Archive | March, 2013

48 hours in Adelaide

26 Mar

It’s amazing how much you can fit in to a short trip to Adelaide. Here’s my schedule for Saturday:

0545 Rise and shine – time to go climb a mountain!

0700 Reached the peak of Mt Lofty – just under 50 minutes to the top

0800 Reached the bottom of Mt Lofty – the return journey just as long as going up

0900 Wandering around Adelaide Central Markets looking for somewhere to sit and have breakfast

1000 Breakfast done, time to do a bit of shopping in the markets – something we do miss here in Qld

1100 Back home with my beautiful niece Izzy in tow. Time to play for a little bit, eat some lunch and get ready for an afternoon just as busy as the morning

1300 Heading for the shops – time for a new wardrobe!! What a blast!

1600 Another exercise session – 50 minutes with Michelle Bridges and Mum and Auntie Joy

1800 Family dinner – and time to kick back and relax

Sunday was almost as busy – except that I could hardly walk – my muscles were a little bit sore…


So it was super busy but what a great weekend – in a little more detail… After landing in Adelaide at about 2300 the night before (and therefore not getting into bed until about midnight), I was starting to doubt whether I should really have agreed to climb a Mountain getting up at 0545 in the morning… The time really wasn’t a big deal as I’m normally up before that time, but I’m not normally in bed quite as late… We were all joking in the car wondering if it was really necessary to be up quite that early – it was still dark after all! When we arrived at the bottom of Mt Lofty (and it was still dark) there were only a couple of car parks left – Mum was quite pleased – see – she was right – we DID need to leave that early! The first 10 minutes of the walk was still a bit dark but after that the sun started to rise and we could see where we were going. I decided to actually have a good go at it and set off after Dad – whose fitness is inspiring to me. Showers on and off, and a misty morning – it was a beautiful morning to climb the mountain!! Boy was it steep at times but I refused to stop. I sounded a little like a freight train going up but kept on going. Dad got ahead of me at one point but waited for me to catch up. We made it to the top in 50 minutes. Mum and Dave were up only a few minutes later. It was a bit cold at the top. The trip down was almost harder than up – tough on the knees, and as I was going down I was surprised how steep it was – and stoked I’d just climbed up it! We walked back down with Mum and Dave and then headed to the Adelaide Central Markets for breakfast where we were joined by Scott, Helen and Izzy. Had berry pancakes and a skinny chai latte – very tasty!


Okay so this is super blurry (was I shivering in the cold or just terrible at taking the photo…) but I just had to put up a picture of the winners… I mean those who got to the top first… Dad and I 🙂



View from the top of Mt Lofty – very misty and grey morning so we couldn’t see a thing!


Mum and Dad on the journey back down the mountain


The afternoon was something else I was looking forward to – some clothes shopping with my fashion advisors – Mandy and Helen. We had very limited time (you saw the schedule above) so had to make the most of the 2 hours we had. Mum came along for the ride and all I had to do was stand in the dressing room and be passed clothes (the sales assistants loved Helen and Mandy – they didn’t have to do anything!!). Size 14 – don’t mind if I do!!! For the first time I found that I could actually try on anything – and really it was a matter of what I liked rather than what fitted! Freedom! So I could say “nope” to some things knowing there were other options. I’m shaking my head in disbelief (literally) as I type this! A pair of Levi’s – in size 14!! Levi’s – I’ve always had sales assistants tell me that “they don’t have my size” often before I’ve even tried any on… So watch out Brisbane – I’ll be walking around in new clothes from this weekend!

Other highlights were spending time with my niece and nephews, family dinner with some wonderful extended family, brunch in the Barossa with Ben and Chris, Project Extreme DVD with Mum and Auntie Joy (exercising with others is so much more fun!) and generally just chilling at home. I loved every minute (and saw quite a few of them – not much sleep time!).

So blessed!

It’s official – new PB!

13 Mar


Well it is a few days since the fun run, and I’ve now been able to source not only my stats for the run, but also an official photo. I think it will be the one and only time I support Marathon Photos (after all – the photos are a bit pricey), but I decided that getting a record of my first fun-run was worth it!

The official results are below – a new PB  – and I know based on my heart rate that I was pushing myself as hard as I could at this point. Plenty of room to improve – but I’m so happy with that considering I’ve only been running for 16 weeks. I finished in the front half of the field too!

Next fun run is in about 60 days… the countdown is on!


Even looks like I’m running (and ahead of some people…) – if I look really closely too I can almost see I’m starting to get some muscles in my legs…


Doing a happy dance – 5km fun run – COMPLETED!

10 Mar

As I went to bed last night I was getting excited that the big day was coming tomorrow – my first ever fun run! The International Women’s Day Fun Run was only one sleep away. The added benefit of this run was that Chicks in Pink were the fundraising recipient and I would be supporting breast cancer services at the Mater (my wonderful workplace). I had my clothes all laid out ready for my 0615 departure. I felt a little self-conscious in my T-shirt that read “Move Aside…” feeling it a little presumptuous  but it was the only Chicks in Pink tank top I could find at the time… combined with my Chicks in Pink socks I was happier to support their cause than be too concerned about the motto.


0430 and I was awake… sigh… I dozed on and off but found getting back to sleep again difficult. I didn’t want to miss my alarm. 0545 and I decided to get up and get ready.  My wonderful friend Sandy arrived and we left home at 0615 (after a few essential “before” photos!).


Sandy & I ready for action

A quick trip in to Southbank thanks to our chauffeur and my wonderful husband and we were there! Time went so quickly from there. I met up with Arna & Donna – two fellow 12WBTers and Mater colleagues. We decided to join the back of the sub 25 minute group and were getting ready for our start. The start came quickly – in fact I think before the programmed start time. It was an extremely smooth start. Suddenly I was at the start line and we were going! Up a slight hill, over the bridge, down the other side – what another hill?? I thought there was only one hill in this (the Goodwill Bridge – right at the end of the run… but how wrong I was!). Anyway – off we went. As we started up the hill Arna decided to step it up a notch and took off – what a champion! I was happy to keep my own pace going up the hill and told her I’d see her at the end! As we came along Alice Street we were joined by two enthusiastic fellows who ran alongside us and informed us they had been out all night drinking and had just decided to join the race… They asked where we had come from – I told them Southbank and they decided that once they got to the end they would have to run a bit further because we had already done a few extra kms. As they ran alongside (in shirt, pants and work shoes) I wondered how long they would last – they got ahead of me and I saw them on and off for the remainder of the run (and incidentally I saw them at the finish line looking a little worse for wear – but they finished – and ahead of me!) As we zigzagged our way through the Botanical Gardens I was surprised by the undulating route. Donna had managed to edge her way ahead of me and was to stay that way for the remainder of the race.  Up over the Goodwill Bridge (not as bad as I thought it was going to be – perhaps tempered by the undulations I’d previously encountered), along Southbank and to the finish line. What a great feeling – I think my smile was bigger than my face as I was finishing!! Some water, oranges, my new “I did it” t-shirt and the Fun Run was complete. I didn’t walk a single step – even dodging people in some points I managed to keep running the whole way – such a huge achievement for me considering I couldn’t run 16 weeks ago. The stats for those that are interested – my unofficial time 31:21, HR Max 187 (98%), Average 176 (92%), 534 Cal burnt – so considering my heart rate averaged 92% of max I don’t think I could have pushed myself all that much harder…


We finished! A photo with Donna and Arna


So happy! I did it!!

Next stop will be the Mother’s Day Classic 8km in May, with Dave running alongside me (because I registered him too while he was away…) Oh and Arna happened to mention the 14km City2South and has set the challenge… now to decide if I accept…. (The website says: This spectacular 14km course will cross the Brisbane River 3 times – featuring Victoria, Go Between and Eleanor Schonell Bridges. Starting at Parliament House in the CBD, heading up George Street, through South Bank, along Coronation Drive, up to the University of Queensland, and over Highgate “Heartbreak” Hill, finishing in South Brisbane.) Ouch!

So my first fun run is in the bag! I’m stoked but now must get off this computer, do some grocery shopping and get on with normal life – oh but I’ll be doing it all in my new T-shirt 😉


Got a new T-shirt 🙂


My backpack epiphany

9 Mar

As I reached down and picked up my full backpack for another day of work and university I groaned with the weight of my backpack. My laptop and charger, a few books, my diary, lunch (of course – no more buying lunch on the run!) and a few other necessities like keys, wallet and phone all seemed to weigh more than I remember carrying around last semester. Thankfully the big textbook we have (2000 pages) isn’t required in class or I’d never be able to walk with the weight on my back. As I grabbed my bag and headed out the door I was still thinking about what I could take out to make it lighter… did I really need all this stuff today? As I was walking up the steps to class (and there are plenty of steps at my university!) I was still internally moaning about the weight of my backpack. I decided then and there that when I got home I would weigh it and see what weight I was carrying around all day. So, on returning home I did just that. I put it on my scales and saw 6.6kg. I thought it would have been heavier than that. Felt like I was lugging around bricks. Then I thought again 6.6kg… I’ve lost more than twice that now! As I picked up my backpack again I was amazed at this thought. Then I tried to imagine having one in each hand, or one on my front and one on my back. REALLY?? I was carrying that much weight around on a daily basis?? Was it any wonder I was tired, preferred to sit on the couch, sluggish up stairs, and what was it doing to my joints?? Now as I carry my backpack around university it’s a brilliant reminder to me that I don’t need that weight anymore and that every kilo lost is making me lighter and more energetic and is so much better for my body! So now the goal is set – previously the 7kg I had left to lose was just a number. Now I know I need to lose just one more backpack…


Week one of “normal” life done!

1 Mar

How do I feel? A little exhausted but not too bad on the whole. A super busy week at work combined with a return to uni and maintaining exercise – week one – mission accomplished! I’m finding so far the eating to be not too bad – making an extra serving of dinner every night to take for lunch is definitely my life saver. If I had to make lunch as well it just wouldn’t happen. My longest day this week was a 0445hr wake up to do some exercise before uni from 0800-1000, then work from 1200-2000 and home again – think I had dinner and crashed about 2130… I still felt okay at the end of the day too! I’ve not had Coke Zero/Diet Coke all week and other than having it to accompany dinner in Sydney that means two weeks sans Coke 🙂 Another success!

After my 10km run on Sunday my knees were feeling a bit “achy” this week so I decided to consult a physio to see what they had to say about the functional status of my knees – given the 10+ years of netball and the grinding, crunching sounds that accompany squats/stairs etc. So I had a good chat to a physio this afternoon. He was fantastic. Checked out my knees and the good news is they are really pretty good (considering what he called “normal netball wear and tear”). I need to concentrate a little more on my squat technique to ensure that my knees really are over my toes – by keeping the width not too much further than a shoulder width apart while I get the technique correct then go wider once I build up more strength. His opinion really was that the 10km (given I’d only done one 8km before that and 5km was my standard) was a bit like going to the gym after not going for quite a while. I used muscles that weren’t used to being used – and it is also likely that as I got tireder my technique was compromised. His tip – consistent 10km is more than achievable but do a couple of weeks of 6km, 7km, 8km, 9km and then 10km – which when I look at it is pretty much Michelle’s program 🙂 – so will keep tracking with that! His tips for going faster were interesting – rather than trying to increase my stride length (which then puts impact in the wrong spots for my legs) I should try to run with faster, lighter feet. My goal is about 180 steps in a minute! Certainly faster than I’m going now – but as I say, rather than stretch it out, try and concentrate on quicker movement… So, that’s my new challenge.

The other big part of my week this week was picking up my fun run participant kit! Next week I will run my first fun run – yep, RUN it! It’s a 5km route in and around Brisbane City/Southbank. I’m definitely looking forward to it – I’m very excited! I know I can run the full distance without stopping, and I’m still shaking my head in amazement at that very thought. Bring it on!

For now though, I must organise next week’s menu plan and shopping list so I can spend my weekend doing uni work – well after my Super Saturday Session that is!!

Until next time!