Sunday, 30 September 2007

Albert Park Lake

I took the two Andrews running at Albert Park Lake this morning. They were both ready when I arrived to pick them up, but being 13 and 12 (less 1 day) respectively, neither had thought to bring any water. That organised, we headed off into town, chatting about the run ahead. They are both keen sportsmen and enjoy running, so they were really looking forward to it.

I made good use of the info I've learned from the running course, and gave the boys a proper warm up. We discussed stuff like checking how your body is feeling during the warm up and deciding whether or not you should run. We weren't on a time schedule and I didn't remember my HRM, so we had no idea of the time or pace. We just headed off at a nice steady run after our warm up. One of the boys has the remnants of a nasty cough and we had to drop back to a walk a couple of times so that he could cough properly but the rest of the time we jogged happily along. At the end, just to show that we could, we surged to the car, which the boys loved. I just ran along behind them, enjoying the fact that I still had energy left to run strongly. We finished up with some stretching and then headed off to breakfast.

It was a little chilly. I had expected to be too hot, as the temperature was 13 degrees, but the breeze kept it a fair bit cooler. There were quite a few runners out and about, but the boys were definitely the youngest runners out there. It's interesting watching how people treat them. I've noticed this before when I've been out with the boys. When I'm running with adults, groups of three or more people will share the path to go past two abreast on each side, but they don't make the same concession for the boys.

We had an amusing encounter with a small dog. I spotted a group of people walking with two small dogs up ahead and warned the boys about the dangers of tripping over dogs. We slowed down a little as we ran past but the walkers made no attempt to keep their dogs away from us. One behaved beautifully and ignored us, but the other one dashed straight up to one of the Andrews, who tried to dodge unsuccessfully and ended up jumping across the dog, at which stage it decided it was interested in the other Andrew. The acrobatics were hilarious. Eventually the owner called the dog away.

We later saw someone walking a couple of huge dogs, and the boys had great fun working out what they'd do if those dogs decided to run towards them. I was half hoping they would as I think it would have been highly entertaining to see the two Andrews attempting to hurdle the larger dogs. Fortunately for the dogs and for the Andrews, the dog owner had them safely on a leash.

Even though I've lived in Melbourne on and off for twenty of the last thirty years, I've never gone around Albert Park Lake before. It was a fabulous run. We all enjoyed ourselves and I'm sure we'll be back to do it again. We had a chat about our next run, and we'll probably go back to the Tan as only one of the Andrews has done this run. We also talked about fun runs, and they are both keen to come along to a fun run with me. That's going to depend on all their sporting commitments. Fortunately for me, cricket season hasn't kicked off yet so I was able to have them both this morning.

I treated the boys to breakfast, giving them the choice of a bacon and eggs breakfast or Maccas. They chose the bacon and eggs option. We headed down Clarendon Street, where we found the Groove cafe. The food was delicious and both boys managed to polish off enormous breakfasts. It's great being an aunty and being able to spoil my nephews.

By the time we finished breakfast, we were a little late for getting one of my nephews to church on time, so I decided that I'd finish my birthday shopping and give Andrew his present a day early. I'd bought him a skateboard yesterday, but I wanted to buy him knee guards to use with it. He's been really excited about his birthday, so he was more than happy to start it today. I won't get to see him tomorrow, so it worked out really well for both of us.

All in all it was a successful expedition, and the three of us will definitely go running together again.

Friday, 28 September 2007

Personal training

A quick one tonight as I'm heading off to Melbourne shortly for the long weekend.

I had my PT session this morning. Isn't it amazing how difficult it is to describe pain sometimes? I still had a twinge in my leg, but I wasn't really sure what I'd hurt. It was kind of between my quad and my hammy. I felt like a dill trying to explain what it was, but Krissi took me seriously. I got the RICE and the HARM(R) talk, and now I know what to do next time it happens. If I'd only thought, I'd have worn my skins to bed last night.

I warmed up well on the treadmill, then we did light leg weights as maintenance on the leg press machine. I didn't feel any leg pain during those. As the day has progressed it's gotten gradually better and better, so I think I've lucked out. I was a little concerned about my run with the boys (Andrew and Andrew - yes, two nephews with the same name - long story) but I think I'll be fine for it.

It was so funny today at PT. I kept jumping off the leg press machine to go on to the next thing. After the third set I finally caught on and sat where I was. Yep, it was time to move. We did some chest presses and some triceps exercises and then it was time to go. I can't get over how quickly my PT session disappears nowadays.

I was going to go to Body Balance tonight, so I raced home, showered, frantically packed and headed off to the bus. I just made it .. the bus didn't. I can almost count on that bus being late, which is why I knew I could manage my packing this morning instead of doing it last night.

It was all for nothing though, as I managed to leave my phone at home in the rush. I had to head back for it instead of going to the gym. Still, I don't think I'd survive four days without my mobile.

Tomorrow I'm heading to the Royal Show. I love the Show. :-) On Sunday, I'm running around Albert Park Lake with the two Andrews. On Monday .. I haven't made any plans yet. It will just be nice to have the extra day off.

Thursday, 27 September 2007

GOFC fitness test

Today was the final session of this Group Outdoor Fitness Challenge. The time has just flown. It's hard to believe that four weeks have gone by already. It was a beautiful day for it - 7.5 degrees, blue skies, sunshine. It was so warm I didn't wear my ecofleece. Mind you, I packed it 'just in case'. I packed my summer bike gloves for the ride home too, as I was really hot on the way home on Tuesday.

We had the fitness test today. We were going to start off with the beep test but there was an equipment malfunction, so we did pushups instead. Four weeks ago I managed 22 in the minute. Today I did 34. Woohoo! The work Krissi did with me to improve my form certainly has helped. I didn't get any lower back pain until I hit the 28 mark, and I managed to squeeze out a few more pushups after that. Don't worry. I rested and reset before I kept going.

The equipment malfunction didn't go away, but there was a CD player in the car which did the job. I had really wanted to get to last time's level of 4-1 and I made it. I was really pleased by this, especially as last time I was a lot fitter, having come off the Biggest Loser Challenge before the GOFC. I also weighed 5.6 kgs less than I do now.

The agility test was a little disappointing as I thought I'd done quite well. My time was 22.8 today, which is slower than the 21.9 four weeks ago. Mind you, Krissi told us that we were almost all 0.5 to 1 second slower today. The grass was slippery, which may have made the difference.

We had the 1 km time trial. Last time it took me 5:55 secs. I took off too fast and threw up part of the way round, but I ran the whole way. My aim this time was to avoid throwing up and to still have something left at the end to surge. When I started I tried to contain my pace but I lost control of my breathing after about a minute and a half and had to stop to walk. I didn't seem able to get my breathing back under control walking either, so I think I was just too anxious about the time trial. I made an effort to relax and started running again, but I was starting to think I'd have to pull out. I gave myself a serious talking to and decided I was going to run the km and not worry about the time.

I ended up having to take two more walking breaks but I did manage to surge at the end. I was pretty cranky with myself for having to take walk breaks, but I ended up with a time of 5:41, which was an improvement on the last time. When I thought about it later I realised that once I (a) relax about the whole thing so that I breathe properly and (b) lose that 5.5 kgs again I should find it easier to run faster.

All in all I was pretty delighted with the fitness test results. The ride home was great. I made it in 16 minutes, which is faster than usual. I noticed that, even though I had tired legs after the session, I was handling the hills better than usual. I'm going to have to make sure I get out on the bike a few times before the next GOFC so that I don't lose this bike fitness I seem to be developing.

I have been feeling a bit sore today and I've pulled something in my right leg. The pain is kind of deep in my thigh, so I'm not really sure what it is yet. I had been going to do Body Attack tonight, but I decided it would be safer to give my leg some rest. Instead, I went out a bit earlier for drinks with the running girls. One of the girls was celebrating her birthday. It was great to see all those women in their work clothes. They looked terrific. I'm used to seeing them in their running gear so it was a bit of an eye opener to see them looking so business like and respectable.

On the way to drinks I stopped off to say hello to one of the old gym staff, who is now working in a chemist, as a Kate Morgan weight loss consultant. I've been feeling a bit desperate about my eating lately. I haven't been able to get back on track, so I signed up for the program today. I've no idea how it will go, but it's something different and I feel that I need to take some definite action. It's a couple of shakes a day, along with various real food snacks and dinner. I'll keep an eye on my calorie consumption, as I want to have enough energy to do my usual exercise.

Oh, I'm going to be raiding Em's site for pool running info. One of the running girls has shin splints, and we're going to give pool running a go. I'm trying it because I want to get over my dread of being seen in a swim suit and I'm more likely to go to the pool if I've arranged to meet someone. Eventually I want to get into proper swimming, as I have this crazy idea that I'd like to do a baby tri. I might even buy cleats for my bike. I'm going to try on some shoes over the weekend to get my size, as there's a great special for a shoe/pedal combination but I don't know what size shoes to buy. I had no idea that getting fit would cost me so much money!

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

GOFC, Bike Ride and Yoga

This morning I checked the weather before heading outside. I'm glad I did as it "felt like" 0.5 degrees. I decided that I'd squeeze into my Skins instead of wearing 3/4 length pants. They seemed to fit a bit better today, which was a relief. I headed off towards Lennox Gardens, really enjoying the ride. While it was a little cold, it was a lovely day. There were lots of people out and about.

I was heading over the bridge when I suddenly realised that I didn't have my back pack with me. My immediate thought was "oh well, I won't be able to lock up my bike", which was quickly followed by a more panicked "my keys, my building pass, my phone". Yes, I was locked out of my apartment. I was tempted to go back home and call a locksmith but I realised that I wasn't even able to do that without my phone.

A quick review of my options and I realised that the real estate agent was my best bet. As they didn't open until 8:30, there was no point in going home, so I continued on to the GOFC. It was a circuit session, which involved fast steps in between the rungs of two ladders (lead with one foot then the other), jumping from cone to cone, a shuttlecock relay, jumping around a pentagram and a dodge and weave run around cones. We'd do 2 mins on an activity, then run / walk around the rectangle on the outside (run the long side, walk the short side) for 2 mins. We did the circuit once and then repeated it with 1 minute intervals.

After our warmup and before the circuit we did an activity that I can't think what to call. I feel sure that I should know its name. It involved a set of four cones. We ran up to the first cone, touched the ground, ran back and touched the ground, ran to the next cone, etc etc and then did it all in reverse. I was really slow compared to everyone else but I didn't sweat it. At the end we thought we were finished but we had to do it again. Fortunately we only had to do the first half. I'm finding that these "add ons" after we finish are teaching me that I still have energy in reserve even when I think I'm all done.

While we were doing the circuit I found myself running most of the time. I had warmed up by then and was in the zone. I really enjoyed this circuit last time so I'd arrived with a really positive expectation about this morning's session. I'm glad that I didn't allow the key fiasco to ruin my enjoyment.

Krissi rode with me the first part of the way home this morning, which was pleasant. I watched her fly up to the bridge while I went the slower, longer way. One of these days I'll be able to do that. We parted company once we crossed the bridge and I headed off along the bike path to the real estate agency. It was another 3.5 km past my place, so it was a good ride. I had to wait for a while for the staff to turn up, and then they didn't have the spare key/pass. The maintenance man had it and he thought he was about an hour away from my place. My property manager kindly gave me a cup of coffee and then I headed home.

As I had all that time to kill I decided to "steal a workout". I thought through my options. The main problem was going to be my bike as the lock was also in my missing backpack, so I decided to spend the time riding. It was such a beautiful morning that it ended up being a really pleasant way to wait for the maintenance man. Stealing a workout is a concept my brother shared with me - instead of sitting or standing around waiting, I go for a walk. This morning I managed to do an extra 60 minutes of riding on top of my usual GOFC bike ride. My legs are a little tired tonight, but it was certainly preferable to waiting for a locksmith and forking out the call out fee.

I'm convinced my forgetfulness is related to that time of the month. I missed out on Body Attack last night because I left another backpack at work. I'd changed into my runners, but I'd walked off without my exercise gear. There's not time to go home, get changed and head back to the gym so I had to miss the class. When I did get home last night I surrendered to the impulse to stay there but at least I made up for it this morning.

Tonight I was really tempted to do a yoga DVD instead of heading back out, but I overcame the impulse and went to the class. I'm glad I did, as the instructor does such interesting things. Today everything "flowed". We didn't hold the poses as long as usual. It was really pleasant and the time just flew. I feel quite relaxed now. During the class I had a couple of "oh no, my quads are going to cramp" moments but I got out of the pose and relaxed before getting back into it. I really think the yoga is doing wonders for my tight quads and hamstrings. Moments like those remind me that I've got to keep it up. There are a few other moves that I just can't do at the moment but I am seeing a real improvement in other poses.

I'm planning to run to work in the morning, if all goes well. I have everything organised at the work end. All I have to manage now is the getting up and doing it. This is the last week of the GOFC and I've decided that I'm going to try to run to work on Tuesdays and Thursdays once it's over. I have been debating about doing the Fernwood Miss Military Bootcamp, but I think I'll try to get into the regular running habit instead. I don't want to leave it until it gets too warm.

We're at the "buy the T-shirts" stage of the Dragon Boat racing. The practice sessions have been organised. I'm quite looking forward to it all.

PS The Global Corporate Challenge is over. I didn't get into it this year. My average step count worked out to be 11791, which equates to 7.5 km a day. The site is really busy, as people put in their final steps, so I'm not sure how the team went or how the leaders went. If I do this next year, I think I'll make sure I do it with a group of people I see regularly. I missed the daily interaction with the team this year. It's funny though - I'm thinking that 11.5k steps isn't many, as I did it without really trying, when a few years ago I'd have been lucky to do 3k steps a day. I love being fit and healthy.

Sunday, 23 September 2007

Eyetoy Kinetic, Floriade and Yoga

This morning I just did not feel like exercising. Yesterday I had a disaster diet day and I was feeling the aftermath today. Instead of going for a run I opted for breakfast and started reading blogs. Fortunately, even though I didn't feel like going out of the apartment, I remembered that I had Eyetoy Kinetic. I bought it some time ago but today is the first time I used it.

If you've never played any Eyetoy games, I highly recommend them. They are so much fun. Eyetoy Kinetic is an exercise program. It has a personal training component and an option where you can put together your own routine. I put in my data and it started me off at beginner, which was a relief. I did the first PT session, which took about 3/4 of an hour. It's meant to be a 12 week program with three sessions a week. It looks like it will be fun. I didn't get my heart rate up into the required zone but I was trying to work out the routine today. Also, it says you need the full vision eyetoy camera which I don't have as yet, so I'll have to go and buy one. I think that will make a difference too.

Then I was off to lunch at the National Museum, followed by an afternoon walking around Floriade. The flowers were gorgeous. It was a lovely way to spend the afternoon.

When I got home I tried out my Geri Halliwell yoga DVD. It was pretty good, and I finally realised how to do something I haven't been able to do before. The instructor has explained how to do it at class, but on the DVD one of the people shows you how to do the move. It makes all the difference. I'm glad I spent the money on the DVD.

It wasn't the exercise day I had planned (bike ride or run) but I was pleased that I made some effort after all.

Friday, 21 September 2007

Weight training and style consultation

This morning I didn't end up having PT as Krissi had a refrigeration emergency. Her fridge died just after the freezer was stocked up. If it had happened a few months ago, she would have been safe leaving the frozen goods outside (ok, Canberra isn't that bad).

Krissi phoned me last night to let me know that she might be late or a no show, depending on when her new fridge was delivered. What I want to know is how on earth she convinced them to deliver between 7 and 8 am. I'm impressed.

I went to the gym and worked on my weights program. I only had half an hour so I did the four legs exercises - lunges on the step, single leg extensions, fitball hamstring curls and duradisc one legged rows. At this stage I'm just learning to balance on the duradisc - 3 reps of 60 seconds. The rowing part will come later. I'll go to the gym tomorrow and do the rest of the program.

The reason I only had half an hour is that I had to do housework this morning because the style consultant was coming over. I was out of bed at 6 am and the house was spick and span by the time I headed off to the gym. I think I've inherited this compulsive need to pretend my house is immaculate from my mother. It's not all bad though - I got her legs. As she's got spectacular legs that's probably fair exchange for the odd bout of manic housework.

The style consultation was great fun. It didn't take all that long. We went back through my wardrobe and identified a few new combinations with my old and new clothes. I told SC how it was all going and she was delighted by some of my new purchases since we went shopping. I got some advice about a few things as well. For example, I'd worn one of my new skirts with a top I had but I tucked the top in so I could show off the belt on the skirt. For years I've not work a tucked in top as I'm usually trying to hide my tummy, so I wanted to check if this was an acceptable way to wear the outfit or if it was a fashion faux pas. Fortunately, tucked in is fine. (I'm having a little chuckle at myself for actually caring!)

I had a lesson in applying makeup and then we did the fashion parade. I tried on all sorts of combinations of my clothes and had my photo taken. SC will send the photos to me and I'll post a few on here. I showed SC a before photo of my face as I came across it the other day. I really hate that photo but I'm very proud of the transformation.

I'm all dolled up at the moment. I rang a few friends and arranged to go out for dinner, as it seems a waste to spend the evening in. One of my friends is coming around after work to see my new clothes and my incredibly neat wardrobe. It will be fun showing it all off.

On the weekend I'm off to Floriade. I'm also planning to go for a run and I might make it out for a bike ride just for fun. I keep meaning to do that, but it rarely happens. I need a riding buddy. Maybe I should put up a notice at the gym.

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Outdoor fitness

It's definitely getting warmer. I think I'll be able to remove a few layers soon. I wore 3/4 running pants today instead of my Skins, which is a start. I still had my usual four layers on top, but I managed to dispense with one on the way home. I think it's a security thing. I HATE being cold.

Unfortunately, my Skins aren't fitting me very well at the moment, as I've put on weight since I bought them. I get away with it when I'm on my feet, although I seem to be pulling them up all the time. The bike is another story. They feel uncomfortable around my middle while I'm riding. I was in denial for a while, thinking it was whatever I had in my pockets, but I finally had to face the truth. The fact that it's getting harder to do up my bright yellow jacket over the top of all the other layers simply confirmed the facts.

My riding is definitely improving. I wasn't under any time pressure on the way there this morning but I still made it in 20 minutes. It seemed very quiet this morning. I was able to ride across all the roads without waiting. I would have thought I was in one of those "last survivor left in the city at the end of the world" movies except for the traffic noise from the main road and the "early shift" construction workers at various building sites along my route. The bike path has been diverted at one stage for a new project. It means I have to make decisions as to which way to go, which is all too much at 6 am.

I was the first person to arrive this morning but people were beginning to show up by the time I'd locked my bike and divested myself of my helmet, gloves and yellow jacket. While we were waiting John Howard walked past. Of course, I missed seeing him. I'd noticed the line of white cars as they parked near the Gardens but I didn't realise why they were there until after they were gone. Fortunately, we headed off on a long slow jog in the same direction that he had taken, so I got to see him out walking eventually.

Before we caught up with the Prime Minister we saw a small group of protesters departing with their signs. Several of them were dressed in polar bear outfits - probably not the best attire given the warm morning. We turned off to the right just as the PM was coming back towards us, so I didn't get all that close to him. I was pleased just to have seen him, as one of the most frequent questions I get asked about Canberra is "Have you seen the PM out walking?" Now I can answer in the positive. Mind you, I'll probably be asked "Why didn't you push him in the lake?" now. My mother would be horrified if I did anything so disrespectful to anybody. On top of that my ever-present Catholic guilt complex would go into overdrive. It wouldn't be worth it.

When we were leaving Lennox Gardens we believed we were going out for a nice slow jog. Silly me. I should have realised that there was more to it than that. When we reached Reconciliation Place we headed off to the hills. Now these are two symmetric hills that look as though they would be great for rolling down, and I'm determined to bring my nephews here to do that on one of their visits. Today they were our venue for hill sprints. We ran up those hills quite a few times. In between we did sit ups, pushups and walking lunges up one side of the hill. Then we jogged back to the bridge and ran up the stairs a few times. After that all we had to do was jog back to the park.

Apparently we covered about 4 km. It was just under an hour of steady effort. I felt great when I finished, but my legs are complaining about two sets of walking lunges in two days. I had to dash home as well, as I was getting picked up to go to a 9 am off-site meeting. When it was scheduled, I told my boss that there was no way that I could manage to be at the off-site location by 9 am. Instead of rescheduling or telling me that they'd manage without me, he offered to pick me up at 8:15 am. He really wanted me at the meeting.

I'm usually home from GOFC by 8:10 am. I badly wanted to do the session. I worked out that if I skipped the chat we have afterwards, rode home as quickly as I could, and dashed through showering and dressing, I could manage to be ready on time. I got home just after 8 am, so it was a mad scramble. Then the phone rang - they were a few minutes early. Isn't it always the way? Anyway, I made it out the door at 8:15 am and we headed off to the wilds of Tuggeranong for the meeting, me with an Up And Go Energiser in hand. Thank goodness for convenience food.

I had my gear for Body Attack with me, but I decided that my legs were complaining enough for me to take it easy tonight. I have my PT session tomorrow morning, and then I have my last style consultation session in the afternoon. I'll be getting made up and dressed up, which will be a lot of fun.

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

GOFC and Yoga

Today's GOFC session was a lot of fun. I missed this session during the last challenge so it was all new to me. We headed over to a sunny patch of grass to warm up and Brad brought a medicine ball with him. I was quite intrigued.

Mixed in with the usual warmup activities we did a few new ones. The one that amused me most was putting our thumbs into our armpits then rolling our arms around. It has this whole eggbeater look to it. I was expecting to take off into the air any second. Mind you, one of our later activities made me very glad that we warmed up our shoulders.

Once we were warmed up I discovered what the medicine ball was for. We were doing "cardio cards". Krissi had a selection of cards, which each had activities. Whenever she blew her whistle during the session we were to run over to her and the person who got there first would get to choose an activity. In the meantime, we were walking or jogging along in two lines, with the back pair carrying the medicine ball. When Brad blew his whistle, the back pair passed the medicine ball on and then ran up to the front of the group.

The cardio cards had a mixture of activities. I managed to get to Krissi first one time, but only because I was the closest to her at the time. I got a "team choice - 2 mins or 20 reps". We decided on 20 reps thank goodness as it was pushups. Some of our other activities were "overhead medicine ball relay" where we passed the ball overhead, "sideways twist medicine ball relay" where we ... yes, you've got it ... passed the medicine ball sideways to the person behind us, dip relay where teams had to complete 100 dips, walking lunges (that didn't come off a card - that was trainer's choice!), run around the gardens, and overhead shadow boxing for 2 mins. The last one sounded easy and it was, for all of 20 seconds. I was extremely glad when that one was over. I also hated the walking lunges, although I did learn how to do them better. I was stopping between each lunge but Krissi explained to me that I needed to push through off my back foot into the next one.

The weather forecast had been for -1 and frost, but it didn't feel that cold at all. I enjoyed my bike ride there and back today, although I got off to a late start. I realised I should occasionally pump up the tyres, so I checked them this morning. I was wishing I'd checked them earlier, as I was in a real rush to get to Lennox Gardens in time. Mind you, being in a rush meant that I rode a bit faster. I don't really push myself on the bike at all, so riding under pressure was probably good for me.

Having managed to get to GOFC so quickly, I felt that I should be able to get home as quickly. I was puffing and panting but I managed it!

Tonight I went to Yoga. I had a word with the instructor about my sore lower back last week and she advised me to keep my abs locked on during the stretches. I tried hard to do that today. I guess I'll find out later in the week how well I managed. There are so many things to think about that it's easy to forget to do something. Still, I might not notice my back as my shoulders are burning tonight. That is probably a legacy of the shadow boxing.

Sunday, 16 September 2007

Spring into Shape

This morning I did the 8 km Spring into Shape run in Melbourne. The weather was a bit ordinary when we were leaving home, so I dashed back for a cap. I don't mind running in the rain but running in rain-speckled glasses is not fun. We were running a bit late, so my dad dropped me at the venue and went off to park the car. I collected my number, dropped my windcheater off at the clothing tent and headed off to the start.

It was a great start. The walkers were nearly all behind me, which was amazing. It didn't seem at all difficult to thread my way through the few people who were starting more slowly than me. Fortunately it didn't rain, but it was really windy. I have been suffering from hayfever ever since the run and my face is windburnt.

My goal was to finish in around 56 minutes and I ended up running 56:45. I'd hoped to be on the other side of the 56 but I wasn't too disappointed. I ran the first km in 6:20, slowed down to 6:45 for the second, and was then back to my usual run/walk pattern. I didn't remember to enjoy myself until I'd run a little more than 3 km. When I realised, I told myself to have some fun and I could feel the tension disappear from my shoulders.

On the way around I seemed to be running with a few of the same people. I wasn't the only run/walker so there was a lot of catching up with the same person and then seeing them cruise past again. I saw one lady in cool purple tights a number of times and there was another in a pink top who I found quite inspiring as she seemed to run the whole way. She was always ahead of me but she gave me an idea of how I was doing.

I didn't see anyone I recognised, but I discovered I finished about 1:30 behind Kathryn. From her race report it sounds as though she was well ahead of me on the first lap, so I don't think she was one of the people I kept seeing on the way around.

I collected my t-shirt. Luckily I had an even number. The shirts only went up to size 14 but I took that size instead of opting for a men's shirt. It is a bit snug but I'm hoping to be fitting into it properly in a few months.

Dad enjoyed watching the runners as they finished. He collected me at the end and we walked back to the great car park he'd found on Flinders Street. On the way, I realised that I hadn't stretched, so he patiently waited while I went through my usual stretching routine. I had that lovely feeling that you get when you've been running and it pretty much lasted all day.

Speaking of fitting into the shirt, I weighed myself in Melbourne and I've put on more weight. I wasn't expecting that, as my jeans have started to get loose again and a few people have commented that I look as though I'm losing weight. Clearly I'm "toning" at the moment. I'm pleased that all my exercise is having positive benefits but I'm going to have to get back on the wagon as far as my eating is going.

Mind you, I didn't make any effort to be good yesterday as it was my family birthday barbecue. Everyone was there to celebrate with me, including my cousin Laura who is visiting from Ireland. I received severallovely cards that my niece and nephews made and there was a definite theme going on. They hoped I would get lots of pressies. I love how quantity matters to children. In fact, I often buy them gifts with lots of pieces as I know how they adore having several presents.

As for my gifts, there was definitely an exercise theme happening there, as I was given a Rebel Sport voucher and a Yoga set - blocks, straps, mat, dvd, etc. Another theme was iTunes - I got speakers for my iPod and an iTunes gift card. Mum has clearly noticed that I'm enjoying cooking at the moment as my parents gave me a Kenwood package with hand held mixer and a thing that chops and dices. This will be fun! I didn't manage to bring all the booty home with me, so I will have to invite someone to drive up to Canberra to visit me.

Next time I'm in Melbourne I'm going to take the two Andrews for a run around Albert Park Lake. That will be fun.

Friday, 14 September 2007

Rest day today

I was keen to run again today, and had made arrangements with my PT to run with the girls, but my back was way too sore last night for me to risk it. I woke up feeling better than I had the evening before but it was still tender.

I had to think it through really carefully, as I was so tempted to run. I realised that I wanted to do the Spring Into Shape series, and that if I ended up in more pain today that there was no way I'd be running on Sunday. At least this way I have given my sore muscles a chance to heal.

As for what's wrong - I have no idea. It feels like the top part of my butt is sore, so it's kind of lower back. My abs are also a bit sore, but that might just be from compensating for the way I've been sitting. I'm aching a bit now but it's nowhere near as bad as it was last night.

I guess if it doesn't get better over the next few days I'll have to go and see someone about it. Grrr. I am so rarely sick or injured that I make a very poor patient.

Anyway, I've decided that if I'm not up to running on Sunday I'll walk it!

Thursday, 13 September 2007


Three posts in one day - that has to be a record. Thanks Celeste for tagging me.

1. What were you doing 10 years ago?
I was living in Darwin. I moved up there to be with my boyfriend at the time. The relationship didn't last but I loved Darwin.
2. What were you doing one year ago?
I was living in Canberra, working in a different job (still IT), and just starting to venture outside to run. Running for 10 minutes was a major effort.
3. What are 5 snacks you enjoy?
Nachos - rare indulgence
Salt and Vinegar chips - also a rare indulgence
Tzatziki Dip and crackers - my substitute for the above
Sultanas - I buy the small boxes as I don't know when to stop
Yoghurt - I try not to eat cheese so this delicious snack is how I get my dairy
4. What are 5 songs that you know the lyrics to?
Patricia the Stripper - Chris DeBurgh (it's a popular party place at our house - especially as my youngest sister's name is Patricia)
Pony - Kasey Chambers
Take that Look off your face - Andrew Lloyd Weber
Tell me on Sunday - Andrew Lloyd Weber
Greensleeves - traditional
5. 5 Things you would do if you were a millionaire?
Share my money with my family
Travel to major sporting events around the world
Live in Broome for a year
Save some money for a rainy day
Establish a charitable trust
6. 5 bad habits
Emotional eating
Not opening my mail
Spending the day watching DVD's, reading and eating too much
Staying up late on the net
Washing coloureds and whites together (my new Enell bra is now pink!)
7. 5 things you like to do
Spend time with my family
Go to the gym
Play trivia
8. 5 favourite toys?
My computer
My iPod
My heart rate monitor
My new camera
My mobile phone
9. 5 things you would never wear?
Anything that shows my bare tummy - let's not go there
Stockings - only under sufferance
Really high heels - I like my feet
A choker - my neck is too short
Bikini briefs - too uncomfortable for words
10. 5 things you hate to do
Open my mail
Triceps dips
Wait for people
Miss my bus

I'm going to copy Andrew and not tag anyone. If you'd like to do this, please feel free to give it a go.

Photo - Run to the G 2007

I thought I'd better post a photo just in case I do manage to catch up with any of you at Spring Into Shape on Sunday. This is how I'll probably look - as though it's a huge effort.

GOFC - Interval Training

Today at the GOFC we had interval training. I've really grown to like this particular activity. I guess it's partly because I know I'll definitely get a walking break and partly because I can see that it's improving my running heaps.

Today seemed a bit easier than past sessions. I'm not sure if it was because Brad was kinder to us or if it was because I know what to expect. The main thing I struggled with today was running fast. By the end of the session I was starting to surge, but I didn't do too well with the "add 5%" warmup.

Because I've already done a bit of running this week, I just knew we were going to be running again today. I was a little worried about it yesterday, because I was so sore during the day, but I woke up feeling fine. I'd had this whole strategy prepared, where I'd ride to GOFC, hear we were running, explain to Krissi I was too sore, and then ride home. When I got there today I was feeling good so fortunately I didn't need to explain that I was a slacker.

By the way, thanks for the encouragement JoJo. I know I'm not really a slacker because I'm winning those mental battles more than I'm losing them, but I realise how easy it would be to let go of all the progress I've made so far. I got a bit of a kick up the pants over winter this year, when my eating went crazy, and I'm not quite back on track yet. Much better, but not quite there.

My lower back has been sore today. I'm wondering if it's a bit more than the yoga and running. I think it might also be related to my cycle as I seemed to have some ovulation pain today as well. If that's the case, I should recover pretty fast. :-)

I dressed up a bit today, wearing clothes and shoes I bought with the Style Consultant. I didn't get the makeup happening, but I did get a few compliments at work today. I'm really enjoying the benefits of having the consultation. It's going to take a while for me to develop 'style' but I was wearing a top the other day that had been hanging in my wardrobe because I was too self-conscious to wear it even though I loved it.

All SC did to get me to wear it was (a) encourage me to buy a waist shaping piece of underwear (it's a clingy top and shows all my lumps and bumps) and (b) encourage me to buy some beads to break up the expanse of my chest. I felt great at work when I was wearing it and I got a compliment from the boss. SC didn't like my jeans so I bought a different style, wore them on the weekend and felt terrific in them. I was willing to give it a go. Once the jeans had been taken up to the right length I could see how the style complimented my shape.

Mind you, today I was wearing pointy court shoes with skinny heels. I was able to wear them all day, but I'm not all that convinced that they are for me. I'll probably keep them at work and put them on when I want to impress someone. They look really cool but I will look for some more comfortable court shoes - maybe from HomyPed. I value my feet!

I'm looking forward to the run on Sunday. I'll keep an eye out for the various people running in the 4 km race. I'm doing the 8 km race. No idea of my race number as yet, but it will take me around 56 mins to finish. If I can get around any faster than that, I will, but I'll be happy with 7 min/km. I'll post my number after I get to Melbourne, as I'm sure it will be at home waiting for me.

Tomorrow for PT I'm heading out for another run with the girls. Krissi is coming along half an hour earlier so we can all run. I'm a little worried about overdoing it, but I figure I'll rest on Saturday and I'll have an easier week next week as well. I skipped Body Attack tonight because of tomorrow's run. I think Body Balance tomorrow night should be ok. The stretching will definitely help.

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Morning Run

This morning I went running with four of the running group. I usually run on my own, so it was a pleasant change to run with other people. We met up at the gym and then headed off to run around the middle basin of the lake.

Floriade is about to start, so parts of the park were blocked off. I don't know which way the girls would have run, but Floriade meant that we followed the path that I used to run with Leanne. It was a little over a year ago that I started running outside. Today's run was a good measure of how much I've improved over the past twelve months. Back then I know I struggled to get as far as the Commonwealth Avenue bridge. Today I was feeling really comfortable as I ran across it.

Physically the run was fine but I had a huge mental battle going on today. There were so many times that I wanted to stop running. I'm glad that I was with the others, as I'm sure I wouldn't have managed to run as much as I did without them. I did eventually drop back to a walk when we were heading over towards the Kings Avenue bridge. One of the girls checked to see if I was okay. I waved her on but I think she slowed the others down and that they waited for me to catch up, without looking like they were waiting. I thought it was kind of them not to make a fuss.

I got myself back running fairly quickly. I think I walked for less than a minute all up. I was determined to run across to the far side of the bridge. In my head I was stopping when I got to the other side, but when I got there I managed to keep on going. The pace picked up as we were running downhill but one of the other girls slowed the group down again when she realised I was struggling. It wouldn't have occurred to me to ask them to slow down, but I'll know it's an option another time.

We ran back to town via the underpass and Constitution Avenue instead of running back around Floriade. I was quite relieved when we came to a set of traffic lights at a busy intersection and had to stop. It gave me a chance to have a mini-break. From there I thought about going straight home instead of running back to the gym, but I realised I'd probably end up walking if I headed off on my own. Instead I stayed with the group, knowing that I'd try harder with them than I would on my own.

The route we travelled from the gym was somewhere between 6.5 and 7 km. I've mapped the course from my apartment and it's about 8 km. I was glad we were doing that type of distance as I've only been running for about half an hour at a time lately. Today was the longest run I've done in months.

I didn't think much about it this morning, but I was really sore and stiff today. I finally put two and two together and realised that I'd run on two consecutive days. That's a first for me. I guess I didn't really think of yesterday's running at GOFC as 'real' running. Still, it helps me reach my goal of running three times in a week, so I'm happy.

I'm not sure how much of today's stiffness is Yoga and how much is running. It took a real effort of will to take the stairs at work today instead of wimping out and using the lifts. I was climbing those stairs like a woman twice my age.

I have the GOFC tomorrow morning, so I'm going to head to bed earlier than usual tonight. I feel like I need my sleep.

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Fitness Challenge and Yoga

This morning was the Group Outdoor Fitness Challenge. I jumped on my bike and headed off to Lennox Gardens. I'm enjoying riding my bike more and more. I think it's partly due to the weather - it's not freezing cold or dark when I leave home any more - and it's partly the fact that I'm managing the bike better now. My balance has improved, I can change gears and I can handle the hills I encounter. I feel much safer. I can look over my shoulder without falling off the bike. I'm even game to let go of the handle bars and indicate when I'm going to turn right.

An added bonus is Spring. There was blossom all over the place today. The swan family were out and about. The cygnets are looking more and more swanlike, even though they are still fluffy grey balls.

Krissi had told us that today would be a lot of fun and she was right. We were split into teams of three and we had a race. After our warm up we had to run as a team around the park with a key. As I was the slowest runner, that meant that my team were running at my pace. I felt a bit anxious about that but Nicole and Nathan were cool with it. The other teams also had slow runners in them and, to my surprise, we arrived at our destination first. We had to unlock an innertube from a fence. Each of us had to keep a hand on it as we headed back to the starting point.

We were ahead when we took off with the innertube but we ignored the "you can go cross country on the way back" part of the instructions and ended up in second place. When we got back we were given a question and we headed off to the Japanese Garden to find the answer. We had to roll the tube along part of the way, run off and find the answer, pick up the tube on the way back and roll it back to the start, where we were given another question. A different person had to roll it each time. It was easier for Nic and I to roll the innertube as neither of us is tall.

There were three questions all together. We trailed the first team all the way through this section, but something seemed to go wrong for them and they headed back to the Japanese Garden while we were given a new challenge. We had to get the innertube around a course without touching it with our hands. Nathan worked out how to do this. Nic and I stood the tube up with our feet and he stuck his head through. We then jogged around the course and ended up winning the race. There were prizes for everyone, but we got to pick first. I scored a PowerBar out of it, which was pretty cool.

We got one of the answers wrong and had to do 10 pushups. I did the "look at my elbow" thing and my pushups were definitely better. We could have had the answer right, but I chose not to argue the point. Once upon a time I would have had to be right however I don't bother so much now over trivial things. I guess that it's either a sign of maturity, ie being able to choose not to sweat the small stuff, or a sign of old age, ie not having the energy to insist that we reconsider our answer. I didn't mind doing the pushups anyway.

It's amazing how much fun this type of event is. We did a lot of running, but we were distracted by the questions and by trying to keep the innertube rolling so it didn't seem like we were working hard. It was good doing it with team mates too. I like being put with different people as it gives you an opportunity to develop a real appreciation of them. Most of the people doing the challenge are Black Team Women so an added benefit is that we get to know the other participants.

The TBW runners are doing the Canberra Times 10 km Fun Run on Sunday. I'm running the 8 km Spring into Shape instead. I had to choose between the series and the fun run. I could have skipped the 1st run in the series, but this weekend is closest to my birthday and I wanted to be in Melbourne to celebrate with the family. Birthdays are a major event in my family. During the year I try to get home for most of the celebrations.

This evening I headed off to Yoga. We did a modified Power Yoga. In other words it was easier than Power Yoga. There were a lot of downward dogs, which was great for my hamstrings and calves. It's a fabulous way to stretch. We got an explanation of the position today from the instructor and I realised I've been letting my shoulders be too close to my ears. Now that I know, I can do something about it. I still struggled with getting out of the position, but it felt easier today - that advice I got from the Body Balance instructor definitely made a difference.

I know Yoga is exercise, but it feels like a holiday. I guess it's because I can catch my breath!

I've got an opportunity to go running with some of the TBW. They are running earlier than usual, which suits me, so I think I'd better get myself down there. I was planning to run and it's fun to run with other people. The main issue is that I'm struggling with having warm clothes to run in. Nothing fits! I left my only other warm top in Melbourne and I'm missing it. Oh, the trials of losing weight! Aren't they great? :-)

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Black Mountain

Alex and I finally made it up Black Mountain today. We tried to walk up this one several weeks ago, but I managed to lead us astray. When you realise that Black Mountain has the Telstra Tower on top of it, you have to wonder how anyone can miss it, but miss it we did. Today, we asked for directions!

Alex has been doing a fitness challenge and she's got this whole "get your heart rate up and burn calories" thing going. That's great, but I was getting really puffed out trying to keep up with her. I'm supposed to be the fit one! She's done a fabulous job over the past few weeks. As we walked along my knees were telling me that they were planning on being tired and that was before we got to the start of the trail.

Once we got to the start of the Black Mountain Summit Trail Walk, we had a 2.7 km walk up the mountain, which is 812 m high. Unfortunately, I have no idea how high we were when we started the climb, but the path was definitely steep. The info at the start of the trail indicated that it would take 1 hour, 10 mins to get up the trail. I had hoped this would slow Alex down, but she scoffed at the idea and tore off up the path. I trailed along behind her, thinking that we were certainly getting a good cardio workout. I was sorry that I'd (a) worn jeans, thinking it would be a leisurely walk and (b) not bothered with my hrm for the same reason. Still, Alex got us up the mountain in 22 mins, 40 secs, which I thought was pretty good going. Once upon a time I wouldn't have managed to walk 3 km on flat ground in 30 mins.

We took a few photos up at the top, chatted to a lovely girl who uses the trail as her "thinking path", helped out some tourists and then headed back on down. We got to the bottom in 22 minutes, which was a lovely ramble. My knees were definitely feeling it and they were very glad when we stopped for lunch at the cafe. All up, we were walking for nearly an hour and a half.

I'm really glad that Alex likes doing activities like this when she meets up with me. It's so much better than just heading out for a coffee. I'm going to miss her for the next few weeks as she's off overseas. We've booked in our next climb up the mountain though, for the weekened after she gets back.

Friday, 7 September 2007

Personal Training and Body Balance

This morning I headed off to Personal Training. After a warm up, we moved on to some leg work - single leg extensions and leg presses in the complicated looking leg machine. I normally use the easy one that has the weights already loaded. I didn't think I was working my legs all that hard, but my left knee was definitely tired when I was climbing the stairs at work later in the day.

Krissi commented on my good form on the leg extension. I told her that my knees had always been sore when I started at the gym, and so I'd worked really hard to have good form. I figured they needed all the help they could get. I'm really keen to get the form right when I exercise as I don't want to get injured. I like the way Krissi checks up on me. She's really good about giving me safety information too. It gives me a lot of confidence that I'm in safe hands.

After the leg work we did some chest presses and alternated them with pushups. Krissi told me my pushups yesterday were really bad (even I knew that!) and that I needed to forget everything I'd learned and start again. Instead of looking at the ground, I'm to look at my elbow. It seemed to help. I was telling Krissi that I'd been thinking about my fitness goals and that doing pushups properly was something I'd thought I should work on. Next thing you know, Krissi extended it to body weight exercises, and we're going to be working on pushups, chinups and dips. I tend to avoid dips like the plague, which tends to be a sign that they are something I should work on, and I'm like most women - I think chinups are beyond me.

There I am, thinking we'll be doing assisted chinups. Instead, Krissi sets up the Smith machine and a bench, and I'm doing the bottom part of a real chinup (close grip). Well, that's an exaggeration. I'm gripping the bar then stepping to the floor - hardly a moment when I'm holding myself up on the bar in sight. I predict that I'll be working on this for some time. Still, I reckon I'll be a really cool aunty if I casually do a few chinups for my nephews. LOL

When we got to the abs work it was a relief as I thought we'd be doing dips too. I hate them with a passion. Actually, they aren't as bad as I'm making them sound, but I'd rather do any other sort of triceps exercise than dips. Oh well, I'm sure they'll be good for me.

This evening it was Body Balance. I was looking forward to it, as it's a nice relaxed class. I struggled with the getting back up from the downward dog position, so tonight I asked the instructor for some help after the class. It made a lot more sense. Hopefully I'll start to get the hang of it.

I'm always amazed by the number of people who leave before the relaxation component of the class. It's the best bit. I guess they are probably too stressed to stay still for five minutes.

In response to your comments about the amount of exercise I do, it's really not that much. Tuesdays and Thursdays will be busy for the next three weeks - about 3 hours of exercise each day, but I take a lot of rest days. The difference lately is that I've started taking classes. I do 4 a week, two for cardio and two for stretching. The GOFC is meant to be a challenge on top of it all. That's one hour twice a week for four weeks, plus the bike ride there and back. I've cut back on doing weights while I'm doing the GOFC.

I look at the distances you all run, and you make it sound so easy. I think the main reason you think I do a lot of exercise is the variety. Well, maybe talking so much about it makes it sound like more than it is.

Isabelle, I was looking at my kitchen floor with disgust last night. It could do with a wash. It's on the agenda this weekend. The ironing basket is empty but that's only ever a temporary situation.

Thursday, 6 September 2007

Bike ride, Group Fitness, Style Consultation and Body Attack

This morning I headed out to the Outdoor Group Fitness session on my bike. I was looking forward to the ride, hoping to see the swans again, and generally at peace with the world. Then I got outside. It was raining. Lightly, but definitely raining. I seriously considered turning around and calling someone for a ride but I talked myself into riding in the rain as it wasn't too heavy.

It seemed like a sensible idea for all of five minutes. I cruised along, feeling proud of myself for not letting the elements defeat me, until I realised the rain was getting heavier. And heavier. Now, it's an outdoor fitness challenge I'm doing, so the course isn't cancelled for inclement weather. I realised I'd better keep on going and hope that the rain didn't get any worse. Eventually, I was riding along thinking, "I'll get there so Krissi knows I was going to come, and then I'll ride home again straight away. I can't do this. I can't exercise when I'm all wet." I was nearly at the park when the rain stopped. Thank goodness!

We did boxercise this morning. It's one of my favourites. We started out with a warm up that involved jogging and punching. It was fun once I got into it. We kept changing what we were doing. For example, we'd go clockwise in a circle, punching forwards or sideways or up in the air, then we'd change direction, then we'd touch the ground with our left hand, and so on. We then played a numbers game which was amusing. When a number was called out we had to clump into groups that size. If you didn't get into a group you ended up doing pushups. I managed to get in a group each time, which was good except I missed out on doing the pushups. It's weird how the pushups seemed like winning in reverse.

The boxercise session was the usual punching and then doing some other exercise. We did pushups with jabs, squats with hooks, lunges with uppercuts, and short sprints with combos. Then we played ambush, which is also fun. One person is punching and the others in the group tap them on the shoulder from behind, run away, then turn around and put their hands in position for a particular type of punch. It's quite amusing, especially when someone my height is trying to indicate high punches for someone much taller.

It started raining during the session, but fortunately it stopped before I had to ride home. On the way I kept my eye out for the swan family I saw on Tuesday. They were out and about, and the five cygnets were still fluffy balls of grey. It was terrific to see them again.

I had the morning off work today for the shopping expedition part of the Style Consultation. It was so much fun. My credit card is now a little melted, but it wasn't as expensive a trip as I'd expected. SC and I shopped solidly for three hours. We worked from a list SC prepared when she went through my wardrobe. We started off in a lingerie shop, where I was introduced to a contraption that gives me a much firmer waist. I also bought a pretty bra - nothing like the Enell but probably an engineering wonder all the same. We then headed off looking for some clothes, which was fun. I bought a few different outfits, in some great colours. I also ended up with two pairs of shoes, a pair of jeans, some costume jewellery and makeup. Now all I have to do is manage to put all this together with some semblance of style.

Oh, we managed to buy everything on the list, except for a pair of trousers and a casual jacket. We substituted a couple of skirts for the trousers and we decided to give the jacket a miss for now. I'm really looking forward to wearing my new clothes and mixing and matching them with my existing wardrobe.

This evening I headed off to Body Attack. The instructor for tonight's class is terrific and it's always good fun. I was feeling tired but I decided to give it a go anyway. I'm glad that I did, because I managed to get through it, even though I found it a little hard. I figure that by the end of the GOFC I'll be fit enough to handle the two sessions on the one day without feeling exhausted.

After class I decided to tell the instructor how much I enjoyed her classes. I'm sorry I didn't do it before today as she was so pleased. At least I did it today.

As for tomorrow, I have personal training in the morning with Krissi, and Body Balance in the evening. On Saturday some of the girls are going for a run. I might join them. I haven't managed to get out for a run this week. It's still been a great exercise week, and there's been a little running in the GOFC, so I'm not fretting about it.

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Fitness test and Yoga

At this morning's Group Outdoor Fitness Challenge we started off with a fitness test. It consisted of a beep test, an agility test, pushups in a minute and a 1 km time trial.

I got to level 3-3 in the beep test. Back in May I started at 3-2 and finished at 4-1. It will be interesting to see if I make a similar improvement this time. We didn't do a warm up run first. The beep test has its own built in warm up, but I think I might have needed a longer one. I was quite sore when we started today, from Body Attack last night. I've made a mental note - don't overdo it before the fitness test on the last day!

For the agility test I managed 21.9 seconds. Last time I did it in 23.4, so that's a definite improvement over the past few months. I was really pleased about that. I did fewer pushups than last time but they are much better quality now. I managed 22 in the minute.

The time trial was interesting. I missed the one at the end of the running course. I'd decided for that one that I didn't care about the time. I just wanted to run for the whole kilometre. I was the first runner, and the others followed in 30 second intervals.

I took off a little too fast I think. After about three minutes I had to stop to throw up. I'm not sure how much time I lost - maybe 15 seconds. I got myself running again, but at a much slower pace. I was struggling, but I decided I was going to run the rest of the way.

When I was within sight of the end Krissi was encouraging me to run faster, but I didn't have it in me. There were two runners right behind me, but I managed to get across the line first. I immediately threw up again, which was a little embarrassing. It felt so good when I stopped. ;-)

Anyway, I ran the kilometer in 5:55. I did it in 5:48 during the running course. I think if I hadn't thrown up on the way I would have done better than that. I just have to figure out how to pace myself better. What I am pleased about is that I ran the whole distance. I had to take two walking breaks during the first time trial back in early June.

This evening I headed off to Yoga. As ever, I enjoyed it. We started off on the floor, with a lovely relaxing meditation. I was encased in a blue ball of light that gradually turned to white light. I kept thinking about work stuff and kept having to clear my mind again. It's quite a challenge to stop thinking.

I keep feeling as though I'm improving and then doing something that just goes to show how far I still have to go just to manage the beginners' poses. We did something called the rabbit, which had me falling over onto my forehead. Fortunately, not very far but I felt like such a klutz. I'm in awe of the more advanced moves.

There was a hilarious section where Michelle just sat up and watched us for the second rep. We were lying on the floor with our hands stretched out and palm to palm, and our feet also stretched. We were supposed to roll ourselves completely over and back by using our abs. It sounds a lot easier than it is. It was fun trying though.

I'm going to keep going to this class though as I feel great after I'm finished - really relaxed and mellow. My flexibility is improving too.

Enell bra update

My goodness it's a strange looking contraption. I don't know what I'd expected. I'd seen photos of the bra on a model but it looks a lot different in real life. I wore it this morning to the GOFC. After I tried it on, I did a little jogging on the spot and thought, "Hmmm, this isn't going to work. I'm glad I only bought one." I figured I must have ordered the wrong size, as so many people swear by the bra.

The leaflet that came with the bra suggested that I should build up to using it, so I figured the GOFC would be a gentle introduction - not full on running, but a bit of effort. I meant to pay close attention to how it felt whenever we were running, but I completely forgot. In fact, I didn't even notice, which I think has to be a good sign.

When I got home, I was delighted to see that I didn't have the usual red marks from tight straps. Without having done a proper run, I am pretty sure that this bra is a winner.


I forgot to mention my bike ride this morning. I rode to and from the GOFC. It's getting light so much earlier. I made it up all the hills, and I rode down the scary hill as well. Even better than that, on the way home I saw a pair of black swans with their grey fluffy cygnets. They were right beside the bike path so I got an excellent view. I was wishing I had my camera with me.

Monday, 3 September 2007

Body Attack and Ceroc Dancing

This morning I had planned to go for a run, but I got to bed way too late last night. When I woke up all I wanted to do was roll over and go back to sleep. I debated getting up for a while, and then I remembered that I was going to do Body Attack this evening and the Group Outdoor Fitness Course tomorrow morning. I decided that rolling over and going back to sleep was incredibly sensible.

Tonight is going to be a short entry, as I really should get myself to bed. I HAVE to get up tomorrow for the GOFC and I clearly need to catch up on some sleep.

I enjoyed the Body Attack class. I was able to take it up another level in intensity today. I felt like I worked really hard and got maximum benefit out of the time.

I'd forgotten about Ceroc. My friend, Mel, and I decided a couple of weeks ago that trivia was getting a little dull and that we'd try something else. Ceroc Dancing is what we chose. It was a mad scramble to get there. I raced home from the gym to shower and change. Then I didn't have any cash, so I had to find an ATM. I was a couple of minutes late and it had already started, so there wasn't time to stand around feeling selfconscious. It was heaps of fun and I'll definitely go again.

Sunday, 2 September 2007

Goal achieved - three runs in a week

I've done it at last - I've gone out and run three times in one week. I'm really glad that I'd booked young Andrew for a run on Saturday, because I knew that this one was in the bag as soon as the second run was over.

As planned, we did the Spring Into Shape course. The 4 km loop was pleasant, the day was sunny, and we did it easily. Andrew just loped along - he's an incredibly fit athletic 11 year old. He enjoyed the run and pulled up looking like he'd barely made an effort. He's quite keen to come along with me and my other nephew (also Andrew) on a future run. All I have to do is organise it. I think we might run around Albert Park Lake.

The whole "going for a run" thing was quite amusing. I'd had the idea that we'd go running early on Sunday morning. Sandra picked me up from the airport at 8 am on Saturday, brimming with her usual enthusiasm. She had it all worked out .. we'd go to basketball to see Terry play, go to the city to run, and then come back for Andrew's game later that day. She was looking forward to visiting Birrarung Marr with Terry and Eugene - there's a fabulous playground there - while Andrew and I ran. It all sounded fine except for the fact that I'd had a late night on Friday, that included several glasses of champagne, wine and port, very little sleep and an early start. I really wasn't feeling up to running across the road, let alone 4 km.

I thought about suggesting my Sunday morning alternative, but I could see that Andrew was as keen as mustard to run with me. I changed into my running gear and thought "thank goodness we're only doing one loop". Terry's basketball game was hilarious - he's in U10's and the boys are just starting to work out what's involved. We then headed off into town. The weather was fabulous. By the time we arrived, I was looking forward to the run. Andrew and I headed off in one direction and Sandra and the other two boys in the other.

Even though I'm a Melbourne girl, I haven't spent all that much time along the Yarra. It was lovely to see so many people out and about enjoying themselves. There were quite a few people running. We were passed by quite a few cyclists so we decided to run off the bike path for about half the run. It was more relaxing not having to worry about getting out of the way.

After we got back to the starting point we turned back to meet Sandra and the boys. We ran back to them as it looked more impressive than walking. I encouraged Andrew to do some stretching and then we were done.

I was pleased that I did the course so easily even though I'd started out tired. There's a lot of 'face' involved in being an aunt who is taking her nephew running. While the boys are well able to outrun me, if I'm inviting them running I have to be able to do the run!

After the run we visited the playground and it is every bit as good as the kids had told me. They had a great time. While we were sitting there watching them clamber all over the place, I spotted a set of stairs, so the three kids and I ran up the stairs (60 steps) just because they were there. Sandra was happy to supervise. We had lunch at South Bank and then headed back to Andrew's basketball game. I was in bed early and had today off any form of exercise at all!

Well, I took the day off doing any form of exercise. I still managed to shop for exercise. I was given a Rebel Sport voucher the other day, so I bought a running skirt. I wasn't sure what size to buy and I didn't have the energy to try it on, so I went for the smaller size on the grounds that it would eventually fit. Fortunately, I'll be able to wear it straight away. Tonight I finally bought myself a Garmin Forerunner 305 on ebay. I've been looking at them for ages. My yoga dvd's and my Enell bra had all arrived safely in Melbourne, so I picked them up when we called in on Dad for Father's Day.

Now all I have to do is repeat the three runs in a week!

Saturday, 1 September 2007

Personal training and Body Balance

This morning I had my PT session with Krissi. We started off with 10 minutes on the treadmill. It gave us a chance to catch up on each other's news. While we were chatting, Krissi asked me if I'd join her in a challenge .. clearly she's worked out that challenge is the right word to get me sucked in. Of course I said yes.

We're going to run up Mount Majura. She walks up it each week with a client and thinks it would be a great run, but her client isn't up for it. The path is a bit rocky in places, so it would be a good test for my improved balance. We'll do it one Saturday morning, fairly soon. I'm sure she'll have a few more people coming along. Lola is already signed up for it. I love that the Team Black Women are so crazy!

During PT we did some squats on the Smith Machine, some barbell lifts for my shoulders and some abs work. Before we got started, I asked Krissi to check out my flexibility as there's all this stuff I can't manage in Yoga and Body Balance. I was concerned I wasn't flexible enough, but it looks as though it's my stomach being in the way. I guess that problem will eventually disappear. It's good to know my flexibility is ok.

This evening I did Body Balance. I like the new one .. the transitions between moves don't seem to be so fast. Either I'm keeping up better or they've slowed down. There's heaps that I can't do, so I have plenty of room for improvement.

One thing about Body Balance, it's very relaxing. I was all mellowed out at the end of class. It's a great way to end the working week.

Tonight I went out for dinner with some friends of mine. It was a lovely evening. I managed to confine my talking about running to the odd anecdote! Easier said than done, isn't it?