Tag Archives: exercise

Monday Made – Fuck Cancer

 “Don’t count the days, make the days count”~Muhammad Ali

Well, I’ve been training two to three times a week for the last couple of months and on Sunday it paid off!
Back in 2010, 8 weeks after the birth of my second child, I entered the The Age Run Melbourne . I did a little bit of running, but mostly just walking. It seemed like a long way at the time and I really couldn’t imagine being able to run it.
This year I decided it was time to revisit Run Melbourne, and so on Sunday I entered into my first running event that I would actually be running!
It was exciting.
I ran almost all the way, I stopped in the last 750 m for about 40 sec to walk (why?!) But I certainly ran across the finish line.
I didn’t really push myself very hard during the race. At the finish line my friend told me I looked pretty fresh for someone who just ran 5km. Yeah.
But I am pleased with the run. And it was such a great vibe. I got so many hi-fives while I was running… was it to do with this tweet or just the awesome spirit shared by all out there giving it a go?
My time was respectable. I’m stoked that I am #15 on the Strava combined leaderboard for this particular 5km course. Go me!
I really like this event as a fundraiser as you get to choose which charity you would like to fundraise for. I went for Australia Cancer Research Institute.
I feel strongly about it. I lost a friend to cancer back in 2010. It was devastating. And then the more I learned about cancer and its high incidence, the more I wanted other people to know about it.

One in three people will suffer from a form of cancer. My little family has four people. Odds are that one of us will get it. But it isn’t instantly a death sentence.
A whopping 90% of cancers can be successfully treated if they are caught early enough.
And that’s the key, we might not see some kind of vaccine for cancer in our lifetime to see it eradicated, but we can research ways to detect it earlier.
The organisation Fuck Cancer is all about early detection. About getting youth informed so they can be aware and encourage their parents and friends to take symptoms seriously, remember important regular check-ups with doctors and take the simple steps to catch cancer in it’s early stages when it can be treated, and not when it’s too late.
I think about Dave a lot. I wonder that if his cancer had been detected earlier, and not when his tumour was already the size of a cantaloupe, he might still be alive.  I don’t know.
I just hope that the money I raised by doing the Run Melbourne go toward research that will help doctors recognise the symptoms of cancer more easily.
Fundraising pages for the Run Melbourne are still open for the next week, so please help me help you, your family and friends by donating to cancer research.

Monday Made – Run Apps and other things I never used to think about….


“Running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it.” ~Oprah Winfrey

I have previously been a real advocate for the C25K program. It helped me learn how to run. I really thought I could never do it. But now I can. I’m not great, but like most things, it is something that you gradually get better at (but not without effort).

I had settled into a nice little running track, but I couldn’t see my improvement so much using the C25K app. It gave me overall run averages for the specified “Run” times all combined. This was ok while I was just trying to learn how to run for more than 2 minutes at a time.

Now I want to improve my pace and I also want to get a bit of kudos for my hilly running track! For this I have found Strava to be really useful. It uses GPS to track your run. It also tracks the elevations and at the end of your run it will break your run into km sections (or you can pin point segments on your track that you want data on) telling you about the elevation, your speed and even an adjusted speed taking into account the hills. This is all free by downloading an app to your phone.

I believe you can purchase certain brands of heart rate monitors that will connect with your phone and interact with the Strava app. You can also purchase an upgrade that I believe helps you improve your min/km by telling you to speed up a bit when you fall behind your desired pace in certain sections (I might be needing this).

You can choose to have a public profile so that other people can see your run data, or you can run other people’s tracks and compete with their times. While this is a really great idea (I’m aspiring to do a certain segment of my run at something near the pace my friend does it in) other people can see your run routes….other people know exactly where you run, maybe even when you run (stalker alert!!).

I get a bit paranoid about the internet sharing a little too much of my info, but I don’t really want people knowing where I live exactly. To combat this, I don’t turn on Strava until I have jogged about 1km from my house.

To people who haven’t yet started jogging, this probably doesn’t sound very interesting/useful. I admit, my husband told me about Strava months ago, but I told him that I was happy with C25K at the moment.  Which I was. But now I have gotten past my inability to run for any length of time and now I am on to the part where I get excited about my improving min/km.

Crazy talk. If you had said to me 18 months ago that I would go for 5km runs 3 times a week (more if I could) then I would have laughed in your face……never say never, hey?

The New Me – Monday Made


“I believe life is to be lived, not worked, enjoyed, not agonized, loved, not hated.”~ Leland Bartlett

No big video extravaganza today to mark the finish line.
I did it. I finished the official 12 Week Body Transformation. I cooked and exercised my little heart out for 12 weeks. I said no to offers of cake. I said yes to watching more closely what I put in my mouth.
Actually, today. Not so much. I have a bad food hangover!! I had a Christmas lunch yesterday. I ate salted pork with some turkey and veggies. I had a few glasses of wine. I had a small piece of fudge. Doesn’t sound like much, the calorific content was probably about right for a treat meal. But it wasn’t very lean and it really wasn’t so clean. By 6 o’clock that night I felt ill. My body isn’t used to this kind of food anymore!! Arrgghhhhh.

Back to the celebrating me.

I got a lot out of this program. I lost weight (8.5kg), I lost centimetres (48!!!) & I lost my belly. I gained the ability to run for twenty minutes at a time (if the weather isn’t too warm). I can run longer than that on a treadmill. I gained a hunger for regular exercise. I gained a habit of drinking water. But most importantly are the last two things:
I got my groove back. I smashed my goal of going from frumpy to funky. I have a spring in my step and a fire in my eyes!
I have confidence in my ability to lose weight without losing my life.
That last one is going to keep my spirits up for the rest of my life. If I gain weight for whatever reason (and it happens, just last night I spoke with a friend who broke her toe and couldn’t do much of anything for 3 months while it healed, 10kgs gained later she feels rubbish!) I have the tools to get it off again.

Other things I learnt (the hard way….the only way) that I can whole heartedly pass on as “good advice”:

  • Always eat brekky. It is the most important meal. People don’t just say that for fun.
  • Drink water. Drinking water helps you keep fluid off your body. It also makes you feel good. I can see now the reason I always had a dull headache and felt lethargic was due to dehydration, not lack of sleep as I previously thought.
  • Get regular sleep at regular times. Tall order for parents sometimes, I know. But getting 8 hours a night makes all the difference (10 hours would be even better).
  • Snack. In between brekky and lunch, then lunch and dinner have a good snack that is about 150cal to keep your body going. My favourite is a latte and some crackers and cheese.
  • Have a treat meal once a week. I’m not saying go to KFC and order a family pack for yourself. I mean skip the snacks for a day and use those extra calories in a meal to have something a bit special.
  • Go check out Calorie King Australia. You can look up supermarket food and even popular eating out venues! I use this site to “build” recipes. I am becoming familiar with what foods are good and what are not!!
  • You don’t need to spend lots of money of gym equipment or memberships to exercise. Borrow exercise DVDs from your friends or the library. Do some simple toning exercises that need no equipment like squats, push-ups, braces, sit-up and lunges!!
  • Try to learn to run. It’s not as hard as you think! I used to be a real “I can’t run” preacher. But now I love it. Try a learn to jog program like C25K. They have apps for your mobile phone even…..
  • Love yourself. Look for the parts of your body you like and look less at the bits you don’t like. The glass is half-full, not half-empty, people!

Yeah, I’m a total convert. I’ve loved this program to bits. I highly recommend it. HIGHLY. I hear that sign up for Round 1 2012 has opened up……what are you waiting for?