Archive for Fitness


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My Summer Workout!

15 January 2015

My Summer Fitness Workout 01

For my 25 Day Fitness Challenge in December, this was the workout routine that I frequently used.

I compiled the workout from several lists that were passed around instagram; it seemed that people were tweaking the list slightly (to suit themselves) and sharing it with others. So yep, I took the liberty to tweak it myself too, swapping some exercises with ones that I prefer to do.

This workout really gets my heart rate up!

My arms, legs, back and core feel amazing! My whole body feels tighter, stronger, and leaner for doing them.

At first I started off doing HALF the amounts.

But since I’ve been doing them for 3 weeks, I can I do them all, 3 times, no problem. I do them every day or every second day now.

My kids love to join in too – which is annoying because I have to wait for them to keep up, but it’s also kind of cool because I feel that I’m passing down some good habits for their future.

Feel free to save the image to your phone and refer to it any time you have a spare moment (which is how I first got started with it!).

You can follow me on instagram and grab the photo from there to – @karenlycheng



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25 Day Fitness Challenge – Done and Dusted!

30 December 2014

Running and Pink Nails

(Me pausing mid run to notice that my nails match my shoes haha!)

This December, I gave myself a kind of challenge where I had to do some kind of exercise every day, for 25 days.

You can read what I got up to during my whole 25 Day Fitness Challenge.

Monday – Day 22
Netball game. We played against a newbie team and we lost by 2 points. We were all “off our game” and we made a lot of silly mistakes. Honestly, I think we were all in party mode and ready for Christmas! Oh well, the other team were a bunch of lovely girls, we were happy for them and it was a great workout for everyone!

The best thing about playing netball every Monday night is that it’s a fantastic way to start my week.

Tuesday – Day 23
My kids and I spent 4 hours at the beach, where I did some light swimming in the surf. Although I didn’t do anything extremely active all day, I was really tired and lethargic from sitting in the sun. I did a slow jog in the evening.

Wednesday – Day 24
I did my routine of strength and floor exercises in the morning. I can now do 20 push ups and 10 burpees! My arms are starting to look hot!

I spent the whole day on my feet, cooking and cleaning. We hosted Christmas Eve dinner at our house, for my family.

Thursday – Day 25
We went to my sister-in-law’s house for Christmas Lunch. I felt pretty crappy after all the over-eating, so I smashed out a 5km run in the evening and felt soooo good.

So that’s my 25 days done and dusted!

I’m so happy that I did it.

Most of it was relatively easy, because I had announced it to the internet haha! I felt accountable and that I needed to stick to my word! I had very few excuses after that, hence I just got on with it. That was really my whole plan – and it worked :)

I was aiming to do at least 30 minutes of vigorous exercise each day – which to me, meant that my heart rate had to go up, I had to sweat, I had to push myself, and I had to feel my muscles burn. In my mind, the idea of “vigorous exercise” meant running, cycling, pump classes, weights sessions, strength exercises, netball, or swimming.

But realistically… some days were hard for me to fit in THAT kind of exercise. I was busy, I had a lot on, I was stressed. Exercise was the LAST thing I wanted to do at the end of the day.

So instead of vigorous exercise each day, sometimes I did a light yoga stretch session, or took a gentle walk in the park.

As long as I set aside some time each day to move and stretch, I felt that I stayed true to my challenge :)

For the new year, I am definitely going to continue with my challenge and keep myself active every day.

Wishing you all the best for your new year goals!

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25 Day Fitness Challenge – Day 8 to 14

15 December 2014


As I’ve mentioned before, I have dedicated the month of December to getting fit again. For 25 days, I’m going to try to do some kind of vigorous exercise each day.

See all the past activity for my Fitness Challenge here.

This is what I’ve been up to this week:

Monday – Day 8
Netball game. Super high intensity workout!

Tuesday – Day 9
Went for a quick 3.5km run around the block.

Wednesday – Day 10
Strength and floor exercises. Lunges, squats, burpees, planks, mountain climbs – the lot!

Thursday – Day 11
Weights workout. Just used 3kg dumbbells and tried to target my upper body.

Friday – Day 12
We left for a camping trip, so I missed out doing exercise for today. But if you count frantically running around, trying to pack camping gear for 5 people for 3 days, then I was burning calories ALL FREAKING DAY!

Saturday – Day 13
Sand boarding, climbing up sand dunes, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding! We had the best time!

Sunday – Day 14
Played beach cricket and went for a jog on the beach (this was a killer!).

Writing it all down like this has been great for me! It’s nice to know that I’m pretty active each day, yay!

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25 Day Fitness Challenge – Day 1 to 7

8 December 2014

25 Day Fitness - Dec 2014

My daily fitness challenge started off with a bang!

If you missed my blog post here, I’ve dedicated the month of December to getting fit again.

For 25 days, I’m going to try to do some kind of vigorous exercise each day.

Monday – Day 1
Woke up at 5:30am and went for a 5km run. Netball game in the evening.

Tuesday – Day 2
6km run at 5:30am.

Wednesday – Day 3
18km bike ride.

Thursday – Day 4
Strength and floor exercises.

Friday – Day 5
3km run. Yoga in the evening.

Saturday – Day 6
Slow 5km bike ride (with my 5yo). Upper body workout.

Sunday – Day 7
2 hours of gardening. Mowing and raking the lawn gives a great ab work out!

Have a fantastic week everyone!


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25 Day Fitness Challenge – Day 1#

1 December 2014

Fitness Challenge
I try to avoid “fitness challenges”.

I’ve looked into some (and tried some) especially the silly ones like – “Get toned abs in 30 days”, “Guns and butt workout for July!”, “6 weeks to shape your booty”… but in the end, I get bored, disillusioned and it’s all a bit disappointing, and I feel lame and stupid that I even thought the results might be instant. Because I know they’re not. So I’ve never really admitted to anyone that I do fitness challenges of any kind!

But just yesterday I’ve been very inspired by the activity happening on Instgram. There’s a few ’24 or 25 day challenges’ happening around the place, where you work through the month of December, leading to Christmas Day.

It’s kind of like a fitness advent calendar.

I think, honestly, I just needed a little spark of inspiration to get me going. Instead of working on my arms, or core, or legs, or butt… I decided that I was just going to do my own thing, my own way. It was a nice idea. It seemed to work for me, and now I’m inspired, motivated and feeling a bit excited for this month.

It’s December 1st today. For 25 days, I’m going to try to do some kind of vigorous exercise each day.

I’m not really asking you to join me, in case it sounds lame.

But I’m going to share my fitness dairy anyway, hoping it sparks something in you!

(Feel free to follow my updates on Instagram! You can find me at @karenlycheng)

25 Day Fitness Challenge – Day 1#

Yesterday I set my alarm for 5:30am, with the intention to go for a run. This morning it went off, but I woke up and I felt soooooo bad. I was literally cursing the world, I needed more sleep, and felt like freaking sh*t. What a cheery way to greet the day huh?! I felt achy, I had stiff muscles, sore legs, my neck and shoulders were stiff. I switched my alarm off and went back to bed! Haha! Hello Fitness Challenge!

Ergh, but I felt so guilty. I KNEW that I’d feel like crap for the rest of the day, so I got up at 5:50am, got into my running gear, drank some water and just went out the door. I still felt stiff and sore AND I felt gross for not brushing my teeth. I was in such a foul mood.

But hey, I did it. I ran 5kms and yes, I felt awesome after that!

Tonight I have a netball game. 40 minutes of super fast-paced, action and running. At the end I’m always red-faced, drenched with sweat and feeling sooooo good that I could fly.

Maybe it’s the oxygen in my brain, the endorphins in my nerves, or just the knowledge that I have disciplined myself to do this?

Look out December, I’m going to blitz it!

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Starting to run again, again.

3 November 2014

Run 10km

I went for a spontaneous run the other morning. It was my first proper run in 8 weeks!!

I pushed myself to run a steady pace and went for 10.5kms – which I’m so happy about. I had no sore feet, knees or muscles – yay!

I ran the distance in 1 hour 5 minutes, but I had to slow down to walk a few times, and I had to stop for water. I ran at an average pace of 6:15/km (that was according to my sports tracker, but mathematically, I think my average should be 6:20?)

Anyway, I’m not too fussed about numbers. It’s a great comeback for me!

I’m aiming to be able to run 10kms without slowing down to walk.

And I’m aiming for an average pace of 6:00/km, which means I should run 10km in 1 hour. Baby steps!

Here’s to feeling like I’ve emerged from a slow rut and feeling fantastic about my health again!

Cheers everyone and have a great week :)

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We raised $5.2 million for cancer research!!

22 October 2014

Ride to Conquer Cancer 2014 - Photo By Ze Photography
(Photo By Ze Photography)

It’s over for another year!

I volunteered for a 2 day cycling charity event, The Ride to Conquer Cancer.

I’ve participated in this event for the last two years and it involves over a 1000 people riding a distance of 200km over 2 days.

For each of the last two years, I have spent about 5 hours of sitting on my ass and pedaling each day! And as I slogged away, part of what kept me going were the cheer squads dotted along the route – volunteers dressed in cowboy gear, pink tutus and Elvis costumes… but the craziest and most entertaining bunch were the Onesie Warriors.

They wore one piece animal suits, sang and danced, cheered, rang bells, hooted and hollered, and got up to all kinds of crazy antics that made us riders laugh and smile when we needed it the most. They made such a big, happy difference to our journey, lifted our moods, and pumped SO much energy and fun into the event.

I remember (during a relentless uphill slog on the bike in the pouring rain) looking at the Onesie crew thinking… where do they get their energy from?? They have been dancing and jumping around for hours! They must be drunk! They must be completely sugared up! They must be pumped full of Red Bull! Were they all fit, young 18 year olds, who are just used to all this raving!?

Anyway, that was the team I joined on the weekend.

Ride to Conquer Cancer 2014

There were 12 of us in the Onesie Warrior team, and we split into 3 groups of 4. We positioned our teams at different locations, where the route was most boring (20kms of flat farm land) or most difficult (long, slow, uphill climbs that go on forever) for the cyclists.

Ride to Conquer Cancer 2014

Basically the whole Onesie Warrior experience was… a crazy, roadside, dance party, with insane amounts of bad karaoke, bad dancing, raving and jumping!

We had pop music blasting from our car. We were shouting, cheering, whooping, waving clappers, ringing cowbells, shaking tambourines, tooting horns, blowing whistles… for 10 hours!

Oh man, it was sooo much fun.

Ride to Conquer Cancer 2014

I couldn’t even recognise myself. I was doing the most silliest, shameless and stupidest dance moves I’ve ever done in my whole life. And I did it on purpose! In front of people! To make them laugh! In broad daylight!

If you know me in real life, I’m usually very contained, calm, possibly soft spoken and maybe a bit shy. I am in no way a natural show pony. I don’t walk into a room and have a presence that commands people to take notice of me. In fact, I’m striving for a kind of quiet gracefulness.

But once I put on my giraffe onesie, I felt like I had permission to act like an exploding, hyperactive, crazy person!

Ride to Conquer Cancer 2014

With our encouragement, all 1311 riders made it safely to the night camp – the half way mark for the weekend.

They did SO WELL for their first day. They rode 105km. There was a very strong head wind blowing against the riders, and I could see them all pushing into it, grimacing in pain with every down stroke of the pedal. I knew their pain! They must’ve been exhausted!

There were a lot of cancer survivors who rode too. They rode with a yellow flag attached to their bikes to distinguish themselves. I thought of my husband, who has survived cancer twice and thought whether he would be able to ride this distance. His health is excellent, but fragile, and shouldn’t really be pushed to this level of exertion. Not to mention he was at home looking after the blessing of our three kids… while I was spending the weekend having this unusual, out of character experience.

I got a bit teary every time I saw a person with a yellow flag that reminded myself why I was here.

In fact, it only took a few minutes of chatting to a complete stranger to find out that every rider had a story or a connection to cancer, and that they were determined and inspired to do something about it. I was constantly teary and inspired!

Ride to Conquer Cancer 2014

As for me, I had woken up at 4am that day, started cheering at 7am, had only a few small breaks, and finished my shift at 5pm (to cheer the very last rider to arrive at camp).

So I went to bed at 7:30pm!

Ride to Conquer Cancer 2014

The next morning I woke at 4am again, and the weather looked REALLY BAD.

There was a 100% chance of rain, thunderstorms, hail and strong winds. Oh my god! I hoped the wind would be behind the riders and push them along.

Ride to Conquer Cancer 2014

For the second day, I was a frog. It was an apt costume for the wet weather. And apt, because my voice was very croaky.

At 6am, I hopped over to the start line and I bumped into these two ladies – Brooke and Sam. Er, well I actually just randomly walked up to them, because hey I’m in a frog suit, and I asked to take a photo with them because their cycling jerseys matched my green costume!

Ride to Conquer Cancer 2014

Then our team quickly drove to our first designated spot for the day and waited for the riders to come through.

We waited and waited.

Ride to Conquer Cancer 2014

In fact, we waited at the zebra crossing.

When the riders went by, we waved signs like “SAFARI SO GOOD!” and “KEEP THOSE CALVES MOOVING”! And other really bad animal puns.

Ride to Conquer Cancer 2014

We placed ourselves in silly positions to wave at the riders. Our chipmunk climbed a tree. Our cows climbed a hill. Our penguin sat on a branch.

I was a squashed frog on the path, but I only took this photo after the last rider rode past haha!

We made our way to several other positions along the route, and then back to the finish line to cheer the last rider through.

We danced and cheered for hours! We were projected up onto the big screen, we were photographed and we were on TV (did you see us?!). It was definitely one of the most crazy, fun and rewarding experience I’ve ever had. It certainly gave me an unusual perspective of the event.

In total, we raised $5.2 million that will go to the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research (used to be WAIMR), with all the funds going directly into cancer research projects. I was choked up with pride and happiness!

A HUGE thanks to all the organisers, the crew, the riders, the sponsors and the supporters who donated!!

I’ll see you all next year!!

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Fitness Motivation 0.00000001

13 October 2014

Wow. So I totally FELL OFF THE EXERCISE TRAIN! I fell down and rolled in between the train tracks, I dug a hole, I made myself a nice home, I put my feet up, and I haven’t moved since!!

Here’s the round up of my last 4 weeks…

Running – Close to none. I think I ran a total of 3km in the whole 4 weeks.

Cycling – none.

Boxing, boot camp, pump classes – none.

Yoga, pilates – none.

Strength, weights, core workouts – pretty much none.

Motivation to start again – none.

There was a point in the last 4 weeks where I was really, really angry, stressed agitated and disgusted by my lack of motivation.

But I’m past that now. I’ve just accepted that I can’t fit everything in. I’m not Super Woman. I can’t do everything. I’m just going to be happy where I am for now. I’m just going to cruise through life and work on what’s more important right now. Why stress about it?

On the up side, I play netball once a week (which is like high intensity interval training yo!) and I go for evenings walks with my family, where I get to hold hands with my husband. That’s real nice.

I’ve found a happy slow place. This is just the current normal.

Later on there will be a new normal, and I’m sure before I know it, I’ll be back to running marathons!


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9 October 2014

Growing up, I’ve never been a rough kid.

I’ve never broken my arm or leg. I’ve never hurt my knee, or twisted my ankle. I’ve never had a cast or crutches. As a result, I’m very unfamiliar with injuries and what to do with them.

So when I get a minor injury now, I just ignore it… because it’ll just get better after a few days right?

Thumb Injury

Well, while I was playing netball one evening, I slammed my thumb into the ball at full speed and got this impressive bruise. Of course it wasn’t a bruise to start. It just felt like my thumb had SPLIT IN TWO, THAT’S ALL.

Being the well brought up lady that I am, I held back the “F” EXPLETIVES SCREAMING IN MY HEAD and just turned to my opponent and said, “Ouch, that hurt.”

I played the rest of the game like a one-handed elephant seal, slapping the ball without using my thumb.

I was a bit embarrassed about it after. Silly me. Got an ouchie. Hurt my thumb. I casually mentioned it to my netball team mates, who just said, “Just rice it babe.”

I thought to myself, “Why yes, I’m Chinese. I can subscribe to that kind of thinking. Rice is usually the answer to everything. But surely they don’t mean to eat rice or rub it with rice. So I’m sure it stands for something like “Rub It Carefully Everyday”??

(It means Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation for all you perfectly coordinated people who don’t fall over, like me.)

Anyway, I stumbled along with my sore thumb. I refused to whinge about my pain. I didn’t complain or make a big deal about it. I was secretly all high and almighty and proud of myself. “I DON’T DO INJURIES. Pfft I don’t need ice. Or rice.” I turned door knobs. Held sandwiches. Flipped pancakes. I did all the things that a being with opposing thumbs is destined to do.

But after 3 weeks of pain, I swallowed my pride and asked various people for advice about my injury.

I got no sympathy. Everyone seemed to tease me about how minor my injury was. They told me stories about the MUCH bigger knee, ankle, neck, arm and back traumas they had suffered over the years. And they told me that it was too late for self applied RICE. Apparently, I needed professional advice…

And the advice came in the form of a wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

You see, throughout my research… I heard that a girlfriends’ husband’s friend’s sister… swears that there is a hot-looking, young physiotherapist with “talented” hands, who specialises in netball injuries, who will assess everything from ankle injuries, to ahem, groin injuries… (and presumably thumb injuries?) and who gives excellent RICE. WINK WINK.

Hmph. Thanks A LOT guys.

I’m sure I’ll be fine. I’m sure the pain will just go away after a few days right? It just needs more time to rest. And less netball.

But… is this rumour true? Is this mythical Physio actually real? Is he really talented? Is he really hot? Does he really see all the injured netball girls in town?

I guess I’ll never know the answers to these questions… because I’m *much* too proud to let some Physio-cassanova RICE my ouchie :P

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From City To Surf To Hamburger (Then Bed)

12 September 2014

My friends and I participated in the recent Perth City to Surf!

This year the running event celebrated it’s 40th year, but for me, this year was my first time running in it… so I was pretty excited!

However, two weeks before the event, I was down with the flu, fever and dizziness, and it threw my running training out of whack (ie. I didn’t do a training run for 10 days). And it was only the day before the event, that I felt 90% back to normal and I decided I would still run – BUT I had to promise myself to take it easy.

Perth City2Surf 2014

This is my friend Pippa and I, about to run the 12km distance, while our other friends ran the Half Marathon (21kms).

We were pumped up at the start!

Perth City2Surf 2014

Off we set. I took this photo (while running!) as the runners left the starting line and made their way up the first hill. There were 45,000 participants this year!

Have you been in a running event before? I’ve run in a few events. It’s pretty spectacular. There is a very cool and energetic atmosphere in the air. But it is really, REALLY crowded.

I won’t lie. I didn’t like the crowd. As a running experience, I didn’t find it relaxing or therapeutic. It was highly distracting! I spent the whole time looking at everyone’s gear / clothes / shoes / hats / hair / body shape / elbows / calves / backs / bums! I couldn’t help it! It was everywhere I looked!

I was also overwhelmed with a sense of frantic urgency, a feeling that I HAD TO HURRY UP! It felt as if everyone was rushing towards the Christmas city shopping sales and I had to follow the crowd or I would miss out! Or get RUN OVER! DON’T THINK JUST KEEP MOVING!

There were a lot of hills and I quickly found myself a bit breathless and wheezy and unable to sustain a good running pace. I was a bit grumpy that my health wasn’t up to it. I lost Pippa at the 5km mark… and I ended up walking A LOT after that.

Perth City2Surf 2014

I finished the 12km with my slowest time ever!

I pretty much WALKED the distance more than I ran. I was quite embarrassed! Look at me. I don’t even look like I’ve been running. I didn’t even break a sweat. Some of my friends were running a half marathon and I looked like I went for a Sunday stroll haha!

My average pace was 7:06m/km and my overall time was 1:30 – which is pretty slow for me. That pace is like a brisk walk, not a run. Ooooh well. I guess I stuck to my promise of taking it easy.

I looked at my running app and it told me that I had burned 724 calories in the 90 mins. Which was cool and all but…

Grilld Burger and Chips

…we headed off to an inner city pub for drinks and lunch.

I was STARVING. I DEVOURED this lamb burger (611 calories) and chips (252 calories) in 5 minutes flat.

724 calories OUT, and 863 calories IN? Er. I definitely didn’t think that one through very well. Oh well! It was freaking delicious.

When I got home, I had to take a nap. My husband let me take a 2 hour nap, bless him! I was so tired and sore. And for the next few days, I think my health dropped back down to 80%.

Soooo… looking back, I probably should have just stayed in bed, so I could recover that extra 10% in the first place!

But at least I did it.

And there is always next year.

And another hamburger.

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Running With Friends

13 August 2014

Run 10k
I’ve joined a running group!

It’s not really a group group. It’s not formal. We’re just a bunch of friends (girls and guys) who are all running freaks! We all know each other through our children’s school and we all live and run in the same area, which makes our “group runs” infinitely easier to organise.

Thinking about it, I never thought I’d join a fitness group. Because, I usually like to exercise by myself. I like the peace and solitude. I like to meditate, arrange my thoughts and focus on the mesmerising beat of my feet hitting the pavement. It’s quite important for me to have that quiet space for myself.

Exercising in a large classes – in a room full of strangers – is also very solitary. Which I like. I feel no obligation to interact with anyone. And I just get lost in my own little bubble.

But what do you know, I discovered that exercising with friends is so much fun.

It adds so many new levels to my exercise routine – motivation, inspiration, sharing knowledge and a social aspect. I’m loving it!

Following people’s (ie. stranger’s) exercise updates and fitness inspiration on instagram and facebook does not compare.

Anyway, I tried out a new running route this weekend. The weather was just gorgeous. It was the first time I tackled so many hills.  I ran 10kms and felt amazing. I might try to work on my time/speed next time. I’m feeling inspired!

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Right, left, right, left… Do you love Body Combat too?

14 July 2014

I’ve been going to a few Body Combat classes lately.

It’s kind of fun. A bunch of ladies punching at the air, while a fitness instructor shouts at us over the roaring music. It feels a bit silly.

But after the class, my biceps, triceps and muscles on my shoulders and back GLOW with a pain that promises my arms to look like Michelle Bridges, so that makes it worth looking silly, right?

The last time I tried Body Combat was 10 years ago. I was horrifically unfit and halfway into the class, I wanted to curl over and puke. But this time I am much fitter, so I manage to keep up pretty well.

I go at it pretty hard. There’s no point in doing weak pathetic punches, so I try to give my punches some power.

My coordination is so bad though!

Geez I’m terrible at the steps, the fancy foot work and trying to remember the routines.

I managed to PUNCH MYSELF IN THE FACE during the class! Who does that?!

Right jab, left jab, right jab, left hook, right hook, left upper-cut, right upper-cut… TRICKY RIGHT?

I got my right upper-cut mixed up with a right hook, so I klonked myself in the cheek.

I stood there for a moment, imaging cartoon stars coming out of my left ear.

I’m sure the instructor saw me.

Then I spent the rest of the class trying not to laugh.. at MYSELF!

I guess I need to practice my WAX ON and WAX OFF technique :P

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Cross Country Running

15 June 2014

Cross Country Run

I had a beautiful morning run with my big boys this weekend.

We’re exploring our own cross country running route!

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Netball Diaries

18 March 2014


Last November (four months ago) I started playing NETBALL for the first time in FOREVER.

I used to play in primary school, and I was pretty good. That is, until everyone else hit puberty first and started to GROW TALLER – then I had no chance. In a matter of months I was dropped from the Division A Team (The cream of the crop! All the cool girls!) and plonked in the Division C Team (with all the book nerds…). Sigh, there went my dreams for a top class netball career. Haha just kidding.

So a couple of months ago a bunch of girlfriends asked me if I’d like to play netball with them. They were all beginner level players and just wanted to get together for fitness and fun. I had just spent nine months of cycling training towards a “Cycling 100km for Charity” event, which, I have to be honest, is a very male dominated sport… so I thought WHY THE HELL NOT, I need some SPORTY GIRL TIME.

So that’s how I found myself standing on a netball court, totally clueless and totally petrified on my first netball game in a gazillion years.

I haven’t mentioned anything about my netball adventures on my blog prior to this, because the only thing I had to say back then was:

“I’m short. I’m crap. I have no ball skills. I don’t know how to play in a team. I can’t remember the rules. My arms are weak. I can’t throw. I have no sense of balance or personal space. I have to play against someone? I’m not very good at being aggressive. I don’t like aggressive players. Why are they standing so close to me? I have to jump and throw at the same time? Oh god the coordination requirements are beyond me! OMG I have to cut my fingernails before I play?!?!”

But you know what? I really enjoyed it. My brain loved it.

Even though I was sooo crap at playing netball…. each week, my brain felt like it was growing bigger. It was making new connections and new pathways. The game was so fast paced that literally every 10 seconds, there was a brand new situation in front of me that I had to solve and make my body respond accordingly. It was SO different to cycling, running, weight training and pump classes. It was awesome.


It’s four months later and I LOOOOVE my weekly netball games.

It’s such a great workout, such a fun thing to do with my group of girlfriends, and it makes me feel awesome. Yay for team sports.

OH and one week I was actually chosen (by the umpires) as the Best Player on the Court!! I was so so so proud of myself!! I zoomed home and squealed at my husband and kids! They thought I was a bit crazy, but they were happy for me because I was beaming!

I have improved a lot over the months. I’m a bit obsessed about it now. I’ve been watching Olympic netball videos, training videos and reading coaching tips online. I’m very motivated to run more during the week, to work on my core and upper body strength… just so I can play better netball hehe.

I even train in the house at night, standing in front of the TV, by jumping up to see if I can touch the ceiling… and I can now! A bit distracting for hubby though.

So here’s to learning something new, working at it bit by bit and totally smashing it!!

Hope you all have a fantastic week!

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Running on Empty

25 January 2014

Over the Christmas and New Year break, I fell off the exercise wagon. Again!

I had sporadic bursts of exercise here and there, driven by all my pigging-out and over-eating, but I didn’t have a routine. So finally, I’m now very keen to hit my new year running and exercise targets.

I’ve been waking up around 6am to get a run in before the rest of my family gets up, and to avoid the heat of the day. Usually I eat a small breakfast of fruit and muesli, brush my teeth, put on suncream, drink a glass of water and have half a cup of tea before my run. My runs only ever take me 30-40 minutes. But I’ve found it to be a bit problematic, because I feel sluggish in my tummy, and I have a heaviness in my bladder and a that irritating feeling of possibly needing to pee soon.

6km run - 5:30am

TODAY I decided to do something different.

I literally stumbled out of bed at 5:30am… put on my running clothes, drank half a glass of water, ate one sugar lolly and ran out the door. THAT’S IT!

I felt really stiff, I had a few pangs in my joints and I was so irritated that I hadn’t brushed my teeth and that my breath smelt bad, ugh.

But after I ran about 3kms, I suddenly felt brilliant.

I felt magically fluid and oiled and full of energy and power.

I ran 6km with ease. It was the longest distance I’ve ever run (without resting). I wasn’t hungry or thirsty. I felt sooooo goood. I was really surprised. I think I could have kept going but I needed to get home and get ready for my day.

I’m aiming for 10kms!

Follow me on instagram if you’d like to keep tabs on my exercise adventures – @karenlycheng

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Ride to Conquer Cancer 2013 – Two Days of Sweat and Tears

10 November 2013

A few weeks ago, I took part in an amazing charity event, The Ride to Conquer Cancer. We cycled 220kms over two days and raised funds for cancer research.

1336 riders took part in the event, and in total we raised an incredible $5.2 million dollars!!

For my own fundraising efforts, I raised $8,350 with the help of friends, family, my community and my wonderful blog readers – thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Ride to Conquer Cancer 2013

So this is me at the start line. I woke up at 4am and was all geared up and ready to go by 6:30am.

I was feeling relieved that the day had finally arrived. I was happy and excited to be part of such a significant event. I was proud of myself for doing something so worthwhile. And I was emotional and humbled by the touching speeches. The organisers pushed a rider-less bike through the crowd to symbolise all those lost to cancer… and seeing that empty bike being wheeled towards the start line made tears well up in my eyes.

We set off at 7am.

Ride to Conquer Cancer 2013

About an hour in, my riding buddy had a flat tyre! She rode over some broken glass and we had to pull over on the side of the road.

Oh man, I felt so bad for her. If that were me, I would have been in a fumbling mess… and would have lost all my confidence in riding the rest of the way. But instead, I joked around to calm her/our nerves.

Thankfully, a volunteer bike technician arrived in 3 minutes. He fixed the tyre, pumped it up and we were off again in less than 10 minutes! Amazing!

Ride to Conquer Cancer 2013

THEN. The weather hit us.

Look at the storms clouds rolling towards us! The wind was strong. The rain poured. It was cold. It was a pretty miserable day to be riding.

Riding INTO the wind was difficult. It was bloody hard work! I struggled. I was in pain. It honestly felt like 5 hours of agony.

I wanted to cry and give up. My shoes were filled with water, my arms were shaking from the cold, my muscles were screaming in pain… and there was a moment where I thought to myself – WHY THE HELL AM I DOING THIS??!

But then… I’d see a rider pass me, with a yellow flag tied to his bike, indicating that he was a cancer survivor. Yup he was here on his bike too, struggling with the wind and rain, just like I was. Then another yellow flag would pass me. And another.

And yep, it put my own struggles into perspective.

Ride to Conquer Cancer 2013

This is me, with my new attitude. Just cheer the hell up and enjoy the ride Karen!

There was so much rain and wind, that it was almost comical.

Ride to Conquer Cancer 2013

I managed to finish the first day’s ride with a smile on my face. I rode 103km.

Man that was hard. It was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done in my life.

I wasn’t very talkative that evening. I just wanted to have a hot shower, get changed into some dry clothes, put on some dry socks, eat some hot food, then go to bed.

Ride to Conquer Cancer 2013

I was a little worried that other people’s snoring would keep me awake.

But there was so much rain throughout the night, that the sound of rain drowned out all the snoring. I slept very well!

Ride to Conquer Cancer 2013

The next morning, the sun was shining! HOORAY!

But it was cold – I think it was 6°C or something.

I went to collect my bike from the bike racks and I felt – surprisingly – excited!

Ride to Conquer Cancer 2013

Me again. All rugged up and ready to go!

The weather warmed up and the day turned out to be sunny and spectacular. It was perfect riding weather.

Ride to Conquer Cancer 2013

My poor riding buddy had ANOTHER flat!

Same tyre.

On the last 20kms of the ride, I took it easy and enjoyed the ride to the finish line.

Ride to Conquer Cancer 2013


No words can describe the feeling when you choose to do something really difficult and you conquer it.

I know that I did this charity ride last year. But this time around, it was definitely much harder for me, because I was not as fit as I was last year. I had a few tears in my eyes the moment I crossed that finish line. It was hard work and I did it.

And just like when you watch a movie a second time around, I was much more aware of the little details… the people, the stories and the purpose… it really brought the whole experience to life. And I was so much more thankful for that.

I really want to thank the organisers, the volunteers, the riders, my team, and everyone who donated to this wonderful cause.

Thank to you, my readers, for following and supporting me on this journey!


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The Biggest Rainbow Vomit Ever…

3 November 2013

The Color Prun Perth 2013

I attended The Color Run with a bunch of girlfriends this weekend!

If you haven’t heard about it, it’s a 5km run… where you just have a fun time getting covered in colour. It’s not a race and it’s not actually about running.

There were THOUSANDS of people at the event, children of all ages, scooters, prams, even wheelchairs… so there wasn’t much running happening. It was more of a walk :)

Along the 5km course, there are different colour stations, where coloured powder-dust is thrown at you. The event volunteers (who are throwing the colour) try to aim at your white clothes, but the dust just goes everywhere – your face, hair, ears, arms, legs, shoes.

Everyone was very keen to get completely covered in colour, so by the end, some people were rolling on the ground and sliding around in the coloured dust. It was crazy and fun!

The Color Prun Perth 2013

I took these photos approaching the end of the event: coming up to the finish line and at the concert – where the organisers got everyone to throw their packets of colour into the air. It looked awesome!

I stood back to take these photos, because I didn’t want my phone camera to get stained or clogged with the colour dust.

The Color Prun Perth 2013

This was me, covered in colour and dancing away in front of the stage :)

Yes I had a great time!

After I took this photo, someone nearby threw a packet of dark green dust in the air. So I had dark green colour on my face, which outlined my sunglasses, so I looked like I had green eye bags, nice! I had also wiped under my nose and gave myself a purple moustache! And I had orange hair!

By the end of it, I had an old-lady moment, where I looked at myself, completely covered with dusty colour… and I felt really irritated and precious, “Ugh, what am I doing here?! I don’t actually like getting dirty! I’m disgusting! Now I have to go clean myself!” Haha.

Anyway… overall, the whole event had a really fun and happy vibe. It was great for kids too.

Would I recommend the event? Yes. But get a big bunch of friends, get dressed up in some silly outfits (crazy coloured socks and tu-tus) and really get into the colour craziness and dancing – while raising money for charity.


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Ready. Set. Go!!!

18 October 2013

Ride to Conquer Cancer
TOMORROW is my big 200km fundraising ride everyone!

Eeeek I’m super-duper excited!

I’ll be heading to bed early tonight, to wake up at 4am, to be at the starting line at 5am.

Please follow me on Instagram @karenlycheng and I’ll be posting my pics throughout the weekend.

Please head over here to donate towards my cause, if you haven’t already *wink wink nudge nudge*

See you on the other side of the weekend!!


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This is Why

14 October 2013

This is the hand print of my youngest son.


On the weekend, I went out for my final training ride… before my 200km Ride To Conquer Cancer fundraiser.

I returned home in the afternoon and found my husband and my three boys in the backyard, happily doing odd jobs in the garden, and generally messing around in the cool, spring sunshine.

The youngest of my children is Liam, who is 4.5 years old. He was making a huge mess with crunched up blue chalk and a puddle of water, and he proudly showed me how he was making hand prints all over the paving in the backyard.

I was very struck by his hand print.  Because on my long, quiet ride, I was thinking about WHY I am raising funds for cancer research.

His hand print said, “I am here! I am alive!”

My son  and I, and my whole family, are so FULL of life.

We are doing stuff. Loving, eating, arguing, questioning, explaining, playing, laughing, growing older and wiser. And we can do all of this because we have such good health. This is what life is about. Being. Being together, and having a new opportunity to have more BEING each new day.

My husband has almost died of cancer twice, and survived each time only because of the research that had been done into cancer treatments. He and my family are BEING each day because of that research.

So… This is WHY I am riding.

This is my hand print on the world. I am saying to the universe… ” I am alive, and thank you for that!”

And I know that the money that you and I have raised is going to help some mum, dad, son or daughter, keep on BEING somewhere, sometime in the future.

My ride is this weekend (5 more days!)!

You can still make your own gift to the cause here.

Thanks so much!

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Getting Lost. On Purpose.

1 October 2013

A few weeks ago, I joined a cycling group to do a 50km training ride along the beach!

Beach Ride, Cottesloe

This is me looking all fresh and energetic at 6:30am!

We started at Port Beach (North Fremantle), made our way up the coast, past Cottesloe Beach to Scarbourough Beach, and then back down again.

We didn’t ride ON the beach. Just along the paths… sort of.

See, I thought we would be doing more “path riding” beside the beach. I thought we’d be able to look out to where the big blue ocean meets the big blue sky and smell the salt and sand.

But instead, we just rode on the roads. Bleh.

I did not enjoy riding along the large highway. Yes, there was a dedicated bike path next to the car lanes.

But there were just SO MANY trucks and cars zooming by at 60-70km/hr. And they were like 1m away from me? Sometimes less?! Yes I know this is normal road riding. But I was really, really frazzled. I was grinding my teeth with stress the whole way. I wasn’t used to it. I couldn’t think straight. I was bound to do something stupid and get hurt. I didn’t like it.

Beach Ride, Cottesloe

So… I was riding with a friend and she and I decided to TOSS OUR MAP – to hell with the planned cycling route!

We decided to “get lost” and take the scenic route home haha.

Yep, we rode along the glorious view of the ocean and followed the path back to the finish line.

We even stopped to take a selfie at Cottesloe Beach!

Unfortunately, the path was FULL of pedestrians, runners, walkers, dogs, kids on bikes, parents pushing prams… so we had to ride reeeeeeaaallly slow to dodge them all.

We thought that we would be the LAST ones to arrive at the finish line! Thankfully we weren’t.

In fact, we felt a little embarrassed, because the whole cycling group seemed to have a lot of “serious cyclists”… and here WE were having a Sunday toodle on our bikes! Tsk tsk.

Beach Ride, Cottesloe

And to add further embarrassment, the organisers of the ride put on an incredible hot buffet breakfast for everyone’s hard work! Omg!

My friend and I are used to riding 85-100km each weekend… and it turned out that we only rode 35km in total (because we “got lost” right?) and we didn’t even feel tired, or sore, or that we had any kind of significant workout, OR that we even deserved all the free calories!


We were the joke of the table but we thoroughly enjoyed the cycling banter :)

Anyway, this ride was in preparation for my big 200km fundraising ride!

It’s in TWO weeks, and I was wondering if you’d like to support my ride?

Donate on my fundraising page here

Donate any amount you feel you can – $20, $50, $100, $500, $1000! You can leave a public message, or a personal message to me, or just do it anonymously. And you get a receipt, so you can claim this against your tax.

And if you’re interested, you can read the rest of my Fundraising Cycling Stories here.

Thanks so much!


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Training Up For 200kms of Cycling

15 September 2013

With FIVE more weeks until my big 200km fundraising ride… I thought I should get back on my bike and start covering some serious distances!

So I met up with my cycling group and we rode 85kms in one morning.

Sounds really impressive, but I was SOOOOOOOO SLOW.

It was really embarrassing. It was not an impressive effort at all.

See, I was trying to pace myself. I haven’t been on my bike for a couple of weeks, I didn’t want any muscle injuries and I wanted to do the whole “Slow and Steady Wins The Race” thing. You know, like a tortoise?

Having said that… this particular day was really, REALLY WINDY. Perth has been experiencing weeks of rain, stormy conditions and winds between 30-50km/h.

I rode painfully and shockingly slow for 43kms… heading into a strong wind.

At some points I was riding 10km per hour! *Cringe*

Each down stroke of my pedal was really hard work, making my leg muscles burn. Imagine doing that for 2 hours straight :P

But once we turned around… the wind was behind us, pushing us along… and I was *flying* on my bike. It was awesome!

I was cruising along, with hardly any effort at all at 38km/hr… it was fuuuuuun :)

It kind of made all the hard work worth it.

Bike Path on a Windy Day

This is the lovely bike path that leads straight from Murdoch Train Station to Paganoni Road (slightly north of Mandurah). 43kms of flat, straight paths. Effortless right?

Oh and I did something really stupid!

The night before my ride, I adjusted my seat – just down a little tiny bit. I have a bottle carrier mounted on the base of my seat, and so I adjusted that too.

And I did these adjustments IN THE DARK. Which yes, is just genius.

So at the start of my ride, I felt that I was going really slow. Unusually slow. I was pushing and pushing my pedals with so much effort. I thought the resistance was from the strong winds and that my legs were out of practice.

It turned out that the bottom of my bottle was pressed against my tires… and acting like a brake!

My tires were wearing out the bottom of my water bottle!

It was only until one of my team mates noticed my leaking water bottle – that I realised what was happening.

Leaking Bottle

Look at that!

The bottom of the bottle was worn through in three places, because I shifted it around two or three times while riding.

Geez, I felt so stupid :P

OK that aside, I was wondering if you’d like to support my ride?

Donate on my fundraising page here

Donate any amount you feel you can – $20, $50, $100, $500, $1000! You can leave a public message, or a personal message to me, or just do it anonymously. And you get a receipt, so you can claim this against your tax.

And if you’re interested, you can read the rest of my Fundraising Cycling Stories here.

Thanks so much!


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My First 5km Run

3 September 2013

My First 5km Run!

Wooot on the weekend I FINALLY ran my first 5kms!!

5kms of constant running! I’m so insanely happy!

I had been stuck on 3km distances for the longest time. And I was kind of thinking that maybe I wasn’t made for running? That maybe I should just give up and stick to cycling?

Anyway, it was really cool to discover that I could do it.

And apparently my time was pretty good too. Yay!

Here’s to setting small goals and taking baby-steps :)

Now to try 8kms!

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Oh I How I Love Pain in the Rain

29 July 2013

The week I was away on holiday, I ate with absolutely no restraints.

I couldn’t help myself. It was Singapore. The food was so good. And it was everywhere.

I threw my healthy eating regime out the window and just enjoyed myself. That’s what holidays are for right?

Chicken curry and roti prata for BREAKFAST? Yes please.

Char kway teow with cockles, Hainanese chicken rice, prawn noodles, chicken porridge with yu char kway – all before dinner? Hell why not.

But after 5 days of it, I started to feel edgy.

I was dreaming of steamed broccoli and green beans!!

I was itching to jump back onto my bike and feel a bit of pain.

Freeway Ride

So yesterday morning, I rode 85 kms.

It hurt like hell. My legs were burning. My bottom was hurting. My whole body was aching and throbbing.

The last 20kms were the hardest. It started to rain. The wind picked up. I needed to pee. I rode slower and slower. Every down stroke of each pedal was agonising.

And I was so far behind my group (as you can tell from the photo).

All I wanted to do was to STOP AND LIE DOWN IN THE SAND!

But I just sucked it up… and cursed and swore until I reached the end… the cafe and toilets.

On hindsight, it wasn’t that bad.

The rain was nice. And the pain was better.

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Back at it

11 July 2013

Oh man, it’s been weeks since I’ve gone for a bike ride.

My running programme has pretty much stopped. And I’ve been to the gym ONCE in 2 weeks.

No I haven’t been sick.

I’ve just been really busy with work… blog projects, proposals, emails, invoicing, backend coding, meetings, photography, editing. It’s 24/7 and it’s the reality of running a small business.

Oh and the weather has been so cold! I walk around wearing 3 layers… stressed, cold, busy, distracted, with a zillion things to do, with chipped nail polish, mountains of laundry to fold, kids fighting and bored on the school holidays… and I’ve totally lost ALL my motivation to exercise.

Even my eating has gone haywire!

And let me tell you, when I eat badly I get hell cranky and shitty.

I hit an emotional wall last week, and I slowly emerged from my train wreck… resolved that I couldn’t change the world before the weekend, by myself.

I accepted that I should stop hating myself and just take a few baby steps in the right direction. Towards the place where I want to be.

I asked my husband for a bit of help. He came home from work early. He took over the home duties, while I dusted the cobwebs off my bike.

Perth City Ride 30km

I rode to the city and around the river. Slow and gentle. The clear winter skies were beautiful. The air was so crisp and cool.

I pushed myself until my distance ticked over 30kms. My legs didn’t hurt. At all. Suddenly I felt good. My body remembered how to do this.

Poached Eggs

Once home, I had a hot shower and made myself a snack.

I made poached eggs on a pile of steamed spinach and lettuce. Just like what I used eat.

I took the time to poach the eggs. Slowly. Just like how I used to do it.

As I carefully sliced open my eggs and watched the perfect yolk ooze out onto the deep green vegetables, I smiled and found my happy place again. In the simple details of life.

I remembered just how different life can feel… by slowing down.

To Stop. And smell the egg yolks, in my case.

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YEEHAA I’m Cycling and Fundraising Again!

3 July 2013

Ride to Conquer Cancer 2012

That’s right – I’m going to ride 200km over 2 days to raise money to find a cure for cancer.


Last year, with the amazing love and generosity from my incredible supporters, we raised a total of $17,160 and I was ranked 12th highest individual fund raiser and given the title of Silver Ambassador! Truly an honour for such an important cause.

So why am I doing this again?

1) It was such a fantastic experience – that I want to do it again.

2) It is a worthy cause. I know there are thousands of charities out there… but I feel a deep resonance towards the West Australian Institute of Medical Research. They are an established and large team of scientists in my home town, doing internationally recognised cancer research… and all the money raised will go directly towards their actual research and projects, which will help everyone around the world.

3) I love cycling. I enjoy keeping fit, staying healthy and having a big fitness goal!

4) I want to make a difference. I want to do something significant. I want to use my voice and my blog to get behind something bigger than me. My husband is alive, and my children have their father, because of cancer research that was done decades ago, and now there is so much more work to be done to find more cures and improve treatments.

So… I would love for you to dig deep and support my ride!

Pretty Please?!

(It’s my birthday tomorrow!!)

Donate on my fundraising page here

Donate any amount you feel you can – $20, $50, $100, $500, $1000! You can leave a public message, or a personal message to me, or just do it anonymously. And you get a receipt, so you can claim this against your tax.

And if you’re interested, you can read the rest of my Fundraising Cycling Stories here.



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Off-Road Running

4 June 2013

Hi there! I’m back!

We went away for the weekend and we stayed in Dunsborough with 7 other families. It was so much fun, very relaxing and just lovely to get away from our routine for a bit.

Off Road Running

One morning, a friend of mine took us running on some off-road tracks – and I enjoyed it soooo much!

Until now, I’ve only ever run on roads, paths, grass and beaches, which are all very open and spacious. I can see for miles ahead and all around me.

But these bush tracks were mostly surrounded and enclosed by trees. And it was like a 1 metre wide tunnel, winding through a thick bush. Like a 3D maze. The trees and shrubs soaked up all the noises around me. The sounds of the world were all hushed and quiet. My footsteps on the ground were muffled. It was quite magical.

Sometimes the tracks would open up towards the beach… and I found myself running along a top of a hill, looking down onto the ocean.

Other times the trees were so high, that I felt like I was running through a forest.

Off Road Running

Most of the track was compacted flat, but there were still a lot of uneven ground and rocks everywhere. Very often the track just turned into a rocky mess (pictured here)… and I had to soften my steps and kind of “dance” across the rocky ground… without twisting my ankle and hurting my knees, of course.

I found it so interesting. With all the inclines, declines, uneven ground, loose rocks, the always changing scenery, the gorgeous sounds of the bush – it was really challenging and such awesome fun.

I’m so inspired by the experience, that I might even try mountain biking now :)

All up – I ran slowly (with a bit of walking and no stops) for about 4kms.

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Mixing Fitness With Motherhood

17 May 2013

I have not been cycling for a few weeks now. It’s driving me a bit crazy, but with my mummy duties and my work piling up, lots of family and social activities on the weekend, my children’s sporting commitments… it’s been tricky for me to find 3-4 hours for myself. I’m not complaining though, because…

I’ve dived head first into running!

It’s just so easy to put my kids on bikes and go to the park.

I run while they ride. They think it’s a game. Or a race.

Sometimes they like to run WITH me. Which is a bit humiliating for me, because both my 10 and 8 year old can run faster than me.

Liam May 2013

My 4 year old also likes to scoot alongside me, shouting “RUN FASTER MUUUM!!!”. On the downhill paths, he purposely scoots faster and ahead of me, lifting up one leg like a ballerina and gives me the cheekiest smiles. It’s so cute. Like I have my own cheerleader who keeps up with me. Who happens to be 4 year old.

Right now I can go the distance of 2km, running only, with no stops. Not very much, but hey, it was better than when I started at 200m!

I like to keep my older kids updated on how far and long I can run before I “crash and burn”… and each time it’s a little bit further and longer. On one hand I do this to show off (I have to tell somebody ok!) and on the other hand, I want them to understand that if they want to see results, all they have to do is practice a little bit, day by day.

I think they get it. They are very sweet and kind towards me and give me lots of encouragement.

I also tell them that one day we’ll ALL run a marathon together, and they like that idea a lot.

But not as much as I do :)

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Road Testing Dove Pure Deodorant – By Sweating Like A Pig!

5 April 2013

I have definitely been bitten by a fitness bug :)

I cycle once a week and I go to the gym twice a week (for an hour). I’ve been in this routine for about a year now.

And this month I’ve started to RUN – for the first time in a looooong time. I’m trying to schedule in 3 to 4 short runs in a week.

I am also climbing stairs! Lots of them! It’s fun. And a bit painful.

But I love it. And I love how I feel after a good workout!

Exhausted after my run

This is me, completely pooped after an embarrassingly short run around the block.

I’m sitting on my kitchen floor, sweating like crazy, my legs are jelly and my shoulders are aching.

Ok yes I’m glowing with endorphins.

But I’m dying for a shower (because I smell so baaad) and I wish someone would cook me an omelette, make me a cup of coffee and massage my shoulders :P

Anyway, I found it such a delight that I have been asked to test out a brand new deodorant by Dove.


Dove Pure Deodorant

Dove has recently launched a new deodorant, called Dove Pure.

It has no parabens, no colourants, no ethyl alcohol and ZERO fragrance.

No smell whatsoever? That’s a new concept for me.

It strives to be a simple, yet effective deodorant containing only the essential ingredients, leaving out the unnecessary stuff that might cause irritation and itchiness.

It also claims to have long lasting sweat protection (so you feel dry all day) and it has a touch of moisturiser in it, to keep your skin healthy.

It sounds great so far, but I’ll be testing it out for a week – throughout my cycling, running and stair climbing, as well as general walking around and just being stinky old me.

I’ll let you know how I go!

Have a fabulous weekend everyone!

(This post is sponsored by Nuffnang)

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Stepping Up For A Bum Of Steel

31 March 2013

I’ve been cycling regularly for a few years now and it’s my main form of cardio and aerobic exercise.

However, I suspected that my muscles were getting a little lazy and programed to just work in one way…. so I’ve thrown something a little different into my mix: RUNNING.

On my first running attempt, I walked out of my house and ran down the footpath headed towards my local park. It was only 200m, I was running at a good pace, and it took me less than 2 minutes (I think) to get to the park, but I was sooooo exhausted! My brains were about to explode, my legs were jelly, my ankles felt swollen, and I was literally about to collapse! I was stopped by the side of the road, bent over, holding my knees, red-faced, huffing and puffing… and LAUGHING!

I thought to myself – OMG this is soooo hard! I cycled 70kms a few days ago! I’m supposed to be quite fit?! How can I not be able to run?! This is absurd!

So everyday now, when my husband comes home from work in the evening, I steal 30 minutes away for a quick run. Er, it’s actually more like a “walk around the park”, with a bit of running here and there.

But you know what? I love pushing myself. And then discovering (very quickly the next day!) that I can run for longer distances and for longer amounts of time. And it doesn’t hurt so much anymore.

It’s been 5 days, and I can now run the 200m without any pain in my legs or any exhaustion whatsoever. In fact, I don’t think my heart rate goes up very much now.

Baby steps towards my first 5km run!

Speaking of steps… my girlfriend and I met up to give Jacob’s Ladder a go :)

Jacob's Ladder Perth

Jacob’s Ladder is set of steps at Kings Park – famous in Perth to runners, trainers and general fit people.

There are 242 steps, literally on the side of the 45m cliff. They were first built in the early 1900s as wooden steps, and they were replaced by concrete steps in the 1960s.

On the weekends, it’s a really popular spot for people wanting a kick ass workout.

Jacob's Ladder Perth

The view at the top of Jacob’s Ladder (Cliff Street) is pretty amazing too. You can stand at the top and look out over the Swan River and Perth city.

Kings Park is one of my favourite places to exercise – mainly because of the sweeping views, the lovely parks, the smooth road (with few cars) and the hills (for cycling).

Bike and Pink Shoes

I decided to cycle into Kings Park.

Cycle then climb some steps! Hey I was up for a challenge!

I wore my cycling shorts, with a running top and running shoes. I felt really dorky on my bike. I felt completely mismatched.

Not to mention, I was wearing my cycling pants (which are heavily padded!), while climbing the stairs, so I was feeling really, really dorky! Like a waddling duck with a big puffy bum!

My girlfriend and I were both Jacob’s Ladder virgins. We’ve never done it before. We were a bit scared. But we gave it a good go.

First round: We walked down and up Jacob’s Ladder really slowly.

Second round: Ran all the way down and up. I got stuck behind some people who were walking it… which was a good thing, because I was getting a bit sore.

Third time: I ran down and up again. This time faster, and I dodged the walking people. I was really sore, my legs were burning and I was out of breath at the end.

However, after I walked around a bit, I felt fine. I cycled around the Kings Park hills a few times, before heading home.

All up, I cycled 40kms and did 3 rounds of the ladder. Yay!

Next time no more puffy bum pants! Look out for my bum of steel!

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Riding my bike on the FREEWAY!

24 March 2013

This morning I woke up at 4am to participate in the RAC Freeway Bike Hike for Asthma :)

It was a huge cycling event where the South-bound freeway was closed off and 10,000 cyclists rode distances of 10km, 30kms and 70kms.

I rode the 70kms distance, starting at Mandurah and riding all the way into the city. It was my first time doing this event and I was super keen to do this ride – particularly because I’ve always wanted to ride on the FREEWAY!

RAC Freeway Bike Hike 2013

As I said, I woke up at 4am… then I had a hot shower (because I’m precious ok?). I gathered my things and made my way to a Southern train station to catch the 5:45am train to Mandurah.

RAC Freeway Bike Hike 2013

Unfortunately there were a few hold ups. The trains were running a bit late because of the sheer number of cyclists.

We stood on the crowded platform for 1 hour. It was soooo cold (14°C I think). Everyone else seemed so big, buff and stoic in their skin tight, short-sleeve lycra tops and little cycle shorts. But my teeth were chattering and my hands were shaking. I had to walk around to stop my body from shaking.

Eventually the train arrived. Everyone seemed to know HOW to fit hundreds of cyclists into a 4 car train carriage. I just went with the flow.

RAC Freeway Bike Hike 2013

Everyone lifted their bikes to a vertical position, and wheeled them in slowly, while shuffling along clumsily, as if they were negotiating a baby pet giraffe.

We all sat there, crammed together, shoulder-to-fricking-shoulder, holding our vertical bikes between our legs. We were so close and tightly packed, that I wondered what would happen if the bikes fell like dominoes.

My handlebars were bumping into my head. My bike saddle was pushing into my chest. And my water bottle was dripping onto my shoe. It was a really strange moment.

However I thought that the bikes made a beautiful pattern, like a woven wheel herringbone.

We arrived at our destination.

Word got around that the start time was going to be a little later than planned, because of the train delays. So I zipped off for a quick toilet stop. Unfortunately, about 50 people had the same idea.

I joined the queue to the women’s toilets… and I noticed – for the first time EVER – that the queue for the MEN’S TOILETS was longer than the queue for the women’s toilets.

RAC Freeway Bike Hike 2013

The ride went off smoothly. And I had an AMAZING RIDE. It was just bloody brilliant :)

Flat, flat, FLAT, super smooth roads for 70kms straight!! The weather ended up to be perfect (29°C), and there was a light breeze coming up behind us, pushing us along. It was one of the nicest rides I’ve had, to date.

I didn’t ride in a group this time. I wanted to cruise along at my own speed, as I hadn’t really trained up for doing 70kms in one go, and I wasn’t sure how fast or hard I wanted to push myself. Besides, I enjoy riding by myself. And I did join some strangers and chatted to a few people during the ride, so it was a lovely balance.

At one point I rode 15-20kms cruising at 28-32kms/hour… which is the longest I’ve ridden at that speed. So I was pretty happy.

I cycled 60kms straight without stopping once (have never done that before). I stopped for 2 minutes to get a water bottle refilled and to adjust my bike computer. And finished the last 10kms with ease.

RAC Freeway Bike Hike 2013

As I approached the finish line, I felt so pleased!

I rested up, ate some food, enjoyed the sunshine, then instead of riding home, I caught the train again haha.

I wanted to do it all over again next week :)  Unfortunately, the government only makes the freeway available ONCE a year.

So, I’ll definitely be doing it next year, maybe with a group.

The event raised an estimated $150,000 for the Asthma Foundation WA – very cool!