Quick update before my road trip!

Thursday = Run day! We decided to go to Hagley Park for a run tonight due to stepping in a number of muddy puddles on our last run. Travis Wetlands as you can tell by the name is a swamp and some areas of the track are quite low so they get a little water logged when it’s closer to winter and on rainy days…

The last two days have been glorious weather but because the body is acclimatising to the cold it felt like a VERY warm run! I shouldn’t complain because it’s most likely the last hot period before winter 😦

Beef Madras (with extra veges) was waiting when we got home (THANK YOU to the person who invented slow cookers!!)

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I spent part of the night packing for Tekapo as Emily and I are leaving before 9am this morning. I always end up packing too much stuff, but it all seems necessary at the time, yes even the cat…

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An alarm was still going off insanely early this morning because someone else has to go to work today… so I was good and used that time to get a strength session in 🙂

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Off we go to Tekapo!!

New Foods & Exercise Reset

Last week ended up being quite messy for me and I didn’t get much exercise done. We had a few evening events on which didn’t help with my lack of quality sleep and the tiredness was setting in quickly. It happens in life, every week won’t be perfect, as long as you reset, get back up and keep going!

I slept in on Saturday which meant I missed out on a walk at Hagley and then late morning we had some people come and look at our spare room. Sunday’s plans got changed as well because a couple who looked at our room the day before ended up moving in and so someone had to be there to let them in, then I felt like I couldn’t leave too long because they had questions and the cat was a bit spooked because things in the house were moving around.

ANYWAY this did give me some time to plan the week ahead and prep some food. I made some more energy balls up; they taste good but just wouldn’t stick together as well as they were supposed to. By the time I’d realised this I’d already taken the mix out of the food processor and cleaned it so I wasn’t putting it back to add anything in. They did firm up in the fridge due to some last minute coconut oil being added but if we didn’t have them chilled I imagine they would still fall apart on you!

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Lunches for the first few days of the week is an Asian Chicken slaw, mine wasn’t as colourful as the recipe picture (I had things to use up so I didn’t go and get the other colourful versions to make it look pretty haha) so I won’t bore you with a picture of that one – tasted good though!

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I know this because I made the first soup of the season as well on Sunday. I used a recipe I found for Kale Energy soup but improvised because I had a lot of veges to use up. I replaced the kale with silver beet (yes the naming ingredient of the soup!), added some ham, lentils and a few other veges. I was a little hesitant about the greens in the soup but it was actually tasty and you couldn’t taste the silver beet on its own (I’m really not a fan of boiled silver beet!).

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Monday night I was using up vegetables so I made a stir-fry with loads of broccoli and used kelp noodles for the first time. They were quite odd but once I warmed them up in the pan with the rest of the dish you would be lucky if you could tell the difference between them and vermicelli!

I did a strength session Monday night, first in over a week so I expected a little soreness the next morning even after a good stretch.

Tuesday was back into running, another thing I hadn’t done for a week. I picked up where I left off and ran 6min, walked 1min. It was already late and dark by the time we started so we agreed to just do one lap (4 sets of the above timing) and I used my head torch for the first time this year. I forgot how much it attracts the moths though..

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Today I picked up my weekly vege pack, I think more soup will be happening soon 🙂

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Tonight was another food experiment…  SPAGETTI SQUASH

Following a lot of blogs and other accounts of people in the US I came across this strange sounding pasta alternative a while ago but struggled to find them in shops here in New Zealand. I found a place that sold seeds but I didn’t quite find them in time to harvest the squash this summer, I did try but by the end of summer I had two baby squash and they still needed a lot more growing time so I will have to try next summer!

Anyway I was in Raeward Fresh on Sunday and stumbled across a couple (probably the last of the season here) and got a little too excited, there is a high chance I scared the young worker who was stacking veges just beside me…

After looking up a few recipes I decided to make spaghetti squash boats with some left over mince & vege mix I had in the freezer. Firstly I had to roast the squash (I did this yesterday because it was supposed to be yesterday’s tea but due to lack of time after a later than normal run I put it to the side and heated up soup instead)

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I think the most exciting part was removing some of the strands with a fork. Holy crap It’s amazing how a squash can produce little noodle like strands!! I actually made Liam get up and come look at it (somehow he was WAY less excited than I was)

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I didn’t fancy layer it to make more like a proper lasagne as per the recipe, just mixed up the squash strands with the mix and dumped it back in the squash with a bit of cheese but it came out looking good and tasted pretty damn tasty – something I will definitely look forward to making again 😀

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REST OF THE WEEK

This week is a short work week for me as I have a girl’s weekend in the STUNNING Tekapo with Geek Girl Living Fit & a couple of other awesome ladies.

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THU – Run (repeat of tonight’s timing)

FRI – Morning weights session before road tripping with Em

SAT/SUN – We are planning to do some walks while we are away and I’m going to try to squeeze another run in but currently there is no time line for this right now

New workout gear and slightly OTT excitement about vegetables

LAST WEEK

I only ended up completing two runs last week but the second one was an improvement, I ran the same amount each time (5mins) but was able to drop the walking down to 1min and I did a total of 25mins running rather than the Monday run of just 20mins.

Sunday was a pleasant walk around Hagley Park with a friend.

SNACKS

I’ve been trying to make at least one healthy treat for work snacks each week, my go-to lately has been muesli bars, but I found for a good month after having my wisdom teeth removed the big crunchy nuts were a bit too much. This week I went back to bliss balls. I started with Dr Libby’s Brain Balls recipe but as I do with most things, I tweaked it. I replaced some of the walnuts with almonds, swapped out the dates for prunes (had a pile to use up), swapped half of the sunflower seeds with pumpkin seeds, and added in some maple syrup because my mix wasn’t sticky enough and I liked the extra sweetness to compensate for the strong cocoa taste.

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New Workout gear

I really wanted some new workout gear (most of the winter gear I have currently is a little too small at present…) and I have been getting emails about Lorna Jane sales. The latest one was a sale on the sale items (BARGIN!) so I thought I’d finally give some of their gear a go. I’m not one for buying clothes online as I have trouble with clothing in general not quite fitting right but this lot turned out really well 🙂

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We had a Quiz night Tuesday night but we managed to squeeze a run in beforehand. It was rainy and cold, I don’t mind this once I’m already running but getting out the front door and started is always hard. It’s also getting darker (was getting pretty hard to see by the end of the run) won’t be long before I have to dig out my head torch! I stuck with run 5min/walk 1min but got my running up to a total of 30mins.

I think I got slightly too excited over fruit & vegetables this week… We have these co-operatives around Christchurch which supply a pack of in season local produce each week for $12. Ever since I stumbled upon this months ago I’ve been meaning to sign up but just never got around to it. Last week I received my first pack, this is what I got this week 🙂

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This has changed my view on meal planning slightly as I have been in the habit of planning meals in the weekend and doing the groceries on Sunday. You don’t know what that pack will contain until the day beforehand which might make me be a bit more creative with dinners again (not a bad thing). I’ll still need to buy other vegetables because we go through LOTS of them and I like a good variety in each dish so I’m thinking this will mainly be at the weekend farmers markets.

Where do you buy your fruit & vegetables?

What are your go-to healthy snack options?

BAD BLOGGER ADMISSION

I feel like since I changed the name of my blog I really haven’t given it much effort, missing months at a time. Honestly it comes down to pure laziness and lack of motivation for things that relate to my blog: running, strength and healthy habits in general. Not focusing on these things in my everyday like has meant that I didn’t feel like I had anything to blog about.

*Insert the vicious cycle here*

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ALL THAT STOPS NOW

Sometimes it’s almost impossible to do things you know you should be doing until something clicks. Over the weekend I think that something did FINALLY click back into place and has helped me to focus on getting back on track. First goal is to get back running and to hold myself accountable I have entered the Half Marathon at Queenstown International Marathon being held in STUNNING Queenstown on the 21st November 2015.

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Last year was the inaugural race and a couple of crazy minded friends and I had agreed that it would be our first Marathon. With most of these ladies getting side tracked with injuries/surgeries and me just purely struggling to get my motivation back to run long story short it just didn’t happen.

I chose Queenstown because it is far enough away that I can begin to gradually build my running base back up and it’s not a ‘road race’ as 70% is hard packed trails, it’s ever so slightly downhill most of the way (can you even get an easier half marathon than that??) and I’ve got 32 weeks to train almost from scratch (first few weeks will include periods of walking). I also found on my running journey so far I’m just not that into road running. I love being out in nature, having to watch where I’m going, differing inclines – it just turns it into an adventure!

But seriously look at this picture – how does that NOT make you want to go IT’S JUST SO PRETTY!!

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WEEKLY GOALS (AKA keep it simple this week)

EARLY MORNINGS: To help me get back into my morning routine before the brunt of winter rears it’s cold & ugly head WHEN IT’S SO MUCH HARDER I’m making myself get up before 6am. For now that’s it but over the next couple of weeks I will start to add back in some short yoga/stretching sessions.

DAILY GRATITUDE: Each evening I will fill out a little card with one thing I’m grateful for and pop it into my gratitude jar.

RUNNING: I say running but the reality will be super slow turtle speed with some walking breaks. But I have to be realistic with it and considering it’s been about 10 months since I was running regularly I’ve accepted it’s going to be a tough month or so getting back into it all.

FIRST RUN!!

Last night I ticked off run one of three for the week (Yuss!). It was a horribly cold 7°C (44.6F) drizzly evening so I knew I was going struggle with my breathing, I need to practise breathing through my nose, it’s one thing I have never managed to master! My first 5mins (ran 5min/walk 2min x4) hurt to breathe because it was cold but thankfully got much better and by the second half of the run I felt like I was enjoying it and could keep going longer . Because we had a time restraint I ran out and back at Travis Wetlands which is somewhere I haven’t really explored yet running wise.

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I did get to try out my new polka dot running tights though, they just really need pockets! Why do running tights NEVER seem to have enough pockets?!

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Getting up before 6am Mon? TICK!! Tues? TICK!!

Are you a morning person?

How do you stay motivated?

2015 Here I Come!

Firstly a BIG apology for the major gap in posts for what seems like forever, it’s been a busy and strange few months. On a positive note I’m pleased to say we are almost settled into our first house!!

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My sister has been staying with us for a few months but moved out last week so I now have my gym back to yoga up a storm (WOOHOO!!). We are looking at investing in some strength gear which will be kept out in the garage, but at this stage I’ll still do my circuits inside. We have a good sized back yard which will eventually have a decent vegetable garden (most of the current one is in planters from our last place) and hopefully in the near future I will also have a new running buddy (AKA a puppy YAY!!)

I have been spending a bit of time over this long weekend setting up the gym room and re-doing my motivation board (I’ll be honest, it was packed up for the move and hadn’t come out of a box yet).

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Goals/Resolutions:

I’m always hesitant to set “New Year’s Resolutions” purely for the fact that most people go into these with a big bang and by February they are just memories. However I have set some goals for 2015 and written out a commitment to myself which I have signed and put up on my motivational board to look at daily.

Goals for 2015

A lot of these are ones I have achieved in the last year or so but because I haven’t been very active lately I’m starting back from basics, as I get back into running properly in the next few weeks I will put some time frames against them 🙂

Run 5km
Run 10km
Run Harry Ell
Run Rapaki
New PB for Christchurch Marathon 10km
Run the Queenstown Half Marathon hopefully with a PB
Do weekly yoga sessions
Do weekly strength sessions
Be grateful
Spend more time with friends & family

To assist with my goal of being more grateful I have made up a gratitudes jar, the idea being that every day I’m writing down something I’m grateful for and popping it into the jar to look at later in the year or on days I’m feeling a bit blah.

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What about you?

What are your goals for 2015?
What is your opinion on New Years Resolutions?

100 Day Fitness Challenge has Begun!

Three friends & I started a 100 Day Challenge yesterday which is taking us up to Christmas (pretty good timing if I do say so myself!). I’ve done something similar before but it was a standard challenge where everyone was doing the same reps/cardio and also had a separate challenge to complete on a daily basis. We have each tailored this one to our starting points and what we want to achieve by the end of it. My goals are as follows:

100 Days of Exercise
Press ups
Lunges
Squats
Tricep dips
AB’s (mixture of AB exercises)
Cardio

This means one day I will have to complete one of each rep & 1 min of cardio and another day complete 100 of each rep & 100mins of cardio – get the idea? 🙂

I have also set the following extra goals:
Share two gratitude’s daily
Sugar free (as in the refined nasty stuff) 5 days each week
Be under 70kg at the end of the challenge

Yesterday morning I weighed in and did some measurements, I will be taking more at the end and hopefully have some great comparison stats to share with you all!

Thanks to Emily we have these cute wee posters to keep track of which day we have ticked off, as well as having our goals in writing to look at daily. I also bought myself a little whiteboard for exercise plans, including the number of reps/cardio I am hoping to get done 🙂

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Food wise I’ve been experimenting a bit in the last week or so. I attempted to make some peanut butter last night, it tastes like the real thing but I couldn’t get it ridiculously smooth but I like crunchy anyway though! Excuse the ‘Jam’ label haha

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Also made a raw brownie for when I’m really feeling like a sweet treat. Essentially it’s the same ingredients that go into cacao balls and they are always good!

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Tried my first green smoothie yesterday morning. I’ll admit it wasn’t my favourite but I need to try out some more ingredients, this one only had kale (which I’ve only had a couple of times), pear, banana, coconut water & a few ice cubes. First ideas are more ice and maybe freeze some of the fruit as it was quite watery in texture. I could feel the kale texture more than my go to smoothie that contains spinach, another thing I’d have to use to (or just wiz it longer).

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I should really rename this post FOOD by the number of pictures above… Can’t help that the beginning of the week is prep time!

Tonight I had a PT session with Ben, he had a new program for me so I got to try two new exercises – overhead press & rack deadlifts. We have been focusing on form and movement so this was the first time I’ve really got into some gritty stuff and I really enjoyed it (well most of it, last couple reps are always a love/hate relationship).

Tomorrow will be my first run of the week, looking forward to it 🙂

What do you put in a green smoothie?

Have you every participated in some sort of fitness challenge?

New Blog, New Focus

For me the past few months have been a bit of a mare on the fitness front, I was really struggling with motivation after completing my first half marathon in May this year and I’ve come to the realisation that it was mainly to do with the lack of vision and goals after the half. For many years running was a far off dream and I never even contemplated that I would be able to complete a 10km let alone twice that distance. All my fitness goals thus far have been based around those goals and I was really struggling to see past that, almost making myself believe that a half would just never happen.

Crossing the finish line had its emotions but at the time it didn’t seem like a big achievement which put me in a bit of a rut for a while.

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Over the past couple of months I’ve started to change my focus, I still want to run (and enjoy it) but strength work has come to the forefront a bit more. This began the thought process of changing my blog name to reflect better on where I am heading and a lengthy process that was! I’ve actually created a whole new blog so if you’re interested in looking at the old blog the link is here.

Finally Sweat Eat Run Repeat was created.

SWEAT: Strength work (generally done in the morning)
EAT: Won’t deny it – this girl loves her food. I enjoy creating and trying new dishes and have found that there are many wonderful things you can do with good clean food (even better!). Sure, I have the odd treat now and again but it has its place.
RUN: As mentioned above my goal of becoming a runner was huge in my life, I enjoy running and still will be doing it a few times a week but I’m adding in extra focus as well ☺
REPEAT: For me this denotes creating daily habits, a healthy and happy lifestyle that improves myself and hopefully gives inspiration to others around me.

An easy run & some new recipes for my cookbook

The 20 Week Challenge is a beautiful thing – when you blog about a good day or a bad day there is always someone who builds you up or who you have been able to help by just sharing your experiences – even people that you haven’t met. SO COOL!

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I started to blog purely so that I had to do something health wise worth writing about and it’s really nice to see how that can help me as well as readers!

Sticking to the plan I went for a run Tuesday night – the first decent one in quite a while! My issue at the moment is because it’s getting so dark early now I really dislike running on my own. Luckily Liam said that he would run with me during the week (most of the time) and Emily is also out around the same time and has offered to join. That’s really cool because my next planned raced is one she is doing as well, even though she may be faster than me we are looking to do similar training in general. It’s definitely nice to have a running buddy who’s a similar speed to you, but having someone there who’s not can also have its good points. Plus the way I see it: Sometimes all you need is someone to meet up with to make you get out there and do it – not necessarily sticking with them for the whole distance 🙂

It wasn’t quite as cold as I thought it would be, but it definitely got dark fast. Liam and I decided to do an easy run around the outside of North Hagley, only ended up doing 5km but it was a good starter. I tried out some new gear I purchased in the weekend because I am feeling the cold SO much more this year and not getting as hot out running as I used to! I bought some Cold Gear from Under Armour: Long tights and a top with nice long arms you can hide your hands in. The only thing I dislike so far is the fact they only had black – winter is dreary enough without black workout gear but I will stop complaining because it did keep me warm!

I’m very focused on getting my eating back in check this week, needless to say I might have put on a kg over the past couple of weeks and it’s time to get that reversed as part of my clean slate (especially seeing as it is one of my Week 10 Goals!). I tend to get in a rut with the same meals every day/week. Even though they may be good choices I have them too often and then end up disliking them for a while (e.g. not a fan of green based salads at the moment – it’s a good thing it’s winter!). Over the long weekend I took the time to find some new and yummy sounding dinners to test out.

I went back to one of my favourites Tuesday night – Zucchini ‘Pasta’ with avocado sauce. Then I made a recipe one of the Pumped ladies shared with us last night: Thai Peanut Superfood Slaw – it was YUMMO! Luckily I made enough for lunches today 😀

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Tonight was another new recipe: Carrot & Lentil Soup (picture is from the recipe – I ate it too quickly!). My amazing step sister came around for dinner and she’s a vegetarian so it was a good excuse to try a new meatless recipe!

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I’ve moved tonights run to tomorrow due to forgetting I had Loki booked in at the Vet tonight…

 

The 4BY4 Challenge

This month we have a challenge to try 4 new foods and 4 new activities. I think the first part will be the easiest part… But I do enjoy trying new things (even if I am apprehensive before it happens!). I will be doing a little bit of research and planning for this in the next couple of days – more info to come soon 🙂

 

 

Do you have a favourite healthy meal?

Are you a lone runner or do you prefer buddies?

A New Day = A New Beginning

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You might have noticed it’s been around 3 weeks since I last posted… It’s a tough few weeks in a number of ways. Up until yesterday I hadn’t run since St Clair and I was struggling mentally with any type of workout in my schedule. I say was because I think I’ve finally got it all sorted PHEWF!

Maybe it was a mixture of stressful work, post race blues, thinking that this year’s challenge would be the same as last year (even though my life is considerably different now) and who knows what else…

Broni put a post up last week about how some people may be beating themselves up already if they are not managing to stick with some things but to find what works for each of us individually. What I have noticed is that what worked for me last year hasn’t worked this year and this was very unexpected.

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So what am I doing about this?? I’m cleaning the slate for the final 15 weeks of the challenge. I have reassessed my goals and set some new goals for week 10 that I’m looking forward too (plus I’m really looking forward to my reward WHEN I achieve them!!)

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My goals for the next five weeks are simple but considering how much I was loathing (seriously it was weird…) exercise I think this is just what I need to bring the joy back:

# Run three times a week
# Run up Rapaki (from the bottom of Rapaki Rd) in under 38mins
# Donate 3kg

 

This week’s goals:
# Circuit  & Beach Walk- Today
# Run – Tuesday, Thursday & Sunday
# Spin – Thursday
# 20 Week Challenge Pumped Group session – Saturday

I went down to the beach for the first time in months this afternoon – It was a sunny to start with but got cold very quickly…

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Change of topic (kind of) Writing a blog is now A LOT harder with a kitten in the house…. He either wants to assist with typing…

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 OR he wants to use my hand as a pillow as I’m trying to type…Image

Meet Loki the little mischief cutie

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He likes to investigate everything – I now have to shut him out of the gym (yes he meows) when I’m on the bike as he gets WAY to close to the pedals.

 

I have six weeks until Cooks Landing so I really have to get my A into G and build up my long runs quickly again! More on that later!

 

How do you cope with set backs?
What helps you get back your motivation?

Active Recovery Week

Because of the 20WC I don’t have a lot of spare time however I did decide to take it slightly easier for a couple of days after the race to get my head space sorted for the next goal.

I got some more photos of the race – still waiting for the video though!

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Monday I had the day off work; it was a BEAUTIFUL day so I decided to take a walk up the Harry Ell Track. I really enjoy being out in nature, it’s stunning and there is a relaxing and refreshing vibe about it.

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As well as getting my head space sorted for my next goals this week is also about playing catch up for last week so I don’t fall behind in my reps/kilometers. Due to some very sore calves earlier last week I didn’t get as much ticked off my list as planned… I HAVE to get my GPS watch back!!

Yesterday was a slightly sad day. I had a good think about my schedule and my 20WC goals and I decided I really need my Wednesday night to tick of extra distance. This means I have decided to put circuit class on hold throughout most of the challenge so last night was my last circuit for a few months. We do have an extra session on a Saturday morning specifically for the Pumped 20 Week entrants so I will be looking forward to that every week as a way of catching up with some of the amazing Pumped people!

Circuit was split this week: first half was 60 second rounds on the stations but afterwards we got into pairs and had to race against each other. Each round comprised of some different reps (eg high knees/squat jumps, running kicks, sit up claps) and then there were punishments ‘prizes’ for the teams depending on how long it took you to finish them.

For example the ‘prize’ for one round was:
1st – 20 press ups
2nd – 40 press ups
3rd – 60 press ups

Needless to say I got quite a few reps ticked off last night and I’m not complaining about that!

 

Today’s lunch

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I always forget about rice paper rolls even though they are one of my favourite foods! Something about the fresh flavours and crispiness makes them super tasty. My brain probably forgets about them because they require a fair amount of preparation. I cooked up the chicken and chopped all the veges last night so all I had to do this morning was put them together – even the assembling of them takes quite a bit of time in itself! Especially when Liam knows what I’m doing and then expects me to make enough for him too…

Tonight I’ll be out for my first run of the week (it sounds weird to say that on a Thursday!) but I’m actually really looking forward to it. Then next week it will be back into speed work on a Tuesday as well.

 

How do you reset after a big race build up?