Sutherland 2 Surf fun-run

Andrew at the Finishing lineThis past weekend, I completed another of my 2010 goals – to complete the Sutherland2Surf fun-run. This is an 11km run from Sutherland to the Wanda Beach surf club. I entered the run for the first time in 2009 and enjoyed it, so went back for more. I also saw this as a good opportunity to see if I had done ‘better’ in 2010 than in 2009. The quick story:

  • 2010 time: 56:59.
  • 2009 time: 58:46.

I did not ‘train’ for the event specifically, preferring to keep up the riding and exercise regime as best I could. I turned up on the day and went for a run, and had a great time. And this here is the importance of exercise to me – it has to be relaxed and fun. Sure, I can get all serious about something (turn on a ‘race-face’ and psyche myself up) – but that’s not what it’s about for me.

There are many people who fixate on numbers. I posted the times at the top to get it out of the way, but I don’t go into these events worrying about numbers. I often get asked ‘how much weight have you lost?‘ as part of My Proactive Life – I cannot tell you as it was never the main focus of my project! In any case, the  purpose of my run was to have fun. During the run I wasn’t always feeling like it was ‘fun, but I did enjoy myself! I especially liked how my boys wanted to be there to pick me up at the end of the race 🙂

Anyway, onto the run!

I decided to run to music this time as many reports suggest you can go further/faster/better as your mind is distracted and does not let you focus on negatives like how much you need the loo, or how thirsty you are! I ran to a Podrunner workout track known as 135-175bpm Upward Mobility. As the name suggests it increases in tempo as the song progresses – the music started out relatively slow (for my liking, I like things in the 150-160bpm range) but soon built up. The mixes are approx 1 hour in length so was perfect for this run. My goal was simply to run to the beat. Every beat = a foot striking the ground. And for the most part, I did it!

I did walk whilst having a drink at 2 of the 3 drink stations (no-one looks coordinated trying to drink from a paper cup whilst running…no-one!) but for no more than a minute, then straight back into it. I found the music took care of my feet allowing me more time to enjoy the scenery and talk to myself. I thought about various things during this run, some of which you’ll hear about in future blog posts/twitter updates, here are some of them:

  • There’s a moment during a run where you hear nothing – the feet of everyone around you seems to hit the ground at the same time, creating ‘pockets of silence’. They don’t happen too often but are perfect little slices of silence you’d never expect during a run!
  • Even though it was a chilly morning I was glad I dressed simply; some people were overdressed and carrying their gear with them.
  • Anyone who runs with a pram/child is a hero. Anyone who does it AND pulls away from me is a LEGEND!
  • I tend to notice just how much incline/decline there is in a road whilst running; more so than when cycling or driving a car.
  • I feel as one with the terrain whilst running – something you don’t feel in a vehicle
  • I feel a silent camaraderie with the other runners – for a small period of time you share space/time with other people whom you may never be in close proximity to ever again or paths could cross at any time in the future.

I didn’t achieve my (2009-set) goal time of 55 mins, but that’s perfectly OK; I enjoyed myself, completed the goal and know the benefits from the endeavour will stay with me for a while. If you’re a regular runner (or cyclist or exerciser), let me know your thoughts and what you think about whilst exercising! 🙂

Age-Proofing your body

I came across a TV show called Body & Brain Overhaul and found it full of great information to help you become fitter and healthier. Here is the summary of key points I found from this show. This episode was focused on Age-proofing your body & brain. The 2 main presenters are Dr Roy Sugarman PhD (brain health expert) and Paul Taylor (exercise physiologist and nutritionist).

7 brain and body boosters

  1. Know it (bio age, brain assessment, got to know it before you can change it)
  2. Train it (exercise for both the body and the brain is essential)
  3. Defend it (against lack of sleep, drugs, alcohol and tobacco)
  4. Befriend it (do nice things for the brain)
  5. Feed it
  6. Manage it (resilience)
  7. Change it (self-belief)

According to Dr Roy Sugarman, his best tip for aging and the brain: Befriend it, socialising it. “As you get older if you want to build resilience and you want to age nicely, you’ve got to have close relationships, meaningful relationships, lots of people“. Paul Taylor chooses the Train it option, relating it to how the body responds extremely well to the ‘use it or lose it’ principle, and it applies equally well to the brain.


Systemic inflammation (at the cellular level) is the trigger for all chronic diseases. Triggers include stress, pollution, smoking, too much omega 6 and too little omega 3, too much sugar, wrong types of food, and critically, being overweight – fat produces it’s own chemical molecules that trigger inflammation. Also, if you live a sedentary lifestyle, you have much more inflammation in your body. If you adopt an unhealthy lifestyle, unfit and overweight, you’re slowly killing yourself through systemic (cellular) inflammation.

Before they die, cells replicate (make a copy of themselves containing the DNA). One of the key components in this process is the telomere, which gets a little shorter each time the cell divides. If your lifestyle is poor or you’re unhealthy, each time the cell divides it takes more off the telomere – when the telomere is gone, the cell can no longer divide, it dies and we die. We have to stop this process of look after ourselves through lifestyle!

It’s important to look after our cells!


If you ignore your emotions, the toxicity of what’s happening for you in your life, never recovering, always on the treadmill, puts a nice thick band of cortisol-based fat on your stomach, which feeds c-reactor proteins to your brain, all these toxins continuously throughout your life: that’s aging; that’s death.

Formula to be a peak performer

Lastly, there was an interview with the AFL Legendary coach, Tommy Hafey. Here are his 4D’s to becoming a peak performer:

  1. Desire;
  2. Dedication (practicing, working on sills, updating yourself);
  3. Determination (never giving up);
  4. Discipline

= Destiny

My notes

I found this series to be quite straightforward without too much hype, and reinforces many of the reasons why I started MyProactiveLife. The information presented is easy to understand and the show does not come over as being preachy. The aim of the show was to take 4 normal, but different people and give them an overhaul. If you get a chance to watch one or more of the episodes, I recommend you do as I’m sure you can get quite a lot out of it!