| Thursday, September 30, 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
We've hit double digits folks! Episode 10 of the GGR podcast includes an ode to my Mom, my Blackmore's Half-Marathon race report, a training update, emails and shout-outs (including a race report from John Minter, as read by Special Guest Star Snook), a little bit more about sports bras, and information about the Sydney get-together for the Worldwide Festival of Races. I hope you like it!
My half-marathon race report
Photos of my 13.1 medal from Dan Clark and me on the race course
Running the Golden Years - Dan Clark's podcast
Corso La Meta - home of JayDub's B-HAG Running podcast
Run4Fun 10K on November 10
Lululemon Sports Bras including the Ta Ta Tamer
Sydney WWFoR Unofficial Get-Together
Worldwide Festival of Races
Runners Round Table podcast
Thanks as usual to Nick Arthur for the use of his song "Little Donut Party"!
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
We had a couple bananas ripening from last week's Food Connect box, so I decided to try something new. I found this recipe and went to work. I don't have a ring mold, so I baked it in two loaf tins. Other than chucking in a little cinnamon, I followed the recipe exactly. I turned the loaves out onto a wire rack to cool while I made the sauce; then I put the loaves back in the pans and dumped the sauce over (to better soak in). YUM. The only drawback is that half-a-cup of real maple syrup in Australia costs like $5, so the sauce was the most expensive ingredient by far! Still, it was a very moist and delicious cake.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Friday, September 24, 2010
The big half-marathon was on Sunday, but you've already read that race report, right? Monday and Tuesday I was pretty sore in the quads and hips, as you might imagine. Wednesday started to improve, so I went to Spudds for a workout. He gave my legs a reprieve and focused mostly on upper body, which was nice. This morning I went for my first run, an easy 5K around Newtown. I've still got lots of weird little pains and niggles, but I figure that's to be expected. Next races: 10K as part of Worldwide Festival of Races, and then the 10K Run4Fun in November.
Sept. 19: 21.2km
Sept. 24: 5.41km
Total this week: 26.51km (16.57mi)
Total in 2010: 719.23km (449.5mi)
I have made up some ground on my goal of running 1000km in 2010. I should be at 730km, so I'm only 11km off pace!
Thursday, September 23, 2010
While I'm at it, here are the best of our official race photos:
Last night I had Dr. Chin remove my Implanon. I've had it for just over six months. (Here's the insertion story, if anyone wants to relive it.) NO, I didn't get it taken out because I want to have babies. The truth is just that the level of hormones it delivers wasn't right for me.* I knew at about the 4-month mark that I wasn't happy, but I kept going in the hopes things would right themselves. They didn't. Okay, so what was it like getting it removed? Much easier than getting it put in, actually. I laid down while Dr. Chin prepped and sterilised my arm. Then he injected some local anesthetic to numb it. After a minute or two, he started prodding and all I could feel was some dull pressure. It felt weird, but no real sharp pain. So then he made a nick (apparently about 5mm) and started manipulating the rod to get it lined up with the opening. After a minute or so, he had the head exposed and was able to grab it with some forceps and pull it out. The whole process took less than 5 minutes. "You wanna see it?" he asked. "Ooh, is it gross?!" I said, fascinated. I looked. Frankly, it was disappointing. It's just a little white plastic stick. I was expecting it to be all gross and barnacled with human flesh, but it wasn't. "What, you thought it was going to be like something from an alien?" he laughed. "I'll put it in a jar so you can show Rodd." (I love Dr. Chin.) Then he put multiple layers of dressing on my arm (tape to hold the cut together, then bandages to keep any germs and water out). I have to keep it dry for a week. Then one last step - getting my trusty old Depo Provera injection. I told you it wasn't to have kids! So that's the story. I'd still recommend it, especially for anyone who needs a low-cost, low-effort method of birth control. But as every woman knows, sometimes what works for one person doesn't work for another.
* I won't go into any more specifics than that, but if any women are considering it and want to know my experience, drop me an email.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Today was my third day of attempting to purchase an iPhone 4. Monday and Tuesday were both completely sold out. Today I got there when they opened at 8am to see a queue stretching around the building. On one hand, YAY, they must have stock! On the other hand, MASSIVE QUEUE. I joined it and hoped for the best. Not long after, Apple employees came along it telling folks that they'd reached the limit of contract handsets, so those of us at the end wouldn't get one. "What about outright?!" I asked. "Oh! Just head right in," he said. Giddy, I ran for the entrance. I joined a much shorter queue of 7 people. Fifteen minutes later, I had my phone. I paused only to send the Snook an email from one of the Macbooks announcing that I'd got it before heading off to work. After the ceremonial unboxing, I put in my SIM, plugged it in, and synced it up. And now it's all back to normal, just like it never left. Phew.
So what did this whole debacle cost me? In real money, only $100 (assuming that my insurance claim goes through, which it should). Several hours of panic and frenzy on Sunday morning as I tried to recover it before and after the race. An hour or two of hassle as I had to change all my passwords. And 74 hours of frustration as I had to live without a device that's come to be an integral part of my daily routine. (Spider-Phone was a poor, poor substitute.)
I realise this is hardly the worst thing that can happen to a person. It's just STUFF. Stuff can be replaced. In the grand scheme of things, I'm LUCKY to have problems like losing an expensive phone. But within my own personal frame of reference, these three days really sucked. I'm so relieved to have it back now.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
I love every one of their videos. This one is fantastic. Theoretically simple and cheap, but actually really difficult to execute. I don't know how they did it without smiling the whole time.
Monday, September 20, 2010
First of all, let's just admit that the half-marathon distance is CURSED for me, right? I've entered five half-marathons so far. My first was a success, but each of the rest have SUCKED in some way. At my second one, I was disorganised and forgot my iPod. The third one I had to withdraw from three weeks before the date because I was so sick the doctor thought I had whooping cough. And the fourth one? You all remember that debacle. So needless to say, I wasn't expecting this one to go perfectly. I just had no idea exactly what fresh hells my demons would come up with. (This is a very, very long post. I should warn you.)
Okay, so in the week leading up to this race, it's almost like I was in denial that it was happening. I'd focussed and prepared so hard for the race in May - the one I didn't finish - that it's like I was afraid of setting my heart on this one too much. On Saturday, I forced myself to hydrate and eat some carbs, but it was a struggle. I ended up taking a nap for a few hours (which is very unlike me). Eventually I rallied enough to get my gear ready and work out my schedule for the day with the Snook. My race started at 6:20am, while his 9K didn't start til 9am. We made it into bed by 10:30 and I surprised myself by getting a few hours of sleep.
At 4:30am, my alarm went off and I rolled out of bed. My gear was all laid out and I was quickly ready. The Snook got up to make me a much-appreciated coffee before heading back to bed. I also had a couple pieces of toast with peanut butter. After syncing my iPhone (OMINOUS MUSIC OF FOREBODING), I grabbed my gear and headed out the door. In my haste and the pre-dawn darkness, I missed the last step and stumbled forwards onto both knees. Ouch! I chuckled ruefully as I stood up. I was fine; just embarrassed. "At least you got the bad stuff out of the way early!" I thought to myself. I had no idea. [more...]
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Just a very quick note - I FINISHED THE RUN! I can't be more specific than that, as I lost my iPhone right before the run. YES, THAT SUCKED. I ran around like a maniac to every lost-and-found at the starting line and no one turned it in. And then I begged someone else's phone to try calling it - no answer - and then calling Rodd, whose race started later. So then I had to run the whole thing without any music, without GPS, with my timed intervals. I have no idea what my time was, but goddammit, I finished that race! The past two hours have been a blur of calling Optus to get the handset barred, calling the cops to get an incident report, changing passwords, etc. Now we're going to go get food.
AND HOW WAS YOUR DAY?
Saturday, September 18, 2010
I left this a bit late... because the big race is tomorrow! I'm just about ready to go. Thankfully my cold passed within a week without too much drama, and it never moved into my lungs. (I credit several "hot whiskeys" from a sympathetic barman last weekend.) I've had massages each of the last two weeks in an attempt to deal with my continuing lower back and hip soreness. I even went to yoga on Monday! (Surprisingly brutal.) Last weekend I went for an experimental 3:1 run/walk and found that my pace was close to 7:00/km, which is way faster than I was doing at 5:1. So that's the plan for the race now, a 3:1 run/walk for as long as I can sustain it. I need to average 7:49/km for the first 16km or risk getting pulled from the course. Shouldn't be too hard. If anything, I'm probably a bit undertrained for this - my LSR topped out at around 15K - but that's pretty much a reaction to how overtrained I was before the May race. My new Asics have been helping with my foot, and I plan on slathering on some anti-inflammatories before the start. My biggest worry is this back pain, and whether I've done enough to keep it at bay. We'll see in less than 12 hours!
Sept. 12: 7.67km
Sept. 14: 5.4km
Sept. 17: 5.45km
Total this week: 18.52km (11.5mi)
Total in 2010: 692.72km (433mi)
To meet my goal of running 1000km in 2010, I should be at 711.5km. That leaves me about 19km behind schedule. I should make a big dent in that this week though. :)
Oh WOW! Today Distracted by Star Wars embedded the song "Scoundrel" by the band Twin Sister. They were a Star Wars-inspired funk band (yes, really) that performed SW-related song in full costume. (Their original name was "Boba Fett," but Lucas made them change it.) I actually saw them perform in the summer of 1996! I went to the Cornerstone Festival (which, as you might imagine, is a story unto itself) and they were performing in one of the smaller side tents. I remember them playing "Scoundrel," a song "about racism" called "We Don't Serve Their Kind Here," a song about Cloud City, etc. I loved them so much I bought their cassette and played the heck out of it for a year. Then I lost it. A few years later, I actually found it at an ex-boyfriend's place and the bastard had TAPED OVER IT. So I haven't heard any of these songs in over eleven years...
Friday, September 17, 2010
Thursday, September 16, 2010
The Snook and I were on a run through Newtown Tuesday morning when I spotted this shirt in a shop window. I stopped in my tracks to take a photo.
Snook: What's up?
Me: Somebody's been reading his Roald Dahl.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
Does anyone have a good recipe to use up Cavolo Nero? We've gotten it in our food boxes a couple times now, and every time we've cooked it's been, well, supremely underwhelming. In fact, I'd say we just plain don't like it. Last night we used this gorgeous recipe which I had high hopes for... but it was still bitter and mushy and stringy and gross. We ate it, but it wasn't great. I have a feeling we'll be getting it again, so what the heck can we do with it?
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Friday, September 10, 2010
We're officially in the taper, folks! Which is a good thing, because I've caught a cold. I did a long run of 14.4km on Monday, which is the longest I'm going to manage before the Half-Marathon next weekend. I did the whole thing at 5:1 run/walk intervals, and I easily kept under the 7:45/km I need to average for the race. I'm not going to set any speed records, but I feel reasonably confident in my ability to finish the thing without getting pulled off the course. I had a massage Monday night and asked the masseuse to focus on my lower back and hips, which helped with some of the pain I was having. On Wednesday I went out for a nice easy run around the neighbourhood where I had very little issue with my foot, back or hips. That was good! But four hours later I was sniffling, which was bad. It always happens right before a race! I'm taking it easy for a few days, and I've skipped today's planned run. So far everything is above-the-neck (mostly sinus-related), so I'm hoping I can keep it from moving into my lungs. Lots of liquids and sleep and decongestant for me!
Sept. 6: 14.4km
Sept. 8: 5.48km
Total this week: 19.88km (12.4mi)
Total in 2010: 674.2km (421.4mi)
I should be at 692km to meet my goal of running 1000km in 2010, so I'm still about 18km behind pace.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
For most of the winter, I've been having some fairly serious pain in my right wrist and elbow. It went away when we went on vacation but came back soon afterwards. It's obviously connected to the heavy mouse usage of my right hand, combined with the pressure of my chair arm on a nerve near my elbow. I tried switching my mouse to the left hand, but I was utterly useless at it. I had resorted to trying to memorize keyboard shortcuts and daily applications of Voltarin to my wrist. Then two weeks ago my co-worker Graeme saw me and asked if I wanted to try out his Bamboo Touch. (He didn't need it any more.) I was skeptical at first, but I am now a total convert. For all normal mouse-related activities, I'm just as quick now with the tablet as I was before. I utterly LOVE two-finger scrolling, which I also have on my MacBook at home. My wrist pain has disappeared completely. For my elbow, I ended up wrapping a scarf around the chair arm to create a makeshift pad. That's helping quite a bit, so I think a more permanent solution is in order. Just thought I'd share my experience in case any of you are experience similar mouse-related repetitive use injuries!
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Friday, September 3, 2010
And up and down week. My new shoes (Asics Gel Kayano 16s) arrived on Friday so I immediately started wearing them around the house to break them in. On Sunday I decided to risk wearing them on my long run. They're just so comfortable! The Snook joined me for a 5:1 run/walk to Centennial Park. We did about 6km and then switched to a 3:1 ratio for the trip home. I did a bit extra to make up the distance I needed. I felt pretty good on that run; my back didn't hurt and my foot felt okay. Tuesday, however, was disastrous. I felt slow; I was thirsty; and every muscle was sore. It was such a slog. Then today I bounced back again. My legs are still sore, but my pace dropped by 30s/km. My hips are so tight though, I think I might try to arrange a massage this weekend.
Total this week: 25.5km (15.9mi)
Total in 2010: 654.32km (408.95mi)
To reach my goal of running 1000km in 2010, I should be at 673km right now. So I'm about 20km behind pace. I'm slowly clawing back ground though!
Thursday, September 2, 2010
For those outside Australia who don't know, we had a federal election two weeks ago. The result was so close that they're still not exactly sure who's going to be the Prime Minister. (It's basically a tie between the two biggest parties, so they're both trying to woo the few independents who were elected over to their side to form a majority.) Many of my Australian friends were extremely disappointed in this result. I saw comments on Twitter about how disillusioned they were with their fellow Australians. I saw people lamenting how stupid a lot of the the voters were. (We have compulsory voting here, so everybody HAS to turn up on polling day. Many of them chose to register blank votes though in protest of the major parties.) There are people who truly believe that this election presages a really dark time for Australia.
All I can say is: at least it's not this crap. I'd still rather live here than in a country where supposedly a full QUARTER of the population believe that the President is a Muslim. Where a significant portion of them believe he's the actual, literal Antichrist. Where Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh poison minds with their insinuations and manipulations. Where Sarah Palin incites violence and is somehow still viable as a Presidential candidate.
Trust me, Australia. I'll take Tony Abbott over those ass-clown fundamentalist fearmongers any day.
And yeah, I've been trying not to talk politics here for a while, because I know it upsets some members of my family, and I'll probably receive some loony drive-by comments from randoms as well. But as Ebert says, it's time for reasonable people to start speaking up instead of ignoring this crap out of politeness.
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
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