07 July, 2011

Is this thing on?

Still here, still alive.

Insert platitudes about normal transmission resuming here.

01 May, 2011

Runupdate: I has a sad.

It's now one week out from the Mothers' Day Classic. I should be on the tail end of my training, preparing to run the race next week.

Instead, I still have a nasty cough and have found that trying to sustain a pretty brisk walk will put me out of breath (and send me coughing and spluttering) pretty fast.

So... I'm pulling out of the Mothers' Day Classic. I'm totally gutted, as I was really looking forward to giving it another go this year.

I'm going to take a decent break from any hard training and try to get myself better. I'll be back... watch the runupdate space.

26 April, 2011

Runupdate: Good and Bad

A week ago, I was elated. I received my race number for the MDC in the mail and it terrified me into training hard again... and the funniest thing was that I was making leaps and bounds in my distance. Let it be said that fear is a great motivator!

Then I got a cough. While the doctor has assured me my chest is clear (and the tearing feeling it occasionally gives me in my throat marries up to this so, so well), it still means that I can't breathe as easily as I'd like to. I stopped training to try and give myself a chance to rest... but the cough is still hanging around a week later. I'm on the verge of cashing in the antibiotic script just in case that may help.

It's getting awfully close to race time, and I may have to call it. It's a crushing feeling.

I'm going to risk going for a jog tomorrow. No way would I be able to complete a boxing class, but maybe some exercise will help?

22 March, 2011

In which I become the invisible woman

There's an election in NSW soon. Elections are always a touchy subject for me. Not because I detest smear campaign and scare campaign ads, but because I suddenly become invisible.

I'm not married. I don't have children. Therefore, it would appear that I don't count to the politicians.

During an election campaign, everything suddenly becomes about "helping the families". Now I don't begrudge for a second those with families out there - I totally agree that families should be on the priority list for governments, but it would be nice if singles and those without children were also acknowledged. We also pay our taxes, we contribute to society as well... so it would be nice if the major parties thought to include us.

Now with that said, I have to admit that I've been a bit puzzled by this current campaign. I've not been bombarded with policies that ignore me. In fact, I haven't really been bombarded with any policies at all. The major parties seem to have been strangely silent on what I would consider to be vitally important policy areas. I've heard of some of the bigger promises, but neither party seems to be rushing to be giving any great detail. It's all "OMGZ TEH LIBZ, THEY ARE COMING!" from the ALP and "Well, they suck. Vote for us" from the Liberals.

What does that leave me with? Self research. Something that while totally necessary is incredibly painful to do.

Trying to compare political party policies is a bit like trying to buy a new car (funnily enough, something else that is happening to me at the moment as well!) With cars, every maker seems to have their own ideas about what specifications to provide in the brochure or on the website. This makes it impossible to properly compare and cross reference two vehicles - you often can't find information that pertains to the same thing for both. Same with the major parties. There's no handy-dandy table on their websites. Each policy area needs to be clicked on separately, and each party addresses things in different ways with different stats and details.

It's almost like they're trying to make it hard... just to make sure that us voters don't get too confused with the actual issues and focus more on the smear and scare campaigns. Clever pollies.

Come Saturday, I can only hope that I've done enough research to make the right decision for my vote. Then I plan to watch the results by candlelight, with knitting and wine, which is useful for toasting successes and also helping to cope if results don't quite go the way I want them to.

Anyone else having an election party?

17 March, 2011

Runupdate: Or not.

It's been a bad couple of weeks. I picked up a sinus infection last week that laid me up pretty quickly (movement just hurt) and needed some antibiotics, only to recover enough for the weekend and proceed to pick up a cold!

I've now been at home for 1.5 days and am slowly starting to feel alive again. It could have been the massive soup intake today though. I maintain that there is nothing like a spicy udon noodle soup or a big bowl of tom yum to chase a virus away. Must be all that chilli!

I'm starting to feel a little worried about my prep for the Mother's Day Classic now that I've missed two weeks of training. Here's hoping I get better and stay that way soon.

07 February, 2011

Just got real - Runupdate.

Registrations for the Mothers Day Classic are now open! Yours truly has signed up and so far (all 20 minutes of bliss) has served as a swift kick in the derriere. I'm running as part of the geekgirlrunner team, so hopefully I can keep up.

Another way of looking at my registering: sh*t just got real. My first event is now locked and loaded. I ran this one injured last year, so I need to make sure that I'm prepped and ready this time around.

Fitting then that today is an update on my training.

My Christmas kilos have proven to be a little stubborn... through no-one's fault but my own. I've been very lenient with myself (diet and training), so I'm still where I was four weeks ago. I'm a little fitter thanks to boxing starting up again, but my running training has been sporadic. Sydney has been in the throes of a heat wave, so training has proven difficult.

Take Saturday, for example. The hottest day of the recent heatwave - it topped 42 degrees in the city - and innerwestlive and I decided that it would be a great idea to do the bay run in the morning. We can be stubborn like that. Needless to say, the run quickly turned into a walk. I haven't experienced heat that brutal in a while and my body just wasn't ready to run in it.

Where to now? Time to start an actual program - interval training ahoy! I'm off to do some research and set myself up so I'll be ready for 8km in May. I'm also tracking my food using Calorie King again, so hopefully that helps me rein in my diet.


I'm still trying to run in my Skins as much as possible. Again, it's proven difficult in the last week due to the heat, but I am really seeing a difference in recovery when I use them. At the moment it's a small benefit, being that I'm working my way back into training, but I definitely have a shorter recovery time after I've worn them. So far I'm really liking them!

02 February, 2011

What Revolution?

Warnng: Angry rant ahead.

As a little girl, I was never allowed to play soccer, a game I loved, because "it's not a game meant for girls". This, along with the attitude that it was the woman's place to keep house were my introductions to gender stereotypes.

Fast forward to now, where everyone hails equality. Except that's not the case at all.

I was extremely surprised to read a post on Mia Freedman's website recently entitled "What is your idea of foreplay?" It wasn't the subject matter or the fact that it was a sponsored post that surprised me, but the content. On a website written by women for women, I'd become used to seeing well-written articles (ok, so not always applicable to me and my stage in life) that also had a women's point of view and often a feminist stance to boot.

Here I present the bit that got me particularly shouty for your amusement:

Because of the differences between men and women, our needs when it comes to foreplay are different too. And whilst we women have perfectly reasonable expectations of what constitutes foreplay, men can be WAY out of synch….

What Men Consider Foreplay:

His partner removing her clothes (whether to get into bed, hop into the shower, or put cream on a painful rash)
A nude woman on TV
A sex scene on TV
Nothing on TV
Getting into bed
Lying in bed
Waking up in bed
Giving his partner that ‘special look’
Pinching his partner’s bum
Saying ‘Hey hon, wanna do the wild thing?’

What Women Consider Foreplay:

Receiving flowers
Receiving chocolates
Receiving a full body massage
Her partner doing the dishes
Her partner doing the laundry
Her partner doing whatever she wants
Being told that she is gorgeous
Being told that she is sexy
Being told that the kids are asleep and that her partner will get them up in the morning
Watching a film of Simon Baker (okay, so maybe that one is just me).

Back it up there. I'm sorry Mamamia (and the sponsor of this post), but I was not aware that receiving flowers was foreplay for women. Ditto for chocolates or having someone do the dishes. Colour me embarrassed, all those times my flatmates washed up after dinner and I didn't hold up my end of the bargain afterwards. Where are my Brady Bunch manners?

I'm sick of seeing cliches like this. The insinuation men are always ready for sex and that women don't really enjoy it and have to somehow be bribed into it is outdated and simply untrue on both sides. To continue to reinforce this myth leaves men under pressure to live up to this so-called expectation, and continues to shame women who enjoy sex and intimacy... when really there's nothing for anyone to be ashamed of.

(Of course the frequent application of flowers, chocolates, doing the dishes etc may help your quest, boys and girls. But a friendly tip: all of these things come with one of those little asterisk-thingys that often appear on mobile phone ads with the following message: "does not imply you will get some". Believe it or not, the sexual organs of plants do not a person ready for sexytimes make.)


In what can almost be called uncanny timing, I came across a piece in the Punch regarding (NSFW I'd say) Filament magazine. This isn't a magazine that I've seen before, but a quick flick through the online preview shows that it seems similar to the layout of something like Ralph or FHM - but aimed at women and featuring men. Given the list of international stockists and the fact that older issues are sold out on their website, I'd like to hazard a guess and say that the magazine seems to be doing quite well... which is at odds to the opinion that women aren't in to that sort of stuff and just want to snuggle with a box of chocolates.

I'd like to think that in this day and age both women and men had the freedom to express and live out their sexuality as they see fit, without having a set of expectations thrust upon them. Whatever turns you on, as the saying goes. It'd be nice to not be reminded of what we all should be according to an outdated idea.

(And now that Angry McRantypants has had her say, normal transmission will resume. General update soon.)

11 January, 2011

New Year, time to shed the old skin and wear a new pair...

Once again I find myself in the post-Christmas rush. Funnily enough, I always find January a busy time of year. Several birthdays, Sydney Festival, various renewals and registrations due. The biggest difference between January and the holiday period is that some sense of routine and normality begins to return.

Enter the dreaded post-Christmas fitness stocktake. This year it wasn't a pleasant experience - I've put on a few kilos over December thanks to illness (tonsillitis) and being lazy over the holidays - too much good food and drink! I've also been slack in my training, so my fitness level has fallen. It's time to knuckle down again though - if I want to be running the Mothers' Day Classic, the Bay Run and the city2surf this year I need to get my training hat on and start getting my discipline back.

Just before Christmas, SKINS Australia were kind enough to send me a pair of their A400 3/4 tights to try out. It was really a great Christmas present to receive, and I unpacked them in the office as soon as they arrived.

My first reaction was one of disbelief (as anyone who follows me on Twitter would know). These tights were tiny! TINY! Holding them up to myself, I wondered out loud (several times) if they were going to fit over my butt, because they looked like something my thirteen year old cousin would wear. Having read all the sizing charts and finding that I sit smack bang in between sizes, I went for the smaller size. Despite my disbelief (and colleagues' laughter), I discovered later that evening that they did, in fact, fit over my butt. Score Skins 1, me 0.

So far I've only done one run in the Skins, so I'm not making any final calls yet. I can tell you that Christmas certainly affected the fit and comfort - the weight gain has actually pushed me over into the next size, so these are now extremely snug instead of just snug. the biggest thing for me is getting used to the seams and the tight fit. I normally buy my tights a size larger than usual for comfort, so going to compression tights was a big shock to the system. I'm also a fan of as few seams as possible, so the seamed construction of the Skins was a change. (Interestingly, I didn't have many seam impressions as I expected on my legs when I peeled them off, so it shows that the compression is actually happening.)

The tights were comfortable to run in - I didn't feel any uncomfortable rubbing from the seams and they didn't ride up on my legs. The waistband was also high enough to prevent rolling. I found them a little too tight, but I'm blaming that on my own weight change, so watch this space. Overall I was happy with the way they performed, my legs still had some pain from adjusting back to my routine, but it wasn't close to what I experienced without the tights.

I'm really looking forward to wearing these on more runs. I'm hoping they help alleviate some of the issues I get when I ramp up my training on hills!

Skins also meet the approval of the shouty males in souped up cars. I know this because I received the most intelligible shout yet from a passing car while out on my run.

Please note: SKINS Australia sent me this pair of tights for trial and review free of charge. I am not being paid to write reviews.