My Brain, When Running


Running shoes

In two weeks, a friend and I will run the Sporting Life 10K. I’m hoping to tackle one of my 31-for-31 goals (running a 10K in under 1:05) and also set a regular running habit for the summer in the process.

Here’s the thing, though – I generally HATE running. I was always last-picked for team sports that involved any sort of quick movement, and the only reason I joined cross country was because it was a no-cut team (hat tip to my dad for always running the last few hundred meters of the course with me to get me across that line). I also have ridiculous shin and hip problems that flare up when I’m nowhere near home on a run (thankfully I carry subway tokens now as a precaution).

But I also LOVE running. Nothing tops the satisfaction of accomplishing a goal, and getting bling at the end of a race is always a nice bonus. So basically, it’s a complicated relationship.

And like anything I do, there’s generally a solid internal monologue accompanying it. So, I present to you – my brain, when running.

Ok! 10K! I can do this!

I am running! This is amazing!

Polite nod to passing runner. We are part of a tribe! A tribe of runners! Hello good sir!

Oops, shoelace.

Alright, on the trail. Wow, I need to come to the lake more often, it’s really nice down here.

Keep forgetting to breath. Steady.

The Map My Run lady is so nice. She sounds very pleasant and I appreciate her subtle encouragement to move my ass a little faster.

Seriously, shoelace again? I need to get velcro.

Do they still make velcro??

I really hate this song. I need a better playlist.

Oo, I like this one. *starts singing in between wheezes*

The hammer of the gods will drive our ships to newwww landddds 

I am so sweaty right now. This is gross.

I should plan meals for this week. Lots of salads.

I wonder if my face is as red as I think it is?

Hmm. That runner I just passed looked awfully alarmed at my appearance.

So thirsty

I think Map My Run lady is asleep at the wheel. There’s no way I haven’t run 7K by now.

I could eat a burger right about now

Oh thank goodness, she’s back. Walk time!


A dog!

I really wish I could get a dog

I should find a running partner

Everything hurts so bad, why am I doing this?

9 km! 1 to go!

I feel nauseous

The Map My Run lady is a smug jerk. I know my current pace is slow. Let’s see you run this distance and not slow down when you’re tired. I DIDN’T SLEEP WELL, OK?

Do I actually want a running partner? I don’t want them seeing how red-faced I get

Seriously what is with my shoelaces??

My street! I’m almost home!

I’m really thirsty

RUN DONE! Time to stretch.

Screw stretching, let’s just nap on the floor a bit

Keeping My Shape (Somewhat) in Shape

I’ve been talking a lot about food. Specifically, pastries. Cookies. Cakes. Wine. Sometimes all in one meal. Usually I am fairly healthy, I like to exercise regularly and I am a vegetarian. However, it’s become more regular for me to adopt the “I’m on vacation” mantra. A delicious mantra, that one is.

Such was the case when I stopped by Infinity Bakery in King’s Cross the other day. Yes, I took a photo of my dessert. But it was THAT good, I just had to remember it. It was also the size of a small pizza. Before judging me, I’m sure there have been times when you have eaten something and thought “man oh man, this is awesome. Nothing will ever taste better than this. I wish I could remember it forever,” well I went one step further and documented it. And I ate the whole thing in one sitting.

But it’s not all cakes and pastries. One of my favourite, cheap activities to do whilst vacationing is walking or hiking, and there are plenty of good options for it in Sydney. The Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk (you can stop at Bronte if you get tired – or, alternatively, if you want some gelato! Which may be counter-intuitive to the purpose of this post) is a 6 km walk taking you past beautiful beaches and even more beautiful people. The latter makes it a bit easier to bypass some of the bakeries and cake shops in town.

You  can start the walk after doing some good people-watching in Bondi Beach. Then you’ll pass  Tamarama, Bronte (and if you’re like me, get absolutely tossed about by the waves and then subsequently sunburnt after napping on the beach), Clovelly, and eventually Coogee. Conveniently, there’s a bus stop near Coogee which was most helpful for the ride back to Bondi. I was exhausted!

Another great option that I’ve enjoyed quite a bit is to get out on the water on a ferry. I went to Watson’s Bay and Manly and puttered about both. Stay tuned for more about both of those, which deserve  their own posts due to my adventures.

While it wasn’t cheap, I splurged and went to Yoga on the Beach in Bondi, which afforded pretty fan-freaking-tastic views. Granted, it wasn’t totally relaxing – I had to really strain to hear the instructor over the crashing waves (neat) and sounds of Willow Smith blaring in the background (not so neat). There’s something about I WHIP MY HAIR BACK AND FORTH I WHIP MY HAIRRR BACK AND FORTH that does tend to distract your balance when trying to hold a position. But at any rate, after yoga I went for a swim here:

Yes, the ocean comes into the pool. Yes, it was hilarious trying to lane swim competing with that and semi-professional athletes. And yes, I only lasted about five minutes before calling it a day (yoga was tiring, yo!).

All this talk about exercise has made me hungry!