Goals for the first 1/4 of the 20 Week Challenge

And we are off!!

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Sunday night ‘Team Pumped’ had our meet and greet. Kate made us some cool diaries to keep track of all the information we need.

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 I thought a really awesome idea she added in this year was making us write down all our goals every week – keeping them fresh in our minds will only help us smash them!!

It was really fantastic to see a whole heap of people who are new to the 20 Week Challenge, there are a few I hadn’t met before and that means lots of people to get to know during the challenge!

I have a full on 20 weeks ahead of me… My 5 week goals are as follows:
# Complete 500km distance (walking/running/cycling)
# Complete 1250 of each exercise (press ups/burpees/dips/lunges/squat jumps/ABS)
# Complete 50mins of planking
# Complete my first half marathon
# Lose 4.3kg (we like to call this donating – when you ‘lose’ your keys you want to find them, you don’t want to find lost weight!!)
# Daily: Post to my Facebook page & list two things I’m grateful in my diary

Holy moly that list looks scary. Let’s say I like to jump into things??

Day 1:
My freshly cleared gym area was awesome this morning; I got through 50 of each of the above exercises. (Also helped my tick off today’s Pumped homework)
The weather is misbehaving so I wasn’t able to do a walk at lunchtime 😦 I like running in the rain HOWEVER walking in office attire and then sitting in damp clothes for the afternoon is not my idea of fun…
After work I had my first spin class of the challenge, it was also the first one I’ve been to without a buddy – sometimes that in itself is a big thing for me. The instructor mentioned there were quite a few new people and part way through the class he made comments about how all the newbies had to be there for all his classes for at least 4 weeks. I had a laugh when he said he takes Monday evenings and Thursday mornings because those are the two classes I will be attending every week. It’s a sign from Broni I’m sure of it!
I tried coconut water in my smoothie for the first time and it was tasty 🙂

Day 2:
It was one of those mornings for me where you wake up and have this slight feeling you may get sick (Not at the start of the challenge ARGH!). So I popped some cold be gone immunity vitamins and got ready for pre-testing with Kate. Having that feeling in the back of my mind made me struggle a bit with pre-testing but I still did run my fastest 1km to date so pretty happy with that!
I had a massage booked after work to sort any niggles out in time for St Clair – it was awesome! Finished the evening up with some more reps so I can tick them off my weekly amount BAM!

 

The cool thing about last year’s testing was I didn’t actually see the before & after pictures until awards night. When you see yourself daily in a mirror sometimes it’s harder to see how far you have actually come during the 20 weeks. Those photos last year proved to me how far I had come because for awhile I was feeling like I hadn’t changed, I knew the size of my clothes had gone down and people kept commenting on how good I was looking but part of me still saw the ‘old me’ every time I looked in the mirror. Taking photos today reminded me about this and it make me super excited to see what changes I can make during this year’s challenge!

 

How do you feel when you first notice a difference in how you look?

For fellow 20 Weeker’s – how did you find your first couple of days?

18km practice run for St Clair & a shiny new watch!

Due to a couple of extra events Liam has on this weekend we did our long run on Friday morning (Public Holiday here in NZ due to ANZAC Day). This run was our longest training run before the half in two weeks, as well as being the longest either of us has ever done in one go. The majority of our runs so far have been at Hagley Park in the city, which is mainly concrete paths and flat. I knew St Clair was a bit more off road than I’m used to so I suggested we try a run through Bottle Lake Forest. The running track is a little over 9km so it worked perfectly with our scheduled 18km run. Little did I know it was a little more undulating than I expected… The elevation was only 0-30m but the little hills were short and sharp – which made it a slight challenge for someone who has only done running on the flat – luckily I like challenges!!

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Because it loops at the entrance into the forest we picked a side to start on. I didn’t realise that there was some undulating spots with quite dry sand – this made for an interesting start and I felt a little more tired than I should have been 2km into the run… We got into the forest and the terrain became more like what I had expected. 45mins in and I was starting to worry that I would really struggle with a second lap, I even said to Liam that if I was feeling worse closer to the end of this lap maybe we should run on the road for the second 9km. Meanwhile it came time to experiment with GU. The last couple of weeks running fuel hadn’t worked well at all for me so I had fingers crossed that GU would work for me. Instead of having a whole packet every 45mins we decided to share one every 20-30mins (which also meant we each got to try 4 different flavours). I find my stomach can very temperamental on a run so I didn’t want to overload it in one go with too much. I can’t believe how much it helped me, I was struggling in those first 3-4km but by the time the first lot of GU kicked in I knew I had it I me to do another lap of the track, in fact the second lap was slightly faster!

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Because we didn’t stop during the run I only got one picture at the end – it doesn’t do some of the track justice!

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I was also surprised at how I went for the rest of the day. Lately I’ve been shattered after spending a decent amount of time exercising, enough to need a nap afterwards. This time around I still felt a little tired but not nearly as bad. I tried out my new compression socks during the afternoon which I think helped as well because I wasn’t sore when I woke up the next morning SCORE!

 

I spent a bit of time Saturday getting a few things ready for diving into the 20 Week Challenge on Monday. Because we’d had a temporarily flat mate staying (he moved out two weeks ago) the gym room was cluttered with lots of things that normally belong elsewhere in the house. I need this space clear again as one of my goals is to complete a total of 1500 reps every week (250 of each)
Burpees
Press ups
Dips
Squat jumps
Lunges
ABS

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As I mentioned in my last post my reward for completing my 5 weeks goals is a GPS watch. I went shopping this weekend 🙂 Now I’m excited but sad I won’t get to use it just yet. However it gives me the motivation I need to achieve my goals because if I don’t achieve them Kate gets to keep it :/ Yes I know that might sound crazy (and maybe I was crazy to agree with the idea) but scary consequences work well for my motivation as I found out last year during the challenge.

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All of the Pumped AWESOME people entered into the 20 Week Challenge are meeting a bit later this afternoon – I’m really excited because this was such amazing moment last year. Being new to Pumped last year I didn’t know many people at all, it was really inspiring to meet some of the entrants and hear about what they are striving to achieve. We also got our contracts, a cool diary, a calendar and some other bits and heard about some successes from the previous year.

BRING ON THE 20 WEEK CHALLENGE!!!

 

How do you reward yourself for achieving big goals?

Do you tend to run the same route or do you like to find new places?

16 Days to go until St Clair! Plus… What on earth have I got myself into?!?!

The long weekend was a mixture of some very nice relaxing days and some not so relaxing days…

Sunday I had my long run, I ended up cutting it short at 14km because I wasn’t feeling too flash and ended up slightly hyperventilating. I didn’t do very well with the choice of fuel I used. I found some Horley’s Replace gels I must have bought last year before I had to pull out of my first planned half marathon but unfortunately I really didn’t enjoy the flavour of them on top of my body not being very use to fuelling yet. A few ladies I know have been raving about some of the GU flavours so I ordered a few online to try this weekend, I’m hoping if I like the flavour it might be a bit easier to work on getting this fuelling business sorted…

They turned up last night!

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My android running app also stuffed up again which annoyed me, up until two weeks ago it’s been really accurate – I’m wondering if the last update might have screwed with the GPS or something. Luckily I’ve been lapping Hagley Park lately so I know what distance I’m doing (But it puts my year’s km total out which also annoys me…). I’m hoping it will get sorted soon but I’m going to purchase a running watch but as part of my 20 Week Challenge this year (which I will talk about more later in the week) my reward for meeting my 5 Week Goals will be the running watch which means I have 5 and a bit weeks to wait ARGH!!!

The good part? I’ve definitely noticed that my mind games have changed with running. I struggle the most in the first 3-4km now but once I get through that the head space is a lot more positive which I think I prefer over struggling with my head space later in on a run. Another purchase that turned up yesterday is a pair of recovery compression socks, I usually feel my calves after a long run so I wanted to see if they would make any difference to my recovery – a little excited to test them this weekend!

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Monday I went along to a stairs session Emily had organised at St Martins Stairs. I find it funny how every time I get there I seem to forget how steep it was the last time I went… There is a little bit of a walk until you reach the beginning of the stairs and look up you’re already puffing HAHA. Enough complaining!

For a warm up we walked up to the top and left our jackets/water bottles etc. on some rocks. Our session usually consists of around 5 laps of the stairs with some reps in between each one. We had 5 exercises to do in between each lot of stairs: first round 25 of each, second 20… right down to 5. Then each time we did the stairs we went up a slightly different way:
1 # walk (warm up)
2 # single leg jumps (I was shocking at these so I ended up doing 2 feet jumps and still almost falling on my face on every second step)
3 # sprint 30 steps, walk 30
4 # 2 feet jumps (for me this one turned into sprint 30, walk 30 as the balance was still in the dangerous level)
5 # we had to go ALL the way down to the very bottom, do 100 walking lunges back up then run up the stairs.

Finish it all off with a casual run back down the road and a nice iced drink to cool down.

 

Tuesday I got up in a grouchy mood. I was sore, tired and I think I slept funny on my neck. Instead of bailing on PT with Kate I still turned up. I honestly wasn’t in a very good frame of mind for PT and I felt ‘weak’ which I was trying not to think about because sometimes that is enough to make you believe you are weak…. I ‘swore’ 3 times which I’m normally really good at avoiding so I had a 30 press up punishment reward. I left feeling glad I turned up; even though Kate knew I was grouchy and less motivated than normal.

I was in a much better mood the rest of the day for it so thank you Kate! In fact maybe I was in too much of a good mood…  I MAY have done something a tad insane later in the day. Emily has been giving me some ‘healthy’ peer pressure since Mt Cook to enter a trail run through part of Queen Charlotte Sound. I got a wee reminder from her…

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She shared that, tagged me and said you know you want to… I really did want too….

I wanted to tramp Queen Charlotte Sound this year so maybe this is a good taster of how beautiful it will be. So I’ve signed myself up for a 26km trail run in July (12 weeks away). AM I CRAZY?!

Website for anyone curious!

I may have just jumped into the deep end… I’ve had a look at last year’s results and a few people were out there for around 5 hours – I figure I can beat that… don’t want to be the last person crossing the finish line :/

I’m a little excited now though; I’m going to have to get kitted out soon so I can train carrying the gear I need. You know what that means? SHOPPING!

 

How do you get yourself motivated to exercise when you really don’t feel like it?

Have you ever entered a crazy sounding trail run?

Aoraki/Mount Cook Inaugural Marathon (calm down, I only did the 10km)

My weekend started one of the best possible ways it could… ROAD TRIP!!!

I went away for the weekend to Aoraki/Mount Cook for a race. A couple of Pumped ladies had won entries for the Inaugural marathon (they did the half, I did the 10km) and had asked if anyone else wanted to join them. It’s a bit of a journey I still hadn’t been to Mt Cook before so I jumped at the chance and the bonus was that I was offered a free entry to the race.

I drove to Emily’s place and the two of us car pooled from there. A quick coffee stop in Geraldine (about 1.5 hours in) and then we kept driving to Tekapo for lunch.

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Another hour or so later and we got to Aoraki/Mount Cook. Driving in we worked out where each race started (It seems like a very long distance when you’re in a car!) and the hills didn’t seem quite that bad in the car (I’ve been told since that some of those hills were pretty tough!). We checked in to the hotel and went to find our Kennel Chalet before meeting up with Simone & Mark.

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This race worked slightly different than others I’ve been to, we had the pre-race briefing at dinner the evening before as opposed to in the morning just before the race started. There was a HUGE line for the buffet; I hope that next year they might spread it out a bit/put more food out at a time. I don’t think the hotel realised how much runners eat before a race (some people’s plates were piled insanely high!). This lead to the veges being brought out a little bit before they were ready, crunchy kumara (sweet potato) is not one of my favourite foods I’ll admit.

RACE DAY!!

Sunday morning was a little strange. Normally I have to travel somewhere for a race but as I was doing an out and back course and there was no race briefing on the morning I didn’t have to leave the kennel until 15mins before the race started. So as Emily was getting up and ready I was sitting on my bed not really knowing what to do with myself haha! Emily & Simone had to catch a bus out to the start line at 7:30am ready for 9am start. I got ready earlier than I needed to and used a bit of time to keep moving once I got outside in the cold.

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About 8:50am we were walked out past the finish line and onto the road where we were starting from. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 GO! Everyone seemed to be going at quite a pace, the start was downhill but I noticed I was definitely going faster than normal. My first two km were well under 6mins so I made myself slow just a little. I knew the first half of the race would be faster as it was sloping down and I wanted to make sure I had enough to get back up – especially the last 400m as this was the steepest part of the course… These stairs were just before the finish chute… I know they don’t look like much but trust me they are horrible after a run!

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My hands were super cold and my body instantly noticed the slight incline at the 5km turnaround, in fact it seemed like quite a few runners had only trained on the flat because a lot of them stopped and walked a wee bit at the turnaround point. I managed to keep a pretty steady pace with those around me, once we got into our rhythms no one passed me (for me this is an awesome feeling) and as my running app clicked over 10km I realised it was a PB for me (YES!!). The course ended up being 10.4km but the best feeling for me was managing to keep running up the last hill and in doing so passing 4 runners who either slowed considerably or who stopped to walk it – I think that feeling was even better than crossing the finish line haha. I also got my first ever finishers medal at this race too, a lot of our races are quite small in comparison with other countries so it’s not often we get medals.

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Being so close to the accommodation I knew I had an hour to kill before Emily & Simone were due to finish so I walked back down to the kennel chalet to for a hot shower, some warm clothes and a snack. After lunch Emily & I decided to go for a wander, there were some 30-60min walks quite close to the village and we thought we had around 3 hours before prize giving (turns out it got moved forward two hours so we missed it – I better not have missed out on a spot prize!!). We decided to try one of the longer tracks first which ended up taking us close to a little bridge – so detour we must!

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On the way back we spotted another very short walk so we headed in there before getting back to the chalet. Not knowing that prize giving had already happened we got ready and met Simone up at the café. This is when I found the post on Facebook, so feeling a bit sad we headed to the bar downstairs with the cosy fire which became our home for the next few hours…

Monday morning was supposed to be a sleep in but both Emily & I were wide awake before 7am (sigh). We wanted to go see one other small walk behind the hotel so we checked out and headed up there quickly.

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Then we finally found an entrance into the memorial garden we spotted earlier in the trip:

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Emily did some research and decided on our way out we could stop and do a walk/hike up to see the Tasmin Glacier. This was the best walk we did (in my opinion) just look at the scenery!!

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We headed back home, stopping again in Tekapo for lunch.

I was hoping the weather would clear a bit more than it did, I never seen all of Aoraki/Mount Cook, I’ve decided it’s not worth playing hide & seek with a mountain – you will not win, ever… However I did manage to see the tip of the mountain for about 5mins on my race, I really wanted to stop and take a picture but my time was going really well so I didn’t want to stop!! So this was the best picture I got… Still breathtaking!

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And this is what it looks like minus clouds (apparently)

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Did you race over the weekend?

One of those 1 in 100 sleeps & a tough workout

I had one of those sleeps Sunday night where you wake up thinking your alarm is about to go off, then realise you still have 3+ hours to sleep. They sure don’t come around often so I treasured it! I still woke up before my alarm so it gave me plenty of time in the morning to make food for the day:

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After work I had an orientation at the gym I’ve just joined. This gym is the biggest one I’ve ever seen. Most of the local gyms I’ve seen would have easily fitted into the floor space at least 4 times. I joined mainly for classes so while I was there last night I booked in for a Ride (Spin) class on Thursday morning. The guy who showed me around was nice enough, I did have to specify I wasn’t looking for a trainer a couple of times and I found out he was BIG on high fives (I didn’t hear him the first time and kind of left him hanging…) We didn’t quite get through the extensive orientation they have so I’m heading back first thing tomorrow morning.

My IT band was playing up a wee bit on Monday after the long run – lucky I had a massage booked in tonight so I can get any niggles sorted before the race on Sunday!!

I got a text from my doctor yesterday as well – apparently all my results were perfect (a good thing!) but I’m now wondering why I was so tired last week. We shall just have to see how this week goes!

 This morning started with Kate: I was warned when I stepped in the door… Andrea (slightly laughing) “Have fun today, she’s in a mean mood… That was a tough workout”. We started with some boxing for a warm up and as she was making me doing some knee strikes (that’s what Google told me they were called – I’d never done them before) I remembered what this month’s challenge was – how dare she make my legs tired before I get to do the challenge!!… So I grabbed the kettlebell & had a Swiss ball behind my back: I had to do 10 squats, 10 squat pulses and then stay in a wall sit for as long as I could. I can’t remember what my time was last week; I think it was around a minute. Anyway I sat there and chatted for a while, it got really hard and when I stopped I thought I heard her say 2mins something… Turns out it was almost 5mins which is almost double the longest time I remember doing a wall sit for WHAAAAT?? Either Kate is really good at distracting me now or I was good at distracting myself telling Kate about the good looking guy trainer I met haha…

We got into some good strength work after that, I’m certain I will be dreaming about bench press & leg presses tonight…

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GOALS FOR THE WEEK:

I’ve realised I eat well through the day, but if I come home before exercising I end up mindless snacking – and not on good choices. There aren’t many ‘bad’ food choices (things like muesli bars etc. that Liam likes to take for his work snacks) in the house this week but I’ve made sure there are lots of good ones; be it hummus and carrots, grapes etc. so if I am legitimately hungry I can go for those instead.

Complete the Pumped homework: This week is a list of reps to complete during the week – a total of 1101 reps & bonus challenge of 1101 secs of huffy puffy every day (18min 21 sec to be exact!). I’ve got a little chart I’ve printed off to keep track 🙂

Complete Sunday’s 10km race: It has some elevation in it on the way back by the looks of mapmyrun. Considering last week’s run & the below elevation (I REALLY need to start adding in hills to my training) I’ll be pretty happy if I come in under 70mins.

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Have you got any races planned this week?

Dancing, tiredness and a 16km run

I did something Thursday night I haven’t done in WAAY too long… I put on some music and danced randomly around the lounge – Liam didn’t even look at me weirdly (LOL) in fact he said something that made me stop and think. He seemed to be enjoying observing me as he mentioned that he hadn’t seen me like that often. We’ve been together for a little over two years now and I’ve come to realise that certain things that make me randomly happy I have forgotten to do often – like simply putting on music and enjoying it.

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I’ll be honest and admit it made me a bit sad and it shows how you can get so wrapped up in the pace of life you forget to stop and remind yourself of the little things that make you happy. I think it happened without me being aware, I think back a couple of years and about the same time I started a new job (at which we aren’t allowed to listen to personal music players or have a radio playing) my car stereo also stopped working and I procrastinated on getting it fixed, in the end I got a new car before I had fixed the stereo. They were the two places I always had music playing.

 

Friday = one day of work left!! The day started out one of the best ways it can: our monthly Pumped Breakfast! I really enjoy these and am so glad Kate decided to start them. As well as having a lovely spread of coffee & yummy foods we also get to hear about peoples successes during the prior month which is so motivating and inspirational. It’s gives us a good excuse to have a chat to everyone as well – especially those who you don’t normally catch up with during the week.

I think I forgot to mention this last month in my lack of blogging but March for me was my 1 year anniversary with Pumped. I got a shiny certificate this morning 😀

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After visiting the doctor in the afternoon I was back to feeling really tired again. Good note was that they decided to take some blood tests so I will find out this coming week hopefully if something isn’t looking as good as it should be, and hopefully this random tiredness will start to go away!

I ended up missing the stairs session Saturday morning after falling ill late Friday night, something that lasted into the morning (It’s REALLY not my week this week is it?!?!). It was a very quiet day all in all and nothing much exciting to write for it on the blog front – sigh…

Today however I woke up feeling a bit better which I was very happy about – I knew I had my long run scheduled for today and I REALLY had to do it. It ended up being a slight rush as Liam decided last minute that he wanted to run before his hockey game as opposed to afterwards like we originally planned. So off we went… We didn’t have a lot of time so we headed to the park to do laps. Normally we go to South Hagley but when we drove past there were kids EVERYWHERE!! Turns out there was a youth duathlon on this morning – so we kept driving and went to North Hagley instead!

One lap ended up being slightly over 4km: the good and bad? Bad: I’m still getting used to laps (mentally speaking) but my running app went to the pack for the first time so it was really handy we could do 4 laps and know we had done our 16km (Good). I won’t show you the screen shot because it’s completely wrong and the map itself jumped in and out. At the 6km mark it told me we’d done 5km, then it didn’t do anything until we got to the final lap, it had the audacity to tell me I’d only done 6.5km and the last km had taken me over 30mins!! In total it took us close to two hours, which is slower than my normal pace but I suspected that would happen after my week. The weird thing was I found the first lap was the hardest one, but I was really happy that I wasn’t struggling with mind games in those last two laps because my legs did get quite tired towards the end so I had that to focus on to push through.

I’ve had a nap since my finishing my run lol… But I am feeling human again which is good because I need to go replenish the lunch foods area of my fridge so I have no excuse to buy food tomorrow!

 

Have you ever had your running app/watch etc stop working mid run?

How big is music in your life?

April Goals and Clumsy Hands…

 My Monday morning started well NOT… I quite often drop my phone on my face when I’m lying down (Yes, I never learn) but this time the corner of it hit me as opposed to it falling flat. It hurt and was I nursing a headache and a lump on my forehead for a couple of days…

I was in the middle of reading this week’s homework from The Boss which I’m looking forward to! I haven’t been up to the St Martins stairs for a couple of months. I’ll probably end up making this Saturday mornings exercise and hopefully there will be a few others who have the same line of thinking! UPDATE: Emily had the same though so a few of us are meeting Saturday morning! For some reason the last few times I’ve been to these stairs I’ve been eaten alive by mosquitoes (normally they don’t touch me!) so I will be purchasing some insect repellent before Saturday!

Monday afternoon I visited a gym to look at membership rates. I do prefer exercising outdoors however this gym also has free fitness classes if you are a member and it works out cheaper if I join rather than paying per spin class elsewhere – plus I have the bonus of being able to use the facilities when the weather isn’t the best!

Tuesday started out well, I had a strength session with Kate and we set my April fitness goal. 28th April is day 1 of the 20 Week Challenge. I really want to be at my ‘end weight’ from last year. This means I’ve got 2.9kg to donate and just under 4 weeks to make it happen!

Getting prepared for the 20 week challenge this week I am focusing on getting back to basics food wise. Making sure I prepare my meals/snacks for work days so I’m not tempted to go buy a scone etc. from the café. Proof of this will be photographed & added to my blog to hold me accountable, plus it will make my blog drool worthy with delicious foods 😀

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After work I had a last minute appointment, it took longer than expected and by the time I got home I didn’t seem to have much energy left to do a run 😦

All around this week had been strange, I’ve been way more tired than normal so a few of my planned exercise sessions haven’t happened. I did start taking iron pills about a month ago because I had noticed I was getting more and more tired – it’s not like I wasn’t getting enough sleep or anything. I’d find at least two days in a week I’d come from work or exercise and basically spend the rest of the day/evening on the couch or in bed. The iron pills did seem to make a bit of a difference but it seems that the different is starting to disappear. I have an appointment with my GP tomorrow so as well as discussing some of my bigger running plans with her to make sure I’m all-good to go… I will be mentioning this issue to her.

I got home from a normal day at work yesterday and was feeling so shattered so before circuit class I had a 15min lay on my bed (because I’m one of those people who just can’t get an actual sleeping power nap, I just lay there). This turned into a few hours sleeping and hence circuit didn’t happen…

Anyway I was feeling a bit better after work today and I’d also made Liam promise that no matter what we would do a run tonight. So run we did. It was hard but it felt refreshing.

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Lunchtime was spent with this lovely salad..

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So how did today go? Check, Check & CHECK!

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REST OF THE WEEK

Tomorrow is reps. I’ve technically had a couple of rest days this week so I really can’t say Friday is my rest day… Plus we have a Pumped breakfast I’m looking forward to, it’s always nice to see people’s progress over the month and catch up with some people I don’t see regularly!

Saturday I’m meeting some lovely pumped ladies at St Martin’s stairs for this week’s homework (Note to self – buy insect repellent before then!).

 Sunday is a 16km run for my half marathon training!

 

 

Do you ever drop your phone on your face?

What goals are you aiming to achieve in April?