Workout 21/02/2016 – a big hike

Yesterday’s workout was a 17 km hike through the Dandenongs. The track was beautiful – a mix of towns, roads, hiking trails, some flat-ish terrain and PLENTY of ups and downs to get the legs working. The ups and downs were in fact quite challenging, which made it the perfect Bogong preparation trek. Not only were we getting some muscles into action, but we also got some decent kilometres under our feet which is really important. I don’t want to find myself with blisters at the top of the mountain, so toughening my feet up again after six months away from hiking is the main priority in this training.

The route itself was a bit confusing – we found it online, and couldn’t print a decent map, so we were going off street names. Ultimately it slowed us down while we looked at GPS maps on our phones, but in the end we we out on our feet for about five hours (including stops at waterfalls etc).

map of dandenongs hike

I’m off to climb a mountain

Staircase Spur

It’s a long weekend here in Victoria- we get Monday off to celebrate Labour Day. Which no-one does, but we very much enjoy the day off!!!

final ascentI’m spending my weekend with some very close friends- we’re off to climb a mountain. The tallest mountain in Victoria, to be precise. I’ve written about Mt Bogong before- I climbed it in November, across two days, and in February this year I did the full 22km loop in one day. This weekend is exciting because the group of eight of us are climbing it together, which is something we’ve been working towards for a long time. We’ve done a lot of training hikes, and we’ve figured out our hiking rhythm as a group. Each of us has a hiking style on our own, but to walk as group takes practice. We’ve figured out who the trail blazers are- they’ll walk at a faster pace, then pause at pre-determined resting points for the back group to catch up. That group likes to power on through, and take longer rests at intervals. Then there’s the plodders- the group that will go at a slow but steady pace. This group prefers to just keep walking, but walk slowly. This group finds it harder to get going again after frequent rests, so they’ll take less ‘big’ breaks throughout the walk.

I’ll be in the back group. I’m a loud and proud plodder- resting too frequently makes my bushwalking experience pretty painful. bogong signMy legs hate me, and my mind starts focussing on the negatives. By plodding, I find a rhythm and stick to it. Going uphill I’ll take plenty of 20 second breathers, but that’s about it. I’ve recently been introduced to the Camelbak style of hydration system- it’s a bladder that sits in your backpack, with a hose that you can sip on. It stops me needing to pause my walking to get a drink bottle out, and by sipping regularly I end up drinking more water throughout the hike (I’m terrible at drinking enough normally). It also helps me regain breathe control while I’m hiking, which once again helps me to keep walking and stop less.

I’m not concerned that I’m a plodder- my style of walking gets me where I want to go, in the time that I want to get there. Practicing group hiking has been a really interesting exercise in each of us identifying our own style, and becoming comfortable with it. I think we’ve all had our moments, questioning our style (would I not be better going faster?! Why can’t I go faster?!) but ultimately we’ve all settled into something that’s comfy.

Sunday’s walk is going to be challenging. 22km is a long distance for relatively inexperienced walkers like ourselves, and it’s the longest distance some of our group have ever walked. Add into that a very steep ascent (and decent!), and we’re up for a big day. A very big day. None the less, I’m really excited to be taking this adventure with my friends, and I’m looking forward to challenge of ensuring everyone succeeds in this oddly team sport.

Hiking, bikinis, and… what should I eat?

The Cathedral Range- looking south along the ridge towards The Farmyard

The Cathedral Range- looking south along the ridge towards The Farmyard

I’ve had a lot of thoughts about what I was going to write about here this week. I want to tell you that I went hiking last weekend, and I want to tell you that I wore two-piece bathers (swimsuit? togs?) and felt comfortable in them for the first time in my life. I want to tell you about a discussion I had with my colleague about growing up as a ‘not very active’ kid, and about my idea to just smash out the clean eating for one week. Just one week- baby steps!! I guess I’ll talk about it all, at least for a little bit.

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View from the top

Last weekend had the Australia Day public holiday tacked onto the end of it, so after only a week back at work I got a long weekend. With some friends I headed out to the Cathedral Range State Park to do a day hike- and what a day hike it was. The hike was part of our training in preparation to climb Mt Bogong in March, so we knew the day would be a tough slog, but it turned out to be a tougher slog than expected. For a variety of reasons, the walk that we’d estimated to take 4-5 hours ultimately ended up taking 8. You know what though? Physically I was fine – in fact I was great. It was a long day of walking across 12km and very varied terrain, but I pulled up really well at the end of it all. About 2 km from the end we faced a huge staircase uphill, and for some unknown reason I ran up the entire thing. I guess I had energy to spare!! Ultimately a full day hiking through beautiful countryside is definitely not a bad thing at all, as long as everyone’s safe and happy. Which we were!! I’ve put a map of our hike further down in this post, in case any of you care to follow in our footsteps (perhaps next long weekend!).

The long weekend was warm, so as well as hiking I ended up at the beach. It was just an afternoon trip to take a dip in the ocean to cool down, but I still managed to pack two sets of bathers. When my friend and I parked the car a decision had to be made: should I wear the one-piece with the built in support that hides my podgy tummy, or should I accept the fact that the only person I was going to see that I knew was my very non-judgemental friend, and therefore wear the halter neck bikini? I thought about it for a bit. I put sunscreen on. Then I sucked it up, put on the bikini and a huge hat and sunglasses, went swimming, and promptly forgot to care about how I looked. Lesson learned.

I think I might save my discussion on growing up ‘not very active’ for another day- there’s probably a lot more than half a post’s worth of musings and discussions in me on that topic, I reckon!

So, on to the week’s worth of eating clean. I was doing great last year. I cut out the refined carbs and refined sugars, was limiting the amount of unrefined carbs I was eating, and once I got through the week 3 withdrawal craziness I felt really good (and I was losing weight). Then stuff got busy, Christmas happened, and suddenly I can barely remember the last time I brought my own breakfast or lunch to work. It’s time to get back on it. I find it a bit overwhelming thinking about getting back into it all- I still feel like I don’t have much time, and honestly my habits have slipped badly. I’m back on a freddo-a-day habit. So in an attempt to #SayNoToFreddo I’m thinking I might start out with a week of hard line healthy eating, and go from there. Plan it all out, do some cooking, make no excuses- just for a week. I can handle that. I hope! I really do hope, because I’m really not sure. Except I’ve done it before, for longer than a week, so I can do it again 🙂

I’m not starting today, or tomorrow, so watch this space- and in the mean time I’ll attempt to be kind to myself by easing my way into it all.

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Our hiking route at the Cathedral Range State Park- starting at Ned’s Gully car park, and ending at Cook’s Mill car park (click for enlarged view)

 

Blueberry & lemon cheesecake (raw, vegan, gluten and dairy free)

It’s bcheesecake 2een a while since I posted here. Ages in fact!! There are things I want to write about soon (triggers, achievements, frustrations, hiking….) but I have no time right now, so keep an eye out soon. Or reasonably soon, at least.

Since I’m pretty busy today but I’m also super aware of how long it’s been since I wrote anything, I thought I’d do a quick hello. I figure that a picture speaks a thousand words, so here’s a couple of pictures of  a raw blueberry and lemon cheesecake I made recently. Being raw it’s vegan, gluten and dairy free too (although when I say it is what I mean is it can be. I used honey (not vegan) and roasted nuts (not raw), but it doesn’t really matter. I used this amazing recipe from Raw Food Recipes and I’ve gotta say- 6 and a half cups of nuts in one cake is a looooot, but most definitely worth it for the number of portions you get. The lemon in this recipe gives the cake a real “cheesecake” flavour- I served it to a room of dedicated non-raw eaters, and they all loved it.

Anyway, enough writing. Enjoy the pictures.

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