Monthly Archives: February 2011

Gym – the beginning of the end?


I had hoped to go for a long run this morning, in the great outdoors, maybe along the Yarra.

The rain put paid to that, so I wet to the Gym. I hadn’t been there for a while. As some of you will remember, I started running on the treadmill, it toot me a little while to take it to the streets/paths, but, having done that, I like being outside, and dislike the treadmill. It has become the same way on the bike.

Reluctantly, I took myself to the gym to have a run. I went to the cardio room. It smelled manky, and I dreaded the run I had coming up.

I did a warm up on the elliptical, then went to the tready, with the intention of doing 30 minutes on there. I lasted 12 – my legs and lungs were fine but I was bored shitless.

I went to leave the treadmill but I thought, no, I just have to make it more interesting, so I did some intervals. I alternated 7.5km/hr jog and 10.5km/hr run, 1 minute each, for 15 minutes.

It was actually quite hard. I changed the interval to 65 sec slow 55 sec fast and that kept me mentally in the game. As the “funny looking” (according to my husband) Tiffiny Hall says, train the mind, the mind will train the body. I may be going a bit soft, but am finding much inspiration from the Biggest Loser recently. And inspiration from my fitness fanatic mates (Andrew, Em and Philippa, to name a few).

I was tuckered after the intervals, I did some upper body work then was cactus. I had a nap this arvo, did some reading, did some cooking (marinated mushrooms – will post the recipe if they work out). The knee was ok, though.

I hope youse all have a good week. 🙂

And a bit every week.


I will also aim to have one creative output a week – whether it be a picture, a piece of writing. Something.

Hubby and I just went to see “The inside job”, all about the causes for the Global Financial Crisis. Very interesting movie, basically about a bunch of fat cats in the USA. The reverse-Robin Hood.

Out for dinner, a small, elegant one. We shared some beef carpaccio/rocket salad, proscuitto wrapped gorgonzola stuffed fresh figs (more rocket) and a small, elegant serve of fat chips. Plus a glass of wine.

Snack was a single macaroon, from Brunetti, becoming the Laduree of Melbourne. A little bit of meringue, with ganache in the centre and a little dob of nutella. Magic. I savoured every crumb. Small and stylish.

Exercise – riding bike around Brunswick (about 20-30 mins). Planning a long run tomorrow. Biking seems to stir up my knee more than running does. Hmmmm……I never had any issues when just running.

A bit every day.


I have come up with a thing.

Every day in March, beginning with my birthday on March 1, I will do some exercise.

Whether it is a 10 minute walk, a light home workout, a hard jog or some pilates or yoga, a spin class, I will do it.

(Unless I get very sick, or other extreme circumstances supervene).

I also aim to do 2 new things this month. What I was thinking

  • Burlesque class
  • Boxing circuit
  • Rock climbing.

Any other suggestions. Any of you with me?

Have a good weekend, peeps.

Bike-venture (this one’s for Andrew).


I was going to go to RPM today, but I thought, heck, I have a bike, it is a nice day, I will ride the bike. This is inspired by Andrew, and all of the cyclists in the research lab.

I went south down the Merri Creek track, then turned around and went north, near Bell St, then turned back.

85% of the time, I was riding, 10% of the time I was waddling uphill with the bike, because I couldn’t pedal it, and 5% of the time I was standing next to the bike looking around gormlessly. It was a good workout, but my knees (particularly the patellofemoral joints) were a bit sore at times; think I might have to tape my knees. The trail would also be a good long run route for R4TK training as it is quite hilly. It is harder to ride up hills than run up them!

It was a bit of an adventure, I went to places quite near my house that I had never seen before. I heard bird sounds! I saw flocks of insects! A Greek Orthodox church with the polished gold domes, that I didn’t know existed there. Lots of rubbish, unfortunately.

Unfortunately, as I headed north along the west side of the creek, the sealed track petered out and it was off road. I got to a point where there was a steep rocky hill, and I couldn’t bike no more, plus I was hungry, so I headed back.

I have ordered crust pizza for dinner, a meat free dinner.

Also, as inspired by Andrew, I have designed myself a home workout, based on what has been prescribed by a physio, plus core and arms.

Here it is – any input would be appreciated

10 shoulder press (weights)

10 single leg squats left

20 sit ups

20 clams left

20 clams right

20 push ups

sit on the wall

10 shoulder press (weights)

10 single leg squats (right)


5 plyo hops left and right

5 plyo jumps

Can you stomach it?


I went for my gastroscopy today, having had a lot of reflux symptoms on medication.

I was laying FOR AGES on the gurney in a hospital gown, for the thing to start. I had fasted since midnight and did not go into the room until nearly 1pm!

I can see why my oldies get pressure ulcers on these gurneys – they are dang uncomfortable.

I woke up very quickly after the scope, and promptly asked what my blood pressure was after and during the procedure.

I got up a bit quickly and felt a bit dizzy, so slowed it down.

I ended up having some mild reflux disease, but also had some gastritis and a bit of bleeding in the stomach itself. The doctor said it was probably due to the ONE DOSE of voltaren I had, on antacid medication!

(Or could be the bug that causes ulcers).

Hubby picked me up and we went out for lunch. We had heart shaped cinnamon toast, followed by rhubarb and macadamia oat porridge. Good post gastroscopy food.

I have not been idle this arvo – I have tidied, shopped, cooked dinner and secured a collaborator for my PhD. Yaahhhh.

But the point of the post was – be careful with the Voltaren, and I know a lot of you use it – it can fry your stomach.

[Insert insipid title here]


Well, I am best (funniest actually) when am snarky, but really, this weekend, have had nothing to be snarky about. I have had a really good weekend.

Yesterday, went to pilates. Tidied. Went out for steak, because I felt like a bloody good steak. I listened to the quiet whisper of my body above the roar of the environment (and the large Italian family seated near us), and finished when I was full – I left some chips. Chips are my favourite food. I would have fish and chips for a death row meal, should I ever be unfortunate enough to be on death row. I even skipped dessert (Eton Mess), because I was full, and there will be other opportunities for Eton Mess.

This morning, went out to dinner with the hubby, Mother and Brother in Law, and his Girlfriend. Grigons and Orr in North Melb. Had the Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes, which contained neither ricotta nor blueberries, thus I would not recommend this cafe ( though the coffee was good).

The girlfriend of my brother in law (let’s call her gfbil for brevity) had just come off a night shift. She is a paediatric oncology nurse, he is a bone marrow transplant nurse. She looked surprisingly peppy for somebody who had just done four nights in a row.

We went out for a wander in the shops. While in one of the shops, she turned to me and blurted “I have gained 14 kg since I have met my boyfriend”.

We went to a cafe to have a chat.

She told me further “none of my clothes fit, I feel uncomfortable”, and then told me what underlied the weight gain. New (extremely stressful) job and subsequent need to comfort eat, moving out of home, no time for breaks, unhealthy food at close hand, getting comfy with a fella. Certain “rules” – no meal is complete without pasta/bread/potatoes, need to celebrate hard times with food etc. She told me about the death of a patient, which still plays on her mind, and how she sees the patients more frequently than she sees her own family.

I could relate to all of this. I gained weight when I left home – it was easy to eat a block of chocolate away from the censure of your family, and also I felt quite lonely, in retrospect. I know all all about comfort eating.

Nurses (and to a lesser degree, other health care workers) routinely put the needs of other people ahead of their own, and their health suffers for it. It is sad to see.

She talked about weight watchers.

Without trying to preach, I told her about some of my recent penny drop moments. I also discouraged the weight watchers, telling her it just fucked with my head.

I also told her “darling, you need to look after yourself, because if you don’t, nobody else will”. Sounds corny, but very true.

I also told her something else I realised. Often when we go to the fridge for reasons other than hunger, we berate ourselves, saying “I don’t need that”. We never ask ourselves “well then, what DO I need?” I have just learned that self-nurture is not self-indulgence.

I hope she got something from that. I think she did.

Now, back to me…

That gave me a bit of a pep – I had planned to work on PhD stuff this weekend, but then I thought, no, weekends are for R and R.  So I have not worked on the PhD. Do I feel R and R’d? Yes. Do I feel guilty? Only slightly.

Hubby and I went for an amazing Thai massage – this lady got into my multiple tight ouchy spots effectively, without causing agony.

Then we went to Highpoint – got a parking spot without playing car-mageddon. Had a little cry (ha) about Borders going into admin, then left hubby with the books and DVDs.

I had a fresh fruit and vegie juice and a rather large chicken skewer for lunch – lovely, yummy, clean and higher protein, and then darted around Highpoint.

I bought myself these shoes, at 20% discount. They are the “lovely” heels. They are sooo hot, and I can actually walk in them – with a little extra wiggle in my walk!

I also bought some whey protein isolate and some little jackets for work – I need to look a bit more consultoid. I need to put the Prada specs on. I look too young, otherwise, and nobody BLOODY LISTENS TO ME.

Probably nobody will listen to me after, but I will at least FEEL smart and scholarly and sufficiently professional.

Went and saw my sister, as I was in her ‘hood – hadn’t seen her in ages. Any regular readers will know of my awkward relationship with my sister. It was nice to see her. We had a good chat, and I got to meet her new dog.

I think I just need to accept her on her terms, for herself; this will help us get along. She acts all tough and pushes people away, but I think in many ways she is vulnerable.

Just saw poor old Damien get kicked off the Biggest Loser…..that would’ve been a hard decision for the voters, but they quite rightly called the bluff of the Red team.

Just sitting with my hubby watching SBS documentaries, with the dog sitting here shedding hair.

Happy week, folks, wish me luck for my gastroscopy tomorrow.

Pushing out of my comfort zone – the Nike Principle


ie Just do it.

And damn, it feels….scary but good.

Some things I have done recently:

  • Starting a PhD while getting over a nasty bout of depression
  • Writing a research grant and budget etc with no idea what I was doing
  • Getting big gun professors on board for the PhD(who knew some big guns could actually be…nice and normal)
  • Running as fast as I could on hot, humid evenings (recent fun run). Running till I feel the urge to spew
  • Agreeing to bike into work despite fear of being gravely injured. (I will be careful). Pulling my finger out and getting my bike fixed.
  • Cutting down carbs in the evening. I don’t have potato or bread at night and NOTHING BAD HAPPENS. Who knew?
  • Having a smoothie for breakfast despite fear that liquids in the morning will not fill me up during the day. It does. Who knew?
  • Not being afraid of being hungry. A little hunger is good. It is the feeling of my arsefat being eaten.
  • Chucking food out rather than stuffing it in my belly when I am full, because my body is not a rubbish bin. Case in point, last night, after dinner, Hubby and I went for gelati. They gave me rather a lot, and I savoured it, and listened to my belly closely, and chucked the last quarter of the icecream out when I was full. This would previously caused me a lot of anxiety.
  • Having a juice – orange, carrot, ginger and….wait for it….fennel!

Doing this reaps great rewards – I am feeling better by the day!

However, it cannot all be thrills and spills, sometimes I need a little something gentler, more nurturing. I did a pilates class this morning, nice and gentle, I feel good. My tummy muscles have atrophied a bit, though.

Now, something to make you chuckle, on the point of getting out of the comfort zone

New wonder drug

8km Super Sunset Series Princes Park – 55:30


I was not feeling good about this one.

  • The weather was shit (humid, 28 degrees at 7pm)
  • I had all my little niggles come visit me today – my knee, my hip, my ITBs, my plantar fasciitis. All of them.
  • It was night and I am a morning runner.

Well, I thought, naah, just go for it. Do what you can.

I tried a tempo. Early in the race, I thought I would try to get under 7 min kms all the way.

Well, I went great guns for the first 4 – 5 km – all well under 7 min km. At the halfway point I was on track for a pb.

Then at the 6th and 7th km, something happened. Got tired and lost my mojo, and had to walk a few times. Even so, with the walking, it was still under 8 min kms.

I nearly gave up then, and walked the whole way back.

Then I thought, no, no, I can run. If I get under 56 minutes, that will be under 7 min kms.

I picked it up in the last kilometre, and finished in 55:30. On the home stretch, I got a few “go girl”, “keep going”.

I ran as fast as I could for the last 50km, and even did a “biggest loser” scream. Thinking that it would feel good. I felt slightly foolish. 😳

I finished in 55:30 – I did not turn off the watch until about 15 sec after I finished – that was time chasing away the urge to hurl.

My plan for the next coupla weeks -stay off the running, to let the ITB and knees and shins settle (periodising training), but doing plenty of bike/elliptical/pool.

For my birthday, which is coming up in a coupla weeks, I might ask birthday santa for some personal training sessions – I might need a bit of a gentle kick up the proverbial to get faster. It is hard to push yourself, sometimes you need help.

Dinner tonight was cheese on toast and a glass of wine, because I CBF’ed cooking dinner. Hubby is out at a trivia night. I thinks I might sleep well tonight.

Thrilled to get a text from my GF Phillipa!!!

Exercise Excuses (and their rebuttals)


Happy Valentine’s peeps

I’ve a bit of a crush on the Commando, from the Biggest Loser. Looks like Daniel Craig, only hotter, I think. To quote a friend, I wouldn’t mind getting sweaty and him grabbing me by the back of the neck and saying “focus”………hmmm…

Ok – back to the point. His catchphrase is “No excuses”.

I realise I make a lot of excuses regarding exercise

Here they are, and some counter-claims

“I’m too hungry” Exercise in morning. Also, hunger won’t kill me, I just can’t smash myself. Have some nuts (like the edible ones, not a euphemism for testicles).

“I’m too tired.” Exercise is usually refreshes me, I can always do a gentle workout, because a gentle workout is better than none. Get to bed earlier, girl. Get and walk the dog with your hubby, it is Quality Time.

“The gym will be too crowded.” Suck it up, Princess, get on some other equipment.

“I’ve eaten poorly today, no point.” Hello, exercise is about physical and mental health, not about the calories burned. And a good lesson to learn to eat well for performance.

“It will hurt.” I know the difference between good hurt and bad hurt, and good hurt/discomfort makes me stronger

“I have no time.” Well, smartypants, how about get off Facebook. Or do some weights

“My back/knee/foot is gammy.” Get to the pool/yoga/stretches. Ride that bike you have!

“I’m scared of going on the roads on my bike because of cars, falls off, punctures.” Get to the tracks, take the mobile, get good tires on the bike.

“The pool is yucky, too many stray bandaids” Do backstroke so you don’t see the mess.

Anywho – anyone got anything else?

A good day at the office today – got my grant finished, budget done (a looooooot of money but apparently that’s the going rate for a clinical trial and staff.)




When I saw her standing there.


Know that song by the Beatles?

Perfect cadence for 6 minute kilometres on the tready.

I went to the Gym today to do some running (I know, it’s the tready, but I wanted to go to the gym). Plus some upper body work.

I did a bit of speedwork. I was proud of myself, especially since I was feeling a bit sick.

Why did I feel sick?

My fault.

I had been craving cake all week, but had not had any (well maybe a sliver of home-made fruitcake). I wanted something flourless, like a friand.

I went to my local bakery/patisserie to look for a little something. They had a piece of flourless chocolate and pistachio cake. That would do nicely, I thought. I had it with a cup of earl grey tea. It was a smallish slice, and I even left a bit.

I got home. Felt tired. Probably sugar crash.

I went to the gym, and the damn cake sat in my tummy like a rock. I have been suffering from very severe reflux recently (am booked in for a gastroscope next Monday).

I am officially now put off flourless chocolate cake. When I was running on the tready today, I came about the closest I have ever gotten to vomiting. It took a major feat of mental strength not to do it (the gym people probably wouldn’t clean the spew, anyway).

I put in a good workout despite not having the best fuel.

I actually find that heavy carbohydrates for lunch really make me sleepy in the afternoon. Hence a protein based lunch is better, but I don’t like tinned tuna. Boiled eggs get a bit tiresome too.

Anyone got good lunch ideas?