Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Monday, August 22, 2011
Saturday, August 20, 2011
I haven't tried it myself but would love to one day...
This brings me to my next topic Bikram Yoga! I love it! And I think it possibly makes me happier than running. I have never looked forward to doing any other type of physical activity as much as the excitement I feel about going to yoga. Over a couple of months it has improved my injuries , to the point that some are no longer there, and the detox effects make me more awake, positive and full of energy to tackle my day.
The break in running has provided me with other opportunities that I otherwise might not have considered. I have signed up to ride the cycle leg of challenge Wanaka with a friend, and yoga has provided a new hobby and interest. I am still exercising 4-5 times a week, but mainly cycling and yoga.
I am hoping that I have not put you off running (remember I love it, and promote it), and I would hate to think that I have made people think twice about running a marathon (I will definitely be doing another one day!) If your body is strong and injury free, get your running shoes on and go for it! It is such a challenge and source of self-satisfaction – just remember to use your head and keep it smart!
When I get back into running I will be taking a different approach - running wisely is my new philosophy.
o I will run when I feel like it
o I will run for how long I feel like
o If I am tired I will go slow, if I have energy I will go fast
o I will not have a running goal
o I will take more time to run with friends
o If my body is telling me no, I am not going to run
Want to read more about running?
Gemma: Thinking about running a Half Marathon?
Kirsten: The Running Buzz. Part One and Part Two
Ali: Mama Runner
Anna: Part One
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Monday, August 15, 2011
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Anna is a good friend of mine, who in this guest post claims not to be a runner, however I am going to have to disagree with her on that one! She is built like a runner, long and lean, and knows how to make it look damn easy. (I'm excellent at making it look excruciating.)
I didn’t find long training runs as daunting as they seemed. I found breaking the longer runs down into sections really helped. I would run to Ross Creek for about an hour from my house, I would run up the Pineapple Track for an hour and I would then run back home. I would use the time between each hour to have a drink and refuel. When going for a long run I think it is also important to have it well planned out before you go. Knowing the route you are going to follow, how long it will take and when you plan to refuel in advance will help you mentally get through a long run.
I didn’t know what to expect when marathon day arrived. I had never run a marathon (let alone an off road marathon), I had never had to fuel my body while I ran a marathon and I didn’t know what to expect of the terrain. I set myself a reasonable goal of 5 hours. At 25km I hit the wall; I stopped and ate for a few minutes, and was back into it. I thought I had blown all chances of finishing under 5 hours, I knew it would be close, and I was relieved to reached the finish chute and see 4.59 on the clock.
I love running and I promote it, but I have found my attitude towards it changing. I came out of the Motatapu injured (lower back, knee and foot), and due to these injuries I have not really been able to fully get back into it yet. Thinking back now there were many signs for me to stop, my training programme was for 5 days a week, but my legs could only handle three or four and I was going to the chiropractor every fortnight to get my back put in place. These are key signs that there was something wrong and I should have taken some time out. This was not ignorance either! I am a PE teacher! I did know better, but I think some people can get carried away in that desire to fulfil goals.
I think that it is important to run smart, especially when training for longer distances. If you are running often make sure you include some strength and core training a couple of times a week with your training. Also include variety such as some cycling, swimming, yoga or pilates. My only exercise was running, because I loved it, and I didn’t have the desire to do other types of physical activity. This seems like a good philosophy, but the lack of strength work and cross training in my programme most probably was the main source of my injuries. Variety will also provide more motivation to run when it comes to your running days and will also reduce the impact on your joints. Linked in with variety is overload. Progress your runs no more than 10% per week, make sure you have plenty of rest days, and do not run on injuries. I think it is also important to analyse your running gait as poor technique is a big contributor to running injuries. Your legs should move up and down in line with your hips and try to run on the mid of the sole of your foot.
At the moment, I am not running. I was trying to run three times a week for about 30-40 minutes, but my lower back has been playing up and I have decided that until my body is stronger I am not going to do it. This was not a quick decision, but rather a process of acceptance over a few months. Gradually the amount of runs I have been doing a week have decreased from three to zero as I have slowly allowed myself to back off.
Thanks for sharing Anna!
Friday, August 12, 2011
Thursday, August 4, 2011
Monday, August 1, 2011
When the lovely Bee asked me to do a guest blog on photography I was not really sure where to start. I don’t see myself as a pro, as having the secrets, or coming close to mastering the art in any way, shape or form .... yet ... I am just working dam hard (and expect to be spending the rest of my life) attempting to master it. I am slowly building my business from scratch in Melbourne, sometimes I succeed, sometimes I fail, but I am always in LOVE with what I am doing. Photography fascinates me, it has ever since I picked up a camera with Bee at the age of 16.
People are my favourite thing to photograph – so I thought I would share with you some tips on what I think helps capture a great portrait. Of course once you master each of these suggestions, you should then do the complete opposite and I bet you will capture an even more amazing portrait!
Photography with people is not about what looks good through your lens (although that helps :)) It is about your connection with your subject. Always.
When you are setting up your subject, think about your setting, think about the backdrop and any odd shapes or forms that might be interrupting your space.
Generally (for a traditional portrait) you will want soft natural light falling on your subject. Make sure their eyes are lit well and that there is a nice flow of light across their face (not flooded with light).
Your connection starts from the second you meet. Relax your subject! 90% of people do NOT enjoy having a lens stuffed in their face! Choose the mood you want them in, for example if you want a really excited, high energy portrait, don’t play Enya and burn incense :) or if you want them relaxed, don’t start stressing and ordering them into place.
Pose your subject in a way you feel suits them and then make small adjustments from there. Leave slight bends in joints (normally 45deg is a good place to start). Watch your subject is not backing off the lens – this is an automatic response and leads straight into double chins and strange looks. Bring them forward. A slight angle of face is great on a female but not on a male as it makes them appear feminine (generally). Work their shoulders back and forth until you find an angle that suits them. One shoulder higher is always nice for a close up shot.
Warm into the shoot
Take some snaps to get them relaxed in front of the lens and then start to perfect your angles and start adjusting their angles and movements slightly. Always remember to look at your subject from every angle, walk right around them and get them to turn back toward you. Does it look good? Shoot it anyway – digital is great for over shooting :) Edit down later!
Ask them to show the expression you want. Bring their lips together, soften their eyes etc. If you want a laugh say something silly, and shoot all the way through their laugh – this is where you get a more natural expression. Shoot all the way until they stop (there is a soft comfortable moment at the end of a laugh that I love to photograph).
For a simple portrait use a low aperture to drop your background right out of focus.
A rule that applies to all shoots is relax, know your camera better than the back of your hand, and enjoy it!
Hope that helps! Happy shooting! :)