Sunday, 20 December 2009

A year in review

Like most people, at this time of year I'm really assessing 2009 - what I achieved, what I didn't and what I want to do in 2010.

In 2009 I: ran three half-marathons, made some great new friends through CanToo and strengthened friendships made in 2008 in CanToo, did a 40 classes in 60 days Bikram challenge, was made redundant, got a fantastic new job that I love and feel lucky to have landed, and last weekend I swam in my first ocean race!

On a more personal side, I met a married guy who wanted to have an affair with me, I finally broke ties with an ex who - while being a pretty good guy - was bad for me and my self esteem/confidence, gave internet dating a red-hot go, went through a range of good and bad emotions about myself and where I am in life and where I want to be, and turned 31!

I feel like 2009 was a bad year really. A lot of ups and downs emotionally, more than one night crying like an idiot (over men, generally) and doubting myself. I was made redundant from a job that I didn't really like, but worked extremely hard in and was only made redundant due to a personality clash with the boss. From all this, however, I feel like I've really managed to make the best of it, learn and grow. I feel like I am so much stronger for all the sh*t that went on, and in 2010 will use all this experience to drive me.

Naturally, my number one goal for 2010 is to increase AND MAINTAIN fitness. At the beginning of 2009 I went on a huge clean eating and exercise mission, dropped a good dress size/5kg or so and felt fantastic. Around the middle of the year, however, it started slipping. My eating started to slip as I made excuses to eat not so much junk, but the food I just cannot handle - more highly processed stuff basically, and too much sugar/fat and just too much in general. The result was, of course, weight gain, loss of fitness and constantly fighting fatigue.

Of course, you can only do what you can. I was working 10 hour shifts with no break, under a lot of pressure at work and as the company's merger was announced in February but the results/outcome of this weren't known until August I feel like I spent far too many months worrying about the future. I feel like I did the best with the free time I had, but in 2010 with my new job and more civilised hours I can do better.

So, here we are again. Resetting goals. I've been working for the past month or so on rebuilding a fitness base. On Saturday I finally felt like it was working and reminded myself of why I want to get to that higher level of fitness. I went on a 10km run with some of my running group, which has broken up for the swim season. We'd run 9km and I was coming up the last and not insignificant hill, having run up a pretty monstrous hill already without stopping or losing too much speed. About a third of the way up the hill, a break-through, I got a surge of energy! I seriously did, I picked up my pace and powered up that hill feeling fresh and alive. Whoo hoo. I then powered the final km home.

After that, we went off to swim training at Manly beach. We did about 2km, swimming from South Steyne to Shelly, then to Half-Way beach and back. While I was by no means in the front of the pack, I was definitely in the top third of the group. More than that, about 1km into the swim I found myself actually relaxed and enjoying the fact I was swimming well and feeling good. Until Saturday I'd found myself really tense in the water with almost strained breathing, on the verge of panicking or getting upset because I didn't feel good.

So I was stroking along and gave myself a big pat on the back. I've only been swimming again for about five weeks, prior to that it had been about 10 years since I'd done any serious swimming training. As a kid/teen I did a LOT of swimming. Four or five sessions a week, plus surf life saving on the weekends. I had a lot of pressure from my parents to keep doing it and to improve and compete at a higher level. The more pressure they applied, the less I wanted to do it until they finally stopped pushing and I gave up.

But here I am again, almost enjoying swimming training. I still hate the pool sessions, there is nothing to look at but the black line and the chlorine is drying out my skin, hair and irritating my eyes. At the same time, I really like feeling that fitness level come up again. So, I am definitely going to keep swimming while doing my other stuff. I feel like it's really strengthened up my back muscles and is great for all over fitness.

Soooo, that was all a very long winded way of saying that I look forward to regaining that real feeling of fitness. The feeling that your body is just bursting with energy and health and that you can do just about anything. Run, swim, weights, yoga etc etc.

Oh, and I look forward to fitting into my skinny jeans again! Not skinny leg style jeans, that would just be obscene as I have heavily muscled legs and am far too short to pull it off. But obviously I mean my smaller sized jeans that have alluded me since August!

I'm not putting any kg loss target on myself, although secretly if I could lose about 7kg I think I would be at my prime fighting weight and ready to consider the full marathon in September. I know what I need to do to get there. It's not about crazy dieting, for me, it's about much more careful eating and training. And sleep. I must remember to sleep. As I'm not a spring chicken anymore, not that I'm ancient, I need my sleep more than ever before. Gone are the days when I could sleep for four or five hours and expect to feel fantastic. I need at least seven hours to wake up feeling fresh.

More than that, it needs to be good sleep. No eating an hour before bed or sleeping in later to catch up on sleep.

I think it's going to be about routine ... or if not routine, but a rhythm.

While I love my new job, I am still struggling to get myself into that rhythm due to increased travel times and stuff. I can't do a class at 6am, arrive home at 7am and be on the train 20 minutes later. I really need to consider finding a gym closer to work. I am considering getting a personal trainer to show me the right way to do weights. I've done a lot of pump, but I don't think this is really targetted enough for me. The problem, I've seen, with PTs is that there are a lot of them out there and they're not all created equal. While there are some good trainers at Fitness First, a lot of them just don't really care about you or your goals - they just want to get paid.

I've hard a friend of a friend is opening up a very private gym basically half-way between home and work and I think she might be the right fit. I've got a few friends who are PTs, but I really need someone who I have no emotional connection with right now, as I want to be pushed hard and do not want it to affect any of my friendships. I have no problem with working hard, but I don't like the idea of my friends telling me what to do.

Soooo, the goals for 2010. Get fitter, stay happy, stay focussed on my goals, stop doing things I don't want to do because others want me to do it and not feel guilty for making myself my number one priority.

A clear plan of how to do all this is yet to emerge, but it will!

Does anyone have any tips for staying motivated and enthusiastic? When I lost my first amount of weight, four years ago, I took what I called a day by day approach. I didn't think about the next week/month etc, I really broke things down to one day at a time. I would wake up in the morning and make sure every decision I made about food and exercise was "on goal". If I had a bad day, I didn't let if affect the next and, similarly, if I ate something bad I didn't just give in and let it mean I had a bad day or week. I think this is the key for me. Keep the focus really tight, one day at a time. In 2009 I really lost this as I was setting myself big goals for the future and then worrying about how I would get there and panicking about it.

So I think this is what I need to do. Work out a vague plan of attack, and take things one day at a time. Think more about what I'm doing during the day ... so often I just simply forget about what I'm eating and find myself munching away on the stuff I wanted to avoid. Like bread rolls or high sugar yoghurts or big handfuls of nuts.

So, farewell to 2009 a year of ups and downs but ultimately a lot of personal growth. I am acknowledging what I've achieved, but I refuse this time to rest on my laurels and bask in that glory. I know I can do more if I stay focussed.

Friday, 20 November 2009


So I know I have been missing in action for a while now. Due mainly to the fact my home laptop seems to have died. No idea what's wrong with it, aside from taking 20 minutes to start up, it just keeps randomly closing internet sessions. It IS ancient and full of rubbish its previous owner, my brother, put onto it. I've uninstalled the bulk of his programs, but it's still deadly slow. I really should buy a new one, but I keep talking myself out of it. I figure I'm on a computer every day and really, how often do I use one at home? A little bit is the honest answer, I do all my banking online, plus a bit of shopping, and blogging/facebook/twitter of course.

Problem is, I'm soooo indecisive when it comes to things like this. Largely because I don't really care ... all I want is for it to be reliable and fast, and not cost the earth because whichever brand/model I choose will be obsolete in 12 months or less. The sales guys at Harvey Norman, JB Hi-Fi etc annoy me too, because they either think I am stoopid for not caring or knowing about all this stuff or do not even try to figure out what is the best model for me and try to sell me the most expensive one they have. AND talk over the top of me the whole time. Urgh.

Anyhoo, have finally cleared the decks somewhat at work, so here I am.

Have FIVE classes left in the Bikram challenge to be completed by next Saturday (including Saturday). I will do at least two over the weekend, considering doing two on Sunday so I only need to do two during the week to hit the target. We shall see, however, I may have to content myself with one each day on Sat/Sun and then do Mon-Wed.

The studio - thank GOD - has opened a new room and practically doubled evening classes. For me this has meant that instead of jamming myself into a class with 50 other sweaty bodies and then getting dizzy due to the lack of oxygen which everyone ELSE is hogging (plus being 5'2" doesn't help as the fresh oxygen apparently rises to the top of the room), I have been in a class with an absolute maximum of 10 other people. Plenty of space to move and air to breathe. The rooms are still heated to 40C, but I find it SO much more manageable when I am not close to faining OR have someone a foot away from me on either side dripping sweat on me.

I managed to strain my back via a combination of factors, including poor posture at work, wearing stupidly high heels at work, slipping over and jarring my back wearing thongs in the pouring rain (bizarre weather) and the usual stuff such as carrying a heavy bag on one shoulder etc. This is meant I've had to be a lot more "modest" in classes, let my ego that wants to push further into every posture go and just focus on alignment and doing the best I can, or what works for my body. Sounds like a load of rubbish I know, but it has really helped me mentally to be forced not to push myself every single class and instead be content to do what I can manage without causing injury or pain.

I have definitely gotten a lot stronger in most areas, my legs are lot more toned and my arms are looking GREAT - nicely toned, dangly bits vastly reduced and good tricep/bicep definition. Not too crazy though, I don't want to look like dear ol' Madonna. Around my shoulders is definitely a lot more toned too. The best outcome, however, has been my glowing skin. Aside from a few times when I've overdone the bad eating and booze (usually in combination too), I wake up looking much healthier with clear eyes and skin and everyone has been telling me I have a glow about me. And no, I'm not preggers.

I will definitely try to keep doing around four classes a week, but I will make time for other stuff too.

Swimming has started with CanToo Swim and this has presented a whole new challenge. While I am loving it, I do NOT love not being as fit or as good as I would like to be. My technique nees a good amount of refinement, I tend to lose it when tired and get tired at arond the 800m mark. Considering we are doing around 1.6km per session that's not good! The ocean swims are just the BEST. One of the best ways to start off the weekend, although I have managed to pick up a bit of sunburn at each session but thankfully not TOO much. Must get some better suncream though, current stuff goes white and looks horrible, plus seems to wash off very easily.

I must learn to relax in the water though. I'm just sooo tense. I'm not a very relaxed person anyway, which is why something like Bikram appeals to me - normal yoga is just far too serene for my liking. What I've tried anyway, I need the hot room. So that's what I'm working on from next week. Doing a swim session every day and just trying to relaaaax. And enjoy as much as possible. Must work on my breathing too. Although I imagine that's related to the fitness side of things. But I tend to just let it go whenever I want ... go from bilateral breathing to one-sided breathing.

Anyhoo, five Bikram sessions to go and two and a half months of swimming training. Let's see how we go!

Oh, on the man front ... that requires a whole new post. But I will just say that I've discovered, or proved the theory for myself, that the best way to get a man to want you is to break up with him. Argh.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Variety is the spice of life

This is what I have learnt on my Bikram challenge. I love Bikram, although right now I do not LOVE love it ... I really only like it. Everything is sore, I am sick of having wet clothes and a wet towel to wash after each class and my mat never seems to dry properly (obviously Sydney weather isn't helping on any of these points).

I have really learnt a lot about myself during this challenge. Some good, some bad, and some things I'm yet to determine.

The number one bad thing: I'm impatient. Not when it comes to others, but myself. I have no compassion for myself and give myself no credit - I think I should have improved X amount, so I almost try to force myself to have improved that amount. Result? Seriously strained, possibly minor torn, hamstring which resulted in bruising behind the knee. Ouch! Entirely my own fault as well, trying to force myself further into Bow Pulling pose (or whatever the real name is).

The good? I am determined and persistent. Yeah sure, stubborn too. But determination and commitment is what keeps me going to class six times a week (on good weeks!), I just need to find a way to really use that to my advantage ... or harness it better.

One that sits about midway is that I am stubborn. I refused to give up when I had the hideous sinus infection that meant I could barely breathe, also when I started my new job and there was a whole world of new stuff to learn, plus all the usual stuff going on in the background - such as being woken up at 4am by drunken neighbours playing John Farnham and other rubbish.

Exercise-wise I have learnt I need VARIETY to keep myself interested. Sure, I love a good challenge but it needs to be a bit more diverse. A few running sessions a week, a few sessions in the pool, some Pump/weights, PLUS Bikram. Not all the same thing. It was actually a really positive thing to "discover", as I found myself missing running, the gym etc. Unfortunately working 9 hours a day and doing 90 mins of Bikram almost every day doesn't leave much time for anything else.

Desperately looking forward to finishing the challenge. Determined NOT to fall short of the mark for anything!

Monday, 19 October 2009

A life without sugar

Two weeks ago I accidentally had a coffee without my standard 1/2 a teaspoon of sugar. I say accidentally but really I was just so damn tired I simply forgot to even put it in ... and had practically finished the coffee before I even thought about it, never noticing the lack of sugar in said coffee.

So, rather sheepishly, I realised it was time to stop putting any sugar in - since I hadn't noticed it missing. Although the exhaustion may have also numbed my tastebuds. Nonetheless, I've stopped purposefully putting it in ... but every now and then I find myself doing it automatically, or at least preparing to do it - most times I have caught myself and stopped.

I'm happy to admit that I haven't missed it in the slightest, although I'm rather embarrassed and annoyed at myself. How long have I been putting sugar in my beverages when I haven't needed to? It's not even a calorie concern, although obviously every bit counts, it just made me realise how I do a lot of things out of habit rather than actual need or desire. Well, the sugar is really the only example I've come up with. And putting salt on things ... although I stopped that ages ago by simply keeping the salt in the cupboard and not on the table.

Anyhoo, in terms of the sugar cravings ... I have found the no sugar in coffee/tea has helped. Or has at least lessened the severity. This afternoon I was thinking "man, I'm realllly hungry" but really, I was just experiencing that old "I want sugar" feeling. Ignored it! So far anyway.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Kennel cough and Bikram ... and second week of new job

Ahhh, this has been a tough week. What I thought was a slight cold or case of hayfever turned into hideous sinus infection with horrible cough. Fabulously timed with second week of the new job, which was extremely demanding as I was having the second website I am going to be producer for handed over to me, plus being in charge of the first website for the first week and stuff.

Fortunately I sounded much worse than I actually felt, which is probably better than feeling horrible but sounding fine. On Monday I gave in and went to the doctor on the way home after work instead of going to Bikram and got my first lot of anti-biotics in god knows how long. Hah, five days later I'm marginally better but really not convinced of the effect of the drugs! Think it's just run its course.

Despite missing Bikram on Monday, I managed to go three days through the week. Struggled due to blocked nose. Bikram focuses a lot on breathing through the nose and keeping your breathing controlled, which was pretty much impossible due to my blocked nasal passages. Breathing through the mouth isn't ideal as apparently it stimulates the adrenal glands and makes your heart beat faster ... not ideal when you're in a super-heated room and pushing yourself into challenging positions. Bah. But anyway, hopefully one or two more days and I'll be breathing normally again.

Aside from kennel cough and terrifying colleagues with coughing fits and going through a box of tissues in a week, work was bloody awesome. So excited about some of the future prospects. First big interview coming up next week ... hopefully will not sound as diseased and terrify the 'talent'.

Only managed one run this week, in an effort to shift nasal blockage ... thought maybe the jolting would help shift it, but absolutely no effect. And wheezing cough did not make it fun either. Will attempt the morning runs again next week!

Bikram challenge is going well, currently at 13 classes in 17 days which I'm pretty happy with. Cannot help but miss Friday classes as there's no 7.30pm class and still cannot decide if going to the 6.15am class will make me late for work or exhaust me for the entire day. I think if I can make it to the other four classes during the week and both days on the weekend that will keep me on track to complete the 40 classes in 60 days.

So it's week two of the challenge (two and a bit technically), and this week my body has been tired and sore. I'm told this is normal! Aside from the soreness though, I've really started to feel some changes in my body. Not so much seen them, but hopefully that will come in the next, what, 43 days - ha ha. Still very tight in some joints ... well, most joints, but especially my hips and knees. Think running and desk job for the last 10 years can be partially held responsible. Look forward to feeling them open up a bit!

Friday, 9 October 2009

Zero running but mucho Bikram

It's Friday night and maaaaan I am shattered. First week at the new job was awesome. A simply fantastic department of people, talented, switched on, friendly and hard working. I started off the week slightly freaked out that I was out of my depth, but after each day I felt a little bit better and a little more confident that I was up to the challenges ahead.

I managed four Bikram classes this week, a definite record in my books. Was tough and somewhat insane as I have been getting home from work just after 6pm and having to head back out the door at 7pm for the late Bikram session. Home about 9.30pm, bed by 10.30pm and up again at 7am at the latest. Not much time for much in between. Anyway, next week we'll see how we go. Think the Bikram helped to deal with the stress factors of work and public transport (URGH hateful train system) and the bloody awful weather. Temp hasn't been above 18C all week. And sure that's fine, but some idiot (toot - me!) washed all their winter woollies and had their jackets cleaned/dry cleaned and packed them away and now ... I need them. But the same idiot packed them in the more modern version of moth balls ... but almost as stinky (and hopefully just as effective).

It's so interesting though. Each Bikram class is its own challenge. One day I achieve an extra inch or two in one stretch, and the next day I've lost an inch but gained more in another posture. One class the heat barely bothered me, another I felt like I was going to spontaneously combust I was so hot and uncomfortable. First week, however, so I'm sure there are a lot more 'interesting' experiences to come in Bikram.

Should/could go for a run tomorrow but I have been battling some sort of sickness all week. Glands in my throat up, sore throat, fever etc ... but I have been willing myself not to get sick. And so far managed pretty well. So do not think running around in the rain will help, much better to stick to the hot, sweaty torture of Bikram. It does seem to help - purging toxins and all that.

Can't wait for a quiet weekend, catching up on some sleep and just ... absorbing all the information thrown at me and the work stuff that happened during the week.

Hope everyone in blog land is well and has a great weekend, toot toot.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Long weekend action

Toot, toot what a crazy busy and wonderful long weekend. Great mix of all the good things in life.

Started the action on Friday with a fantastic facial, including some micro-dermabrasion or something like that and an oxygen facial. Not as relaxing as most facials, but seems to have perked my skin up a bit. I was looking a bit tired and worn out after some weirdly sleepless nights ... no trouble falling asleep, but had some ve-ry weird dreams (horrible ones about my family members) which I attribute mainly to stress and worrying about my brother who is away with the Army at the moment, my dad who is doing OK post a double hip replacement, and my mum who is just not handling these things well right now. Ahhh well. I'm just trying to keep them all happy and positive.

Had to buy a new hairdryer on Friday too as mine CAUGHT FIRE while I was using it. Well, there weren't flames, but there was a lot of smoke and a red glow coming from its insides. Eeek. Quickly turned it off at the powerpoint and had to carry it out to the balcony, putting smoke through the house, in my UNDERWEAR. Oh well, it was quite early so hopefully the neighbours were too busy getting ready for work etc to notice. Ridiculous shopping trip with cranky saleswoman trying to get me to buy the most expensive models despite me assuring her that yes, I will use it pretty much every day but do not want to spend $100 on something I could break and drop at any time. Also, do not care about ionic whatsermercall it, just want it to dry my hair. Anyhoo, reminded me of why I stopped going to Myer. Rude cow rolling her eyes at my clear stupidity for not forking out $100 for a superior hairdryer. Blah.

Saturday morning myself and some fellow CanToo diehards braved the rain and went for a trail run. It was just fantastic, we took it at a really easy pace (for me anyway) for most of the way out and just enjoyed the gorgeous scenery of the Lane Cove National Park. We ran about 4km into the park before we were thwarted by a swollen stream ... twice! Ran back and did some extra loops of the oval before heading to our traditional Saturday morning cafe for coffee and about two hours of chat. It was great. Took myself off to Bikram for Day 3 of the challenge and felt very proud to tick off three classes in three days (in a row)! Never before achieved this. It's strange the early changes in my body ... just noticed tiny differences around my knee/lower thigh, more defined calves and forearms. And paaaain. Quads and stomach are sooo sore, and wrists also ... but all this should improve quite quickly I believe.

Huuuge night on Saturday where I undid a lot of my good work, although not so much as while it involved about 3 glasses of wine, four beers and three shots it also involved nice Thai stir fry with lots of veggies and about six hours of intense dancing! Sweated up a storm, but man it was fun. Was a late night, not helped by daylight savings kicking in at 2am ... meant I got home at 5am instead of 4am. Still ridiculously late for me! So Sunday was naturally very quiet. Watched some TV, cleaned a bit, made some meatpies (made a big bloody mess too) and watched The Sound of Music. Find it all so sugary sweet romantic, but for some reason it's the looming threat of the Nazis taking over Austria that makes it so fascinating for me. The knowledge of how Austria was about to change and the horrors the world was about to see, and how this contrasts against the sweet innocence of Maria and the kiddies ... ahh, it makes me sad! But happy at the same time ... oh, and of course I want to learn to sing and meet a strikingly handsome former Naval Captain. Whoot!

Today I managed a Bikram session, a quick lunch with some friends and have spent the remainder of the day getting ready for the first day of my new job.

I feel SO blessed by my new job opportunity. It will be a fantastic new challenge, and there is so much potential for promotion in the company it's just so EXCITING ... two years from now, who knows where I could be. Hell, six MONTHS from now. No more shift work, no more working on weekends, no more working on public holidays. I won't know what to do with myself! Ha ha, except go to the gym/Bikram/running of course.

Monday, 28 September 2009


After running my third half-marathon for 2009 a week ago, celebrating my 31st birthday at the CanToo Spring Charity Ball and meeting some truly remarkable people at a friends 40th birthday party I've decided to issue myself a new challenge. I'm going to do the swim program with CanToo and train to do a 2.7km ocean swim!

There are some smaller races that I could nominate to train for - a 1km and 2km but I figure I might as well go for the big one. And really, 1km I could do now without too much effort and if you've swum 2km, what difference does another 700m make? Nothing! The biggest challenge will be facing putting on a swimming costume and wearing it in public with people I know quite well.

Aside from the fact I really feel like I need to shake things up a bit physically, I met some people at this party who are either cancer survivors or have recently been diagnosed with cancer. One guy I met, who is about 35, has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. TERMINAL cancer. I cannot imagine what he is going through, but he signed up for the swim program to help raise $$ for cancer research. What a legend! If I received that diagnosis I'm not sure I would handle it so well.

So that starts on November 5th. The Bikram challenge starts in four days! I am starting it today though - going to try to do four classes this week. My goal is to do four classes a week for the first 30 days, two classes on the weekend and two classes in the evening during the week. Then for the last 30 days I am going to try to do 5 classes a week, two on the weekend and three during the week. But as a minimum four a week in any combination will see me complete the challenge successfully.

I would REALLY like to lose a 5kg before summer, at a minimum. Although that's 5kg of the flabby stuff. Really I just want to feel a bit lighter and brighter. I figure I'm putting in all the right things, so the results should follow.

In terms of nutrition, I am following the low GI eating system as well as trying to only eat 'whole foods', nothing processed. Oats for breakfast, fruit and nuts for snacks, yoghurt, salad and veggies, lean meat and low GI carbs. And obviously drinking tonnes of water to counter the effects of Bikram. I was chatting to an instructor the other day who said he'd weighed his towel before and after a Bikram class to see how much he'd sweated ... and his towel was FIVE KILOS heavier. That's five litres of sweat. Which means that after a class he needed to drink five litres of water minimum to prevent dehydration! Lordy. Made me realise why I felt so dreadful after some classes when I'd only drunk a litre or so before and after class. Need more liquid!

Bizarre weather in Sydney of late, my poor flat is coated in dust and my CAR. Yikes. So this week is all about cleaning. Or dusting and vacuuming anyway.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Slightly Less Ouch

Two days post-half-mara and I think I'm about 85% recovered. Yesterday was dreadful, I could really only manage what I liked to call an adroit hobble ... managed a walk to the shops for vital necessities, but beyond that I was bed, couch or floor bound. Skins and lots and lots of stretching really helped.

Today I went in to Bikram and, hurray, was much better than last week. Think it's because of the reduction of toxins ... last four days or so have been focused on super clean eating. Touchwood, have been successful thus far. It felt pretty good, most of it anyway, so I did something cra-zy and signed up to the 60-day challenge. Argh! 40 classes in 60 days, minimum of four a week. Eeek. However, this is what I really want to do - I really think it will help to make me feel a whole lot better.

In other news, friggin' boys who call and text you numerous times a day are not worth it!

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Ouch that really freakin' hurt

Horrible race today which I have decided is, a), a wake up call and, b), a reminder that some races are golden and some races are ... not. Today was not. I didn't sleep at all last night - I saw 1am and was getting up at 3.50am. Why couldn't I sleep? Oh, 1001 reasons but too many thoughts going through my head. I really must admit to myself that the last month or so I have let training slip away while I looked for a new job and recovered from being made redundant from a job I worked my butt off at. My time was 2hr 2min and 16sec or so and I was aiming for under 2 hours. There were factors at work against me, like no WATER at water stations which meant I had to race around to find a cup and some fresh or at least clean water on three occasions.

The main factor, however, was my head. I was not in a good space and haven't been for a while now. The lack of sleep meant that when I woke up this morning I decided I was running for my grandfather who died from cancer nine years ago. What that meant, however, at 18km was that I got teary thinking that I wasn't doing the run for ME, I was doing it for him and he would never have given in like I had. He was the most amazing man, he went through so much in WWII and yet could turn it all around to be a gentle and lovely human being. I loved him so much and the saddest thing is that I really do not think he ever knew just how much I thought of him. I would give anything to have one more day with him to tell him how much I think of him.

Anyhoo, onwards and upwards. I am starting a fresh leaf, starting tonight with a good night's sleep and a sleep in. This week is mine and I will do whatever I need to to get me through the current sadness I feel. I wish I could reach into the heavens, grab my grandad and tell him I love him one more time. Obviously, I cannot ... instead I want to make him proud every day.

What a day, what a race ... things can only get better.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Serious Running

So this weekend is my third half-marathon for 2009, my fourth all together! I am not feeling as mentally focused as I have been ahead of previous events, due to all the other stuff going on, but I am confident of finishing in under two hours (my number one goal) and if I am feeling good at 15km I am going to push to get in under 1hr57mins. Last year when I ran this event I was just so focused on a) finishing and b) finishing in under two hours that I barely took in any of the scenery. And, um, hello! This race has the best scenery of them all! Over the Harbour Bridge - right down the middle of the road - through Pyrmont, out to Leichhardt (okay, that bit is pretty boring), but then along Circular Quay to finish at the Opera House! Whoo hoo.

Went to my final CanToo training session on Wednesday, despite feeling pretty rubbish, but after the warm-up I actually felt pretty good. Ran 3x1000m at 5.25min pace! So maaayybe there is hope that one time I will run a 1hr50min half-mara. Mind you 21x1000m is a lot different than 3. But you've got to start somewhere, right? It's all about getting into the right rhythm AND, of course, being fit enough to maintain it.

Did my first Bikram Yoga session on Thursday after months and months (when things went mental at work actually) and nearly fainted several times. Literally had the blurred/darkened vision and weird numb feeling in my hands. Yikes! However, there's only one way to get better - keep going! So planning to head back on Monday morning post-half mara. Should be good!

The other running news ... well, exercise news, is some of my faboosh CanToo pals have started a little training group. Nothing fancy, just a group of people who want to get fit! Or fitter anyway. This morning we did an hour and it involved a 2km warmup jog, then a range of nasty short and sharp shuttle runs, think I did about 100 push ups and sit ups plus a 10 minute core work out. Was pretty darn tough, but man it felt good! Whoo hoo!

In other news ... so freaking excited, I am no longer unemployed. Details to follow another time, but yay! Feel like a weight has lifted off my shoulders. Well, one of a number of weights. Would like to lift about 8kg off my entire self actually ... but that's also for another post.

Monday, 7 September 2009

Ahh Jeezus

Okay, the last few weeks have been insane. Pure insanity. Two main events have turned life upside down.

Firstly, I've been made redundant! Boo! Kinda. I was actually quite relieved as I was SICK of doing shift work and exhausted by working like a dog day in day out with people who were largely incompetent and disinterested. Nice payout etc so not so desperate. REALLY want to get a job in the next few weeks though as would like to save this money for my house fund. Had a few days of staggering around wondering WTF to do and then naturally got myself into gear. Several job interview so far and fingers crossed re: the VERY big fish (or company) that I've been trying to work at for about four years. This is as close as I'll ever get. Two interviews so far and now have to work on a product brief and then have final meeting with the big boss.

Secondly, my brother's girlfriend of four years ... well, I guess she broke up with him. In a rather indirect, hurtful and disrespectful way. She told him she was going to visit her parents in Canberra for the weekend ... and on the following Thursday called him from HAWAII to tell him she'd met and fallen in lust/love with some American Special Forces soldier. Obviously the fact he's American is besides the point, but I just like to fill in all the details. The worst thing was my brother had been going out of his mind with worry as he had not heard from her for four days. He felt like such a heel, worrying that she'd had an accident, ringing her friends and even tried to call her parents (who had NO idea where she was either) etc etc. And she was off in Hawaii shagging some idiot.

Argh. It just shattered my faith in people. I mean, I never loved this girl. She was extremely arrogant, unintelligent ... but in the way where she thought she knew everything and would argue with you when clearly she knew nothing about the subject and seemed to make up blatant lies/facts, and she was a very cold and calculating person, much more concerned about $$$ and outside appearances than personality. Oh, and extremely bad manners. Blah.

Anyway, I love my little bro. He is my good mate and an AMAZING guy - thoughtful, considerate, talented, generous, smart etc etc. I am SO proud of him as he has pulled himself up and away from bad behaviours and a bad crowd and achieved a lot in the last five years or so. WTF is UP with throwing away four years for ... what?


In the meantime, bloody RSVP dating has put me in the bloody sh*t. I am a multi-tasker and I am also unable to make decisions about men ... and suddenly I find myself, well, I need to make a decision. I have been dating two great guys for ... well, about two months I guess. On and off and only recently on a regular basis. It's crunch time as I cannot continue! They are both wanting to take things to the next level! When it rains it freakin' pours eh. I just don't knoooow.

Argh. I will have to readdress this subject in another post because I'm far too aerated after thinking about my brother and his bitch-face-stupid-cow ex.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

I want to move!

I need to vent. I soooo want to move house. There is nothing really holding me back aside from economic rationalism. I rent from a friend, who gives me a VERY good/cheap rate on his one-bedroom flat. It's obscene, I should literally be paying $100 a week more. It is, however, in the middle of nowhere! I moved there nearly two years ago and just feel like I need a change. I haaate moving, but I am sick of being in the 'burbs, I miss the hustle and bustle of Newtown, where there are weird and wonderful sights to be seen every night and it only costs $15 in a taxi to get home. $20 tops.

I would be looking at paying at least $250 to $300 in rent, plus all the same bills, and I would have to spend more time travelling to work, travelling to where my running group trains. So I'm really best of staying put for a while.

But my feet are itching!

Ohh well. For now the economic rationalist in me will keep me where I am ... but for how long!?

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Not dead ... but refocussed!

Have finally got over the maddening poison-ivy itching and my tan is, alas, fading.

The only thing remaining from my fab Hawaiian holiday is my gut! Although a better description is some extra padding around the stomach. Damn that food. I have been struggling badly with jet lag and loss of routine since I came back but I'm finally starting to feel like I'm regaining some sort of control. Helped by the fact I've had the last two days off work, as part of the roster not on annual leave, and I've caught up on a heap of washing and cleaning. And food shopping.

Going on a bit of a sugar-free diet. Well, refined sugar-free anyway and processed food-free. Although I hate the word diet. Rather, I'm just trying to cut out a heap of rubbish. It's all fruit, veg, plain yoghurt, nuts and seeds and green tea. Basic meal structure has been: 1/2 cup organic muesli with 2 tabs plain greek yoghurt and 1/4 cup organic skim milk; piece of fruit for a snack; either a salad with egg or tuna or sandwich with burgen bread with much the same; dinner has been 1/2 cup Doongara (LowGI) rice/Quinoa or pasta/soba noodles with either grilled or oven baked chicken or fish and a load of veggies. Only using fresh herbs and spices to season.

So far ... urgh, I'm a bit tired but that could be from a range of things! Not drinking alcohol for about three weeks either ... or for as long as I can hold off for anyway. A glass or two is alright, but no big nights until Friday 25th of September.

Race is five weeks away. Don't think I'm on track for 1hr 55min but if I can get under 1hr 57min I will be happy. Although, I really enjoyed running the Gold Coast half-mara with no real goal beyond under 2hours so I might just stick with that again. Frankly I'm not some super star athlete, and I don't think there's anything wrong with running something for enjoyment rather than to two a minute or two off your time. I'm in this running gig for the long run, not short term, so I think enjoyment is far better than results. For now.

I've entered though! Yikes! Roll on September 20th. I want to lose a good 5cm off my waist by then. Think once I bash off the holiday bloat it will all trim down quite quickly. It's all those refined carbs that have pumped me up! Oh, and the booze.

Things at work are a bit hairy right now ... find out about my job (ie: if I still have one) in about a week and a half. Just carrying on with business as usual until then. But man, fingers, toes, legs and eyes crossed! Do not want to have to start looking for a new job right now!

Monday, 10 August 2009

I'm back

No, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth! I have crossed the dateline twice though on my trip to Hawaii. Which was ... mixed. I will report back about that later.

I managed to gain about 2kg in 8 days due to dodgy eating and probably moreso drinking practically every day. Some days one beer, some days several cocktails (too many!). Ahhh, but I enjoyed it all.

Now, back to reality! Skinny jeans still fit JUST, but would not wear them just yet. Time for two weeks of serious hardcore clean eating and exercising. Arrived home at 9.10pm last night, in bed by 10.30pm and woke up at 6am this morning to hit the gym. Today's challenge is to stay awake (hello, coffee run approaching), get some food in the fridge (emptied it out before I left) and find a place to put all my new-found goodies!

Did some AMAZING and gorgeous runs over there, including Diamond Head in Waikiki. It's a volcano crater that has a track up - winding around it a bit - 11km up. I didn't quite run all the way to the top ... only because there was a group of army boys (US army that is) doing some sort of training that looked evil. Running up and down from the summit to near where I was (at a lookout) with what looked like very heavy packs. But I think I got about 3/4 of the way up. A good 90minute run, with about 30mins of that UP this serious mountain/volcano. Man, it hurt BAD. And strained my calf in the process so for the next two days was grimacing a bit. But I did it!

Was sooo lovely to be hot and sweaty again, without having to go to the Bikram studio! Can't wait for summer. Today is a rude shock - it's currently 5C where I live. Winter woolies and uggies ahoy! Brrrr.

Anyway, just wanted to log a bit of a 'commitment' to healthy eating. The food was dreadful, very high GI so found myself eating high calorie meals that burnt up very quickly and left me hungry two hours later. Need lots of veg, salad, fruit and lean fish/meat. No more pineapple. Urgh, ate enough to cover about 10 Hawaiian pizzas. So different over there! So much sweeter.

Gotta get out running this arvo - have new running shoes! So long as it doesn't rain it will all be good.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Getting Sorted

A not-so-bad week in terms of food and exercise. Had a larger than anticipated Sunday night, watching a friend's band in the Rocks, and spent Monday feeling slightly tired and hungover doing major house-works. How the hell do I have so many bloody clothes and nothing to wear? Argh. Must do some chucking and eBaying of stuff that's too big, too small or whatever.

Did 1 x 8km run, 2 x Pump, track running session with 8x400m sprints (sucks ass) after a 2km warm-up, then yesterday did 10km trail run. I love/hate trail running. It's actually much more of an all-ove body work out because the uneven surface means you have to hold your core in much more than with usual running. Plus the trail we run has some truly shocking bits where you're constantly watching where you're going and planning each step. All good of course, but meant that after 10km yesterday I was shattered! Today bits of me are sore that are not usually sore - must be a good thing.

Counting down to Hawaii. Less than two weeks. Need to continue good/careful eating and exercise. But frankly will not go on about it too much. Next weekend doing two races - one 10km and the other 11km (Sutherland to Surf) on separate days. Both won't be at full 'race pace', but will give them both a good 85% effort.

Today I'm also 'getting sorted'. Sunny weather means catching up on huuuge washing backlog. Hate not having a dryer as it means things like sheets and towels can often build up while I'm waiting for a sunny day where I'm not working. Today! Whoo hoo. Determined to clear the 'big stuff' backlog. Also just need to do general de-clutter and chuck out of stuff. Looking forward to it. Just having a nice quiet coffee while the first load of washing finishes.

Went on second RSVP date last night with Mr P. He's sooo nice. Smells good too. Was unfortunately a little bit tired so was not really in top form. But will definitely see him again! Was so f'n cold that at the end of dinner just had to give each other a quick hug and run away, no time for standing around for potential 'first kiss'. God, so juvenile I know. Was also busting for the loo and wanted to get home asap. Next time, there's gotta be some action!

Work is an uncontrollable beast right now, feel like I'm just sitting on top of it and hanging on for dear life - putting out spot fires where I can and barely keeping ahead of the huge mass of work surging behind me. I am, however, surviving and will continue to do so!

Sunday, 12 July 2009

One More Kick

Went to the gym after work yesterday. Felt great as I walked out, despite shocking food intake while at work. So here is my final kick for this weekend. Simple equation - eat clean/healthy + exercise + enough sleep = feel great. Eat junk + no exercise + no sleep = feel like bit blobby mess.


Saturday, 11 July 2009

Someone kick me in the butt

At work, blah, won't go on about that. Need to kick myself up the butt. Must get out for a run this afternoon. Just read an article that said eating just 100 calories too many per day can lead you to put on four kilograms in a year! Eeeek. What if you eat, say, 400 calories too many in a day. Haven't been strict calorie counting, but I know I've been going over. Chocolate effort on Wednesday would been several hundred too many! And I just ate a muffin! Oops.

So here I am, kicking myself in the butt! Get a move on woman, Hawaii in THREE weeks.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Arggggh focus

Just need a pep talk. Have really slipped these last three days or so. Yesterday ate more chocolate than any person should! Felt soooo desperately ill and today I have a food hangover, tired, headache and the rest.

Whyyy do I do this to myself? I manage to keep focussed and stay "on the path" for so long, and then in just four days I undo all my hard work. I mean, obviously it won't undo ALL of it, but I just feel dreadful and it will take me X amount of days to feel human again. After the junk food fest that was my Geelong trip it took me two weeks to feel good again!

Anyway, I'll get over it. Off to the gym this arvo for some bike work and then Pump. Body feels like it's ready for Pump again. Will have tomorrow off, 8km run on Saturday and will try to get to a Pump class in the arvo, run on Sunday too. Monday will be early AM bikram and evening Pump.

But really, it's all about eating. Need two weeks of clean eating - fruit, veg, lean meat, wholegrains etc. Damn chocolate! Sugar cravings are going to kill me for the next two days.

No RSVP news, too tired from Sunday's 22hour stint to date. Maybe next week.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Goldy Half

Ahhh what a great weekend. It will take me another day to get over it I think!

Arrived on the Gold Coast at about 4.30pm on Saturday arvo and headed off to the hotel to meet my fellow runners. We sat around chatting, drinking as much water as we could manage and generally trying to relax ahead of the race. I hate the pre-race nerves, I cannot 'go to the toilet' which is NOT good ahead of running 21.1km or whatever it might be, and I can never, ever sleep. We went off to dinner, had simple Italian (carb loading - my favourite) spag bol with HEAPS of chilli flakes, which is usually a good trick for getting things moving. Didn't work, but whatever. We also had a glass of wine each, deciding that it would help us sleep. Also didn't work! Went to bed at about 10pm and was really only able to doze until 3.50am when I decided I might as well get up as lying in bed wasn't helping me in any way.

Really didn't feel hungry, but ate a banana and piece of bread with peanut butter on it as I figured I'd need SOME food. Felt pretty gross I must say, like I was just topping up from the night before. Drank more water, had a coffee and we headed off to the start of the race.

Pre-race stuff I MUST do: check all my gear 1001 times, have a shower, brush my teeth twice, put on several layers of deodorant (obviously this really only lasts for about an hour of serious running), pack and repack my bag and post a note on Facebook giving myself a call-out!

We got to the start of the race without incident but f*** me it was freezing, 6C or so and we're standing around for 30minutes trying to warm up, stretch and keep warm. Hah, didn't work. Spent the first 3km or so of the race wondering when my hands would stop feeling like iceblocks and I would be able to feel my feet again. The cold air made my teeth, nose and ears ache ... then, at about 4km I finally started to feel good again. A major factor in this was getting to watch the sunrise, over the beach, while running with several thousand other people who didn't think it at all strange to be up so early to put your body through a wee bit of pain.

After the 4km marker it all fell into place. Legs felt good, head was in a great positive space, cheered people on (the front pack who were running back past us) and just really enjoyed it all. I took the first 10km really easy and only marginally stepped it up for the next 11km. Was aiming to finish in 2 hours and finished in 1hr 59min and 59secs, which made me laugh because it speaks volumes about my obsession with organisation and being on time. I was so happy with the whole day because, aside from being cold, at no point during the run did I want to stop or feel like I needed to stop. I had a gel at about the 1hr15min mark because I was feeling a bit sans-energy and needed a little pick up. Worked a treat!

Once I finished I hung around to wait for some of my friends to finish and then joined the huge crowds going through the finishing gates. Hung around and watched our super-coach run past us at the 32km or so mark of his first marathon. The poor guy was doing it tough. He'd not followed his own careful and good advice and had gone out too hard and blown up at about 26km. He was aiming to run 5min40sec kms and had run 5min10km for the first 21km because he felt so good. As he ran past us he said "I'm in so much pain" and one of the girls ran with him for a km or so to try and perk him up. He was just in a world of hurt. His GF and one of the girls joined him and walked with him for the next 9km and then he ran the last km home. Awesome effort. The rest of us were about 400m from the finish line and cheered on all the marathoners. It was inspiring, all the looks of joy, pain, pride etc. It was also sobering. I really want to run a marathon, but I realised that I really cannot go into it half-done, I will need to commit seriously for at least four months to serious training, no nights out, no uncontrolled eating etc. And even then, it will still hurt like a mo-fo.

Anyway, we saw our coach coming down the road with the two girls on either side of him and the look on his face just broke my heart. We cheered him as he ran past us then sprinted to the grandstand at the finish line to cheer him over it. Ahhh, it was inspiring because he'd wanted to quit and just go home but he didn't! Determination personified. We were sooo proud of him.

We went and found 'lunch' at about 2pm or so and then headed back to our hotel to sit around, have showers, and sit around some more. Met the rest of CanToo at a pub/club thing for a few drinks and ... yeah, that's where it all went pear shaped. Although had the BEST freakin' night I've had for ages. We had (quite) afew drinks there, we had some dinner at about 8pm and then watched the band that was there. One of the guy in our group was HILARIOUSLY drunk, dancing around and getting the entire club on the dancefloor. Eventually we were all dancing away and when the club closed at 10pm we headed to another club for some MORE dancing. Whoo hoo. Soooo much fun, the place was full of runners. Drinking, dancing, laughing. There was a fantastic rock cover band on who kept us all on the dancefloor. Man, we were sooo drunk too. Got home at about 1.30am and had to be at the airport at 5am. Got a taxi at 4.30am and ... I was still totally drunk when I woke up. Not that I'd drunk so much though, but since I don't seem to drink much these days it really affects me.

Got to the airport and onto the plane without incident, got a lift home with a friend and was home by 8.30am. Ahhh, felt great but man I was shattered. Really only managed to sleep all day and do some cooking and cleaning. Today is a new day though. Woke up feeling great and going to get all my washing sorted and then head off for a walk. Really want to go to the gym, but think that might be a tiny bit too ambitious. We'll see though, might be good to just sit on the bike and get my legs moving.

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Running + RSVP

Firstly the running folks. Running in the Gold Coast half-mara this weekend. Really looking forward to it! Heading to the Gold Coast with five CanTooers from the Mac Uni pod and four of us are planning on running together. We're all varied speeds but we'll be running at the slowest person's km pace, which is a good minute slower than mine. I'm actually looking forward to it, as it means I will be able to enjoy the run a bit more and hopefully not look like rubbish at the end. We're really going just for fun ('cause running 21.1km is fun!) and to raise the CanToo profile. You can't help but notice a flood of fluro orange singlets!

On Saturday we did a fast and furious 10km at training. Well, I didn't intend for it to be fast and furious ... it just happened that way! Set myself a new 10km pb of 52min, which I know isn't super-fast but for me it's flying and it was on a super-hilly course. Previously my best 10km time was 54.10min. It was one of those runs where I never felt good though, I constantly had to push myself and fight the voice in my head telling me to give up because it was too hard, I was too tired etc. Was pretty damn pleased with myself afterwards though! My goal is to be running 50min 10km by the end of the year. Or to run that at least once anyway.

Now, onto the RSVP rubbish. Firstly let me say gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah. Phew. Right. So after the armpit licking email from Mr Roses I sent him an email back saying that I really didn't think what he'd said was appropriate and I didn't want to hear/see him again. But - bloody hell - he has my phone number doesn't he! He sent me a text saying he'd "googled" me and found some pictures of me and articles that I've written. Weirdo! I mean, I understand that in this day and age you've got to expect or at least accept someone will google you, but you don't TELL the person you've googled that you did it ... or tell them what you found. Urgh. I won't go into anymore details beyond to say he found a pic of me after the City2Surf last year and now wants to "come back as the crotch of a pair of women's adidas tights". URGGGGGHHHH. Naturally I have now blocked him from everywhere that can be blocked after sending him some messages telling him to bugger off ... slightly different wording though.

That's really about it to be honest. I'm kinda over it right now. Plus, I don't really have time to date as I've got so much training happening over the next few months and the Ashes stuff at work which will mean I am pretty committed for about six weeks. Blahhh to all that.

In fact, in terrible blah space in general right now. Must be that fabulous PMS time again as I feel like a big fat blob, despite my usual markers indicating that I have not gained weight (ie: skinny jeans and scales). Incredibly tired. Irritable. Stressed at work. Just have to keep the faith that the feeling will pass, as it always does. Going out to dinner with some girlfriends tonight, all set to look fab in gorgeous wrap dress and heels so that should perk me up a bit.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

More RSVP freak outs

Okay ... so now I'm totally freaked re: flower sending psycho. He is seriously psycho! He sent me an email, on the site, telling me he thought I was smokin' hot and 'wanted to lick my armpits' among other thngs. Torn between thinking he's a bit of a worry and thinking he just has NO friggin' idea about acceptable behaviour?

More later ... I am still trying to digest the email.

Monday, 22 June 2009

RSVP Freak Out

Okay, so date #2 has just done the unthinkable. Or the insane. You decide.

He has sent me 2 dozen long stemmed red roses, to my work, plus a box with a bottle of champers, chocolates, teddy bear and balloon hanging off it.


I knew who it was instantly when I read the card and it simply said "Beautiful".

WTF is going on! A good friend of mine has said it's the result of one of the following three:
a) Love at first sight
b) He does this for every woman he dates
c) He's psycho

Either way I am totally freaking out.

The Grand Date Review

Okay, sooo my dates. Saturday's guy is soooo lovely. He looked a bit different to his picture, but I can't say how. He just does. Not in a bad way, it was all good. He works at a printers as a digital layout something or other, he didn't really go into it too much (we didn't talk work too much), but he's really a keen artist and he's currently doing a commissioned piece and is getting set up to start having a stall at the markets near his place - doing t-shirt prints, stickers etc etc. He's got an amaaazing tatt on his right bicep/arm too which is his own design. Beach/ocean themed stuff, it was really cool. He was running late, which was alright as he rang and told me he would be before I arrived so I parked and went for a little walk.

Hah, on my walk got two excellently timed confidence boosters (which I really needed), one was a truck full of council workers leaning out the window whistling and stuff, and the other was a lady in a shop telling me I had "gorgeous shiny hair". Nice! We stayed from 1.30pm until 5pm when I realised I had to get home as I was supposed to be meeting friends at Olympic Park ahead of Simon & Garfunkel.

It always gets a bit weird at the end of the date. He told me he'd definitely like to see me again and kisses me on the cheek … although I WOULD say that I think he was going in for a bit more but I moved, he gave me an awkward hug which was nice … only awkward because I wasn't expecting it! Anyway, I had to race home to have a shower and get changed for the concert.

Anyway, date 2 is FAR juicier. And I need your opinions! He also looked a bit different to his pics, but I think everyone does, and I noted that his profile says he's athletic and while he's not overweight, he really is just average. How can someone say they're athletic when they don't DO any real exercise? It's bollocks. Honestly. Argh, anyway, I'm sure he's not alone on that.

Hang on, side point. Saturday's date was saying he breathed a big sigh of relief when he saw me because my profile says I'm "average" and he's met women who have that on their profile and are really overweight! We discussed this, and he said you should be able to hyphenate them - athletic-average, slim-athletic etc. Anyway, no idea why I mentioned that - but very true!

Anyway, date #2 was great. At one of my favourite pubs. Nice food, not to expensive etc and it's relatively quiet at lunch/plenty of parking around. I walked in and was in a bit of a flap because I was six minutes late and I hate being late! Walked through the main bair and into the dining area, when he pops up behind me. Turns out he'd been walking behind me for about a block, but obviously hadn't seen my face so didn't know it was me! Ha ha. After we got sorted with drinks etc we did the whole "did you find the place alright", "how's your day going", "how was your Saturday" etc etc. I was bricking it! No idea why, but man I was nervous. And he was too. So, it did not help when he looked at me with his big blue eyes to tell me I'm "so much prettier than my pictures". Argggggghhhh. I blushed like mad! It was TERRIBLE. I sort of laughed and said thanks, and jokingly said "please don't say that again". Bah.

The compliments didn't stop all afternoon. We talked about everything you could imagine, I found out why he's a non-drinker (which was a bit hmm for me as I don't mind a glass of wine or two every now and then). No big dark demons, basically he didn't like hangovers and his dad is an alcoholic, about five years ago he just decided to have a month-long break from it and he lost weight, felt better, looked better etc. Which I totally respect. He said he's not anti-drinking and doesn't mind being around people who are drinking, but he just chooses not to.

The compliments, oh man, I seriously lost count of the number of times he said I was beautiful. It was supremely off-putting and embarrassing. It was sleazy or anything, he just seemed a bit transfixed, kept apologising if he was staring and stuff. He wasn't really, but he was definitely intently looking at me. He didn't miss a beat, noted that I had "beautiful" nails, "beautiful" teeth, "beautiful" lips/hair/skin/smile/eyes. ARGH. I told him I was banning that word!

He freaked me out slightly as he talked about kids/marriage/family etc. Said he really wanted to have kids soon. Also freaked out because he is clearly VERY well off. I mean, really, seriously, insanely. Well, compared to me anyway. It's not about the money, but I'm just not used to being around people who don't have to worry too much about anything, if you know what I mean. He really didn't mention it, he didn't brag about it in the slightest, just told me about how he'd started his company and how hard he'd worked in the initial stages to get it up and running.

It was all a bit much to be honest, I mean I appreciated that he was so upfront about everything … but it was a tad full on. We walked out the front of the pub and I was soo freaked he was going to try to kiss me (my first kiss with anyone is not going to be in front of a pub in the middle of the afternoon, in broad daylight), and I kept my distance. He got all teenager uncomfortable/embarrassed and didn't know what to say. So I said "okay, well give me a call sometime!" and ran away.

Awww, the poor guy called me about five minutes later to apologise, saying he felt like ramming his head into a wall. Said that I was "just so lovely" and that he's not used to meeting women like me. WTF? Said he's been on about 40 RSVP dates in two years and none of them have been of my 'calibre' and that he felt 'honoured' to be in my presence! I started laughing, it was sooo ridiculous, and said that he'd clearly gone out with the wrong women. Anyway, we both said we had a good time and we'd like to see the other again, so we'll see what happens.

Feeling like I'm setting myself up a bit here! Two great guys who're keen, and obviously I can only focus one. What to do?

Friday, 19 June 2009

Serious Running Post

About time too, otherwise this blog's name is completely pointless.

Wednesday was the first proper training session for CanToo. I've signed up to do the Blackmores Half-Marathon in September and this is THE race. I am going for 1hr55min and I am going to get it! I am not being unrealistic, I really think I can do it. In the SMH half I really was on the pace until 15/16km and it was the dodging and weaving that got to me - I lost my rhythm. This race has far less competitors, because there's also a marathon and 10km event (last year 9km) and it's not a two-loop course.

So Wednesday, man I felt like rubbish! I just felt really out of sorts - I had a weird nervous energy and when I say why you will laugh. This guy has joined our group who I have SEEN ON RSVP. I have not contacted him or received contact or anything, just seen his profile - and I know he's seen mine as he appeared in my "those who have viewed your profile" list! Argh. Ha ha. Anyway, we didn't have that 'moment of recognition' or anything but it will surely come eventually! Watch this space!

We did a quick 1km warm-up and then 3x1000m sets, I went way too friggin' hard. First 1km in 5.20min and that was ONLY because at about 700m I realised I was going to finish in under 5min if I didn't slow down, and the idea is to finish each set in less time than the previous one so I wanted to have some room for improvement. Next one was 5.05min and the last one 4.35min. Ack, I cannot keep this up. But it felt good to be able to do it, but my running form was not excellent. I must work on this! Need to get some extra core work happening. But really, I just need to calm down a bit.

Tomorrow morning we're doing 8km, which is obviously not a huge amount in the grand scheme of things (considering I did 18km last week). Plan to head to Pump at about 10.30am, which I am really loving at the moment - instructors are mixing up the tracks, which I loooove as they bring back old favourites and take requests! Hurrah.

Then having lunch with weekend RSVP date one. I usually hate to eat on dates, because it locks me in to being "there" or on the date for a certain amount of time. Generally I would prefer to have a drink, because that way you can extend it to a meal if you feel like it. This guy, however, seems like a real down-to-earth bloke and I am reaaally looking forward to meeting him.

Hopefully will leave me enough time to rush home, get changed and go to meet friends ahead of the Simon & Garfunkle concert, which I'm seeing with my little bro and a HOT mate of his. Seriously hot mate, a bit young though ... and I would never touch my brother's mates because things would just get weird, but it's nice to think about!

Sunday going for a long run with some of the girls doing the Gold Coast half in two weeks, probably around 18km or maybe 16km.

Then having lunch with weekend RSVP date two. I am kinda mixed on this guy. He seems really nice, friendly, easy going etc and funny, which I like a lot, but he lives about an hour away which might not work as I do not have a lot of spare time to be driving to see him. But he's coming to meet me, which is a good sign. I did offer to meet him halfway! Also mixed because on his profile he says he's "athletic" but he doesn't seem to actually do much exercise, and his pics give me the impression that he was once athletic and he's kinda softened around the edges.

This, actually, is one of the things that pisses me off about RSVP. People misuse the body type description. I put myself as average because I'm not slim, I'm not "a bit overweight" and I'm not really athletic. When I think of an athletic woman I think of someone with a more more muscular figure than mine, I still have soft bits (ie: butt, boobs and thighs). None of which are huge, but they're there. A friend of mine, however, who is really quite overweight (she's 100kg+) puts herself as "average". So who's in the right.

It's much worse with guys though. Most of them say they're athletic or average, and a lot of the ones who say they're athletic are average and those who say they're average should be up one class! Ha ha.

Oh well, what to do? Am I athletic??

Have finally kicked the "I feel fat" blues. Almost anyway. Today I felt great as I put on my "test" jeans and, hurray, they were kinda loose and they looked ... well, quite good actually. Since my Melbourne/Geelong splurge I have been working really hard and have been really careful with what I've been eating. Obviously I have dropped 5kg in two weeks, but it's working! Which is great ahead of two "possibly/maybe" weekend dates.

Will report back with date goss on Monday. Or Sunday! We shall see.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Back in double-digits

Running that is! I had been doing some 10km and 11km runs of late, and my standard 7km super-hilly course plus standard Bikram and Pump etc etc. This morning I did 18km! Phew. It was tough. Took it easy as I've developed a bit of a cold, which I'm hoping isn't a mild case of swine flu as I just spent however long in Melbourne/Geelong. While I was a bit snuffly and snotty, and got a bit of a headache from the aching sinuses, it felt great! Especially when I finished, ha ha ha. Took a few little walking breaks to stretch my super tight hammies and have a drink of water and stuff. But overall, I was pretty happy with things considering I haven't really been hardcore running since the half-marathon.

Felt a bit disappointed that I've slipped back in fitness, but as I said in a previous post - nothing I can do now but keep moving forward! Figure in a few weeks it will all feel much better, so I'm looking forward to that.

Urgh, RSVP is bugging me. I got a "kiss" from some icky 52yo guy (I'm 30, hello!) and when I replied saying "I think our age gap is too great" or whatever, he sent me a nasty email saying "okay fine, I understand. I was just trying to think outside the square. It's your loss, other ladies will appreciate what I have to offer". Ew! Fine, offer it to other women ... I don't want some 52yo guy! I think my age limit (27-40) is pretty liberal, but I do want someone who's in the same generation as me and who can keep up with me.

Anyway, just trying to focus on enjoying the dating and stuff. Right now though, just enjoying the quiet life ... back to work tomorrow and then it's full steam ahead until ... well, forever! September when the Ashes are over.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Long, loooong weekend and stuff

Oops, it's Thursday. How did it get to Thursday?

Life has been a fabulous, exhausting whirlwind of late. One week ago today I was getting ready to head to Geelong to visit A, one of my oldest and best friends. It was to be one of the longest day's travel (domestic travel that is) of my life, except the two day coach trip to Perth from Bathurst ... but I was a uni student and didn't care so much. Rivalled only by the return trip. I won't go into the details, except that I left home at 10am to get to the airport by midday (did it easily with time to spare) and my flight was supposed to be at 1pm. SUPPOSED to be ... ha ha, fog had caused all sorts of delays at the airport so my flight was delayed by about an hour. Wasn't too bad. Wandered around, tried not to buy things I don't really need. Got to Avalon airport and caught a shuttle into Geelong city centre where my friend lives. So, left home around 10am, arrived at about 4.30pm! Argh. Similar story on the way home, left in airport shuttle bus at 10.15am and arrived home at about 4.30pm.

Had a great time up there, although we both overdid it in a major way on the first night ... we drank over four litres of white wine (argh) and ate a heap of cheese and ... yeah, just cheese. The next day I felt like utter rubbish. Managed to go for two hour-long runs around Geelong Bay, which were AMAZING but also freezing. On my Monday morning run I saw two black swans, swimming along the water's edge together, feeding etc and it was just sooo cute and perfect. Also did a Pump class on Tuesday morning ... which was quite interesting, although I felt a bit disgusted by the instructor. She had NO IDEA what the moves were, she was referring to a piece of paper with the instructions on it, constantly, and still getting it wrong. She also looked like she had just got out of bed and been dragged backwards through a hedge. I felt slightly ridiculous in my gym gear (which is nothing flash I can tell you) while she was in her faux-denim leggings and grey hoodie. I must admit that I was probably a bit rude, as I just kept doing the moves (which I know front to back as I do about three Pump classes a week) while she was fumbling with her cheat sheet. At the end of the class she actually came up and asked me if I was an instructor. Ha ha. Although I have been thinking about it.

Anyway, I am home now and kinda freaking out as it's only four weeks to the Gold Coast half-marathon. I have decided I have to let go of my 1hr55min target as I am just going to disappoint myself if I go for that. Instead just going to take it easy, will run it in whatever I run it in. Just looking forward to going up the coast with some friends.

That said, I am refocussing in a big way. The next CanToo program starts next week, thank god, I really need the group atmosphere to help me keep on track. Have kinda relaxed on the big runs in the last three weeks, and eating has definitely relaxed in a big way ... I shudder to remember what I ate over the weekend. So going to write down what I eat for the next week or so, just so that I'm a bit more aware of what I'm shoving into my mouth.

It's just a hideous cycle I seem to have to go through about once a year, slide down for a few weeks, gain an extra kg or two, feel horrible about everything and realise that I feel so much better when I eat in a more controlled fashion and keep a more structured approach to exercise, especially running.

Oh well, I feel a bit rubbish for going backwards a bit ... but can't do anything to change that! Just going to keep moving forwards and looking ahead. Besides, have holiday in Hawaii to think about - hellooooo bikini!

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Post-Mara Blue-ishness

I always find it so hard the week after a race. You know, what're my goals what am I doing etc etc. It didn't help this week that due to my super-tight hamstrings that no amount of stretching seemed to ease, my back went out. Not completely, nothing compared to earlier in the year. I was walking up to Bikram and dropped my drink bottle, which then started rolling down the hill. Eek! I quickly ran down to it, bent down to pick it up and stood up quickly and "pang" I felt something catch.

I spent the next two days doing extra core work, no weights and no running. Poooo. So hard after months and months of serious training. Blah. I am finally back to normal spine-pain wise, so plan on heading to the gym a bit later today for some basic cardio stuff and to do some basic upper-body work. Tomorrow will attempt Bikram again and hopefully by Monday I can get back to normal.

Planning on doing the Gold Coast half in July, so I'd better get myself sorted physically asap so I can get focused on that.

Feeling utterly gross from lack of high heart race exercise and weights, but confident the feeling will go soon. Work has been hellish this week, I have no idea how I am going to get through the next few weeks ... covering State of Origin, Twenty20 World Cup, Tour de France all before the Ashes smashes me until September. Note to self: I can do it!

RSVP date central this week. Tues had dinner with one guy. He was really nice! But OMG he was soooo nervous, tee hee. Think I will see him again. He's VERY Italian, but still nice. Wed had dinner with the guy I had coffee with and it was friggin' awful, he said NOTHING unless I asked him questions and to elaborate. No conversation flowing, just me talking rubbish. Only thing he managed was some icky sexual innuendos that were highly inappropriate and unnecessary. He wants to have dinner tonight - nah uh. Had a drink on Thursday with a guy who is, like, my male equivalent. Firstly he LIED about his height, said he was 5'7" and he was MY height when I was wearing 2 inch heels. But he runs and does Bikram too. He, however, has no balance. Doesn't drink much, go out much or do anything but exercise really. Will think about seeing him again. To be honest I felt like a big blimp walking next to him so, hmm, maybe not.

Have range of highly inappropriate men contacting me. Seriously, why would I want to go out with a 47 year old with a 22 year old son? The son is closer in age to me! And have had a 24 year old and 25 year old contact me. OMG, do not want to be a babysitter. My friend, who is my age - 30 - is going out with a 27 year old guy and has enough problems with that gap. Mind you, they get along great ... but every now and then his immaturity and inexperience in relationships becomes a problem.

Anyhoo, crappy wet, windy and cold weather this weekend so I am doing serious cleaning and sorting of clothes. Still haven't thrown out enough pairs of jeans to warrant buying a new pair ... own something like 9 pairs now, but really only 2 pairs are suitable AND fit, all the others are too big and one pair is a teeny bit too small and very light denim so really more suited to summer stuff.

Anyway, I'm soldiering on 'cause that's what I do.