Friday, 30 December 2011

My New Running Shoes ;)

After the last couple of runs this week, I have felt some pain in my shins and hips.   This is not something that I have experienced since I began running earlier this year (in a 6 year old pair of inappropriate cross trainers).

Also, according to my Nike +, I have completed over 250km (that's not including my treadmill and misc runs without Nike +) so I was probably, technically due for a new pair anyways.
Don't you love how I am justifying my wants needs to you?
 
Even though I am broke after massively over spending at Christmas (bring on January pay day!) - I decided to take advantage of the sales and buy a new pair of shoes.
I was completely in love with the last pair of Brooks Vapor stability shoes I bought so I wanted to get the same again; if not an upgrade.  I purchased my first official pair of running shoes from Runners Need in Kings Cross, where they could test my gait etc.

I phoned the Victoria store and they told me that they didn't have the Vapor in stock, but they did have the Adrenaline, which was the next level up.  They were also on sale!  Win ;)

Straight away I hopped on a bus and within 1hour I was on my way home again with my new shoes.  Aren't they pretty?
*Also, the sales girl put me on the treadmill and refit the shoes for me to make sure I was asking for the right shoe.  Turns out they support me perfectly and they would have recommended that shoe to me anyways.

As someone who doesn't usually get off on "sportswear" apparel; I actually do like the look of these shoes.

 I set out when it was slightly misty with rain outside.  The first few KM felt pretty rough with slight pain in my shins, however I got into the swing of things and was flying by the time I was on the home stretch.

There was also a really gnarly head wind, which I hate running in.  It makes me feel like I am in a nightmare.  You know the ones where you are trying to run, but you can't because something is holding you back?  Agghh.. awful.  I try to power through it but sometimes, its just too much.

 
Just another glorious photo of my new shoes and Nike thermal running tights.

So cute! For those of you who are wondering, I am a size 4 fashion shoe, size 5 running shoe and I am 5ft 7inches tall.  Go figure.  Yes, I do trip over a lot.  My feet are so not in proportion to my height.

This is the best stretch ever.  I could lay like this with my legs in the air for hours.  Oh and guess what?  No gross socks after this run!

How often do you change your running shoes?  Do you have a brand that you feel you want to be loyal to or do you just go with whatever fits you best?  Does price come into your decision?

Wednesday recovery run and second day of "resuming normal eating habbits"

Wednesday morning I tried to stay in bed for as long as possible.  Usually I like to get up and moving fairly early.  You know, once the alarm goes off I leap out of bed; but I am determined to take a more relaxed approach to getting out of bed over this holiday period.

Once out of bed I had my usual breakfast and caught up on reading a few blogs that I missed over the Christmas weekend.   I put some washing on, fed the boys and then got ready to take them for a walk.

 
It was my plan to go for a quick jog on my own first and then take the boys for a walk to recover when I was done. My shins started to hurt a little on this run - was not very pleasant at all.  I was also burping my breakfast for at least the first 10mins.  Ewww...

We just did a few loops of the neighbourhood, alternating between jogging and walking.  Another HIIT workout for the little guys! Congratulations! 


This was the result.  My plan worked.  They were so tired wen we got back, they just wanted to lounge around on the floor and not move for a few hours.  Success!

While the two moustaches were on the floor, I completed the above ab workout which can be found on my FAQ page.  It was a killer.  Take that Christmas dinner.  You know you wont be hanging around too much longer ;)

After working out, I took the opportunity to head to the local shopping centre to both suss the bargains and buy some new food supplies for the house.  It was packed and once I did a quick lap, I was keen to get outta there!

Dinner was a cheap and easy salad.

Lettuce, cucumber, cherry tomato, chicken with lemon and herb etc.  I also squeezed a tiny bit of light mayonnaise on the side as well because.  Well.  I do love a good salad and mayo.

I am really enjoying getting back to a normal routine of eating and exercising.  Although I have not had the opportunity to lift weights, running is really good "me time" and to be honest, I feel like I need the cardio right now.  Nothing better than sweating it out and huffing and puffing everywhere right?

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Back at home

Tuesday morning I woke up at around 7am.  Not quite ready to get out of bed yet, I managed to stay there until after 8:30am.  Usually once I am awake, I tend to leap out of bed and start the day but since I am currently on holiday, I am making the most of lounging around.

When I did get out of bed, I fed Oscar and Riley and then made myself the usual mix of oats, peanut butter, soy milk, flax seeds and agave nectar.

The weather was looking decidedly average, yet still felt nice and mild (especially compared to a few weeks ago).

I completed around 10mins of circuit training at home before setting off with the boys for a nice long walk/jog.

We started off at a very slow jogging pace (they are so little I was worried I would tire them out too quickly!) and mixed it up between that and walking.
Of course, they wanted to sniff everything in sight so we did a lot of doubling up on sections we already walked around ;)  

Needless to say, when we returned, the little guys were knackered.  They drank loads of water and passed out on the floor for the next hour or so.
Don't you think they look like moustaches or eyebrows?  It is also pretty hard to tell which end is which!

My post run refuel was Fage 0% Greek yogurt, some Alpen blend muesli, a small banana and some agave nectar.  Very filling and just hit the spot.

During the afternoon I caught up on a lot of computer type admin work.  I also got this amazing nail polish for Christmas so I decided to put that on my nails while watching around 3 7 episodes of The Girls Next Door on E!.
 Just before dinner, I decided to prepare some of my Protein muffins for snacks during the next few days.  Knowing I will be off work, I tend to snack more than at my desk.  I don't know if it is out of boredom (no matter how not bored I am) or just because I can, but I do tend to snack more when I am at home.

So if you are the same as me, get prepared and make yourself some healthy snacks so you are not wasting all the good work you have done.

I also decided to tackle a recipe from BodyBuilding.com and will be posting that soon!

What are your go to snacks while you are at home? Do they differ from your work snacks?

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Christmas 2011

This year was the first Christmas that I had to spend without any members of my family in the same country.  My sister lives in Cape Town, my brother lives in Canada and even my Mum moved away from "home" to be in Tasmania.  We are pretty spread out over the world aren't we?

People tend to ask me if I get homesick at all, having lived in London for almost 2 years now.  I have to tell them, even if I did go "home", I don't have family there anyway so really, I don't get homesick as such.  I do miss my family through.

This year I asked my beautiful friend Michelle if she would mine me tagging along to her family Christmas just North of London.  Thankfully she said yes and that meant that I would be surrounded by lots of love and happiness over the Christmas break.

This is the lovely tree that Michelle's Mum had decorated.  Apparently she got into trouble a few weeks ago when Michelle went for a visit and discovered that there were no decorations up! Thankfully she took note and the house looked amazing when we arrived.

Michelle on Christmas morning opening some presents.

My awesome presents from Michelle! We have loads of nicknames for each other as you can see.

One of the presents Michelle gave me was a packet of Tim Tams.  If you don't know what they are, you can click HERE.  Best present for an Aussie ex-pat ever!

I love my new mug!  FML.  OMG.  LOL.
Very excited to take this to work with me, considering how busy I have been lately.

The aftermath of present opening.  Pretty sure Michelle and I spent over 30mins rolling around in this when we were done.  Can you spot Michelle in that wrapping paper mess?

The old "wear your Christmas stockings as actual stockings" trick.  Loves it!  Only someone with legs like this could get away with that and still look amazing.

For lunch I filled my plate with turkey, ham, sprouts, carrots, red cabbage, pigs in blankets, stuffing, potato and bread sauce.  It was very tasty and I had to stop myself for going back for seconds.  Christmas lunch is probably my favorite time of the year.

Finally, dessert of Christmas pudding.  Yes I did have loads of cream and custard on top.

So although I was miles away from home and family members, I felt very loved and lucky to be spending Christmas 2011 with my best friend and her family.  I will never forget this Christmas and I hope that one day I can return the favor for you!

Thank you Schnitzel/Bambi/Michelle.  Your the best BFF ever xx

Christmas Eve Eve 2011 outfit

This is the outfit I wore to head up North for Christmas this year.  Nice and comfortable but probably a little too warm considering it was very mild in London.

  • Dorothy Perkins studded biker boots
  • Forever 21 jeans
  • Wet look tank top with corset detail at the back
  • Religion leather jacket
  • ASOS fur snood

I didn't even feel the need to put my gloves on, which is strange for this time of year.
Did you guys notice it was warmer?

Apparently Christmas Day was only 1degree off being the warmest EVER!

Packing up for Christmas 2011

Friday before leaving for Christmas at Michelle's, I thought it was best to get some exercise done and dusted so I wouldn't feel too bad about what I was going to do over the next few rest days.

This means a lot of eating, drinking and being merry!  

Although the weather was warmer than usual, it was still too cold to go out how I wanted to.  Which would have been like this.  Sports bra, tights and shorts.  Remembering this is London, I had to throw my Nike running shirt on over the top.
I managed to find some hot pink running gloves!  My little hands just get so cold (almost frozen blue) these days while out running - no matter how hot and sweaty I feel.  Instead of spending 30mins at home recovering when I get back, my hands are kept warm throughout the run and are in good working order when I get back.  Winning! 

Although my pace was faster, I did have to take a few walk breaks.  This is why my distance was shorter and my time was better.  I am not ashamed of my walk breaks though, and you shouldn't be either! I busted my bottom doing some sprints and trying to pick my pace up.  It takes time to get back into good form :)

Next year I am going to enter a 5K and another 10K as I really want to get faster and feel that this would be the best way to motivate myself to train and push myself to reach my goals.

Can anyone else here relate to this picture? Gross isn't it.  My shoes are not doing good things for my feet these days and even though I got a pedicure the other day, something was still rubbing on my toes and this is the result.  Ewwww.... Runner girl problems though right?
I know you all have experienced the same thing!

Time to buy some new running shoes!  What are your favourite shoes?  Are you feet as sexy as mine after a good run?

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Last Monday of 2011

Here we are at the last work Monday of 2011.  Nothing really changed work wise.  I am still super busy and it doesn't look like it is going to ease off before Christmas.

Today I was keen to get some good lifting in as I knew that I was having Tuesday off to finish off some Christmas errands and do some admin type work at home.  I checked my workout log and found some arm exercises that I could get stuck into.

Workout
12mins cross trainer, warm up, level 14
Narrow push ups
Tricep press with 12kg
Tricep push down with 21kg
BB bench press with 12kg
Incline DB curl with 8kg
Alternating DB curl with 10kg
3 x planks for 1min

Once again the train was delayed at my stop after work so I had to wait 20mins in the freezing cold on the open platform.  Brrr.  However, it is so worth it knowing I am coming home to my boys Ryan, Oscar and Riley.

For dinner we prepared some salmon with a honey soy glaze.

In a small fry pan I cut up some fresh broccoli and brown onion, then seasoned with light soy sauce.

For the fries, I cut up some sweet potato into chip type portions, sprinkled with garlic, salt and pepper and put into the oven to cook.  The fries take the longest at around 25-35mins.  I like mine crispy and a little bit burnt around the edges.

When the sweet potato was starting to look like it was done (and taste like it was done) - I made up some honey soy seasoning, poured over the salmon and baked in foil in the oven for around 10-12mins.

It was oh so tasty and I am pretty sure it got the seal of approval from Ryan as well ;)

I love preparing salmon as it is very easy.  All I do is mix up some kind of sauce/glaze and then bake in the oven.  Once you plate your dinner up, just pour the juices over the salmon again and it is done.

The Librarian Look

On Saturday before watching Sherlock Holmes, I quickly popped into Top Shop to see if there was anything I could buy my beautiful friend Michelle for Christmas.

What happened? I ended up buying myself a new tank and skirt.  Lord knows, I actually don't need any more tanks but it's Christmas and that is my excuse.

  • Burnout cross tank - actual item can be purchased here
  • Animal panel pencil skirt - actual item can be purchased here
I was trying to take a serious outfit picture here but the boys had other ideas for that!

Monday's outfit was a mixture of old and new:
  • Animal panel pencil skirt from Top Shop (as above)
  • Lacoste Club black loafers
  • Light black tights
  • H&M black spaghetti strap top
  • H&M black cardigan
  • ASOS inverted cross necklace
  • Religion black leather jacket (not pictured)
  • ASOS furry snood (not pictured)

I am in love with this skirt! It was so comfortable and I love the higher waist on it as well.  It was tricky trying to get myself up into the overland in the morning but by the time I was on my way home I had gotten used to moving a bit differently.

I even managed to leg it up the broken escalator at Vauxhall while everyone else took the easy way up!

If you live in London, do you walk up the escalators that are not working or do you wait in line for a trip up the working ones?

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Sunday Roast

Sunday morning I woke up feeling somewhat refreshed.  I had a relatively early night on Saturday after seeing the new Sherlock Holmes movie, and I think I just about got my quota of sleep.

I started the day with some oats decorated with soy milk, dark chocolate chips, peanut butter and agave nectar.


Honestly, once those choc chips heat up and are stirred, they spread through the whole bowl.  You really only need a handful of them to make a difference to your oats.


I went for a quick run before the rest of the house woke up and it felt good.  I know I can do this loop faster, however right now my goal is just to make it around.  I will worry about improving my pace and getting better at running next year.  Right now, my priority is spending time with my friends and then running.

I also need to get new shoes - badly!  My trainers are pretty much clapped out right now.  I can feel it in my shins and knees that it is time to get a new pair.  I am going to try and get some new trainers for Christmas... and also some shoes for gym training.  The more I lift, the more I realise that I need my running shoes for running and other shoes with less arch support for training in the gym.


For an early dinner Ryan and I joined Robbie at work for a roast!  I opted for the nut roast with vegetarian gravy.  It was incredible! Very sweet, which is OK because we all know I have a sweet tooth.


The side plate of veggies was amazing.  Cauliflower and cheese, roasted potatoes, sweet potato and spinach.  It is making my mouth water just thinking about it!

Well, off to start a new week.  I can't believe we are so close to Christmas.  5 more days!

Work Christmas party and recovery

Thursday night I had my work Christmas Party in Camden.  It was a masquerade ball and the dress code was "elegant".  As you might know, I don't really do "elegant" so I had to make the most of what I had in my wardrobe.  This mean short and tight! Thankfully, I wasn't the only one that was wearing something along those lines and I ended up feeling a little over dressed.

My mask was leopard print (are you surprised?) and this went perfectly with my leopard wedge booties.
This is the beautiful Janine and I before the crazy went down!

Everyone got completely hammered.  I always think its funny that people take such advantage of the free alcohol and end up being way more drunk than they are supposed to be. Don't get me wrong, I drank my fair share of booze as well, however was not nearly as drunk as 90% of the other people working there.

Either way, it made for a good gossip on Friday with everyone!  I was so tired.  By the time 3pm came around I had gone from being bouncy and alive to pretty much holding my head up with my hands. 

Thankfully Friday is a short day and we all got to leave at 4:30pm.  YAY!

Saturday morning I felt the need to go for a run.  Honestly, with missing my exercise on Thursday and Friday, I was chomping at the bit to get sweaty on Saturday.  I rugged up and went for a run.

 The temperature was around 2degrees so once again I pulled on my long socks and hoodie.  I love matching when I exercise.  Even when I know the run is going to be a painful one haha

This is my fluffy keyring sticking out of the back of my running Capris.  Ryan told me that I looked like a bunny and who knows what would follow me home!

It actually looks a lot warmer than it was.  My hands were freezing when I got home and it took me a good 30mins to feel normal again.

I was pretty surprised at my pace because I felt pretty darn gnarly while I was out and about.  Perhaps the few hundred people I ran past encouraged me to run faster.  I always feel like I need to step up the pace a little if I run past someone so perhaps the constant stream of people walking the Thames Path actually helped?

This stretch is becoming favorite my after running stretch.  Man, it feels so good! Especially for my poor little broken feet/legs.  It is most definitely time for new shoes and I am on the search for a new pair to give to myself from Santa.

After my run I refuelled with some Fage 0% Greek yogurt, dark chocolate chips, prunes and agave nectar.  Oh and around 5 episodes of Friends while catching up on blogging things.

Tonight we are having an early night.  First we are off to see the new Sherlock Holmes at the cinema (so excited about that!) and then we are home to chill out and relax.  Just what I need after 2 late nights.  

Are you embracing the festive season? How are you managing to keep up with your exercise?