in love with melbourne

Today I had a workmate’s barbecue to attend, and although I normally am really anti-social and avoid these events like the plague, I felt it was probably important for my workplace politics that I attend, seeing as I was invited*. But it did make my heart sink a little, to give up my Sunday when I wanted so badly to go ride my bike. Then I realised I could be the Girl who has it All, by planning a nice long ride down to St Kilda via the Capital City Trail. It was 15km each way, in glorious sunshine, with a lovely breeze, and the most perfect way to spend a couple of hours on a beautiful Melbourne day. Particularly coming back, I was overwhelmed with happiness and gratitude and joy. I am so lucky to live in such a lovely city, and to have such great people in my life, and I’m so glad to have Gary — thank you a million times, Fleur, for giving him to me! I was smiling to myself thinking how he must have been so sad when he was relegated to being a dusty has-been, and then how happy he must be to have been adopted by me.

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And my beloved CCT! I loved the many patterns and lines formed by the bridges I crossed, they made me think of my grandfather who always complimented my photography, although it was essentially just wannabe Cartier-Bresson rip-offs at the time. And thinking of my grandfather also made me very happy. He passed away a week or so after I came back from a year in China, but I had just spent that last week with him, locked away in the darkroom most of the day and night, coming out armed with racks of prints to dry downstairs in the living-room windows. Our relationship was strongly based around those black-and-white prints, and although I have given up on my photography, and sorely miss my darkroom days, I frequently take pictures “with my eyes” and think about how much he would love them.

These are not very good pictures, but I think of them more as pictures of pictures I would have taken if I had a camera, a darkroom, and my grandfather. So here they are, without any further introduction or justification.

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This is the Albert Park Driving Range. James and I came here to drink beers and hit balls the day that we got together. James was really sick but he came anyway, because we both knew that after many months of being just running buddies, we were about to become more than that. We didn’t ever go back to the driving range after that, but I still always smile and think of how hopeless I was at hitting golf balls.
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They are setting up the stadiums for the Grand Prix or Formula 1 or whatever it’s called. I zoomed through it on my bike, pretending to be a racing car.
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The quality of the pictures just keeps degrading as they are taken with one hand whilst riding along on my bike. I only dropped my month-old iPhone 5 twice. I really should get a protective case before I smash it up.
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I had barely got home, that Rebecca and I decided to meet up for dinner and it was back onto the bike. I am so happy to be 10 minutes’ ride from Fitzroy now… Gary has changed my life! (Even though he’s screwing up my knees big time — I tried to run down the street and my knees immediately exploded with pain like they haven’t in over a year). We covered a total of 47km this weekend. Nice one Gary ❤

*in the end I had a nice time at the barbecue, and I’m glad I went. Nobody gave me grief about not drinking alcohol or eating meat, although of course I was very discrete about both, and that is what tends to put me off socialising the most, when people notice I’m not drinking and start being obnoxious or awkward about it…

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nothing can stop me!

I’m a bit frustrated at the moment with my work, the Australian immigration process, and the cost of having “the best immigration lawyers in Victoria” (FYI nearly $12,000 and counting). However I am determined to stay positive and not get caught in the trap of wasting too much time moping. I have signed up for the sewing classes I mentioned this weekend and I’m going to sit my learner’s permit as soon as possible and learn how to drive before I leave Australia. It’s much cheaper and easier here, I’m told!

I also plan to improve my golf technique (plenty of room for that), try Bikram yoga (to compare with the Ashtanga), and if I can stop getting sick and wasting time in hospitals, work hard at my running. I’m on my way to St Kilda for another run with James which is exciting…

I hope that with all of these things keeping me busy, the summer will go by faster than ever!

holding my golf club like a lady

I met my friend Pip at Albert Park (which is only 35 minutes away by tram, I really need to make it a more frequent destination) and we walked briskly around the lake, mostly bemoaning the difficulty of being a foreigner in Melbourne. Our walk was 5km according to my phone, and took us 56 minutes — time just flew by. Why does running half that time take twice as long?

Then we grabbed some beers and some balls and spent some time being silly at the driving range — not really caring too much about Doing It Properly. I really need to get some coaching; I’ve been working in golf course design for two and a half years now and still can’t get past 75m!

Pip drunk-driving:

With my love for accessories and the memory of aching wrists following our last session, how could I resist my own golf glove? It’s a rather lurid orange-and-white design, but I got a 25% discount on account of how hideous it is. My hands are freakishly small so it’s actually a tad loose, but it still improved the experience considerably!

man vs machine – miCoach 26/09

Run: Base
Time: 20:19
Distance: 3.24km
Pace: 6:24min/km

I already have a power walk around Albert Park and an afternoon at the driving range scheduled today so was unsure about running. My knees are really playing up and even though the stretches suggested by the massage therapist helped, I’m still very sore. Additionally it’s not like I’ve been enjoying my runs recently. However Shelley’s post reminded me that we all have bad days so I upped and went regardless.

But I’m having serious issues with the miCoach system, and I’m wondering if I need to find a different way of managing my runs.

Firstly, the way it tracks my speed is dependent on the GPS — obviously on cloudy days there are going to be issues, but today was a glorious sunny clear day. The readout shows me having “stopped” 4 times, when I definitely never even slowed down. So the GPS is dropping out and affecting the data the system calculations. Several times a run, I’ll be told to speed up to blue zone when I’m obviously going top-of-blue/green.

Secondly, I sincerely think it makes me do too many short fast runs. Where are the long slow runs? I am following the weight loss programme as opposed to the run or fitness improvement programmes so maybe that’s why but I don’t think it’s right that not a single run is under 10km/h. My running friends have all told me I should schedule an LSD run once a week of about 6-7km, where I’m moving at barely a jog and don’t get out of breath. I think I may have to add it to my schedule myself and just so it without coaching. I’m thinking Friday mornings.

Maybe if I had the heart monitor the system would be better tailored to my needs. miCoach can’t magically guess if I’m being pushed too hard; maybe I should redo the assessment and match the zones to an easier pace. All I know is I cannot sustain the current pace of the runs it schedules me!