Tuesday, July 30, 2013

My life as a Type A Personality

I am your textbook Type A Personality.

I've always been rigidly organized - I make shopping lists, I love timetables, and my lifestyle is a fixed almost militaristic regime. Bedtime and bed-rising time is the same every day, I set alarms, a few in fact, just in case I sleep through the first alarm (this has yet to happen). I exercise almost always on the same days, at the same time, and I know exactly when I need to turn my stove on to start preparing my lunch so I can leave for work.


I love packing my day full of activities from the moment I wake up till the moment I pass out in bed from sheer exhaustion. And I've even been told to "stop working"... in fact, during my teaching internship, my assessment was greatly penalized because I just wouldn't stop working through my lunch breaks and recess. I kid you not.

There are wonderful splendid things that come from being a Type A. You are always reliable, so everyone knows they can count on you. This can also be a double edged sword, because when everyone's dumping all their responsibilities on you, and you take it on because that's just your personality type, life can get quite stressful.

As a Type A, you will also strive hard to be good at everything that you do. I am innately very competitive, and I hate losing. In fact, I hate losing so much that I'd rather not participate if I know I'm going to lose. I've been trying to work around this, because life is so much better if it's not just about winning. My mind knows this, but every other part of me does not. That being said, wanting to be the best isn't always such a bad thing. You know you won't just be saying that you'll do your best, you know that it's really your best.

Also, you progress quickly in almost everything because you try so hard. Not to blow my own trumpet, but case in point, after I finished my Couch to 5K program, even while taking a month off in the middle, I can now complete 5km in 28 minutes, on flat terrain. Sure, it's not a great time, but I haven't been running for long, and I only run three times a week. The average runner who finishes the program completes the 5km route in about 34 minutes or so.

The massive downside of progressing quickly? Well, I'm very prone to injury. I'm impatient, and I lack the ability to self-regulate. It's as if I have no 'off' button once I begin. I have really wrecked my wrists from yoga through doing arm balances before I had built up enough strength to support them. I've also damaged my knee from running too far before my body was ready for it. Programs work really well for me to provide some kind of boundary to work within - yoga videos, and running apps are life savers... ok joint-savers :P

Also, the stress levels you experience as a Type A personality is off the charts. I am a massive stress ball, if it weren't for yoga and meditation, I think I'd look like I'm 50. Meditation is extremely difficult for me... training my mind to be still and to be mindful, and to physically sit and do nothing for 20 or so minutes is a major milestone in my life. It even took me awhile to learn how to relax while having baths, or while being at the spa.

There are loads of other little quirks/traits I have as a Type A. I do everything quickly...I used to be able to finish a whole plate of noodles in under 5 minutes, but have gradually learnt to slow it down. I drive fast, and hate when I'm caught behind someone slow. I rush my work, so I'm extremely efficient. But I'm also quick to anger and can get unreasonably touchy about things. Ahh... life in the fast lane :P

So, if you are a fellow Type A personality, here's my advice. Enjoy who you are, because you've achieved great things in life, and you have incredible personality traits that make you a great worker and a fantastic friend. But learn to pace yourself, actively let go when the time is right, and remember that life is not all about winning.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Kombucha: Is it worth the hype?

After reading so much about this latest health fad, I finally got my hands on some Kombucha! It so happens my local Thomas Dux stocks it in the fridge, and yours probably does too. Otherwise, check out your local health food or organic store, you are bound to be able to find it especially since kombucha is very in right now.

What is kombucha? 

Kombucha is a fermented tea with live bacteria and yeast cultures. Unlike other teas, it is effervescent, and drunk cold (to keep the cultures alive I think). Its many health claims include detoxifying the body, because of its glucuronic acid content which is used in liver detoxification. It also contains glucaric acid that increases liver efficiency and is a cancer-preventative agent. 

Kombuchas sitting pretty on the shelf

I picked up a bottle of Ginger Tonic for $4.29. The rest sounded good too, but I can never pass up on a good ginger drink! Plus, ginger has so many health benefits of its own, I thought I'd be getting a double whammy of healthy goodness. 

It's a cloudy drink, with 'floaters' in it which I assume are the yeast cultures. It might gross some people out to drink that, but it's really no weirder than granules in miso soup, or loose tea leaves in Chinese tea. 

It's quite effervescent, I was surprised by how gassy this was. It's very much like any Schweppes bottled drink, and tasted very similar too. You couldn't taste the 'floaters' at all, in case you were wondering, so it's perfectly easy to drink, especially if you love soft drinks. 

Do I like it? 

Well, I have to say I'm going to have to give this health craze a pass. I've tried it, and it's not really for me. For one, I don't enjoy fizzy drinks, especially ones that are very effervescent such as this. Secondly, this is very, very acidic and it made my digestive system go a little off after consumption. Whatever "detoxification" benefits I would have received were probably outbalanced by the amount of stomach discomfort I had after consuming this. 

As this is a fermented product, there is a small amount of alcohol content, approximately 1.6% so that's also something to consider if you're planning on giving this a go. 

I know plenty of people who love kombucha, so if you have a chance, do check this out for yourself. I could see it being a hit in summer. Just be a little careful of any home-brewed kombuchas, as with any fermented products, if preparation is poor and unhygienic, it could contain toxins! 

My Lorna Jane Haul

Believe it or not, I have never own a sports bra before. I just never had a reason to... (TMI, but my boobs are practically non-existent).

With my increased running though, I've had a problem with regular bra straps sliding off shoulder while running, and with my upcoming organized 5km event looming overhead, I wanted more comfort. So, off I went to my favourite sports outlet store, Lorna Jane at the South Wharf DFO.

Here's what I picked up today.

I may have spent a bit today

Clockwise from bottom left

Karin Tank $64.99 $45.00 

Gracious Short Sleeve Top in Scarlet Marl $59.99 $24.00 

Sports Bras 
Idol bra in Black $62.99 $55.00
Laurette bra in Black $65.99 $50.00
Laurette bra in Peacock $65.99 $50.00

Courage Canvas Tote Bag $39.99 FREE 
Because I had spent so much, they decided to chuck in a free tote bag as well! Score! This tote would really come in handy, I've been looking for a new canvas bag, and this can hold up to 2kg!

I'm not really one for sports fashion, but this has been a very occasional spoil, and probably my very last for awhile. I have always worn very cheap sportswear (think Supre $10 tights for yoga and running), but you can't really skimp on sports bras. I think I'm all geared up for the year!

What's your favourite sportsgear hangout? Do you spend on sportswear or do you prefer to save?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

When you wake up feeling a little blergh

You know when you're about to hit that day... it begins when you repeatedly hit snooze on your alarm clock, interspersed with groans as you curse the arrival of daylight (and not because it makes you a sparkly vampire). It's the day that everything's gone wrong... your breakfast burns, you miss the bus and are late to work, nothing seems to go right. Everyone has these days, and so do I.

What then do we do when we're just feeling a little icky, dull and irritable?


When I have such a day, I like to

do as little as possible. 

That's right... I schedule a little off day and reduce all the activities I've had planned. If I'm not having a good day, chances are I'm not going to enjoy my run, or that I won't feel like cooking, cleaning... and forcing myself will just make my day so much worse. Sometimes, it's better to let things be. You know what your body needs, and if it's a day off from routine, so be it!

do a little yoga or meditation or both. 

While I cut down on anything intense and heavy, some restorative yoga always helps to calm and centre me a little. Focussing on breath just helps me put everything else out of my mind, and when you're having a crappy day, there's nothing worse than having your mind burdened by everything that's gone wrong!

read/ look at something that makes me smile. 

Reddit /aww. Need I say more? Just have a quick browse and tell me is your day not better already?

brighten up the house. 

Open windows, blinds, make sure the sun is streaming into your home. Nothing feeds a bad mood more than bad lighting.

When I have such a day, I also try not to

take it out on others. 

So easy to do. I always take a few deep breaths if something's irking me, especially if I know I'm in a bit of a mood. Nothing makes me feel more guilty than snapping at an unfortunate friend/family member just because I'm having an off day.

sink too much into it. 

It's easy to indulge in the mood and get sucked into feeling sorry for yourself. I have on many occasions played Brand New and Tori Amos on my media player non-stop while browsing PostSecret to actively make me sadder! (I know, I'm an emo kid!)

What do you do when you have an 'off' day? 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Couch to 5K final run & the Blogstar Awards!

I completed my Couch to 5K program today, and what a run! I finished it in 28:55mins. It's definitely my best 5km time to date. When I first started running last year, before I had my knee and ankle injury, I was finishing in about 32-34mins, so this is a massive improvement for me!

My new goal is now to get it under 25 minutes! 

I've been very happy with the RunDouble app, so happy in fact that I've already purchased the unlimited upgrades, because I'm planning on doing the 5K improver as well as the 5K to 10K program. All in due time :) 

If you've missed out on my Couch to 5K updates, here are my previous updates, in chronological order. 

Whoops, looks like I missed out on posting an update on Week 7! Luckily, my app has stored all my running records, and a quick looks tells me that I was running 4km, at a pace of about 6:15min/km (how terrible!). This was the week I went back to running after being sick for over a month! 

In other news, one of my previous posts has been shortlisted as a finalist by Beautyheaven for the annual Blogstar Awards under the Health Guru category! 

I would be honoured if you could vote for my entry - What you should REALLY listen to when you exercise. It takes a few minutes to sign up in order to vote, but you could win yourself 1 of 100 beauty prizes! 

Check out all the entries for the Health Guru, and if you like my post, please sign up and/or  vote for me

Monday, July 22, 2013

Wicked Walks: Cathedral Range State Park

We decided to go to the Cathedral Range State Park today, a 7km ridge of sedimentary rock peaks 150km north east of Melbourne. It was a pleasant 2-hour drive along Maroondah Highway, aside from city traffic at the start of our journey.

The path we had chosen was Ned's Gully - Ned's Saddle - Ned's Peak, approximately a 5.5km walk return. Even though the weather forecast was gloomy, with showers predicted for Monday, we thought we'd test our luck anyway and had our fingers crossed for good weather!

Lady Luck was on our side, and it didn't rain all day!

We started at the carpark

The forest was so surreal it was like a fairytale

Beautiful trails of all terrains

Including steep rocky paths

The trails we took are graded as "medium" on the Parks Victoria guide, which is quite deceptive especially for avid hikers such as ourselves who frequently use the guide to choose routes. "Medium" for the Cathedral Range Park was clarified in the guide as "Steep sections but footing less difficult.Sturdy footwear and a good level of fitness required". We can usually tackle hard tracks, so we thought the Medium would be easy, but it really wasn't. Apparently, people rock climb in the Cathedral Range! There are some very impressive photos floating around the internet.

Armed with our ignorance, we proceeded to the top of Ned's Peak with much difficulty. It involved some minor rock climbing, but it was so rewarding once we got to the peak. 
Totally wrecked just getting up to Ned's Saddle.
We still have the Peak to get up to

And this is how I capture nature

Nearly at the peak, the path is strewn with rocks
My sister looking snazzy at the top of Ned's Peak

Finally at the peak! Beautiful rock formations

Once we had half a Power Bar at the top, we started our descent. And what a descent it was! Anyone who's said they've had a Walk to Remember has not walked this walk before! While our ascent up to the Peak was clearly marked, our descent wasn't, and we lost the path and veered off track. (It wasn't just us, two other male hikers got lost too, but didn't seem too fazed and proceeded to trudge happily down a 40-50 degree incline in a straight line).

There is really nothing scarier than being afraid of heights, and being lost on a mountain peak, trying to descend.

After meandering around for about 25 minutes, gripping hard onto any surface I could find be it tree, rock or just plain mud, my sister finally got us to the trail! Hooray for her orienteering skills and her Iphone! (She strongly recommends the Avenza app if you're planning on going hiking, total lifesaver today. It's a database of PDF maps from Parks Victoria, but with GPS tracking).

On the bright side, I conquered my fear of heights for the day at least, and the rest of the descent on track was a piece of cake, even though I was concerned earlier in the day about the steepness.

More arrows were definitely needed on the descent from Ned's Peak

This gushing creek though calmed us from our adventure at the end

So, that was what I got up to on my Monday. If anyone's interested, you can go rock climbing, abseiling or walking at the Cathedral Range State Park. It's beautiful, and if I wasn't so petrified of heights, I'd love to go rock climbing too. It's a good challenge, for anyone with a decent level of fitness (as a guide, both my sister and I are runners, and we were both puffed out by by the time we got to the peak).

Have you been to the Cathedral Range? Are you afraid of heights like yours truly? 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Couch to 5K Week 8 and 9 updates! Plus 75% OFF Sadie Nardini's yoga course!

I've just completed my Couch to 5K final Week 9 run today, and gosh the end is so near I can feel it! I'm very pleased with my progress so far, I've been sticking to the program and doing my three runs a week - my pace has improved so much!

I think I'm going to be in good shape for my first charity run at the end of August. Yes, I'm finally going to do it... my first charity 5k run! I'm so psyched, my running buddy and I did the race route this week and it wasn't too bad. We'll definitely squeeze a few more in before event date. 

Here's my Couch to 5K summary 

Week 8 Run distance 4.4km with the 5min warm up and cool down. 
Day 1 Distance 4.44km, Pace 6:11min/km 
Day 2 Distance 4.43km, Pace 5:57min/km 
Day 3 Distance 4.44km, Pace 5:57min/km 

Week 9 Run distance 4.8km with the 5min warm up and cool down 
Day 1 Distance 4.83km, Pace 6:19min/km - This was test running the race route, which was unfamiliar... we got lost a few times! Hence the poor timing. 
Day 2 Distance 4.83km, Pace 5:50min/km 
Day 3 Distance 4.83km, Pace 5:47min/km 

I know it's not a truly fantastic pace yet, but I'm so thrilled with my final pace. I've also improved more on my form I think, because I've got much less shoulder and back aches now. I've only got one more final run to do, which is the 5km run to "prove that you can", according to the app. I'm hoping to be able to do my 5km run in under 28 minutes, that would really make my day! 

In other news, Udemy is having a whopping 75% off on most of its courses, including Sadie Nardini's 14-day course, which I have reviewed and love

Just use the discount code HEATUP. Please note that I'm not affiliated with Udemy or Sadie, I really do love having so much information at your fingertips. I've purchased quite a few courses from Udemy, they've really stepped up their game and videos are now much better quality, and you have the option to download some of the content too. 

Great course, complete wellness package 

Fantastic for meditation newbies

Other great courses that I can recommend if you're planning to get into the sale are the Love, Peace and Stillness Meditation Retreat by Teagan Fea (review here), and Yoga for the Career Woman by Taryn Hughes, which is a much more beginner-friendly yoga course than the Sadie one.

Happy shopping, and have a great weekend! I'll be heading to PAX Australia, and spending my time in ultimate nerd-vana.

It's now my turn to sit next to Big Daddy

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The sad day that I realized I was gluten-intolerant

Admittedly, I've had this hunch for a while. I've complained to friends, family, blog-readers, colleagues, Romans and country-men about how bad my digestion is and how my tummy gets upset all the time.So often in fact, that some people are starting to get quite irritable about listening to my digestion rants. 

Anyway, today I finally put two and two together, and worked out that it's wheat. And I had this realization while naughtily snacking on a Chinese fried dough snack. 

It's like these, only flaky. I didn't even think to take a photo and
now it's been devoured 
How shall I describe the experience? 

First, I was happily enjoying some munch-time, and then about half an hour or so later, I felt really, really, really sick. Think of indigestion, bloating, and nausea all rolled into one. And then it hit me, this happens every time I have too much of anything with flour, including cakes, pasta, and bread. 

As a child, I remembered absolutely detesting having bread for breakfast. Bread was really difficult to stomach, but growing up in an Asian household, you learnt to eat whatever was put in front of you... or else!  
So, I grew up with a tolerance for being intolerant. Honestly! I thought it was perfectly normal to feel sick after meals all the time, which was why it also took me ages to work out that I had a lactose intolerance. 

There are many ways (most that have yet to be 100% foolproof) on how to test for food intolerance. The easiest way is to keep a food diary. This way, you can work out what foods trigger your intolerance, and hopefully see a pattern from that point onwards. You can also do Food Intolerance Tests, but these have yet to be proven to work. 

I did work out that I can have wheat in small amounts, just like I can have cow's milk in small amounts too. My symptoms only trigger when I've gone past my threshold. 

While I'm feeling a little peeved about this, hopefully this will help me curb my snacking. Ideally, I'd love to be able to munch on carrot sticks like some people do, but I love that feeling of fullness that gluten gives me (or in my case.... overly full when I've had too much!). Here's to a new gluten-less diet. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

What you should REALLY listen to when you exercise

Everyone knows that music makes workouts more productive. But do different types of music yield different results? Which genre should you be pumping through your speakers? 

If you've ever wondered about that, today's your lucky day! I voluntarily subjected myself to different genres of music while exercising to see which ones are the best tunes to workout to. You can thank me later. 

Here's my hypothesis
The genre of music that boosts performance the most is the subject's most favourite genre. 
In my case, that genre would be alternative/metal. I think it sounds like a perfectly plausible outcome, so let me get into the method of the experiment. 
The fitness challenge is to exercise on the stationary bike for 16 minutes on the Fat Burner mode set at Level 10. The exercise is to be done first thing in the morning after waking up at 7.30am, before breakfast, to a 20-minute playlist of a chosen musical style, and to a control of exercising without music. 
Before much ado, here are 

Now that you've mocked/admired my musical selection, let's get into the nitty gritty. Despite my favourite genre being alternative/metal, all the songs in the playlist are songs that I enjoy, and of fairly upbeat tempo.

Results were measured based on the number of calories burnt, distance cycled (km), and how motivated I felt during the workout. I've also picked out songs from each genre that got me really pumped (Power Songs).

Here's what I discovered:

Power Song
Surprisingly everything
(Explanation below)
Hip Hop
Pump It
Black Skinhead
Real Life

Party Rock Anthem
Scare Me
The Infected

No Music

The results are pretty close, but in general, the more Power Songs there were, the better the performance and the better the mood. While the Power Songs were in different genres, they shared similar characteristics:
  • A strong bass ~ This activates a primitive part of our brain that then stimulates the adrenal glands. 
  • Anthemic ~ It's like being a superhero with a theme song!
  • Speed ~ It needs at least 120 beats per minute 
  • Something you enjoy ~ It doesn't have to be your favourite song, but it shouldn't put you off either. 
I'm disappointed alt/metal ranked last, but the playlist I chose definitely lacked Power Songs. Sadface.

Why did Orchestral music score so high? 

Bear in mind, I'm a Classical musician, so these results reflect that. The Orchestral pieces were anthemic, evocative, rhythmically-driven pieces, but had the added advantage of creating a strong emotional response. My mood was euphoric, the music was accompanied by strong imagery in my mind, and I felt like I was soaring.

Be warned, it won't work for everyone, so don't jump on the Mozart bandwagon just yet.

Can you identify with my experience? What's your Power Song? 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Curried Quinoa with Tofu

Here's an easy mid-week dinner to whip up, especially if you are a fan of quinoa. It takes less than 30 minutes, and doesn't require a lot of ingredients. Leftovers are perfect for next day lunch.

3/4 cup quinoa 
1 large onion, diced 
4 tbsp Indian curry paste 
1 cinnamon stick 
1 bay leaf 
3 cardamom pods 
1 tsp turmeric
3/4 cup sultanas 
1 1/2 cups stock 

almond flakes and coriander for garnishing 
oil for frying 

Brown the onion and tofu, add the curry paste and spices and fry till fragrant. 
Add the sultanas and quinoa and stir to coat. Pour in the stock and simmer till quinoa is cooked through. Add water if quinoa is still undercooked and it's looking a little dry. 

Garnish with almond flakes and coriander, and dig in! The sweetness of the sultanas mingle well with the rich spicy flavour, it's low calorie and high in protein from the quinoa and tofu. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

It's Tea-Time! Qi White Tea

I've never had White Tea before. I'd never even heard of it until I saw it sitting on the shelf at my local IGA. The label is another organic Fairtrade one called Qi tea (I'm so silly... I kept thinking it stood for QI, as in the British comedy quiz show, but it really stands for Qi, pronounced "chi", which is mandarin for energy).

The little leaflet inside explains what white tea is.
"Green, black and white teas are actually all plucked from the same bush; however white tea is the first picked young leaves and buds that have a 'white' appearance."
Qi White Tea
In the background, you can see a part of
the mountain, aka my tea collection

I wasn't sure what I was going to expect taste-wise, or looks-wise, but it looked like a regular cup of green tea, except a little paler. I didn't add milk or sugar to this, and just drank it the way I would normally drink any green or Chinese tea.

Taste-wise, it is also similar to green tea, but it doesn't have the bitterness that green tea does. It's very easy to drink, and because it's less processed, contains more anti-oxidants than green tea! I know quite a few people who dislike the taste of green tea because of that very bitterness, so this could be a better option.

The high anti-oxidant content also supposedly helps with cardiovascular function as it reduces cholesterol, decreases blood pressure and improves the function of your blood vessels (thanks Wiki!).

If it was cheaper, I would definitely consider this to be a permanent replacement of green tea. At the moment though, because it's such a niche tea, the price is a little steep at about $4 for a pack of 25 tea bags. If you're a tea explorer like me though, definitely add this to your "try" list.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Internet Detox: The Conclusion

Warning: Long rambly post below. 

A while ago, I commenced an Internet Detox. And not long after that, after a short stint at success, I realized to my dismay that my attempts had not only backfired, but I had completely lost my fitness routines and my yoga practice.


Two lovely readers and fellow yoginis suggested that maybe I was approaching it the wrong way. My problem has always been that I see the world very much in black and white. I believed for a time that to be a complete yogi, I needed to denounce or at least, limit social media. The wonderful and wise Anne of Yogaspeak's words of wisdom, that there are "no absolutes" gave me a new perspective on my life.

Mind you, those are probably not new words. Sometimes though, you lose your way and you need someone to drop these guiding words to steer you back to your path.

I began to reflect a lot on this in my yoga practice and beyond, and the more I delved deep into myself and why I was spending so much time on the internet, the more I realized it was because most of my interests are technology-bound. I enjoy reading blogs and blogging, following my favourite yogis from across the globe, and there is of course the gaming. I do spend time on social media, not because I have severed connections with real-life friends in place of online ones but so I can bridge connections with people I really have no other way of connecting with in real life.

Yes, I did spend a lot of time on the internet, and still do. But I maintain a healthy social life, I eat well (for the most part), and I have an active lifestyle.

That was when I realized that my problem wasn't with my so-called internet addiction. My problem was with the preconceived notion of what a healthy and a yogic lifestyle should be. I began working on acceptance, and slowly worked back some yoga into my life. Running trailed behind and I'm pleased to say that I'm back on track with where I was fitness-wise. Phew!

Going on the internet detox didn't quite yield the results I wanted. I have no idea what I truly wanted, but I have an inkling that it was to be as enlightened as the Dalai Lama.

We both wear glasses and I sort of like orange... 

But I'm pleased with what I did come away with. I now know more about myself than I did before, and I am more in tune with my needs. I am learning to be less judgmental about myself, a lesson slow to learn but one that everyone should master.

So there you have it, my long ramble has come to its conclusion. If you  do want to go on an internet detox, I would suggest that you try it out to see how it feels to be away from such a vital piece of technology. You may even reach a different conclusion and find that your life is way better without it. Every man (and woman) travels a different road after all!

Have you done an internet detox? Will you go on one? 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Liebster Award

I was tagged to do this a while ago but I've been given this award again by the lovely Hailey from The Beauty in Life.

Head over to Hailey's to check out her lovely beauty blog. Here are the questions that she's posted: 

Tell me your biggest beauty blunder?
Easy! My biggest beauty blunder was this time when I had bought one of those electric razor wands and thought... wouldn't it be a great tool to groom my eyebrows with. Shaved off half my eyebrow in less than 2 seconds, and had to fill it out for about a month while it was growing out. Certainly learnt my lesson though!

Eyebrow bane

What annoys you most about the Australian beauty industry?
What annoys me about the international beauty industry is false advertising. Airbrushed models, using false lashes in mascara ads... and so on. Kudos to Dove though and their wonderful body awareness campaigns. 

Did you ever destroy any of your mums makeup as a child? If so, what was it?
No, I wasn't ever interested in makeup as a child! I was quite a tomboy, and wouldn't be caught dead with makeup. 

What is the one beauty product you struggle to apply?
False lashes. I lack the fine motor skills to put them on I think! 

What is the weirdest beauty product you have ever seen?
Hands down it's snail cream. I have a snail phobia... and the thought of rubbing snails all over me grosses me out. I know they're good for the environment, but they can stay in the garden where they belong :P

Snail cream. Because snails never age.

What is the best beauty advice you have ever received?
Less is more. 

You have an unlimited amount of money to buy just one beauty product, what would you choose?
I would never really splurge on any consumable, and this includes beauty product, even if I did have an unlimited amount of money :P But, even though it's not a product, I will splurge on a yoga retreat getaway for perhaps a month, maybe to Gwinganna. De-stressing helps with beauty no? 

What is your least favourite part of your beauty routine?
Having to put on moisturisers. I'm very impatient, and love getting things done in under 1 minute. Some people call this efficiency. Others call it haste. I just call it being me. 

You are being shipped off to Mars but can only take 2 makeup or skincare products. What will they be?
Body wash, and moisturiser (I know I just said that I hate moisturising... but hearsay tells me Mars is quite dry!) 

What is your favourite thing in the whole world? (doesn't have to be beauty related)
I'm guessing favourite thing has to be an object, so I'm going to go with my computer. How terrible! 

I know I'm supposed to nominate a whole bunch of people with less than 200 followers but I have done this before in the previous tag so I'm passing up this time. And therefore, like a damp squib, I won't be posting my 10 questions.

A damp squib or a damp squid? Hmmm 

Thank you Hailey for this lovely nomination. It was a lot of fun answering your questions! 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Sore Running Shoulders & Couch to 5K Week 6 Update

I've put my running shoes back on, which I'm so happy about. It was tough trying to get back into a fitness routine since I fell sick, but I believe I'm there again. I'm a bit miffed that my running performance seems to have suffered. I'm running a lot slower than what I was doing pre-sickness, but I did take about 3-4 weeks off exercise altogether so it was inevitable. Such a bummer though considering I was going so well! 

Something I noticed while running was how tense and sore my shoulders would get. I always made conscious efforts to release tension if I noticed it, but yesterday, my shoulders were aching so much that I had to do shoulder rolls while running just to release tension! It was quite difficult to continue running but I completed my 4km. 

I warmed down with some shoulder openers but I think I might need to keep doing some more just to loosen them up a bit. They are still sore today. I'm thinking keeping out the shoulder stands but bringing in threading the needle, and cow-face pose. Simple shoulder rolls help too. #andthisiswhyeveryrunnershoulddoyoga

Threading the needle

Cow-face pose
Part of the reason why my shoulders get so sore is poor running form, I think. I noticed that while I don't hunch my shoulders up like some runners do (I make a very conscious effort to drop them), I've developed a habit of craning my neck forward while running and that puts extra tension on shoulder and neck muscles. I don't even know why I do it! Maybe I think it helps me run faster if my head is in front of my body? :P I'm trying to stop doing this but it's a lot harder than you would think! 

Before I fell sick, I completed my Couch to 5K Week 6. The program varied day to day, but built up to a straight 3.6km run. At this stage, my pace was a good 6 min/km, which is probably my best speed running long distance yet. I did this way back in May though, and I've only just managed to start Week 7 now. 

Damn you cold virus!

I think that's all for today. Do you experience any tensions while running and what do you do to alleviate this?