Sunday, 24 August 2014

An update – what I’ve done, what I’m going to be doing

Okay, I did mention last post that my posting is sporadic, and I would try to update again soon(ish). A month later and here we are.

So, my previous update was in late March.

Early April I bought a fitbit.  I own a fitbit One and I think it’s great.  I really enjoy using it and seeing every day just how active or inactive I am.  The days when I am not at work, I tend to be really, really inactive.  I barely make 5,000 steps those days.  So it motivates me on really lazy days when I’ve been on the couch all day to at least get out in the afternoon and take a 3km walk.  Along the same routes that I took earlier this year when I was going for a walk every morning.  

In June I was particularly busy:
I did (for the second year) the 14km City2South funrun (15th June).  I walked it, because that’s pretty much all I was capable of.  My goal was to finish faster than last year. 

If you recall, my last years’ time was 2:44:24.  An average pace of 11:44min/km. 
This year I managed to finish in…

So I did it!! I beat last year's time!  By a decent amount too. I’m pleased with that. : D

Also in June, the weekend before actually (6th-9th), I flew down to Sydney for the weekend, mainly to see a stage show I was really excited about.  Aussies, you’ll relate to Strictly Ballroom, right? : D.  While I was there, I decided to do the tourist thing and go and walk around and see the sights.  Went to Martin Place (tried to get my face on Sunrise!); the Botanic Gardens; Government House; Sydney Opera House; Circular Quay; Sydney Harbour Bridge where I walked up one of the pylons which has a museum in there, displaying information about the bridge’s construction; then went back through the CBD because they had a ‘Light Festival’ on called VIVID.  Installation art, or projections of images and designs onto buildings, all at night/using light.  Pretty Cool.  Then next day was ferry to Manly, walk along the Corso and Manly beach; return, wander through the city, snapping pics of beautiful old buildings; Town Hall; Queen Victoria Building; Centrepoint Tower; walk across to Pyrmont to the Casino (because that’s where the theatre was); get sad that the monorail has been taken down, but they left the old platform/station outside the Powerhouse museum; catch a ferry back to Circular Quay to take photos of the other side of Sydney Harbour and the VIVID light festival, including Luna Park all done up.

All in all, I think I covered 55km by foot over those two days and walked up 100 sets of stairs.  (Thanks fitbit for keeping me informed!)  Had a fantastic time.  Also meant I could break in my runners for the City2South the following weekend (as written above).

On the weekend of the 29th June, my best friend and I were in a mudrun type obstacle race.  New to Brisbane this year, the Miss Muddy had colour cannons, foam spray, mud traps, ice baths and more!  To be honest, I’m not really into these things, I’m more a 5km-road-race type person.  But my best friend loves them.  I think it harks back to when she was thinking about joining the navy and reminds her of the type of fitness challenges that’s expected of you.

We finished the 4.5 km course in around 45-50 minutes.  Not bad considering it was cold (<20*C) and windy (~25km/h winds, with a peak gust of 54km/h @ 1.30pm – Right as we were starting!).  In fact, it was the windiest day in June!

Here’s a photo of us from the day. Note we'd already been hosed off from the mud somewhat

It was a fun day.  

And the sexy fireman was certainly nice too ; )

After completing the 14km run June, (and signing up for next year straight away) I realised that there’s a limit to how fast I can walk.  If I want to better my time next year, by another 20min, I’ll have to do some running.  So I started Couch to 5K.  I researched into it years ago, but never really did anything with it.  I bought myself a plain MP3 player, and used it with some podcasts I’d found on the internet of C25K.  I wasn’t quite into the beats of Ullrich’s C25K, which I know is popular,  but instead found some people who had used pop music or rock to build their C25K playlist.

I also decided to test this idea of getting to 5K by…  signing up for a 5km race!  There’s a big race here every year, in September, called Bridge2Brisbane and they have a 5km and 10km distance.  I’d already been planning on going in it, but I decided to register not for the walk category, but for the slow jog category.  <45mins.  I felt confident that because I can just about walk that time, I’d be able to jog it. 
I made it to Week 3 Day 2 when…

I went camping for a week.  Proper camping, with pack everything you’re going to need for five days, including your food and tent into a hiking backpack type of camping.  The rock climbing was fine.  The canoeing was fine.  The high ropes course was fine.  The sleeping in a tent in the middle of July (North of the Equator; think: JANUARY) weren’t the most comfortable nights I’ve ever had.  The walking up a really, really steep hill for 1.5km was not so fine.  Or the hiking 11 km cross country.  All with a backpack mind you!  And mine ended up at 18kg.  L  I still maintain it was the tent and my sleeping bag that caused all the weight. 
And on the last day, as we were heading back to the main centre, only around 1km (0.8mi) away, I rolled my ankle.  Badly.  I hobbled on, not thinking it was all that bad, because I roll my ankle all the time. Only this was the left ankle, which I have never rolled before.  By the end of the day, my ankle was really very swollen.
I ended up having to stop exercising for nearly three weeks after that.  Even normal day to day walking I would still find my ankle giving way underneath me.  Very unsettling.  Of course, I did nothing about it, like going to the doctor’s.  Just RICE.

It did mean I stopped C25K training.  And I had to pull out of another obstacle race that I was going to be doing with my best friend and her husband.  We actually did it last year together.  I promised myself that this year I would A) try every challenge and B) run between the obstacles rather than pathetically pant and waddle because I was too unfit. 
So that was a bummer.  It wasn’t even worth me going along to cheer because apart from the start/finish line, I wouldn’t see my friends at all. 

But now I’m back on the train again.  I restarted couch to 5K last week – running Week 2 twice and W3D1.  I will not be ready for the full 5km of Bridge2Brisbane in two weeks’ time, but I’ll certainly be a lot closer.  I plan to keep training the C25K weeks and if I on the day I can run for at least 15min, I’ll be happy.  Given that C25K is all about intervals, I’d like to hope that I’ll be able to complete the race in a jog-walk fashion.

Because the C25K program is for alternate days, I’ve also been working on some Zumba at home.  I’ve been getting up in the morning and doing around 20min of Zumba.  Certainly gets the heart rate up, and the sweat factor too!  I’d been planning this for my morning routine for a while, but I just hadn’t got there yet.  I figure if I keep doing something aerobic and heart-healthy, then I’ll be still be conditioning myself for the days when I do run.

So, as we are nearing the end of August, this is what I’ve done and plan to be doing.

Unfortunately, after the fun-run on 7 September, I don’t really have anything else upcoming.  Apart from I guess completing the full Couch to 5K program.  And trying again my ‘Sit-up in September Challenge’.  Hmm… guess I’ll have to look into any other races or things like that for Sept/Oct/Nov.
In the meantime, I’ve had breakfast, it’s had time to digest, and I’m going to do some Zumba for 30min.  It’s raining right now, so no run for me just yet.  Hopefully it’ll clear by this afternoon.


  1. Wow you have been so active! That is amazing. I don't dare try one of those mudrun things, I'm short and stout and I'd never get over the obstacles! Scared of heights too, if there is any of that involved like a flying fox. But give me a cozy little tunnel to crawl through and I'm your girl - at least I'm not claustrophobic.

    You commented about the Magic card game on my blog, and it just occurred to me - if you think your borrowed deck is too weak why don't you buy your own? You can build one or buy a professionally crafted one for not too much, I'm thinking about $15. Then crush your friends like bugs.

  2. Hahaha, thanks Natalie! I've been trying to keep active. The more active I am, the better I seem to eat. In this whole weightloss game, as you know, it's what you eat that makes the difference. So, I have to admit, in those weeks where I was off my feet b/c of the sprained ankle, I at rubbish. Hungry Jacks or Red Rooster every evening. Not pretty :(

    It's not so much that the deck is weak, it's just very very much geared towards defensive rather than offensive. But yes, I have been thinking about my own deck. I want to try a few of my friends' other decks they have so I can get a real feel for different combinations.

    Maybe a MTG deck can be my reward for reaching a milestone weight. :D