I can’t remember exactly when I started a C25K program for the first time. It was most likely about seven years ago. After multiple attempts, I eventually made it to the end and have kept going from there.

Fast forward to today. I finally cracked the 30 minute barrier for a 5km run at my local parkrun. It’s been a long time coming.


There have been moments of insane jealousy when friends reached this milestone sooner. I know I should have simply been happy for them but the truth is I wasn’t. Not 100% anyway.

The support of the parkrun and triathlon communities is incredible. I would like to send a huge thank you into the universe for every post like, strava kudos, high five and comment, whether in person or online.

And if you are currently where I was, feeling jealous, wanting to “unfriend” people on facebook so you don’t have to see their fast run posts, please tick with it. You’re not alone!


I am over the moon. This run topped off a pretty awesome couple of weeks for me. I did sneak in a small 30 second walk at 4.3km when I was debating whether I really wanted the sub-30 enough to keep pushing. I gave myself a stern talking to, reminding myself it was only another 5-6 minutes to the finish. Not another 2 hours like last week… so off I trotted.

And yet, I ended up with the least flattering parkrun photo I think I’ve ever had.


I’m not sure if this was the eye-roll at the photographer for waiting at the top of a small incline, or wondering if I really wanted to keep going. This was just before my walk break.

Usually I manage to smile or wave or at least look like I’m enjoying myself. I always enjoy parkrun. It’s so friendly and encouraging. I see it as more of a social activity rather than part of my training.



Yes, I know I’m cyber-shouting. It’s been a bit quiet on The Tri Road recently. I’ve been busy with life (study, church, SES, Toastmasters, work, training). I haven’t had much time left for blogging. What time I’ve spent online has been wasted playing Candy Crush Saga on Facebook. Incredibly frustrating yet somehow addictive.

I absolutely had to hop online tonight though and share my news. I ran my first ever 10km this morning! I ran the whole 10km but I did pause runkeeper for a few moments while I had a loo break at the 30 minute mark. My run, according to my training plan, was supposed to be a 75 minute run “in the hills”. Well, I ran on some mini-hills, not entirely flat. At 75 minutes I had run 9.95km. I couldn’t stop there, so I continued on for another 32 seconds and reached 10km! What’s more, I had completed my 5 minute warm up walk and still started the run at 5.47am!


This time last year I would not have thought it was possible to do this. There are three contributing factors, I believe.

1. I started C25K app again.

2. I found someone (a facebook friend only up until then) to run with.

3. More recently, I signed up with a coach.

Even when my running buddy injured herself, I was able to keep pushing on alone because of what we’d achieved together. I reached the end of C25K and bought the Bridge 2 10K app but I didn’t start it. My coach has pushed me a lot harder than I would have pushed myself with the app. She is not my personal trainer, but rather a coach with lots of online tips and she emails me a training program. The current one is preparing me for my 11km Sutherland 2 Surf race in a week and a half, and preliminary triathlon training. However, I haven’t made it to the pool for any of my swim sessions and I’m supposed to have done two each week since the first week in June.

I’m actually enjoying running! Words I never thought I’d say. The bike stresses me as I’m petrified of falling off and breaking a bone.

The last three long runs on my plan were: 60 min on the flat (my previous record – 8.11km), then 65 on the flat, then today – all of a sudden, 75 min on the hills. And I did it! I never would have tried to increase by 10 min in one go without a coach telling me I should/could.

Just this week I contacted her and asked if we can focus on running for the rest of this year then look at triathlon again next year. I have now signed up for the Tamworth Ten, 10km race. I did the 5km last year in just under 40 minutes. I thought it would be nice to maintain the same pace for the full 10km and asked her if I can aim for a sub 75 minute 10km. I sent her a text today saying it appears achievable since it only took me 32 seconds longer than that today and I have a month to go. She wrote back saying I should aim for 68 minutes. 68!??!!!?

We’ll have to wait and see, I guess.

First things first. I have my first ever official taper week next week, followed by the race on 21st July. And I should receive a race pack in the post as well. Another first. It’s all so exciting!

In a Toastmasters speech last weekend I said that we all have different Toastmasters goals – just like everyone entered in this race will have a different goal. There will be people hoping for a course record, or first female/male finisher. Others will only want to finish.

I’m simply hoping to run/jog the entire 11km (no walking).

Round numbers

I love round numbers and today I’ve fluked a few.

I have finally, after almost 18 months of tracking my training kilometres (bike, run, walk, treadmill, rowing machine, swim), passed the 500km mark. This morning I managed a 50 minute jog/run for a total distance of 6.68km. My total is now exactly 503km and I have less than 350km left on my virtual journey from Sydney to Melbourne.


I’m also down another 200g on this week’s weigh in bringing my loss for this 12WBT round to exactly 1kg. Very slow, but with a downward trend nonetheless.


It has now been exactly 2 weeks since I last ate a chocolate bar.


On Monday I had my first “hills” run as part of my coaching plan. I was visiting my parents for the long weekend so I was able to run/jog/stagger up and down a hill near the lookout. It was beautiful. I’m sure my huffing and puffing did nothing to enhance the experience for the tourists though.

Below are my Runkeeper results for Monday’s 30 minutes on hills and today’s 50 minutes on the flat. Much quicker on the flat. Understandably. 3 hours later and it’s still a bit hard to believe I jogged 6.68km! I did stop once or twice but only to turn off my new headlamp and to peel off a layer of warm clothing. It was a little chilly and dark when I set off at 6am.






I think I’ve found my new favourite store. Kathmandu. My sister is a club member so I went with her yesterday for their member sale and bought these hiking boots and zip off leg pants (in both colours!). My husband and I are planning to start doing some bushwalking on weekends. The weekend before last when I did a short climb I realised my running shoes weren’t really ideal for hiking and climbing over rocks – I felt every little pebble. Or so it seemed. Anyway, back to Kathmandu. I have to say, I don’t think I could ever justify paying full price but I do love their sizing. I had to buy size 12 trousers!

I also bought a headlamp with a rear red light as well which had its first run this morning. I really don’t want to twist an ankle running in the dark but I can’t fit it into my schedule in daylight. And I bought a hi vis vest. I felt a bit silly wearing it all in full light by the end of my run. To be honest, I felt silly in the dark too, but I’d rather feel silly than feel pain and miss my next race which is in just 39 days!


(It’s really on 21st July but this screen shot was taken from the US-based site Runkeeper)

Failed again.

Those of you who’ve been following for a while, might remember my last attempt at cooking the 12WBT quinoa porridge and banana: cookingfail

I tried it again this morning:


Not quite as bad and no smoke detectors set off but still nowhere near edible. Maybe I shouldn’t try and do something for those few minutes while I’m waiting for it to cook.

I can’t even get the quinoa to turn translucent. Should I add more water? Cook for longer? Give up completely?


I ended up eating my fall-back breakfast of cereal and milk. It never fails.

My two running buddies both bailed on me at 5.30am today but I still got up and ran. Since I was on my own, I decided to “up the ante” a bit and started in at week 2 of the B210K app (bridge to 10K) which is the follow on from C25K from the same developer. I managed to do it too!

When I got home I had received my training program from MY COACH. Now I sound serious – no excuses anymore. Working primarily on running, for Sutherland 2 Surf but also starting some swimming and cycling in preparation for my next triathlon. It was off to the gym with the heated pool at lunch today to buy a 20 visit pass. First swim tomorrow.

The alarm is set for 4.45am. So why am I on a computer at 10.20pm?

Have a great week!


May Wrap-up

It has been one month since my last post. It has been 12 months since I joined Runkeeper. I’ve logged 227km in the app in that time.

Here’s a bullet-point type update of the previous month.

5th May – Color Run, Newcastle: a fun day out with Mum, Aunt, and one of my good friends. Before and after.


12th May – Mothers Day Classic: I jogged the whole 3km – with a pretty steady pace, I might add! My actual time was about 17 minutes. As I often do, I forgot to stop the Runkeeper tracking.


13th May: Signed up for Sutherland to Surf which is an 11km run in Sydney on 21st July.

27th May – C25K: I restarted at week 4 again. The lady I had been running with injured her hip and I didn’t keep going without her. More fool me, since I had made it further through the program than I ever had before.

1st June: Yesterday I climbed from Tamworth’s Oxley Lookout up to the top of Flagstaff mountain (hill?) with my sister. We had a brief stop at the top, chatting with some other 12WBTers (prearranged via Facebook).


This week I’ve also had by bike serviced in readiness for my new triathlon coaching program. I start this week and I’m very excited. I’ve been checking my email every 5-10 minutes waiting for my program to arrive.

I started another round of 12WBT this month as well. I was playing in the orchestra for the local musical society’s production of The Sound of Music so I didn’t have a lot of spare time and I wasn’t as organised as I wanted needed to be. As a result, I only half-heartedly did the first two weeks but this last week was much better and over the weekend I have prepared a couple of meals for the coming week. It’s fitness test week again and I’m not sure when I’ll fit it in. I might have to squeeze it in Thursday morning. We’re off to a wedding in Newcastle on Thursday (wedding Friday) and a long weekend at my parents’ place. Then I have two days off work next week so I can work on a post-course assessment due by the end of the month, from the course I did back in February…


Also in May, the Alaska Swim cap I won over at The Water Blogged Triathlete arrived. I have no excuse not to go swimming in the heated pool at one of the gyms here in town. Although “too fast to freeze” doesn’t accurately describe my swim speed! It’s catchy, isn’t it?


I have clocked up a few kilometres since my last Sydney to Melbourne virtual training map update. Less than 100km to the state border now.


I am 9 weeks soft-drink free, and 5 days into “no chocolate bars”. Here’s to a productive and energising winter!


I am an athlete!

I’m still here. I haven’t had a lot of spare time and have no desire to sit in front of a computer when I get home from work…

I have continued most of my three mornings a week of the C25K program. My running buddy injured herself in a gym class so we had to step back a few weeks.

We also found a small home gym that holds a ‘balance’ type class on a Friday morning – a bit of tai chi, yoga, pilates, relaxation. I’m finally doing some core/stretching work.

I ran a 5km (4.88km according to runkeeper) race on Sunday. 33 minutes, 6 seconds. My best time yet! 1.5 minutes faster than my Good Friday run. 5 minutes faster than my last race.

I have been a bit slack on my 12WBT journey this round and have actually gained approx 5% but after much deliberation I signed up for the next round. I spent last Sunday afternoon cooking up 14 meals to put in the freezer for all the nights I know I’m not going to be home (SES and Toastmasters mainly).

Last weekend I ran into the musical director of the Tamworth Musical Society’s production of Sound of Music. She convinced me to pull my french horn out of the cupboard where it has sat virtually untouched since late 2009. I am officially a musician again – of sorts. I’m playing in the orchestra for The Sound of Music. I have been to three rehearsals, there are two more, then the show opens on Friday May 10th!

As of today – I officially have a coach! I guess that makes me an athlete. This lady is a former world champion triathlete! She has much cheaper rates than I expected and is quite happy to take on amateur/beginner/non-athletes. Her goal is to make exercise fun and enjoyable for people, not find the next world champion.

Initially, she is going to help me train for the half-marathon I signed up for in October, and a sprint triathlon in November. I’ve been worried about stepping up my “training” for running because I’m almost at the point I need to start thinking about hydration and nutrition and have no idea where to start. She can help with this too. Yay.

My ultimate goal is to complete an olympic distance triathlon before I turn 40. I now have slightly less than 2 years because I “got older” a few weeks ago.

And, I won some swimming caps over at The Water Blogged Triathlete. Wearing a swim cap from Alaska is sure to make me think about whether or not “cold” really is cold!

I’m also finally over halfway through my virtual training journey from Sydney to Melbourne.

Things are looking up for the rest of the year. I’m so excited!

To top it off, I’m watching Pitch Perfect (in the background) for the umpteenth time. I love it. If ever it becomes an amateur musical I think I’ll just have to audition. One item on my bucket list is to actually be “on stage” for a musical instead of just in the orchestra pit. Except by then, I’ll be so old the only female part would be the female commentator!

It’s after midnight and I have an early start for a run in the morning so I’d better sign off. Sorry for the lack of pics.


Up and down

I have decided not to do the 5km fun run at Forster on 14th April. Instead, I have registered for a triathlon training camp. My friend who did the Pinkie Triathlon with me last October is going too. It’s on here in Tamworth that same weekend. It includes sessions on run skills, cycle skills, functional gym exercises for triathletes, swimming technique, open water swimming technique and transitions. Also a bonus session on “fitting it all in”.

I’m thinking of having the fancy pedals put back on my bike – to try and learn how to use my special shoes (with cleats?)…

Other than that, life is mosey-ing along nicely. Work is still busy, I’m still not getting the study done that I should be but I did submit an assessment task this week!

C25K is going well. We completed week 5 this week. We’re doing the actual C25K that I have, we’re doing my running partner’s and it’s slightly difference. We accidentally missed a walk segment this morning and still made it to the end. We usually cover about 3.5km in the half hour program then keep walking/jogging for alternate 2 minutes until we hit 5km. We usually do that in about 40 minutes all up, including our 5 minute warm up. I think I’m on track to be able to run the full 5km at the races in 5 and 6 weeks. That will be a huge milestone achieved.

Here are some of my pace graphs from runkeeper. The troughs in the blue line are the jogging sections, the peaks are the walking, or in some cases the “we stopped, chatted and stretched but I forgot to turn off runkeeper“. Ooops. It’s possible to see just how much more time we now spend jogging rather than walking – even over this past couple of weeks.

Week 1 – Day 2, 15th February (the long stretch of jogging was my 1km time trial for my fitness test for 12WBT)

0215 week 1 day 2

Week 4 – Day 1, 11th March


Week 4 – Day 2, 13th March


Week 4 – Day 3, 15th March


Week 5 – Day 2, 20th March


Week 5 – Day 3, 22nd March (today)


It’s fairly obvious we follow the same path each morning too, isn’t it? It is starting to get very dark early in the morning though, and I actually wore a light jacket on Monday. Brrrr. Not sure how I’ll handle the early morning starts in winter. I have been getting up at 5am most mornings for the past few weeks so I’m hoping I’ll eventually be so tired that I start going to bed earlier too. Here it is 11.30pm though and I’m sitting at the computer.

I’m also considering changing gyms. My current one is open 24 hours which suited me when I first joined because I was going at 10 or 11 o’clock at night (the other gyms are well and truly closed at that time). However, I usually go at about 6.30/7.00am now and all the gyms are open then. There is one gym that has a pool and that’s the one I’m thinking of joining. It’s going to be easier to practise swimming if I have access to a pool…

It’s a big weekend for us this weekend with the hubby participating in two Toastmasters contests at Division level (won club, then area. Next stop District, then World Championship). An opportunity to dress up for the Charter Dinner celebrating the formation of a new Toastmasters Club in town – wearing my size 10 little black dress again – yay. All this followed by a 1st birthday party for lunch Sunday. Hubby’s birthday next week too…

And we just spent yet another “red flag weekend” away at Port Macquarie last weekend. We did a fair bit of (leisurely) walking along the coastal paths and beaches though and the sun was out so it was beautiful.

That is the reflected in the ups on this graph. I’d prefer to see some downs here. Next time. I’ve realised in the last couple of days that I’m not drinking much water anymore. I’m hoping that when I start drinking again I’ll see another improvement.


A banana quinoa porridge is on the menu again this week for 12WBT. Not sure if I’m game enough to try it again… remember this?