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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Life Lately

Half Marathon
Two days ago I participated in my first ever half marathon at the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival. I'd been considering a half marathon for a couple of months now but the thought of running 21.1km is very overwhelming so left the decision until only a couple of weeks before. I couldn't get the idea of a half marathon out of my mind so I knew I wouldn't be satisfied until I tried it. My goal was to run the whole thing and not worry about a specific goal time. I achieved this and did run the entire distance- time in the end was 2:03.51. I'd definitely do another half marathon (not for awhile!) my goal next time would be to get under 2 hours. The reason this feels like a huge achievement is because running is a new sport for me. I've only done it seriously for a few months now, July was my first ever running event and prior to the City2Surf in August, I'd never run more than 10km. I don't have the background in running that I do in swimming. Also, I've never done any specific training for a running event or for this half marathon. I've relied on my swimming training and, as a result of having a good fitness level, I'm able to give long distance running a go. There's no way I could have done this without the swimming. 
I convinced the husband to participate in the Family Fun Run which is a 4km. He came in the top half without running any of it! He's also agreed to come to the next running event which is in two weeks time.


Back to London
My sister went back to London yesterday after being here for three weeks. We had the best time together but now I'm really feeling her absence. We tried not to make a big deal of her leaving as I knew we'd talk again the next day. The hardest part for me is knowing this is intended as permanent- - we won't live in the same country again, the most I can expect is a couple of weeks together every year. I get through it by keeping incredibly busy especially with sport. If I need to be somewhere and I'm constantly around other people, I can't possibly feel what I might otherwise. Keeping busy and taking it one day at a time is the only way I get through anything in life and it's taken me awhile to learn that. Here is a re-post of my favourite picture of our time together.

Swimming
Swimming is still taking up a lot of my time. I've taken a two day break after running the half marathon and I think that's actually the longest I've gone without swimming all year. More than enjoying swimming, it's the desire to improve which motivates me to continue. Daily exercise and early mornings have become a way of life now; it doesn't feel right when I'm not doing that. It was amazing to do some swimming with my sister while she was here; I'm surprised she wanted to swim so often. I took her to weekly racing at swim club and it reminded me of when we were kids. I tried some outdoor swimming last week to see if it was warm enough again- I had the whole pool to myself! 

Spring
I'm enjoying the spring weather; everything in life seems better and more manageable in this weather. It changed so quickly, almost overnight it became warm again. I keep reminding myself training can only get easier now, I truly have no idea how I showed up to the pool at 5.30am each Monday throughout winter, for example. It'll be so enjoyable in coming months when it's hot at those early hours of the day. I took this picture at lunch time on a work day. I rarely see the city other than while in the area for work. 

Smoothies
About a month ago I incorporated fruit smoothies into my diet. For as long as I can remember, I've had the worst possible diet, it'would be embarrassing to even mentioned it! In fact it wasn't until I discussed it out loud that I felt motivated to make some changes. I haven't changed completely but this is one daily improvement I've made. I previously didn't eat fruit at all and one of these contains berries and a banana. The other benefit is it takes about 5 minutes to make. I often have them for dinner after training. I previously would have ordered takeaway because of being too tired to do anything else. The husband will drink one if I make them so that's a bonus too. 

What have you been up to recently? 

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Palm Beach

This weekend we had a family trip to Palm Beach for my dad's birthday. It's very rare the five of us are all together especially with my sister living in London these days. Palm Beach is the northernmost suburb of Sydney and features beautiful landscape including an historic lighthouse. I actually haven't been here for years. It was such lovely and warm weather. Ever since the start of September, the weather has improved almost instantly. Life seems so much better in all respects. I'm particularly pleased because training can only get easier now- those 5.30am starts at the pool in the middle of winter were brutal!

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Kitten D'Amour Girl Friday Spot Top
Kitten D'Amour Girl Friday Full Skirt

Monday, September 5, 2016

Life Lately

It's been a week since my sister arrived and I've had the best time. I literally cannot comprehend how the time has gone so fast. My annual leave is over in just two days and what I'd do for just a few more days away from work. It's so hard knowing this time isn't forever and she will be returning to London in less than two weeks. Here are a few activities we've been up to!

The Bay Run
This is a popular 7km pathway/running track/cycle course along the waterside of the inner western suburbs of Sydney. I have surprisingly never run the course before, mainly because it's quite far away from where I live. However, it's something I've always wanted to do. There's a fun run held there annually, but this year it was unfortunately on the same day as a masters swimming carnival so I couldn't attend. Running here is so much nicer than elsewhere else and the course is overall relatively flat. I ran a total of 12km- almost two laps of the course (decided to walk the last 2km of the second lap to take in more of the scenery and enjoy the experience). I really want to come back.  


Bike Riding
I haven't been out on the bikes for months now so it was lots of fun to go for a ride around the streets. By the end of it, sister had decided bike riding wasn't for her! I'm always surprised how hard bike riding is on the legs. If it was easier I'd probably consider signing up for a triathlon some day. 

Parkrun
As a regular at the Parkrun, it was so nice to finally be able to take my sister to her first one- we'd been looking forward to this event for ages! She really enjoyed the experience. The weather was incredibly windy and the track was very wet so not the best conditions; I unfortunately just missed my goal time. I feel so annoyed at myself whenever my 5km time exceeds 25 minutes these days. How times have changed given my first ever Parkrun last year took me over 30 minutes to complete.  

City
We've been into the big city a couple of times now- once for drinks at the Opera Bar and Shangri La, and the other for Barangaroo on Father's Day. I love the first picture- she hates hugs, especially from me. 

Shopping and Movies
We've done so much shopping and seen three movies so far. I love seeing movies on weekdays since the cinema is so empty. I often make a point of doing this when I have a day off from work, and generally avoid movies at all other times. We've seen Absolutely Fabulous, David Brent: Life on the Road and Bad Moms. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Outfit

This is one of my absolute favourite cardigans at the moment. I've always loved the provence design from Wheels and Dollbaby and I was really surprised when another range of this print was recently released. I thought it would be in the archives forever and I'd never get to add it to my wardrobe. I've substantially increased my collection of Wheels and Dollbaby cardigans this year; I only had two last year. Interestingly, other than the cardigans, I don't like anything else from Wheels and Dollbaby; I think it's the use of leather and silk, combined with pencil silhouettes which isn't my style. This skirt has to be one of the most worn pieces I've ever owned. It goes with everything! I'm sure it'll be ready for a remix post soon (previously worn here, here and here). 

It's my first day of annual leave and my sister has arrived from London. It's going to be the best nine days away from work!

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Wheels and Dollbaby Provence Floral Cardigan
Kitten D'Amour Forget Me Not Skirt
Kurt Geiger Heels
Kitten D'Amour Petite Bow Belt

Friday, August 26, 2016

Fitness Update- July

It’s almost the end of August and I’m only just getting around to posting my swimming and running stats for July. It seems like so long ago; I had to think hard about what actually happened in during the month of July. For the second month in a row I reached over 60km for swimming and I achieved my maximum running distance in a month. I’m enjoying running a lot lately and it’s become more serious ever since I entered my first ever running event in July which was the Sydney Harbour 10k (post about it here). I cannot wait until we get some warmer weather in the next couple of weeks because it’s required dedication to keep going through the winter months especially during the early mornings.

Here are my swimming stats for July:

and for running:


In terms of my goal to achieve the Million Metre award with Masters Swimming Australia, I'm now 43% of the way there (as at today, not sure end of July). 

Here's what else happened for the month:
- for the Parkrun I finally reached a significant milestone of under 25 minutes for the first time. It took quite a few attempts to get within the 24 minute range, and I'm still not able to do it every week (but have a total of three times now). My best time is 24 minutes and 33 seconds for the 5km.
- attended four Parkruns for the month.
- attended all swim club nights and reached the 25 consecutive weeks award.
- continued working towards the million metres award with Masters Swimming Australia. I've completed almost 42% of the total distance required so far (not sure exactly as at the end of July)
-kept up with the routine of training 10 times a week (5 swimming, 1 racing swimming, 1 bootcamp, 3 runs)

-participated in first ever running event (Sydney Harbour 10k) and achived a new best 10km time of 54 minutes and 40 seconds
-continued working on the Endurance Program with Masters Swimming Australia which involves 62 long distance swims over the course of the year. By the end of July I'd completed 28/62.
-participated in a long distance swim meet with Masters Swimming NSW with both personal best times- 800m backstroke 13:02.79 and 400m breastroke 7:22.86

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Outfit

Another outfit which involves green with red; as I mentioned here, it's such an underrated colour scheme but I love it very much. The last time I wore this dress was also with red; see my trip to the Blue Mountains here. Lately I've been enjoying putting together pieces of the same colour but in different shades, so that's how the double green came about. It's interesting I always used to hate green, but for the past couple of years my opinion has completely changed and I own so many green clothes now (I think it must have been all those years of green school uniforms which turned me against the colour in the first place). An added benefit is that green is supposed to look good with red hair. The cardigan is one of my more recent purchases; I have it in both the emerald and plum. It's so comfortable and readily becoming a go-to cardigan. Also in this outfit is the necklace I received from 'Name Jewellery.' I've always liked personalised jewellery so very pleased to finally own a name necklace. 


I've been so busy lately and this is actually my first free weekend in almost two months.I'll still fit in some training for swimming and running but it's so good not to have any events or competitions this weekend. I cannot wait until the 30th of August because my sister is coming back to Sydney for three weeks and I haven't seen her for an entire year (she moved to London last August). I don't know how we got through a whole year without seeing each other; personally I kept excessively busy so I didn't have the time to feel what I may have otherwise. I have a week of annual leave planned so we are going to have the best time ever! It should also provide me with so material for blog posts

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Linking to: Fashion Should Be Fun

Carrie Style Personalised Silver Name Necklace c/o Name Jewellery
Alannah Hill Once Upon A Dream Cardigan in Emerald 
Kurt Geiger Heels
Kitten D'Amour Suzie Wong Belted Brooch Dress
Coco Land Scarf
Kitten D'Amour Cameo Hair Clip
Kitten D'Amour Heart Bag