Speedwork Sessions #2

Since I have committed myself to regularly doing speedwork sessions, there is no doubt that these workouts have dramatically improved my pace.

I credit Bobby’s Monday Night group speedwork sessions.  His sessions have dramatically improved my speed endurance.

Without these speedwork sessions I doubt I would have gained a new 5km pb during the SAAC Andrew Darnell Memorial race last weekend.

Today’s Speedwork session is a group favourite, and can be done easily on a track, or oval.

Speedwork-Session-2

What’s your favourite speedwork / interval training at the moment?

Mi Worth the Wait Crustless Quiche

crustless-quiche

The original recipe can be found in the 21 day sugar detox cookbook.


I love bacon, but sometimes you can have too much bacon.

When I first made this recipe, I found the bacon a bit over powering.  I decided that the next time I would make this recipe that I would have the recipe and and some chicken instead.

Well the chicken was a winner.

Then one day while I was getting ready to make more caramelized onions, I came across some mushrooms in the fridge that needed to get used. I figured that I would cook them with my onions for something different.

Little did I know that this little endeavour would change this recipe to be utterly delightful.

If you haven’t already done so, cook up a batch of Caramelized Onions & Mushrooms.

Mi Worth the Wait Crustless Quiche
Author: 
Serves: 4
 
A sweet and hearty crustless quiche
Ingredients
  • 1 serving of Caramelized onions & Mushrooms
  • 1 tbls of cooking fat (extra for greasing the pan)
  • 4 slices of bacon, chopped
  • 2-3 cooked chicken thighs sliced
  • 8 eggs
  • salt & pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Prepare a batch of caramelized onions & mushrooms, if you haven't already done so.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350f / 180c
  3. Grease a 9x11" casserole dish
  4. In a large skillet/pan, cook the bacon over medium heat until the fat has rendered off and the bacon becomes crispy. Remove from pan and place bacon on a paper towel to drain.
  5. In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Mix in the bacon with the eggs.
  7. Add the onions, mushrooms & cooked chicken to the casserole dish.
  8. Pour the bacon & egg mix into the prepared casserole dish.
  9. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the eggs puff up and the edges become brown.
  10. Serve with salad or steamed veggies.

mi-crustless-quiche
This recipe also freezers well, and is kid friendly.

Recipe: Caramelized Onions with Mushrooms

caramelized-onions-mushrooms-cover

If you are the main cooker in the family you will realise that onions are a staple to any recipe.

Sure there are some people out there that don’t like onions, but I’m not one of those people.

I make caramelized onions at least once a week.  They store great in the fridge, and make a great compliment to meals, like burgers/sliders, meatballs, frittata’s or quiches.

The other day, I had some mushrooms left over to use so I threw some in with my onions for my ‘worth the wait crustless quiche’ and wow it gave it a new element to the recipe.

I’m sharing this recipe with you as it’s an important step to another recipe I will be sharing with you shortly.

Recipe: Caramelized Onions with Mushrooms
Author: 
Recipe type: Bases
 
Ingredients
  • 4 medium onions sliced
  • 220g (Approx 6) medium mushrooms sliced
  • 1tbls butter
  • stock (optional)
Instructions
  1. Slice up onions and mushrooms
  2. Melt butter in pan
  3. Over a medium low heat add onions and mushrooms
  4. Slowly cook over medium low heat, stirring ccoasionally
  5. If you are finding the onions are browning too quickly add some water or stock
  6. They are ready when they are soft, brown and creamy

That’s all well and good, but sometimes you need pictures.

butter

1 Tablespoon Butter

I’m using butter (this Woolworths Homebrand butter is 100% grassfed too for my Aussie friends), but you could also use Lard, Ghee or Coconut oil.

I find that the fat you use will give the onions/mushrooms it’s real creaminess.

onions

4 Medium Onions

Peel and roughly slice your onions, and add them to your pan.

mushrooms

220g (approx 6) Mushrooms

Slice your mushrooms, and add them to your pan.

Your pan will now be full with onions and mushrooms like this.
onions-mushroomsCook slowly over a medium low heat.

After about 15-20 minutes they should look like this.
slow-cooked-onions-mushrooms
Onions are starting to look translucent and are starting to brown. This is good, but we aren’t there yet.

Stir every so often.  If you find they are browning too quickly add some warm water or stock (for extra flavour).

After approx 45 minutes the onions and mushrooms will be reduced to this:
caramelized-onions-mushrooms
I’ve add some parsley for added flavour, but you don’t have to.

You’ll know when the dish is done as the mushrooms and onions should be looking creamy, brown and caramelized.

Enjoy these caramelized onions on your burger or in your frittata.

They might take a while, but the flavour of these bad boys are worth the wait.

SAAC Race Recap: Andrew Darnell Memorial Championship

Andrew Darnell Memorial

The last time I did a SAAC race recap was the Gary Rice Championship run.

We have had a race since then, but Tom was busy building fence posts so I didn’t have any pictures for a race recap, so I decided to skip the Steve Baird Handicap race recap.

I had also to planned to do a race recap for the Run For Russ fun run (you can read last years recap here), but it got cancelled due to lack of entries.  Yeah I hear the “bummer”.

This week however we travelled out to Horsham for the Andrew Darnell Memorial Championship.

The course was 2 laps of a there and back course along the Wimmera River.

Being a championship run we all started off together.

This week was marked as a recovery week for my training (so no long run), so I was feeling good in my legs.

RunMum-Andrew Darnell MemorialWhen the gun went off I was keeping a solid pace.  At one point I thought, wow I could overtake Meggy.  I didn’t though because she is a faster runner than me, and I knew if I did I’d be going way too fast and would burn out in the end.
I was feeling pretty good after the first lap, but I knew I still another half to get through. I concentrated on breathing, and making sure I kept my pace on check.

There were no fast Male runners this week, which was highly unusual, it was just me and Meggy out in front.

Matilda-Andrew Darnell MemorialOn the race home I was feeling it, I was breathing hard, trying to pump my arms faster to make me go faster, but I felt like I wasn’t building speed.

I crossed the finish line, and just had to kept moving forward to catch my breath.

Even though I had stopped my watch I hadn’t looked at my time for the .

Once I got my breath back I was shocked to discover I totally smashed my 5km pb by over 30 seconds!

5km PB

New 5km PB! 21:44

Needless to say I was wrapped.

I ended up coming 3rd based on handicap, so I might be up for another win in a few weeks time.

To see the map you can view it here.

Commit

We all need motivation, I know I do, that’s why I’m getting back into writing Monday Motivational posts.  I’m not too sure when the last time I wrote one, obviously way too long ago. So enjoy my new monthly series which I will post the 2nd Monday of every Month.

Do you ever have moments where everything becomes clear, and you actually see the bigger picture?

I had one of those moments the day after I discovered a new blog called “Love Life Surf“.

I discovered this blog thanks to my friend Paul posting a tweet the other day bout their paper.li.  I went to go check it out and thus came across Christine’s blog.

While reading some of her posts I came across this blog post 6 Months in.

What I loved about the post was that Christine had set an “action” word for 2014 year.  The word she chose was DO.

Then I started to think about what my word for the month/year would be.

commit2

I would chose the word commit.

And that is how things became clearer for me.

com·mit  [kuh-mit]  

verb (used with object), com·mit·ted, com·mit·ting.

1. to give in trust or charge; consign.
2. to consign for preservation: to commit ideas to writing; to commit a poem to memory.
3. to pledge (oneself) to a position on an issue or question; express (one’s intention, feeling, etc.):Asked if he was a candidate, he refused to commit himself.
4. to bind or obligate, as by pledge or assurance; pledge: to commit oneself to a promise; to be committedto a course of action.
5. to entrust, especially for safekeeping; commend: to commit one’s soul to God.

So why this word? Why does this word have more effect over me than other words like; move, or achieve, or believe?

It all came down to my goals.

Since doing Charlene Johnson’s 30DayPush program I have loved setting goals and knocking those goals out of the park.

Some of the things that I have committed myself to are:

  • Run a Sub 22min 5km
  • Run a 1h45m half marathon
  • Complete a Spartan Race
  • Read 60 books

At this stage all these goals are a work in progress.

One thing about having my commit revelation was the importance of writing goals.

I use to regularly write my goals ever week, but I’ve gotten out of that habit, and it’s something that I’m going to change, thanks to my discovery of Google Keep.

I have no idea how long Google Keep has been around, but my discovery of it (thanks to my commit epiphany) has been a blessing.

It’s so easy to use.  It’s clean, fun, colourful and suits my needs to a tea.

I know with this app, I will be able to keep track of what I need to do, to reach my goals.  It’s going to keep me accountable.

I’m committed to staying organised, fit & healthy, and just learning as much as I can about the things that I love.


If you had to describe your life right now in just one word what would word would you choose?
How do you stay accountable?
What are you going to commit yourself to for the rest of this year?

Inspiring Blogger Award

veryinspiringblogger

I was nominated for this award thanks to the wonderful Kristy over at Runaway Bridal Planner.  Kristy is amazing and I’m so glad I discovered her blog last year (2013).

Kristy is not only a Bridal Planner, but she is a runner and avid reader.

She’s aiming to run a marathon in every USA state, and I have no doubt she will smash this goal, even though she is currently in a running hiatus.  Go to her blog to read more though, you wont be disappointed.

So here are the rules:

  • Thank and link to the person who nominated you.
  • List the rules and display the award. 
  • Share seven facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 15 other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know they have been nominated.
  • Optional: display the award logo on your blog and follow the blogger who nominated you.

Seven Facts About Me

1. I’m a Photographer

My dad loved taking photo’s, but it wasn’t until I got into a darkroom in high school that I really fell in love with photography.

There was something magically about processing film and then developing the prints.

I know it sounds cliché but photography really opened up my eyes and made me look at the world in a different way.
21Mar2010_6083I loved photography so much that I went to University and studied it some more.  Back then (1998-2000) it was all film and darkroom.  We did have a module for Photoshop, but the teacher we had was a not a teach but a photographer, and I learned nothing from him.

I did a few photography jobs after I graduated, but my area was saturated with photographers, and trying to find a job in the field were few and far between. So my photography was sidelined for many years.

In 2010 I go my first DSLR camera and fell in love with the world of photography again.  This time I learned photoshop.

I sitll take courses in photoshop because it’s a powerful program and I only know a small fraction of what it’s fully capable of.

You can view my work over at MiCreations.  I specialise in photographing babies and families. That being said I still love my abstract and landscape photography.

2. I love musicals

Modern or the classics, if it’s a musical I will love it.

I’m not too sure how or why I came about to love musicals.  It could be because growing up I loved “The Wizard of Oz”, “The Sound of Music” & “Mary Poppins”.

It could also be because my sister loved musicals too, and it was something that we could happily bond over.

Our high school use to also put on a musical every year.  I remember watching my sister perform in “Dragons” and though wow that is so amazing.  Dragons was funny and dorky.

The first musical I performed in for school was The Wizard of Oz.  I was only a munchkin, but still I had a ball.

The last musical I starred in was “Bye Bye Birdie”.  Bye Bye Birdie is loosely based on Elvis Presley going into the army, it’s set in the 50′s, and I played the lead roll of “Rosie”.

3. I love to sing

Tom tells me I should sing more often.

I sing when I’m happy, or when ever strikes the mood.

He also tells me I’m like ‘Myf’ from Spicks & Specks with my music knowledge.  I’m his own personal Shazam. Yeah I know a lot of music, from classical, to 80′s to modern.

4. I love 80′s movies

They don’t make movies like they use to.

Gone are the days of a decent storyline.  Most movies now rely on flashy special effects.

Which is why I’m really enjoying the nostalia of watching the movies I watched as a kid, Like Vice Versa, Spies like us, Throw Mumma from the train, and Jumpin’ Jack Flash.

Sure some of these movies are dorky, but hey, I loved them then, and I love them now.

And of course I have to educate my kids with the awesomeness of movies like “The Princess Bride” and “The Goonies”.  What type of mother would I bet if I didn’t show them that?!

5. I love 80′s Music

I grew up in the 80′s so this is kind of a given. However my dad was also a disk jockey for the local radio station when we were living in Mt Newman.

My appreciation of 80′s music didn’t come until I was an adult though. There is a radio station in Melbourne called Gold FM, where they play ‘classics’.  When I got sick of hearing the same ‘it’ song of the moment I would tune into this channel.  Hearing songs like “Heaven” by Bryan Adam’s or “Electric Blue” by Icehouse brought back memories of me being a kid and just having fun.

Also it’s safe to say that just like movies, music isn’t made the way it was made in the 80′s (or even prior).

Seriously tunes like “Girls just wanna have fun” or “Vogue or even “Power of Love” (Huey Lewis & the News not the Celine Dion version), just rock, and still get played in my household to this day.

Having said that, any music pre dating 1990 is a win in my book.

6. I love where I live

I grew up in small country towns, and I have fond memories of the places I lived in.

When Kayla was 10 days old, we moved from Melbourne to Stawell.  One of the main reasons we moved was because we were able to buy a house.

I still live in said house, and it may be small but it’s home.

Some people dislike where they live, but I love it here.  Melbourne is only a 3 hour drive away, so it’s not too far to go visit family or old friends.

Added bonus about where I live is the Grampians National Park is only a short drive away and we love exploring there.

Grampians-Turret-Falls7. I don’t like Seafood

Or moreso it doesn’t like me.

I was never a huge fan of seafood as a kid.  I just didn’t like the taste or texture, but it was the smell I couldn’t handle.

As I grew older and with tastebuds changing you’d think I would grow out of it.  Nope.  I still don’t like seafood, but that’s because now I know it’s because I’m intolerant to it.

For as long as I could remember I could never handle shellfish.  It makes me feel violent ill, and makes me look like I’m 6 months pregnant.  Yeah no fun.

I could handle fish though. That was until I got pregnant and breastfeed. Obviously with hormones changing, it shifted something in me, and now I can’t handle it at all.

I know that fish is super healthy and is a nutrient dense food and all, but it’s something that I’m just unable to eat.  Only in very very small doses, but even then I still have to watch it.

What about Omega 3 supplements? I hear you say.  Well no can do, unless I want major fishy reflux, yeah no thanks.


I will nominate 5 bloggers, because I current am in the process of building up readership, and I know I wont be able to find 15 (my bad).

So here are my nominations:
Elle – Keep it SimpElle
Carol – Finding-Carol
Jill – Jill Conyers
Angela – Happy Fit Mumma
Jen – Run With Pugs

5 Lessons Learned from the Long Run

Every runner knows how important the long run is to their training plan. And even though I have only been running for the last 3 years I still have learnt a lot about the importance of the long run.

So here are the 5 lessons I have learned from the long run.

3. Run Slow

run-slow
The whole purpose of a long run is to get the endurance into your legs.

Many runners make the mistake of going too fast in their long runs (I know I have).

Your long run should be SLOW.  This means your long slow run should be anywhere from 45 to 90 seconds slower than your 5km/10km/Half/Full Marathon pace*.

2. Run for Time not Distance

timevsdistance
Most training plans out there will having have your long run at a set distance. For example run 10km, or 15km.

That’s all well and good, but it’s only been in the last 18 months that I have discovered that running for time works better for me than for a set distance.

No two long run days are going to be the same.

I remember one time I went out for my 14km long run, and I felt awful.  It was hot & humid.  I ended up drinking all my water, and eating all my fuel.  I was tired and just felt seriously crappy, and guess what my time reflected that.

A week later I did the same 14km track.  I ran it 10 minutes faster, only had half of one of the water bottles I was carrying, and only consumed 1 gu gel.

Even though it was the same track, I still had a completely different experience.

3. Run a There & Back

there-and-back
To be honest I never really liked there and backs. That was until I discovered the value of running a ‘There & Back’ track.

Previously most of my long runs use to be giant loops, or a series of smaller loops.  That was back in the days where I use to run for distance.

Before my long runs were set to time, I use to map my runs out with Google Maps to work out a rough distance.

The only problem with this is manually mapping can be inaccurate.  Believe me I’ve been caught out thinking oh yeah this is 12km, only to find out that what I thought was a track wasn’t a track, and my long 12km run blew out to 15km.

Now that my long runs are set on TIME, I will run my there and back for half of my set time, then turn around and run back.

For example. If my long run is 60 minutes.  I will run for 30 minutes on my ‘there and back’ track, turn around and run back home.

4. Run a Negative Split

2nd-half-faster
The advantages of running a ‘There and Back’ and running for a set time is that I will naturally gravitate to run a negative split.

We have all fallen victim to running a race too fast at the start and then blowing out at the end.

This is a common mistake, but with practice and discipline it is possible to run a negative split.

Which is why running for time and a there and back can seriously enhance you running a negative split.  Why?  Well you are already familiar with the track, and you can slowly increase your pace to run that second half faster.

5. Listen

listen
You can learn a lot but just listening when it comes to your long run.

You can listen to music, and let it escape you. It also helps to pass the time, especially if you have a pumping playlist.

Listening to an audiobook or podcast is another alternative, and you can be totally consumed by the story that is being told.

Or you can listen to your surrounds and really appreciate your environment.

But also make a point to listen to yourself.  You may discover something about yourself you never knew because you never took the time to listen.


Footnotes

* – Your time will vary depending on your goal distance


Is your long run a loop, there and back or laps?
What’s your favourite long run track?
Are you training for anything at the moment?

July Check In

So normally I would check in with how my running went for the month.

I thought however it would be a good idea to check in with other things that have happened during the month.  Like books I’ve read, music I’ve listened to recipes that I’ve tired.

So here is my monthly round up.


sk-watson-26Running

Days ran – 15
Longest run – 10.45km
Fastest run – 5km / 22:29 minutes
Total km – 112.78km
Km to date – 604.12

I broke the 100km for running for the month! BooYeah! In fact this is the most I have ever ran in a month.

You have no idea how happy I am to be in running form.  It feels so good, let me tell you.

All those speedwork sessions are obviously paying off.


Books

Apparently July was the month of reading for me.  I finished a total of 9 books. Yeah 9!  However 1 of those books I didn’t start in July, I started it ages ago, but I finished it in July. So it still counts to the final tally. 

  1. Eat the Yolks – Liz Wolfe
  2. Jane – April Linder
  3. No Excuses! – Brian Tracy
  4. Fitness Confidential – Vinne Tortorich
  5. The Book Thief – Markus Zusak
  6. Think Big – Ben Carson
  7. So B. It – Sarah Weeks
  8. Embrace – Jessica Shirvington
  9. Everything to live for – Turia Pitt

I really enjoyed Eat the Yolks, Think Big & Everything to Live for.  Which by the way are all non fiction books.  I’m really enjoying my non fiction stuff at the moment.


On My iPod

I initially was going to make this a ‘music’ list. Then I realised that I’ve not just been listening to music.

But speaking of music I do love my RockMyRun mixes.

They are great for long runs, and my speedwork sessions.  I just put on a mix and my run becomes totally rocked.

While doing housework I have been listening to a lot of podcasts.  I’ve gotten behind, and I have made it a mission of mine to listen unplayed episodes.

The podcasts I have been listening to are: The Paleo View, The Sane Solution & Runner Academy just to name a few.

I’ve also been listening to some interviews that were taken at the Healthy Life Summit (from The Village Green Network).  These interviews have been utterly fascinating, and I’ve learned loads.


Recipes

Most people I know love pizza.  I mean love pizza.  But I truly believe it’s the base that makes or breaks a pizza. IMG_20140731_164304

I actually really enjoygluten free pizza bases.  I like them cause I they have a crunch. This is the recipe I use to make my base.

It’s winter here, so we have been having lots of soups.  A good stock is essential for a delicious tasting soup.  If you have a pressure cooker then you MUST make Michelle’s (NomNomPaleo’s) super quick and easy Broth Recipe.

I normally have a frittata for breakfast, but I must admit I have been enjoying my grain free Hot & Nutty Cereal from Carrie Brown.  I make it in bulk for those days when I wake up and want something hot and instant.


So there you have it, that’s my general run down for the month of July.

What will August bring? No idea. I don’t have any goals set at this stage, but I think I will let August just happen.

Virtual Coffee Date #4

cupoffriendship

It’s time for our coffee / tea /hot chocolate /chai date.

Can you believe that a month has flown by? Like seriously where is this year going?  I’m looking forward to the warmer weather that’s for sure (I’m in Australia if you didn’t already know).

I’m totally enjoying tea’s at the moment, so sit down and enjoy your drink and I will tell you:

July was the month I got my mojo back.  And it was glorious!
garry-rice-8

You have no idea how awesome it is to be back to full health! Don’t take for granted your health peeps.  Rest is important and vital for recovery.

Doing a Whole15 assisted me in more ways than I could have thought.  It was the clean up that I needed.  I also enjoy the cooking exploration in the kitchen.

July was also the month for reading.
I ended up reading a total of 9 books, and well and truly going to smash my 60 books for the goal at this rate (providing circumstances haven’t changed).

I’m participating in the #100happydays project.
100happydays

You can read more about it here.
So far so good.  I’m enjoying finding moments that make me happy.

On that note I want to tell you one final thing:


If we were sitting down for coffee, what would you tell me?

Product Review: Kinvara 4

There is a town west of Horsham (Australia, not UK), called Kaniva. I tell you this because that’s what I keep calling these shoes.

All my shoes have some sort of nickname.  Kaniva just seemed fitting for my birthday shoes the Sacuony Kinvara 4′s.
As a runner, you just know when it’s time to get new shoes.  It has been roughly a year and approx 700km later that I figured it was time to retire* my Brooks Pure Cadence2.

I was really impressed with the service that was provided to me at The Running Company Geelong, so that’s where I decided to go again to get fitted for my new shoes.
Runmum-Kinvara4
It was pure chance that I got fitted for the Kinvara’s.  I was coming off the treadmill after trying on a pair of New Balance shoes (which were ill fitting around the heal, even using the lock lace technique), when I asked:

“What are the Kinvara’s like, I have a friend who loves these shoes”.

So that’s how it came about me trying on these shoes.

Jeremy who was my consultant on the day was fantastic.  Seriously I can’t fault the service from TRC.  It was a busy Saturday, but all the staff there were extremely helpful, informative and patient.

There is no doubt that TRC follow their philosophy of “Listen, Observe, Advice”.  Jeremy listened to my running history, noted my concerns with each shoe I tried on, and didn’t push me to buy the “flashy-ish, trendy-ish, expensive shoe”, which is stereotypical of a non specialist running company. At the end of the day I walked ran away with the best shoe for my needs and wants but most importantly the best fitting shoe for my feet.
26Jul2014_3984

Specs

Run Type – Natural
Heel Toe Drop – 4mm
Weight – 218g (size 9)
Price – From AU$109

Jason Fitzgerald of Strength Running describes (in my opinion) The Kinvara 4′s in the best possible way.

The Kinvara 4 is labelled a “performance neutral” running shoe which means that it’s sold to folks who fit a particular profile: efficient runners who are light, favour faster running, and are able to train in a minimalist running shoe.

When I first tried on these shoe they felt like a pair of old faithfuls.  My foot and these shoes go together like salt and pepper, or bacon and eggs.

The Kinvara’a definitely are like an old friend.  You know the type of friend you’ve had for years and years, and can pick up your conversation from where you left off? Yeah that’s me and these shoes.

sk-watson-26There is no denying that this shoe is my racing shoe.
It’s lightweight & comfortable, but gives me the support that I need when I run.

It’s flexible in it’s upper design and with it’s new PowerGrid technology it gives a smoother transition / ride.

The shoe has a natural feel with room in the toebox.

If you are looking for a minimalist natural runningshoe, then do consider the Kinvara’s for your next purchase.


Footnotes

* – When I say retire, I mean from long runs. These shoes still have some wear left, so they will be used for shorter runs, and general walking and or gardening. There aren’t any tears in the shoe, just worn on the inside. I’m retiring them as they don’t have as much cushioning as they use too. and I’m really noticing that on my fast runs or my long slow runs.