Monday, 20 May 2013

So I did a half-marathon...

...and ended up missing my target time of two hours by only eight seconds (this is according to the official chip time). I was disappointed for all of half or quarter of a second, and then decided that it was a pretty good effort given I'd never run a half before. I learnt a lot about how to prepare for a half as a result of today. In my lead up, the longest I had run was 18km - which I think would have been enough... if I had've had more hills in my long runs!

While I went out a lot faster than expect, I did hold that pace for the first 15km. Then the hills really started to get me - I could still run on the flat, but the hills! Aaargh!


Now I'm not sure if the elevation profile Nike+ has come up with is real - but I'm telling you the climb at 15km killed me, and the elevation profile reflects this. My pace dropped in the lead up to the hill as I was trying to get some energy for the climb. Massive fail! Ha!

I had organised to meet another 2-hour-targetting runner (from the Cool Running forum) before the race, and we ran together for most of the run. It was great to have someone who wanted to push the pace early to bank time on the downhills, and to see how far we could go with that pace. She then started mini pep talk to try and keep me going through that 15th km, which I just couldn't hold. I did catch her briefly after the climb, but she was clearly feeling better than me, so we parted ways. She was telling me pre-race that she'd had times of 2:04 and 2:02 in the past - but not under 2:00. She ended with 1:57, which I think was fantastic!

I did my first 10km in 54'26", and the second 10km in 59'28". I was actually only a few seconds behind where I needed to be at 20km to finish in 2 hours. I needed to average 5'41"/km over the race to get under 2 hours (as 1:59:55), which meant hitting 20km at 1:53:40. I was at 1:53:54, and most of the rest of the run was... uphill. Yup. Definitely a weakness of mine I'll need to work on!

So where to now with my running? I still haven't broken 25 minutes in the 5km, so that will be something I want to work towards next. Hopefully this will help me gain some pace, and maintaining long runs (but making sure they include hills) will help me with the next half marathon - whether it be September in Sydney, or October in Melbourne. I'm going to get some trail running in too before I leave Sydney (although the departure is yet to be determined!) and be a bit of a tourist!

And my right shoulder (which has been not working for the past week, possibly a result of typing a bit last week - I really can't use voice recognition software when programming) was working again after the run! I was a bit shocked by it and kept doing a chicken-dance movement for the rest of the day to see how it was going. It stiffened a little bit in the evening (I did go into the lab in the afternoon), but is functioning again this morning. It is sore, so I'm not going to be lifting anything heavy with my right hand yet, but I think my body is slowly repairing itself. I would hate to have to run for 2 hours in order to get my shoulder working if it goes all silly again!

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Weekend!


While I hate driving all over the place for labwork (yes, even on weekends), it gives me the chance to take pretty photos around Sydney! Hope you're all having a great weekend!

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Blogging Hiatus

Uni is stupidly busy right now, and I am fitting in my runs (and my Walking Dead, although that's over until much later this year), I think I'll take a break from trying to keep this blog updated for now.

At least until I finish all my labwork and am not spending 10+ hours (that's 1.5 nights of sleep!) of my week driving around Sydney just so I can analyse samples. I am also starting to really hate not having my main supervisor around, as I don't think he has any idea of how exhausted I am. No wonder I want to go home once my labwork is done!

I think if I can get some solid amounts of work done over the next few weeks, then he might be less apprehensive about me moving back home soon. Sure, I'd then collapse out of exhaustion, but at least I had some recovery time over Easter. Aside from a couple of runs, I spent Easter sleeping, programming, driving to and from the lab, sleeping, programming and sleeping. It does mean that I've now started to have days beginning at 9.30am and through to 4am, making it difficult this morning to get myself to my Wednesday site by 9am. Made it, despite the stupid amount of traffic due to the storm, but now feeling like I need to be hooked up to a coffee or Red Bull drip.

Anyway, given I'm struggling to fit in more than the essentials into my uni-dominated life (running/exercise is essential for sanity), I think I'll have to put this blog on pause. I'm still taking photos on my runs so I think my tumblr will be my primary "blogging" outlet - if there is to be any kind of outlet. However, given the backlog of photos sitting on my phone, this may only be wishful thinking.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

7 weeks to 10km


I think that the next step in progressing with my running is to lose weight, I am definitely on the heavier side of normal but I've also been eating a fair amount of crap lately, so I need to cut out the crap! After losing 3 kg fairly easily (from 85kg to 82kg) I've kind of been stuck there for a few weeks. I am sure that I put on weight during my birthday week in February, so I didn't weigh myself. Now we're in March and back at 82kg. I don't want to calorie count yet as it's very time consuming, but I'm hoping that constantly thinking about cutting out the crap will get me below 80kg.

My aims for this week were to keep with the running schedule, swim at least twice (not including the lesson), and not eat crap. Although I'm struggling to ignore hot cross buns, especially when I found a bakery near Manly Dam which produces soft and peel-less ones which I devour far too easily!

Sunday

I think getting my long runs on a Sunday according to the plan will be difficult once I found that others in the 8am Sunday group also wanted to extend the length of their Sunday run. So while I went for another pre-run at 7am, I had five other runners join me. While I like this group, I'm not sure if I like running with a group for an extended period of time! Especially when some stay on for the 8am run. That's two hours with the same small group of people, and I don't know if I can handle that for too many weeks. 

This week was meant to have a 10km long run - I broke it up into the 7am pre-run of 7km and the 8am normal run of 5km, and was quite happy covering the 12km at an average pace of about 6min/km. I'm happy that I am finally getting back to the fitness that I had a few months after my knee surgery - I'm just not happy about the group running being extended!

The 7am pre-run started when I went on my own for a 3km pre-run loop. Anna from uni, who also joins us on the 8am run after telling her about it, joined me the week after as we did a 5km pre-run loop.  I don't mind running with Anna at all - we always have all kinds of silly and serious things to chat about even if we do see each other during the week at uni! Anyway, a few others from the 8am run saw us and thought it was a great idea... and that's how the 7am pre-run became a group activity. Blergh. I have 16km on the schedule for next week - I think I might try to take public transport in next week so I can run at least some of the way home and have some me-me-me time. The group's great and helps me make sure that I get my long Sunday run in, but I'm not sure I want to do ALL of the Sunday run with the group!

Tuesday

Week two of the Bondi Run Club. I may not be sure if I like group running, but I do like running with a group that doesn't run together! parkrun and Bondi Run Club falls into this kind of group running category - you meet and you do the same (or similar) thing but at your own pace. Anna from uni came along this week, so it was nice to know I had someone at my pace to push me. She has a lot more outright speed than I do, and she beat me by 90 seconds or so over 7km at the Sri Chimnoy run the other week, so she's good pacing material for me!

There was talk of doing hill work this week at the end of Week 1 - instead we did tempo runs this week. The 3km loop from the second time trial last week (which was actually 2.9km) became the base of our tempo run. The plan was to complete the 3km loop at a moderately fast pace, recover, do another 3km loop, recover, and go for another 3km (if you wanted to do a third), with the idea of running each loop at the same or faster pace. I covered the first loop in 15:04 and the second in 15:12 - looking at my little Nike Plus plots, I lost the time in the flat section of run just after the slight incline in the middle of the run.

In the first lap I had Anna with me, and I kept up with her - but in the second lap I lost Anna after 1km and so had to get past the slight incline and the flat section afterwards on my own.  There were a couple of girls who had recovered faster after their first lap and left a few minutes before we had on the second loop, but they were too far away to catch. I think that if I had caught sight of them on the incline I may have got there. I'm a bit like that with hills - am quite happy to push myself up them but the recovery afterwards slows me down. It happened in these repeats, and it happens at parkrun. How else can I explain that my 4th km is the slowest despite the big hill being in the 3rd?!?!

Wednesday

After the hard running yesterday, and the expectation that Tuesday will continue to be a hard running day, I'm really not in the mood to push myself again on a Wednesday. I ended up having a very long day with uni things (sorting bottles... fun) and so did zero exercise on Wednesday. Clearly something that I need to address if I want to lose weight! I should also be doing something into Monday too!

Thursday

While the Nike Run Club from Pitt Street on a Monday is almost a year-round event, in the lead up to the women's 10km run, Nike have added more runs to their schedule and in more locations. They have a women's only run on Thursday evenings from the pop-up store on Broadway, so Anna from uni and I headed down for the run.

There were only four of us there for the run, but it still went ahead. A run to Wentworth Park, 2.5 laps around the park (on the grass for as much as possible), and back to the Den ended up being just over 5km. We had a pacer who kept at about 5:30 - 5:45/km, which helped make the relatively short run a good effort without being excessive. I'll be hashing next week, but hopefully I can attend the Nike Run Club events occasionally!

Friday

A bit annoyed with myself on Friday - I had plans to go for a swim after uni... instead I fell asleep at my desk in the late afternoon and then worked into the evening. It irritates me that I work so well at night - because I can't just shift my life to "night owl" mode as I need to be at my Wednesday location during normal hours during the week. 

Saturday

parkrun day! After an unofficial PB last week at 28:06, I was really looking to try to get an official PB by running sub-28. I figured that if the hill at about 2.5-3km was going to kill me even if I ran conservatively leading up to it, I may as well run moderately hard for all of the first 2.5km.

It was hard work holding on, and I refused to look at my watch the whole way in case I was way behind where I wanted to be, but I ran sub-27 at 26:30! Next week will be interesting - I don't know if I'll get another PB, but I'd be happy with more sub-27 runs for a few weeks! 

Total for week: 12 + 6 + 5 + 5 = 28

Yes, I think it's obvious now that I am no longer really following the plan but I'll use the length of the Sunday runs in the plan as a good way to progress my capacity for longer distances without overdoing it, but that's about it.

Oh, and zero hot cross buns consumed this week! Probably because I made hot cross muffins (spiced muffins with sultanas), but without the icing crosses. Nowhere near as good as hot cross buns, but when you can't knead bread due to RSI, then muffins are the way to go. The best thing about them not being as good as hot cross buns is that I don't devour half a dozen in one day (oh, the shame!) I think the most muffins I've eaten in one day has been two, and that might've been day 1 when I was hoping they'd improve after cooling. 

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

8 weeks to 10km

Sorry about all the posting seeming to be about my countdown to the Nike She Runs 10km event. Uni's been crazy as we (the physio and I) have opted to push through my remaining labwork with physiotherapy sessions. So I'm driving around Sydney a bit and am generally tired. But I make sure to fit in (most of) my running as the physio really recommends it and because it's time away from uni, where I can just chill out. Also, no images this week as I'm being a bit lazy with the blogging (see above).

But while I have been trying to fit in my running, this is the week when I found my plan doesn't always work with my PhD and my tendency to find something new and exciting to do!

Sunday

13km on the schedule became... a 7km fun run around Iron Cove with the Sri Chimnoy organisation. This was completed at a much faster tempo than a long run should be, so I'm not feeling terrible about the missing 6km. I completed the run in 39:49, which was a lot faster than I expected given the average pace was only 2 seconds/km slower than my average pace at parkrun the previous day (where I had PB'd). I suppose this means I should be faster at parkrun, although the Bay Run is flatter than the parkrun St Peters course!

The best thing about the Sri Chimnoy runs is the post-run breakfast of pancakes and fruit! I had two pancakes with nutella (and some fruit). I don't buy nutella at the supermarket as it's so yummy and can be easily eaten with a teaspoon, so it was nice to have it with pancakes and not straight from the jar. Given these Sri Chimnoy runs are no more often than once a month, I think a once a month nutella fix will work well.

Tuesday 

3km on the plan, but 5km on the schedule became... an unintentionally amusing evening at Centennial Park with the Bondi Run Club, run by the Athlete's Foot Bondi with trainers from Vision Personal Training and sponsored by Mizuno. This was intentional Mondayitis - aside from trying to make sure I made it to this Tuesday night event, I actually had fairly tired legs on Monday.

So the plan for Week 1 of Bondi Run Club was for the trainers to figure out exactly what kind of people they had attending the training - level of experience and pace. So we warmed up and started a 1.5km time trial. Those who thought they were slow set off first, and then the mid-speed runners and finally the fast ones. Unfortunately the fastest of the slowies accidentally took a short-cut at the second turnoff, and everyone followed! Ha! We added enough extra running to make it just over 1.5km (a GPS watch does come in handy), and yes, the fast runners caught up and overtook most (if not all) of the slowies! Despite adding the extra distance, the trainers decided to make us run it again!

So once everyone had returned and had had a bit of a break, we set off again in a similar fashion - with the slowest runners heading off first. This time with one of the trainers leading the pack. Except he missed the first turnoff, and we ended up covering about 2.9km. Not easy when you set off at a pace that you think you can handle for 1.5km! Still, I think the slowies were still the slowest, and the speedy ones were still fastest (and still overtaking most/all of the slowies).

In both instances, too many of the slowies started out too fast! I would have hoped that if they couldn't sustain a particular pace in the first time trial, that we wouldn't fall into the same trap the second time around! It shouldn't, but it really annoys me. Anyway, with the two time trials and the warm-up, I would say that we covered about 5km on the night!

Wednesday

5km of speedwork on the schedule became nothing. I was in Manly and found that all the council carparks now expected me to pay for parking - even if it was just 1 hour! Last week I had two hours free parking. They might have different policies on different days of the week - but I think I'll just run around Manly Dam next time. Not only because I really don't have to pay for parking, but because my reason for being near Manly for uni work is actually located next to Manly Dam. By the time I got home it was too late to run (and to fit in dinner [I can't eat straight after running, so the drive home helps kill time that way] and go to bed early).

Thursday

3km on the plan, and 5km on the schedule stayed as a 5km easy run, although I had considered doing the speedwork! I'm now wondering if I can do the speedwork since normally I'll be doing the Bondi Run Club night before, and Saturday's parkrun makes for two hard efforts during the week. I don't I should do three hard runs! I heard there was hillwork planned for next week, which may result in tired legs and subsequently crappy speedwork the day after.

I did stop by the athletics track but there was a very different crowd at the track being Thursday and not Wednesday... I felt a bit naked without my fellow slowies, even if they are in a training group and I'm just on my own! I took this as a sign to move on and go for an easy run somewhere. I ended up at Ramsgate Beach. I didn't mind running there that night, but it was't particularly interesting and I wouldn't be surprised if I don't run there again!

Saturday

6km on the schedule became the 5km parkrun with a pit stop. I had eaten pasta the previous night and I  I drank a lot of water to stop it from messing about with my tummy. So despite visiting the toilet before I left home and before the event strart, I went during the run when I spotted a toilet block close to the course. Officially I completed the run at 29:11, unofficially I timed myself at 28:06, which would have been a PB... if I hadn't stopped my watch when I went to the toilet! A bit annoyed that I destroyed my PB streak, but also happy that I still registered another sub-30 run.

Total for the week: 22km, and I think it's time to rethink my plans!

Saturday, 9 March 2013

9 weeks to 10k

And now the training begins! 8 weeks of building fitness and speed, 1 week of "race preparation" (ha!) and 1 week recovering from the race. There are three levels of programs in Running For Women - Bronze (starting at 19km per week and building to 30km), Silver (from 27km to 52km) and Gold (51km to 74km). The only program that fits a Sunday long run and a Saturday run (so that I can continue doing parkrun) is the Gold program, but that requires a LOT of running.

My mileage is currently at the Silver level, so that's the base of my training with a few tweaks (moving the Friday run to Saturday to allow for parkrun and using the Bronze program's speedwork). There are a few 3km runs at the start, which I'm increasing to 5km as I'm losing mileage by doing the Bronze speedwork instead of the Silver program.

But the most exciting first - the Nike Plus website (or just my account) has been fixed, as promised by Nike Support (who were very prompt in responding to my queries, and gave good timelines regarding when the site/account would be fixed). I might go like their Facebook page now (their support is on Facebook... which doesn't bother me, but it would an issues for others). The fix is exciting as now I can view my runs!

This was my run around Manly on Wednesday evening.
The different colours on the route show my pace - the red section around 2km I walked as it was off-road, similarly to the loop at about 1.5km - although at least there was a well worn path in that section!
It's even shown most of my runs before the fix, so now I can see the hash run from last week - although I know the Pyrmont area well as I used to live there and could probably still recreate that hash run from memory!

Sunday

10km on the schedule became... two 5km runs, with a 10-15 minute break between the two. I told Anna from uni that if I did 5km, I would leave at 7.15am - she was running a little late so I started without her and came back when she arrived. As a result, we completed a 4km loop around Sydney Uni and then added another km by running around Victoria Park.

We ended up having a longer break as a couple of girls from the 8am group were running late, but when they arrived we really pushed through the Blackwattle Bay loop! My GPS may not have been mapping at the time, but it was definitely recording and I was sneaking glances at sub 6 min/km pacing along the way! So much for the long slow run! At least my first 5km run was slow!

Tuesday 

3km on the plan, but 5km on the schedule became... a 6km evening run in Manly. This was meant to be a Monday run, but I still haven't sorted out my Runner's Mondayitis! This is the run corresponding to the map above - it's a hilly area and I think Darley Rd (which I was on when I hit 4km) will make a great City2Surf Heartbreak Hill substitute. I only climbed part of it this week, but first I'll work on climbing all of it, and then I'll work on adding kms before the hill to simulate the City2Surf run. Of course, I'm not actually sure if I'll still be in Sydney, but the training can't hurt (in the long term).

Wednesday

5km of speedwork on the schedule became... exactly what it was! This was my second go at speedwork, I'm just doing 400m intervals at the moment and will gradually build to multiple laps of the track. I use the track at Sylvania Waters (I'm out that way once a week, typically on a Wednesday) I have 200m breaks between my "speed" laps, and try to run the 400m at a fast but steady pace. I completed four of the intervals and my splits were very consistent: 1:50, 1:52, 1:51, 1:51! I generally enjoy the speed session. Although the warm up of 4 laps is a bit dull, the "fast" intervals really are fun to complete, even if your legs hate you at about 350m.

Thursday


3km on the plan, and 5km on the schedule but... Dad got back from overseas, so I spent the evening at Sydney Airport while he waited for his domestic connection. No hashing for me. I suppose I could have gone for a run the next day, but I was absolutely exhausted after spending Thursday morning setting up a two lots of samples for analysis.

Saturday

5km on the schedule comes from the Friday runs which eventually become a type of tempo run. So parkrun fits well given I'm trying to beat my best time on the course each week and so it's quite the tempo run! I managed another PB for the week at 28:12 (splits of 5:11/5:37/5:46/5:56/5:28 indicate that I went out quickly!), slicing another 27 seconds off my best 5km time (last week my splits were 5.28/5.44/5.54/5.53/5.26, which was far more consistent that this week). I'm hoping to break 28 minutes in the next couple of weeks now! My 25 minute goal is approaching...


Total for the week: 26km. Funnily enough, this is what I would have had if I did 2 x 3km runs from the plan on Tuesday and Thursday. So I skipped a day, but I don't feel bad about it if I only consider the plan in the book! :)

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

My bicycle solution

I think I whinged and thought about my bike a lot during the early stages of the January Cure, where I was dealing with my laundry/hallway/entryway issues. I actually figured it out during the January Cure, but never shared my solution!

I ended up deciding that I had to find a way to store the bicycle that met the following criteria:
  1. The bicycle would never venture into carpet territory (i.e. it had to be the laundry or the hallway, unless I was mopping)
  2. No furniture for bike storage would be purchased unless I had completely exhausted all options, persisted with the laundry/hallway swap for another three weeks and became exceptionally annoyed during this period
  3. I would be able to keep the laundry door closed at all times.
First I cleaned up the laundry - I had this completely irrational fear of the space under the laundry sink (and also the kitchen sink) when I first moved in. I hate creepy crawlies, they tend to like dark spaces, so I avoid dark spaces that I can't light up. When my mum came for a visit, she started to put things under the kitchen sink, so I got over my kitchen sink related anxiety. But she didn't touch the laundry area, so that storage space remained unused.

But during the January Cure my dislike to clutter was allowed to overtake all other kinds of anxiety - so I opened the laundry sink for the first time since I moved in. And there were no creepy crawlies. :) So I moved most of my laundry products in there and found that the little basket set up I had now had a clear top. I could easily manoeuvre my bike in and out without hitting anything!  I eventually found that I could easily mount the front wheel of my bike on the laundry sink and then, success! I was able to close the laundry door with my bike inside.


But then I started to do my linen laundry and found that I had to move my bike in order to access the laundry powder. Booooooo.

I did a bit of Ikea-ing, trying to find a shelving unit that was no more than 20cm deep to fit between the wall and the washing machine. I figured that if I could move the bare essentials to that shelf, then I could keep the bike in its current position. The closest I got was an Ekby Järpen/Ekby Gällö combination - but I didn't want to spend $90 on a glorified laundry powder stand... and I really couldn't be bothered searching for something cheap that would fit!

I thought about a narrow shelf and hook unit that would fit next to my current basket setup, where the bike would potentially hang by its toptube. I then lifted the back of my bike to see if that could work... and I realised that I could potentially have a similar solution already in place!


Ha! Not only did I not purchase any furniture, I can do laundry without moving the bike and I can also now mop the area without having to move the bike onto carpet territory at all! Win!

Sunday, 3 March 2013

10 weeks to 10k

The start of this week marked 10 weeks until the Nike She Runs the Night 10km run, and from tomorrow I'll be following a training program I put together using the plans in Running For Women. The 10km race plans are the same as the 5km race plans, so I should be able to prepare for the 10km at the same time as aiming to break 25 minutes in the 5km. I have been preparing for the start of the program by getting my mileage up - 29km last week and 19km the week before having started with 5km the week prior to that.

Sunday

I'm part of a Meetup group that does an estimated 5.3km loop from Victoria Park in Glebe and we generally go as quickly as our slowest runner can manage (although the first climb up Glebe Point Road in the second half of the run tends to thin the group out). This pace makes Sunday a good day for the long slow run - except 5km really isn't long enough to be a "long" run, so I'm supplementing it with extra kilometres before the meetup group starts its run.

I chose to do a total of 8km on Sunday - I found a route around Victoria Park and through part of Sydney Uni that was about 3km. It was an awfully humid morning, but once you started running, you didn't want to stop because of how humid it was! I finished my 3km with 10 minutes to go until the meetup group started... which means that I need to get there earlier next week if I want to complete 5km pre-meetup!

The meetup run went along as normal, except that I felt quite comfortable as we approached the bottom of Glebe Point Road, and when another in the group wanted to push it up the hill, my competitive side decided to push up and overtake that person... unfortunately I really thinned the group out, so I returned to the back of the pack once I reached the first "top" and kept the tailenders company. Although given I refused to let them walk, I'm not sure they appreciated the company! :)

Tuesday

I was meant to go for a run on Monday and have a break on Tuesday... but the past couple of weeks I've reversed it, and I reversed it again this week. I really need to break this running Mondayitis I seem to have at the moment!

This was my first run with my new gadget - my Nike GPS sportswatch. Despite setting it up with Nike Connect, it reverted to imperial measurements by the time I started my run and then would crack the poos every mile as it would go on a lap recording frenzy and beep continuously at me. I can't seem to change the settings during the run (like I can with the Garmin), so I just stopped the run on the watch and started again, but without the automatic lap recordings (which I liked to have set at every 1km). The strange bit was that the data looked fine once it was downloaded, even on the first crazy mile! Loaded onto the website and found out if automatically gives me 1km splits anyway! :)

The run itself was difficult - I should have stuck to the 5km loop, but I decided to add another 2.5km to it so that I could include the steps next to Waverley Cemetery. Managed those fine, but it meant I was very tired by the time I had to run up the stairs (and small incline immediately after stairs) that exist when going from Clovelly to Coogee.

Wednesday

Wednesday is meant to be track day, where I work on speed. I feel silly pretending to be fast, but there is a relatively quiet athletics track that is on the way home from my Wednesday worksite that locals and a CanToo group use. However, this week I was a bit distracted driving home and found myself on the M5 before I realised what I had done! It's a bit scary when you realise you've autopiloted on the road...

Thursday

Thursdays are another fun run day as it's when I go hashing with the Thirsty Hash House Harriers! This week we started at Central Station, and well, I think it's now obvious why I wanted to get a GPS enabled watch! Unfortunately the data didn't load - we did go into the Central Station/Railway square underpass... and through QVB... and through World Square, so maybe it doesn't like it when it looses the satellite signal too often!

However, the watch did record the pace during the run, so this is what happens during a hash.


A bit crazy, and a lot of fun. :) I ended up covering 10km, which was 5km more than my plan but that did make up the mileage from missing the speedwork!

Saturday

My first parkrun in a few weeks as I had other events or had taken up volunteering duties since my first sub-30 parkrun in mid January. Clocked 28:39, which was a 53 second PB. I pushed hard at the end - I marked out someone in front and decided to beat them. I feel awful overtaking these people after 5km, but that's how I work! I added a couple of kms at the start for an easy warm-up to bring it up to 7km, and while the GPS watched logged the kms properly, it didn't load the map online! Bah! Nike Support have been prompt in their responses, but it's now the weekend, so hopefully I'll get maps by early next week (and before the hash run!) In the meantime I'm stuck with the graphs, which are still quite useful, even if it's not for the purpose of explaining hashing!


Total for the week: 33km.

Oh, and I have a Tumblr where I add mobile phone photos related to running, swimming (including the driving), and cycling (whenever my RSI completely clears up and I can actually hold onto handlebars again!): http://sealsonthemove.tumblr.com/. If you log onto the blog website you may have already seen the little thumbnails on the left hand column - they come from the Tumblr. :)

Bathroom Culling

I finished (or culled) a number of products last month! I was surprised as they began to multiply accumulate on my bathroom windowsill - I decided to put my empties there to remind me that I have items to use up and not to purchase toiletries and make-up! Let's go through them in no particular order...

REMEDICa Vanilla & Shea Nut Body Butter

I won this product from Beauty Heaven and while it smelled divine and provided long lasting moisture, it was a bit too rich for my skin and so I limited its use to my arms. While I ended up with lovely smelling arms, I don't plan to purchase this item in the future.

Aveda Enbrightenment Brightening Correcting Serum

I've had this product on my shelves for a long, long, long time. I really don't think that this serum did anything for my skin. Ever. That's why I think it took me so long to use it up! Won't repurchase.

Napoleon DeVine Goddess Lipstick in Hara

This item is a "cull" - it's an old lipstick and while I love the orange colour, the texture is very dry and makes my lips look much drier than they are remotely close to being! When I tried to use it with a gloss I found that the colour smeared and came off too easily for my liking. Goodbye and I won't be repurchasing.

Organic Care Normal Balance Shampoo

With my hair being much longer than it was, I'm finding my cheapie supermarket shampoos really aren't working for me - I think they're a bit too harsh! But before I upgrade my shampoo I need to finish all the shampoos I currently own. My hair needs a trim anyway, so I may as well keep treating it like crap until all my hair products are done! I still have another bottle of this, but I won't be purchasing any more!

Mecca Cosmetica To Save Face SPF 30+ Hydrating Facial Sunscreen

I love this product. Love, love, love. Has been replaced in my bathroom cabinet by another tube of the same stuff. In case it isn't obvious, I will continue to purchase this (and the occasional smaller tubes that come with a nail polish every summer).

Yves Saint Laurent Touch Eclat Radiant Touch Concealer

This is a sad cull - while I adore this product, this pen spent too much time in the bathroom and now smells humid. I don't think that it's safe to use this near my eyes, so I've replaced it with a new one that will not live in the bathroom! Although given I've had this concealer for over three years, I didn't feel bad relegating it to the rubbish bin. Will probably continue to repurchase unless some awesome new product hits the shelves.

Clinique Superbalanced Compact Makeup in Ivory Light &
Estee Lauder Ideal Matte Refinishing Compact Makeup in Ivory Beige

Once upon a time I had very oily skin and wanted a matte finish. These two foundations served this purpose, but as my skin is now very much not oily I have decided to bid these foundations farewell. I've held onto them "just in case", but my skin has generally been well behaved! So I have no intention of repurchasing these.

With Love Hilary Duff fragrance tester/trial

I have so many fragrance trials at home that I've decided I want to go through all of them first before diminishing my small collection of full-size fragrances. This Hilary Duff fragrance was quite nice, probably because I like spicy orientals - but I prefer other fragrances over this, and while I don't think the scent lasted very long I'm not sure if that's the quality of the fragrance or the age of the trial!

Alpha H Balancing Cleanser

This is probably the first moisturising cleanser that actually felt like it was cleaning my face without leaving any oily residue. My next face wash will be a cheapie (as I am going to attempt to cut back on how much I spend on products if they don't irritate or bother may), but if that fails I will definitely consider returning to this one!

Avado Baby Naturals Shampoo

There was a phase where my scalp was incredibly irritated and the only thing that settled it (at the time) was Moo Goo shampoo. So when I went out into the field during this period and realised I'd forgotten to pack my shampoo I figured the best thing I could do when choosing between products at Coles and Woolworths (I was in Wellington, NSW and usually in town between 7pm and 7am) would be baby shampoo. It worked, but it's not something I plan to do again. Especially since I find that the cheaper Organic Care range doesn't irritate!

That's 11 products out of my drawers and cabinets for February. What will March bring, or rather, take?

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Stuff I learned while dealing with RSI

It's been four weeks since the RSI symptoms started, and I've learned a few things about my productivity and what distracts me in that time:

  • Having emails coming in doesn't bother me - being limited in how much I could type meant I easily restricted my email responses to those that required an immediate response.
  • Similarly, I found it easy to stay off Twitter and Facebook.
  • Typing with index fingers only is frustrating - lots of typographical errors and you can easily revert to using all your fingers (and being in immediate pain). Although I did get fairly good at touch typing with index fingers, staying away from the keyboard for most of a weekend really helped the recovery.
  • Doing groceries as you need them is not only easier to carry, but you end up with less food wastage as you really do stick to what you need. 
  • PhD supervisors can be very supportive.
So I'm not 100% but at least I can work for some hours each day, comfortably hold novels (text books are still an issue), write emails and wash my hair properly (it was the pain from washing hair that made me realise that I was having a fairly serious RSI issue). So while I am mostly operational now, I'm still putting off laboratory work until I have pain-free days. It was not fun being unable to do a variety of household tasks, so I don't want to go through another round of the painful RSI I initially had!