Fishing Village Memoirs

Hola Taganga! Cute, charming and picturesque fishing village on the Columbian north coast. Definitely a place I could stay much longer.
The 1 street town is always buzzing with artisans selling their crafts, restaurants scaling their fish and people drink beer.
Our days here were spent walking over and around the mountain to the next cove
where the views are amazing
and even better, is the end destination.. Playa Grande
Swimming, kindles, sun and fresh fish for lunch!
An “emotional experience” as Josh put it.
Afternoon drinks, never without our kindles
and gorgeous sunset!
Followed by ice cold mojitos, garlic bread and the most delicious barbeque at Cafe Bonsai ūüôā
We spent the next couple of days on the isolated beach of Palomino. We got a good beach run in (which reminds me why I fell in love with running) and amazing kindle time
20121227-111854.jpg Unfortunatey, the water was very rough and the beach was a tad disappointing (had nothing on Playa Blanca) so we left a day early so we could spend our last day on the coast in Taganga!


5 Healthy Living Tips for All Ages!

I had a great day at school today.. got to visit Healthy Harold with my year 1 class which was a blast from the past! Healthy Harold is a giraffe that arrives at school in a magical caravan and strives to empower Aussie kids to make the best choices for living a safe and healthy life.










Harold has all the answers to healthy living, well summarised for all ages:

1. Make water and milk your favourite drinks.

2. Eat lots of different foods, especially fruits and vegetables.

3. Be sun smart 

4. Limit screen time.

5. Be active.

After school and my Harold dose, I headed out for a great run. Ooo and I ran in my orthotics for the first time..

I ran around my neighbourhood, which always involves running into people I know- ¬†a great excuse for a mid-run break ūüôā

It felt nice to be out in the sun!

Not the longest or fastest run but I was feeling the strain of the artificial arch in my shoe, so didn’t want to overdue it

Ran strong up a few big hills

which werecattered all along the run

A good run really lifts the mind and spirit! Now time for dinner. Tonight my grandparents are coming over and just look what we have cooking in the oven
Eeek a massive salmon, my favourite! Veggies and salad as well ofcourse ūüėČ
Nothing beats my mums cooking ūüôā
Happy Friday, friends! What weekend activity have you got planned?
Oh and for old time sake-
Any healthy school programs you remember?

Firing up for Race Day

Before any race it is important to prepare yourself both mentally and physically. I have always got butterflies in my stomach in the days leading up to a race, not for the running itself but for the logistical preparation that requires a bit of organisation, especially for an early morning race start.

Here are some of my tips to make the day go as smoothly as possible.

1. Fuel your body substantially.¬† In the days leading up to a race, we do need to increase our carb intake, as carbs are stored in our muscles and liver as glycogen which is the form of energy our body can access and use¬†most easily. This doesn’t meaning having to stuff your face and overhaul your usual eating plan. Rather, focus on redistributing your calories by increasing your carbs,¬†eating smaller amounts of protein and¬†reducing your¬†fat intake.¬†¬†Check out my post on Hi and Low GI Carbohydrates for some ideas. Remember the morning of the race is not a good time to try out new breakfast ideas, be safe and stick to something you know will sit well with you!

2. Hydrate! It is important to stay well hydrated in the days leading up to your race, to prevent dehydration and improve perfromance. Not convinced? Check out this article from Runners World. If you find normal water boring, try adding fresh citrus fruit such as lemon, lime or orange slices to your water ūüėČ

3. Prepare EVERYTHING the night before. Layout your clothes, socks, shoes, underwear, running bib, safety pins, old jumper (often throw it to the side just before the start of the race), Ipod, watch etc. Make sure any tech stuff is fully charged.

4. Set 2 alarms! Often waking up for a Sunday run at 4am can feel like it is part of a dream, so be safe and set 2 alarms ūüôā

5. Workout logistics. Often roads are closed and parking is restricted so I always try and use public transport on the day which is often free *bonus*. If you are meeting people after the race, make a meeting spot as for big races the crowds are usually quite big.

6. Mentally prepare yourself. Accept the training you have done, be confident in your physical and mental strength and forgive yourself if you are regretting not have done more.

Check out my last half-marathon race recap for some more race day info.. and remember to just enjoy the day. Soak up the atmosphere, smile at the spectators and thank the volunteers ūüôā

What is your next race?
What does your prerace meal look like?
What is your top tip for running a race?

*Please note, I am not a dietician or fitness expert, I have simply fallen in love with running and these tips are based on my personal experiences and research. If you have a query, comment or suggestion please feel free to leave it below.

Good luck to all those running the City2Surf in Sydney this Sunday!

Health Benefits of Fun-Running

What a crazy and exciting few days it has been. Who would have thought that organising a run and breakfast on the beach for Breast Cancer would have been so

1. fun

2. chaotic

3. So fricken exciting!

Deliveries from my three amazing sponsors, Chobani, Lowan and Carman’s who have been so generous and delightful to work with, all arrived by 4:59pm Friday afternoon. Phew!

And then I sat back, relaxed and waited for the Saturday morning frantic rush to begin.

So, friends just for an extra burst of motivation for tomorrow, or for your next run I thought I would share my thoughts on Why I run for fun..

1) Running is a great mood enhancer and decreases my stress levels.¬†Even if you are just feeling a bit ‘blah’, getting outdoors, listening to music and maintaining a steady pace, clears the mind and rejuvenates your mood.

2) Running keeps me feeling fit and healthy. The research is out there, running regularly can help with overall short and longterm health.  It is old news that running can improve your immune function, assist with the physical conditioning of both your heart and lungs and help with weight management.

3) Running is YOUR time! I love running alone or with company, with music or without, inside or (preferably) outside. Running is my time, to set goals and work towards achieving them.  This process has built up my self esteem and given me the confidence to challenge myself physically and mentally.

So, get on board. Running is the cheapest form of exercise. You don’t need much to get outdoors, enjoy the fresh air and reap the benefits!

If you are a Sydney-sider, please come along and join us tomorrow. We are running for Breast Cancer and hope that our contribution will assist is finding a cure in the coming years.

If you can’t join us, grab some friends, get running and feel free to make a contribution on the donation site I have set up.

Happy Saturday!

What is your favourite thing about running? Or your preferred form of exercise??

For more posts on running motivation, check out my Running and Cross Training page!




Running outdoors

Sundays are by far my favourite day of the week. It is the day I spend by the water, outdoors and it is usually the day I have my long run for the week (Check out my Running a Race training page).

The weather was amazing this weekend and I headed out for my 8km run bright and early. My knees started giving me a few aches and pains towards the end of the run, so the last 2 kms I took pretty easy, alternating between walking and slow jogging.

I ran from Bondi beach to Clovelly, which is a small, quaint beach that is great for snorkelling. It is also where my lovely cousins live, so I popped in to say hi.

This boardwalk is fairly new and I love the feeling of running on it, it feels like you have springs in your step.

Along the way I past the local bowling green, not a bad view to play bowls ay?

I stopped for quite a few drink breaks 

And photo breaks

And arrived back in Bondi where alot was going on.  There were heaps of surfers out, seagulls taking over the rocks and

a temporary ice-rink set up. ¬†I’ve never been much of an ice skater as from a young age I always feared my fingers getting chopped off by other skaters. ¬†So I was quite content to just look on :).

The rest of the day was spent having lunch, reading my book in the sun and chilling on the couch.  

How was your weekend? What training did you get up to?

Please remember to check out my Breast Cancer fun run/walk page! Remember it is FUN- there are no timers, no rules and you can take it as easy as you like! I need to know numbers for the Breakfast so please RSVP by using the Contact Me page.

July Health and Fitness Goals

It still amazes me that we are already in July. Where and how has this year just flown by?  Here are my health and fitness goals for this month. (See my past post on tips for setting goals)

1) Stretch more. ¬†Stretching improves flexibility and can help preventing injuries. I know this, but I still don’t take stretching as seriously as I should.

2) Drink more water.  Water is vital for all our bodily functions and I often forget how good I feel when I up my water intake.

3) Build a Veggie patch with my Dad and find a way to keep the birds away! We have both always enjoyed being in the garden and have had a few failed attempts at planting herbs and veggies. We have decided to do some research and this time do it properly! (Any hints will be gladly appreciated)

4) Try a new Group Fitness Class¬†– Bikram Yoga, Zumba, Aqua aerobics…¬†I am open to suggestions on this one!

5) Organise a girls group run and breaky one Sunday this month. ¬†Sydney siders, stay tuned for details and let me know if you would be interested (I guarantee beautiful scenery and a good choice of cafe) ūüôā

What are your health and fitness goals this month?

and (Sydney siders) Would you be interested in a Sunday girls run and breakfast?

Please leave me a comment with your goals and thoughts xxx

Tips to make your morning better

I have always been a morning person, and today reaffirmed how much better the day is when it starts off relaxed and stress-free.

I arrived at work 45 minutes early. Yes, slightly misjudged how quick public transport takes. I went to a cafe, got a pot of tea and read my Kindle. Perfect start to the day.

Here are my tips for enjoying the morning:

Get prepared the night before.  Lay out your clothes and pack your bag.

Set your alarm nice and early.¬†I like to give myself at least an hour before I have to leave my house. This gives me a chance to chill in bed for a while, watch the Today show, blog, check Facebook, pack my lunch…

Give yourself time to enjoy a nice breakfast. I wake up ready and excited to break-the-fast. I love to sit down, eat my breakfast (Check out my breakfast ideas!) and have (at least) 2 cups of tea.

If I have scheduled in a workout for the morning here are my additional tips to get yourself out of bed

Mentally prepare yourself the night before.  If you have not visualised your workout and planned what you intend to do, it is always much easier to cop out.

Imagine how you will feel after your workout.¬†Surely better? Most people don’t regret a good workout.

Make sure you are doing something you enjoy.  If running is not your thing it is no point trying to force yourself into it (especially when you are dragging yourself out of bed for it!). Try a brisk walk around the block or else check out what classes are available at your local gym. I know my gym, Macquarie University Sport and Aquatic Center have classes suitable for all fitness levels and preferences, ranging from Yoga to Body Attack to Aqua Aerobics. I am a big group fitness fan :). Another great morning option is Circuit Training -where you can build your own workout, tailored to your preferences in the comfort of your own home.

And if all these tips fail.. remember the hardest part of running is taking the first step out the door (and then climbing stairs ;)).

But once you have stepped out the front door, climbed the stairs and achieved your morning goal.. your heart is pumping, your mood is elevated and I guarentee you will feel better than you did before you began.

What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?

Running with new toys

Just headed out for my first run using my new Garmin Forerunner watch which I got for my birthday a couple of days ago.

It was a good run. A bit slower than usual, but I guess all the logistical stuff like stopping to take photos and check the watch is working does take a bit of time.

I stopped by to say hi to the neighbourhood horse.. He was quite friendly this time, usually he doesn’t give me much eye contact. Was glad to see he was well rugged up.

I threw in a few solid hills…

In preparation for the City2Surf (Check out my training plan), I need to make sure I include hills into my training as there is the infamous 400m ‘Heartbreak Hill’ which let’s just say is quite the challenge.

Running up hills are what really get my heart-rate up and remind me that I am running.. As I do tend to get a bit lost in thought and music.

I finished off my run with the reverse ‘Cliff’ route, which included another big hill at it’s backside. So by the end I was exhausted!
¬†After a quick stretch on my driveway, I raced upstairs to plug in my watch and check out my stats. It is so cool how it breaks it down into km splits, so you can see time and speed for each km. The 3rd km was significantly slower, because that was where I stopped to say hi to my horse friend ūüôā

Avg Pace
Summary 38:18.6 6.12 6:15
1 5:24.3 1.00 5:24
2 5:49.0 1.00 5:49
3 8:12.1 1.00 8:12
4 5:47.9 1.00 5:48
5 5:50.6 1.00 5:51
6 6:25.3 1.00 6:25
7 :49.5 0.12 6:43

You can also see a whole lot of other cool things like a satellite picture of your route, elevation chart and pace chart. I am looking forward to trying out the heart rate monitor that came with the watch.. but i have never used one before so thought I would first read up about it.

Have you ever used a heart rate monitor?
Pros/cons/Interesting information?
Please share!

In general, don’t you reckon running with new toys is always exciting… check out¬†Why I fell in love with running¬†for some other motivators to get you moving and if you are still struggling to get your foot out the door read this!

Now I am off to run some last minute errands with my sister before she jets off to Europe this evening. Wishing Amy and Ari an amazing trip!!

Happy Friday!

Versatile Blogger Award

Thank you Dashing Diva’s for nominating me for ‘The Versatile Blogger’ Award!

Here are 5 random facts about me, one of the criteria I need to share in order to receive the award.

1. I have a large family and have been a Bridesmaid 5 times –¬†I have 16 first cousins (including all their wonderful partners that takes us to 25!) I love each one of them dearly, and am blessed to share a special relationship with them all individually.

I wish I had a photo that included everyone! This is the closest I have.

2. I spent an awesome month of my life in the Amazon rainforest working on a sustainability project. There is no place more tranquil and more beautiful than the rainforest.  Working with the gorgeous animals, fellow volunteers and the wonderful Peruvian people made this experience unforgettable.

Morning monkey duty


3. I have Coffee Au Lait birthmarks (sounds delicious) on my neck, arm, tummy and back. It is something that I am learning to accept and I try to love about myself РWe are all unique in our own way, right?

4. My favourite fruit is bananas. I love them in my oats, dipped in peanut butter, mixed with yoghurt, on their own, in a fruit salad, served with curry, sliced thinly in a chocolate crepe…

Banana makes every breakfast complete

5. I love to paint!

The beach is the perfect subject matter

Other bloggers I would like to nominate for this award:

1.Go Bake Yourself
2.Gluten Free Happy Tummy
3. Live Passionately Tonight
4. The Healthy Diva
5. Carrots ‘n’ Cake
6. Fannetastic Food 
7. Eat, Live, Run
8. Peace, Love and Oats
9. Change of Pace
10. The Fitnessista
11. Fitness and Frozen Grapes
12. The Daily Dish
13. One Healthy Munchkin
14. Mommy Run Fast
15. The Run Within

Well done and thank you!  You have all inspired me in some way.

To the readers out there…
Please comment bellow with a random fact about yourself.

Have an awesome day!

Running into the weekend

The perfect way to end a busy week… drinks a¬†great 6.2 km run around the hood.

What a lovely way to catch up with a friend who has been out of town for a while and work on my¬†Training for the City2Surf. Thanks Ja ūüôā

I love running outside during this time of year when the leaves are crunchy and colourful. Pretty surroundings and good company always make a run that much better, don’t you think?

As the run ended the sun started to set

So pretty!

Are you a fan of Friday afternoon exercise or are work drinks more appealing?
Is exercise that doesn’t feel like exercise more your style? Follow the link for more details…¬†

Time for dinner with the fam and a night on the couch. Yipppeee.

Happy Friday!