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I'm currently training to compete in my longest solo kayaking race yet. I'm working towards paddling all 40 miles (64.4 kilometers) of the Ben Ward race by myself on the Murray River in December. Given that most my races have been under 20 kilometers I'm having to train to not only do the distance but to spend around 6 hours in a kayak. I have previously done individual legs of the race solo and in a double, as a relay in a touring kayak, so it's not a completely brand new experience, I know what I'm in for... kind of.

So how am I going from an 1 or 2 hours of paddling to 6 hours or so of paddling? My approach has been about goal setting and upping the goals each and every week. This is something that can be applied to other sports. If you were thinking of attending 2 boxing classes back to back (or something similar) but just haven't been able to, you might find my approach useful.

It starts with the kayak, I was originally planning to do it in a touring kayak, however I've been training in a Rebel 46 (K1) with no issues, and with each training session I'm thinking I'll race in a Rebel 46. I'm also reconsidering whether or not I'll need to take the rest stops at the transitions or whether I should grab a bag of supplies like the cyclists do as I paddle through.

My first training session was about working out what my stroke rate and speed was for 1 hour of paddling (with and against the current). This set the base for the following training sessions.

The following week I went out to paddle for 2 hours (with and against the current), tracking my stroke rate and speed. Aiming to keep my average moving speed and stroke rate in line with my 1 hour time. I was alittle slower but not by much.

The next week I went out for a 3 hour paddle, (with and against the current), tracking my stroke rate and speed. Aiming to keep my average moving speed and stroke rate close to my 1 hour results but I wasn't too fussed if it was lower as my main focus was time in the kayak. On this training session I lost my drink bottle in the kayak. Paddling for 3 hours without drinking was not what I set out to do, but it was a little bit of an achievement.

Week 4, I got up early and was on the water at around 7:30am I set out to do 2 hours of paddling, have a break, and then paddle an additional 2 hours. I had two bananas with me, one for the break and one for when I finished. This time I didn't loose my drink bottle. I was keeping track of my heart rate and was happy if my Garmin was saying I was around 150bpm. The river was full and I was able to go further than normal up stream, so I took advantage of the unique opportunity, I had clocked up 2 and half hours before I stopped to have a banana, but unlike my plans I stayed in the kayak and kept paddling. When I finished the 4 hours of training I had paddled the furthest I've ever paddled solo,  for the longest time I've ever paddled. I was a little sore but that feeling of achieving something new... wow! I was a bit slower than my average moving speed and stroke rate in line with my 1 hour time but that wasn't my goal for this training session. It was about doing 2 hours on, have a break, and then do another 2 hours keeping my heart rate at around 150bmp, and I exceeded this.

Now heading into week 5 my key focus has changed, now that I know I'm on track to paddling 6 hours comfortably I'm wanting to focus on my technique and have booked in a training session to focus on technique with a coach.I'm also looking at how to handle recovery as I've noticed I get what I refer to as "expressive resting bitch face" which is where after putting in so much effort I just want to be left alone to recover and not talk to people. Turns out after talking to some experts it's my nervous system switching from fight or flight mode into a  more relaxed state. The upside is that there are techniques that I can use to help this. 

In a month I've gone from a 1 hour kayaking training session to now clocking up some serious hours and kilometers. The key takeaway is not to be hard on yourself about the small things and to keep the goals simple. You can't expect to run 10km at the same pace you run 100m in, and the same that you can't expect to put in the same amount of energy in 2 back to back 1 hour boxing classes as a 45min HIIT class. Especially at the very start. However you will never have the opportunity to try if you don't take the first step. 
Good Food Australia Review


I've been trying Gym Food Australia for a month now, okay just under a month as Mark has also tried some of the 20 meals I received, and the first thing that sparked my interest in the meals before they even arrived was the high amounts of lean protein in each meal. For someone like myself who watches their macros and tries to stick to a low carb high fat diet, this is so important.

The Gym Food Australia meals arrive frozen in a big freezer box with ice packs, and I had no issues in having it delivered to work other than that everyone else wanted to try them. 

The Gym Food Australia meals come in four sizes and you simply pick the size you want depending on your fitness goals. Prices vary from $7.50 to $10.75 per meal. I had a selection of 20 meals from the Build Lean Muscle range.

Gym Food Australia Review
I enjoyed the meals mainly at work for my lunch as they were quick to heat up and convenient. Every meal had fresh looking vegetables, and tasted incredibly delicious. Those I wish I had ordered more of were the Honey Mustard Chicken, Honey Soy Beef With Sweet Potato and Broccoli, Butter Chicken, and the Chicken-Mince Bolognaise. After devouring each meal I felt full and refueled.

Something else I really liked about the meals was that there was no issues in having meals that were gluten free and that there is a variety of them which are also low fodmap, though you do need to check the ingredients for this.  

Gym Food Australia have given me a special offer to give to you: get $20 off your first order when you use the code 'Nicole20' at the checkout 

This is a sponsored post, I received either product and/or payment in exchange for this post. 
Cork and Canvas South Melbourne

I went along to my first ever Cork and Canvas painting session, it was no ordinary session, it was the opening of their brand new South Melbourne location.

The artists at Cork and Canvas host painting sessions daily where those attending get taken through the step-by-step process on how to create a painting inspired by a theme. They guide you along the way, providing advice on painting techniques, use of colour, and also how you can make the painting your own by putting your own creative flare to it.

"You supply the wine and we’ll supply all the art materials, glassware and good vibes. Leave the rest to us!" - Cork and Canvas 

What I love about the painting sessions is that you don't need to be the next Picasso to have fun and to enjoy the creative process. Even for artists like myself I thoroughly enjoyed being able to take a non-artist friend along to share the experience of creating something in a supportive and fun environment.

Cork and Canvas South Melbourne I really enjoyed seeing how everyone else in the room interpreted the theme. We were creating a small acrylic painting inspired by Van Gogh's Starry Night Over the Rhône, which is currently on display at the NGV as part of the Van Gogh and the Seasons exhibition. 
Some people included a space needle as part of the cityscape, whilst others had a ferris wheel. There were different styles of painting, with some using bolder and blocker strokes, whilst others were more delicate. There was no right or wrong, it was about the process of creating something.

Cork and Canvas South Melbourne


Cork and Canvas is located in South Melbourne and Moonee Ponds, they also host private events for parties, corporate team building, and hens parties.

This is a sponsored post, I received either product and/or payment in exchange for this post.
I Can't Live Without My Radio

'I Can't Live Without My Radio' is a fundraising exhibition to support Queen Spice. It will feature a massive line-up of artists from Australia and around the globe. All donated artworks are being sold to raise funds to help SPICE through some difficult times.
The Drip Of A Sandpiper by Nicole Tattersall
The Drip Of A Sandpiper by Nicole Tattersall
I'm proud to be apart of this event as artists like SPICE welcomed me with open arms to group exhibitions and to be apart of their community. I'll be donating my stencil artwork piece 'The Drip Of A Sandpiper'. It's time for me to give back!

For further details about the Melbourne event being held at Workshop in  Fitzroy on Friday the 12th of May visit the Facebook event page.

All proceeds will be donated to www.gofundme.com/Fundraiser4Spice
It's not often that one gets to have their artwork auctioned off to support one of the top teams in a national league. I feel so honored to be given the opportunity to be able to donate for auction a selection of my drippy animal works to the Brydens Sydney Uni Flames.

The Brydens Sydney Uni Flames are the only Women's National Basketball League team in New South Wales, and they are currently sitting top the ladder with just one round to go before finals. My pieces will feature in the auction which is part of their presentation night being held on the 15th of February.

Should the Brydens Sydney Uni Flames make the grand final, I will get my nails painted in club colours with a little flame and a basketball.
Packing cards for gift bags for the Travel Massive Melbourne event Ladies That Travel
The Travel Massive Melbourne event Ladies That Travel has been rescheduled to the 15 November. The event will feature some lovely speakers who will be talking about what it is like to be an adventure traveling lady. Highlighting that travelling and being a woman isn't all about big hats, pink floral shirts, and tiny skirts - it's all about the thrills, spills, coffee, and champagne chills.

The event is open to all people and those that attend as a valuable Travel Massive Melbourne guest will receive a VIP goodies bag. Each bag will contain one of my cards featuring either my deer or weedy sea dragon drip watercolour works, and you'll also have the chance to win one of my original artworks.

For more details about the event and other Travel Massive Melbourne activities please visit www.travelmassive.com/chapters/melbourne.

I'm proud to have stenciled four reclaimed surfboard fins that are currently being auctioned off to support sit-skier Mark Soyer represent Australia this winter in the Northern Hemisphere.

After a surfing incident in 2014 that caused damage to my surfboard and the fins, I painted the damaged fins and auctioned them off raising funds to pay for the repairs, with additional funds going towards to Fin Free Melbourne. Since then, Scott Peberdy at Outereef Surfboards in San Remo has been collecting used fins for me to paint.

My latest series of painted surfboard fins, featuring a sea turtle, tiger shark, orca, and a dolphin, are being auctioned off to support sit-skiier Mark Soyer represent Australia this winter in the Northern Hemisphere.


Mark was an avid skier prior to a motorbike accident in 2004, he is still far better than most able-bodied skiers. A competitive athlete before his accident, he quickly mastered the art of sit-skiing, or mono-skiing, during his rehabilitation. He found that when you're skiing it doesn't make a difference if you have a disability or not, the rush is still the same. Since the very first day of being in a sit ski he has gone from strength to strength with being awarded the Steven J. Ricci Award at Winter Park for exemplify team leadership and sportsmanship, hiking and skiing the Highlands Bowl in Aspen, and racing at the 2015 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships in Panorama, Canada, are just some of his many achievements. Mark’s passion for the outdoors doesn’t just stop with his own personal achievements, eager to give others that taste of physical freedom, Mark is a volunteer with Disabled WinterSport Australia, assisting people with various physical or mental disabilities learn how to find their own freedom on the snow.

Mark has recently flown over to the US, where he will be based in Colorado as he trains and competes. It is expected that he will be there for 3 months representing Australia in Slalom, GS, Super G, Downhill and Super-Combined with races in Colorado and Utah. The most important race for him being the World Cup Finals in late February, early March in Aspen.

All profits from the sale of the surfboard fins will be donated towards Mark’s time in the US as he represents Australia. If you're interested on placing a bid on the fins you’ve until the 7th of December, to bid visit my eBay account.