Thursday, March 28, 2013

Run for the Kids Round Up

I ran out of time for this last week!  But I really wanted to post a Run for the Kids round up before it got too late, so here I am.

Knowing I really wanted to smash out my run on Sunday, I planned my rest day Saturday and spent Saturday evening getting ready for the race.  I ate a big bowl of pasta with some home made tomato & basil sauce, drank lots of water and laid out my gear for the morning.

Laying my gear out to check it's all there and taking a photo is a bit of a ritual of mine before a race, it's like the final step - the training is done and here's my gear, ready to go.  Knowing it's all there also helps me sleep more soundly and settle those pre-race jitters.

Yes, jelly beans are "gear" too!

The next morning we set out, only to find when our very delayed tram arrived late it was full of fellow runners and we couldn't get on.  I was busting to get to the run, so we hailed a cab and headed in.  After some confusion about where to meet, I finally found some of my gorgeous fellow Rell's Runners, including Bec, who was doing her very first 15km!

Jake and I arriving at the race, Bec and me wait for the race
to start and RESULTS!

Moments before the race I started to feel really nervous despite having done this distance a number of times before and knowing I had all the training behind me, but once I was across the start line all that went out the window and I headed out. 

I actually really like the R4tK course, despite the Domain Tunnel which is so poorly ventilated it makes the journey through it quite unpleasant when you're packed in there with 1000s of sweaty runners, but once I was through and the fresh air hit me I got a new burst of energy and I was off heading towards the Bolte Bridge!

Stole this of Super Sports Images: me dying in the tunnel.
To be honest, while the run up the Bolte was tiring, I felt pretty good going up, amazing going down, and throughout the next few kms I felt pretty great.  I really enjoyed the run through Docklands till we hit Collins Street - that hill is a KILLER so late in the race.   It sure slowed me down, but I was determined not to stop and walk.  The pace I was going was probably slower than I could walk, but it didn't matter.  

Run for the Kids 2013 Course Map
Once Collins Street was conquered, the run through Southbank was a breeze, and I was in the final couple of kilometres.  I wasn't tracking my pace, but I have a pretty good sense of how long a run has taken and I knew I was going to be happy with my time.  

As I was on the final stretch, Coach Rell and the cheer squad where there and that extra energy kicked in for that final burst and I ran as hard as I could for the final 500 metres and finished in 1:36:30.
I am really happy with this time, it's very close (slightly better) than what I expected and I feel like I'm right on track for where I want to be in 17.5 weeks for Run Melbourne.  

I'm feeling really confident in general about reaching a number of goals I put in place for myself when I re-booted this blog - I'm sleeping better which is VERY important, and I'm on track to finish my CIII this weekend.  I ran my first group training sessions as a trainer last night too, and it wasn't a total disaster!  I'll blog more about that separately soon!

Just quickly I want to thank Rell Frichot for her amazing running plans, my amazing co-runners and the gorgeous girls who came along to support us - you all know who you are and you are all amazing!

Thanks for reading!  For all those who ran Run for the Kids too - congratulations - it's a great race, a challenging course and a great cause!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Baked Eggs with Home Made Baked Beans & Soldiers

As promised, I'm sharing my really super simple but protein packed, healthy baked eggs recipe.  I estimate this dish to be about 220 calories per serve, plus about 85 calories for the slice of bread (give or take, it depends what bread you are using, so please take this into account if you're like me and can't resist the carby goodness a slice of toast adds to breakfast).

Firstly, here are the ingredients you'll need for a single serving but do note you'll be making quite a lot of baked beans, and you only need about a couple of table spoons of this mix for the meal - I put the rest away for baked egg / breakfast emergencies!  They happen!

1 x 400g tin of red kidney beans
1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
1 x clove of garlic (crushed)
1 x teaspoon of dried oregano
1 x teaspoon of smoked paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
2 x eggs
1 x tablespoon of parmesan cheese
1 x slice of wholemeal bread
1 x very small amount of olive oil spread

Throw the beans, tomatoes, garlic, oregano and paprika in a saucepan and heat for about 4 minutes. Once cooked, add salt and pepper to taste.

Next, take a small oven proof receptacle - I use a little mini casserole dish as I don't have one of those fancy pants gratin dishes - but anything small and oven proof will do the trick!  Spoon a couple of table spoons of the bean mix into the dish.

Crack 2 eggs over the bean mix into the dish, and sprinkle parmesan over the top.

I know they don't look too appealing here, but stick with me!

Pop into a pre-heated oven for approximately 10 minutes (or until they look like this).

I like to serve mine with soldiers because runny googy egg just isn't the same without some soldiers to dunk!

And there you have it!  These might seem very basic (they are!) but I assure you they are so good even the cat sat by me with a pleading expression as I ate them!

Can I has an eggs?

Monday, March 18, 2013

Much Ado About Breakfast

Well, here I am blogging for a third week in a row - I really want to blog more often, but at the moment, I'm happy with committing to once a week, and ramping it up from there.

I tweet so much I really sometimes feel like I shared the week online already!  (By the way, if any of you don't follow me on Twitter and want to my handle is @nikkimaloo, I'll add you back!)

Anyway, just a quick round up:

Started week one of my 20 week running plan this week after my 13km run on Monday.  The first run was a 6km run with 8 x 200 metre intervals, which - while I was pretty spent by the end, I was really happy with how much energy I had.  My two other runs this week were pretty fantastic too, and my last  "long run" before Run for the Kids this weekend went great and felt really good.   I am still not sure I'll beat my time from last year on Sunday, but I am going to give it a red hot go!

I'm actually really excited about this run, not only am I looking forward to the whole run, but seeing my running coach and the rest of the gorgeous Rell's Runners in either running or cheer squad attendance.  Exciting!!

Nutrition has been mostly good.  I had to eat out a few nights last week due to social commitments, but aside from those nights I've been eating loads of salads over the last week to make the most of the warm weather, and I was fortunate enough to come across $1 mangoes at the market so breakfast has been mango, organic yoghurt with some oat clusters with a few nuts and seeds.

My real vice at the moment is too much chocolate, so my goal this week is to cut that out completely for the week.   I think I'm partly reaching for it because I'm hungry from all the extra training, so this morning I thought I'd try something different and higher in protein so I made baked eggs for the first time - it was amazing - and yes, here's another breakfast pic!

Baked eggs with home made baked beans and soldiers!
I really enjoyed this, although I can't say for sure whether it made much of a difference to my hunger levels as Monday is rest day, so I didn't train.  I'll share the recipe - which is ridiculously easy - in another blog post this week.

Anyway, hope you've all had a fabulous and wonderful start to the week!

More soon,
Nikki Maloo xx

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Mad March Heatwave

If you're based in Melbourne, you are probably aware of the utterly insane heatwave we've been having and how little sleep the majority of the city has had over the past 8 days and that we have another 2 days of 34-36 degrees headed our way before we get a "cool change" of 27.

It's made it pretty tough to get outdoors for a run, or even get up early for the gym (which I don't even have to leave the building for!) but since I sat down and worked through my March goals I've been pretty focused so just want to take stock of where I'm at.

Run for the Kids - I've been training fairly consistently for this on my own, but decided to get some real structure so contacted my gorgeous running coach to put together a program which starts today and runs for the next 20 weeks through to Run Melbourne, where I'll complete my second half marathon.

This morning I headed out for my last long run before R4tK and I was REALLY happy with my energy levels and my pace.  

Due to some niggles I recently decided to finally give compression tights a go and so far they have a thumbs up from me, but time will tell.  Let's see how I feel about doing squats or lunges in tomorrow's strength session!!

Getting back to Bikram yoga is yet to happen, the heat wave has made being in a 40 degree room extremely unappealing to be honest, although I have to admit I've had trouble slotting it in with work, training, study and other occasions.

Cert III is on it's way to being complete!  I won't have it done 100% by the end of March, as I can't get into a First Aid course until April 17th, but I am on track - since my last post I've completed a nice large chunk, so I am happy with my progress (aside from the fact the reason I'm actually blogging right now is because I just can't focus today!!).

Eating clean and losing weight is a work in progress, I've lost 4kg all up, which I am pleased with.  It brings me to setting a newer, bigger goal though - recently I read an article in Runners World that helps you work out what your ideal running weight is.  Let's just say mine is a great deal further away than I imagined.  I knew I still had a lot of fat to lose, but I didn't really think I had 15-18kg like this article suggested.  I've drawn it to compromise, and I'm setting a goal to lose 10kg, which I'd like to do in the 20 week lead up I have to my half mara.

I have worked pretty hard on my running since I first started, and I really believe I am at a point where it's going to be factors like not flaking out of my speed and hill runs, and having less weight for my body to carry which will really make the difference between a little improvement on last years time (which is inevitable surely, since I was so sick when I did it) and a HUGE, previously thought unachievable improvement which it what I really, really want to see.

Anyway, till next time!

Nikki x

Friday, March 1, 2013

So, it's March already...

I've been meaning to do a 2012 round up but time got away from me, then the new year came around so it was time for one of those "New Year" posts with all my goals and new promises for the year.  Before I knew it February was here, and not March is approaching at an alarming speed and I just feel like there is a reason those posts never happened.

To be honest, I've been having a really tough time lately, personally and also physically and mentally.  I feel like over these past two weeks I broke through a barrier and turned a new corner.  I am getting back to basics and tackling some real problems that have been detrimental to my success in any goals I have set for myself - whether I'd achieved them in the past or whether they were goals I just kept putting off.

One of the real issues I've had trouble with is sleeping.  I don't think I've slept for more than an hour or two a night for years unless I'd been drinking (which isn't really helpful of restful sleep anyway), and frankly it was doing my head in.  I've started taking some magnesium, drinking a few cups of either E-Sleep tea (which is THE best), or Sleepy-time tea before bed.  Switching off social networking, not drinking any alcohol and limiting caffeinated drinks to before 11am and then it's only coffee.  About a year ago I started drinking heaps of coke zero in the afternoons and evening (goodness knows why I don't even like it that much!) but I've cut that back out of my diet and instead have been drinking American style lemonade, or iced tea.  And of course water!

The other day I felt what I think was happy for the first time I can remember in ages.  I felt positive and I felt like life had a bit of promise again.  (Sleep!  Who knew how much good could come from it?).

Now it's Autumn, and this is my favourite season of the year - a new month has started and I'm looking forward to the new possibilities and the fresh start.

I have some March fitness goals:

*Run for the Kids 15km - it's going to be a push but I'd like to beat my time from last year.  I don't think I'm as fit as I was back then, but I still have the distances in my legs so at least I'll finish without too much trouble.

*I'm going to be eating as clean as possible and avoid alcohol between now and then as I really want to have not just the training, but the health and energy behind me for the race.  When I did my half marathon last year, I'd had the flu for three weeks prior, and I still did it - I am amazed at what I can do when I'm sick or (more often than not) sleep deprived.

*Get back to Bikram yoga.  I'm really enthusiastic about Bikram and I really love the benefits, however, over the summer and in the heat I kind of let it slide and haven't been back for two months now.

*Lose 2kg.  I put on 5kg over the last few months due to being depressed, not moving enough and generally just treating my body like crap.  In the past two weeks I've lost 3kg, so I'd like to follow up with another 2kg before Run for the Kids on the 24th March.

*Finish my Cert III by the end of March.  I really fell behind with my course but now I'm back on track and I can definitely get these modules done in this time if I work hard.

*Blog more about my fitness stuff.  Sharing does keep me focused, and putting down my thoughts and goals does make them more real.

So anyway, thanks for reading this epic!  Hope everyone out there is well and happy and thriving.  I'm off to make another coffee, make broccoli soup (it's not as awful as it sounds, I swear!) and iced tea.  This afternoon I'm planning some interval cardio work followed by a big weights session in the gym.  Tomorrow, I have a 12km training run and it's going to be 27 degrees - Melbourne, where is Autumn?