Tag Archives: coffee

Only 39.2km to go!

28 Jun

This morning I managed a 3km jog without stopping or walking. Yay! So, in marathon terms I only have another 39.2km to run!

I dressed more appropriately for a run today – tights plus singlet and long sleeved lightweight running top. I looked more like a runner than the Michelin woman.

Fortunately it wasn’t a frosty morning and it was quite pleasant to be out, even though it was still under the cover of darkness. At one point, early in my run, two dogs came rushing out from a yard, growling as they went. Ok, so they were only cocker spaniels but even so, they were growling. Do I stop, run faster or what? I can’t really afford to run any faster because I don’t want to aggravate the injury. Fortunately the owner came rushing out behind them, calling them back and apologising to me all in the same breath. Crisis averted!

The rest of the run was uneventful, thank goodness; I can’t handle too much excitement at 6am! Back home and it was on with a core strengthening session that mostly involved the swiss ball. But first the wall sit – I haven’t been able to do this since my injury. However today I managed 3 sets of 45 secs. Then there was a series of back extensions, superman, twisting crunches, squats, hamstring curls and hip raises – all with the swiss ball. And finishing with push ups and crunches with a medicine ball. A good workout all in all.

I’m having a hungry day. I’m not sure why – maybe the 3km jog?!!!!! If that’s the case, what will I be like once my distances increase?!!!

For breakfast this morning I had the banana quinoa porridge, topping it off with some raspberries. Lunch was a tuna and coleslaw pita pocket. Well this was a huge fail in the pocket department – it totally disintegrated in my hands today while I was trying to eat it. It was not a pretty sight! I had coleslaw and tune and pita pocket going in all directions, and not in the general direction of my mouth!

I went over to the Canberra Centre at lunchtime to buy some more Nespresso pods (and also to get a free cup of coffee). 🙂 Today I tried one of the flavoured pods – the ciocattino. I’m not usually one for flavoured coffee but oh my, this tasted divine. Maybe it’s the chocolate deprivation I’ve been feeling since I started the 12 week program! Whatever, I bought 2 sleeves of the chocolate pods! It’s not sweet but instead tastes like a square of dark chocolate has been added to the coffee. Mmm mmm! I must try the caramel and vanilla ones at some stage.

And while shopping at Coles tonight I discovered their own brand of quinoa cups and quinoa and brown rice cups. Both are gluten free and will be so handy for adding to salads etc.



A day in the life of a 12WBTer

19 Jun

5.30am: weigh in day so I was out of bed and getting on the scales before having my regulation black coffee to kick start my day. Woo hoo! Lost 500g. That makes a total of 2kg lost since I started the program. Performed a little happy dance 🙂

6am-7am: workout time! This morning I had a cardio session and I was going to introduce some running. Omg this was going to be a big thing for me after 5 weeks of no running. Deep breaths!

I began with a 5min warm up walk on the treadmill before moving to the xtrainer for 10mins. On to the bike now for 10mins and then…this was it…10mins on the treadmill. Now I had to start trying some run intervals. On the treadmill screen I had the running track graphic and so I decided to alternate between 100m walks and 100m slow jogs. I had been instructed to run at the same pace as my brisk walking pace ie 6.5kph, so I certainly wasn’t setting a blistering pace! There were no problems with the running. Then it was on to my final 10mins on the xtrainer before finishing with 50 push-ups and 4 x 60sec planks.

And that was all I had time for before hitting the showers before the inevitable change room rush and scrum.

7.30am: finally…breakfast! Today I had oven roasted tomatoes on ricotta topped toast. It was also meant to have basil on it as well but my basil has withered and died in this cold weather and I only had coriander in the fridge. Oh well, it tasted fine anyway.

8.30am: work.

10.30am: tummy grumbles were telling me that it must be morning tea time. Ignored the half empty packet of Tim Tams on the table in the middle of our bay, and instead had corn thins topped with extra light cream cheese, chopped almonds and honey. Water! I must remember to drink more water. In this weather it’s so easy to forget even though I do have a bright blue water jug on my desk. I can hardly miss it!

12.30pm: meeting Mr B for lunch at Gus’s. Only problem is that I hadn’t anticipated it being so busy. The only tables available were outside and the heating wasn’t great. But I had no choice. I was hoping that the pumpkin soup I ordered would warm me up, along with long black. The soup might’ve done the trick if it had been a lot warmer than what it was – it was a bit of a disappointment. Thank goodness for good company!

4.30pm: feeling a bit peckish so I had an apple. This would keep me going until dinner…hopefully.

5.30pm: a brisk 10min walk to the car. It’s so cold even though I’ve got on a warm coat, scarf and gloves, as well as tights and boots.

6.15pm: start cooking dinner. Tonight we have Chicken Tikka curry with cauliflower mash. The chicken thighs had been marinating in a mixture of tikka curry paste and natural yoghurt since last night so it was just a matter of browning these in the frypan before adding chicken stock and coconut cream. I had doubled the recipe but now I realise I needn’t have doubled the stock and cream – too much liquid. Oh well, I’ll know for next time! There was enough left over for lunch tomorrow so that’s lunch sorted.

7pm: finally sit down to dinner. The curry was very mild but tasty nonetheless. And I’m not sure whether Mr CJ actually noticed that the mash was cauliflower and not potato. He didn’t comment anyway, and ate the lot!

7.30pm: pack the gym bag for tomorrow morning’s weight session. Put on a load of washing.

Now: doing my blog entry. Then I’ll have my nightly treat – a Jarrah hot chocolate. Maybe some knitting. Then off to bed. 🙂


Super Saturday

15 Jun

It’s been a super Saturday in more ways than one today. Yes, the SSS happened this morning, with more intensity than usual because I was having my good friend Ruth around for lunch and I needed to burn a few more calories than normal. Mind you, there was also a lot of running around cleaning, dusting etc once I got home from the gym to make the place more presentable!

Now don’t be alarmed! I haven’t fallen off the wagon. No siree, lucky Ruth was being treated to a 12WBT-themed lunch to prove that you can entertain while on the program.

The menu:
Entree: Salmon and grilled vegetable terrine with ricotta

Main: minestrone with lentils & zucchini with toasted seeded wholegrain roll

Dessert: mini chocolate fudge cakes with icecream

To drink: water flavoured with lemon juice and at the end of the meal, a cappuccino (courtesy of my Nespresso machine)

It was a lovely afternoon 🙂

And a quick shout out for this morning’s breakfast, French toast with banana, berries & maple syrup. It was soooo good and especially appreciated after my SSS this morning.


Finally, there was a stunning sky this evening.

Truly a super Saturday 🙂

Operation Marshmallow to Muscle

13 May

5.50am: cardio session + abs
Session: 10 x 1 min hard efforts (1 min easy spin) bike intervals on wind trainer; 1min mountain climbers & squat thrusts with medicine balls; abs – 3 exercises x 3 sets; stretches
Time: 53.26min
AHR: 133; MHR: 221
Cals: 304

Operation Marshmallow to Muscle is officially underway. The soft squishy middle needs to go, or at least morph into something less soft and squishy. Muscles hopefully will be revealed.

So it’s goodbye…temporarily…to chocolate, magnum icecreams, sponge cake with jam and cream, and all the other tasty delights I have been…ahem…indulging in lately. Hey, it was Mother’s Day after all! But for the next 12 weeks, unless it’s on my nutrition plan it’s not part of my food consumption.

For the past few months I have enjoyed the luxury of not having to get up really early in the morning to exercise but instead I have been running at lunchtime or after work. Well, things are about to change…well not about to, they have! This morning I was up on my bike on the windtrainer at 5.50am doing a session of 40mins which included 10 x 1 min hard intervals. It’s been a while since I’ve been on my bike so yesterday afternoon I had to dust off the cobwebs and brush out the leaves that were caught up in the spokes. Mr CJ sprayed the bike with insect repellent so I didn’t experience any nasty creepy crawly surprises this morning.

Last night I prepared today’s lunch and cooked a couple of chicken breasts in preparation for tonight’s meal (chicken noodle soup). I diarised my exercise commitments for the week and then I breathed deeply. I can do this! I have a secret weapon for night times which are my downfall when it comes to snacking and when I tend to hover around the pantry and fridge. This secret weapon will be revealed all in good time. 🙂

This morning I weighed myself (gulp), took measurements (bigger gulp) and a ‘before’ photo (omigawd). However, these stats and the photo will remain private – a girl has to retain some mystery. 🙂

So the bike intervals were done – hot and sweaty work and 10 intervals seemed to take forever. This was followed by 1 minute of mountain climbers and then 1 minute of squat thrusts with the medicine ball. Can I just put it out there now that I hate mountain climbers with a passion. In fact, they are up there with burpees as things I don’t love at all. Anyway I started the mountain climbers at speed (stupid, stupid, stupid) and promptly died about 30 seconds in. How could it possibly be that only 30 secs have gone by? I did some more at a slightly slower pace. Still 20 secs to go. @#$%! Another one…or…two…or…three…done.quite.slowly…because I could hardly move at this stage! Ok, now let’s do some squat thrusts. Awesome! With a heavy medicine ball. Double awesome! Squat…now…what?! Stand up raising the heavy (did I mention this?) ball above my head. Do this for a minute. I cannot believe how out of practice and out of shape I am. Running certainly does not prepare one for this. Trust me on that.

Okay, now I can lie down. Thank goodness. Yes, yes, I know…it’s not rest time, its abs time. Three sets of three different abs exercises. I watch the video for each ab exercise intently and then try to mimic the action. Somehow I don’t think my efforts quite replicate Mish’s graceful actions but hey, it’s close (ok I look like a dying bug), and you know what, right now close enough is good enough.

Finally it’s time for stretches. Now this bit I like and I can feel the stretches doing me good. I confess I don’t do these stretches often enough so I will religiously do them as part of my program *cross my heart*. When the program says ’stretch’ I will stretch. 🙂

This afternoon I hit a brick wall figuratively speaking – yep, the dreaded mid-afternoon slump. I was almost face planting the keyboard. I’m blaming it on the early morning cardio session. I resorted to a caffeine kick (black coffee) as well as some afternoon tea (a designated, Mish-approved snack). Hopefully this is only a temporary state and I will soon get used to the early morning exercise sessions.

One day down; 83 days to go…

This morning’s breakfast – apple & ricotta toast

The promise of coffee for the caffeinista sistas!

11 May

7.49am: Gindy parkrun
Distance: 6km (inc 1km warm up)
Time: 31.49min
Pace: 5.15min/km
Cals: 350

Parkrun results:
49th across the line, 1st in age group
Time: 25.39min (this included stopping to tie up shoe laces)

Weather: 6*c, wind – calm; a chilly start but a gorgeous sunny morning

It seemed really strange driving to the start of parkrun this morning as I usually run down and then run home afterwards. But not today. Why? Well there is the Mothers Day Classic 10km tomorrow so I’m saving myself(!), and Gary was shouting the caffeinista sistas aka CJ and Ruth, a coffee for doing the marathon last month. Just quietly – that was the real reason I showed up for parkrun today!Thank you Gary!

It was a chilly start this morning but we soon warmed up on the 5km run – those tricky little hills just pop up when you least expect them! That first one up to the bridge can be particularly nasty – very short and sharp. Deek’s female Indigenous squad were marshalling today as they are running tomorrow. They are training to run New York marathon later this year, as we are!

Then it was off to Birrigai Cafe for a coffee that Gary promised us for running the Canberra marathon. Trust me it was a well earned coffee! And as a special treat, Ruth also had a choccie biscuit and I had a Jaffa slice – very delicious and totally negated any calories I may have earned today from the run! Oh well, the countdown is on – only 2 more sleeps and the challenge is on (deep breath CJ).

This afternoon I baked my first ever sponge so wasn’t sure how this would turn out. I used a recipe from the Cooks Companion – my Stephanie Alexander cooking bible. I remember my nana used to make a sponge using a recipe that didn’t have the usual plain or SR flour but instead used cornflour. This is what this recipe had – cornflour, custard powder, cream of tartar, carb soda, caster sugar and eggs. It baked perfectly and, apart from a tricky situation where it stuck to the wire rack while cooling, there were no dramas. It has now been sliced horizontally and sandwiched with strawberry jam and cream.

Tomorrow its Mothers Day. So why am I getting up early to run 10km? I’m still wondering that myself!

Blue skies & sunshine

30 Mar

7.09am session: long run
Distance: 25km (inc 5km parkrun)
Time: 2hr 27.46min (5km – 25.48min)
Pace: 5.54min/km
Cals: 1,468
Weather: (7am) – 3.5*c, wind – calm
(10am) – 12.9*c, wind – NNW, 6kph

Wow, it was a chilly start to the run this morning, requiring a spray jacket until I warmed up. I was grateful for the 7km warm up run before the parkrun because it was so painfully slow. However by the time the parkrun started, I had warmed up and had a much more comfortable run. Met up with Ruth before the start of parkrun and also chatted briefly to Gary.

I was pretty happy with my parkrun this morning. The plan was not to knock myself out but to run comfortably as I still had to get home. Last time I ran this course I did precisely that (ie knocked myself out and ran a PB) which made the trip home long and slow. So I paced myself well today and finished with plenty left in the legs to run another 13km home.

Ruth and I then ran part of Lake Ginninderra and the peninsular together before going our respective ways. It was nice to have company for 6km of the 13km run home. The rest of the run was uneventful and I felt fine. It was another beautiful day – blue skies and sunshine. I wonder how long this will last? Well, that’s our second last long run done before the big one, and next week’s long run really isn’t one – its only about 13km.

Met up with Ruth again a bit later for lunch at Kingston and Co. By then both of us were starving – my last meal was at 5am! It was crazy busy at the Mall – so many people obviously doing last minute Easter shopping. So it was nice to sit down, relax and enjoy a yummy meal and a great coffee. Mr B joined us a little later.

Stromlo Forest Park run

24 Mar

Today’s session: vets run @ Stromlo Forest Park
Distance: 8km (+1.2km warm up)
Time: 43.22min
Pace: 5.15min/km
Cals: 480
Start group: 28
Finish place: 59
Weather: (9.50am) 15.4*c, wind – N, 6kph

Some mornings are better spent staying in bed rather than getting up and getting ready for a run. Not any run, mind, but a monthly vets handicap run at Stromlo Forest Park. The venue alone should’ve been enough to put me off – I’m not a fan of grassy undulating tracks. Running 38km yesterday should’ve been enough of a reason to miss this morning’s run.

So why was I there this morning, having one of the worst runs of my running life? Stupidity? Madness? Insanity? Who knows? Catching up with other runners who I don’t see on a day-to-day basis – possibly. Maybe for the coffee and chat afterwards at the Yarralumla Nursery cafe – probably! The things I do for coffee! 🙂

Anyway back to that god-awful run. It was not pretty. The first kilometre was the hardest and I really seriously doubted that I would make the distance. However I know from experience that the first kilometre can be pretty awful and things will improve. Today, marginally. Everyone else seemed to be running well, which is why many runners were passing me and I was passing very few others, at least initially.

To sum up my run today – that’s 43.22min I’m not going to get back! 😉 Happy to finish. Even happier to go and have coffee with Ruth, Margaret & Ewen. Makes it all worthwhile really.


Charley horse

16 Mar

Last night I experienced an excruciating Charley Horse in my calf.

“A what?” you may well ask.

A Charley Horse is a term for a leg cramp that usually occurs when you’re sleeping. Apparently.

This was news to me too. Can’t say that I’d heard of this term before.

According to phrases.org.uk it’s a North American phrase that originated from baseball to describe a leg cramp. Apparently it’s a term that appears to be confined to North America and is not used or heard of in other English-speaking countries.

Enough of the trivia. There is nothing trivial about the pain you experience when woken by a calf cramping in the early hours of the morning. It would have to rate as one of the worst ways to be woken from sleep. Then I spent the next hour trying not to stretch my leg again, which seems to set off further cramping.

So why the cramping? Maybe I’m not drinking enough water? So I am consciously increasing my intake today. Lets hope this makes a difference.

Caught up with Ruth, Margaret, Ewen & Norma for coffee this morning at Birrigai Cafe down by Lake Ginninderra, the post-parkrun venue for coffee and brekkie. Janene also dropped by to say hi as well. 🙂


Full stop

9 Mar

Session: long run inc 5km parkrun (7.04am)

Distance: 26km
Time: 2hr 29.25min (24.03min for 5km)
Pace: 5.44min/km
Cals: 1,508
Weather: 11.5*c, wind – N, 6kph (7.04am)
20.6*c, wind – NW, 6kph (10.30am)

Today’s highlights:
Bumping into Ruth on the way to parkrun
Chatting to Gary, Margaret, Jenni & Roger A at parkrun
Parkrun PB 🙂
Chatting to Roger P on the way home
Chatting with Louy at Kingston & Co post-run

Sleeps to marathon: 36

Another early rising so I could have something to eat well before leaving home for this morning’s long run. I’m feeling a bit like the hamster on the wheel at the moment – always running but going nowhere fast.

The first 7km of the run took me down to the lake and to the start of parkrun. Bumped into Ruth, who was doing her long run before leaving for a weekend in Wollongong, so we had a bit of a natter before heading on our respective ways. This part of the run wasn’t particularly great so was glad to stop at the parkrun site for a breather. Caught up with Gary, Margaret and Jenni before the start.

The 5km run went well. The plan was to run it comfortably, remembering that I still had 14km to run home after parkrun. But the best laid plans…..yep, you get the picture! So I ended up doing a 32sec PB on this course, finishing the 5km in 24.03min, not that I knew this at the time. Another pleasant chat after the run then it was time to head home.

The last 14km felt like it was never going to end. I was tired, very tired. Chatted briefly with Roger P who was cycling around the lake. I have to say I was eyeing off his bike and wondering how I could hijack it to get me home. Still I continued on my way, concentrating on putting one foot in front of the other, until finally, at last, 26km ticked over on the Garmin.

That’s it – 26km today; 92km for the week. Full stop. 🙂

At this stage I’ve completed 12km of my long run. (Photo credit: Gary Bowen)

Before, during & after

2 Mar

Session: long run

Distance: 35km
Time: 3hr 47.01min
Pace: 6.29min/km
Cals: 2,048

5am: really? The alarm? Already? Sheesh, where did the night go? It hasn’t helped that the neighbour has pulled an all-nighter i.e. have all his mates around for band practice and karaoke. I think they’re just leaving now. Breakfast of toasted bun topped with ricotta and berries, and a much-needed black coffee. I can hear the wind outside – it sounds blustery.

Check to make sure the bag is packed for the post-run recovery (towels to dry off after standing in the water, electrolyte drink, potato chips (carbs & salt)) and put in the car. Mr N will collect us after the run and deliver us to a cafe somewhere for that much-anticipated post-run coffee 🙂

6.50am: leave home for the run down to Acton Ferry Terminal. Slight miscalculation with distance – 12km, not the 10km I thought it was. Meet up with Ruth and then we started the West Basin run. It was great running with company and we solved the problems of the world, reminisced about times and runs past and generally just enjoyed a good old natter as we made our way around the lake. IMHO aches and pains never feel half as bad when shared with company.

Ruth still had 5km to do to make 32km (my run from home meant that I was 3km ahead on totals) and so once we reached Acton Ferry Terminal once again, a decision was made to run an additional 2.5km toward the Carillion and then return, to make the distance. The run out toward the Carillion was hard – a strong, blustery headwind made any sort of conversation difficult. It was a case of head down and grind out those couple of kms before turning and heading back. The return trip was far more pleasant and soon we were back at Acton Ferry Terminal where the lovely Liz was waiting for us so we could head over to Urban Food for a much-needed coffee.

EXCEPT I never got to have my coffee! Mr N had come down to pick us up but by the time he got there he was told that there was a 20min wait for coffee. He didn’t want to wait that long. In the meantime our coffees had eventually arrived (about 20min after ordering) and because I had also bought a can of Diet Coke, I graciously gave him my coffee. Yes, I know, very noble of me 🙂

Later, after a shower and fresh change of clothes, Ruth and I headed off to watch Mr B in the Olympic distance tri as well as collect our numbers for tomorrow’s Women’s & Girls’ fun run. It was great to catch up with Charlie who I hadn’t seen in such a long time. It was not so great getting absolutely soaked in the spray from the Captain Cook jet on our way to collect our numbers. It was great to see Mr B do so well in his event. It was not so great freezing in the cold windy weather.

Tonight sons #1 & #2 are coming over for dinner and we are having lamb roast and veggies (pumpkin, potatoes, eggplant, zucchini, capsicum, onion and garlic), with lemon cheesecake for dessert. 🙂

“It hurts up to a point and then it doesn’t get any worse,” – Ann Trason