Archive | December, 2012

Farewell 2012

31 Dec

31 Dec 2012_dance love sing liveI started this blog on 1 January 2012 and now, 366 days later, the year is almost over bar a last hurrah. And I wrote a blog entry every day this year – some days it was a struggle thinking of anything to write, and then there were other days when I just couldn’t shut up!

Apart from a couple of niggles I managed to get through this year injury-free and that’s a first for a very long time. I ran 3 half marathons (Canberra, YMCA of Canberra, and the ACTVAC half marathons), competed as part of a 2 person team for the Weston Creek half marathon, and did the Port Macquarie Ironman 70.3. This meant getting back in the pool and on a bike for the first time in a couple of years which was a shock to the system. However I am still swimming and cycling and hope to keep it up as its great for cross training.

Travel-wise, I went to Busselton/Margaret River in May to watch Mr B compete in the Ironman 70.3, to Melbourne in July for 12 days and Port Macquarie for 12 days in late October/early November.

And what’s in store for 2013?

The plan is to run at least 2 marathons – Canberra (my 9th) and New York. I’ll do at least 3 half marathons. I may do 2 triathlons – the sprint at the end of January and the olympic distance in early March.

I’m off to Melbourne tomorrow for a week and then in November I’ll spend a month in New York, Las Vegas, San Francisco, and Hawaii.

There may be other things that pop up during the year which will pique my interest.

As for this blog, I’m still undecided about what to do – whether to continue, post less frequently or continue with daily posts.

And finally…drum roll… I have 100 followers!

Happy new year! ūüôā

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Doing it easy

30 Dec

30 Dec 2012_power box art 1I’m having to re-learn how to run easy again. When my program says to do an easy run it means run it slowly ie 6 min/km pace. And yet this is an unbelievably hard thing for me to do. I always start my scheduled easy runs with the intention of doing them easy but somewhere along the way I seem to forget this and pick up the pace until I’m doing a hard run. Not quite what the program said!

Not all my runs are easy – there is a time and place for the harder runs ie tempo or intervals. But there is also a time and place for easy runs and it is this I need to learn and do. And so this afternoon I did an easy run averaging around 5.50 min/km pace for 10 km. It was still quite warm at 5pm when I started my run so it wasn’t too difficult to stick to a slowish pace. And I had run 22 km yesterday so there was no need to beat myself up today. I have a couple of¬†¬†harder runs scheduled during the week.

Met Ruth and Mr B for coffee at Kingston and Co, and then I had a leisurely walk home. Its been a long time since I’ve walked home from the Mall so it was interesting to see what had changed on the route to home.

Tomorrow – a swim early in the morning and then I have to think about what to pack for a week in Melbourne. Mr N and I will be seeing The Hobbit in the afternoon and then later in the evening enjoying the NYE revelries with good friends, to see in the new year. ūüôā

“Trust your own instinct. Your mistakes might as well be your own, instead of someone else’s.”¬†– Billy Wilder

Today’s gripe

29 Dec

29 Dec 2012_coffee 2It’s summer and we have daylight savings. At 7.30am there are lots of people, of all ages, walking, running or cycling around the lake. And yet, there are no public toilets open. All of the toilet blocks have their metal bar doors firmly shut and locked. What good is that? All I can say is thank goodness for the shopping centre nearby, because that’s where I had to head this morning for an unscheduled pit stop.

I still can’t¬†believe¬†that at 7.30am there are no accessible public toilets around the lake.

Gripe over ūüôā

So, as you’ve probably gathered, I ran this morning! 22km in fact, down to the¬†lake, ¬†around the lake and then home again. It was a pleasant morning which I probably more fully appreciated after the¬†unscheduled¬†pit stop! And I wasn’t the only one out enjoying the morning – it was quite busy around the lake today. They were setting up for the park run as I ran¬†past.¬† I’ve been thinking I might do the park run at Albert Park while I’m in¬†Melbourne¬†next week. I’ve registered and have my barcode and it would¬†be¬†something different.

This morning’s 22km run is the longest run I’ve done since the Port Mac IM 70.3, in late October. Its onwards and upwards now that I’m in marathon training mode. ūüôā

‚ÄúLove what you do and do what you love. Don’t listen to anyone else who tells you not to do it. You do what you want, what you love. Imagination should be the center of your life.”¬†‚Äē Ray Bradbury

Lululemon beetle

28 Dec

28 Dec2012_Lululemon beetle 2The photo of the beetle – if you look closely you can see the Lululemon symbol! I call it the Lululemon beetle and it was a gorgeous iridescent green and black colour.

Gotta love holidays! This morning I had a lane to myself for the entire time I was in the pool. It was bliss. I could cruise up and down the middle of the lane, literally following the black line. I also tried out my new paddles – it was a strange sensation ( I think its called speed!). It was a cruisey 1.9km this morning – mostly technique work using the pull buoy, paddles and kickboard with some freestyle laps as well.

However for the rest of the day my eyes have been stinging, sore and teary – it must be a reaction to the chlorine levels.

I ventured into Civic for a nail appointment later in the morning. It was like a ghost town until you got inside the Canberra Centre, which is where everyone was. I made a trip to Nespresso to purchase more pods. Unfortunately there was no George Clooney! ūüôā

Tomorrow: the long run beckons so I better put on my Big Boots! The plan is to run 2 hours tomorrow morning.

‚ÄúWhen you see someone putting on his Big Boots, you can be pretty sure that an Adventure is going to happen.‚Ä̬†‚Äē A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

28 Dec 2012_Lululemon beetle 1

Nervous nellie

27 Dec
27 Dec 2012_Mia

27 Dec 2012_Mia

Thursday. Two days after Christmas. Still eating leftovers although I have to admit my catering skills have improved and we don’t have too much left over. The Christmas tree is looking lonely now that the presents have gone to their respective owners. Mia, our black cat with a million and one neuroses, has actually walked under the tree. This is a big thing. Mia is a nervous nellie to the nth degree. This¬†is¬†a cat that thinks there are bogey men hiding everywhere waiting to jump out and scare her. This is a cat that doesn’t trust anyone or anything, even inanimate¬†objects¬†pose a potential threat! Normally she skirts things she doesn’t¬†trust, giving¬†them¬†a very wide berth. Obviously she has come to the conclusion that the Christmas tree is no threat to her! However if I was to put something under the tree, say a new present, she would go back to taking a wide berth to avoid the tree just in case….

Mia was rescued as a kitten from a timber mill. While her brothers, who were also captured, were taken to the RSPCA, Mr N decided to bring her home. Our other cat, Leo, had¬†passed¬†away from kidney disease a couple of years before at the¬†age¬†of 16 and we hadn’t seen the need for another cat until now and even then, I needed to be convinced this was a good idea. We closed off the lounge room so she couldn’t escape to other rooms and then let her out of the cage. She disappeared under the sofa and there she stayed for the next couple of weeks, only coming out at night, once everyone had gone to bed, to eat, drink and use the sand tray. And because she is black, if you looked under the sofa, all you could see was a pair of huge round green eyes¬†looking¬†back at you. I was starting to think that was going to be her permanent residence and we’d never see her out from under there!

However eventually she ventured out but it took a long time to gain her trust. It didn’t help that there was the occasion where she got her head stuck in the handle of a plastic shopping bag and she tore around the house with a plastic bag flapping behind her, thinking there was some strange creature chasing her. Nor did it help the time when a strand of cold cooked spaghetti dropped on her head – she froze and the expression on her face was priceless. I think she thought that if she didn’t move a¬†muscle¬†the¬†strange¬†thing on her head might go away! And it certainly didn’t help her¬†demeanor¬†when taken to the vet for the first time to get her shots, and this strange man in a white coat stuck a thermometer up her rear end – she immediately¬†clenched¬†and the thermometer shot out and across the room! The look on her face was, again, priceless. These episodes have been just a couple of what she would consider countless ‘traumatic’ experiences which has made her highly suspicious of anything and everything.

Mia is a cat who is constantly on high alert, she will never be taken by surprise. She is now 10 years old.

This morning I went for a run – a 50 min run that included 3 x 5 min efforts (5 min RI). That’s my heart starter for the day! And then later this afternoon I managed a 30 min session on the bike – 10 x 1 min hard efforts (1 min RI).

Tomorrow: an early morning swim is planned.

“There are no ordinary cats.” –¬†Colette

Boxing Day

26 Dec
26 Dec 2012_Balance

26 Dec 2012_Balance

We braved the Mall this morning to exchange a DVD and also to use some of the gift cards we received as presents. After a fortifying coffee at Kingston & Co (where other shoppers also had the same idea Рit was really busy) and watching hordes of people heading in and out of Target (speakers seemed to be a popular item), we went our separate ways, agreeing to meet up in an hour.

First off the rank was a visit to Snowgum as I’ve had my eye on a singlet top there for quite a while and I was hoping that with the 40% discount I might be able to get it at a reasonable price. But on closer inspection I decided I wasn’t that keen on it and after trying it on it confirmed for me that I really didn’t want it. However I discovered another singlet top of a slightly different design that I liked and which I bought.

Next stop was Rebel Sport but on the way I wandered through some other stores but nothing really jumped out at me. Besides I’m going to Melbourne next week, aka shopping mecca. At Rebel Sport I managed to find the swim goggles I was after plus paddles and then I waited in the queue. And waited…..and waited……and waited. While a lot of things had been discounted, if you were a member there was a further discount so of course, almost everyone ahead of me in the queue were a) not members and b) wanted to become members.

And that was the extent of my Boxing Day sales shopping. By now I was over crowds and queues in a big way. Besides I had got what I needed so there was no point in hanging around.

This afternoon I did a 40 minute bike session which included 5 x 30sec efforts.

Tomorrow: I’ll run in the morning and do another bike session in the afternoon. ūüôā

“Don’t be concerned with what you can’t do. Work on what you can do – then count your blessings.” – Alan Robinson, 56-year-old partially paralysed marathon runner

 

Christmas Day

25 Dec

25 Dec 2012_a few of my favourite thingsAfter a much-needed and appreciated sleep in this morning, and much humming and haaaing while enjoying a coffee before getting out of bed, I decided to do my Christmas day 10km intervals run before breakfast. The reason for the humming and haaaing was that I was starving and then factoring in a 10km run, it was going to be close to 11am before I had breakfast. In the end I decided the wait would be worth it because I was sure that later in the day I really wouldn’t feel like doing the session…..and I was right!

Intervals are always hard and this morning was no exception – 3 x 1km (2 min RI); 3 x 400 (1 min RI); 3 x 200m (1 min RI); 4 x 100m (30s RI). It always looks so much simpler written down than actually doing it! I was the only one outside doing anything – funny that! I really appreciated¬†the¬†berry bircher muesli I had once I had finished – so healthy and delicious and it really does prove that healthy food needn’t be boring, bland and not tasty.

There were the phone calls to family back home in WA and to son #3 in Melbourne to wish them a merry Christmas. Its a shame that son #3 couldn’t be with us today but I am going down to Melbourne next week to spend a week with him. Sons #1 and #2 came for lunch – cold ham and chicken, homemade potato¬†salad, coleslaw and a roasted vegetable and feta salad. Dessert was ice cream¬†Christmas¬†pudding topped with chocolate ganache and a fresh berry salad (blueberries, cherries, fresh currants, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and boysenberries). Champagne for moi and beers for the boys, and then later coffee from my brand spanking new Nespresso coffee machine.

I also received a pair of snazzy red Oakley sports sunnies (red makes you go faster!), Lululemon running shorts, Lorna Jane running shorts (seems to be a theme happening!), LJ sweat bands, Rebel Sports gift card, Sapphires DVD, a glass angel fish ornament (to add to my collection) and various other bits and bobs.

Now I feel stuffed, satisfied and sleepy but I’m planning on finishing the night by watching Bad Santa.

So, Merry Christmas to all and to all……

…a good night!”

T’was the day before Christmas…

24 Dec

24 Dec 2012-Christmas lights

…and I swam 1.9km early in the day before hitting¬†the¬†shops for the final time, still searching for that elusive present. What I ended up buying for The Fisherman is no showstopper but hopefully he’ll appreciate the gifts. Made the ice-cream christmas pudding and that’s sitting in the freezer waiting for its chocolate ganache topping which will happen tomorrow. I will prepare the potato salad, coleslaw and roasted vegie salad tonight, and that’s it. We’re having a cold lunch – ham and chicken with salads, followed by the ice-cream christmas pudding. The Moet (for me) and the crownies (the boys) are in the fridge. I’ll make the berry bircher muesli tonight so it will be ready for brekkie tomorrow, after I’ve done a 10km run.

I finally managed¬†to¬†catch up with my very good friend this afternoon when I delivered some Christmas gifts. Friends are very important to me but unfortunately sometimes life gets in the way and before you know it, weeks and months have gone by and you’ve not been able to catch up. So it was really nice to at least get together briefly this afternoon to chat and just enjoy each other’s company.

Sometimes it sucks to be me ūüė¶ ¬†We had dinner with friends at a relatively new ¬†restaurant in Bruce last night – a steak and seafood restaurant. Its been open for about a year apparently but it was the first time we’d been there. The food was lovely – I had crispy skin grilled salmon with a side of potato and cherry tomatoes, and hazelnut meringue torte for dessert. Just one glass of wine. But unfortunately today I’m suffering with a gluten¬†contamination¬†attack which started ¬†last night about 2am and I’m still¬†feeling¬†crap. Hopefully I’ll feel better tomorrow.

“I think we like to complicate things when it is really quite simple; find what it is that makes you happy and who it is that makes you happy and make them a huge part of your life.”

24 Dec 2012_Hazelnut meringue torte

Two sleeps to go

23 Dec

23 Dec 2012_Lake Burley GriffinI can see a light at the end of the tunnel – this pre-Christmas mayhem will soon be over! But in the meantime it’s a case of navigate the car parks and then brave the crowds at shopping centres to find that elusive present. In my case, its been very bloody elusive! And thank god for gift wrapping services at the centres! They have been my saviour today!

This morning I went for an early morning bike ride. It hadn’t cooled down a great deal overnight but it made for pleasant riding and the traffic was practically non-existent. However I also decided that I didn’t want to have to deal with traffic this morning so I headed off along the cycle path to Lake Burley Griffin. I haven’t been this way in a very, very long time but I used to cycle it regularly years ago, when I used to work in Woden. The thing is, its a great cycle to Woden because it’s mostly downhill but what goes down must go up, and that’s what it’s like on the return trip!

A woman out walking 4 young labradors off leashes this morning had me slowing right down (and I wasn’t going particularly fast to begin with) and eventually stopping, as she wasn’t making any effort to call them back and they had absolutely no road (or cycle path) sense. I’m all for people out walking¬†their¬†dogs but please maintain some sort of control, especially when bikes are around!

On the return trip I was cycling along minding my own business when I looked up, refocused and looked again – almost coming face to face with a big roo on the side of the path. Again I slowed right down, preparing to stop, but he just looked at me and then bounded off in the other direction.

Tomorrow: the plan is to swim early and then face the shops for the final time. I’m also hoping to get down south to drop off some pressies to a good friend who I haven’t seen in ages. And tomorrow night, as tradition dictates in my household, I will watch the Christmas carols on TV, with a side of ¬†GF fruit mince pies and Baileys to help them go down! ¬†ūüôā

‚ÄúTTFN Ta Ta For Now!‚Ä̬†‚Äē A.A. Milne

Saturday

22 Dec

22 Dec 2012_Baby barn owlsPlease excuse my complete and utter lack of originality for today’s title – I really couldn’t think of anything deep and meaningful, witty, ironic, or any number of other adjectives! It is what it is!

Today started with an early morning run of 17km, before it got too hot. Even by the end of the run, about 7.30am, it was starting to feel really warm, and I was definitely hot and sweaty. Its been a while since I’ve run this distance – probably the half¬†ironman¬†in Port Macquarie was the last time I’d run further. The plan was to take it easy because the long run is really about time on my feet, rather than pace. The run itself was uneventful. There were a few other people out running, obviously with the same idea as me – to beat the heat.

After a shower and brekkie consisting of a ricotta and herb egg white omelette with toast (delicious) we headed out to DFO for some Christmas shopping. Why is it when I go Christmas shopping for others I always see things I want? This morning was no different and I ended up purchasing a pair of flats from Windsor Smith for $40 (originally $120).

We then braced ourselves for the Mall but actually it wasn’t that bad. I think we managed one present here!

This afternoon I defrosted the freezer – a job that hasn’t been done in a very, very long time. In fact, the space in the freezer had diminished due to the amount of ice in there – it looked like cavern! It was amazing what I found hidden under layers of ice! I also managed to find some time to bake banana-apple-chia bread – a healthy, delicious and gluten-free version of banana bread. So I have accomplished some things today.:)

Tomorrow: the plan is to cycle in the morning before attempting more Christmas shopping.

‚ÄúNever put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.‚Ä̬†‚Äē Mark Twain