Tag Archives: jogging

City2Surf…

This past Sunday was the long awaited City 2 Surf 14 km run in Sydney.

city2surf

I have been waiting for this run for ages. Literally, over a year. I was so excited to register this year and I was determined to train and run a really good time. I was aiming for a time that seemed almost out of reach; 75 Minutes.

bibs... lucky number (665)11!

The last race I ran was in… 2006? I think. It was the Toronto Half-marathon. I finished a couple minutes over 2 hours and I was shattered. I reallllly wanted to break 2 hours, but such is life. I was super stressed that year, starting university, working 30 hours a week and training for a half marathon. I took on way too much…

Well anyway, when the City 2 Surf came along, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to train up and set a rather ambitious goal. This race has got to be one of the biggest in the world. (But don’t quote me on that.) (No wait… you can quote me on that. I looked it up.) They had to cut off the entries a couple of weeks ago because 85,000 people had registered. And I was one of them. The race starts in the Sydney CBD and winds its way down to Bondi Beach. It’s kind of a big deal.

I didn’t actually end up training as much as I wanted to. True, I’ve been running about 6 days a week, however I haven’t ran more than 10km at a time. Usually, I would just do 5kms and call it a day. Needless to say, I’ve been a  little bit anxious the last couple days because I knew my goal time was slightly out of reach. I quietly changed it to ‘I’m aiming to break 80 minutes.’

Suddenly, the day was upon us. On Sunday morning I woke at 6am, had a cup of tea, a date stuffed with peanut butter, braided my hair, laced up my shoes and we caught a bus into the City.

pre-race jitters

My stomach was a little bit in knots. I needed a bathroom about 3 times before the race even started. Just to be safe. And even then, I had to pee from kilometer 1. Oh jeeez.

Sean and I crossed the starting line together, started our watches and then we went our own ways. As in – he sprinted ahead and I sneakily followed him for about 1/2 km.

The biggest challenge of this race is what the Sydneysiders affectionately call ‘Heart Break Hill.’ Basically, it’s a 1km long hill that promises to break you before you’re even half-way through the race. Well Heartbreak my ass. I came and I conquered that mofo. I give credit to all those stairs I climb at work. And to Sydney for being a very hilly city in general. Every single run I go on has a heartbreak hill. Pft, child’s play.

Besides, the biggest challenge for me was the 85,000 people. I mean… that crowd didn’t thin out ONCE. I was constantly weaving through sweaty men and women. It was kind of annoying at first but it sort of turned into a game. I only shoulder checked a handful of people – BY ACCIDENT. And in true Canadian fashion I turned around and apologized profusely.

I didn’t look at my stopwatch at all during the race, but I felt strong and before I knew it I was at 10 km… then 11… and then I saw Bondi.

Bondi...

So the final result?! An unofficial time of 70 minutes and 4 seconds. DAMN YOU FOUR SECONDS! damn you.

the final time (ignore the fact that my ipod is still on toronto time)

Needless to say, I was pretty happy with these results. We’ll see what the Sydney Morning Herald says on Tuesday with my official race times according to the chip in my race bib.

weee...

After the race, Sean and I met up at a pre-determined spot, slightly out of the way, and drank some complimentary Gatorade and water.

why does my left eye squint more than my right eye?... MOM?! I guess it's not just my eye... this picture is unflattering in a lot of ways...

After a brief walk around Campbell Parade and a couple more bathroom breaks, we somehow managed to grab a table at one of the best cafe’s in Bondi. Trio. It was deliciousssss. Seriously good eating. Or maybe that was the 14 kilometers of hunger talking, I can’t know for sure.

trio coffee

However, I burned it off before we even made it home and I was hungry again.

carrot-sourdough toast, avocado, roast toe-ma-toe and jam...

All in all, it was an excellent day. I’ve had that running high for over 24 hours now, and I’m itching to do another race.

City2Sea anyone?

November 13th in Melbourne? Sign me up… This time I’m aiming for a sub 60 minutes.

bahahaha I kid I kid…

xxx

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The Saturday I ruined the carpet.

It was a beautiful Saturday morning… there was a definite chill in the air, but it was crisp and bright. Sean was going riding, so I had the whole day on my own and I was determined to make it as good as any other Saturday. Only better. I had high hopes. Markets? Runs? Swimming? Coffee? There were so many options, too many really. I wanted to do everything.

However, all week I had been itching to bake. I have very little time for baking since I started working. I’ve gotten up early, I’ve stayed up late… all in the name of scones and granola. And while that has been somewhat fufilling, Sartuday morning really isss the best time for a sweet breakfast. So I woke up nice and early churn out some delightful Strawberry pancakes before my boy left for the day.

I must say, they were perfect. Whole wheat, complete with strawberries, almonds, coconut and some chocolate covered fruit from dessert the night before. I was really happy with these babies. Especially since vegan pancakes can be tricky. Paired with a strong black coffee… it was delicious.

I was enjoying a small portion when I greedily got up for seconds (and lets be honest… more chocolate.) Anyhoo, I somehow knocked over my coffee mug bowl, which was still half full. I watched as it spilled in slow motion, crashing onto the beige carpet and brown sofa. I paused for a split second to let out a silent scream of terror and then tried to hurdle over the coffee table to grab a towel. In the process of doing that, i tripped over a bag, or the table, or my foot and thus spilling Sean’s cup of coffee as well.

After a couple minutes of sopping up coffee, I quickly googled coffee stains and came up with a quick vinegar/water mixture that actually seemed to get most of the stains out. But not before I dissolved into tears and began cursing the tiny apartment.

I’m sorry apartment. I really do love you. Despite you’re stainey carpets and non-existant counter top space. I DO love you.

I continued to throw shit around for a while. Ordering Sean to go riding, wiping the counter in anger, washing dishes with fury. He tried to help, but there was no point. I made him leave and then threw some more stuff around when the door shut behind him. It felt damn good. That hamper never saw it coming.

So, crying aside, I ended up cleaning the whole apartment and I felt much better for it. It also only took about an hour since my beautiful little North Sydney home is so small. 🙂

ready for the jog.

Finally ready to start the day, I decided to take a jog to the Rock’s Markets just over the bridge, maybe take a wander and then jog back.

I debated taking my camera and ditching my water. Ultimately, I decided to suck it up and take the camera… until I realized there was no way it would fit in the tiny camel back. Hence, there are no more pictures from this day.Which is a shame really. At least I stayed hydrated.

I shoulda photographed those pancakes, they were ridiculous amazing looking. Just ask my non-biased boyfriend.

On my merry way to the markets, I stumbled upon the Kirribilli Markets… another HUGE market spread compelte with second hand clothing and home-made treats. I bought both. I had bypassed it on the way to the Rocks, but stopped on the way back before they closed for the last-minute deals. Score.

Back home, I devoured a smoothie and tried on my pretty new threads.

Sean walked in not long after… “You’re smiling!”

He was expecting something else?

pft.

xxx

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Breakfast in Summer Bay…

Today was the day I have been looking forward to since forever. Forever meaning, about a month.

Last summer, while I was living in Australia, my boyfriend and I made a habit of going for brunch once a week, or whenever he had a couple days off of work. We’d pick a part of the city or a suburb that I hadn’t seen yet and make a point of going for a jog, or coastal walk before settling on a delightful cafe for a delicious brunch. It became a tradition very fast and it is definitely one of my favourite things to do on a relaxing day off.

After a couple of weeks of planning and then bailing, we actually got up this morning after only 3 hits of the snooze button and set off on the mini road trip up the coast to Palm Beach. Sean informed me that Palm Beach is actually the shooting location for the very popular soap opera ‘Home & Away.’ Except that in Home & Away Palm Beach is so sweetly named ‘Summer Bay’.

It was about 45 minutes outside of the city, but well-worth the drive on such a beeeeautiful day. We parked along the Beach and decided to jog up to the lighthouse… little did I know that ‘up to the lighthouse’ meant running though soft-sandy foot paths and up about 5 million stairs constructed of tree roots and sandstone. Needless to say, I was damn-hungry by the end of it.

The views from the lighthouse were pretty lovely and along the way I got to see some of the famous Home & Away sights (!) Lifeguard stations with very authentic ‘Summer Bay’ signs and souvenier t-shirts. Ooooooh…

The run back to the car was along the beach… Jogging near the water kept thing interesting as I played tag with the tide. I always win. As soon as we reached the car, I striped off my shoes and running top and ran straight into the ocean… shorts and a sports bra. I hadn’t thought ahead to bring swimmers, but it didn’t matter. No one was really swimming as it was a bone-chilling 18 degrees oot. Oh Winter… better get out my wooly socks.

The water was actually very nice. Not too cold at all. I was able to frolic in and out freely, practicing the perfect gallop into the waves, and a very lady-like and graceful exit. Always tricky with the ocean undertow.

After I had been totalled by a couple waves, swallowed a decent amount of salt and very nearly lost my shorts, we thought it was time to head in. My stomach was definitely craving something delish.

post-run post-swim

We had already decided on going to the Boathouse, a lovely cafe on the other side of the bay.

the boathouse

The coffee was strong and the atmosphere was perfect.


Coloured strings of lights were draped from poles and adorned the jetty. I took a ridiculous amount of pictures as Sean ordered. And then later I took even more.

lights and lines...

why am I so attracted to these?

We sat down on the dock patio and had 3 amazing dishes, since we aren’t exactly the best for making decisions.

brekky

I devoured my Avocado on toast (bacon on the side to give to the boy… cept they didn’t actually put my bacon on the side at all) and Sean had poached eggs and bacon. There sure was a lot of bacon for one man. We also enjoyed the granola with Rhubarb compote. This time they ACTUALLY put the yogurt on the side. This deliciousness definitely made me want to march out to the grocery store and buy some rhubarb. I see a pie or crumble in my near future.

that bacon is just ALL up in my breakfast, not so cool...

One ginormous line-up and two take away coffees later we were back in the car, but not wanting to head home.

... just one more...

We stopped at another Beach on the way, for some wandering and ridiculous photoshoots.

he's a looker...

Sean commandeered the camera…

There are about 40 of these taken in under a minute… It was all very high fashion… and then my mom texted… but I worked the camera…

Finally, back in North Sydney, I spent the afternoon listening to my heart palpitate from that one too many coffees and searching for recipes that might included rhubarb, apples, chocolate, or anything with sugar really. Cause that is exactly what I needed for my palpitating heart.

It was a perfect day off.

xxx

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