Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Should you be running right now?



How awesome is this?

Early morning thoughts.

Had a good run yesterday. 9kms along the river with perfect conditions - not too hot, good tunes, and a well behaved dog. Exactly the kind of run that makes you happy to be alive. 

Work is stressful at the moment, as is life. One month out from the wedding and I'm travelling for work at least once a week is a little too much. I currently have insomnia and woke up at 5am today thinking about everything I need to be doing a should be doing. It's a vicious cycle. 

Something that is really frustrating me at the moment is the fact I am dwelling on the negative, the little things that are really inconsequential. Overall, life is pretty damn sweet, and if things like stupid public transport tickets and email at work being down are the worst things going on in life to worry about, then I've got it pretty damn good. I KNOW this, and I KNOW that my stupid first world problems are just that. But still. It's the little things that tend to make and break me, and a lot of little things are building up.

Does this happen to anyone else? What is the best way to stop worrying about the stupid things?

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Things I Love Thursday

Sometimes I forget to do this. And since it's been a week of varying awesomeness, here it is. Things I Love Thursday. Hooray!

  • Race 2 of the Super Sunset Series. 8km around the Tan. It was actually quite hard and I ran slower than I wanted to, but considering the knees, the heat, the lack of training this week and my mind frame, it was OK.
  • My friend Anna for cheering me on and being official race photographer
  • Our work website is up! Our Study Tour is up! Hooray!
  • A solid 8 hours sleep last night. Bliss.
  • Cheese bread and wine for Valentine's Day picnic
  • Coffee. 
  • My city. 
  • The awesome people I have in my life
  • This picture. I work in agriculture, and this picture just makes me giggle uncontrollably. 

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Do Life Challenge - Weeks 5 and 6

I have been a bad challenger and buddy for these past two weeks. I can't even really remember what Week 5 was since I didn't see it until Wednesday or Thursday, then went hiking on Friday for the weekend. So I'll just move on to new goals that I came up with on the tram for 5. I haven't met them yet.

Week 5 - new goals

1. Do knee exercises every day for at least 5 mins - I made a post on the Do Life forums and got some great info, so have been doing these.
2. Do weights/strength training 3 times a week for at least 30 mins, including abs - I've been doing my chin-ups, push-ups and tricep dips at the park, but not really for 30 mins.
3. Two pieces of fruit per day, ideally one of these at home. I have fruit at work, but always opt for something less healthy at home.
4. Limit take out/eating out to once a week.
5. Three alcohol free days per week - reduced from no drinking on a school night. Sometimes after a hard day's work you just need a glass of wine.

Week 6. 

  • Did you push hard this week?
Not really. The race then hiking destroyed my knee, so it's mainly been walking and chip-ups. I did go for a bike ride that was really fun.
  • How about your buddy? Did you stay connected?
Deb sent me a great hiking work-out, which you can check out on her blog. Unfortunately I didn't get it until I returned, and by then my knees were shot so I didn't do it. I finally got around to sending her a workout yesterday: 

Deb's Outdoor Adventure Workout! 

1. Warm up run to a local park (ideally around one or two miles away)
2. 10 x chin-ups on monkey bars. If you can't do chin-ups, then try reverse ones where you jump up and lower yourself down slowly
3. 10 x push-ups on park bench, or stair if you want to go lower
4. 10 x tricep-dips on the bench or stair
5. 10 x ab lifts (hang on to the bar and with your legs straight lift them to 90 degrees)
6. 10 one legged squats (with the other leg on a step or something like that)
7. Step ups on the stair for a minute
8. Repeat x 2 or 3
9. Jog/run back home
10. Stretch the hell out of your legs and everything else (because stretching is important)
11. Feel happy and slightly smug. 

Deb also completed the Valentines Day 10km run with her partner, but I don't know how that went. Hopefully she ROCKED it! 
  • How have you improved since day one?
I haven't been keeping up with my push-ups. I tried them yesterday but only did 18 rather than the 26 I did initially. Sometimes it's all mental, and that didn't work for me. 

Because of the knees I've stopped running, and have decided to focus on cross training and strength work for the time being. So chin ups are getting easier, and my quads/knees are gonna be SO ripped by the end of my knee exercises.
  • Any outstanding stories or news to share?
Um... I got the fabric for my wedding dress and tried on the mock-up of it. That was pretty outstanding! Also, my cat Scamper is sitting on my lap and arm purring away right now, and this is nice.
  • How did you do life?
I decided to try making lemonade from the lemons that life is pushing at the moment. Unfortunately I went back to lemons last night (angry run that I knew I shouldn't do because of the knee but needed to because of a shit day, and even the run was shit!), but today will be awesome. As will the rest of the week. 

Here are some pics from the hiking top to Mt Howitt and Crosscut Saw in the Alpine National Park. I love the pic of my brother amongst the flowers :)

Onto week 7. Let's make sure it's better than the last two weeks!!

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Tough day?

When it all seems a little hard, this may just be the alarm for you.

Via Pinterest

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Super Sunset Series Race 1 - Melbourne Zoo

Yesterday I took part in my first official 'race', the Super Sunset Series. It's a series of three races, either 4 or 8km. I participated in the 8km.

Look, an actual photo of me at a run!
I say it was my first official race because I've only done fun runs before, and each time was the first time I'd gone that distance so my main aim was to finish! This time I knew I could do 8kms, so I wanted to actually race and see how I went. 

I decided that my aims for the 8km were: 
45 mins - would be happy with that
40 mins - would be at 5:00km pace, which would be awesome
-40 mins - f@#king awesome! (but unlikely).

When I got there it was great - good weather, fantastic atmosphere. I was grinning like an idiot on the way there, which only increased when I arrived!

Starting line. With added lens flare. 
After what seemed like ages, we were off! I started off well, which was good. Due to my CardioTrainer playing up I thought I went faster than I did, but I definitely started off better than usual - normally my first couple of minutes is a littler slower. We went around the zoo, and then INTO the zoo! Running through the zoo on a sunny day is definitely something I'd recommend. It's not every day that you get to run past zebras and macaws. The highlight though was definitely running through the monkey enclosures. It's a gorgeous jungle area and you get to go up a wooden walkway through several enclosures. I didn't see the lemurs (boo), but some gorgeous little monkeys. It's not too conducive to running fast though ;)

We then went around again, which was a little harder since I started out fast. It felt longer than a normal 8kms, but the monkeys were a good incentive. I tried to race home at the end but there was a guy who kept on cock-block me (aka running in front of me) and I just couldn't get through...boo. 

I also realised two things I hadn't noticed before: I started and finished on two running songs! When the siren went I was listening to 'Everybody Runs' by the Butterfly Effect (best band EVER!) and finished on 'Dog Days are Over' by Florence and the Machine. I'd never really noticed the lines "Run fast for your mother and fast for your father, Run for your children for your sisters and brothers", but it ended it quite nicely  :)

I was very lucky to be met at the end by Dan and my friend Anna. And of course, my usual running partner extraordinaire Cookie. 
Pink face, pink top. Coordination yo!

Cookie. She's not an attention whore. Promise
So all in all it was a good first run. Start to Finish put on a well organised event, with people directing us to the best toilets (you can only understand if you're there). I can't wait for the next one in two weeks!

OH! I almost posted it without saying my time! It was: 

42 mins 13.5 seconds. 

I scored 61 in my age and 470 overall out of 1,275, so feeling pretty good about it all.