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 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! 

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. 

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!








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. 

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.  

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.