Sep 15, 2019

The Bridge Run Was Fun.

 Wasn't the bridge looking absolutely stunning this morning?

Fitting, given that it was the Blackmores Bridge Run today.

The Bridge Run is the 10K race of the Sydney Running Festival.  Other race options are the marathon, half marathon and a family 3K run.  Both the race bibs and finisher's medals are clearly colour coded for each event.

The total number of runners registered for festival events is about half that of the Sydney City To Surf.  There was a practically intimate total of 16000 runners for the Bridge Run which allowed for the route to be marked by several tight turns through historic areas of the city near the Observatory, Hyde Park and the Art Gallery of New South Wales that were sandwiched between surreal runs along the Harbour Bridge and up the concourse to the Opera House.

I liked that the course was relatively flat and the course didn't feel too crowded.  Both were great confidence boosters and helped me enjoy the run and not get too caught up in my niggling aches and pains and the dregs of that head cold from Friday.

I'm also counting myself as extremely privileged as a recreational runner to have had the chance to run races through some of the city's most beautiful and historic locations on the Bridge Run and the City 2 Surf this year.

The races complement each other in terms of technical difficulty and distance as well as the terrain that they cover.  And they both have such convenient starting (and finishing) locations.  I'm coming back for both next year if the planets align as they have this year.

I spent quite a bit of time wandering aimlessly under the sails of the Opera House after the run, basking in my surprisingly good finishing time.

I wandered along the Bennelong Lawn

 and looked out into Farm Cove

before my gaze returned to the Opera House behind me.

It's Sydney.

Of course there was a bar at the finish line.  Open and with lines of potential patrons at 9am.

 It's days like this that make me love this city hard.

It's not hard to momentarily forget the traffic, the public transport meltdowns and that relentless hustle when you get to kick back on a sunny Sunday morning amongst a sea of like-minded strangers who are just all there to have a good time.  And to help each other take their best post-race smartphone photos.

It wouldn't be race day without a post-race walk of pride to a purveyor of high-quality refined carbs.

These are but a few of the range of doughnuts available at the Walker's Doughnuts stand in the basement of the Galeries.  I highly rate the apple and custard filled doughnut.


And here we are.  Sunday evening and I'll be spending it the way the day began.  Doing some yoga and foam rolling to get this old lady's joints back into gear for the week ahead.  If you’ve gotten yourself a solid starter tan from the weekend’s running, it would be a crying shame if you were unable to work it because you’re hobbling around with a dodgy lower back and posterior chain. 

Be well and may Monday treat you and your joints with care.

Sep 12, 2019

Lovin' Life 12/9/2019: Hero Pose.

As we head into the thick of Sydney's running and party seasons (full disclosure - I'm here for the running more than the partying...), it would be just my fortysomething weekend warrior's luck to have developed some aches and occasional creaks in my knees.  Perhaps it was that one time I wore these YSL Gaby heels and walked around in them to the annual work dinner or perhaps it's been those weekends spent on Heartbreak Hill and that other hill that goes past the church near Edgecliff train station.  Whichever it was, there's no denying that my knees are in need of some TLC.

Image result for hero pose

Which brings me to what I'm loving this week.  Hero Pose.  The photo above shows the real-world way of maintaining the pose.  Note the use of a block to support your sit bones (yogi speak for butt) as you will your knees to yield and receive all that extra flow of blood and energy that the position is trying to give them.

I've committed a few minutes each day to sitting in Hero.  Just breathing, thinking, trying to remember what I need to add the weekly shopping list, wondering if I remembered to put through the lunch order on FlexiSchools.... and enjoying that feeling of strength in my knees when I come out of the pose.

In addition to getting all of the above done, Yoga Journal tells me that I can expect the following added benefits from sitting in Hero:
  • Stretches the thighs, knees, and ankles
  • Strengthens the arches
  • Improves digestion and relieves gas
  • Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause (good to know for future reference)
  • Reduces swelling of the legs during pregnancy (through second trimester) - (definitely NA)
  • Therapeutic for high blood pressure and asthma.
Do you have a favourite yoga pose or stretch that targets a problem joint or body part of yours?

Sep 10, 2019

Photo By Photo.

Today, as represented by various images I've downloaded to or taken with my phone.

It's the final week of training for this Sunday's Blackmore's Bridge Run which is part of the Sydney Running Festival.  Unfortunately, this is the first week of the training program that I've actually followed.  Oh well, better late than never.  It was 30 minutes of easy paced running and drills today.  Done.

The morning began with so much promise - sunshine with the touch of a breeze.  It's now grey and the winds are howling.  At least we had what we had...

Slow laps and an even slower coffee afterward.

I added a rainbow of fruit to my shopping trolley.

As well as a few 'bricks' from the Great Wall of Jatz.  Aren't Jatz the perfect all-rounder in the cracker department?  Cheese, dip, on their own - they're always delicious.

This inscription in an old book I found at home made me smile.  The book belonged to my brother and can you guess what he was trying to write?

That's right - 'Fox in Socks'.  The book (which also features his name and our old address in Perth in my mother's even printing) will be going to school with Master SSG next week for a presentation.  Moments like this are priceless and hard to adequately convey in words but I've been looking at and holding the book fondly throughout the day.

I've won the lottery!  The school excursion lottery.  I am one of four class parents heading to Parsley Bay on the last Tuesday of term....

That moment when you get into the car after it's been sitting out in the sun (such that it was) all day.  I feel my spirits lift the moment the warmth hits my face.  A bit like how dough rises when you pop it on the back seat for half a day before baking it.

In my pyjamas, Explorer socks on my feet and a mug of tea in one hand.  All before 5pm.  The weather made me do it.

Sep 9, 2019

Life This Week 9/9/2019: Taking Stock.

Making : the most of my pockets of alone time.  At the moment, I'm loving taking walks around the neighbourhood with a motivational podcast playing through my AirPods while I cast unstressed eyes over everything I see around me.  So much more restorative than taking in the sights from behind the wheel in peak hour school traffic.

Cooking : chickpea curry.  It makes the best meal prep lunch and tastes better the longer it stays in the fridge.

Drinking : water because hydration is key.  Recently, I've found myself succumbing to a 4pm strong coffee for some energy but I know that what I really need is hydration.  So now I try for water first and then the coffee if I still need it afterwards.

Image result for murder of a lover
via Google images
Reading: DI Greene's onto the case ... amongst other things in a nudge, nudge, wink, wink kind of way in 'Murder of a Lover' by Faith Martin.

Trawling: through the hangers of my wardrobe and finally parting with several redundant items.  Hello, space for new summer things!

Wanting: time to slow down a bit, thank you very much.  I always get like this around September.  Why can't the best part of the year last for as long as possible?

Looking: at my hands and thanking my past self for slathering them in Vaseline last night and the wearing gloves on top.  My palms aren't so pleathery today and I have no new dry skin cuts.

Deciding: that Leukosilk tape is the bomb dot com when it comes to dressing / taping up dry skin cuts on my fingers.

Wishing: that mugs of tea stayed at that perfect, slightly cooler than boiling hot temperature indefinitely.

Enjoying: Book Week 2019.  So is Master SSG.  I still have my reservations about the parade but I've enjoyed the author presentations and book store that were features of the week at school.

Waiting: for the dishes to put themselves away.  Like you, I've been waiting for a very long time.

Liking: the fact that we're in the final single-digit month for the year.
Image result for old town road single cover
via Google images

Wondering: how it came to be that all of Year 1 know 'Old Town Road' by Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus.  By know, I mean the chorus and the first verse.  I don't think I'm ready to explain any more of the lyrics to a six-year-old....

Loving: that spring has sprung!  I even wore short sleeves at work last week.  Just once but it was exciting all the same.

Pondering: the Garage Band app on my phone.  I used it for the first time to help Master SSG with his homework and I'm fascinated by how it works and what it can do.

Listening: to the soundscape we created using Garage Band.

Considering: a 3pm coffee.  Brain says yes.  That was easy.

Buying: only what's on my grocery shopping list.  Saving for Paris has officially begun.

Watching: blogger upload photos for this post.  Very, very slowly.

Hoping: the NBN is as fast as the politicians claim it to be.

Marvelling: at the power of just getting out there and doing that one small thing for another person.  It's the kind of power that makes hearts fill with joy.

Cringing: at the number of colleagues whom I've refamiliarized with such life skills as road safety as I've tried to talk to them on the phone while shepherding a six-year-old across the road after school.  I do forewarn them but many are still willing to stay on the line.

Needing: the annual leave I have lined up in 19 days.

Questioning:  where all the erasers on 'the homework desk' go.  They're not on the floor, not under books, not down the backs of chairs.  Where, oh where can they be?!?!?

Smelling: that distinctive Carmex scent.  I love it and that menthol tingle it gives my lips.

Wearing: flannel pyjamas.  I tend to be doing so a lot when I write these 'Taking Stock' posts.

Noticing: the symmetry of the broccoli arrangement at Woolies this morning,

Knowing: that I have an amazing support network of family and friends whose collective experience that they share with me is a gift I am very fortunate to receive.

Thinking: that this korma curry meal kit could be the basis of an amazing batch of meal prep lunches for work.

Admiring: the resilience I see around me on a daily basis.  It inspires me to stay positive, motivated and grateful.

Getting: excited about Paris.  Less than a month to go.  24 days(!!) to be precise.

Bookmarking: sites selling European SIM cards.  Will we ever see a time where it will be possible to have the one SIM that you can take with you all over the world with a reasonable data allowance?  

Opening: my mind to the possibilities of life.

Closing: chapters in my life.

Feeling: valued and validated.  

Hearing: about the ups and downs of daily life in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  My aunt and uncle have come over to stay for a bit and they always have the best stories about daily life there.

Celebrating: my family and all that they mean to me.

Pretending: that the drivers of my neighbourhood do know what traffic lights are there for...  Had another near-death experience as a pedestrian on the weekend.  My fellow walker was remarkably unsurprised that we nearly got run over.  He reckons he's lived around here long enough to anticipate poor traffic light compliance.

Embracing: the flurry of events and activities that have filled my diary for the rest of this month.  When it rains, it pours!

Sep 7, 2019

Spring Smiles.

It's true.  Spring brings out those smiles.  And things to be smiled about.

These cheery robotic yoghurt pouches put some bounce in my step as I glided down the aisles of the supermarket, guiding along a trolley that turned exactly when and where I needed it to.

The Birkis have officially come out for the season.  My feet are smiling even though they look a little the worse for wear.  Ironically, it's not all that running that's battered them a bit - it's been those rare occasions where I've recklessly worn fancy shoes to work.  As an aside, I wonder when I'll ever get another pedicure.  It seems such a waste of time to be sitting around waiting for feet to soak and then polish to dry.....

The cockles of my heart have been warmed by this 6am sun we've been gifted with this week.  It's even been warm enough to get by with short sleeves and no ski gloves when I've been trotting up and down the sidewalks.  It is a trot, sadly.  Any speed I've had this year seems to have deserted me.  Just in time for the fun run season.  The irony.

With only twenty-something days until Paris, I'm getting into the zone by reintroducing the Saturday morning pastry to my weekly routine.  Nutella brioche.  How good are they?!?!

I was rewarded for braving Westfield on a Saturday with the chance to be let loose in a self serve lolly display.

'Taste.  Shop.  Play.' is a promotion that ran over a weekend and featured all kinds of sweet treats and games that were free to try.

Stands were dotted around the almost continent that Westfield Bondi Junction feels like sometimes and the bursts of neon and pastels added an almost surreal pop art filter to the usual Saturday scene of harrassed people racing around getting things done and children fed / kept in one piece.


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