November 21, 2010

Champagne of the day

For a tasty, and authentic champagne (from France!), I've discovered Louis Bouillot for $25.00 a bottle in Leo's.

I make this request: don't all of you go out and buy it at once! Leave me some!

Louis Bouillot

Summary of 2010's running

Spring Into Shape Race 3 2010 As another year draws to a close, and I stick some more race numbers up on the wall in the study, I pause to think about how my training and running in general has gone this last year.

In what seems like only a few months ago, but was really more like twelve, I decided that 2010 was the year that I give up my fun runs and look after the body a little more. Of course, that didn't happen, and I competed in 5 different runs with no thoughts of giving up.

The Spring Into Shape series runs September, October, November each year and has a 4 and 8 km run. This year, they offered a 12km option as well. Having entered the 4 km runs previously, this was the year to up the pace a little, so I entered the 8 km option for the series.

To avoid lots of words any typing, this year, I experienced the following with my running:
  • Ran in Spring Into Shape series (3 races, 8.5km each)
  • Ran in Melbourne Marathon (5km race)
  • Ran in Run Melbourne (5km race)
  • Entered Olympic Dream, which got cancelled due to poor numbers (come on Melbourne!!)
  • Brief recurrence of shin splints
  • Numerous other tight bits after racing
  • Winning a new pair of Mizuno runners at "Run Melbourne"
  • Running the first race of Spring into Shape in the new runners and not being able to walk for three weeks afterwards (have since gone back to my trusty ASICS)
  • Doing a run technique session with Liam from Vigor Health & Fitness
  • Doing a regular stretch class the day after the race
  • Being diligent with pre and post race stretching, compression and icing

My Spring Into Shape times were as follows:
Race 1 (September) 0:53:53.7
Race 2 (October)   0:56:04.4
Race 3 (November)  0:54:20.5
Melbourne Marathon 5km 2010
The common threads for each race, not just the series, were as follows:
  • The first 300 meters are always the easiest 
  • The rest is not so easy
  • The key is to not stop running, just slow down instead
  • The key is to also run at a consistent pace, my watch tracks pace which is invaluable
  • The last 200 metres is always the easiest
  • Always wear a watch that tracks distance because there's a difference between net time and gun time
  • There are some inspiring people of all shapes, sizes, ages and abilities out there who are running
  • There are some seriously fit and fast people out there
  • Running tights really suit some people
  • Running tights really do not suit some people
  • A bit of technique can go a long way

While the thought of "maybe it's time to retire from running" has again crossed my mind, I am determined not to give up completely, and soon, the regular run group at Vigor may have another member. Just because I'm turning a number with a zero in a few weeks is no means to give up. In addition, it will become part of the necessary preparations prior to my UK trip in 2011.

My Personal Trainer should also note the cap that I wear in each race is a bit of advertising for him!

February 8, 2010


People either love them or loathe them, but for those who love them, how great are sardines on toast?

Great comfort food, and healthy too!

My FebFast Journey Day 8

As stated in my previous post, for the month of February, I have joined FebFast and cut out alcohol in an attempt to have a bit of a detox.

I'm writing this post in day 8 or 9, depending on whether you count from February 1st, or January 31st, when I started.

Today's Weight: 80.4 kg
Waist: 89 cms/35"

Day one was easy up until I made dinner that night. A nice couple of pieces of fillet steak with some coleslaw mixed with fresh grated horseradish. Out of habit, I went to the fridge to get a glass of something nice to go with it, Preece Rose most likely, and had to stop myself. While I would normally classify myself as someone who "drinks occasionally" or "socially" I realised that I had become a more-than-occaisional drinker and needed to cut back a little anyway.

I also bought some of those metabolism boost tablets from the health food store in an attempt to doubly kick my body into doing something. The first couple of days, while battling with the want (or was it a need?!) to have a drink, I felt like my body was starting to take notice, and in one really weird instance, the scales told me one morning that I was 78.8 kg, and I felt that the muffin top had shunk ever so slightly. Amazing. Maybe.

As you can see from the stats above, my waist has remained the same and I've only lost 0.6 of a kg...! My weight does tend to fluctuate over the course of a normal working week and tend to find that I'm lighter/fitter on a weekend/Monday, and that the stresses of a working week seem to stall my metabolism a little. [Note to self: check I still have a metabolism.] The thing is, if I stand up properly, that waist line seems quite trim [Note to self: stop checking self out in mirror.]

What I do like about my metabolism, mostly, is that it seems to keep everything in balance, and if I'm a certain weight, the body will maintain that unless there is a significant change in circumstance. Up until October(ish) last year, I was about 78kg, again on that plateau. A sudden rush of work travel, with lots of work dinners, late work nights, lots of work-sponsored (amazing might I add) wine, saw me pop on about 2-3 kg. While it surprisingly didn't affect the waistline of my suits too much, I was conscious that it was an extra 2kg for my (delightful) Osteopath to have to lift! Regardless, it's going to be an uphill battle to try to get the body to work overtime to get rid of those extra kgs and start losing/adapting rather than gaining.

I consider my diet to be good, no junk foods, I avoid added sugar except in tea or instant coffee, I try to get a balance of salads and veges, as well as a good mix of protein during the week. Eating regularly is also important and try to graze during the day. I avoid pasta, fatty foods (except for bacon & eggs once a week), processed carbohydrates, sometimes like a bit of fruitcake or tiny bit of chocolate, although prefer to snack on savoury rather than sweet. In all, I would say my diet is good, but am hoping that after Feb, I will have seen some difference to things.

Maybe the answer is that my alcohol consumption, despite the rare bottle of bubbly that seems to disappear very easily, isn't making that much of an impact on the body, weight or waist wise, but cutting it out is obviously going to contribute to my healthy detox month.

Getting to day 8/9 now seems quite easy when I'm here. I have resisted temptation easily on a couple of occasions, supplementing a glass of wine with a glass of agrum or similar, although I am expecting some more occasions where I will stare longingly at the bottle in the fridge, only to remain strong. I will have to hide that unopened bottle of bubbly in the fridge and the sparkling shiraz at work, just in case.

Now to find a nice yoga class with good looking people hehe

My FebFast Journey

For the month of February, I have joined FebFast and cut out alcohol in an attempt to have a bit of a detox. While the idea of a detox sounds like something I'd do, giving up alcohol, as a lot of my work people would understand, may be a very tough thing to do.

FebFast invites people to participate in a booze-free February, and at the same time raise funds to support organisations working in research, prevention and service delivery concerning the use of alcohol and other drugs by young people. This year’s proceeds from registration payments and fundraising go towards the Australian Drug Foundation, Mater Health Services – Adolescent Drug and Alcohol Withdrawal Service (Qld), Ted Noffs Foundation (NSW & ACT), Youth Substance Abuse Service (Vic) and FebFast’s grants program for smaller grass-roots organisations.

I celebrated my last January drinking day by having two small bottles of white wine on the flight back from Perth (a rather nice Grosset Reisling), and doing the turkey. The cold one.

Starting Weight: 81kg
Waist: 89 cms/35"

I'm hoping that with the fairly good diet and the moderate but regular amount of exercise I do, the above stats will start to change (i.e. go down!) a little the further I get into this.

We'll see...

Welcome to 2010!

Welcome to the first post of 2010. There have been many thoughts/ideas/concepts pass through my head since New Year's Day, but I haven't been able to jot them down, even though I carry a notebook for that purpose.

Rather than try to catch up and write a small blog post for each of these things, I thought I'd summarise each in a one-liner so you can see where my brain was going. Sometimes, I wonder myself!

Being Healthy

This train of thought is a common one, and accompanies me to work most days. It follows patterns such as, how can I get more energy to exercise more (A: exercise more!), where can I find a good Yoga class, the fact that my waistline hasn't changed despite changing diet and exercise habits, how alcohol is bad and good and bad all at the same time, how I should try to give up alcohol (hence FebFast - see later post), wondering how much good liposculpture costs (for the 'muffin top') etc.

The purpose of money and working, hierarchy, and a bit of communism.

This train of thought happened one day on the way to work, after I'd bought a coffee and began thinking about the Star Trek universe where money is more-or-less obsolete, and we "buy" things on a sort of bartering for what we do or what we contribute to society. For example, "in exchange for a coffee, I'll give you some workplace counselling and business process engineering help".

Why a lot of bad/careless drivers seem to be women with children in the car.

This one is a bit of a conundrum, in that wouldn't one drive more carefully when one's children are in the car, but at the same time, because the children are in the car, it's probably why one drives erratically, fast, and takes risks, probably to get home quicker.

Cynicism and love

Let's just leave that one, and put on "What is Love?" by Haddaway instead.

What if I was to look for a new job?

This one is a tough one. I have been here for 17 years this year, and while I often think about whether it's time to move on "just because" I can never think of a job or workplace situation that would interest me. Other than being paid to stay home of course. Suffice to stay that the people with whom I work are all far to good to leave, and the work is kinda fun too.

Random BlackBerry thoughts

I am happy with the decision to go back to a BlackBerry/CrackBerry as my primary phone/smart phone. As a corporate user, it suits my lifestyle a bit more, however I do often still carry the iPhone for music, games, twitter at home etc. A big influencing factor was buying the BlackBerry Bold 9700 which is a really nice piece of hardware, even though the OS is fairly similar to the other BBs I own/have owned. There are also some cool accessories coming out, such as the Bluetooth Music Gateway (got it - pretty cool), and Bluetooth presenter (which I will have to avail myself of).

How much I love my car

Yes, the age-old phenomenon where a man forms an emotional relationship with a four-wheeled conveyance, with due acknowledgement that some women suffer the same.

How cool is that blue sky, wow, that house went up/down quickly, where is that swimming pool again

Just some random ADD moments!

There were a lot more, and I even contemplated carrying a voice recorder with me (wait, I do, it's next to that notebook), but have forgotten them. Perhaps I'll do a summary post like this occasionally when there's enough to blog about.