Category Archives: food

in the long run

In the long run… Training will be worth it.

In the long run… I’ll be a much stronger runner.

In the long run… My stomach will get over it.

And while I’m actually in the ‘long run’ my mind wanders all over the show – food, work, clothes, travel… I also seem to lose the ability to do simple maths (like how many km’s to go!).

I’ve been working hard over the past couple of weeks. I’ve made it to all my TempoFit sessions. I ran an additional 5.5km after our long run last Saturday to get my distance up to 18km. I also figured out that eating banana before running is not a good breakfast choice, but that 2-3 slices of my favourite GF toast (with Vegemite) and a glass of water works.

The jelly beans have been going well and I’ve been making sure I drink water at our water station in the long runs. Sloshing water is still a weird feeling in my stomach but I should be prepared for race day. It has suddenly got quite hot and sunny here and I’m realising how important fluid is. Thankfully the half marathon starts at 7am, whereas I’ve been starting my long run about 8.30am.

After completing most of my long runs at 6.30min/km pace, I knew I needed to pick it up this weekend to try figure out my half marathon target time. I set myself the goal of running at 6min/km pace for at least the first 5km, then I could reassess. I felt good at 5km and kept my pace steady as I went solo for the next 15 minutes (I’d been running with another girl but we knew we were tackling this run differently).

I reached 45 minutes and turned to head back to town. Of course this meant running into the wind again (I swear it switched on me!) and towards some dark clouds. The dark clouds became some light drops which were welcomed, and then driving rain, which was not. I had the difficult choice of taking the shortcut back to our meeting place, or retracing our original route which would take a bit longer. Some others from our group were ahead and going the long way, I decided to suck it up and do it too – even in the rain!

I’d kept my pace well and realised I could make it back in less than 45 minutes – negative splits!! I stopped my watch on exactly 15km, I’d been running for 1hr 27mins. I felt pretty ecstatic, especially as I pushed the last couple of km’s to make sure I got there under an hour and half. Good progress and I was excited to show our coach I’d managed UNDER 6min/km pace considering my other runs had all been much slower.

Now to try and decide my race pace…!

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the secret to great legs? travel!

And I’m back. Back to reality, back to work and to WINTER. And I have something to share… I may be the first person ever to do so, but I actually lost weight while travelling and on Contiki. I’m pretty sure there are two reasons for this.

Reason One: Walking kilometre after kilometre each day and being active!

I love to wander while on holiday, and I certainly did that on this trip. I also did a lot of shopping, but that counts as exercise when it is hot and the malls are so huge! I also wasn’t completely lazy while on holiday. My Santa Monica early morning run was my only actual run, but I did participate in a (tough, hot, exhausting) hike in the Grand Canyon and a (knee-wrecking) climb up to a waterfall in Yosemite National Park. I hadn’t expected to do that as part of Contiki so I was pretty excited to do it with my new friends.


I also took every opportunity to swim – at Mission Beach in San Diego (cold), in Scottsdale in Arizona (like a bath), at Harrahs in Las Vegas (sunny), at Bass Lake (in a beautiful lake) and in sunny LA while staying right beside LAX. I decided not to swim at the top of the waterfall unlike some crazy people I was with!


While in San Francisco we also cycled across the Golden Gate Bridge, covering about 16km all up. It was pretty tough in the wind and my lips were numb but it was so awesome, I’d definitely recommend doing so. We went through Blazing Saddles who were pretty good. My Nike running jacket did a great job of keeping the wind out too!  I also climbed a number of stairs up to the Coit Tower for some foggy views across the city.

Reason Two: I struggled with GF food

Although I’m not coeliac, I do have issues with wheat and follow a wheat/gluten free diet at home. I also don’t eat a huge amount of junk food (apart from my chocolate addiction). I figured the USA would be well ahead of NZ but I found it tough… I had bread twice in three and a half weeks, both times it was pretty disappointing. GF pizza bases were unheard of, and I ate a lot of oatmeal and cornflakes for breakfast. It could well be that the areas I was in just weren’t that into it, but I feel pretty lucky in NZ where most restaurants can provide a few options.

I ate plenty of salad, fries and bananas (and M&Ms!) and was really surprised by the size of meals, although probably shouldn’t have been – see the iPhone used as scale beside my sundae! I definitely think we need to bring In-N-Out Burger to Auckland, it was delicious and I loved my ‘protein-style-hold-the-spread-ketchup-please’ standard order.


The point I’m trying to make is that a holiday doesn’t have to mean giving up being active and eating rubbish food. I certainly lost count of the number of burgers I ate, but I also know we were racking up close to 20,000 steps most days (thanks to my friends handy pedometer!). I did realise how much more I need to work on hills… I found it really hard to walk the San Francisco hills!


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