triple threat

Today I woke up at 6-something am and realised I had imbibed too much alcohol the night before. I cursed myself, as I had plans for today, Sunday November 1st — plans to do my first leg of the Indigenous Marathon Foundation virtual marathon, plans to go to Bikram, and plans to start the 30 day core challenge.

Instead I read Facebook in bed. I came across an article about turmeric being proven by 53 clinical trials to help with inflammatory and autoimmune conditions. I was intrigued, but wanted more scientific evidence (did you know there are many, many people out there who are obsessed with turmeric, in a very non-scientific way?). However this article in particular made me quite hopeful, as I am already on the exact same dosage and medication as the participants in the trial, and more than half of them were reportedly in remission by the end of a month of curcumin supplements. I probed a little further and this study was much more indepth and seems less effervescent in their analysis of the research but still agreed there seem to be positive results for people suffering from ulcerative colitis.

So I went down the road to the chemist’s and got me some curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric) and I stained my hands and kitchen table all yellow distributing them in my pill box — it’s more expensive than my actual medication to take 3g a day, but whatever, I suppose it’s only for a month!

Whilst out and about, I saw a buy-one-get-one-free offer for Berlei’s super-cute, majorly supportive sports bras. I legitimately needed new running bras, as all my old ones are B-cups and turns out I am actually, incredibly, a DD-cup (a tiny 10DD, but a DD, nonetheless). So I got myself two running bras and felt it would be a gosh-darn shame not to take one out for a run.

Before I left I did the 30 day core challenge, since I was so psyched up. I then ran 3.25km, came home, grabbed my yoga gear and went straight into Bikram. Which was a mildly horrible thing to have done to myself, dehydrated and hungover as I was. But if I hadn’t gone to Bikram, I would not have come up with this most excellent meme:

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Of course, all this displacement activity is really because I don’t want to clean my house. I am hoping that Melbourne Cup Day will magically be Rosie-Cleaning-Day and everything will go all Mary Poppins.

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some kind of update

I survived, somehow, an entire month, thirty consecutive days of work, in China. I have been back in Melbourne for fewer than 10 days and am only just starting to feel human, only to find out this morning that I’m heading back to China in 4 days from now. I wrote a really long post on the plane the other night, after watching Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon for the second time ever (the first time was in 2000, in French, let’s say my experience was a little different this time around, watching it in Mandarin and getting all the historical/geographical/cultural references). I’ll spare my heartache review, let’s just say: urgh, China.

I’m even more frustrated because my repeated trips to China are pushing back the date I can apply for citizenship and a student loan. But on the positive side, my gross month in China got me back into running!

I can tell my body isn’t crazy about a return to this running thing but it’s so far putting up with it enough that I’m going to keep going. I’m even running a marathon (only I have a month to run the total distance, which is nice and safe). I’m alternating with Bikram, initially because I hoped stretching every other day would help with the running. So far, the running is making me very tight and making me extra-inflexible in Bikram, so there’s definitely something happening.

We’re entering the final countdown! less than 2 months until James comes home from Afghanistan and then immediately turns around for us to fly to England! Followed by Iceland! Followed by Denmark-land! Followed by Finland! Followed by flying back to Australia and collapsing in complete exhaustion before going back to work.

I just realised this is a quintessentially Rosie post: Work too much; China; Running; Travel with James.

day 2 down, a hundred more to go

Today I did Chinese practice with Rinny for 5 hours, working on reading content from a contract dispute. I am now 80x better at reading contracts in Chinese. Did you know that “该” in a contract has nothing to do with 应该 but in fact is the formal way of saying 这? This crucial fact has been lacking from my knowledge base for YEARS and caused much confusion whenever a contract was dumped in front of me. [version for non-Chinese readers: “gai” is a character most habitually found as part of “yinggai”, which means “must”. But when written on its own in a more formal piece of writing, it means “this”. You can imagine how confused I was for a long time reading things that appeared to start with “MUST AGREEMENT IS BETWEEN PARTY AND PARTY B”.]

After some long-distance phone cajoling by James, I then changed and went for a “run”. “Recover-from-injury-physio-run-number-2” involved lots of charging up and down around trees. I really feel like an idiot in the park; I basically run like a dog would, with no apparent direction or purpose, and stop and start at what must appear completely arbitrary intervals.

Warm up: 5min
3x [90s walk, 45s run, 2min walk, 45s run]
Cool down: 10min
Spiky ball massage.

I might go again tomorrow, it was very pleasant… I got a little stitch at one point, which part of me was rather happy about, because that meant I am learning to breathe as I run again.

i did it!

I woke up an hour before my alarm, and it was already daylight, so with all my running gear so carefully prepared the night before, I gracefully stepped into my running shoes and was off!

(Once more, my apologies to those who would love to hear about my travels and couldn’t care less about my pathetic running)

Day 01:
5 min warm-up walk
[2 min walk + 30 sec run] x 6
10 min cool-down walk
followed by spiky massage ball on my lower back and deep glutes, and foam roller on my calves and shins.

And yes, it was wonderful. I have to keep this going.

motivationals

A long, long time ago, when I still lived in Fitzroy St, Fitzroy, and had no internet access other than my work BlackBerry Curve (and before that, my fiddly wee BlackBerry Pearl), I was trying to become a runner. James was at that time my platonic running buddy, and when he was not there to motivate me to run, I used to wake up in the morning and read running blogs on my BlackBerry, and reading about people’s runs made me want to leap up and get out there.

Fast forward 6 years and I have not been able to run for over half of that time. I still read running blogs, and belong to no fewer than 6 running groups on Facebook. But I think of myself as “used to be a runner”.

I was cleared to start running again a few weeks ago. Have I run yet? No. I am too tired, too busy, too unfit (yep that is one of my excuses). It’s not the right time, due to my job just starting and it’s winter and I’m travelling a lot, and also I’m only supposed to run on unmade tracks, not on pavement, and… The truth is I am not motivated.

And then tonight I was looking for something on my blog and hit a few running posts in a row. I suddenly remembered the joy and exhilaration. I need to get back out there… it’s 10pm now, but tomorrow morning, no excuses. I am writing it here so I don’t disappoint myself: Tomorrow morning, before work, I am going to Fitzroy Gardens to start my physio’s pathetic run-walk program (walk 2 minutes run 30 seconds woohooooo!)

august

A conspicuous absence of updates in the past few months. I am not a fan of winter and even less so in the Southern Hemisphere, because July and August should be full of long, glorious sunny warm days, and instead here in Melbourne it has been ridiculously cold.

This doesn’t mean I have not done anything, fortunately!

I’ve made this a photo-based update rather than the other way around. This tends to work better for summarising an entire month. But this makes it very photo-heavy, so brace yourselves. What am I saying! I am showing my age… Back in the day it was common courtesy to warn before dumping pictures but now… who’d even notice?

Sooo backing up a bit to July:

I went to see the last performance of Mikelangelo and the Tin Stars, aka the only band I’ve ever truly enjoyed watching live.
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I got a haircut, hoping my curls could be coaxed back, but they seem to have been the exclusive domaine of my twenties and I am resigning myself to not having curly hair anymore.
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I bought some expensive cycling shorts and before I’d even worn them once, managed to cut a hole in them whilst removing annoying tags:
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My cold morning runs were dark dark dark but I kept running until the sun came up:
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I invested in a lot of merino from Icebreaker — it keeps me warm as toast, and it’s like having a hug from James as he is the one who got me into Icebreaker in the first place.
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More love from James came in the form of 3 kilos of birthday Kitkats, delivered anonymously to my desk at work.
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I had a lovely night out catching up with my friends Magnus, Thomas and Alastair. This sculpture hangs in the kitchen of Tom’s warehouse.
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More pics taken when out running — I do so love living so close to Merri Creek. It may be less dark…
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…palm trees may sway against a backdrop of brilliant blue skies…
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…but trust me it’s just as cold as the pre-dawn runs.
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Preparing vast amounts of caramelised onion for my birthday high tea. In the end I made around 4 times too much and I’ve still got about a kilo of it in the fridge.
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I also roast my first chicken for said tea party (to make adorable mini-sandwiches). Fiona came home in time to egg me into eating roast chicken skin for the first and last time in years — I don’t think I’ve eaten it since I was a child! It tasted simultaneously delicious, decadent, and nauseatingly rich. No regrets.
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Making Pimm’s cake from Siobhan’s recipe!
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Here I am in my party frock, with friends in the background hard at work.
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The dress is a gorgeous brocade shot through with gold thread – hard to photograph, so you will have to trust me!
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My 30th birthday high tea was lovely, but I failed to take any proper pictures. Here are a few I salvaged off other people!

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Rebecca made these fabulous mini-pavlovas
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My actual 30th birthday was a Monday and the first day of school. I ate a delicious leftover cupcake for breakfast (actually I ate mostly cake for the entire week, as there were a lot of cupcakes and cake leftover).
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There were relatively few events during school that I could photograph, as it was Preventive Conservation (which I think is going to Be My Thing, career-wise) and so the exciting stuff was mostly confidential site visits. I took a lot of pictures anyway, and am sharing just a couple of tantalising shots below, but I can’t tell you where they are of course…

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We did a few interested lab sessions, one about salvaging paper after floods:
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Another was on cleaning mould:
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We had a go at preparing Oddy tests too (which were difficult to photograph as we were in a hurry, hence the blurriness and someone’s fluffy sleeve:
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Some fun times outside of school: finding the cat in my backpack…
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And being greeted with this fantastic scene on a morning run (it’s the Orthodox Greek Cathedral, which I often run past, but which really glows when the sun hits it right!):
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Running has unsurprisingly resulted in shin splints again, so I am taking a break and giving kinesiotherapy tape a go. I do feel like it works pretty well in relieving the pain, if not in solving the problem.
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I got an amazing book of bike rides around Melbourne from my beloved Rebecca as a birthday gift. I decided to go check out Port Phillip Bay.
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Brace yourselves for many pictures of the sea!
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This bit of road was flooding, which made riding through it extra fun!
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Picnic on the pier!
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On my way home I passed these lovely Scottish deerhounds which mummy will appreciate:
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Ok that’s all the photos I have! I have not been photodocumenting things much in the past week — I was too wrapped up in my work situation. But now we have waded through all of this: I have accepted a new job with a cultural study tour company, and will start in October. I will be researching and designing cultural tours all around the world, and I’m really excited and glad that I’ve made the leap. It was a big decision to quit my current job but now it’s finalised I realise it’s the best choice I could have made!

fly july

I have not been terribly assiduous about updating these past few weeks. I had to cut back on cycling after a 65km ride destroyed my sit-bones, making it impossible to climb back onto my bike (even now a full 2 weeks later, I can’t ride for more than a few minutes, despite having a new saddle and some special padded bikeshorts!). I have broken up with Bikram, for reasons I’m not entirely clear about myself other than not feeling like I’m in the right space to make it work at the moment. James-the-superhero was supposed to come back from Afghanistan for 10 days but sadly it was cancelled days after it was approved, which is disappointing. And whilst I’ve been walking lots — an average of 20-25km a week — it’s nearly all been walking home from work in the evenings, so not actually worth reporting on.

I have finished my ceramics classes and will do a post on that soon, I promise! I’m starting school again on the 29th of July so I have a lot of reading to do in preparation. It’s been a welcome break as I’ve been put in a management position at work and really have not had the headspace for studying in the evenings, but I’m going to have to snap back into it as there are hundreds and hundreds of pages to be read in the next 2 weeks!

Today I have been spurred into updating because I finally went for my first run in ages and ages. I have swallowed my pride and downloaded a “Couch to 10k” app, as it’s just not realistic for me to come back from injury and trust myself not to push too hard. This morning I ran/walked along Merri Creek — I’m so lucky to live just 5 minutes’ walk from the river — and realised how much I needed some discipline in my approach. The first run is super basic: 5 minute warm-up, then for 20 minutes alternate 1 minute running with 1.5 minutes walking. EASY, right? and it felt so amazing to be running that I was always annoyed at having to switch to walking. But I would not have been able to maintain running for 20 minutes — especially as I’m excited to see my running pace was 4:30min/km!!!

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I was kind of naughty in that when the timer on the app said “Cooldown: walk for 5 minutes”…. I ran another 2. And that is precisely why I always hurt myself. So I am going to try and stick to this programme, with the goal in mind not to be running 5km in a few weeks, like I know I could be, but to be running without injuring myself… which I’ve never succeeded in doing before.