Sunday, December 29, 2013

New camera

I have always enjoyed taking photos but have never had a really good camera. For Christmas, the boyfriend got me a Doctor Who lunchbox, many chocolates, and a DSLR camera. He really does pay attention, that boy.

I have a lot to learn, but so far I am really enjoying figuring it all out.

It can take photos of people in cars:

And babies:

And after I read the manual (although clearly before I read it closely enough) it took photos of nature:

I will spare you all the Christmas lunch and family photos, however.

Anyone have any tips and tricks?

Friday, December 27, 2013

Decision, decisions

Reasons I am unsure about playing frisbee this women's season:

1. I'm not sure if I am welcome. As a leader, I messed up last women's season and everyone had a terrible time.

2. I am not sure I am good enough. I was picked last in a draft and failed to lead my team to a grand final last season. My confidence is not so good right now.

3. Maybe I should let them have a season without me involved, so they can run a team without my involvement. Related to number one, obviously.

Reasons I am going to play frisbee this women's season:

1. I just bought new cleats with my Christmas gift vouchers.

Thursday, December 12, 2013


I want to start writing more regularly, and about topics other than running. I really should have done NaBloPoMo, but we can have our own pretend one now. To get back into the swing of it, there might be a few boring posts just for the sake of words.

Today's topic is ... television shows.

I watch a bunch of different shows, but pretty much nothing on the actual television (unless it's connected to my laptop).

In the I Only Have Twenty Minutes and the I Need Something Light categories, we have How I Met Your Mother and The Big Bang Theory. I probably should have given both of these up a long time ago, but HIMYM is nearing the end, and I can't give up so close to the finish line. And if I stopped TBBT, this category would be empty soon. Formerly in this category: Scrubs, Friends.

In the Surprisingly Good Again After Being Pretty Bad There For A While corner: Grey's Anatomy.
Parenthood and Hart of Dixie both Sucked Me In With One Actress I Love. I am pretty sure that Lauren Graham had a crying scene in every episode for the first season or two. Her character isn't actually that great, but she herself continues to be charming. Also completely charming: Rachel Bilson. (And also Anna-Beth from HoD, the character whose wardrobe I would most like to own for myself.)

I suppose Nashville could be in that category too (as I had finally starting watching Friday Night Lights just prior to it airing). And it and Hart of Dixie can be in the Read The Fug Caps Straight After Watching group.

Because Joss Whedon is obviously a category of its own, but Agents Of SHIELD is also a Why Aren't You More Awesome? show. It was on the Tiny List Of Shows The Boyfriend And I Watch Together, but was recently dropped.Still remaining on that list are QI and Arrow.

Shows That I Really Love When I Get Around To Watching Them, Usually In A Massive Half-Season Chunk include The Vampire Diaries and Once Upon A Time. I really don't know why I feel no urgency to watch them, because I really do like them. Pretty Little Liars and True Blood were in this category, but I kept not watching for so long that I doubt I ever will now.

Happy Surprises From Shows Beginning This Year include Reign and Witches Of East End - the latter in particular, as I had heard nothing about it until after it premiered. However, if things get busy next year, it may get dropped.

And of course, over in the Shows Whose Return I Am Eagerly Awaiting corner, we have Doctor Who and Game Of Thrones.

And dude, I think that is enough. Lucky I have some holidays coming up so I can smash out a few of those backed-up episodes.

PS: In the Shows I Am So Excited Are Being Made Into Movies category: VERONICA MARS.

How do you watch shows? 
Do you agree with my categories?
Am I missing any essential viewing (not that I have time to act on your suggestions)?

Monday, November 18, 2013


As you can see from the post title, I beat my previous 10k PB by two minutes!

PB: 58:16

The whole race wasn't as super exciting as the 12k where we were constantly surprised and amazed at our awesomeness. But I kept pushing myself and made it in under an hour! Take that, thirty-seconds-over.

I didn't have my running app on, as it had been messing with my music in the lead-up and I figured that music was more important, plus I could do the maths for a 10k easier than a 12. But now that I managed it in under an hour, by myself, I would be really interested to see what my splits looked like.

Two things from that paragraph that I should probably talk about: I can manage my six times tables, even when running. For the most part. For some reason, at the 9k mark, I convinced myself that 9 x 6 was 52, which meant that oh shit, I might only just make it. I sped up, then realised that I am a dumbass, then decided to stay sped up anyway.

This was my first race running without my Running Buddy. I went through a few Imaginary Running Buddies (not that the people were imaginary, the fact that they didn't know they were my running buddies is what makes them imaginary) before I settled on a lady with grey hair and a marathon singlet on. I lost her at the first water break, but we'd kept up a good pace together til then.

I was joined for a little while then overtaken by a frisbee acquaintance who was running with (1) a pram with (2) two kids in it, with whom he was (3) carrying on a conversation, while (4) running faster than me. Some people are very impressive. So he dragged me along for a little while as well, which was nice.

My usual training run has a bridge in it, or two bridges as I like to think of it if you go all the way over the bridge and have to come back over it. This course? Two bridges! All that whinging training paid off.

The boyfriend saw me off, (had breakfast, the jerk,) and then was waiting for me at about the 500m mark. I got a high five and pushed it out from there til I could actually see the finish line and sprinted from there. I did almost throw up when I got to finish line, but I'm not sure if that was maybe a self-fulfilling prophecy. Perhaps I had just run really hard.

The weather was lovely. And I look weird when I run.

I am super happy with my under-an-hour time.
I think it is awesome that I can now casually go out for a thirty minute run (or forty or fifty).
I won't be signing up for any more races immediately, but I will wait and see how frisbee is shaping for next season.
I am truly thankful for everyone who contributed to my running enjoyment this season, including bloggy commenters, facebook likers or commenters, race volunteers, cheer squads, and running buddies real and imaginary.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Same same but different

Tomorrow is my third race of the season.

It is another 10k, along the beach this time. The weather is supposed to be lovely.

I have been somewhat training for it. I have been training for it, in that I've been running several days a week. I haven't been training for it, in that those runs were either shorter intervals (more helpful to frisbee), longer slow runs, or frisbee sessions. I have done abs/arms/legs sporadically.

Frisbee season will be starting again soon, so that has been in the back of my mind when going on these runs - trying to do sessions that will be effective for both.

I haven't run 10 kilometers since my last race, and I haven't run at race pace on any of my long runs since then. But I am feeling very steady on my long runs.

My goal is an hour, just because that was my goal last time. I am really not sure if I will make it or not. I feel like anything could happen. I could go along, slow and steady, and be comfortable in my breathing, and be happy that I finished this race and in fact three races this year. Or maybe I will know this is my last race (for now) and run so hard and probably throw up at the end of it. I really have no idea, which is why I haven't really committed myself to the whole one-hour thing.

Whatever happens, I am extremely proud of myself for this whole running season (all three races of it), and really very happy in the running habits that it has given me.

Now, if the shin splints and knee pain that showed up on my last long run will just stay away tomorrow, we might be okay.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

How Father Christmas made me lose my shit and giggle like a schoolgirl

So you may remember the Pancakes and Pageant tradition that signals the start of all Christmas traditions (of which I have many).

Last year, someone booked a romantic weekend away on Pageant weekend, so we couldn't go, but this year, the tradition returned!

There was pancake eating, chalk drawing, and window-sill sitting, and much waving. I looooove waving at the Pageanters and watch them go from automatic wave to enthusiastic wave. And of course, I love being waved to by Father Christmas himself.

Now last time, he went all the way past before turning and waving directly at me. It was one of the greatest moments of my childhood life. I told this story this year to the amusement and befuddlement of those around me (except for the boyfriend of course - he knows what's up), but I was very concerned that I would feel a bit sad if I didn't get a wave this year.

So all the other floats have gone, and Father Christmas is coming! I am managing my expectations, like so: he can't wave at everyone every year, you are very lucky that he waved to you last time, etc. And Father Christmas is waving all around, he's blowing some kisses but mostly waving. AND THEN. YOU GUYS.


And I completely lost it, it was so exciting and unexpected, and I GOT A POINT. No-one else got a point, it was so crazy!

I think he must have remembered me, after all. Happy Christmas indeed.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Thirty goddamn seconds

My computer died a temporary death right after I got home from that last race. It was a very hard time for me. I only had my mobile, my tablet, my work computer... it was tough.

My goal was an hour, and if you only take a quick look at the photo below, that is exactly what I did it in!

Sadly, my official time is one hour and thirty stupid seconds. I am not really upset - I was nowhere near as prepared for this one as the City to Bay - but thirty seconds is so dumb. Ah well. There's always next time.
Here is us being happy at the finish line:

And here is me running:

In my head, I look like a sportswear model when I exercise. Becoming a runner has unfortuntely proven to me that that is not the case. (Just out of frame: my running buddy SMILING CHEERFULLY.)

My next race is in a month, and I really hope I can get in some good training before that one. The fact that I haven't been doing abs was really obvious to me during this race, so abs are coming back into the rotation. I also want to try out my local parkrun, although it is an unfortuntely timed run (by which of course I mean it is a timed run in the morning time). I will get back to the universe with my new goal time closer to the date.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Next goal: don't die.

After our amazing success in the City to Bay, my running buddy and I immediately signed for a 10k to be held in a month's time.

I promptly got sick and couldn't run for two weeks, did a couple of runs, went away for a long weekend, came back and did a couple of runs, and now here we are on the night before the race.

This race is not like that other race.

To say I have trained for this one would be a vast overstatement. We are basically back to my very early goal for City to Bay, which was simply: to not die. And the one after that, which was: don't stop to walk. I do have a goal time, but given the lack of serious prep and my extremely unimpressive time 7k time yesterday (the only race I felt was a significant enough distance to bother timing since City to Bay), I am doubtful about our ability to meet it. (Also running buddy is totally injured, so I don't have to feel bad about holding her back.)

Oh! I have to tell you about the first run I did after being sick for two weeks. Maybe the second, otherwise I decided to run 7 ks straight off the bat. Smart. Anyway: Sunday morning, the worst time ever for a run. The boyfriend was with me, pretty sure he was hungover. It was ridiculous how terribly we both did. There was much walking involved, as well as bending over with hands on knees. It was kind of funny that we were both so so bad.

I'm sure tomorrow won't be like that.

Plus! Since the event is actually a half-marathon, our 10k group doesn't start til 9:15! That's almost the afternoon!

Goal time: One hour. Six-minute kilometers. We can maybe do this. Then again, maybe not and I won't be upset the way I would've been if we didn't meet our City to Bay goal. But it's something to aim for.

Sunday, September 15, 2013


BAM! That is five minutes under our goal time and a good twenty-plus minutes less than we did it in last year.

Here is us at the starting line, looking all happy and not-sweaty.

And here is us at the finish line, looking FUCKING TRIUMPHANT and also tired (and more than a little bit red in the face, I've just noticed) because we smashed it!

We had a lovely team dinner last night with lots of delicious carbs.

I woke up at RIDICULOUS o'clock this morning, so that I would have enough time to eat breakfast and wake myself up - having established that I am So Not A Morning Running Person. Facebook informed me that this awesome lady had finished this super-tough race, which totally got me in the pre-race mood and excited to kick arse.

We finally got to the starting line, where I tried not to think about that time a couple of years ago (when I was just doing it for fun) when my timer didn't register. And we were off! We pushed it out hard at the start, it was hard not to get caught up in the crowd and the excitement, and we have always gone hard for the first two ks.

But guess what? We went hard for almost ALL the ks! My running buddy and I were just looking at each other after every split-time update from my App Lady like, We are so awesome. We're going so fast. We're smashing it! It was so fun and I was just totally happy and really relaxed for the first nine ks or so. After that I really wanted to stop and have a nap, but Running Buddy wouldn't let me so we kept going.

We had our own personal cheer squad for one part of it, and I cannot overstate how awesome it made me feel, to have people cheering for me, and telling me that I could do it. Awesome.

I tried to push it out in the last k, but between being tired and having to dodge a ton of people near the finish line, I was never full-out sprinting (or as close as I get after 12ks) but I ran hard for longer than I usually sprint, so I am happy with that.

And then we stopped, and did I mention we are awesome? I really think we are. From struggling to run five minutes at a time to running twelve kilometers and (mostly) enjoying it - that is cool.

Thank you so much to everyone who has supported us, with donations or otherwise. You guys rock.

We raised over $600 for the Little Heroes Foundation - and it's not too late to donate.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Ab Challenge: Complete

Yesterday, I did 125 sit-ups, 200 crunches, 65 leg raises, and a two minute plank. I completed the 30-Day Ab Challenge.*

Over the past month I have done the following:
1610 sit-ups
2120 crunches
901 leg raises
1400 seconds of plank.
That is pretty hardcore.**

I do not have a six-pack, having a bit too much of a fondness for carbs. You can absolutely see some definition, but my stomach is not totally flat nor rock hard. This is only hard to take when comparing it with my challenge buddy, who couldn't put on weight if his life depended on it.

You can see how hard I've worked, in the slight definition you can now see. I did the exact same amount of core work as someone who did end up with a six-pack. I regularly got up before seven a.m. to exercise. I can feel how much stronger I am now. And did I mention that I did a two-minute plank? I am strong.

I will probably continue to do some ab work on a semi-regular basis. I think the main advantage of these thirty-day things is that they instill regular workout habits. I will not continue to do 200 crunches a day, because that's just crazy and I think I pulled something in my back last time I did that.

One challenge down, one 12k to go.

*We also inadvertently completed a 30-Day Push-Up Challenge, because I insisted on adding some in, and turns out I added in the recommended 30-day dose.

**Hard. Core. Get it? Ha, I'm hilarious.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Dress Rehearsal

Yesterday was the final long run of our training program before the big race.

I have always found new clothes to be a good motivator, and since I have been running in frisbee shorts all this time, I thought some new running shorts might be nice. I bought these Nike running shorts with built-in compression shorts. They were on sale so I can only assume that they are last season's range or that real runners wear compression or little shorts but not both. However, since I am not used to seeing any part of my legs above the knee (hell, including my knees in some of my frisbee shorts), I though they'd be a good gateway apparel to actual running shorts. Also because they are purple.

This meant that I had to get a running armband for my phone, so what with that and the new shorts, I thought a full dress rehearsal was in order.

It was a good thing I did, because there were some technical difficulties with my phone - mostly with my music, which I figured out switches off after thirty minutes. Not helpful on a sixty-plus minutes run.

It was also my first long run without my morning-person running buddy, so it was a bit of test to see how I'd do in case she runs off and leaves me on race day. (She won't.)

We did pretty well. It's an interesting puzzle to see how slow you can go on the last 10ks if your first two are well below your goal average. I have realised there is a difference between plodding and jogging - and I really need to make sure I don't let myself do the former. Awesomely, the app lady thinks we did two 4-minute ks at the end there. (We didn't; she is on crack, or the GPS was.)

I no longer care about doing the whole race without stopping, I just want to beat our goal time. I think I have too much frisbee fitness still built in - if I get even a really short break, I am good to go so much better than if I have to be running constantly. But I'm talking about quick water breaks, not walking breaks.

I am really proud of how much progress we have made. I can now casually go out for a thirty-minute run - something I could never ever have done before all this started. And hopefully, next Sunday, we will be able to run 12ks in under an hour fifteen. Luckily, most of it is downhill!

We are fundraising for the Little Heroes Foundation - it would mean a lot if you could donate. I'm offering this frisbee shirt and DVDs of Chasing Sarasota to anyone who makes a donation and emails me to claim them.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Not a morning person

I don't think anyone who knows me would disagree when I say that I am not a morning person.

Until a few weeks ago, we had been doing our long runs once a week after work. As in, not in the morning. However, we wanted to switch to road running, and to a weekend day, so we switched to morning runs.

Let me tell you, it is RIDICULOUS how much worse I am at running in the mornings. I am ACTUALLY NOTICEABLY SLOWER on our morning runs than I am in the evenings. And you know what? Having been the person who has breath to spare to jolly other people along, it is NOT HELPFUL to have cheerful people running alongside you at the butt-crack of dawn.

This is some bullshit, because as it turns, the race itself is - unfortunately for me - at too-damn-early o'clock on a Sunday morning.

I have two weeks to become a morning person. As my too-chirpy running buddy would say, I may perish.

We are fundraising for the Little Heroes Foundation. You can donate to the early-morning cause here.

Saturday, August 17, 2013


I strongly believe that if you have a goal you should tell someone, because the act of saying it out loud and putting it out in the universe means that you can now be held accountable by the universe. That's huge.

And oh yes, we are talking about running goals. This has become a fitness blog. Sorry about that, and don't worry, I don't recognise myself either.

My goal for the City to Bay is to complete the race in under one hour and fifteen minutes. Also to not stop for walking breaks. This means we have to run each kilometer in six minutes and fifteen seconds.

We have thus far been doing the long runs each week on grass, in cleats, but I thought it would be a good idea to get used to doing it on road, in runners. This week is the fifty minute one (it goes up by five each week) and so we calculated that we had to run eight ks in that time.

According to my yes-I'm-totally-a-running-app-person-now running app, we ran 7.66 kilometers (so our route planning was a bit out, but that's ok, blame Google maps).

According to the app, it took us 48:51, but according to my stop watch, which I paused whenever we had to stop at intersections, we did it in 46:10. That is 6:01 per kilometer! Even if you listen to the app, we did it in 6:22 which is pretty close to 6:15 kinda not really but the point is our goal of 1 hour 15 minutes is totally doable! Right? I hope.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Challenge Accepted... Reluctantly

Here is a pro tip for you: do not express dissatisfaction with your lack of six-pack abs within earshot of your boyfriend.

He will try to "help"/torture you by suggesting/forcing you to do the 30 Day Ab Challenge. This month of good times culminates in me allegedly being able to perform 125 sit-ups, 200 crunches, 65 leg raises, and a two-minute plank.

Of these, the only thing I think I would currently have even the slightest hope of performing is the two-minute plank. (As an aside, did I tell you about the time I watched this girl do a four-minute plank? It was awesome.) But that would certainly not be on a day that I also had to do sit-ups, crunches, leg raises, or anything else apart from lying very, very still.

I will be honest and say I am slighting interested in doing this Challenge. I would like a six pack, my belly having been genetically programmed to be unsatisfactory to me. If core work is going to make me a better runner, bring it on. And let's face it, anything he can do...

We start tomorrow. First rest day is Thursday. Thursday can't come fast enough.

Who wants to join me?

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Happy Birthday!

As I predicted, despite all the hassles and worry beforehand, my wine tour birthday party was totally awesome on the day.

Wine tasting is serious business.

I nominated a rounder-upper so that I didn't have to stress about moving people along on schedule.

The herder of people

We did have a few non-drinkers along, but they all had a great time as well, so I didn't have to stress about that.

We went to four wineries altogether, including the one where we had lunch, and had a good time at all of them, but you really need to visit this one: 

The winery itself is gorgeous, the people were lovely, and the presentation (by the winemaker himself!) was fun and educational and delicious.

Artistic photo of the cellar where we were plied with wine.

They even gave me a cake and birthday card!

Love these guys.

And this guy.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Run, run, as fast as you can

I am aiming to complete the 12km City to Bay this year, having run all 12ks without having to stop for a walking break.

There. Now it's out there in the universe, and on the afternoon of September 15th, you can check up on whether I managed to meet that goal.

Today I ran for thirty-five minutes all in a row. Now, per the official training program, all I have to do is add on five minutes every week until the race and I should be good to go. Except I just realised that that takes me up to 50 minutes, which HA. That is not 12 of my ks.

I think I will make the final long run whatever time I think the race will take me, because I am not good at the mental stuff. I need to be able to point to that final long run and tell myself (over and over for twelve kilometers), "It's fine. You just did this the other day. You can do it." And hopefully I will listen.

If by chance you want to encourage me in this endeavour, we are raising money for the Little Heroes Foundation. Our fundraising page is here, including some info about why we chose this charity to support. I plan to have the names of donatees on my shirt - somewhere I can see them during the race. Hopefully this peer pressure will get me across the line!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Would you like some cheese with your whine?

My birthday is coming up in about two weeks. I am pretty sure we have covered the fact that I love my birthday. But this year it is driving me nuts.

I decided to book a mini-bus and take a bunch of people for a wine tour in the Barossa Valley. I have a bunch of friends who moved here from overseas, so it seemed like the perfect trip all round.

Problem #1: 5/6 of the overseas people can't make it. Ok, less of a problem than a reason to go again. But seriously, I am not organising this again.

Problem #2: Trying to design a trip where all the wineries have times available when you want them to, to ensure no back-tracking. Which leads to...

Problem #3: I had to book the last winery later than I'd planned originally, which means we are hiring the bus for longer, which means it costs more per person than the original $15 I'd said on the invites. And because I am an idiot, I kept it at that amount when telling everyone the final, overall price, because I didn't want them to think I had been lying to them before, but really they never would have known what percentage was bus and what was tasting fees and lunch, so really Problem #3 is that I am an idiot and deserve to have to pay extra out of my own money.

The mini-bus I'd planned on holds 21 people. You can also get a 13-seat one.

Problem #4: The terrible time I had trying to convince wineries to book in a group of that size.

Problem #5: Trying to get those 21 people to RSVP on time.

Problem #6: Having to offer second-round picks when the first-round people can't make it. At what point do I stop inviting people and book the 13-seater bus? Refer to Problem #3 regarding "people these days don't know how to plan their lives" - if all the already-invited people are in, definitely invite one or two more. If all the current maybes are nos, stop inviting people! Abort! and switch to the smaller one.

Not a problem #1: Having vegan and gluten-free people on the tour. Restaurants are very happy to cater for this these days. So that was nice.

Now, I know that this will be an awesome day, filled with wine and fun, and surrounded by my friends. But I SWEAR I am NEVER planning one of these EVER AGAIN.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

My Library Qualifications

Last we spoke, I was probably still at uni. I now hold a Master of Library and Information Management.

I even work in a school library now.

But the most essential requirement for me to be able to call myself a real library person came after a solid week of headaches and one "I'm sure this isn't the reason, but I might as well get checked out" trip to the optometrist.

Considering that absolutely everyone in my family wears glasses - and my brother had to get them in primary school - I think I did pretty well to go nearly 28 years without needing them. They're only for reading right now, but I am pretty sure it is a slippery slope to full-time looking like a dork. Luckily, it's kind of expected if I want to work in a library.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Taking a break

It has been almost a year since I last posted. I blame Facebook.

Anyway, I just came on to let you know that I'm taking a bit of a break from frisbee. I mean, I'll still play Social every week. And I'm already signed up for one fun tournament next month, and there may be more. But I'm not playing League, and I'm not going to Mixed Nats, and I was recently voted off the Board so I have nothing to organise anymore.

It seems like a good time - I would much rather miss Mixed League than Womens, I have played pretty much non-stop since 2009, and I did spend the last year trying to organise womens events so probably I am due for a break.

It will be weird. I think it is probably an ok-to-good decision, given my current lack of confidence in anything related to frisbee (getting picked last in a tournament and being voted out of office will do that to you, apparently). Social will keep me in the loop and allow me to stay in touch with friends. I will have to make sure I concentrate on my running so I don't get unfit and depressed, and am ready to come back strong for the womens Nationals season.

In the meantime, I would like to make a hat, although if the last half-hour I spent on YouTube trying to master the art of crocheting in a circle - and the resulting untangleable knot of wool - is any indication, I might need to look for a new form of distraction.
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