Saturday, September 28, 2013


Wow, I wish I could run at the speed that I jumped out of bed this morning - although the speed was due to the 'flight or fight' reaction as an electrical storm was well underway and the thunderbolt that woke me must literally have been overhead - what a noise - plus the lightening was pretty violent too.  

Anyway, it was very early Sunday morning and I had a two hour run scheduled - not ideal in such stormy conditions - although it was still fairly warm outside at around 28 degrees.  I thought I would take my time in the hope the storm would pass, so sat with my iPad checking Facebook and reading the NZ Herald with a large mug of steaming peppermint tea.  The storm did finally pass and I headed out the door at around 7.30am.

I am on the 21st day of the 'Paleo 30 day challenge' and getting used to low carbs / high fat eating and hoping the body is 'fat adapting' so I headed out today without eating breakfast (usually any run over 90 mins I would have eaten first).  I had with me my trusty floe bottle filled with icey electrolyte drink so was well equipped.  I felt like exploring a bit today as 2 hours is the longest I have run whilst living here in tropical Singapore, so I headed off to Mt Faber where I had taken mum and dad last weekend and ran across this bridge and into the bush - it was a lovely start to the run.

I am still using the walk 2 minutes and run 8 minutes technique which seems to work well for me and I will continue this through the marathon - the only issue is the lack of speed....I am only covering about 8 km an hour which is not ideal.

I am always confused when people ask what my training pace is and what my race day pace will be......for me with the marathon distance they are one and the same!  42 Kms is a long way and a lot can happen between the start and the finish - pacing is everything and the long run on Sunday is the opportunity to get the pacing right.  The thing that worries me the most is how long this marathon may take in the heat and humidity but something my mum said yesterday resonated well - she is in London now after her 2 weeks here and she says how good she feels being able to breathe again in the fresh air - she said she had found it really hard to get her breath the whole time she was perhaps I shouldn't be too hard on myself and just use this event as a learning experience in how to finish the 42km event in hot and humid conditions as comfortably as possible.

The good news is I finished my 2 hour run (without having breakfast) very comfortably - I re-filled my floe bottle at the halfway mark as I ran passed a Subway store and stopped briefly to buy some more water, dropping in an additional electrolyte tablet and carried on.  The not so good news was that my Garmin watch indicated I had only covered 15kms - although to be fair the Garmin does take its time picking up the satellite in the mornings so it may have taken a while to get started (that's my story anyway).

I was starting to get pretty hungry and really enjoyed my Paleo breakfast....mince with mushrooms, onions, tomato, fried eggs and roasted purple Kumera - YUM - that was worth waiting for.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Formula 1 Motor Racing

Well it's all go on the sporting front this weekend with the Amercias Cup Racing in San Francisco and the F1 Racing here in Singapore.  Possibly not the best weekend for my Dad to arrive in town - the city is literally rocking with visitors.  I decided to head down town early this morning on my 100 min scheduled training run to have a look around and see what was going on - 

I guess it was a little too early for any action but great to see so many Porsches all in the same place at one time.  It was a bit of a mission getting around the city with all the road closures (even for those of us out running so early in the morning).

I was trying out a new drink bottle today (the Floe bottle)  in preparation for running the marathon in hot and humid temperatures.  Firstly I made a slushy out of ice that I had frozen with my electrolytes in :

And then poured this into my floe bottle....

I have to say it was wonderful being able to drink an icey cold drink along the way - great for cooling purposes -  usually its only a matter of minutes before my water bottle heats up and warm fluids are not nice to drink on a really hot day.  So a thumbs up on this water bottle.

I am also very pleased to say that on day 15 of the Paleo diet I finally had an amazing run - my legs had felt like concrete since I started the 30 day Paleo challenge and it was with some trepidation that I stepped out the door this morning.  I kept the walk / run routine going - amended it to walk 2 mins and run 8 mins and this approach worked wonders.  If felt great for the whole 100 mins.  Perhaps my body is getting used to fat adaption (and believe me there is plenty of fat to adapt to fuel - although a bit less now after 15 days of Paleo eating).  

And one really can't complain about this new way of eating - after my long run I jumped in the pool to cool off and then sat down to this amazing breakfast - poached salmon, 3 fried eggs (fried in coconut oil) and roasted Kumera.....YUM!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

The first week of Paleo

Well thank goodness training is over for this week - I am hoping now that I have gone through all the withdrawal from no wine and no dairy on this 30 day paleo challenge that I will start to feel so much better.  However, its hard to know if the tiredness follows the jet lag from the flight back from Auckland last weekend or the total change in diet - both  take a week or so to get over!  Perhaps the combination magnified the effect.  Anyway I have completed 7 full days on Paleo.  I am feeling leaner so will continue along for another 23 days and see how I feel. 

My coach, Sue Dorman, has suggested I trial a different approach in training for this marathon which includes running for 10 minutes and then walking for two minutes during my longer runs and this is also what I will do on the day of the marathon.  It gives the legs some respite from the constant pace that in a marathon can go on for 4 hours or more and can get very painful.   Yesterday I had an 80 minute run scheduled  so headed off to try the new approach.  I realised as soon as I started the run that it was going to be hard work - I felt like my legs had concrete in them - a feeling I am used to at about 35 Kms in a marathon not at the start of a training run.  It was 31 degrees but I am used to training in the heat now.  As mentioned above I guess this could be a side effect of this new eating programme. 

I managed to keep the alternating run/walk going until about 65 mins.  I had finished a 750 litre bottle of water with a Nuun tablet to replace lost electrolytes and was very tired.  I think I then changed to walking 10 mins and jogging the last few minutes and was really glad to get home - I even had to lie down for a while to recover.  Very unlike me.  In future I need to make sure I eat a Kumera or a banana before heading out on the long runs as I usually run without eating if the session is less than 90 minutes.  But this didn't work for me today.  Thankfully I have mum staying who is a wonderful massage therapist and gave me a great massage in the afternoon.  Very rejuvenating.

This morning I had an aqua jogging session in the pool which was a welcome relief and I was feeling much better so hoping my body is now adapting to using fat as a fuel rather than carbs.  Mum and I then headed down to our local cafe 'Flock'  for a great  paleo breakfast  of bacon, eggs and mushrooms - we are both feeling good!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Back on the Bike

Well today it was time to get back on the bike - literally!

I have recovered well from my calf injury following the 10km run in the North Shore Marathon event held in Auckland almost 2 weeks ago and I am now in receipt of my new training programme which takes me through to the start line of the Singapore Marathon on 1 December.  The programme includes cross training - biking, aqua jogging and swimming to ensure I don't get any further injuries from too much running.

Today it was a 45 minute session on my bike - named 'Blue Beauty' (she is blue in color after all and the name 'Blue Beauty' sounds like 'You Beauty' - which she always is when I take part in triathlon events).

With all the traffic lights in the neighborhood I prefer to ride my bike on the wind trainer in the apartment - so I set myself up next to the sliding doors so that I could get some air circulating - even if it is hot, humid air.  I plugged in my earphones to listen to some good music and also turned the TV on with the sound muted so I could watch the morning news.  It is always helpful to have something to distract you when the effort required on the bike is getting a bit tough!

I think Blue Beauty is a welcome addition to the lounge :

I have to say it was a bit of a shock getting back on my bike after about 3 months - I have been travelling a bit for work and its easier and more enjoyable to put running shoes on and run around a new city exploring than it is to sit on a stationary bike in a hotel gym.

However, despite the time away from Blue Beauty I did manage to finish the 45 minute session in one piece and I have to say that it felt great to be back in the saddle.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Paleo 30 day challenge starts today

Well I am now back in Singapore after a whirlwind visit to Auckland.  It was a very long day yesterday  flying back via Sydney to take advantage of Qantas and Premium Economy - and yes I would do the trip again despite the 4 hour layover in Sydney.  It was a pleasure having the extra leg room to enjoy the 3 movies I watched.  Have you seen 'The Call' with Halle Berry?  It was great.

Before leaving Auckland, I managed to catch up with my wonderful coach, Sue Dorman, who is currently adjusting my marathon training schedule after the injury last week so that it includes some cross training to take to load off my calf muscle which is still healing well.

We enjoyed a coffee at one of my favourite places in Milford - Hamic which is a small local cafe.  Then it was on to a phone catch up with nutritionist, Mikki Williden, who has put me on the 30 day Paleo challenge.  I had lost my way from a food perspective and it is time to get back on track.  Mikki will help me on this journey and she suggested I download the app 'EasyDietDiary' so I can keep track of what I eat and then email it to her!  No pressure!   There is also another great app 'Paleo Central' and if you are not sure if a food is 'Paleo' you just type in the name of the food and it gives you a 'green tick' for 'yes' or a 'red cross' for No.  My good friend Kirsty, is joining me on the Paleo challenge - we start today if you want to join in too!  The biggest challenge for me is no dairy (I was eating a kilo a day) and no wine!  I am not sure how I will manage but trust me, you will hear all about it!

So it was off to the Tiong Bahru market this morning for fresh fish, meat, vegetables and eggs which make up the Paleo challenge.  For those of you who know me well, you know I don't shop in local markets.  I shop at the ex pat supermarket where it is air conditioned and smells fresh.  But Morag and Kirsty's mum (Dianne) is staying and she took me to the market this morning and I was blown away at how fresh and how cheap the food was in the market which is less than 5 minutes walk from the front door.  You just need a 'peg' to block your nose.

First we went to the fish market with the fish having been delivered directly from Norway:

Then on to the meat section - the beef is delivered directly from NZ and Australia:

On to the chicken section (I left off the photo as its a bit disturbing - put it this way, the chicken was very fresh)....

And then onto the vege stall:

Here are the contents of our purchases:

and then we found the organic eggs which had been laid yesterday:

And home we came with our trolley laden which cost less than $100.

So I started the day with 3 boiled eggs for breakfast followed by raspberries and some coconut milk.....Paleo suggests only three meals a day which is another challenge for me - so I will head off shortly for my long Sunday run and will be back in time for lunch - fresh salmon and asparagus.

I got on the scales this morning and am now not allowed back on them for 30 days - so it will be interesting to see what happens.  Watch this space.....

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


Well the official marathon build up started this week with 12 weeks to go till the Singapore marathon on 1 December.  

So its not a good start when I wake up on Monday and can't even put my foot on the floor following the 10km race on Sunday.  It seems I pulled my calf muscle rather badly.  

In hindsight I probably shouldn't have started the race as I noticed something pull behind my knee when I got off the plane last Friday - but anyone who is a runner knows the dilemma of being ready to race and wanting to find a way to make it happen despite being aware of a niggling injury emerging.  

Now that the damage is done I have a two pronged approach - my mothers wonderful massage skills....with ice and heat treatments...

and a bottle of anti inflammatorys.  The two go hand in hand brilliantly.

Fortunately, I am staying with my mum and dad this week and each morning when I wake up I move slowly from the bed to mum's massage table.  Each day the pain lessens and I am now walking much more comfortably and am very excited to be able to enjoy the gorgeous Milford Beach scenery at a more leisurely pace.

Hardly a soul in sight - what a beautiful country we live in.

Anyway baby steps in the recovery journey - the aim is to be out for a long slow run on Sunday morning.  Will keep you posted.