Archive for Fitness

 

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Running Tip: Plan Your Route!

17 October 2016

Stupid 12km Run

I did something so silly on the weekend.

I ran 12km, but it was the stupidest run ever!

When I go running, I have a four, pre-planned routes from my house: 5km, 8km, 10km and 12km.

I had spent weeks plotting these good courses based on sun direction, shade, nice views, lots of water stops, good footpaths, minimal traffic, few small hills, not too secluded and scary, not too many cyclists, not too many driveways, not too many dogs + dog walkers and… simple landmarks that act as mental milestones.

(Yes, I’m a bit fussy. But I like to think that I’m ensuring an outstanding experience for myself – ALL THE TIME haha!)

Anyway, the other day I walked down my driveway and started to run. But something in my brain said, Hey I’m bored of my usual routes. Let’s be spontaneous and do something a bit different! OK!

So I ran 4km… in the full sun, got chased by dogs, almost got hit by a cyclist, got beeped by a car, got a bit lost and I was DYING OF THIRST!!

I tried to change my route to find a park. I considered creeping into someone’s garden and using their tap? I considered jumping a gate? I tried to find a friendly person in their front yard to ask for a glass of water? I even glanced into a bin to look for a discarded bottle of water (but I’m not sure if I would have drunk from it, eeep!)

I was soooo thirsty! I was getting dizzy and faint!

In the end, I found a primary school, ran around the deserted buildings like a CRAZY PERSON IN A MAZE, trying to look for a water fountain. Found one. Drank water.

I was SO ANNOYED at myself for ruining my run!!

And I was determined to finish a 12km distance no matter what. So I ran towards a local shopping centre, which was next to a sports stadium, where I knew there would be more water fountains.

Again, so many cars. So many traffic lights. So many roads to stop and cross. So many pedestrians. No shade. Messed up foot paths, tripping me up. UGH.

Stupidest run ever!!

(Oh well, at least I went for a run?!)


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Fitness Update: Running and Weights (With Kids!)

10 October 2016

Workout Mix

We had a really busy weekend – my niece turned 14 and had a birthday lunch, we had dinner with my parents, then a BBQ with friends and a visit from friends from out of town.

Despite the jam-packed schedule, it was my kids who bugged me to go out for a run with them!

They desperately felt the results of their slow-paced, school holiday routine… and they wanted to get fit for the new school term and the new basketball season.

I plotted a 2.5km course that went in circles around our local park, and we all ran at our own speed. My youngest rode his bike.

They stopped running after 3km and played in the playground. I carried on running around in big circles, until they got bored and wanted to go home. I ended up doing 8kms, which I was very happy about!

Then we all did some weights and workouts at home – haha it was quite cute!

I love my kids!


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Fitness Update: Mixing Running and Yoga

17 September 2016

Road Running

Yippee! After a long break, I think I can officially say that I’m back into my running groove.

For the last few weeks, I’ve been going for a 5km run in the middle of the week and a 10km run on the weekend.

At the back of my mind, I’m keen to reach a regular distance of 15km, and possibly run a 21km distance soon.

But I’m also discovering that… running for me is not about distance anymore. It’s about how I feel.

During my long runs, just for a bit of fun, I like to stop somewhere nice (next to the river, on a hill, under a tree, over-looking the beach) and do a slow yoga stretch routine.

Gosh, it’s so much fun!

Haha it might look a bit silly and it might ruin up my running time; but I do it because I just love it from the tips of my fingers down to the soles of my feet.

It makes me feel amazing and that’s enough of a reason to have a terrible running time!


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Hot Yoga

1 September 2016

Hot Yoga

I’ve been doing HOT YOGA for a few weeks now and I can finally say that I really like it!

I hated it at first.

I found it disgusting (soooo much sweat every where! My sweat and other people’s sweat! SO MANY SWEATY PEOPLE!!! Eeeeeeewwww!!)

I found it hard to breath, hard to focus, and therefore hard to balance. It made me feel very irritated.

But I stuck at it, learned how to cope, learned how to get on with it… and now I like it.

I won’t say that I LOVE IT… because I don’t feel it gives me that spiritual / harmonious / deep energy lift that I usually get from yoga.

After hot yoga, I feel like I’ve had a swim and a full-body workout. It gives my whole body a delicious glow and a great stretch… I like that!

It’s absolutely lovely to do on a cold winter’s day, but once summer kicks in, I can’t imagine doing it during the hot weather?!

We shall see!


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Fitness Update: First 10km in ages!

23 August 2016

Last Saturday, I struggled through my first 5km run in 6 weeks.

So the following day (Sunday), I made myself run another 5km and I felt soooo much better about life!

Running

This week, I decided to do a longer run.

I set aside 1.5 hours and plotted out a 10km run using Gmaps.

The run was great. I started to feel wobbly at the 5km point, but I pushed through and it was all good.

I ran a pace of 6:30min/km and I only stopped to cross roads.

The main problem was that… it rained!

It poured so hard that my shoes filled up with water and my running jacket got absolutely soaked. And when it stopped raining, my wet jacket made me really cold, so I took it off and tied it around my waist.

So there I was, in the middle of winter, running in the rain, wearing a wet singlet and teeny tiny running shorts (also wet), and I was praying that my mother didn’t drive past and see me like this – she would have lectured me to death about getting rheumatism when I’m older?!?!

What is it with Chinese mothers and not getting wet/cold? Haha.

Anyway I ran and I felt AMAZING!!

Planning to do an even longer run next week :)


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Finding My Fitness Class Vibe

16 August 2016

Finding My Fitness Class Vibe

Wearing Abi & Joseph crop (old), Lululemon tights and Hello Parry Cardigan.

Years ago when I was part of a gym, I used to do pilates and yoga classes – I disliked both of them!

(I would rather do a boxing, pump or spin class, because I liked my exercise to be INTENSE and SWEATY!)

After that, I got into long distance cycling for a few years… and now I’m into running.

And lately I’ve discovered the joy of yoga.

In fact, I’ve fallen in love with yoga and what it has done to my body. I breathe better. I stretch better. I relax better. I meditate better. My awareness of my body, my posture, my flexibility and my pose has heightened. I loooove yoga. I never thought I would.

I’m also incredibly frustrated with it, because I want to be better at yoga NOW. I want to be stronger, more flexible, more more balanced NOW. But I’m not. It’s humbling for me. So in that, it has made me listen to my body and be much more patient with it.

(OMG will you listen to all this yogi shit coming out of my mouth!! Who am I??)

Finding My Fitness Class Vibe

Anyway, I thought I would try some pilates again. Who knows, maybe I might fall in love with that too?

Nope. I went to a new class the other day and had a rather poor experience.

The actual pilates movements were OK; I was good at some moves and extremely crappy at others.

I just didn’t connect with the instructor in our style or vibe.

And it made me realise how important it is to find that connection with your class instructor, in terms of learning/teaching styles, what you’re looking for in a class, and what stage you are in your development.

Anyway, enough rambling from me, I’m still going to stick with it and stick with yoga too.

I’m hoping to experiment with a few more Pilates classes and studios in the next few weeks, and hopefully I’ll enjoy it! Wish me luck!

 

 

 


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Fitness Update: Back Into Running

15 August 2016

Running 14 August 2016

On the weekend, I started to run again.

It’s been about 6 weeks since I’ve gone for a run – and it showed.

First run: I set aside 45 minutes and I planned to do a 5km run.

I felt sooooooooooo crappy throughout the whole run! I didn’t go very fast. But I was cursing and swearing the WHOLE way. I felt like absolute and utter shit!! I felt wrong, uncoordinated, slow, aching and heavy. It felt like it was the WORST run I have ever done! It was all wrong. But I did it. My watch ticked over to 5km, I immediately stopped and wanted to cry out with frustration. Ugh!!!

I was soooo pissed off with myself, that I determined to try again tomorrow. I planned to do another run the next day.

Second run:  I set aside 35 minutes and planned to do a 5km run.

OH MY GOD THIS FELT BETTTER. I went pretty slow. My motion was a lot smoother and lighter. I felt good.

At the end of it, I felt that I could have run for longer. I was content and a bit proud at myself.

Next week, I plan to do a longer run. 10km perhaps.

Nothing like a bit of failure to get myself up and kick some ass!


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Sports. Sports. Sports.

9 August 2016

Sports. Sports. Sports. That’s what my children are up to these days.

Doing sports. Watching sports. Training for sports.

My boys are in heaven with the Olympics on tv and a 24/7 broadcast of every sport imaginable!

Lately, they have been doing Athletics at school and they have started to take their at-home training quite seriously; Borrowing my running app, my running watch, my weights, my iPod, casting a glance over my workout print-outs, disappearing to the park for 40 minutes.

They are super motivated! I love it!

However, I have a feeling that they’ll overtake me soon and I’ll be struggling to keep up with them haha.

Cross Country 2016

In other news: My 11 year old came SECOND in his School’s Cross Country Race – which was amazing!

They ran 2kms and his time was 8:24 minutes.

Meaning he was running 4:12 min/kms.

Which is pretty much my sprinting time.

*faints*


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Fitness Update: Losing 3-4kgs and Muscle Strength

4 August 2016

Yoga Feet

So in one of my previous posts, I mentioned that I had returned from my 3 week holiday, and even though we went on 6 hour walks and climbed mountains… I put on 3kgs.

Usually my weight fluctuates by 1-2kgs, but add 3kgs on top of the fluctuations meant I saw the scales tip to 5kgs over some days!

Ok ok I wasn’t too concerned about the weight gain. I was more annoyed that I lost a lot of muscle mass/toning. I worked soooo hard to tone up! Bah, such first world problems huh?

Anyway, I managed to bring my weight back to normal after a week.

How? I just went back to eating my normal, small-sized portions – instead of my pigging-out-holiday portions!

I just ate mainly vegetables and protein (meat, fish, eggs, nuts).

And I limited the carbs, biscuits, cakes, scones, chips and muffins.

I’ve been testing out some different varieties of organic herbal teas (not the weight-loss, laxative stuff) and it turns out that I drink about 4 cups a day, so I end up being quite full all day and less in the mood for snacking.

As for gaining strength…

I used to be able to do 20 push ups no problems, sometimes 30. Now I get wobbly at 5, and I think I’m going to DIE when I reach 9.

I’ve started doing yoga twice a week (in class and at home).

I’m doing Kayla’s Bikini Body Workout once a week (because I’m slack).

I’m randomly choosing a 28 minute YouTube workout to do once a week (because it’s fun).

I’m doing weights everyday (because it’s simple).

And I haven’t started to run yet (because it’s cold).

I guess you can say that my exercise routine is not surviving through winter very well!


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Fitness Update: My Regular Workout Routine

14 June 2016

Nike Sneakers

Hey hey, how you all doing with your fitness activities?

I thought I’d share my regular workout routine, as a way of writing it down, so I can refer to it and track my progress. Because at the moment, it’s just a jumbled list in my head!

I’m not a professional trainer, I don’t have a certificate in fitness or nutrition. I have NO idea if I’m breaking any sacred fitness rules. But I have been to tonnes of different workout classes in my lifetime, watched enough workout videos, read up about routines… enough to know what I like, what I don’t like and what I’m comfortable with.

So this is just that – a routine that I like.

I don’t like workouts that are too jumpy and cardio-y. If I want a cardio and aerobic workout, I run or do sprints, because they are most efficient for me, time wise. Plus I love running.

With my workouts, I’m more focused on my muscles, toning and strength. I’m not trying to burn masses of energy or lose weight.

This routine is my “comfortable” limit. I don’t sweat too much. I don’t strain myself too much. This is just my personal maintenance.

(Which is why I started the Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide a few weeks ago; I was keen to start a bit more of a structured routine to give me an extra push.)

My Regular Workout goes something like this:

2 minutes of yoga stretches – various yoga poses, bending over to touch my toes, lower back stretches, leg stretches.

20 jump squats, 20 push ups, 20 lunges, 20 tricep dips, 20 crunches, 20 weighted lunges (2 x 5kg dumbbells), 20 weighted squat with standing press (raise dumbbells vertically upwards), 20 bicep curls, 20 jack knives (2 x 3kgs), 20 bicycle crunches, then a series of butt exercises (fire hydrant!) and core exercises (planks, commando).

Then I’ll repeat… until I’m tired and can’t do anymore!

Do you have a regular workout? Stuff you make up yourself?


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Fitness: How I Keep Motivated and Active

23 May 2016

Running

This past week, my fitness mojo has been struggling. It’s a real, begrudging, constantly-hitting-snooze kind of struggle.

The weather is now cold, wet and rainy… and the LAST thing I want to do is take off my 3 layers of warm, snuggly clothing, put on my running shorts and go outside – oh god!

But it turned out that my various pseudo-motivation techniques won out and I did manage to get a few workouts done haha.

I’m not a fitness guru, or model, or celebrity, or anyone who has to work out and look good as part of their job.

I’m just a regular, suburban mother of 3 kids… I genuinely love the feeling I get when I exercise, I love when I feel fit and strong, I love being out and about, I love pushing myself, I love the dialogue in my head when I exercise, I love the post-exercise feeling and I love my body being the shape it is.

So here are some ways I keep myself motivated and active!

 

1) Have fitness buddies.

I don’t actually exercise with them! I just have a few fitness-keen friends, who I chat to over Whatsapp or Messenger… we shoot each other messages now and then, saying “Been to yoga recently?” or “Did you run on the weekend?” or “My bum hurts from my workout!!”

Fortunately for me, I have 2 very keen fitness crazy sons (aged 13 and 11) and they like to keep fit for their sports. So they are always nagging me to go for a run, do a round of workouts, do some weights. It’s awesome.

 

2) Mix it up.

Yes I get hell bored when I do the same thing over and over.

I always try to mix my fitness up: Yoga. Running. Sprinting. Boxing. Weights. Pilates. Workout routines. High intensity interval training workouts from Youtube.

 

3) Be flexible.

If I make too many goals or plans, I often break them and feel really annoyed at myself.

So I don’t have a structured routine. I tend to be very flexible with what I do each week.

 

4) Try something completely new.

I’m about to start Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Guide, (not so much because I want rock hard abs like the girls on Instagram) I just want some new routines and a more structured workout.

Rock hard abs maaaaay be a nice side effect, but I doubt it, because I eat too much chocolate and instant noodles.

 

5) Try a drop in class 

To find new activities and to add a bit of fun and adventure in my life… I’ve been popping into places which offer a free trail.

I tried Hot Yoga class (38C) the other day aaaaand…. it’s not for me. I didn’t really like the sweating and the intense heat. I felt that I could get an equally effective workout doing a regular yoga class or a HIIT workout.

I’m keen to try a barre class, a proper boxing class and do a bit more rock climbing?

 

6) Buy in bulk.

Buy a pack of 10 class passes to save money.

I’m not a fan of gyms anymore, as they don’t suit my fitness interest, lifestyle and the fact that I get bored easily.

But I appreciate they suit of lot of other people. And I know that “Not Wasting Money” is a good motivator!

Hence if I buy a pack of 10 passes, you can be sure that I’ll be going to all 10 classes dammit.

 

7) Exercise at night

My kids go to bed around 8-8:30pm. My husband and I will usually head over to the lounge room to relax, chat about our day, turn on the TV or hop on our computers.

I will usually set up my yoga mat and start doing some gentle stretches (because it feels really good at the end of the day)… soon my body warms up and I’ll start to do harder stuff (like crunches), then I’ll get annoyed that I’m doing a workout in my jeans, so I’ll change into my fitness gear and start doing a full workout.

I usually do this every evening. And I feel absolutely fantastic after!

 

8) Get nice activewear.

Yep I’m pretty vain. I like the nice stuff. I like the quality. I looooove the feeling of amazing tights against my skin. No more Target or Kmart stuff for me.

I get the good stuff so I can make an excuse to wear them every day!

 

Yep, I think that’s about all the motivational stuff that actually keeps me going.

Hope you find it useful!

Have an amazing week!

xxx


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An After-Holiday Fitness Update

9 May 2016

15k Run
Hi everyone!

It was Mother’s Day yesterday… and my husband and kids asked me what I wanted as my Mother’s Day Treat.

I said, “I’d like 2 free hours so I can have a run!”

So after a morning of pancakes and presents, my wonderful husband took all three kids to the city for the day, just so I could have my run. Yay!

I ran around the Swan River, around the 3 Perth Bridges (The Narrows Bridge, the Causeway and the Graham Farmer Freeway).

I think I ran 12km (at a 6:30min/k pace) and walked 3kms, totalling a distance of 15km. I was pretty happy with that. I felt great after. A bit sore and tired though.

I haven’t had a big run in aaaages. The last time I ran 12kms was two months ago. Since then I’ve been doing short 2 – 6 km runs here and there. Then I picked up swimming. Then work got busy. Then I went on holiday.

I’ve slowly started to fill my week:
Sunday – Long Run
Monday – Rest, evening yoga at home
Tuesday – High intensity training workout
Wednesday – Yoga
Thursday – EMS session (I did a review here)
Friday – Yoga
Saturday – Light stretching in the evening

It’s been so nice to get back into the fitness groove again!


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My New Love: Yoga

2 April 2016

Yoga Love

Hi everyone! Hope you all had an amazing weekend :)

I want to share my new love… yoga.

Now I feel like I’m 10 years late in the game. But it’s better late than never!

I’ve been to lots of yoga classes over the years and I’ve never really loved it.

I went to classes at general fitness gyms, community centres, specialised yoga studios, a beachside yoga place, hipster/organic/uber cool studios.

They were nice. They were ok. The workout was meh. It was nothing great. I’d rather do a pilates class. Or a Body Pump class. Or hey, I’d rather just go for a run, because that’s much cheaper!

However I’ve recently joined a yoga class in Perth called Bodyscape Yoga and my mind was blown.

I tried out a few classes… and whenever I did a class, the next day I would wake up feeling freaking AMAZING.

Now, I don’t seem to wake up with an aching back, stiffness and soreness in my muscles and joints.

I seriously feel younger and more energetic. I bounce happily out of bed in the mornings!

It’s a crazy feeling and I love it!

It is definitely something I am adding to my overall fitness activities :)

xxx


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Fitness Update: Running Essentials

30 March 2016

Run

A few of my running essentials: Water, tunes, running watch and running fuel. I tend to drive to a nice running spot, so I can leave all my bits and pieces in my car. Adidas Originals Sneakers from here.

Monday: Nothing!

Tuesday: 6km run

Wednesday: Yoga

Thursday: Nothing!

Friday: Practice yoga at home

Saturday: 30 minute HIIT workout at home

Sunday: Practice yoga at home

 


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Fitness Update: With a bit of swimming

20 March 2016

Swimming

Here’s an update of my fitness activities from last week.

I haven’t been as active as usual, but hey, whatever.

Monday – Played a game of netball

Tuesday – Went Swimming!

For the first time in forever, I headed over to my local swimming pool to do some laps! I did 10 laps, which is 500m, but I struggled with the last 2 laps and had to stop midway to catch my breath. I was completely exhausted but I felt awesome :)

Wednesday – Yoga

Thursday – Ran 2km in the evening.

Friday – Camping with my family (Swimming, paddling, walking along the beach, sand boarding and climbing sand dunes)

Saturday – Camping

Sunday – Camping


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My No Fitness Update

6 March 2016

Chips

We had a kids party last weekend and I ate waaaay too much crappy, party food.

So I came down with a bit of food poisoning (actually it was just diarrhoea SORRY TOO MUCH INFO!!), I felt totally drained and tired all week and I did pretty much NOTHING exercisey.

Sunday: Prepping for a kids party all day. The running around after 10 kids! No actual exercising though.

Monday: Felt bad all day. I played a netball game in the evening. The other team had only 5 players against our 7, so we won 33 to 4 points. Terrible game. No one tried very hard. I hardly worked up a sweat. So after the game I went to a local sports field and tried to do a standard 5km run. I could only handle 2kms of slow, weak plodding because I felt so bad/drained. I felt angry, pissed off and SO frustrated with my body. I even had a bit of a cry because I felt so crappy!

Tuesday: Nothing

Wednesday: Nothing

Thursday: Nothing

Friday: Nothing

Saturday: Nothing

Sunday (today): Nothing!

On the up side, my weight went down haha! There’s nothing like a bit of gastro to flush out my system :P

Time to reset my eating then ease back into the fitness.


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Fitness Update For The Week

27 February 2016

Running Gear

I’ve been doing pretty well with my fitness activities this week!

Sunday: Ran 12km, 6:39 min/km

Monday: Netball Game and Body Weight Exercises

Tuesday: Yoga

Wednesday: Bootcamp

Thursday: Ran 5km, 5:49min/km (ouch!)

Friday: Pilates

Saturday: Rest day!

(I do my bodyweight exercises, yoga and pilates at home… so apart from my bootcamp sessions and netball, all my exercises have been free!)

Pictured: Nike Free 5.0 Sneakers (on sale), Lululemon Sports Bra, Nike Running Shorts (or similar here)

 


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Increasing My Pace with 30 Second Sprint Training

17 February 2016

Perth River Run, 12km Clockwise

On the weekend, I ran 12km at my fastest pace yet — 6:12 minutes/km.

I’m a bit proud of myself!

I have been running at a pace of 6:30min/km for a really long time now.

Admittedly, it’s pretty slow. It’s OK. I don’t push myself too hard. I don’t want to hurt myself.

I know I can run a distance of 12km or longer at that pace… and I am still able to function perfectly well for the rest of the day – this is quite important to me. I don’t have time to take a nap in the middle of the day!

But I seemed to be stuck at that pace. Which annoyed me.

So I decided to try out some interval training, where you run for a bit and walk for a bit. Most people advised me to start slow and easy. 2 minute run, 1 minute walk. Or 5 minute run, 2 minute walk.

However, I decided to try 30 second sprint training instead.

(Because it seemed like more fun haha!)

It’s a bit intense. And they say that you should consult your doctor before you try.

I thought I’d be fine. I do lots of sprinting when I play indoor netball. And I run around until I can’t breathe and my face is red and pounding and I want to throw up. I’m used to doing a few sprints here and there.

So I did this sprint training a few times this week and it was sooooooo much fun!

I enjoyed it so much because it was such a thrill to move my whole body so quickly.

It was also humbling because I realised how quickly my legs just gave up.

I can sprint really fast ONCE, then my next sprint is slower, then each sprint after that is slower still, then I’m a quivering wreck because I’m so tired.

I can’t do it for very long. I can only do about 6 – 8 sprints.

But I think it’s really improved my running. And my netball too.

The flow on results have been really impressive for me.

Can’t wait to try more :)


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Do More Running

6 February 2016

Run: 1 Feb 2016Hi everyone!

Yep, one of my goals for the year was to: do more running.

I’m not trying to focus on any distances or speed; I just want to simply get back into it and try to find the love again.

So.

I did three runs this week, yay!

1) A short 2.5km run at my usual pace of 6:30 min/km.

2) An interval run – 30 second sprint and 30 second walk, for 10 minutes. I was absolutely shattered after that!

3) A long 12.5km run at my usual pace of 6:30 min/km. No stopping, except to drink some water!

The days have been really hot, so I have been waking up at 5:30 – 6am to go for a run, or waiting until 7pm when the heat has subsided. The fact that I can drag my ass out of bed in the morning, says a lot about how much I’m loving the feeling of being fit and strong again.

I’ve also been following yoga, pilates and workout videos at home, in the evenings, which has been – surprisingly – lots of fun.

I definitely have my fitness mojo back and I’m making the most of it!

Mango, Cucumber and Spinach Smoothie

This is my very horribly coloured, but delicious fruit smoothie with mango, pineapple, cucumber, mint and coconut water!

 


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Perth City Bridges Run: Thunderstorm

30 January 2016

Perth City Bridges Run Jan 2016

This weekend, I scheduled a run on a day the forecast was: 100% chance of rain and thunderstorms.

I guess I was hoping that the weathermen got it wrong!

I woke up bright and early at 5:30am, met up with my brother-in-law at 7am and we ran/walked a distance of 15km around the river, bridges and city.

I probably ran about 12km and walked 3km. My pace averaged around 6:30min/km.

I felt great after! I wasn’t drained or exhausted or suffering any pains.

I think I’ll work on some interval running to increase my speed and strength.

But overall I’m happy with doing regular 12km distances and I’ll stick with that for a bit. I might even be able to hit the 21km half marathon mark earlier than I thought!

Anyway, turns out that we started so early that we missed all the rain and thundery action. We didn’t get wet at all.

We even managed to squeeze in a coffee and chat later. Brilliant start to the weekend!

 


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My Running Watch: Garmin Forerunner 15

28 January 2016

Garmin Forerunner 15 Watch

I picked up a new toy for my run this weekend – a running watch!

It’s a Garmin Forerunner 15 (AUD$249) which I bought off eBay at an absolute BARGAIN price – hardly used and in perfect condition.

It’s a slightly older model and apparently a good entry level running watch. The top level Forerunner is something like AUD$699. Ouch! I bought the small sized watch and they only came in three “sporty” colour choices – bleh.

I resisted buying a running watch for years, because I didn’t want my runs to focus so much on gear and gadgets.

I had an overkill of gear and gadgets from my cycling days…. and what I love about running is the fact that I can do it while being so light and free.

Anyway, in the past, when I first started to run, I opted to just run with my smart phone to track my distance and speed.

However, I found that my sweat/body heat fogged up the camera lens and all my photos turned out weird. So I stopped using my phone and started using a Jawbone UP24, which was a gift. But that’s just a simple pedometer which tracks steps and sleep. The distance and times were not very accurate.

So! I’ve finally made the switch to a running watch to keep track of my times and distances.

It came with a heart rate tracker, which I’ve been told by my hardcore running friends, is very useful and steps up my running to a whole new level… but eeep, I don’t think I’ll go there yet!

I want to keep my runs sweet and simple!

Looking forward to another long run this weekend. Hope you all manage to get out and about too!

xxx


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Kickstarting My Fitness

20 January 2016

Road Running

Ha this photo made me crack up! I’m matchy matchy with the road! But I don’t know if it’s funny, lame… or possibly dangerous?

Whatever the case, I don’t actually run on the road, as I get super paranoid about being hit by a car.

A Fitness Update :

1) I’ve been running once a week, doing 3 – 4kms. Now I’ve increased it to twice a week, doing 5 – 6km distances.

I’m hoping to do longer distances (12 – 14kms) on the weekends.

2) I’ve also been going hard at my fitness workout program (just a series of exercises I made up for myself), twice a week.

3) Healthy eating has resumed. I’m slowly getting my portion sizes under control too.

4) I’ve started to do a bit more exercise with my boys too. They have expressed a desire to get fit before school starts, so I’m leading them through a few training exercises.

I really enjoy teasing them and the sarcastic banter between us, because at the moment I’m fitter than they are, and I have more stamina. But I’m sure they’ll overtake me really soon then I’ll be left far behind!

I’m feeling so much better these days.

All the endorphins, the dull ache of my muscles, the feeling of building strength in my body and the good sleep that comes after… all makes me feel very happy and satisfied. It’s so good for my mental state!


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5K Run with a $5 Coffee!

15 July 2015

5 Dollar Run

Haha! Look what I found while I was on my run!

Money! Of the paper variety!

Then on the way home, I took a detour and bought myself a takeaway coffee!

You can probably tell how EXCITED I am by the number of exclamation marks I’ve been using!!!!!

Best! Run! Ever!

Have a fab day everyone!!


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HBF Run for a Reason 2015

25 May 2015

So… I wasn’t really planning to do another running event this year!

I was just planning to work towards running longer distances and to increase my running stamina.

But the team at HBF asked me if I’d like to join in the fun at the HBF Run for a Reason and to do a bit of social media for them.

I accepted eagerly and committed myself to both the 12km distance and er… learning how to run and take photos at the same time??

Surely there’s an app for that.

HBF Run for a Reason 2015

So this was me, the day before the event, picking up my participant running pack at the HBF Event Centre at the Perth Arena.

I asked a HBF Volunteer (a girl on her morning tea break) to take my photo… and I was trying to think of some clever way I could change the word REASON with my silhouette.

But all I could think of was TREASON and RANSOM… and decided they weren’t very appropriate haha. So I was just went with a kind of generic “Y”.

HBF Run for a Reason 2015

On the morning of the run, I drove to my local train station and caught the train into the city. Participants were allowed free public transport all day. It was fast and easy.

There were thousands of other participants using public transport too, so the atmosphere of the city was buzzing with excitement.

The only downside of the early morning start was that it was so freaking cold!

I think it was 7-8C?? Thankfully the event had a special service where you can wear a jacket or jumper to the event, wear it for the 30-45 minutes while standing around soaking up the pre-event entertainment, and then leave it hanging on the railings at the start line, where it will be donated to charity!

For me, I clung onto every last bit of warmth from my jacket and waited till the *very last minute* to donate it.

HBF Run for a Reason 2015

And we were off!

Unfortunately when I tried to run and take photos, they turned out terribly blurry.

So this is my “stand still and get into people’s way” photo.

 

HBF Run for a Reason 2015

One of the things I looked forward to during this event… was to run through the Northbridge Tunnel (1.6km).

I have never done it before and it was just one of my little running aspirations for my own city. Yay!

Again, I had to stop and take this photo, because I definitely couldn’t run backwards and take snaps.

HBF Run for a Reason 2015

The whole event was dotted with photographers, TV cameras, cameras on cranes, camera drones… it was all quite exciting!

I spotted two of Perth’s coolest photographers (David Chong and David Broadway) camped by the side of the road. Ok yes, they were my mates, so I slowed down to take a photo of THEM at work.

In fact, I doubled back so I could do a silly slow-motion run for them to photograph.

I pretty much knew then, with all my stopping to take photos antics and uploading to socal media… that my running time for this event was going to be very average! Oh well!

HBF Run for a Reason 2015

The day cleared up and the sun came out.

It was such a beautiful day for a run next to the river!

HBF Run for a Reason 2015

I sprinted towards the finish line, but 10 metres before I crossed it… I stopped to take a photo haha!

Aaah in the end, it was so much fun. I really wasn’t concerned about my running time at all.

I was surrounded by so many people who laughed, cheered, skipped, sang. There were people in all shapes and sizes, young and old, all going different speeds, all getting out there, being active, raising money for a good cause – it was a really enjoyable day and a fantastic event to be a part of.

HBF Run for a Reason 2015
After the event, I was invited over to the corporate sponsor’s area for a VIP breakfast and massage.

That was veeeeery nice indeed! Thank you HBF!

For those interested in my running details…

I did a 12km running event in September last year (after I had a flu) and my running time was 1 hr 30 mins.

For this 12km run, including all my stops, my time was 1 hr 31 mins (which is a pace 7:35 min/km) – how funny!

Usually I run at a pace of 6:00 min/km, so it should have taken me 1 hr 12mins. So I have a small part of runner’s pride in me that is annoyed that these times are set in stone on the internet as my “official times” but as I said, I’m not too fussed about it.

In fact, I’m keen to do it again next year with my kids! And maybe we’ll dress up!

See you there next year :)

xxx


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Running in the cold

15 May 2015

Activewear
Hi everyone! How’d your week go?

I’ve been doing a bit of running in preparation for my 12km running event; fitting in a 5km here and a 10km there.

I’m a bit nervous about the event, even though I know I shouldn’t be. The competitive part in me thinks that I should SMASH all my previous running records, but the sensible part in me thinks I should just have fun, keep fit… and don’t hurt myself :)

Anyway, I want to talk about this jacket.

It’s a thick, fleecy jacket from Jeanswest’s activewear range. I’d say that it’s more of a coat, than a regular sports jacket (which is usually made from a thin and breathable fabric).

What makes this jacket different is that it has a really nice knit texture on the outside, so it looks stylish and versatile enough to wear over other casual wear outfits, like jeans and a t-shirt. It’s also warm, light and soft, so it feels lovely on the skin.

It’s soooo much nicer than the fleecy hiking jacket that I wear (from Mountain Design!), which is not particularly very insulating, nor is it very stylish haha!

Have a fab weekend!

xxx

Wearing:

Knit Fleece Jacket from Jeanswest
Sports Bra from Lululemon
7/8 Leggings from Lorna Jane
New Balance Sneakers from ASOS


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Run for a Reason!

6 May 2015

Run For A Reason 2015

If you’ve been following me on Instagram (@karenlycheng), you probably know that I’ve signed myself up for another running event, yay!

The HBF Run for a Reason is on the 28th May, offering 4km, 12km and 21.1km (half marathon) distances. They are raising funds for five charities, which is kind of cool – the Cancer Council WA, Diabetes WA, Heart Foundation WA, Lifeline WA and Telethon.

I was very tempted to sign up for the half marathon distance!

That would be an awesome challenge for me. I have no doubt that I could do it. I just need some training :)

But I knew my husband was going to be overseas and insanely-busy with his work during the first half of this year, and I wouldn’t be able to fit in all the training and juggle all my family/work/friend commitments.

So 12km it is!!

At the moment, my weekly fitness regime consists of a weekly 5-8km run, 1 netball game and 3 cross-training/weights/yoga/core workouts. I haven’t really pushed myself past a 12km running distance. But I have about 3 weeks to go, so I should be all good.

I’m looking forward to running through the Northbridge Tunnel, running along the river, enjoying the beautiful city, supporting some great causes and reveling in the atmosphere of the fantastic event!

 

 


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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

Enjoy!

xxx


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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 15 to 21

22 December 2014

Workout Flatlay

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

Check out all my past activity for my Fitness Challenge here.

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

Monday – Day 15
Tonight we played a late 8:55pm netball game and totally smashed it! We won (41 – 14) and while it was awesome to win, I got a bit lazy at the end and didn’t try as hard as I usually do. I finished the game feeling like I needed another 5km run.

Tuesday – Day 16
Ran 3.5km in the morning. Woke up a bit late and didn’t have enough time to finish a whole 5km.

Wednesday – Day 17
Strength and floor exercises in the evening. Lunges, squats, burpees, planks, mountain climbs – the lot!

Thursday – Day 18
A very quick 2.5km run in the morning. Slow walk in the evening.

Friday – Day 19
Strength and floor exercises in the evening.

Saturday – Day 20
Strength and floor exercises in the evening.

Sunday – Day 21
Strength and floor exercises in the evening. So boring right?

I’ve been pretty busy this week. It’s the start of the school holidays, Christmas is just around the corner, and I’ve struggled to wake up early for a proper run.

This past week, I’ve found myself at the end of the day… without having done any exercise at all. By the time 9pm comes around, I feel bad, lazy, irritated at myself and I *just* manage to find enough motivation to do my strength and floor exercises. It’s not very creative, but they work for me. They take about 30-50 minutes to do. Once I get going, I get really pumped and push myself until I’m hurting and sweating!


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25 Day Fitness Challenge – Day 8 to 14

15 December 2014

Workout!

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!