Author Archives: Sara

About Sara

I'm a first time mum muddling through each day - making the rules up as I go along.

12WBT – I’m BACK!

February 18th, 2013 | Posted by Sara in 12WBT | Cooking | Fitness - (1 Comments)

Well I’ve mentioned preciously how much I enjoyed & benefited from Michelle Bridges 12WBT program over the past few years. From last count I’ve done 5 rounds since my first one in Round 3, 2010 until now. During those 3 years I have always gone back to the recipes and exercise programs that Michelle puts together. They have become my ‘go-to’ folder for dinner parties, lunches or really busy weeks at work.

I’m struggling at the moment with finding balance. I can fit in work, toddler rearing and exercise but I am finding that my food and nutrition suffer. It is all too easy to grab the closest easy meal, particularly something like tortellini that I know the Worm will eat.  It is FAR to easy to head down to the local cafe & grab a hot chicken roll or a hot dish for lunch, I know that these choices aren’t disastrous but they certainly aren’t the best food that I can be putting into my body.

Until this week I’ve gotten away with it. I’ve known that I need to take more care (hence introducing daily Green Smoothies) but with this week of a sedentary lifestyle due to sickness, I’ve had an unplanned break, my eating (although reduced due to illness) has still remained the same, with me chomping on a piece of bread with dinner, or grabbing that extra snack during the day. These extra calories are fine when I’m in full training but this week is a prime example of a ‘Red Flag’ situation, where I should have adjusted my calories to match the activity.

I’ve signed up for Round 1 2013 of the 12wbt program. In the past I’ve had some FANTASTIC results, particularly in that first round I did, where I placed in the top 10 transformations of the round, won a Body Blitz challenge, and also fell pregnant with Worm. I continually kick myself for not taking advantage of the Star Shots photography package that I won.

September 2010-December 2010

September 2010-December 2010

The primary reason I have for signing up again is to get help with my food and nutrition. I want to be able to put healthy options in front of Worm as often as possible. She might not always eat them, but at least by exposing her to a wide variety of foods I’m demonstrating that these are good, nutritious and normal foods to eat. I’m working with Jen at Sparta PT for my 70.3 Ironman training, and currently 12WBT doesn’t have anything suitable, so I’ve decided to select the Lean & Strong exercise program, which I will be doing in and around my triathlon training, taking careful care to not run into that dreaded ‘over training’ zone. My triathlon training comes first at all costs, however I believe that adding in some strength & core workouts will be enhancing my overall fitness levels and therefore produce a better athlete overall.

As always Michelle Bridges has an intense Pre-Season program – more intense for me this round as I only decided to jump in 3 days before the round started. If you have never done 12wbt before all I need to stress that the pre-season is INTEGRAL to your success with the program. Personally I found in previous rounds that if I was drifting off program or diverting from my goals a re-visit to the preseason tasks quickly brought me back on track. With that in mind I thought I should share part of my journey with you:

My goals for Round 1, 2013 are:

  • Eat healthily and offer Emily healthy options, even when I’m tired and just want to take the easy way out.
  • Consistently do my core exercises, to reduce my tummy pooch.
  • Participate in the Mooloolaba Olympic Distance Triathlon.
  • Complete the 70.3 Ironman in Yeppoon – 18th August 2013

These goals are very “big picture” but that’s how I live right now. I have found that if my goals aren’t big & scary enough I won’t try hard enough to achieve them. In addition to Mooloolaba & Yeppoon above I have a series of other events that I want to compete in over the next 12 months. These events are all scheduled to have me at my peak come the 18th of August 2013 for the 70.3 Ironman event. YES I know I mention this a LOT, however as Michelle says we need to shout our goals out LOUD to ensure that our infuencers all have the end goal in mind so they can support me as much as possible.

You might wonder about my lack of ‘weight loss’ goals. I’ve currently got a BMI of 22.5 and am still breastfeeding Worm, so I feel I need to be careful about my weight. I have a goal of a 4 kg loss, but that is not as important as achieving the goals above.

Week 1 started on the 11th of Feb, I was a little slow off the start, having only just signed up for the round, so I admit that my meal planning and shopping didn’t happen in an entirely organised way this week. I managed to eat a few of the dinners, with the Lamb Koftas with Minted Yoghurt being a huge hit here.  My exercise program was thrown out the door on Wednesday when I was too sick to continue, and rest days were desperately needed.

As this post gets published it will be Monday, Week 2. I am really looking forward to this week, my nasty head cold/cough/flu is still persisting but nowhere near as bad as last week, so I feel I’m ready to get back in the game.

I’m excited about the Basil & Walnut Pesto Spaghetti for dinner Monday night, and have been suitably organised this week to have followed the shopping list so my fridge is full of goodies.

So now I need to know – how many of you are doing Round 1, 2013 12WBT too? Please let me know via twitterFacebook or the comments section below. Add the links to your twitter or blog so I can follow your progress too – WE will do this together!

The Unpredictable

February 17th, 2013 | Posted by Sara in Being a mum | Fitness | Iron Mum Training - (2 Comments)

My horoscope this morning was ‘let your hair down & do something unpredictable’ I certainly have done that this week.
I rarely get sick so when I woke on Tuesday morning with a sore throat I didn’t think anything of it. I had an RDO that day anyway so I was looking forward to a day of training, cleaning the house & resting.
I started to feel that something more sinister was happening when in my pool training session I started to struggle to breathe. My lung capacity was nothing compared to normal & even my coach asked what I was doing in the pool.
My afternoon wind trainer session was painful, but when you’re doing 1 minute maximum strength intervals with 1 minute spinning breaks of course it’s going to hurt. I didn’t think much of it.

I struggled to keep up with Worm when I picked her up from daycare but when your child is as active as mine this is a regular situation & when I popped her to bed at 7.30 I was relieved to be able to relax on the couch again.
Come Wednesday I fronted up at work with no voice & feeling like I’d been hit by a bus, I left at lunch time & leaving Worm in care came home to rest.
Thursday morning I struggled from the get go. It was all my energy to get Worm to care & struggle home. I didn’t leave the lounge from 8am-4pm. The Farmer got home from a week away Thursday night & I was so relieved to allow him to take care of the bedtime & bathtub routine stepping in only when it was time for Worms night time feed.

Friday morning I woke with my temperature still high, my throat was better but my head was still full of snot. I listened to my body and set out for another day of rest.

You know what ‘they’ say. Be careful you wish for – when I wrote the post ‘I Want Time Off‘ I never imagined less than a week later I would be sick on the couch with the flu.

Although I have missed 3 training sessions & have now decided to down grade this Sundays race from 10km to 5km run I am ok with that. I’ve learnt that sometimes it’s ok to stop & allow your body time to recover. This is an important lesson.

When was your last important lesson? What was it? Please let me know via twitter, Facebook or the comments section below

Rocking the greens

February 15th, 2013 | Posted by Sara in Cooking | Fitness | Iron Mum Training | Life - (1 Comments)

I often post photos on instagram and twitter of my daily green juices. It is one of my ‘secret weapons’ designed to boost my immunity, increase my nutrition and of course provide a quick healthy breakfast.

Green Juices were recommended to me by my health coach Jo (that’s her advertisement in my side bar). In my very first coaching session with Jo we were discussing how when life gets busy I tend to resort to simple, quick grab meals such as home made pizza or pasta. Meals I know that my toddler will eat without too much fuss. Some nights I’m too tired to want to battle the girl to eat.

Jo’s blog post about Rocking the Ripple (as she calls it) is a great read. My green juice recipe is similar to hers:

The ingredients

The ingredients


  • · Handful of Kale
  • · ¼ of a cucumber (chopped)
  • · ¼ of an avocado (chopped)
  • · 1 Green Apple (chopped)
  • · another piece of fruit (I love mango, banana or frozen berries)
  • · Tablespoon of  chia seeds
  • · Teaspoon of Spirilina
  • · 1 can of coconut water


  • · Chop Apple, Fruit, Avocado & Cucumber& place in blender
  • · Throw in Kale in blender
  • · Add in spirilina & chia seeds
  • · Add coconut water (this is not essential but it really helps with the blending)
  • · Place lid firmly on the blender
  • · And blend for 2 mins.
  • · I sometimes have to give my blender a shake to get everything combined
  • · Drink!

Its a delicious morning cocktail

Its a delicious morning cocktail

This is usually enough for about 2 glasses, so I have one first thing in the morning, give Worm a little glass, and either the Farmer has a glass or I take the balance to work. I have found that it keeps in the fridge for about 48 hours so if I forget to drink it one day I’ll go back the next.

Even Worm gets into it (occasionally)

Even Worm gets into it (occasionally)


Do you have a favourite Juice or Smoothie recipe? Please let me know via twitter, Facebook or the comments section

IronMum Update – Race Report

February 13th, 2013 | Posted by Sara in 12WBT | Fitness | Iron Mum Training - (2 Comments)

Well I rarely give race reports on here, I rarely give them anywhere really, but this race is special. I learnt a LOT during the 1hr 58 minutes I was swimming, cycling & running. I learnt how my mind set can really improve or hinder my race. I learnt how forgetting nutrition, or having it a little late can impact my race. I learnt how much it hurts when salt water & sand rubs into a fresh wound and I learnt that it doesn’t matter if you can’t see where you are swimming, just keep swimming. I suppose that although this was my first Sprint distance triathlon, it has given me much hope for the 70.3 Ironman in August.

I was happy with my swim time of 20.26- it was very rough, and you couldn’t see your own bubbles let alone your hands – the course is a triangle & I had to do 2 laps, which I well and truly swam as a square, so I have to work on sighting & not getting pushed around by the waves so much. Despite that I felt that I swam well, I didn’t panic even though I got a couple of jelly fish stings, and there was loads of sticks & weed. Looking back – my first tri of the season in October last year I swam 350m in 17mins so obviously 750m in 20mins is an improvement there!


The cycle really let me down yesterday. I was helping a girl who was doing her first race for the first lap – she was sitting around the 20kph mark, so after about 3km I said that I had to keep moving, I was able to increase my speed to 25kph ish and sat around there for the 3 laps. The course as you know is quite flat, the winds were nasty, but that’s normal Yeppoon. On the 3rd lap I was all by myself and to be honest was a little bored, I stopped focusing and it felt like a Sunday morning ride not a race situation, so I need to really focus on keeping my head in the game next time. Also my bike computer displays aren’t set up right, the stupid thing was telling me calories burned & not cadence – not overly useful information really! I will look at this tonight & get it set up properly. I find that I focus better when I can see the cadence in front of me.

My run was great. 32 mins for 5km is just under 3 mins outside my PB so considering I had been going for 80 mins by then I am happy! I took a gel around km2 – I should have probably had this in the cycle leg but I forgot. I had a nasty head set when I set out on the run, I kept on saying to myself ‘you’re allowed to stop if your foot hurts, don’t worry about it just stop’ but after I had my gel I felt better and was able to run most of the rest of the distance, my mind set changed to ‘if you stop you’re going to be disappointed’ and ‘your foot isn’t hurting, no-one will know that, but you will know if you stop’ It actually wasn’t hurting at all – the only pain I had whilst running was in my right arch, where I had stepped on a stick on Friday morning, and then the sea & sand had irritated the sore.

So there it is …. my first ever race report for my first ever sprint distance triathlon.

What did you do this weekend? Please let me know via twitter, Facebook or the comments section


I want time off

February 6th, 2013 | Posted by Sara in Iron Mum Training | Life - (10 Comments)

I try my best to keep my blog a happy place. I try to keep the level of whinging, and whining here to a minimum. This is partially the reason for the lack of organic posts over the past month. I have been very lucky to be able to offer you a couple of giveaways, and sponsored content; however I am very aware that you don’t come here for that.

The past month has been a struggle for me.

My hubby has started a great job, however it does mean that he is frequently away from home, resulting in me playing the continual juggling act of full time work, solo parenting & training.

My IronMum training is progressing reasonably well, I’m now working with Jen at Sparta PT and I love the personalised contact that she gives her clients.

I’m also working with Jo at Jo Grobbelaar Health Coach. Jo is helping me prioritise my goals, balance my health and keep my nutrition on track. She also has many wise words of wisdom about all aspects of life. I have never seen a therapist, but I imagine that my sessions with Jo are similar to what that would be like.

I’ve been working very closely with my Physio Chris – he is helping to keep my body together.

 I have surrounded myself with this fantastic team of people, yet I’m still battling to keep on top of everything. I’m currently feeling overwhelmed and exhausted.

I hurt my foot when I completed the half marathon back in September last year. I hoped that the pain was just in my head, and diligently have completed all the strengthing exercises that my physio has prescribed. However the pain persists. It is a funny kind of pain, in that when I start running it is there, however as I continue on, and blood flows through the tendons the pain goes away. So for this reason up until about a month ago I was running through the pain, thinking I wasn’t doing anything wrong as the pain wasn’t lasting long anyway. An ultrasound found that it wasn’t in my head at all….. I’m not sure of the technical lingo but in short I’ve damaged the connection between the tendon & the bone, so that my body has decided to grow a new bone around the connection. This bone is irritating the tendon causing the pain whilst running.

This is particularly frustrating as I was having a great time with my running at the end of last year & beginning of this year. I had completed a 17km training run, and also a PB for my 5km, so it looked like I was getting some real gains in this discipline. Having to stop cold turkey really got too me. Initially the break was supposed to be for 2 weeks only, but then the ultrasound results came back & the break was extended, the supportive tape around my foot was increased and my spirits started to drop.

I took advantage of the running break to really focus on riding, and the Tour of Sufferlandria was very well timed in this respect. 9 days, 11 hours, 12 stages of indoor cycling. The Sufferfest videos are an intense training method designed to help you get the most out of your indoor wind trainer sessions. The indoor trainer workouts are notoriously boring, and it is hard to push to the max through them day after day. The Sufferfest makes it interesting (not easy – interesting).

When we moved to Rockhampton in August last year I made a deal with myself – I was going to do my best at making friends, and building a support network around myself. Living so far from family, I really miss that network, I miss having someone to give me a break, to let me just be. I don’t know why I miss it – since having Worm I’ve never really had that kind of network, since I was about 20 I have always lived far from home, and although I know my mum is only a phone call away it hurts.

With the above goal in mind I joined the local running club, tagged along with the local social cycling group and generally tried to say ‘yes’ as often as possible to invitations. So when I was approached to work with someone to form a women’s specific cycling group of course I agreed to help. I thought the concept was fabulous, and together we came up with a name and set a date for our first casual event.

This first ride was epic – we were hoping for maybe 10 women to come, we had 42! Thankfully some of the regular riders from the social group were on hand to help us out. The ride was fabulous and the feedback from the group wonderful.

So everything was going smoothly or so I thought. As I penned an email to my team mate this morning with a bunch of ideas I wanted to run past her (I have always tried to defer to her for decision making in regard to the group as it is her original baby) I wasn’t expecting the reply – especially when it came via text message

“I don’t want anything done or organised without taking to me….nothing… in person”

“You will find me really cranky and I will not talk to you again…. I don’t think we get on at all.”

Now anyone who knows me would understand that I don’t cope overly well with conflict, especially when I don’t see it coming.

Maybe I should have seen it coming, it’s not the first time I’ve received text messages from her saying she was “cranky” with me or that she hadn’t “approved” something that I had said or done, but I thought we had worked through that.

I honestly thought we were working reasonably well together, of course we have differences of opinion but that’s what being a team is all about, it would be boring if we were all the same all the time. So now I am in a quandary. Obviously this lady is struggling with me, however I really want this group to succeed and have become quite passionate about the original concept too.

I need to reflect and decide at what point I simply walk away from the concept, just admit that perhaps I’m not meant to be involved with this group, and hope that she finds some one who will take her rudeness (I’m sure she isn’t intentionally rude, I think she is just used to getting things done her way or not done at all).

Nathalie (@easypeasykids) said on Twitter yesterday that

“Parenting isn’t a job, you live it 24/7. If it was a job you’d have time off”

This really stuck a chord with me. Nathalie’s line mightn’t make sense in regard to the story above about my cycling group – but it does link in ….. I just want life to be easy for a few moments

.….. I want time off.

What do you do when you want time off? Please let me know via twitterFacebook or the comments section