Tag Archives: running

Work It!

6 Apr

I haven’t done a workout post for a while!  The last one was in October and I’ve come a long way, baby!

So, for your viewing pleasure (and my embarrassment), here’s me getting all hot, sweaty, rained-on and dirty!  I seriously can pull some horrendous faces when working out… I really need to concentrate on controlling my troll face.  And these were the “good” photos.  Shudder.


This is MY gym

Today’s session involved a lot of running with an assortment of weighted and non-weighted exercises in between each run.

But first, a quick stretch.

Alright, enough standing around!  We’re not here to have a cup of tea you know, as my trainer would say!

We started off with squats and shoulder presses with 5kg dumbells and 20kg sandbag squats, as demonstrated by my lovely training partner, Beth (hai Beth! :)).

Now run!


I think we ran the length of this park 50 times today...

We repeated that four times and then swapped over.  My turn with the dreaded frankfurt.

After we completed that four times, it was onto the next set of exercises – squat and twist with 5kg barbells and burpees.


Dislike. These. Immensely.

Don’t forget the runs in between each round of reps! (gah) Then hit the ground – it’s push up time!


DAYUM – This is thirsty work!

Time for a new set of exercies!  20kg sandbag deadlifts.  My favourite weight-assisted exercise.  Heyyyy, power up that bootay!

Are you looking at my glorious glutes?

Another four rounds of that with runs in between then we are on to three rounds of push-ups, dips and jump squats.

Must learn to relax neck! The strain! The STRAIN!


I’d like to just keep jump squatting away from this session…
I’m glad to see you’re having a wonderful time, Miss Carter!
“Is it over yet???”

No, it’s not.  Just a couple of planks to go…


One foot stacked on top of the other to make it harder...

And there it is!  Finally, the torture is over.  Until tomorrow anyway!

This is the standard of session that I complete about 4 – 5 times a week.  Are you game? 🙂

I Did It!

20 Sep

I had been nervously looking forward to the Blackmore’s Sydney Running Festival Bridge Run for a few weeks.  Yesterday, after the race, I couldn’t believe it was over.   I kind of wanted it to be longer!  Crazy huh?  But nevertheless I felt an overwhelming sense of pride and accomplishment.

The night before I went to a 30th birthday party stone-cold sober.  At first, this was quite difficult as everyone around me was quite tipsy (okay, some were a whole lot more than tipsy!) and I so badly wanted to chill with my friends and enjoy a couple of light beers (because that’s how I roll now, remember?).  But as the night wore on I realised that I could have the same amount of fun being sober and the feeling of waking up fresh and ready for my race in the morning was going to be so worth it.

My alarm went off at the disgusting time of 6am.  I remembered a time not so long ago when I would only just be getting home at that hour!  The thought now makes me cringe.  I showered, got dressed and packed some peanut  butter on multi-grain toast to take with me to eat on my way to the start line.  Yep – cold toast.  It was as unappealing as it sounds.

We got to the start line pretty early but there was still an overwhelming amount of people there!  People EVERYWHERE.  Stretching, limbering up, checking their iPods and going for last minute nervous toilet stops (I went twice!).  As we waited for the gun to go off the electricity in the air was palpable.

My Super Trainer & my Uncle / Surrogate Dad

Bang!  The gun finally went off and thousands of people all pushed past the start line.  I was really surprised at how quickly the crowd thinned out!  My trainer and my uncle both took off ahead of me.  They are both better runners than I and I had a fleeting sense of panic that I would not be able to keep up with them.  But then I realised that this was about me doing MY best, not somebody else’s best so I concentrated on finding my rhythm.

As usual, the first 2 or 3km were hell.  So many things went through my mind during those first couple of kms:

“Oh my god, I’m dying”

“That old man/child/larger lady is so much faster than me”

“Wait… what’s that?  Is my ankle hurting?  Oh god, no, please stop hurting”

“I don’t think I can do this… awesome, there’s an ambulance.  Fake an injury.  You’re out of your element here, find a way out”

“I can’t breath.  I can’t breath… oh shit, I can’t breath…”

“Okay get your rhythm, just shut the hell up and find your rhythm”

“You’ve done this distance before!  You did 8km on Thursday, for goodness-sakes! Stop being a baby!”

“OMG! I LOVE this song!  Yeahhh *sings* I wish I was a little bit taller, I wish I was a baller…”

“Alright, alright, this is okay.  I’m okay.  I CAN breath, my ankle is NOT hurting.  I’ve found my rhythm.  Let’s just enjoy the ride”

I think I have runner’s schizophrenia.

I pushed on and as I passed 4km I realised I was almost certainly going to pee my pants.  I KNEW I should have gone for a 3rd nervous pee.  I saw a lady with a large bulge in the back of her pants… pretty sure it was an adult nappy.  But since this option was not available to me, I was going to have to find a toilet and QUICK.  Luckily there were some just up ahead with not too much of line so I quickly got in there, did my business and busted out of the door running.

A great song came on my iPod at about this time, I got a massive endorphin rush (love that tingly feeling!) and I found a great rhythm.  I was really starting to enjoy myself.  Time just flew by.  I glanced at my iPod at one stage and I had been going for 50 minutes.  Wow!  I couldn’t believe I was so close to the end!

The end was in sight and there was a slight decline so I picked up my pace and bolted to the finish line.  The Opera House was in sight and I started to feel really emotional!  Music was blaring, people were cheering us on and I was grinning like a maniac.  I crossed the finish line giving a massive double thumbs up.  I hope the camera got it!  The photos aren’t up yet but when they are I’ll post the picture here.

I finished the race in 61 minutes which I was really happy with as I wanted to do under an hour and 15 minutes.

4 weeks ago I did 7.58mins/km so I was extremely pleased with this result!

Grinning with medal - school kid style

The Medal

Passed out on the grass afterwards... still wearing medal

I’m still wearing the medal today at work.  Haha, no, I joke, I joke… I wanted to but it didn’t go with my outfit.  😉

All in all it was such a great experience and I can’t wait til the 10km Run4Fun event in November!

It’s coming… Am I ready?

17 Sep

On Sunday I will be taking part in The Sunday Telegraph’s Body + Soul 9km Bridge Run.  Am I ready?  Yeah.  I think I am.  I was worried yesterday that I wouldn’t be though so the following transpired:

Me: “I know!  I’ll RUN to soccer tonight!  It’s only* 8km and that way I will have a bit of a practice run before Sunday!  And then I’ll play 40 minutes of soccer!  Yeah!  I am AWESOME!”

Trainer: “Yeah!  Do it!  You’re AWESOME!”

Husband: “You’re out of your mind”

* Yes, only.  It’s crazy to think that mere months ago I couldn’t run for more than 2 minutes at a time and now I call 8km “only”…
The hubby had a point.  Maybe I was out of my mind.  So I thought I would at least run half way and see how I feel.  I popped my iPod in my ears, strapped my backpack on my back and I set off.

I got to the halfway mark and thought, well, it’s not really THAT far away now… I’ll just keep going and if I need to stop, I will and I’ll catch a bus.

Then I got to the point where it was only another 10 minutes away and thought it would be crazy to stop now.  So I ran the whole way and did it in under 60 minutes.  I felt so proud of myself.  I was grinning like a bloody idiot when I ran the last few metres.

Then I burst through the doors of the indoor soccer courts and announced to my horrified team mates that I ran there! “Yes!  I RAN HERE!  Look at me!  I run now! Weeee!”.

My face was bright red and I had that dried saliva mouth going on but I was delirious by that stage and immediately launched into a stretch session to rival all other sessions whilst my team mates looked on and surely thought I was out of my damn mind.

I decided it would be in everyone’s best interests if I play goal keeper for the first half because if I ran right on to the court I would have probably had far too much energy and caused some damage to myself or others.   Especially others.  I was fired up.

For those 20 minutes in goals I was a machine (in my mind anyway – the reality was we were playing one of the best teams in the comp and they kicked our arses).   The bell went off for half time and it was time for me to go on the field.  This is when I started to really feel the affects of the run but I persisted and we actually played pretty well.  Instead of the usual 21 points they score against us, they only scored 17.  Yeah suck on that!!!  😉

I got home just after 9pm, made some toast for dinner, had a hot shower and crawled into bed.  I looked at the clock.  10:30pm.  Hmmm.  I was not tired.  Crap.  I tried to sleep and I think it worked for a while and then WHAM!  2:30am!  I’m AWAKE!  HELLO WORLD!!!  Urgh…   Awful.  I knew I had a Personal Training session in 5 hours so I just lay there very still hoping that sleep would take me.  Eventually it did… some hours later.

So, I got to training feeling like a wreck after my 4 or 5 hours sleep but I still managed a pretty good session and got the adrenalin rush again.  Showered, dressed and ready for work, I downed a piece of toast and a boiled egg and a decaf coffee (I don’t handle caffeine too well!) and was ready to face the day.  But I won’t be surprised if someone comes by my desk later today and finds me like this:

Except I’m pretty sure I’ll still be a woman.  I hope so anyway…

Fitness Test!

8 Sep

On Tuesdays, my trainer trains me and a bunch of girls from work in a 45 minute group session. It’s a lot of fun and we get very competitive with each other which is good because we all push ourselves to the max! The sessions go for 6 weeks and we just started our second round of 6 weeks yesterday.

We started off with a fitness test. In 6 weeks time we will do the test again and compare results. I love doing anything that involves being tested or anything that involves me winning something so I went at the test with a vengeance! I put my game face on and screamed, Braveheart-style, “IT’S ON BITCHES!!!”. Okay, so maybe that only happened in my head, but it was still on. Oh, it WAS on.

Test 1: How many step-ups could we complete on each leg in a minute?


I completed 39 on the left leg and 45 on the right leg. Not bad, but not great either. I’m after greatness people!

Test 2: How many push ups could we complete in a minute?


I completed 12 on the toes and 37 on the knees. I was pretty happy with that as the most on the toes I could do was 10!

Test 3: How long could we hold the plank?


I held the plank for 1 minute and 30 seconds. I think my PB was 1 minute so again, pretty happy! One of the girls held it for 2 minutes! MACHINE!

Test 4: How long to complete 50 laps of the park (almost 2km)?

Seriously. This is what I look like when I run. Haha! It took me 13 minutes and 15 seconds. I can’t WAIT til I blast that time out of the water!

Test 5: How many tricep dips could we complete in a minute?


I completed 72! I went at it like a freight train! I was determined to win! Sweet Jesus though, my back muscles are getting back at me today! OUCH!

Test 6: How many walking lunges could we complete in a minute?


I completed 47. Was quite happy with that because my lunges, like my step ups, are quite poor due to my dodgy hip flexors. Like, who needs hip flexors anyway? Geesh.

Test 7: How many burpees could we complete in a minute?


Excuse me burpees – I hate you. But I completed 21. Not bad. Not bad at all.

My body feels like it has been hit by a truck today but I think it’s thanking me because as of this morning I am only 1kg away from my mini goal of 75kg! I can’t believe how close I am getting. It feels fantastic. I’m starting to notice big changes in my body – muscles where I never had muscles, flatness where there was no flatness, definition where things were not defined! It’s a great feeling.

Challenge for you! Are you up for it? Give the above test a go and let me know how you fare! I would love to know your results!

Natalie Carter Talks Burning Fat FAST!

26 Aug

Here’s a great post from my friend, trainer and fellow blogger about the best exercises to really get that fat burning!  Crack, sizzle, pop like sausages on a grill – let’s get that fat dripping off!  Bad mental imagery… but you get the idea.

Burn Baby Burn…My Top 5 Fat Burning Exercises

As a trainer, I am always asked what exercises are the best for fat burning.

What do people mean when they say Fat Burning? Basically all exercises Burn Fat or Calories, however there are different ones that help fat loss happen FASTER. We all want fast Fat Loss, don’t we? Hell Yes! There is nothing worse that slogging your guts out for no results. All my clients find that within 4 weeks or less they have achieved their first signs of Fat loss. It might be a couple of kilos lost or that centimetres have vanished into thin air.

So here it is folks….My Top 5 Fast Fat Melting Exercises

1. Resistance training:

Lifting weights or even just using your body weight as resistance is the best way to burn fat and lose weight. It is so effective because whilst you are performing the exercises you are burning fat. Then when you stop you are still burning fat for up to 72 hours after. What? Yep you read right, not only whilst doing the actual activity but even when your sitting at your desk, you will be enjoying the benefits of resistance training. Try big movements like squats and lunges, pull ups and push ups.They utilise more muscle groups therefore giving you greater calorie output. Here is a great workout to target all the major muscle groups.

Calories used in 60min of resistance: 400-600 cals depending on your body weight

2. Running

Lace up your shoes and get out there. Running has many benefits. Here’s a few: Increases bone density, it’s free, burns loads of energy (calories), decreases stress levels, tones your legs and core- not to mention your butt! Try incorporating more running into your current routine. For every 3 minutes of walking try 1 minute of jogging or running. When you get better just reduce the walking time. You’ll be striding it out in no time.

Calories used in 60min of running: A whopping 600-1000 cals, depending on your body weight

3. Boxing:

What a great way to burn lots of calories, get fit (increases cardio fitness) and have an amazing looking upper body. You work on all these elements when you box. Try a boxing class, box with a trainer or a partner. When you punch against pads this is a form of resistance training. It is important to have some technique lessons first and always wear good quality protective gear (wraps and gloves). You’ll also improve your hand eye co-ordination. Move over Rocky!

Calories Burned: 800-1000cals per 60mins of Boxing, depending on body weight

4. Skipping

What a great way to burn fat on holiday or if you have a small amount of space. You will also increase your fitness levels by adding skipping to your fitness routine. Start off with 1min skipping with 30 secs of rest then increase as your fitness gets better. You will improve quickly, just stick at it. It’s also great for co-ordination.

Calories Burned: 600cals per 60mins of skipping, depending on body weight

5. Group Sports like Touch Football and Basketball

A great way to exercise, because you tend to forget you are actually doing it! Improves co-ordination, balance, strength and cardio fitness. The social aspect alone is a great benefit. Try to find a group of people who will push you to your limits and will encourage you.

Calories Burned: 500-700cals per 60mins of Touch Football, depending on body weight

Try to incorporate all of my Top 5 Fat Burning exercises into your fitness regime to get maximum results.  Mix it up!

Online Personalised Fitness Programs (To do at home, in the park or at the gym) are available her.

SUPERIOR fitness

23 Aug

I just did a 20 minute run on the treadmill due to the rainy weather today.  The treadmill bores the life out of me and is no fun at all for my knees and shins.  I wanted some excitement so I decided that I would try one of the pre-programed fitness tests!  Woo hoo!  Exciting times!  Seriously, what has my life become when I get excited over a fitness test…

After entering my gender, weight and age the treadmill told me (it speaks to me, you know) that it would start at an incline of 0 and over 12 minutes would rise to an incline of 12 whilst maintaining a speed of 5.4km/hr.  Sounded easy enough.  I needed to keep my hands on the heart rate monitor to keep track of my heart rate because, the treadmill explained, if I stayed at a heart rate of 150bpm for more than a minute the test would terminate.  In robot voice: “This treadmill will self destruct in 3 – 2 – 1… Ka Boom!”.  That’s probably not what happens.  Or…. is it…? *evil laugh*

The test is supposed to measure your level of cardiovascular fitness by determining the maximal amount of oxygen your body can utilise. It’s called “Submax VO2 Testing”.  I’m not sure how accurate it could be, given that I didn’t have an oxygen max with me (just darned forgot it today) so I was skeptical.  And I was even more skeptical after my results were flashed across the screen:

VO2 Sub Max Rating = 95.9

Fitness Percentage = 90%

Fitness Level = SUPERIOR

Bow down to me people!  I am your SUPERIOR now!  I should be crowned, given a key to the city, have an island named after me, have a trillion rose petals thrown at my feet!  I am superior in every which way now!  Finally!

Okay, so I’m going overboard here… But whilst the test may not be accurate (read – totally isn’t accurate), I’m still pretty pleased because I know that 6 months ago I would have fallen flat on my face at an incline of 12.  Flat. On. My.  Face.   So that’s a win for me.  And I get to keep my face.

Have you ever tried one of the fitness tests on your gym’s treadmills?

Running like the wind! Part 4

21 Aug

Completed an 8km hill run today and took my 40-ish uncle with me. He did really well! We kept the same pace as each other the whole way and we finished it in 63 minutes. I was pretty happy with that!

I still feel a bit under the weather though but I’m beginning to think it might be hayfever rather than a really long cold… Damn you spring! You creep inside my face and make it itch. Not pleasant. So that made the running a bit difficult.

After the run I felt great. I’m feeling pretty proud of myself to be honest! Look at me go! I wore my new cool tech compression tights and my new shirt that says “Running Makes Me HOT” which is funny because it makes me feel hot and sweaty and pretty soon I’m going to be one hot piece of ass. Just in case you didn’t get it. It’s alright, you can thank me later.

Plans for the afternoon I involve chilling with friends and a few light beers. Ah, bliss. And now that I’ve got my run out of the way, I will enjoy myself a whole lot more.

What makes you feel good after exercise?

Just Taking It Back

18 Aug

Remember last week when I said I would run 3 times a week in the morning? Yeah, well I did it. And then after I did it, I burnt myself out, caught a cold and felt exhausted all week. Still do! So unfortunately I have not completed any morning runs this week. Boo hoo, I’m a terrible weight loss blogger and you should all waggle your fingers at me!

I spoke to my trainer and told her how I felt so worn out after adding the extra runs and she suggested that maybe it was just a case of too much too soon. She said that because I’m not a morning peson by nature I would probably just have to get used to it. Hmmm maybe.

To combat this we devised a new regime which will look something like this:

Monday – short run
Tuesday – group PT
Wednesday – one-on-one PT
Thursday – short run, indoor soccer
Friday – one-on-one Pt
Saturday or Sunday – 10km+ long run

This seems slightly more manageable and I could even complete the runs at lunch or at night if I miss it in the morning, therefore not putting so much pressure on myself (which I am prone to do).

So there it is. I put it out there, I took it back, I readjusted it and then I put it back out there again. Sometimes a little reshuffling needs to happen but I won’t let that defeat me! I’ll hop back on the proverbial horse and try again!

What new activities have you added to your exercise regime?

Running like the wind! Part 3

14 Aug

This post should actually be titled “Running like old men” but more on that later…

Today Nat and I decided to run 12km which would roughly be 3 and a half laps of Centennial Park in Sydney’s east. It’s a pretty flat path so I thought I wouldn’t have much trouble. Yeah. Wrong. I’m wrong a lot lately apparently! I don’t like to admit that so let’s remember this moment as the one time I admit I’m wrong.

Soooo, basically it was excruciating. I’ve been sick this week so maybe that amplified the pain… But it was just so tough. The last few runs I’ve done included hills. Running on a flat path was so much harder I found. You really need to find a consistent rhythm and propel yourself forward as you don’t have any gradient helping you. And it’s hell on the knees and feet. Absolute hell.

The first lap I struggled and had to stop and stretch a few times. The second lap I found a good rhythm and only briefly stopped once. And then the unthinkable happened. I was overtaken by two men. Two OLD men. They didn’t even look fit! They were wearing casual walking clothes! All I could think was, “God damnnnn I’m slow!”. So I determined to keep pace.

I jogged behind those two old men for a good distance (Hamish and Andy shadow walking style) and just kept thinking, “Don’t you DARE let these old men be faster than you! Don’t. You. Dare”.

Then one of the old men tried to be a hero and started breaking away from the other and I thought, “Oh yeah old man? Oh yeah? You want a piece of this? Well, eat my dust!” and I took off down the path, sprinting like Cathy Freeman running for gold. The old guy must have thought I was a fricken nut. But I beat him and soon enough I guarantee they lost sight of me. He won’t try and be a hero again, I assure you.

By the end of lap 2 I almost died. I had not had any surge of endorphins, my body was aching and I was losing energy quickly. I had seen several runners pass me 3 times and I thought, rightio, let’s just quit whilst I’m ahead here. Time to pack it in.

Just as I was telling Nat I couldn’t do another lap another runner had run up behind me and said, “Don’t stop, you can do it!”. Well then! Someone giving ME motivational comments! That’s new! I thought I was the QUEEN of motivation! So I thought, “Yeah, I can do one more lap. I can and I will!”. So I walked a short distance then struck up a run again and completed that last lap.

By the end of that lap I could have just kept going but unfortunately (or fortunately) I was running out of time as I had a facial booked for 10.45am. So we didn’t reach the 12km we set out to do – it was only 10km but a 10km run is pretty good in my books and I felt proud all over again that I had finished yet another run.

(Below – picture I took of a tree with my Lomo app on iPhone)

What are you proud of this week in terms of fitness?


9 Aug

I really dislike 6.30am. Actually, to be quite honest, I dislike any time that is before 9am. If I could get up at 9am everyday I’d be one happy girl. I’d be a joy to be around. People would bask in my glow. But no, I’ve imposed this 6.30am wake-up on myself so that I can fit in a morning run to the beach.

I dreamt about waking up early all night (I usually wake up at 7am/7.30am). When my alarm went off at 6.30am I was dreaming it was Sunday and really wasn’t impressed that my alarm was going of so early on a Sunday. Ah, but no, it’s D-Day. I was pretty close to turning off the alarm and rolling over to catch some more Z’s but I’d made a commitment to myself to do the run so by god, I shall run!

It only took 15 minutes to run there and back but as you can see it was well worth it. Tomorrow I’ll try to be quicker and today I’ll try not to be a punish to be around. Try. I’m not making any promises.