Weekly run wrap: 19 June 2016

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Posted 19 Jun 2016 — by Anastasia
Category Fit and Fabulous!, General ramblings

If nothing else, I would like this blog to be a record of my running progress. And there’s certainly a lot of that to be done! Progress, that is. I feel that I am starting from a relatively low base at the moment.

I wrote back in 2011 about the beginning of my running journey. The highpoint was in 2012, when I ran a half marathon.

That is still the longest distance I’ve ever run. But I’m hoping to change that this year!

Since 2012, my running has been lacklustre, at best. There was even a whole year (2014) when I didn’t run at all. I’ve been slowly picking it up again over the past few months, and now I’m ready to set some goals for this year.

Goals for 2016

  1. Run 10K in less than 59 minutes (aiming for Run Melbourne, in July)
  2. Run a 5K in less than 28 minutes
  3. Run a half marathon in less than 2:15 (aiming for Bendigo Half Marathon, in November)
  4. Qualify for the Two Bays Trail Run (in January 2017) – goal 3 will satisfy this

I’d like to keep a weekly track of my progression to these goals, and hopefully the accomplishment of them (and many more as well).

Here are a few stats from this week…

  • Weeks to next goal race: 5
  • Focus for the week: continue base building
  • Total KM this week: 20.89
  • Long run: 8.8km
  • Highlight: running with the kangaroos at Woodlands Historic Park, on my long run
  • Lowlight: struggling to keep my heart rate down during my long run

That’s all from me for now. Happy running! xo



I’m Back!

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Posted 13 Jun 2016 — by Anastasia
Category General ramblings

So it’s been nearly 4 years since I wrote here. Lots has happened, and at the same time, so much is the same.

Here’s a brief update:


Ran the City to Surf in Sydney (August 2012)










Completely gutted our kitchen (August 2012)








Installed Ikea cabinets and a new floor (September 2012)










Ran a half marathon (October 2012)








Visited New Zealand’s North Island (November 2012)










Finally got a benchtop installed (November 2012)










Got married (January 2013)







Visited New Zealand again (March 2013)










Went to Bluesfest (April 2013)








Visited the Grampians with dear friends in the first of what has gone on to be an annual event (June 2013)










Swam in waterfalls at the Gold Coast (December 2013)










Travelled to Italy – totally fell in love with the country and the food! (April 2014)









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Got a puppy (June 2014)









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Annual weekend away with friends in South Australia this time (September 2014)









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The puppy grew up (March 2015)









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Went to Bluesfest again (April 2015)









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The puppy got destructive (May 2015)









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Learnt to scuba dive in Fiji (June 2015)








Started to get back into running again – this time with a four-legged friend (there had been quite a hiatus) (August 2015)






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Road trip to Adelaide to visit friends for annual weekend together (December 2015)









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Decided to really get back into running again – I want to do an ultramarathon! (June 2016)









Comments Off on Yikes!
Posted 10 Aug 2012 — by Anastasia
Category General ramblings

Full on! The last few days have been a whirlwind.

Forgive this hasty update from my phone – this is the first time I’ve sat down with some time on my hands all week.

So, what’s been happening, you ask? Well, what hasn’t been happening is more like it! The kitchen renovations are coming along apace, work has been busy, we’re off to Sydney this weekend for the City to Surf, and in the midst of it all I crashed the car! It wasn’t bad, I just ran into the back of someone at low speed, but the car is well and truly unroadworthy, and probably not even worth fixing, given how old it is.

So here I am – sitting in a cafe waiting for the boy so we can head to the airport to get away for a couple of days.

Let’s hope the weekend is calmer than this week has been 🙂

xo Anastasia

The Kitchen Reno: Part 1

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Posted 06 Aug 2012 — by Anastasia
Category Home Improvement

When we moved into our little (read: tiny) pad nearly two years ago, we knew that we had to do something about the kitchen. For starters, the fronts of some of the cupboards were covered in contact paper! It was small, pokey, and the benches were really low, meaning that Pete had to adopt a giraffe-like stance to wash the dishes.

As you can see from this photo, there was also a silly wall in the middle of the kitchen, separating half of the useful space into a really not-useful “laundry”.

It’s taken 22-and-a-half months, but it’s finally happening – we’re finally about to knock that wall down!












As you can see, the floorplan was not particularly efficient.








With the help of the Ikea kitchen catalogue, we made a little sketch…








… and then spent an inordinate amount of time in Ikea entering it all into their kitchen software…








… we love the 3D view!








But there’s still a ways to go yet… this is where it’s up to this evening:








The black plastic is covering up bare concrete where we removed the tiles with much struggle yesterday. Tomorrow that wall should be coming down. Then we’ll see some real progress!

I wrote a review

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Posted 05 Aug 2012 — by Anastasia
Category General ramblings

On Friday night I went to see Hell House, by Back to Back Theatre. You can read the review here.

At first I wanted to laugh at the simplistic morality, the black-and-white-ness, the you’ll-all-go-to-hell-sinners vibe of the work. Yet this is not irony. It’s not for laughs (although there are a couple of giggle-worthy moments). It’s not about poking fun at fundamentalism. Rather, this production seeks to begin a discussion and open the door for some serious debate. I’m still musing about it the next morning, which is a sure sign of a thought-provoking work.

Today was all about removing tiles from our kitchen floor – full update on that tomorrow!

Brief update

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Posted 04 Aug 2012 — by Anastasia
Category General ramblings

Apologies for the hiatus, folks. I haven’t really been motivated to write lately. You know when life just seems to be a bit samey-samey? Yeah? Well that’s been me for the last couple of weeks.

Been working 9-5, planning a kitchen reno (more on that later), planning a wedding (less than 6 months to go!), and fighting off a mystery bug that has made me super tired – it’s all conspired to leave me not good for too much in the evenings.

Today, though, I got up and vacuumed the floors and cleaned half the bathroom before going to the Ceres market with a friend. This is totally the way of the future when it comes to weekends! By 11am I had done housework and groceries, and had some nice sun-time with a coffee and a chat at the market – and I was ready and primed to get on with the rest of the day. Too often I spend a weekend morning lolling around in my PJs faffing around and then it’s the middle of the day and I haven’t been productive and then everything just seems kinda bad.

Today was much better. I also sorted out a pile of papers that needed filing and paid a “quick visit” to Ikea (1.5 hours) to pick up the second installment of items for the kitchen renovation. I’ll try and post about that tomorrow, coz we’re going to to the first bit of demolition then!

Anyway, so today I’m feeling rather productive, but haven’t been for a run. Will have to wait till tomorrow now. No matter.

We’re off on a little date night tonight – just dinner and a movie on Lygon St – keeping it real!

Hope you’re all having lovely weekends, and if you’re in Melbourne, hope you got a chance to be in the wonderful sunshine today! Almost like spring 🙂

xo Anastasia

12WBT Week 6 Wrap-Up

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Posted 17 Jul 2012 — by Anastasia
Category Fit and Fabulous!

Tonight I’m feeling really tired. Not motivated to do this at all. But, dear readers, I said I’d stay accountable and I damn well will!

So… week 6 of the 12WBT. The half-way point. The half-off-the-bandwagon point. Well, in my case anyway :-/ Fitness-wise I’m all over that bandwagon, but on the eating front I’ve been left in the dust.


This was the week of Run Melbourne! I tapered my runs, doing a 5km tempo run on Tuesday, and an easy 4.5km run on Thursday. Sunday was the big day – up at 6:30, coffee & breaky, then out the door at 7:30. There was a bit of a scramble when I narrowly missed a tram on Sydney Rd and then realised that there wasn’t another one for 20 minutes. So I jogged down to Lygon St to catch the No 1. Figured that was a good warm-up, anyway! When I reached Fed Square it was packed. So many people! Just navigating the crowds took quite some time.

That’s me in the blue top, on the left :)

After spending what seemed like an inordinate amount of time in a queue for the toilets I finally found myself on the starting line. Well, actually in a big crowd of people about 100 meters from the starting line! 2 minutes later the siren sounded, and… someone off in the distance somewhere started running. About 20 minutes later the wave I was in finally got underway.

The day was lovely, sun shining and blue sky. I tried to start not too fast, aiming for around 6:30 min/km for the first 2-3 km. I was feeling pretty good, so started to speed up a bit. I clocked 5km at 30 minutes and some seconds, and for the first time actually thought I had a chance of getting under the magical 60 minute mark for the 10km! I kept trying to go at a sustainably hard pace for the remainder of the run, and turned the corner to the finish line with 59 minutes on my watch. A last-minute sprint to the end, and I finished in 59:40. Yay!! Goal smashed 🙂

They be ma splits man! I know it’s not that impressive for many, but it is for me :)


Another dodgy week on the nutrition front. I think cutting down on the caffeine is making me feel quite tired, which is impacting on my willingness to shop for and prepare meals. To be honest I can’t quite remember what I ate last week, but there were definitely a few too many indulgences! Breakfasts are generally good, and if I prepare my own food that’s usually fine too. I’ve just got to get better at eating out, and saying “no” to treats!


No change this week (not surprisingly!): 60.4

5 Tips for your First Fun Run

Posted 11 Jul 2012 — by Anastasia
Category Fit and Fabulous!

With Run Melbourne coming up this weekend, I thought it might be timely to share a few tips for first-time-fun-runners. I ran my first fun run almost exactly one year ago, and I remember being really nervous the couple of days leading up to it. What do I do on the day? Where do I go? What should I wear? How do I pin my number on? I’d never done anything like it in my life, and, while I was very excited, I was also apprehensive about being a complete newbie.

11-and-a-half months on, and I feel like an old hand (almost!). So here are my five top tips for your very first fun run ever!

Photo by HarshLight

1. Don’t run the day before

You want to be running on fresh muscles, not tired ones. So take a day or two off running before the big day. The effects of training don’t kick in for a couple of weeks (I’m sure I read that somewhere!), so anything you do in the few days before the run isn’t going to help anyway.

2. Arrive early

Make sure you’ve got plenty of time to find a park, catch public transport, walk, or get there however you’re going to get there! You don’t want to be in a rush or a panic, so allow more time than you normally would, especially if it’s a big event. I’d aim to arrive around half an hour before the start, to have time to get yourself oriented, pick up race numbers and timing tags (if they haven’t already been sent out), have a last sip or two of water, and stand in line for the toilets. If you do need to go to the loo (or if you think you might), be sure to leave plenty of time, as the queues can get loooong. If you want to, have a little jog around to warm up a bit, but if it’s your first event there’s no need to warm up before the start if you don’t feel like it.

Regarding race numbers: if you’re picking these up at the start they should provide safety pins to attach these to your shirt, but if your number has been sent to you in the mail you can pin it on before you leave home. It just needs to go on the front of your shirt so it’s visible from the front. Some people pin it on their chests, I prefer to place it under the bust line, over my stomach area.

Edit: If you’re doing a big run, such as Run Melbourne, City to Surf, etc – I would recommend arriving more like 45 minutes or even an hour early, if you need to cloak a bag or pick anything up. Those crowds can be huge!

Photo by Bill Hails

3. Start at the back

There’ll be a bunch of people jostling at the start line to be at the front. Leave them to it, and place yourself near the back of the pack, just in front of the people with prams. This way you’ll get to enjoy a nice leisurely start, without being involved with any sort of stampede or feeling like you’re in the way of anyone. Your official time for the race will start when you cross the start line and finish when you cross the finish line – that’s what the timing tags are for. So there’s no need to be over the line as soon as the gun goes off. In fact, I much prefer being near the back and then gradually being able to pass people and move my way through the field. There’s more room, and much less pressure.

Which brings me to my next point…

4. Go slowly (at first)

The temptation with a race is to go all-out from the get-go. After all, you’re supposed to be racing, right? Well, yes and no! Generally (at least when you’re still a beginner runner) it’s best to start a bit slower than you think you need to, and then gradually speed up through the race. You want to finish strongly, giving it all you’ve got in the last kilometer or two, but in order to do that you can’t completely exhaust yourself in the first kilometer! I would recommend consciously holding yourself back for the first kilometer in a 5K and the first 2km in a 10K, and then allowing yourself to relax into a comfortably solid pace for the next couple of kilometers. Once you’ve passed the half-way mark, you can start to push the speed a bit, and see if you can give it an extra boost in the last few hundred meters to fly through the finishing chute.

5. Keep left

Since all runners run at different speeds, people will be passing each other during the race. It keeps things nice and simple if folk generally stick to the “keep left unless overtaking” rule (well, in Australia anyway!). It’s courteous to other runners, and generally keeps the flow going smoothly.

Photo by mikebaird

Above all (and my secret bonus tip number 6) – HAVE FUN! Fun runs are exactly that – fun! If it’s your first time, you will be setting your first Personal Best (PB), and benchmarking yourself with a time to beat next time. Enjoy the atmosphere of the race, enjoy running with a whole bunch of other humans, and enjoy the euphoria of the finish line. Hope you have a great time, and please let me know how your first race went!

So there you go – my top five tips for newbie runners in their first fun run! Let me know if you’ve got others to add, too – I’d love to know what they are.


12WBT Week 5 Wrap-up

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Posted 09 Jul 2012 — by Anastasia
Category Fit and Fabulous!

Five weeks down, seven to go…


This was the week of the sore muscles! Pyramid sets were introduced in the strength sessions this week, and boy do they hurt! The first strength session started off with 4 sets of the Leg Press machine: 15 reps @ 35kg, then 12 @ 45kg, then 10 @ 55kg, and finally another 15 reps of 35kg. My legs definitely felt that the next day! I was a bit worried when I got to the 55kg set, as it took all I had just to do the first rep, but somehow I managed to get through all 10. That definitely felt like a Yay for me!

In the second strength session I did assisted chinups with only 38kg offsetting my weight. I’ve decided to make a goal of being able to do at least one real chinup at the end of this program…! Just got to get rid of those 38kg now 🙂

In terms of running, I did 6km with 4.5km of tempo on Tuesday, 7 x 500m sprints with the run squad on Thursday, 4km around the Tan on Friday with some workmates, and then 8km on Sunday with around 5.5km of tempo. There are only six days to go before my 10K run at Run Melbourne on the weekend, so I didn’t do a proper long run this weekend (as advised by Damien, the run coach at the gym).


Well…. Monday to Friday were pretty awesome on the nutrition front. I got back into using My Net Diary to track calories, and was sticking to 1.5 coffees each day (half-half decaf & regular first thing then a skinny latte at work). All was going splendidly.

Then we went away for the weekend (to the Gold Coast and it was awesome and warm!!)… and it all came un-stuck! Quite a lot of eating happened (which is pretty irresistible when the lovely Leah is the chef for the weekend!), and the last skerrick of caution was thrown to the wind when, in a particularly nostalgic mood, we decided to re-live our 90s teenagehoods by going to Sizzler. Don’t even ask!! It just sort of happened. One of those things. You know? Lucky I was good during the week, hey?

Needless to say, getting back on the bandwagon is a priority for the next few days.


60.4kg this Wednesday.

Can I make it under the magic 60 next week, despite all that the Queensland “family restaurant” can throw at me?

Where I went for my run this morning

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Posted 08 Jul 2012 — by Anastasia
Category Not-so-daily photo

Where I went for my run this morning
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