Monthly Archives: January 2012

Holy wow!

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I went riding!  Near a mountain!  There were hills!  And sticks and rocks and bumpy bits and hills and my legs hurt and I was quite slow and I loved every minute 🙂

What possibly made me look quite silly was that I was riding with a mountain biking expert…and we were only really on the outskirts of mountain biking.  A dip of the toe in mountain biking water on my poor little commuter (geared, but still very much designed for the casual ride), so the expert went careening along and I went wobbling after.

I’m not sure what the best part was.  It may have been going downhill with my brakes squealing in protest as I crawled at snail’s pace behind my trailblazing companion.  It may have been my total and utter joy at finally reaching the top of an agonising, thighs screaming hill.  Another possible contender was going over a tiny log and nearly face-planting into my handlebars.  Or even the hill that, ‘there was no chance [I] could get up on a casual bike.  Honestly, just walk it.’

Or was it once we finally got up fairly high, then had the complete and utter joy of going down steep roads really, really fast with no brakes on hoping for the best?

Although you may be thinking the latter has all the votes, I would say it was a combination of all the above (and more!) that made it super fun.  It was also perfectly blue skies and a lovely temperature.

Whee!  Again!

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Injury!

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The inevitable has happened – I have an injury.  And not just any injury according to Dr. Google: a groin pull.

Yeah, it’s not what it sounds like (really!).  It’s actually in my left thigh, from about the middle up to the hip.  It started maybe a week and a half ago, but only when I’d actually finished running did I feel it.  So I didn’t worry too much, did a bit of extra stretching and continued on with routine as normal.

Come Sunday, and I went for a walk up in the hills…and after about 2km had to turn back because my leg hurt, and at that point I knew something bad was happening.  Did some more stretching, did some Google searching, took a couple of days off running and hoped for the best.

Yesterday, I laced up my shoes and got going at 11:00PM (yes, you heard right!) following my friends’ engagement celebration dinner (weddings everywhere over here, zomg).  And within 20-30 seconds of actually starting to run had to stop because there it was, leg twinge!

I cried.  For the fitness I’ll lose, and the weight I won’t.

My first running battle scar (so to speak) and I hate it!  I need to get used to it, because runners are notoriously prone to injuries everywhere, but it doesn’t mean I’ll ever, ever like it.

So now I’m on a week long running ban, and am stretching like a mad woman every morning and night to try and get this thing to stop.  Because, as I’ve been told, the pain is a way of that muscle telling my body, ‘No, no, stop!  Not ready yet!’

In related news, I’ve started a calorie counting exercise!  I’m not very good at it, it turns out.  Today, after having breakfast, lunch, dinner, and about 15 maltichocs (which are like maltesers but AMAZING) I’m still about 500 calories underneath my recommended intake…which is about 500 calories less than I would need to maintain my weight.  This is bad.  This is eating into muscle territory but damnit, I don’t want any more food!

Who’d have thought that my problem with calorie counting would be that I don’t eat enough?

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Week 8 ahoy!

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This morning’s run was the hardest run that I have done to date!  Which, considering I’ve only been running for 2-3 months, isn’t really saying a lot.  Doesn’t mean it wasn’t hard!

And it was hard.

Why?

Well, for two (maybe even three!) reasons:

1. It was hot.  Oz Weather (you lying jerk!) told me it was about 26C outside.  I’ve been in 26C, and I’ve been in 30C, and I know which one it felt like in the sun!

2. It was windy.  Sort of a warm-ish wind that was kind of nice at times, but when it was a strong head-wind almost pushing me backwards wasn’t quite as nice.

(And 3. I did W8D1 for the first time, so I was tacking an extra 3 minutes on the end of the run that I hadn’t done before).

So it wasn’t my most inspiring run.  According to the program, it was certainly my slowest (which I had suspected due to the fact that I was being overtaken by ants).  And for the second half of it I just wanted to collapse on the ground and mope.  But!  I didn’t.  I finished it and, my God, was I happy when it was over!  I took my heart rate (175bpm) and stumbled over to the nearest drinking fountain to drench myself in the couple of mls of water it manage to spurt out every 10 seconds (refreshing!).

In other running news, I have signed up for not one but TWO (2!) 5K races this year.  First one is in April at my usual stomping grounds (home advantage!), second one is in July and is my attempt at fundraising (I’ve chosen the Peter Mac centre to support).  So now I have goal!  Two goals.  Three goals, if you count losing weight as a goal.  Which I do.  So that makes three.

Have been struggling lately at my inability to lose any weight, but that’s something for another day.

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Mum wants an iPad

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My mum wants an iPad.  Which, if she was the usual sort of mum, wouldn’t really be a problem.  My sister has an iPad2 – she’s a mum (although for her I think it’s become a larger platform on which to play Smurfs, her latest obsession).  I’m sure many mums have iPads and can use them to their fullest.

But when you’re unable to answer a mobile phone, an iPad seems a huge leap in difficulty.

I love my mum, I do.  But she is technologically…well…backward.  Her experience with computers is:

– turn computer on.

– open Solitaire.

– play Solitaire.

– turn computer off.

And she hasn’t done that in many years.  Answering her mobile was a whole other lesson.

“It’s green for go, red for stop.  So press the green button to answer a call…”

“Which button?”

“The green one, mum…that one.  It lights up green.”

“And how do I hang up?”

“The red button.”

“Which one?”

“The one that lights up red.”

“Okay.  How do I make a call?”

“Unlock the keypad…”

“How do I do that?”

Half an hour later, no progress had been made, and her phone lay useless on the table as she headed off to do her shopping.  It remained useless on the table for another week, at which point it had lost all charge (and she seemed kind of surprised by this).

Now, she at least carries it with her, if it only gets charged once every six months when either dad or I remember to put it on for her (now I’m not at home it’s dad’s responsibility, I have no idea what’s going on with it now).

However, mum has decided that she would like to give technology another go – with an iPad.  Why an iPad?  Well, it’s a fairly sensible reason, actually.  For reading.

See, books are expensive.  And wonderful, we love books, we love to hold books and the sensation of turning the pages.  And we go into bookshops like kids into toy stores.  But when you spend $50/week on books, and you’re not made of money, it tends to add up.  So mum has decided that she would like to invest in a thing to read and download books on to save a bit of money.  Also, she’s completely run out of bookcase room (there’s books on books on books behind books in front of books).

And, for some reason, mum has decided that the iPad is the best platform on which to do this (to be honest, they do have a much larger screen than a lot of the eReaders around, which she would need).

I have complete and total faith in her getting completely in confused in learning how to use it.  But I also have complete and total faith that that would not stop her from trying until she gets it right.  We’re stubborn that way.

Success!

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So, probably should have posted about this when it first happened.  But, about a week ago, I achieved one of the first goals I made for myself when I started running – I wanted to do a full lap of the park (~3.2km) without stopping.

Honestly, I was pretty freaking ecstatic when I did it.  I ran a whole lap!  And I’ve done it another 4 times!  I actually am starting to feel like a legitimate runner now.  Especially because (on the basis of this achievement) I signed myself up for a 5k in July!  Of course, the Expert now thinks I should have signed up for the 10k because of ‘how fast I improve’, but for my first proper run (unless I do another one in the meantime), I think it’s best to start small.  Baby steps.  And even then, I can simply push it and see how fast I can go!  I’ve signed up for the 30-35 minute wave, but my aim is to be as close to 30 minutes as possible.  If under – wow!!  But that’s a huge goal when simply finishing will be enough for me.

So that’s where the running’s at!  I’m doing week 7 at the moment (3×25 minute runs), with one “free run” per week (which have been running laps and seeing how fast I do it).  As of, well, today I’m going to add in some extra strength and fitness training which I’ve gotten from Runner’s World magazine.

Sadly, haven’t really seen any body changes (ie. haven’t really lost any weight), except that my arms are looking more defined.  I’m thinking that I need to get even stricter with my diet (the other day I worked and did not eat a single piece of chocolate!  Not even a pastille!  Good habit to get into), and load up the vegies and protein.  But, the stronger I get and the further I can run, the more I’ll burn.  And the more muscle mass I have, the more I’ll burn!  Next investment will be weights.  Also, wanting to start yoga/pilates – for relaxation and building of lean muscle.  Next plan after that, at the end of this semester, is to join a tennis club and get playing.

I’m seriously excited!

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New things!

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I just went for one of the most satisfying, if not THE most satisfying, runs ever.  Which, considering I’ve only been running for about 3 months, probably isn’t saying all that much.  Nevertheless, I’m putting it out there!

I was torn between doing W6D2 again, or just going straight on to W6D3.  I conferred with an expert, whose immediate response when I asked if I should repeat a day was,

‘Pfft, no!”

So that seemed pretty conclusive.  As a result, I laced up my shoes, forced myself to have a Power Gel (GROSS but I hadn’t eaten in 6.5 hours so it was that or collapse half-way through the run) and headed out into the evening to see if I could completely exhaust myself.

 

http://www.anaconda.com.au/Product/Bikes-and-Accessories/Food/Power-Gel-Chocolate

""It's like crystal meth in a can! It's crystal meth in a can! Powerthirst is crystal meth!"

The fact was, giving up was not even close to being on the cards.  It was as far away from the cards as it could possibly get.  One way or another, I was going to run for 25 minutes.  It didn’t matter if I were to be overtaken by snails or power walking old ladies, I was not going to stop.

And I didn’t!

I ran for 25 minutes.  My goal a few weeks ago was to run a lap of Princes Park and, by God, I did it.  Ran just over  a lap, actually.  Just over 3km.  That’s more the half-way to 5km!  (If anyone needs the calculations I used to work that out, just ask. I’m more than happy to provide them with a step by step explanation).

As far as pacing goes…well, those power walking old ladies smashed me.  Towards the end, it was barely faster than a strong walk.  But whatever!  Right now, this is strength training/distance training.  I’m not trying to go fast, I’m trying to not collapse in an embarrassing heap before the timer dings and the man helpfully says, ‘Cool down!’ at which point I weep and kiss his feet.

In news that isn’t related to running (by GOD what?)…I have a new phone.

What?

Yep.  It’s an iPhone.  An iPhone 4S 32Gb, thank you.  A white one.  Pretty shiny!

Also, a new bag.

It's like a sunset, if the sunset was green and upside down. And on a bag.

It’s brilliant!  It fits heaps, even though it doesn’t look like it will.  It’s an awesome colour (that there is sure the colour I got!), it’ll last forever (watch out, archaeologists of 3012!) and it’s got a handy strap to stabilise the bag while I’m riding.

Pretty stoked!  Now to get up confidence riding around the place so I can ride to work and uni and put this bad boy to good use.

Word.

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First run for 2012!

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Wowee!  Just went on my first run for 2012 (as the title would suggest).  And, as I said earlier, did go for W6D2.  And boy, did it feel good!  For the last two minutes tried to gun it as much as I could, then did 20 push ups, 20 tricep dips (legs fully extended), then as long a plank as my exhausted arms, legs and core would let me.  Almost managed 1 minute, collapsed at the 50sec mark and felt furious at myself for it!  Gah!  So close!

But, I am now officially exhausted.  I’ve had Sustagen, water, and a shower (finishing with purely cold water – THAT wakes you up!)…and now I’ve collapsed in bed, feeling decidedly leisurely!

Good start to 2012, running style =)

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