Bad week. Very bad week.

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At least for training. I was up til 2 am on Monday for a deadline, then meetings meetings meeting all week so no chance for a lunchtime run. Bah.

Hopefully I can get an 8k in tomorrow and a belly shot.

But, on another note, the thesis advances! Hooray!

Awww, thanks.

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Thanks to me that is! I bought myself a few new items of workout wear. Two new pairs of sport socks, two new lightweight sports bra/crop top thingies, and a pair of shorts. All have blindingly bright colours and (excluding the socks, which are just socks) they also have feminine details and sexy backs (the crop tops have lace on the back). It is too cold to be wearing any of this outside yet, but I will give it a debut in the gym over the weekend.

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I have been making a lot of progress on my thesis, have been keeping up with my training calendar, have been eating super healthy (if you ignore the chocolate bars… hormones again, damnit!) and have been keeping the house remarkably tidy. I also finished a couple of little, personal projects and have generally been a very good self. So I decided to reward my self.

But, since I am not keen on owning two much stuff, I also put something into the give-to-charity-shop box at least one item for each of the new things I got. One in, one out. Keeps it under control.

On another note, I wore my heart rate monitor on my walk to work today. It took me 25 minutes, 45 seconds, and I had an average heart rate of 137. According to my monitor, that is 89% of my max heart rate, putting the majority of the walk in my 3rd sport zone and burning 189 kCals… but that sounds totally bonkers to me since I was just strolling at a regular pace.

Anyway, I shall run later today, when I hope to do the majority of the run in my 4th sport zone. We’ll see how that goes.

Comfortably run

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So, this week my running plan has stepped up from the warm up period to the slow buildup. That means I had to do a mid-week 8K run. I decided to do that just before lunch, which worked out well enough. A lunchbox of leftover curry has never seemed so appealing.  There is the small matter of being a sweaty mess at work which might put some people off… There are showers available for staff to use (originally designed to help encourage biking to work) but I don’t mind. A quick personal wash with a flannel (actually my head buff), change of clothes, hair back in a ponytail, a spritz of perfume (34 boulevard Saint Germain), and I am good to go. Besides, I work with a load of geeky engineers who probably wouldn’t notice if I wore a onesie to work.

I added the run to my online training log so check that shit out. If you are interested, of course. I know not everyone is mad for details about some random ass blogger’s lap times or average heart rate.

Being Tuesday, I bring you another belly pic.

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I think I can start to see some muscle definition. I can certainly feel that my muscles are harder than they used to be, and that the layer of fat over the top is thinner. I will probably have to calliper again soon to check on my body fat percentage.

In this picture, you can see my other good sports bra (the first one you saw was used-to-be-white), but both are by Shock Absorber, one of the few bra companies out there who believes that fully grown women (with boobies!) can have a band size of 30. Figure it out people. Naturally, most shops don’t stock any size 30, but over the years I found a few that did. Shopping at those shops is now no longer possible (another international relocation), but at least I can order direct from the company and be confident that they will fit. Thank reason* for the internet!

 

Also, here is a picture of my running shoes, with mud, and my running socks, with left and right indicators, as I got changed back into my work clothes in the ladies room.

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* I am an atheist, so saying “Thank god for…” is a bit anathema**.

** That is meta-atheist sarcasm.

Run, run, run, run, run, run awaaaay!

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I went out for a long(ish) run yesterday, which was in many ways a bit disheartening. I have lost so much pace! I completely forgot how to get to the zen of running and had a bit of a panic attack instead.
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And I noticed that I was not using good form or foot strike. Le sigh. Well, it is all back to square one I suppose.

Also, the partner and I decided that we would like to sign up for some local 10K races to keep us motivated, and probably a half marathon in April. I just had a look and there are 2 tens in March super close by to ours. Score!
There is also a half in April that we could do. It is not terribly close, which is ok. More importantly, it is not flat. We have been training on the super flat for about… oh… 4 years now? A hilly race will be quite a change. Still, why not try something new, eh? Core muscles will need a hell of a lot of work if we are going to manage that.

In other news, the shop was out of almond milk (really?!?) so I got rice milk instead, in regular and chocolate flavours. I tell you what, chocolate rice milk in your porridge gives you a weird choco-crispy sensation from the oats.

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As promised last week, I want to talk about sports bras. They are not typically considered sexy, especially not the ones that really work. The ones that cover a lot of space, have wide straps, flatten the girls down to prevent as much wobbling as possible. Not really the commonly portrayed image of feminine beauty that society force feeds us, is it?

But when I was running I felt sexy. I felt strong, and powerful, and capable. I felt like I could do whatever I wanted and then make a getaway before anyone noticed that I wasn’t supposed to be doing that.

What does this say about beauty and attraction and sexiness? That to be beautiful is to be incapable? Sexy demands being hobbled by absurdly high heels? Ravishing only applies to those on the verge of asphyxiating due to a whole body spanx?

Personally, I like the natural look most of the time. I spend a lot of time taking care of my skin so that it looks healthy and beautiful, but I don’t wear a lot of make-up. I like bright coloured clothes, sparkly belts, fun scarves, etc. , but I refuse to wear something that is uncomfortable, which is why I only own one pair of heels (and often go barefoot). I actually wear sports bras often, even on days when I am not necessarily planning to work out, because I feel really sexy when I feel comfortable and confident. And on its own, not too many sports bras count as sexy, but when part of a life-size, kick-ass, women package, they are a tool of power.

I just wish it were easier to get them in my size.

On the road again…

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Tuesdays coooooome agaaaaaaiiiiin.

I hope you are singing the song in your head now, and that you will get that song as an earworm for the rest of the day. Also I hope you get the original version. Metallica did a nice cover, but I say original all the way.

Being Tuesday, here is my belly!

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I am working from home today, so when my Work Rave sheep told me to take a break I went for a wee jog. So my picture shows my  running tights, heart rate monitor belt and a snazzy sports bra. Mmmm. Elasticated lack of motion…

While we are on the topic of heart rate monitors, why in all hell is the belt so fecking huge? I mean, who is this thing designed for? Sure, there are very large people out there, and they might represent the largest (ha ha, a pun or play on words) client group who is keenly interested in the details of their heart rate while exercising, but I doubt it. I see a hell of a lot of very central tendency sized people at running events with heart rate monitors, so the largest group of customers is probably average sized people with sporting hobbies.  So what about the small people who are also keen on knowing exactly what their heart is doing right now? People like… oh, I don know… women athletes?!?   You might think they are rarer than hens teeth, what with all women ever obeying outdated stereotypes and all, but trust me, they do exist. I know that I am on the small side of average for the female of the species, but not by much. So why can I not get a heart rate monitor belt that fits off the shelf? I do not expect to have to jigger the belt of a pretty pricey piece of equipment just to get the bastard not to fall down on me mid-run. I learned the hard way, after it fell down on me mid-run. Safety pins were all that was needed to get it smaller, but they tend to leave a little red mark so are less than totally ideal as a solution for the really long runs.

Snort. But if you want to follow the running portion of my new training plan, see here. I have created a new running plan on myasics. It seems to say that I have a half marathon scheduled for April, but I do not. I just thought a half marathon in under 2 hours would be a reasonable goal for me at this point.

After running, I came home, snapped a photo, sat down to blog and ate some excellent chickpeas (or garbanzo bean) and turnip green curry with wild rice. Delicious.

And since I am working from home today, I also taught myself how to fold fitted sheets, put on a duvet cover using the magic burrito method, and did two loads of laundry on the work rave induced breaks. Ace!

Next time, I hope to have an update on the running, tales from the overcrowded-in-January-gym, and a discussion of sports bras, perhaps the true origin of boob loaf.

Watch what you eat

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So, for all my curious readers (cricket sounds…) I thought I would share a bit about what I eat on a normal day. Today, in fact, and only what I have eaten so far. Not sure what will be for tea later.

Today’s foodosity began with… Drum roll, please… Porridge! You guessed it. Oatmeal again. On the other hand, I did experiment with the liquid. I used almond milk instead of water. It tasted quite nice, and seemed to be less adherent, which made it easier to wash up. However, since I use a small non-stick pan and a rubber spatula, stickiness is not really an issue.

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Is that an entirely unreasonable amount of alcohol in the background (I hear you cry out en masse)? Yes it is. It has been there since a pre-holiday party. Not sure where to put it because we don’t really have suitable place for a liquor collection. I am working on it though. Post cooking, porridge looked like this.

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It was plenty sweet enough from the almond milk, but I will probably go half water/half almond milk in the future. This shot also shows the background hooch a little better. For example, you can see that none are particularly empty. That is the kind of party I rock these days.

But today is a work day, so I packed myself a lunch and set out, and here it is!

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As you can see, irritatingly healthy. In list form, this is what I had:

  • Wholewheat roll, with marmite on the top, grainy mustard on the bottom and a vegetarian sandwich “meat”, cucumber slices and ruccola… arrugula… rocket. Whatever.
  • A lengthwise cut carrot.
  • About a third of a red bell pepper, cut into slices.
  • About and inch and a half of cucumber, cut into slices.
  • A small handful of sugar snap peas.
  • A small handful of broccoli florets.
  • A celery stick, cut into three short sticks, and a small pot of light peanut butter with some dried cranberries mixed in. Celery is used to scoop out some of the peanut buttery cranberrified goodness before being crunched with delight.
  • A small selection of dried fruit.
  • A small banana.
  • Two mandarins.

Oh yes, so tasty, with the added benefit of being easy to keep next to my keyboard for all day, guilt free snacking. I ate everything but the mandarins, which are a little bit sticky and so not great for eating while typing, and some of the dried fruit, mainly two prunes. With this much fibre, I don’t really needed the… uh… notorious effects of prunes.

Now, go out and be fruitful!

I got the backslider blues…

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Unfortunately, it looks there was a bit of a time lag over the festive season. As much as I thought I had got away with it, the chocolate, carrots cooked in masses of butter, and totally excessive amounts of fried potato products have caught up with me. I have the backslider blues cause all my work and progress has been lost in wobbliness.

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Sigh. Nevertheless, the picture came out better because I took it in the front room instead of the bedroom. Better light, also warmer. It is now just too chilly to be getting dressed in the bedroom. Ahh, winter. How you try my patience.

The plus side is that I am back into a routine. Working a typical 8 hour day means I get several WorkRave motivated 10 minute ab workouts per day, I am walking the 2 kilometers to work every morning and another 2 to get back home, and I am in charge of my food again! Hooray!

Porridge breakfasts might change as well, since I found several recipes for overnight oatmeal on one of my favourite hipster-ish blogs. You didn’t think that my blog name was totally unrelated to my style, did you? Sucker.

To lend even more credence to my hipster credentials, I am considering ordering a few of these bad boys to give me some more healthy lunch and snack options. Today I did bring celery sticks with a little pot of peanut butter and dried cranberries (so delightful) but who wouldn’t want a coordinated bento set in a mason jar to tote all that about, eh? You know you do.

I am also considering buying a 24 hour fitness wearable, like the fitbit flex or the jawbone up. I already have a heart rate monitor that I used for intense exercise sessions, but I would be interested in a total day perspective, and maybe even sleep quality. I actually had the second worst dream ever in my life last night. Like the first worst that I can remember, it involves insects and my feet. I wonder what that is all about. I also have an android smartphone, so that rules out a few wanker (Oops, I mean Apple) based options. Anyone want to give me feedback on those? How do they work for you? What do you like or not like about them? What do you find useful or annoying?