Very simple, very short one today: no running, no writing (really). Rain, rain, rain here in China. No fun. Hope it pisses off soon. Back soon I hope.
The best laid plans and all that.... SO, my plan of switching my speed session to this morning instead of yesterday was thwarped by a mysterious, horrible, one-day only (I hope) illness yesterday, that's left me feeling a bit weird and not at all like training this morning. Not sure what it was, but it was intense and awful and at one point I was going to ask Husband to take me to hospital (yep, those local Chinese hospitals that are not at all fun - I speak from experience from when Husband hurt his back and we had to venture into one, complete with a not-fun ambulance/rickety-van-masquerading-as-an-ambulance ride). So, no more chills, aches and throwing up this morning, so I hope I'm fixed. Awful - you know I'm ill when I couldn't even finish half of the amazingly tasty breakfast Husband had created (tomato/onion/garlic scrambled eggs on toasted rice bread topped with asparagus). Maybe I can get that run in later this arvo or this evening maybe. Hate, hate, hate being ill and lying around all day, boo....
On a much cheerier note, today (30th March) is Mother's Day for all those in England and America, so a very Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there!! Hope you all have lovely days and get spoilt exactly the way you want.
Yesterday’s run was the 12.8km as planned, and my legs felt great again. The day before when I tried to do the same run but in the afternoon, as I slept in, my legs felt awful! Only managed 10 kms ish and then slowed to walk the rest of the way. Really slow and sore – tight inner thighs and felt like I’d just run a race?? I was perplexed until I remembered, oh yeah, that’s right – speedwork, first in MONTHS, maybe that’s why am sore? Glad it didn’t last long though.
I read about this way of keeping track of your runs and how you’re doing and progressing and think I will implement it soon. It is nothing fancier than a few coloured highlighters and you mark or tick the runs you have completed according to the colour system: yellow means the run was good, legs felt great, could have kept running for hours; orange means that you felt not 100% but still an ok run; and red means that the run was a bit of a struggle or you felt off or tight or sore etc… So, based on this highly technical system, lol, yesterday morning’s run was back to a definite yellow but the one the afternoon before that was an orange or dare I say it, a red??
This morning I had another speedwork session planned but upon hearing the rain hammering down at early o’clock, I decided to make today my rest day instead and swap the speedwork for tomorrow morning. Win. I think. Plus the sun is just coming out, so I hope it stays this way for the rest of the weekend.
I hope you all have wonderful weekends whatever you may be doing and wherever you are! What is ‘on’ for your weekend??
Today’s post isn’t so much a post about running, although running will certainly feature in some of what I write about. Today I am thinking about (as ever) and celebrating the life of my father, Nick. Today marks the two year anniversary from when he passed away, all too young. I miss him everyday. He was a great and wonderful man. I won’t be able to do him justice in my not-so-eloquent blog post, but here are some of the things that made up that much loved man; father to me and my brother, and husband to my mum.
1) He was an adventurer, and loved to travel. He went extensively to Europe, to Africa a couple of times, to Australia a few times, to India and other parts of Asia, and he emigrated to live and work in New Zealand (from London) in recent years. I know he wanted to see more of Australia and many more places in this world, so I aim to see as much of this world as possible, on his behalf (and mine too, ok).
2) He was intelligent and wise. He loved to do (and finish!) those insane cryptic crosswords (that are definitely in the too-hard basket for me). If I ever had a tricky question or problem about life, i.e. practical matters, job and career things, study issues, running or race questions etc, then I would ask him or seek his advice. (Although nothing too personal or about my love-life hey – after all, we’re Adderleys!)
3) He always supported and encouraged me, in whatever I was doing or was about to embark on, no matter how ridiculous it may have sounded (or maybe he kept that to himself anyhow), such as: potentially buying a cleaning business with all my savings (lucky escape that I didn’t), starting a mobile spray-tanning business, or quitting my original course at uni to rethink things all those years ago.
4) He was keen sportsman: always active and playing sports, his favourites being: golf, running, and walking/hiking, but he also liked to go fishing, cycling, skiing, and play tennis. I remember him going on his annual golf trip away with his friends to battle each other for a coveted trophy they took turns in winning each year. On other years, Dad and I would join our friends on a skiing trip to the French Alps. If it weren’t for my dad, I may not have picked up running at all. He was a keen runner, and I have vivid early memories of him sitting down, puffed out after a good run, with a pint of squash (cordial) in hand, on a Sunday morning in London. He ran the London Marathon back in the day too, and got an awesome time of 4:11 (one that I’m still yet to come close to matching), and countless other runs and events. I miss talking to him about running and times in races etc. Everytime I run, I think of him, and especially when I cross the finish line of races – I’d love to be able to tell him my time and talk about the run with him. He also climbed up to the TOP - the SUMMIT - of this mountain (Mount Taranaki) in New Zealand!
So incredibly proud of him, for this and for many reasons.
5) He really appreciated good food and good wine and good beer. He was an excellent cook, and would spend hours making a good meal, on a Sunday or at Christmas or a special occasion. He would also make a completely different main dish too, for when I was vegetarian as a teenager, or if I wasn’t eating red meat at the time, or whatever I was doing, so if he was cooking a Beef Wellington for Christmas dinner he’d make me a whole steamed salmon, for example. I still have cravings for his awesome tiramisu too. He loved good wine and good beer, and would never just drink for the sake of it. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him drunk or off his head, maybe the most he would have had would have been a few glasses to a bottle. But he never drank anything strong, or ever drank too much, his joke being he was ‘one pint Nick’ (so, I guess being a lightweight must run in the family!). He never smoked either, and he worried about those who did smoke (although in a non-judgemental way: he would FULLY support those trying to quit and would tell them often but not in a pushy, overbearing way that ‘we are all behind you’ or ‘you have our full support’).
6) He was an animal lover and a lover of wildlife. He was a veterinarian so his career was in helping animals, but he also got involved in conservation work. For example, check out this adorable baby Kiwi bird that is named Adderley as a tribute to and now in memory of my father:
My dad found this kiwi’s egg during a conservation trek and now he has been released back into the bush. Nick couldn’t be there to release the chick into the forest so I was so honoured to go on his behalf and do so. It was one of the coolest things I have ever done, without a doubt. So proud of my dad. He also went on a month-long trip to rural Northern India on a volunteer program to neuter/spay stray dogs, with a couple of other vets.
7) There are so many more things I could write or say about him. He was ultimately a great man. A man I love and respect so much. I wish I knew him more as a friend as well as father (especially later in my life and now), as his many many friends may know a whole lot more and have different aspects that they would remember about him, but I am so happy and proud to be his daughter. I miss you Dad, you are forever in my heart and thoughts. Wish you were here.
So, no blog yesterday as there was no running to remind me to blog, haha. Oops. Did 50 minutes of strength training instead, as the training plan says you can sometimes swap one of the easy runs for some strength or weights, so having run for the last 3 days straight (I usually alternate days), I chose the strength option instead. Felt good, felt strong, so that’s a plus yes?
This morning was supposed to be a 12.8km run, but our beautiful but CRAZY puppy did an excellent job of shrieking/barking/going off her head at about 3 in the morning, just two hours before I was aiming to get up and get ready (read = drink coffee) for the run. Husband says she was just protecting us (there was a noise from downstairs), which is very sweet and adorable and lovely, but VERY loud and far too early! So, I then chose to stay in bed a whole while longer this morning. Result = my run has been pushed back to about 3pm instead, where the traffic and the pollution will be heaps worse, but hey-ho, what can you do? I’m pretty sure this is what she resembled this morning:
On a completely different note (i.e. NOT running, puppies, or anything to do with China), when a friend keeps telling you little white lies (which you know are lies) should you call them out on it? Or just accept their version? If they lie about such little things, then surely they will lie about bigger, important things? Maybe I should just let it go, as it’s their prerogative to lie I guess? Hmmm, just a little frustrating…. Ok, random rant is over, now back to running stuff:
I read an article this morning about a man in England who ran SEVEN sub 3:25 marathons in SEVEN days. As part of an event called ‘Weak at the Knees’. WOW! I can’t even imagine getting ONE sub 3:25 marathon, and I’m not sure I ever will now, as I’ve vaguely sworn off marathons and longer distances in favour of those much more fun, wonderful half marathons, but SEVEN in ONE WEEK??? Amazing. Or crazy. Not sure which, probably amazing more than anything. I guess it goes to show just how incredible and strong our bodies really are, and that we can usually do much more than we think we can. I know this was true of my half marathon raced on the Great Wall of China last May. At the starting line, looking at what we had to ‘run’ up (extremely daunting and extremely steep towers of stairs and crumbling ledges and broken walls, stretching for as far as you could see in the distance) I was thinking, ‘no way I’ll be able to do this’, but then you start, you continue, you sweat and ache, you feel amazing for keeping going, you finish and discover you were the first female to do so, you feel AMAZING and elated. So, before you know it: the impossible is done, and is not impossible after all; nothing is.
What is something you have done that you once wouldn’t have thought possible and that you amazed and surprised yourself with? Or something you are completely proud and excited about having done?
Ahh, speedwork. I love it and I hate it. (Hate it when I’m in the middle of it and pushing myself so much that am well and truly out of puff and feeling a bit sick at times / Love it when it’s over and I feel amazing and badass at having done it and showing myself that yes, I can do that.)
This morning’s training saw me back at the track doing this: 1.6km warm-up, then SIX times: 1.6km at VO2Max pace with 3 mins rest, then finish with another 1.6km cool-down. According to a pace calculator (where you plug in the time you are aiming for and the length of the race), my VO2Max pace should be between 3:46 – 3:56. This was tough hey, not going to lie. So, most of the time (according to Garmin) my pace crept back up to about 4:05 and sometimes 4:10 (even though it felt like I was running at the same speed). Garmin told me at the end that my fastest km took 3:55, so I guess I kept it pretty close to the target pace. It was tough but I feel AWESOME now. J
Yesterday’s run was a nice 10 km (I think – Garmin reckons it is 10, but mapmyrun.com had it at almost 12km?! wtf??) run on a usual route down by the river. Spring has definitely sprung and the beautiful pink, purple, and white flowers adorning trees all around town = a beautiful, early morning run.
So, we’ve got the usual four lessons today, but quite frankly, I kind of just feel like staying in our flat and organizing and having a massive spring-clean instead. Better snap out of it, as Tuesdays are great lesson-wise and student-wise.
Husband is busy studying and preparing for his Chinese driving test (theory) tomorrow. Wish him luck! He will ace it I’m sure. The only trouble being that most of the questions do not make any sense (very bad translations) and some are completely wrong but you have to put the answer that they say IS correct (even when it’s clearly not). Hey-ho. Positive thoughts he will pass first time, and then we can get one of these babies to tour around China in and to drive up to Inner Mongolia with our puppy:
Welcome back! It’s been a while hey. Have well and truly been on a bit of a running/blogging hiatus of late. Here’s what happened: I took an impromptu trip back home to Australia in early January (probably just after my last entry I suppose) to buy an apartment (yay!) and didn’t take my laptop, thinking ‘I’ll write when I get back’, and well, that just never happened hey. If it weren’t for the lovely, caring, and inquisitive Kristina and Annie, then this would probably not be getting written now. So, thanks you two! Here it is as promised…
SO, lots to catch up on then. Here are some nutshell points from the last couple of months:
- In Australia I did as many runs (in between house viewing appointments and bank trips) as I could in the early morning sunshine and under those blue, blue skies. LOVE RUNNING IN AUSTRALIA. Namely beautiful Newcastle, which has a lot more hills than I remember.
- I missed my husband and puppy (who had to stay here in China due to no puppy-sitter being available) A LOT.
- I got to catch up with my two besties a lot during my quick trip. LOVE THESE TWO:
- Teaching, teaching, teaching, as usual.
- Husband and I got interviewed by another journalist, this time from a newspaper from the province, not just our city, who is writing a book about ‘foreigners’ in China and has chosen 15 lucky ‘laoweis’ to be in it. Watch this space for a copy. J
- I turned THIRTY. (So, really must update my ‘about me’ section hey, still living in the past of 29…)
- Eating, eating, eating, Chinese food, Chinese food, Chinese food…
- We accepted a job teaching at a university for next year (term starts in late August) in Inner Mongolia!!!!
We are VERY excited about moving to Inner Mongolia!!! I am now picturing me (and Puppy) running through endless grasslands, with those blue, blue skies, and (we’re hoping) fresh air. Mongolian hospitality is famed as being awesome too, and the food (we think) will feature lots of hotpots, strong booze, and yoghurt at most meals. Combine that with loads of happy 18-25 students of ours (instant group of friends yes?), and an exciting, colourful (the traditional clothes look amazing up there) culture and outdoors, back-to-nature lifestyle = one happy husband and wife teaching team.
For those who are unfamiliar with where Inner Mongolia is, it is right up the top of China, just next door to Mongolia, but it is a part of China. Most of the people there are Mongolian, but the national language is Chinese.
Bring it on!
Oh, and in other exciting news (well to me anyhow) – I have registered to run in the Gold Coast Half Marathon in July! So, another exciting trip to Australia (for both of us this time) is on the cards, and in the next few months leading up to this I’m planning to train my arse off and get under that 1:34 time from my last half. Would LOVE a time of 1:30, so I’ll see if I can make it happen. I’ve got another training plan, so I’ll be putting that into action in the next few minutes when I head out into the (getting warmer) morning air. This training plan is much longer than my last 12 weeks one, so I’ve missed the first few weeks of it already (it is an 18 week plan).
Lastly, is this the face of the happiest dog in China?? Quite possibly. Here’s our beautiful puppy on her first trip to a further away park (we finally installed a puppy-basket on Husband’s bike), where you can imagine you’re in Bali or somewhere a lot more tropical than our city, on a good, sunny, clear day, which amazingly it has been all weekend.
Happy Monday and Happy Running everyone! xxx