border-radius: 6px;

Friday, July 25, 2014

Instant Foot Fetish Cure

FFS Friday

running, ecard, meme, ffs friday, balck toenails

So what has been giving me the shits this week?

Let's discuss feet and to be more specific let's talk about blackened toenails ... FFS

I'm guessing only runners have continued reading this post by now ... No FFS

HB and I have an ongoing competition, who has the most blackened toenails ... FFS

Toenails tend to turn black and fall off when you do idiotic things like run aimlessly for 3.5 hours straight ... FFS

Yeah and before all you running experts pipe up with your suggestions about better running shoes, socks, blister powders and tapes, well we have all that shiz ... FFS

In fact, we each have 4 pairs of expertly fitted running shoes that we use on rotation ... No FFS

That shit could have bought a Datsun 200B back in the day ... FFS 

Yes, we were was born in the seventies ... FFS

I have been fairing well with my toes up until my 27km long run a couple of weeks ago ... FFS

One toe in particular has been throbbing ever since ... FFS

Wednesday night the throbbing reached a breaking point, I could not sleep because of the weight of the sheet on my toenail ... FFS

Uttering the word 'throbbing' in bed to your husband is probably not the smartest idea when all you want to do is get some sleep ... FFS

Yes, these are my first world fucking problems ... FFS

Yes, it's Winter and all we need is a sheet on the bed in Darwin ... No FFS

I looked at the toenail yesterday and decided to cut the blackened nail to see if that helped matters ... FFS

Usually there is a new nail growing nicely underneath ... No FFS

But something hit me square in the eyeball ... FFS

After I wiped my eye clear I looked down at my toe to see a pool of yellow pus forming ... FFS

The pain relief was instant and the throbbing subsided ... No FFS

After all my recent stomach issues the last thing I need is antibiotics, but I dutifully made a doctor's appointment anyway ... FFS

I wanted to ensure that it was not cellulitis brewing away ... FFS

Of course, the doctor gave me a script for antibiotics ... FFS

Of course, I didn't get the script filled ... No FFS

If my toe falls off, you can all say I told you so. ... FFS

I won this week's toenail competition ... FFS

HB wins too, because I can't remember the last time I had a pedicure .. FFS

There really should be a discounted pedicure for 6 toenails ... FFS

It really is the little things in life.

Cheaper than mofo therapy.

For more laughs at our expense check out last week's FFS Friday.

I would love to read about other peoples FFS Fridays. Primarily because it will make me feel better about myself. If you are a fellow blogger please grab the FFS button and add your link below and provide me with a weekend's worth of irreverent entertaining reading.

If you are not a blogger please feel free to leave all your FFS Friday worthy rants in the comment section below.

What is FFS Friday

Continue Reading ...

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Diagnosis

health, diagnosis,

A couple of months ago I had some day surgery to investigate the cause of my health issues which I have been battling since January. To be more specific I had a gastroscopy and a colonoscopy. 

For the record I would rather give birth than have to go through that prep again

I mentioned on the blog that my Gastroenterologist wanted to do the surgery to cancel out the Three Cs: Cancer, Colitis or Crohn's. The specialist medical care in Darwin is atrocious as no medical specialist actually wants to live in this beautiful small town so they FIFO on an irregular basis. 

After my day surgery I was informed that biopsies were taken and if I didn't hear anything over the next few weeks that no news was good news. I had a follow up appointment with my gastro doctor in two months time. 

It was quite a stressful few weeks waiting for the phone to ring or not to ring. HB was worried and we both knew something was wrong because I had been so unwell over the past few months. We discovered that waiting for a diagnosis is an extremely stressful, emotional and terrifying time, but the weeks drifted by and the phone never rang.

Thank Jeebus

My stomach problems continue and I have good days and bad days. 

My appointment with my gastro doctor was last week and I took Maggie along thinking it would be a straightforward 'Your results are normal, I have no idea what's wrong with you'. I was ushered into a room and was told to sit in front of a computer .... fantastic, my first telehealth appointment. 

The gastro  doctor was in Sydney and Maggie was of course fascinated by the concept. She had brought along her thermometer so the doctor could take her temperature and was waving it wildly at the computer screen. Maggie was so busy chatting to herself in front of the webcam that there was no time for me to get a word in and then she pipes up 'Hello doctor, I'm Maggie. Do you want to build a snowman?'

Fucking Frozen. 

An old chupa chup at the bottom of my handbag saved the day and for a brief moment silence reigned

The doctor immediately told me what I already knew, that I did not have any of the Three C's. Instinctively I started gathering my things getting ready to say goodbye and leave the room but then he went on to say that the pathology results did come back with a diagnosis of Microscopic Colitis. 

Firstly this is nothing serious and it is not related to colitis, crohn's and it is not cancer causing. In some bizarre way it was a relief to put a name to the condition that was ruining my life but then as I started to process it, I realised it is also something I will have to manage forever. 

I declined the steroid medication straight away after hearing about the side effects and I commenced a medication last week that is used to treat crohn's disease. The doctor is also trying to get me into a drug trial with the local hospital.

To be honest it wouldn't bother me so much if it didn't affect my running but it does. On long runs over 90 mins, getting your hydration and fuel levels right is the key to a successful run and recovery. I can no longer eat or hydrate properly on a long run. I won't go into too many details but as soon as something hits my stomach, within a short period of time I am looking for a bathroom. This is not an ideal situation when your running alongside a highway in peak hour traffic. 

I've even had to cut a run short and call a taxi to take me home because I was in so much pain

A race environment makes the condition so much worse. After the 12km City 2 Surf in June I barely made it home and after Sunday's Half Marathon I was holed up on the couch for the rest of the day in pain. 

I think the combination of endorphins and adrenalin exacerbates the condition. 

I have to have some more tests done to ensure that the microscopic colitis is not a result of an autoimmune disease. Right now it is not that bad and certainly something I can live with, but the flare-ups have been awful and debilitating. 

I'm hopeful that the new meds will start working soon and I also plan to see a dietitian in the near future. I am thankful that this is something treatable and I am incredibly grateful that I'm not dealing with one of those Three Cs. 

Continue Reading ...

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

HB's 3 Race Series Report

HB Writes

running, marathon training, race recap, darwin, Australia, Sportsco, 5km, 10km, Half marathon, exercise, fitness, nutrition, weight loss, 12wbt

The Darwin Runners Club Sportsco Road Race Series has been a blast. The three races over a two month period have been at the 5km, 10km and 21.1km distances. I'm very happy with the results in my first ever race series and learnt a lot about ego outrunning the body and body parts getting grumpy.

running, marathon training, race recap, darwin, Australia, Sportsco, 5km, 10km, Half marathon, exercise, fitness, nutrition, weight loss, 12wbt

The 5km

The 5km race was a single lap of one of favourite loops here in Darwin and damn it was fast. There are some superb athletes here and trying to keep up with them for the first two kilometres is an effort at futility. But realising that you can run a few sub 3.50 km's in the pursuit of your younger self was certainly worth knowing if one of those wild boars the Crocodile Dundee types here hunt appears on Mitchell St. The result was a sub 20 minute finish, 9th overall and third for Veterans. I ran this race in my Altra Samson minimalist shoes. They are so ugly and hurt your calf muscles but they're great for short fast runs.

running, marathon training, race recap, darwin, Australia, Sportsco, 5km, 10km, Half marathon, exercise, fitness, nutrition, weight loss, 12wbt

The 10km

The 10km race was simple enough, a two lap race around East Point. It was a last minute race as it fell on a Saturday when I am normally at work, but the bosses of awesome were kind enough to recognise the extra hours I've been doing and gave me the day off. This act sure saved me from chucking a sickie so I could race. I chose my minimalist shoes again for this run. I knew I would get some foot pain from them on the longer distance, but I also knew that they would be worth about one minute in running cadence over ten kilometres and I was hungry for a medal.

I made a big mistake in this race. I again tried to chase the super athletes for the first two kilometres and kept them visible for as long as possible. After the first 5km I was in agony. My calf muscles were exploding from running in the shoes I chose and I was unable to get into my happy place with my breathing. Consequently my times dropped dramatically on kilometres six to seven. It was then that the first place female runner went past me, and without the slightest sound of stress expressed some words of encouragement to the old bloke she was passing. Next thing I know there is a guy running on my legs and breathing sweat nothings in my ear. Actually he sounded like an asthmatic bear and it was enough to encourage me to get my second wind. With the super athletes now well out of reach, I was running for pride.

I've only been overtaken a few times after the first kilometre in a run since starting with the club.

The asthmatic bear stuck on my heels and my 8th and 9th kilometres were faster than five through to seven. With 1500 metres left to run I broke away and despite the screaming pain in my legs, lungs and light headedness I hit the finish line in eighth overall and second for the Vets.

Oh yay a medal (my first ever medal), and oh dear baby jeebus I was shattered.

The Half Marathon

So time for race three. My favourite training distance and the longest race type that I have experienced in competing, the half marathon. Training was cruelly  interrupted six nights before the race when on a 42 km training run I hit trouble at the 19th km with a severe pain from my hip to my knee. I ended up running 33kms that night and I self diagnosed myself with an ITB. Fortunately Sarah knows this injury all too well and had me under treatment immediately... she told me to use the free physio at work. Good idea,  so I did. He confirmed the injury, used his elbow to break my legs and told me to sleep with a cricket ball and to do a less than ten km run on Thursday. I took a new pair of Hoka's out for a run on Thursday and suffered badly from the eighth to eleventh km.

I figured that running the HM was now a dream.

I went back to the physio on Friday and he did dry needling in the hip area and showed me how to tape it up. He also told me to buy lots of Nurofen. If you've ever had dry needling before (it's acupuncture without incense) you will know how weird it feels. These big mofo needles spinning around in the muscle and half an hour later it feels like I've been kicked in the glutes by a horse. Suffice to say I was a bit ginger on Saturday and downed the cheap brand ibuprofen.

Maggie and I hit the park in the afternoon, and I used a little chasey and hide and seek to try out the leg. Not too bad, I think.

Sunday morning and we are up for the big day. I'm taped up like a real runner and down some more pills. My normal nervous routine kicks in and that involves 27 trips to the loo. I eat a PB and Banana sandwich and pack a bag with my Hamma gel and Green Bits. We arrive at the race site to see about 40 US Marines ready to run. Then I see the cross fitters and snort. Then I see the see triathletes. And then I see my greatest work colleagues and one of whom I know to be a very good runner and at least a decade younger than me.

I am so stressed that my leg pain will stop me and cause muchos embarrassment.

I have a strategy for this run. I will not allow myself to chase the leaders. I will maintain a pace of 4min per km to 4.35 per km and set my Garmin 620 on this basis. Go too fast it beeps, go too slow it beeps. We take off and 500m in, there is no beeping and I'm running in the first twenty. Oops forgot to press start. It's OK, we are all in order now and the watch is keeping me on track. I just accept the Marines running by, and the cross fitters and I just relax and accept my rules for this race.

I have set myself a pace that will give me a PB and hopefully a top 20 finish.

The kms start to slip by and the pacing is working. The heart is in the 180-185 range and stable so I know I'm running at a sustainable pace. I've chosen a pair of brand new (whoops you don't do this OK?!) pair of Hoka One One Rapa Nui Tarmac's for the job and they feel delightful. At the 7km mark I start to overtake runners. I'm running consistent 4.10-4.19 pace and I expect they have started to lose steam. At this stage the pace bike for the lead woman runner catches me and soon I'm being overtaken by the woman who went on to be the first woman across the line. She was maintaining consistent 4.05's and I couldn't keep that pace after a kilometre.

My knee remains pain free but the hip pain from the ITB is screaming blue murder.

From kilometres 10 to 15 I was pretty much alone. I hunted down a few people to overtake  keep my pace up but I was unsure if they were relay runners or original leaders. It was as this stage that I caught the packs of US Marines who by running three abreast blocked out the sun and wind. It became really hard in some sections of this stage not to think about having a walk but then I start seeing people that are being lapped. I run by giving words of encouragement.

One guy is singing away to himself so I sing a few words of "get the party started" and the laughter propels me on.

Last lap now and only five km's to go. I'm now absolutely petrified that an avalanche of runners are going to overtake me on this section and I keep listening out for footsteps but none appear. My heart rate is sitting in the 190's now. On the 17th km I see a guy in front who I know was in the early leaders pack. I tell myself that I have only one km to catch him and then use that competition he will give me to race home. I could hear his pain as I ran alongside him. He knew I'd been behind him and now he was trying to see what he could do to shake me. I look behind when we are 2km from the finish and I see people who I imagine want my finish place.

Hell No. 

I'm off and run the last two kms at sub 4.15 pace.  The end result is a 14th overall, 5th for the Veterans and most importantly in my messed up head first out of all my work colleagues.

My new sub 1.28 HM PB was a result of sticking to a plan and not going out too hard early as I had in the earlier races.

I'm sorry you had to read this very long version of my races but I just had to get them out of my head. I've analysed each one to death. I can see a strategy to use for each and the maturity that I managed to garner for the HM was a great trade off for keeping the ego under control at the starting line. Now I need to get this ITB sorted.

It's less than 8 weeks to Sydney Marathon, I can't wait!

Message me if you want any information on Hoka's, Altra's, Injinji socks, Garmin watches, ITB, or running in general.

PS One of the Marine's won third place in the Open Male division and the winner of the HM was a man in his 50's in a sub 1.18 time!

Continue Reading ...

Monday, July 21, 2014

My First Official Half Marathon Recap

Darwin Runners Club Half Marathon

half marathon, recap, race, darwin, running, marathon training, jeff galloway, run walk run

I mentioned in last week's post about my 27km training run that I found it hard to use the run walk run (RWR) method in a race environment. Well since this was a much longer distance I was determined to leave my ego behind and use a 2:1 ratio (run 2 minutes, walk 1 minute).

I have run quite a few 'unofficial' half marathons on my own now and my times pre implementing the RWR method have ranged from 2:16 - 2:24. However, this was when my Garmin was set to pause when I stopped to cross a busy road, have a drink or eat an energy chew so these times are not entirely accurate.

On last week's long run my HM time 2:37 and I took this into account when considering a time goal for yesterday's 21.1kms. I thought since I had not been concentrating on speedwork (just started to incorporate it back into my training last week) and that my main focus has been endurance without injuries, a time goal of 2:30 should be achievable.

Regular speedwork usually equates to an injury for me.

How did I go?

HB and I woke up at 5am and quietly managed to get dressed in silence, he gets so nervous before a race also. Our babysitter arrived at 6.15am and we headed down to East Point where the race was due to start at 7am. It was hilarious to see an overnight rave dance party still happening next to the lake. They looked incredibly happy and I wondered if they had some spare chemical endurance to share because I was still half asleep.

In the other car park was a group of about 30 US Marines all decked out in their Darwin runners Club shirts and lining up to use the loo. For the first time in my life, the men's line was longer than the ladies line.

It was a beautiful cool morning (20C) in Darwin and I knew that would quickly change once the sun decided to rise. But there was no time to worry about the weather because the race was underway before I knew it. I ran the first two kms around 5.30min/km and I was on fire and for a moment I was tempted not to use RWR and just try and wing it. Sensibility soon took over and I pulled over to the side and started my interval timer. This was my last race before the Sydney Marathon in September and I wanted to use it partly as a training run.

The course was 4 loops around East Point which I know now like the back of my hand, it's my favourite running path, incredibly scenic and more importantly, flat!

There were about 300 runners on the course and at least 200 passed me when I started my 2:1 RWR which was a little disheartening, but I put my faith in my training and ran my own race. My plan was to run the first 10kms at an easy pace and then pick it up a little. I was enjoying every single minute, but HB has had an injury for the last 2 weeks and I was worried about him and how he was faring.

At the 8km point I was on a walk break and a race marshall told me off for walking, 'Come on sweety, keep going', he said. I replied smiling 'No it's fine, I'm OK'. Then he said 'No, you need to keep running honey, you have to keep those legs moving and watch out for lactic acid'. I wanted to sucker punch him in the face.

I knew I was at the back of the pack and at the 15km point I started passing a few runners. On my last lap with 4.5kms to go the official clock said 1:42 and I was happy with this. I couldn't see HB at the finish line and I knew he would be done by now but went on to run the final few kilometres.

My official finishing time was 2:13:34.  Yes it's a new HM PR for me, but it was an easy run and races are meant to be run at a higher effort. I definitely could have knocked another 5 minutes off that time.

HB absolutely smashed it and is on par for a sub 3 hour marathon in September, but I will let him write his own update.

In the meantime I have fallen in love with the half marathon and next year I will aim to crack that sub 2 hour goal.

Continue Reading ...

Friday, July 18, 2014

Give them An Inch And They'll Take A Mile

FFS Friday

So what has been giving me the shits this week?

I had to buy a new printer because our old new one went into storage when we moved here ... FFS

I bought a wireless printer just like the old new one, except this one would not work wirelessly ... FFS

After speaking to customer support I was told to buy a USB cable to setup the printer and then it would work wirelessly ... FFS

What is the point of buying a wireless printer again? ... FFS

I bought the cable and the printer still insists on refusing to be wireless. I've given up ... FFS

I printed my first PDF sewing pattern and sewed Maggie a pair of shorts ... No FFS

Except I forgot to measure the 1 inch test square, it looked like an inch to me ... FFS

Turns out it is only 0.9 of an inch ... FFS

I spent hours fiddling with printer setup options and I must have printed 50 test pages and that blasted inch always came up short at 0.9 ... FFS

Customer support was again useless ... FFS

I whined to HB and asked him if he thought it really mattered that these shorts were not 7 inches long?  ... FFS

Should not have mentioned 7 inches ... FFS

Finally, I downloaded Acrobat Reader and the patterns print to size ... No FFS

Three hours of my morning wasted ... FFS

HB took off for his long run on Sunday night and was going to be gone for about 3 hours ... No FFS

Maggie woke up twenty minutes after he left and screamed for the next hour for her 'very good Daddy to come home' .... FFS

I think my time spent in India when I was pregnant with her has rubbed off on her speech ... No FFS

After she stopped screaming she asked for her 'very good pink iPad with the very good Internet' ... FFS

You're cute kid, but request denied.

She refused to go back to sleep, I gave up my dream of crocheting in peace and quiet on the couch and just went with it ... No FFS

HB still hadn't arrived back home by 11pm so I check my phone and he's hurt himself ... FFS

Text said 'I'm walking the last 13kms back home' ... FFS

I offered to go pick him up, but he didn't respond ... FFS

Anyway we all got to bed after midnight that night ... FFS

Not a chance of a sleep in the next morning though, Maggie comes thundering in singing 'Sunshine on the window makes me happy, like I should be' ... FFS

I think I prefer Spiderbait wake ups to Frozen ... No FFS

'I need my very good breakfast cereal now please' ... FFS

Maggie's at that age where she is quite fussy with her food. You know? squares instead of triangles, soggy not crunchy, peel the apple etc ... FFS

I try not to sweat the small stuff and let her have some victories ... No FFS

But after I cut triangles instead of squares and then she demanded that the crusts be left on this time, I started to lose my cool, but held it together ... FFS

I got her an apple juice which she straight away pronounced 'absolutely disgusting, I'm not drinking that ever'. ... FFS

Too bad kid, drink water. 

The apple juice saga went on all day long and I refused to budge ... FFS

I snuck a sip when she wasn't looking and spat it out. I had accidentally put a dash of veggie stock in her water cup instead of apple juice ... FFS

Well, the cartons look the same in the fridge ... FFS

Cheaper than mofo therapy.

For more laughs at our expense check out last week's FFS Friday.

I would love to read about other peoples FFS Fridays. Primarily because it will make me feel better about myself. If you are a fellow blogger please grab the FFS button and add your link below and provide me with a weekend's worth of irreverent entertaining reading.

If you are not a blogger please feel free to leave all your FFS Friday worthy rants in the comment section below.

What is FFS Friday

Continue Reading ...

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Next Chapter

headshot, bloggerati, nuffnang, blogging

I have been blogging now for three and a half years which is not a long time in this industry of words but I have stuck with it which is surprising to many, especially myself. You see I tend to get bored quickly, I start a project and lose interest or it quickly goes into the 'too hard' basket. I am inherently lazy by nature.

A friend suggested that I start this blog when I was pregnant with Maggie, I think she thought my constant status updates deserved a more permanent residence and she was right. I actually had no idea how to start or even set-up a blog so she did it all for me and I am and will be forever grateful to her for doing so.

Blogging and me are stuck together like glue it seems, it's good for my soul and so much cheaper than therapy. Two peas in a pod.

headshot, bloggerati, nuffnang, blogging

When I started publishing my first posts I had no idea that other people besides friends and family would read them. It blows my mind that readers like you pop in to read along and even more so that you continue to come back. I love sharing my journey with you.

And what a journey it has been so far.

I have big plans for this blog of mine yet not enough time in the day to turn those thoughts into actions. So when the team at Nuffnang asked me to join their Bloggerati Agency I could not have been more thrilled or excited. I enjoy working with brands, but I am shockingly terrible and disorganised with the commercial aspects that come with it. It is a huge relief to hand that side of blogging over to the experts so I can get busy with doing what I do best.

I'll let you know what that is when I figure it out.

In the meantime, go and check out my Bloggerati profile and take a peek at the incredible sea of talent that I am now privileged to be a part of.

Continue Reading ...

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

27km Training Run

Sarah's Marathon Training Progress

running, inspiration, quote, marathon training, long run, exercise, run walk run, jeff galloway, e-coaching review, 12wbt, nutrition, fitness, marathon training plan

On Saturday afternoon I set off at 5pm on a 27km long run. It was still 30C at that time in balmy Darwin Town, but thanks to the Dry Season the humidity is lower and there is also a much needed sea breeze wandering through the streets. As soon as the sunsets the temperature gauge drops down to a cool 24C.

Backtrack to two weeks ago and I ran a 20km long run that sucked me dry and I swore my marathon dream was over. It was gut wrenchingly hard and I hit the wall so many times I lost count. I just wanted it over and done with. In my head I was thinking about what better things I could be doing with my time,  how running was ruining my weekends and calculating how many more long runs I had to do before September. Physically I was more than capable of it but the mind games won that day.

running, inspiration, quote, marathon training, long run, exercise, run walk run, jeff galloway, e-coaching review, 12wbt, nutrition, fitness, marathon training plan
Wait! What? I just ran 27kms!
My longest run so far.

What changed over the last fortnight?

I started a new round of 12WBT, back to eating clean and I have now been alcohol free for 2 weeks now thanks to Dry July.

I cannot put in words how healthy, strong and fabulous I feel.

I signed up a couple of months ago for some e-coaching from Jeff Galloway. For those who don't know, Jeff is an Olympian and has run hundreds of marathons and continues to do so in his seventies. He now trains people all over the world to reach what seems to be at times for me an impossible bucket list goal.

Why did I sign up for e-coaching?

In January we decided on a whim that we were going to run the Sydney Marathon in September. HB could have ran it the very next day but I knew I needed months of training and more miles under my wings. I started off with what I thought was the right marathon training plan for me, 3 weekday runs and a long run on the weekend. Fast forward to the middle of March and after a 25km long run I injured both hips and could not walk for a week. It took quite a few weeks of healing, seeing a chiropractor regularly and a remedial massage therapist before I could even attempt a short 4km run. The same injury happened the year before in April right before my planned half marathon event.

I knew I could not continue with my current plan.

running, inspiration, quote, marathon training, long run, exercise, run walk run, jeff galloway, e-coaching review, 12wbt, nutrition, fitness, marathon training plan

I had bought HB Jeff's book, 'Marathon: You Can Do It' and always wondered why he had no interest in it. I picked it up one day and started reading, everything just fell into place and it all made total sense.

Jeff Galloway practices the Run Walk Run method.  I won't go into too much detail, but the way I run changed there and then. I know many runners would scoff at the notion of taking walk breaks and I used to be one of them, not anymore.

I now run pain free and I have been injury free since March.

Take Saturday's 27km long run for example, it was long and slow at 7.29 min/kms (with my set walk breaks) but I finished it strong. Jeff has suggested that my long runs should be run at 8mins/km. I started off using a 2:1 ratio (run 2 mins, walk 1 min) and reduced that down when I needed to. I walked another 2kms home at the end of the run, iced my legs in the pool which did hurt at the time, but I woke up the next day with zero soreness and went about my day as normal.

I could never do that after a long run, I would be hobbling for at least a day or two afterwards.

The e-coaching has been incredibly helpful, I have one on one direct email access to Jeff and he always answers within the day. I have a customised training plan which he adjusts as necessary and he is always happy to answer my questions. When I emailed him two weeks ago and hinted that maybe I was not ready to run the Sydney marathon and that I should reduce it down to the half marathon he quietly suggested that I was going about it all the wrong way and a marathon was still possible.

Funnily enough on shorter races I am getting faster whilst still talking walk breaks. I ran my first sub 60 min 10km in June and also a sub 26min 5km race. I think when your legs start to accumulate some injury free kilometres they reward you with some pace.

I took my splits from Saturday's 27kms and basically I ran consistent 37min 5kms. I also took my time at the 25km point and compared it to the 25km run back in March, it was just 8 mins slower with the walk breaks. But I finished this run strong and smiling and could have easily kept running and even better, no injuries.

It's extremely difficult to get your ego around taking the walk breaks especially in a race. Run Walk Run is huge in the US and they even have RWR pacers at certain marathons but here if you're walking in a race you'll get a half a dozen 'come on don't give up, you can do it' comments which is frustrating.

Jeff suggests that first time marathoners should not have a time goal, but to aim to finish the race, be in the upright position and smiling. This concept is also difficult to accept at times but he knows what he's talking about and I don't. Over 350,000 runners have achieved their goals with his help. He himself has qualified for the Boston Marathon using RWR and many runners have run a sub 3 hour marathon using a RWR ratio.

But do I still have a time goal?

My first marathon training plan I was aiming for a 4:45 finishing time. I don't think that's realistic for where I am at with my running and also my health. Unfortunately, there is a 6 hour cut off time for the Sydney marathon and I will have everything crossed that I finish it in 5:30.

Actually my only goal is to not be placed on the did not finish because you're too slow bus.


My goal is to finish this marathon, be upright and smiling.

Continue Reading ...

Friday, July 11, 2014

Power To the People

FFS Friday

So what has been giving me the shits this week?

Last Friday night HB came home and announced he was taking Saturday off from work ... No FFS

After I peeled myself off the floor in absolute shock I asked why? He responded that he had worked enough extra hours for a toil day and wanted to spend time with his family ... No FFS

This man does not take days off and he never takes a sick day even if he is sick ... No FFS

Whilst his sentiment was sweet I knew that something fishy was going on ... No FFS

Then it hit me, the Darwin 10km road race was on the next day at 7am ... FFS

We both weren't entering because he had to work and I had no babysitter ... FFS

But after he graciously bowed out of the City 2 Surf 12kms so I could race, I really could not have been happier that he got to run this one ... No FFS

Plus I didn't enter because only first and second place runners received a medal ... FFS

Who wants to pay to race for no bling? C R A Z Y 

That little bit of metal makes all the pain in the world disappear, almost. ... No FFS

HB got a medal, of course. Mofo ... FFS

He came second in his age group and the smile on his face was worth it ... No FFS

Maggie adorned him with a Peppa Pig medal too and she now thinks all runners get medals ... No FFS

If you run like your mother its a harsh world kid ... FFS

Thanks to Foxtel we have been watching the Disney Fairy Festival every afternoon from 5.30pm and Maggie has fallen in love with Tinkerbell ... No FFS

She has a long time love and lust relationship with treasure so it's a match made in heaven ... No FFS

Since she was 2, every time she saw money laying around on tables and benches she would quickly claim it and announce that it was her treasure ... FFS

Then she would bolt to her room and put it in her money box ... FFS

I had to take the money box to the bank a couple of weeks ago because the poor Platypus was spewing coins out of his head ... FFS

$131! And of course she was devastated that the bank took all of her treasure and told them so ... FFS

'You took my treasure! I am absolutely so angry with you.' ... FFS

But of course she has started collecting again and she has more money in her bank account now than I do ... FFS

Maggie loves to play with her dolls and teddies but whenever someone asked what their names were she would just say 'It's Dolly' or it's 'Teddy' ... No FFS

This week she finally came up with a new name for her favourite doll ...


Yup, I had to triple check that I heard that correctly ... FFS

Cheaper than mofo therapy.

For more laughs at our expense check out last week's FFS Friday.

I would love to read about other peoples FFS Fridays. Primarily because it will make me feel better about myself. If you are a fellow blogger please grab the FFS button and add your link below and provide me with a weekend's worth of irreverent entertaining reading.

If you are not a blogger please feel free to leave all your FFS Friday worthy rants in the comment section below.

What is FFS Friday

Continue Reading ...

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Whole Orange Gluten Free Muffins with Spiced Crumble


Gluten free, health, nutrition, no refined sugar, dairy free, muffin, recipe, 12wbt, clean eating

Oranges remind me of my late grandparents. They lived a quiet life in a beautiful old house and out in their garden lived the most beautiful orange tree. I have never tasted oranges like them before and I remember thinking at an early age that they tasted so much better than lollies or a chocolate bar. We used to bring bags of them home, I loved freezing them and sitting down with a spoon and digging in.

Gluten free, health, nutrition, no refined sugar, dairy free, muffin, recipe, 12wbt, clean eating

Oranges are in season at the moment and relatively cheap and to top it off they are delicious. An old recipe of mine was a whole orange cake that I used to make in a food processor before I bought my thermomix. It required an ungodly amount of butter and caster sugar, so I set about making a healthier gluten free version.

These muffins are moist and light yet bursting with flavour and goodness.

Nitty Gritty: Gluten free and no refined sugar is used. Each muffin contains 163 calories.

Alternatives: If you wish them to be dairy free substitute the whole milk for either almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk or cream.  Nut free? just omit the almond meal from the topping. If you are tracking calories you will need to make adjustments.

No Thermomix: Blitz up your orange in a blender or food processor and add this to your combined dry ingredients. Combine your ingredients and gently fold into your mixture.

(Makes 12 muffins)


  • 1 whole orange quartered and core removed
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 egg
  • 300gms gluten free self raising flour
  • 1/2 cup organic coconut sugar (reserve 2 tablespoons for topping)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bi-carb soda
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons of almond meal
  • 2 tablespoons organic coconut sugar (reserved from main ingredients)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon


  1. Place poppy seeds into milk and set aside for at least 10 minutes. 
  2. Pre-heat oven 190C and prepare a 12 hole silicone muffin tray or line a tray with cases.
  3. Place quartered orange and juice in TM bowl and blitz for 10 secs on Speed 8.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients to TM bowl and combine, reverse for 5 secs on Speed 4. 
  5. Spoon mixture into muffin tray or paper cases.
  6. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of spiced crumble topping over each unbaked muffin.
  7. Bake for 15 -20 minutes or until a skewer comes clean. 
  8. Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes and transfer to a wire rack. 
  9. Store in an airtight container once cooled or freeze. 

Enjoy x
Continue Reading ...

Monday, July 7, 2014

I'm Breaking Up With You

wine, alcohol, dry july

Dear Wine,

I wish I could say It's not you, it's me, but that would be a lie. It is you.

I never used to need you or want you, but slowly over the past twelve hellish plus months you were the one I reached for at the end of the day.

I don't consider myself an alcoholic or a big drinker by any standards but a glass or two of wine a night has become fairly consistent for me.

I can remember the last time I was drunk and it was just before we moved to Darwin nine months ago.

Wine o'clock, I like to call it.

It's a term common amongst us mothers and it sounds funny, amusing and totally acceptable. I heard someone whinging on social media a month ago about how concerned he would be for his wife if she ever carried on about her love for wine on Facebook like so many of her friends did. My first thought was 'What a complete and utter idiot'. My enraged inner voice muttered 'Just imagine how quickly he would reach for a beer at the end of the week if he was a fulltime stay-at-home-dad'.

But that idiot is on to something.

So wine I am breaking up with you ...

Because I need to know I don't need you.

I need to know I don't want you.

And I need to know my life is perfectly fulfilled without your golden tears embracing mine at the end of a hard day.

Something else also switched inside of me a month or two ago when I started having health issues and wondered if I should be doing so many things a different way.

I made a list of all the things I really should stop doing ...

Stop microwaving food in plastic.

Don't be lazy and wash those bloody fruits and vegetables as you know they are covered in pesticides.

Eat cleaner, buy organic when you can.

And start sucking down those feral green juice smoothies that are plastered all over Instagram.

Yet, to stop drinking my beloved couple of glasses of wine a night was never struck off the list.

Thankfully the switch still flicked off on its own accord.

I wanted to wake up with a clear head and start my day afresh. The idea of going out to dinner with my husband and talking all night long like we used to do was suddenly appealing again. The need to drown out the hurt of no longer being a fulltime mother to my teens is rapidly dissolving and so is the need to run from painful memories. The wishing for something that just is not going to happen has stopped.

This does not mean I do not care, but I can no longer live in the past.

Alcohol does not bring out my best, I like to think that it does but instead it ignites everything ugly inside of me. It only takes one glass and before I know it I'm snapping at my husband, I'm wishing the toddler would just go to bed, I'm silently praying for stillness and wanting to escape to the solace of our bedroom for some peace and quiet.

I just don't need my edges softened anymore.

I want razor sharp so I can move forward to a better place.

Ironically for me I often indulged in a glass or two at the end of the day because it was relaxing and comforting.

The voices were quietened briefly.

But alcohol is a neurotoxin and a depressant and if I thought hard about my flirtations with wine, that first delightful buzz after a drink quickly disappears and was replaced by the very feelings I was trying to escape in the first place.

Three to four evenings a week I would go for a run, come home and eat some dinner then sit down with a glass of wine or two. I'm not totally stupid I would drink several glasses of water after my run and before bed. But combine that exercise dehydration with alcohol and the next day I would be popping Panadol every 4-6 hours.

I've spent the last couple of weeks being alcohol free Monday - Friday and it's not life changing but I am happier, sleeping better, I have new found energy and my anxiety has decreased. And I can't remember the last time I took two Panadol.

I've realised I have many weaknesses yet wine is not one of them. This little mid-week experiment revealed that I am not dependant on wine and that is a relief.

Self-care is the latest buzz word making its way across the interwebs. 

I can't think of any other way that this almost 38 year old woman could indulge in better self-care right now than by simply giving wine the flick.

Sarah x

I'm taking this one step further and participating in Dry July, an entire month booze free. 
If you have a few spare coins I would be ever so grateful, you can sponsor me here
All proceeds go to helping adults with cancer.

Continue Reading ...