would mean a Sydney team won the AFL grand final and a Melbourne team won the NRL grand final!

And for dessert tonight, and because strawberries are in season and are dirt cheap to buy at the moment, I made strawberry crumble. I adapted it from a recipe (Tapioca and Blueberry crumble) from a new cook book I bought yesterday – the Gluten Free Dessert Bible. It has lots of delicious recipes and some great photos to drool over. The plan is to try a recipe each weekend – no complaints from Mr N! Oh, and the crumble was delicious. Mr N had cream with his but I had a dollop of Chobani natural yoghurt with mine. It would also be great with icecream.   🙂

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” ― Dr. Seuss

Strawberry crumble with a dollop of yoghurt

Winter has returned

28 Sep

Stormy daysWe have had some lovely weather lately so I guess we were due for some wet, cold and windy weather. It is spring after all, the most unpredictable of seasons. And it’s a long weekend this weekend so it can’t be all roses and sunshine now can it!

It was unseasonably warm overnight and this morning. Then the rain came, settled in and hasn’t gone anywhere; just hung around. So far the gale force winds haven’t eventuated.

Because it was my rest day I was at work bright and early this morning, about 7.15am, to finish packing and cleaning, and to finish off some work as well (mind, you, that never ends). The upside of all this was that we could leave for the day at 12.30pm, so the removalists could come in and start the big move. Next Tuesday morning could well be chaotic, and I only hope we have nothing urgent that morning!

Tomorrow: the plan is to run in the afternoon. I normally cycle early Saturday mornings but the weather forecast for the morning doesn’t sound that great so I’ve made an executive decision to cycle on Sunday morning instead. So, a sleep in tomorrow, yay!

“To change one’s life;Start immediately. Do it flamboyantly. No exceptions.” – William James

Blurgh! Blah!

27 Sep

Cannelloni and saladSomeone did not want to get up this morning. Not one bit. No, this person wanted to stay in bed, asleep, and not have to get up, dressed and off to the gym. No.way.

I felt really tired this morning. Really tired. Yet I went to bed at a decent hour last night. A really strange thing happened though last night. I must have fallen into a really deep sleep pretty much straightaway but then I had this feeling I needed to get up and turn the TV off. Someone had left it on. Except this was all part of my dream. However the next thing I knew I was standing in the lounge room next to the couch with Mr N looking at me rather strangely and asking me what I was doing. This must have ‘woken’ me and after looking at him rather oddly (because I had absolutely no idea why I was there) I said I’d come out to turn off the TV except I didn’t need to because he was still watching TV. Yep, that made a lot of sense! Whatever, that has never happened to me before, and it was such a strange feeling too, not being quite sure how I’d got there and what I was actually doing once I was there.

This has been one strange week.

Anyway I did go to the gym and I did struggle through my weights half expecting my legs to crumple under the weight of the leg press, or to collapse on the ground at the bottom of barbell squats! Now that would not have been a good look, not at the gym! I think I felt a lot better when I left though, than when I first arrived. And yes, I did my stretches.

Lunch today was reheated spinach and ricotta cannelloni with a salad of cucumber, cherry tomatoes and mixed lettuce dressed with French vinaigrette. Thank goodness for leftovers! The gluten-free cannelloni shells are sold under the Casalare brand and are actually pretty good.

Countdown to the big event – I have booked my bike in for a pre-event service and new tyres two weeks before. 🙂

I struggled through my bike intervals tonight as well. I have no energy. You would think I have had a heavy training week. Hardly! This has been my recovery week and yet it has felt like I’m moving through mud all week – very sluggishly.

Tomorrow: is a rest day, yay! I really need this. Also, because we are moving at work we have to be out of the building by lunchtime so the workmen can come in. This means an early start to the long weekend.!

“At first dreams seem impossible, then improbable, then inevitable.”- Christopher Reeve

A clean bill of health

26 Sep

LunchThis morning I went for an easy 6km run before work. It’s amazing how light it is at 5.45am – I could actually run along the cycle path rather than the roads, which is what I usually have to do at that hour of the day. Also, it wasn’t cold so it was a very pleasant run. Mind you, no-one else seemed to be up as I didn’t see a soul the entire time I was out. There was no pain while running or afterwards and dutifully I did my stretches before having a shower.

I had a physio appointment later in the morning to review the past week. I mentioned that I had run this morning. He looked at my card and read out something about no running for a week until the next appointment when we would review things. Minor detail. My reasoning was that if I ran this morning then if there were any problems he could fix them! Besides it’s not like I went gangbusters this morning – it was a very steady, measured jog. So, after further prodding, manoeuvring, and mobilising, he agreed that I seemed to have recovered well which was due in large part to me playing it cautiously and getting the initial niggly, nagging pain looked at before it got too bad. Points to me! He did do some loosening of tight muscles including applying the elbow into the tightest spots in the glute – oh man, that is so cruel and it hurts. Anyway I have been given a clean bill of health but with the proviso that I don’t go out gangbusters on my training now. Also he suggested I not do the Coppins/Uriarra and William Hovell loop again before the event which is perfectly fine by me. 🙂

The Chicken, Orange and Avocado Salad I had for lunch today came about because I am trying to use up what is left in the fridge before the end of the week and grocery shopping. I used left over chicken from the roast the other night, an orange which was part of a box load that came from a work colleague’s father in Griffith, and some avocado that we had in the fridge. Add to that some cucumber and mixed lettuce leaves, and it made a delicious meal.

Tomorrow: the plan is to do a weights session in the morning (and I can include lower body exercises) and another intervals session on the bike after work.

“The will to win means nothing, if you haven’t the will to prepare.” – Juma Ikangaa, 1989 NYC Marathon winner

A case of the blahs

25 Sep

Post swim brekkieThe blahs continue. Again, not sure why. Someone pointed out that maybe it was because it was my recovery week. Who knows? I’m just soldiering on and hoping it will go away. It just makes everything harder in the meantime.

However, on a positive note I had a really good swim this morning with NO PULL BUOY! The plan was for an easy 1.8km swim, split into a warm up, then 15 x 100m with a brief rest after each 100m, followed by a cool down but once I started swimming I decided to just continue until I needed to stop to let someone pass. However this never eventuated and so the 1.8km ended up becoming one continuous easy swim. And swimming is funny in that while there are other people in your lane, unless you actually stop, you never really get to see them. You know they’re there because you can sense or see them as you pass each other in the lane but that’s it. This is so different from running and cycling, where you can actually see other people and can talk to them. Anyway I know there were other people in my lane this morning but I never really got to see them because I swam without stopping. Some people had been and gone in the time it took me to swim the distance.

DOMS from yesterday’s upper body weights session was making its presence felt and the swim really helped. I highly recommend easy swimming post-weights sessions – it really does help.

I had brekkie once I got to work, by which time I was starving and was ready to inhale the contents of the work fridge (which is a risky venture). However I had one of my favourite brekkie meals this morning – banana bruschetta. Nothing complicated – a toasted gluten-free bun topped with reduced fat ricotta and banana. Cinnamon was sprinkled over the top (after the photo above was taken). Yummo! This is also my breakfast of choice before long rides and runs, as well as events.

I spoke to a lovely 89-year-old woman in the change rooms – she had just arrived to the pool and was about to go for her swim, as I was leaving. In years to come I guess that will be me…well at least I hope so! I’d like to think that a) I’ll still be around when I’m 89, and b) I’ll still be physically active. This morning’s brief chat reminded me of a similar one I had with a 94-year-old woman outside the gym a few years ago – she started going to the gym on a regular basis to keep fit and healthy, as well as for social contact, after her husband passed away.

Did the first of two bike interval sessions tonight. As its recovery week the session was only for 30 minutes which felt really strange after having done a few longer sessions up to this point. Not that I’m complaining! 🙂 This was followed by stretching and everything seems to be a-ok.

Tomorrow: the plan is to do an easy 6km run before work – my first run for a week. This will be followed by a physio appointment later in the morning.

“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I’ve ended up where I needed to be.” – Douglas Adams


24 Sep

StrawberriesI wasn’t suffering from Mondayitis when I woke this morning, nor was I affected when I went to the gym. I can’t really pinpoint where my day went pear-shaped and my enthusiasm levels hit rock bottom….but it was sometime this morning. Maybe it’s because we are moving desks at the end of the week and this requires packing up everything. Maybe it’s the mountain of work I have to do in the meantime. Maybe the planets are just not aligned for me. Who knows?! But it’s been a long day and I’m looking forward to going home and vegging out on the couch after dinner. It doesn’t happen very often (the Mondayitis or the vegging out).

My gym session went well – I focused on upper body weights and left any lower body stuff until after I see the physio on Wednesday. If he gives me the go-ahead then I’ll re-introduce squats, lunges, step ups and leg press. However today it was assisted chin ups, incline chest press, bent over rows, shoulder press, dumbbell flyes, incline push ups, biceps curls and triceps press. No worries. The warm up and final blast sessions were on the xtrainer, and then I finished off with an abs circuit. The upper body weights sessions definitely help with my swimming so I will keep at it.

Otherwise it’s been a very low-key, humdrum sort of day, as I mentioned previously. I ventured outside at lunchtime and while it looked lovely and sunny, there was a very cold breeze blowing. I bought several punnets of strawberries – how cheap are they at the moment?! Even the less sweet ones are okay as I oven roast them which brings out the sweetness. Hmm, maybe I should peruse the Cook’s Companion for a strawberry recipe or two for this weekend.

Tomorrow: the plan is to swim in the morning (I’ve checked my program and there is no pull buoy involved – yay!), and then do an intervals session on the bike after work. And, yes, stretch! And am I missing running? Not really. The advantage with cross training is that if one thing goes belly up ie my running, I still have other things to focus on eg swimming, cycling and weights. Besides, all going to plan (and so far it is), I will be returning to running come Thursday.

“What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.” – Ralph Marston

Spring equinox

23 Sep

Sunday brekkieToday is the spring equinox. This means that from now on the days are getting longer and we’re heading towards summer. Hallelujah! And on 7 October daylight savings will start.

So what did I do today? Why, clean the oven…….as you do. After yesterday’s efforts of smoking out the house and setting off the smoke alarms when cooking roast chicken, I felt that a good clean of the oven was in order. Which is why I was wearing heavy-duty rubber gloves, mask and safety glasses early this afternoon before spraying the oven with a heavy-duty cleaner. That was the easy bit. After an hour or so came the downright dirty and mucky bit – wiping out the dirty, mucky stuff and trying not to get it everywhere, including on myself. But it was worth it – I am now the proud owner of a sparkling clean oven which I promptly used (after heating it for a bit to remove any fumes) to bake a crustless berry cheesecake. Which, by the way, we had for dessert tonight and was delicious 😉

I also did a 2km swim, non-stop, at the pool this afternoon. Just to be sure that I can swim the distance, come race day. Seems like I can! 🙂

Tomorrow: the plan is to do an upper body weights session at the gym before work. And continue with my stretching regime.

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” –  Aristotle, Greek critic, philosopher, physicist, & zoologist (384 BC – 322 BC)

A beautiful day

22 Sep


When spring decides to play the game, the reward is beautiful weather. Today was one of those days. I went for a cycle early this morning and it was so nice not to have to brave, icy windy weather.Its a shame really that the most I could do was one hour. It would have been a perfect morning for a four bike ride. What might’ve been…..

Still it was a pleasant 25km cycle around the suburbs – Belconnen Way, Haydon Drive, Ginninderra drive, Kingsford Smith Drive, Coulter Drive, Ginninderra Drive (again), Kingsford Smith Drive (again) and then home. And I managed to do most of the ride with no stopping at lights – it was green lights most of the way.

Otherwise it was a quiet day – just enjoying the sunshine.

Tonight we had roast chicken followed by the orange creme caramel. First of all, I managed to smoke out the oven and the house and set off the smoke alarms while roasting the chicken!  Then one of the creme caramel collapsed in a sad little heap on the plate when I inverted the ramekin. Not quite like the photo in the book 😉 However the other one did hold its shape and looked very impressive. But the toffee had set like concrete on the bottom of the ramekins and it was only after a lot of chiseling with a knife that we managed to remove shards of toffee. Obviously this recipe require some practice to get it right!

Tomorrow: the plan is to sleep in! Later in the day I will head off to the pool for a swim.

“It’s a beautiful day, Don’t let it get away, It’s a beautiful day.” – U2 lyrics

Catching up with friends

21 Sep


Friday – another rest day. There’s been a few of them this week. The niggly nagging ache is still there but I’m doing my stretches and hoping for the best. Can’t do any more than that at the moment.

This morning I had brekkie with Liz and Ruth at Cream. It was a great way to start the day and it was good to catch up with my friends.

Later in the morning we had a catch up morning tea at work. I had brought the orange cake in to share. With bated breath I sliced it and gave the others a piece. I had never made this recipe before and hadn’t taste tested it before bringing it in to share, so I really had no idea what it would be like. I needn’t have worried – it was moist and delicious. Whew! What a relief. 🙂

Then I had lunch with another friend who has had a tough week, what with teenagers, full-time work and exams. She is truly a superwoman! We had lunch at the Two Before Ten cafe where the coffee is always excellent and the food isn’t bad either.

Tonight I am making orange creme caramel for the weekend. One thing I have discovered is that cold caramel sets like concrete! I’m hoping that soaking the glass measuring jug and saucepan overnight will budge the left over caramel.

Tomorrow: the plan is to go for an easy 1 hour bike ride before breakfast. It’s a bit of a change from what was on my program originally – a 4 hour bike ride!

“Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.” ― Dr. Seuss