Sunday, May 31, 2015

Bulli Burning for Coach Mark.....

Its been a heck of a week. Busy, travel, nights away from home, and of course the one that always missed.

Nothing like being hammered by the boss. Luckily it wasn't directed at me, but a collective group of HR Managers. It just rolls off now like thick hot tar. burns and sticks to you and it stinks! Two days of intense work and bitching, but I still managed a quick 4km run. It was a lovely place we stayed at. On the beach at Narrabeen and with a lake reserve behind the hotel I had options a plenty. I walked out of the hotel  got a little turned around in the dark and ended up with the lake route. The legs and knees were good and I felt comfortable from the moment I broke into a lazy jog. Except being away from home and the usual routine, meant the body wasn't happy and so I found myself walking some until I could find a loo that was open.

Narrabeen beach view from the hotel
A work Gala Night on Friday saw me frocking up and racing around like a maniac. It also saw me falling into bed around 1am. Yep, there was no way I was going to make the ride on 3 and a bit hours of sleep. And so sleep in was the second best option and I enjoyed it! I have a confession to make. I actually felt beautiful in my frock on the night. I splurged and got my hair blow dried and did my nails, wore a designer 'hand-me down' dress of my sisters and high heels (that I later regretted, as my feet killed by the end of the night). I had a flat stomach and squeezed into the dress with no back fat and no Spanx required. Running does pay off.
That's me on the left

Today was the Bulli Burn. Its a 5k running race and the proceeds of which go to Mark Scott aka 'Coach.' Mark was my first coach and got me to my first Ironman. Mark was hit by a car while out riding with his dad just after my Ironman. He has a brain acquired injury. Its hard to see him now in the adult running chair being pushed by his dad round the course. Little Oscar (now 4) running with his Nan into the finish line. Everyone clapping and Oscar not really understanding why he was getting so many claps.

My run was actually pretty good. As always I am ridiculously consumed with 'I could stay in bed' attitude and was reluctant to strip off for the run as I was so cold. Everyone else was too, so I didn't feel so bad. Mel (eventual winner) gathered all of the AP Crew together for a warm up run and went through our drills. Alex arrived with Ava, pram, baby food and a pile of baby paraphernalia. He had swapped duties and was daddy for a day while Megz did the run. The obligatory team photo and then it was time to strip down and run.

That's me, 2nd from the left. Gazza front row, right
Race started, hit the GO on the Garmin and set off uphill and out to Bulli Beach. Turn around and more uphill (we're talking slight hill) and then back to the start line and beyond to the car park before turning round again and heading for the finish line, but up the hill again before you get there. I just concentrated on form, cadence and knees. Not much I could do if the ITBs started to tighten and burn, but there is always some energy given to listening to the knees and how they are doing. One day I hope to not worry about that any more. The legs held up and as I headed for the finish line I came up alongside another girl about my age, I figure, maybe younger. She picked up the pace and I went with her. The finish line loomed and Gazza was there calling me in. I kicked into another gear and went between the flags. With my friendly competition right on my shoulder.

I was pretty pleased with my effort overall and the Garmin said the same. Second fastest 5km to date. Sweet. Including the hills. If the race had of been at the Husky course where I got my fastest run I reckon I would have smashed the time as it is basically dead flat. Sweet! And now, cause it is Sunday arvo. Its all about cooking getting ready for another busy week.


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

And Now For Something Completely Different.....and PAINFUL!

So Groupon had a special happening. 30 (count em) 30! sessions at Crossfit for $69....WTF!

I have always wanted to give Crossfit a go, but its always been so expensive. We grabbed them. Considering that its winter training and my area of extreme weakness is my Core. I figure now is a great time to get stuck into something new and exciting that will keep the winter training block interesting and diverse and working on those weaknesses.

So Gazza and I rolled in with a bit of an understanding of what we were in for. We have watched the Crossfit games, done a few WODS with Baker and I have integrated a little of the concepts into my home gym workouts. But we were still apprehensive. The Trainer was a nice guy and I felt instantly comfortable. One eye and both ears on him as he explained the gym and facilities and then into warm ups while the other eye wondered about the gym taking a recce on the other people in the gym and what the vibe might be like. It seemed ok. A hugely pregnant lady, 2 guys slightly overweight and about 30yrs old and a very butch (typical Crossfit square body shape) chick.

Looking forward to getting ripped over winter
Before I realised it we were working our way through the warmup sets. The doubleunders which I had not been looking forward to were first on the agenda. I didn't get one. Practice needed here. Gazza struggled on the skipping, looking like we was leaping over a 6ft wall rather than letting a 3mm piece of plastic line slip under his feet. I was thankful for my hours of school yard practice. Warwick then turned and faced the climbing have got to be kidding. I was keen to have a go. But I have never had the chance til now. Warwick asked if I could hold my weight. pft! Get out of my way. I had a few attempts and struggled with the feet placement. I could see the technique and in my minds eye I was there, but my legs and feet and the pesky rope weren't cooperating at all. Meanwhile, Gazza was the proverbial rat up the rope.

We headed to the bench presses. No intervention required by the trainer there and I knocked out the 5x5 @ 10kgs comfortably. And then it was time to WOD...

My first WOD

3x 5 min amraps with 3 min rest between do with a running clock

Metcon (AMRAP – Rounds and Reps)
5 min amrap
5 HSPU - Handstand push up, done by kneeling on a bench and doing a pushup on the floor
10 KB snatch 20/12 - Not too bad in the end
15 pull ups - Done with a green band and I was in Struggletown, a long way to go

Completed - 2 rounds + 27

Metcon (AMRAP – Rounds and Reps)
5 min amrap
5 ring dips - wowsers, I got these done with a purple band
10 ring rows - by the end I was struggling to get my chest to the rings
15 kbs 24/16 - all over it!

Completed - 3 rounds  

Metcon (AMRAP – Rounds and Reps)
5 min amrap
5 push ups - I got them done, plenty of breaks in the last round
10 sit ups - These were done with an ab support, feet together, hands together over head then pass feet
15 wall balls 10/5 - 5kg ball, squat to wall ups, yikes! in the end the ball made it just above my head lol.

Completed - 2 rounds + 15

Finished, showered and fed, I reflect and think I'm sore but happy as I have worked a full body, functional session and can feel every muscle worked.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Damn You Scales, You Lie..........

Spreading false information like a plague through my brain. The scales were not pleasant to me this morning and I DON'T CARE! I don't believe them. I simply have to put one hand on my hip to feel the bone being uncovered, One hand on my ribs to feel the grooves and lay a hand over a boob to know that the girls are disappearing .....again <sigh> but that's ok. So, I am not going to allow the scales reporting I am back to the usual weight, when the rest of me is suggesting there is some trimming going on. Also according to the Sammi body'O'metre there will be a certain amount of water weight retention for the next week or so anyway. It's great being female. But even better being a modern female and having medical advancements at my fingertips. Yep no pesky period here for me, thank you very much.

In the meantime this week has been one I can write about as being positive, but long. Even though I missed Monday nights swim due to being in Canberra and coming home late, I managed to tick off all the other training boxes. I was strong on the no sugar diet and ate well and was not feeling deprived or guilty at eating real food. I felt comfortable and strong throughout the sessions and managed to finish all with some energy. Friday morning's swim was the only session where I dropped pace over the last 500ms or so.

Saturday was a fun, hard day in the saddle. I rode with Roberto and Charlie and we hit the hills of Jamberoo before heading off round the lake. We left Charlie at Wongawilli before Roberto and I headed home. I worked hard on the hills and we did some decent time trials through Minnamurra bends (always a favourite) and along Primbee. After the ride my legs were thrashed and trashed. It was a very slow walk as we did some shopping and later I needed a nap to function and then an early night for me. What a party animal I am. In bed by 9pm.

But Sunday morning saw me up and awake and ready to go again. Gazza and I drove down to Shellharbour pool and started a run from there for something different. We ran along the beach to Warilla Surf Club and back. We finished with 9kms done. It was a bit slow on the run as my legs were fatigued still and a couple of times I had to push to keep going, but again finished strong at the top of the hill before taking a nice easy walk back to the car.

The afternoon was spent cooking up some staples for the week. I just love my inside-outside bread and have made some tweaks so that now it is so tasty. I also tried my hand at some muffins. Made chia protein pots for pre training sessions and of course some quinoa for porridge in the mornings.

One of the highlights for cooking this week was on Saturday night when Gaz was busy painting the toilet walls and door and we realised late in the day that there was nothing planned for dinner. I defrosted a casserole that Gaz had made a few weeks back and then tried my hand at dumplings. You gotta know, they were beautiful. The Tassie Devil oven mitt is always a special friend of mine in the kitchen. A gift from my brother when he worked at the Tasmanian Devil Conservation Refuge in Tasmania.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Moom's & Marja's Day..........

Can I just say, it has been a huge few weeks. But none were busier and fuller than this weekend. I am sure we couldn't possibly have fit more living, loving and laughter in than we did on Mother's Day. (Or what we call Moom's Day for my mum or Marja's Day for me).

Slippery and Big Gazza
The girls arrived Friday night, we ate and watched TV and relaxed a bit before hitting the pillow. Saturday morning I was up and Gaz and I drove to Slippery's to meet up for our ride. It was cold and windy. It's been windy for weeks now! I felt pretty strong throughout. I worried about suitable nutrition. Being off the sugar now for weeks, I really didn't want to go back to having sugar, but it seems Glucose on Saturday's is a non-negotiable. As it was we weren't humping along so I got away with half a bidden of Endura and one mouthful of Dextro. I had planned an 80km ride round the lake and into the hills of Jamberoo. But by the time we came round to Slippery's joint again the boys pulled the pin. NOT ME!!!! But I was convinced in the end and pulled it too. Mostly because we had big plans with the girls and I was keen to get home. I still had some energy and could have gone on. So good stuff.
Josh 2yrs

They never look like the photo, oh no!!
Gazza and I went round to The Onion Man's place to visit the family and see his new baby, Ella. She is 6 weeks old and lovely. We delivered our present and we both got our fill of baby cooey cuddles and had some play time with Josh.

We got home and the girls were waiting for us and we went shopping for staples and items for making 'sugar free' recipes. Yes, Master Class was in session. I showed the girls (inside outside bread, seedy bread, bacon and egg breakfast muffins, granola, and chia pods). Shortly after that, with beer in hand we launched into food prep for Mother's Day lunch. It took the four of us to create the Mother's Day feast of the century. Complete with Tomato Harvest Soup, Lamb Shanks and vegetables and ......drum roll please....... Choc -Caramel-Chunk and Peanut Butter 'Cheesecake' insert awesome photos...... 
Family cooking, & me with a Beer
 It was a huge fun afternoon and bone weary but so pleased with our creations we sat down to, what is always the highlight of my visit with the girls, tickle time..... This might sound weird, but some history here... Kez is not the most cuddly PDA kind of girl, but we found when she was little, that she would lay all day across my lap, if I tickled her back. As she grew older I managed to coerce a foot rub out of her at the same time. So now, even at 28, I can have contact with her if she sits in front of me while I sit on the lounge and I wrap my legs around her and put my feet in her lap, she gives amazing massages and as long as I tickle, she will stay for some quality time. I hope we still do this when she is 60 and I am 81. It's a bonding time I treasure, & I know she does to.

Mother's Day dawned and I was up with Gazza at 6:30am for a run. Determined not to miss another run, we headed out. Session instruction from Coach. 50mins done as 6min run 30sec walk. We covered some ground and explored the new train station as part of the run. I was very happy with the knees and no ITB issues throughout as well as the energy being high.

When we arrived home the girls were waiting for us. Breakfast in bed. I settled for coffee, Granola, Natural Yoghurt and Raspberries. Yummo. By 11:30 Moom and Dood were here. My Niece, Sally arrived also, which was awesome and we sat down to a wonderful lunch and lots of chat.                                          Everyone seemed so relaxed and it was nice to have the house filled with people. Gazza and I have made a pact to make sure we entertain more and invite friends and family over more often. I can see the "I Quit Sugar' Menu books and a new recipe book the girls bought me for Mother's Day and the new Mandalin they also bought will come in handy and mean lots of opportunities to experiment also. After lunch we moved back into the living room and Moom and Dood brought out the guitar and ukulele. We listened to Moom play the Ukulele and she has really improved. Then the girls broke out and played a few songs too.

And then a very special that I have never seen before. Moom and Dood connecting and enjoying time together in a common interest. I like to imagine them spending time alone at home together playing and laughing. It makes me feel so content...........and now here for prosperity, the video.

Late Night Segway....... do you think after I die that my blog will just sit, idol? Perhaps an occasional random person will stumble across it when they push "Next Blog" and have a little scroll through my posts. Will my blog live forever in the archives of the Ethernet? It's a deep thought for 8:40pm on a Wednesday night. Where do blogs go, when no one is there to love them anymore? Will this be my own personal time capsule. Having never shared this with my family or friends the history I have put here (interesting or not to any of them) is gone, perhaps it will spend eternity sitting on a subway station's cold aluminium bench waiting for a passenger to pick it up like a random newspaper and read a couple of excerpts before tossing it with indifference into the bin. The Recycle Bin obviously. Deep!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Another Sugar Roll Please.........

Just joking!
Breakfast, no sugar here folks
No sugar here peeps! Another great week of no sugar, sweets, chocolate and soft drink. But also no hidden sugar either. No tomato paste, fruit/dates, yoghurt or simmering sauces. Just good wholesome, mindful food. Mindful??? Yes, mindful. I think this has been one of the biggest mind altering moments, watching the That Sugar Film, reading the blog and doing some research. Mindful, in that I am conscious of everything we buy and eat now. I look at the charity chocolates at work and all I see is 6 teaspoons of sugar, 8 tspns of sugar. The only whoops I had was buying our usual marinated chicken kebabs and we wont be able to use them as the marinade is full of sugar. I can't even give them to the girls now as last night they went to see the film and they too are making some significant changes. They have a fresh produce barn close by and they bought a load of greens etc today. I am so pleased. I may have been a little late to the party with my own health, but Kez is only 28 and will do better at it than me.
Kez & Jess' shopping

Savoury Bread, baked my ME!
I have also done some baking. Its a determined vigour that I have found. Even turning on the oven and selecting ingredients that will make us healthy has been a lot of fun. My research bent has got me flicking through Pinterest and checking recipes. Dismissing sugar loaded meals and opting for clean, healthy and not to mention tasty meals.

Gazza in Struggle Town at Max Brenner's
In a crazy act, Big Gazza and I were up at the shops and decided we needed a coffee. The usual coffee house was doing its usual dismissal customer service and so in a crazy move that was totally risky, I suggested that we head in to Max Brenner for a coffee, NO CHOCOLATE! I am so pleased to say that I walked boldly pass the chocolate counter, strolled brazenly up to the cash register and ordered two coffees and stood and counted the teaspoons of sugar looking back at me. I wasn't interested. Gazza on the other hand was drooling. Our coffee was nice and strong and we triumphantly left the white sugar satchels on the table beside us. I walked pass the fat girl sharing a chocolate fondue and smiled inwardly at myself.

Apologies to self
Earlier in the week I visited the doctors and got a script for a blood test. The Doctor seemed ok with my request and to top it off I got a free Flu Shot to boot! Yeah for me. On Wednesday night I felt like I had been hit by a truck. A touch of the Flu anyone? I hope to go back this week and get the results of my blood test and see where we are at. I aim to ask a few questions this time round. Usually I just nod when I get the 'all clear' on my blood test. This time I want more information. Because I owe myself an apology..... Sorry Sammi, I have stuffed up. But I hope you will allow me to make a mends!

Changes I have noticed. My skin on the side of my neck, just under my ears has changed. I have noticed this once before when I was dieting and eating clean. But this time is even better. The headaches have lifted and I am not quite so tired. But training hard still has meant that fatigue is hard to determine. However, this week I was awake and energised but most importantly, enthusiastic and keen to do training, awake and ready to go. And how about sleep? Well usually I am a hopeless sleeper. Always the insomniac and always creeping about the house in the dark, late at night, wide awake and stuffing about on the I-pad to try and tire myself out, now I am sleeping soundly and waking feeling rested. Occasionally I have woken up, or had to go to the toilet, but I would say 9 from 10 sleeps are deeper. Hey I am even dreaming.....

Lastly training. The week as I said has been great I have been enthusiastic about training. But come Wednesday I was hit by the Flu truck and ended up coming home early from work and then going to bed for an hour. But, over the weekend I did a 2:40hr indoor spin trainer, followed by a 50+min run/walk. Very happy peeps. And all the while keeping the sugar below 6 teaspoons a day. SWEET!