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?

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Impending Hill Run & a Fun Trip (not)

This week seems to be experiment with smoothie ingredients week. FYI I’m a creature of habit; normally my smoothie is banana, blueberries, chia seeds & trim milk. Sometimes I go crazy and add a scoop of whey or hide some spinach in there WOAH!

After Monday’s test with using coconut water instead of dairy I tried a watermelon smoothie on Wednesday: banana, watermelon, spinach, chia seeds and coconut water. I was surprised at how sweet the water melon made it and the bonus was that when whizzed up it was green (green = super healthy doesn’t it??). It was tasty so I used up the rest of the ingredients in another one yesterday morning 🙂

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It’s sunny! After Tuesday’s AWFUL rain and flooding it was really nice to be able to get out of the office at lunchtime for a walk on Wednesday, even if it did involve a trip and a giggling lady… Yes, someone random did watch me tripping over my own feet and the three munted steps with matching flailing arms that followed to attempt to keep my face away from the footpath… Then towards the end of my walk I passed a lovely smiley lady. We smiled at each other and said hello but she then followed with an onslaught of giggling. I’m sure she didn’t see me trip so I’m not sure why she was laughing, but it made me laugh and laughing is good 😀

I decided to head straight from work to circuit in the hopes I’d have enough time to do a brisk walk around the block a few times. Unfortunately I wasn’t feeling very good at all by the time I turned up, in fact after a few minutes I decided it would be wiser to just head home. Little gutted I missed circuit but sometimes you need to listen to the body!

Thankfully it disappeared by the time Thursday morning rolled around. I got up earlier than normal because I had a spin class to get to at 6am (my alarm usually goes off about that time!). I did find it a little harder than Monday’s class – possibly because my body was still part asleep…

Thursday’s lesson: After not having done spin in ages two spin classes in one week followed by walking up the stairs at work in heels is a little harder than usual…

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Friday has been a long time coming this week after a few short working weeks…

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It started the best way possible – monthly Pumped breakfast to catch up with awesome ladies and hear people’s successes for the month. The food was tasty, the coffee was good, the company was motivational – what more can you ask for?!

I walked down to the mall at lunchtime to get lunch from Tank, Tasty Moroccan Chicken Salad

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Psyching myself up currently for my first attempt at running up Rapaki tonight, I know it’s going to be tough but I figure it will get easier so I just have to start… I remember the first time I ever walked up Rapaki. It was one of the first weeks of last year’s 20 Week Challenge AND it was pouring with rain. A group of Pumped entrants met at the bottom of Rapaki Rd and went up from there, some ran and the rest of us walked. I was struggling… I was the one lagging behind everyone and we hadn’t even gone that far up at that stage! Some of us didn’t quite make it to the top that morning due to some unforeseen reasons; we managed to stop just before the last hill – which if you haven’t been up Rapaki is a devil of a thing. By this stage we met up with some others who were ahead and I jogged down with Julie. We had a really good chat about things we wanted to achieve and I didn’t even notice myself struggling to run (I was probably only at 2-3km running at that point).

I am specifically timing the uphill stretch separately to the downhill – the reason being you can easily run faster down plus for me it’s about getting the strength and endurance to make up it Rapaki without stopping (I expect I will be stopping a couple of times tonight). Once I’ve made it up without stopping it will be about getting up there faster.

WISH ME LUCK!!

 

Have you ever tripped spectacularly in front of strangers?

What do you put in your favourite smoothie?

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?

Protein balls I’m pretty sure were made with unicorn glitter & new gear!

Tuesday morning was a session with The Boss. I was slightly hesitant as I walked into the studio because last week I wasn’t feeling 100% and the session ended badly – was REALLY hoping it wasn’t a repeat of that!

It turned out to be a really enjoyable session. We spent most of it doing free weight work that I haven’t done before. I’ll admit the arms were a bit shaky afterwards – always a good sign!

The one issue I did have was my monthly goals. I wanted to be able to do 15 nose to ground press ups, I’ve been at 10-11 for a little while now but my lower back seems to start hurting around the 7th one (same with Planks!). I found this article with some strengthening exercises so I’m going to do them a few times a week and hopefully it starts to help me improve!

At the end of that session another Pumped athlete turned up with some protein balls for Kate and I was lucky enough to try one. Holy mother of unicorn glitter it was delicious! I’m going to try and get the recipe off her I promise! I ate it before I thought about taking a picture but they looked like this:

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Then something happened at lunchtime… The table conversation started on a runner at work who is currently injured. Someone piped up and said “runners never look happy”. They were joking about it but then someone else came back with “watch out, you’re sitting next to a runner, you don’t want to get hit…” Now I was being a tad antisocial at the time engrossed with Game of Thrones on my Kindle. I wasn’t offended that people said runners never look happy but I was secretly jumping for joy that someone that I don’t spend time with outside of work thought of me as an actual runner! I haven’t really labelled myself as a runner yet, I’m not entirely sure why so this comment totally made my day!! So I need to start changing my thinking… I found this, I run so I must be a runner!!

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Wednesday morning I set myself a time limit and started on the deck of cards. I got half way through but seemed to get many high cards so tomorrow morning shouldn’t take me as long to finish the deck.

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Wednesday was DOMS day, like I can feel my whole arm when I hold my coffee cup DOMS… I knew it was going to hit me hard today because I started to feel it creeping in Tuesday evening. Press ups and burpees were hard to do with the card game in the morning so circuit could be interesting later on! What’s the good side to this madness you ask? Feeling DOMS in places I don’t normally!

It came time for circuit and it was HARD. We had intervals again tonight: 45sec on a station, 15 sec rest and then a further 30sec on the same station. I started with Lat pull and man could I feel my upper body! After all our stations we went back outside for some reps. Each set we had a few different reps to do followed by a sprint to the letter box – we had an allotted time in which we had to complete as many rounds as we could. The last set we did wasn’t timed but I got the blame thanks for reminding Kate about this horrid exercise when she read my blog earlier in the week! I wrote about it here, still don’t know the name of it but I think they should be called crab walk press ups. We did 20, sprinted to the letter then 15, 10 & 5.

During circuit Kate sneakily asked us a question “What are you doing after this?” I laughed and said nothing (as in I was thinking to myself I won’t be able to do anything after this!). I didn’t think it was a loaded question but it turns out she suspected she had an uneven number for the next circuit (the girls that are doing the 100 Day Challenge this time around) and she had planned a boxing based circuit for them. Who ended up staying?? ME… I was pretty tired by this stage but managed to get through the second circuit and got to know a new Pumped athlete Tash who joined up to do the 100 Day Challenge. For someone who had never done boxing before she had a good punch on her! The funniest moment of that class was one particular boxing station. From memory we did 50 left/rights and then we had to do something that took me back to being a toddler… The pad holder would make a v shape with their body (hands/feet on the ground & bum in the air) and the boxer had to crawl under. Then pad holder would lay on the ground while the boxer jumped over… 5 times… then we repeated the station as many times as we could in the allotted time before swapping gloves/pads. Doing the pad holder V shape, lying down and then going back to the V shape was surprisingly harder than it looked. Plus I got the giggles – it’s interesting crawling in boxing gloves too lol!

 

Thursday morning I got up and remembered I had some cards left over from yesterday! It didn’t take me as long to get through the last half because I had got a lot of the high cards yesterday but the ab exercises were the ones I felt the most this morning. Now to reshuffle them ready for next time!

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Thursday night I wasn’t sure if Liam was going to be running with me or not. This is the first week he has hockey practice and so going forward his PT session has moved from Wednesday to Thursday. He does have time to do a 45min-ish run beforehand but his PT session is usually pretty intense so he was still deciding if he still wanted to run on Thursdays with me. This week he decided not skip the run, the Tuesday running group I’ve been meaning to attend was postponed this week to Thursday so I met up with Anita (running coach) and a few others. They have been working on some interval running and to be honest I haven’t been following this part of the running schedule so far. We did a light jog to warm up then it was 3min on, 2mins recovery. The 3mins was supposed to be around 70% effort so faster than I would normally run but not so fast that I couldn’t sustain it for the whole 3mins. Anita also critiqued me a little on my running technique so for the session I was trying really hard to work on shorter/faster steps and making sure my shoulders aren’t moving as much as my arms were. Increasing the amount of steps I was taking each minute was an interesting feeling, to begin with my brain was telling me I was working so much harder so I must be getting tired faster but it did get a little easier and started to feel a little more natural.

Overall it was a really enjoyable run and I got to spend some time with girls I don’t normally see.

Friday is rest day for me and I relished lying in bed a little longer than normal – Liam even brought me a coffee to sip on! We also had a family dinner out for Jude’s (Dad’s wife) birthday at Buddha Stix (Asian cuisine) I’ve been meaning to go for ages so I was pretty happy when dad suggested it! 

I may have gone a little overboard at Rebel Sport today… They had a sale on Nike gear and I REALLY needed some new 3/4 pants. I only had one pair left and the cord on them broke months ago so I’ve only been able to tie up one side… The cord stretches and then they keep slipping down. ANYWAY I found some replacements but I also may have purchased some other items as well. You see, I got new running shoes a couple of months ago:

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Both pairs are awesome but the problem?? I had purple/pink workout gear and I like to match… So this is what I ended up bringing home with me today:

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When did you start calling yourself a runner?

Do you have like to have matching workout gear?

I’m back and even more crazy than before…

Firstly I apologise for seemingly falling off the face of the blog planet… I have been writing a bit but nothing quite got to the ‘published’ state (sigh). IT’S BEEN A MONTH!!!

I managed to roll my ankle at The Color Run because it was pouring with rain and the course was on uneven ground; it got really sore the next day and put me out of action for a little while. Then we had some insane weather, a few days of heavy rain resulted in pretty bad flooding around the city.

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Then a week later we were bracing for another dose of the rain – THANKFULLY it wasn’t as bad as the first round in regards flooding.

BACK TO IT:
Yesterday I completed my third race for the year – City2Surf which was a 14.5km mainly on road race.

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It was cold and windy but I decided rather than having the hassle of dropping off/picking up my gear I’d just suck it up and leave all the gear I wasn’t going to run with in the car… I’ll be honest and say I did regret my decision! Also made me realise I need to get some more layering clothes ready for winter (any excuse for a running gear shopping trip!!). Liam and I arrived at the start after taking the bus from the finish and headed to where some of the Pumped team was meeting up for a quick photo before heading over to the start line.

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Being the longest distance I’ve run so far in my training I didn’t have a time goal as such. I was hoping to keep it closer to 1hr 35mins. We crossed the finish line at 1hr 38mins so I was pretty happy with that considering we had to stop for a couple of traffic management teams along the way and the first km took ages to actually get running. The start horn went off and it was a good couple of minutes before we got going – so our first km took 8:30!! The rest averaged 6:30-6:40 which is around what I have been doing with my longer runs.

I must admit there were a few infuriating moments during the run. I lined up towards the end of the ‘runners’ section just before the start of the ‘recreational runners’ section but there were SOO many walkers in front of us including some with prams, skateboards or dogs (dogs were strictly prohibited…) that we had to weave around for at least 4km. My goal was to reach the 8.5km mark before 10am (which is normally easy at my pace) as the people who were doing 6km were starting at 10am and I REALLY didn’t want to have to weave through them as well. We hit the 8km mark at 53:57 due to the slow start etc. but it seemed like the walkers set off earlier than expected. There were heaps of them and it made for an even more infuriating time than weaving at the start of our race. They took up the whole road and footpaths and there were lots of runners attempting to get past, in fact by the time we got onto the main road we had to keep going onto the side that was still open for cars just to pass all the walkers. Moral of the story – I need to pick up my pace slightly so I don’t run into them next time ARGH!!

Overall though I’m happy with how I went. There were a few moments I struggled with my head space and I am beginning to realise I will probably need to carry my camelbak with me more often, I’ve found out I like small sips of water fairly regularly as opposed to stopping at the drink stops every 4-5km and I need to start working on fuelling during long runs. This is what I have to test out on my runs so far…

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This week I’m focusing on getting back on track with my running schedule, over the last few weeks we’ve missed at least one run (sometimes being the long run eeek) so no excuses this week…

I am saving the homework set by Kate for Wednesday & Thursday mornings. It’s a ‘card game’ as set out below…

PICK UP 52:

Hearts = ABS of my choice
Diamonds = Press ups
Spades = Squat jumps
Clubs = Burpees

Ace = 15
King/Queen/Jack/10 = 10
9 = 9
8 = 8 (and so on)

Shuffle the pack of cards and do whatever gets turned up… All up it’s 99 reps of each exercise so I should be able to get through it with two small morning sessions 🙂

 

GOALS:

I’ve started to realise I’m feeling a little lost when it comes to where I want to head with my Health and fitness goals. For over four years now my goals and dreams were basically to lose weight and attempt to get to a 5km run. My ultimate dream which part of me thought would never happen was to complete a half marathon. This dream is now 7 weeks away and I’m so excited about it!! However because of focusing for so long on it I am now struggling to see what I want beyond that. I know I want to keep going along the fitness lifestyle but for me I seem to need specifics in my head to strive for.

This is where The Boss comes in; we’ve been chatting on and off for the last couple of weeks and what keeps popping up? A Marathon… 

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A Marathon?? Now that is a scary thought… Even a month ago if someone had mentioned a marathon (Kate did awhile back – I kind of stopped listening and laughed in my head at the outrageous thought) I would have passed it off not thinking about it. Not so much now. For some reason my mind is now seriously considering this, even though at this point I’ve only run a little over two thirds the distance of the half marathon.

Queenstown International Marathon: This is the one I’m considering, a couple of the Pumped ladies are already working towards this, in fact Emily is blogging about her journey here. It is 35 weeks away which will give me 28 weeks to increase my distances after completing my first Half Marathon. That’s doable… I guess… (eeek)

I’m working on setting goals for other areas of my fitness so there will be more to write about in the coming days/weeks regarding this!

A Weekend of Races and Weather Extremes…

The races I entered this weekend were a mixture of charity and fun runs. I wasn’t planning on having really good time/pace for either, I was focused more on getting out and enjoying myself.

A Run to Remember
Saturday’s run was a 12km trail/road course that began uphill through the Harry Ell track. This track is very narrow and people hadn’t lined up very well at all so there were a huge amount of walkers in front of some of the runners to start with. This meant for the first 2km uphill we ended up walking at quite a casual pace. Once we got to Summit Rd we were able to run the rest of the way at a fairly slow pace. I have only done one hill run before so for me it was about a slow and steady pace, my goal was simply to not stop running on the hilly parts. I remember looking at the weather an hour before we started and it was almost 26⁰C already, by the time we finished it was around 30⁰C – it was HOT! I ran with two lovely ladies Lisa & Lisa. These two ladies are inspirational; Lisa H is the one that is helping her friend’s daughter with the charity for Ava that I have mentioned previously. Lisa P is one of these people who will go out of her way to help you, she will enter a race last minute just to run with you if you are feeling a little apprehensive and stick with you the whole way around – even if it means she’s not going at her normal pace. Considering she has enough to worry about in her own personal life she gives of her time considerably to anyone else in need, even if it’s just a smile and a quick hello.

Saturday was a big day for me, I was a little worried when the race start was delayed as I had a small amount of breathing room to get home and get ready for a wedding out in the country. I made it in good time and was very lucky enough to have some shade during the outside ceremony considering I had spent a few hours in the full sun over the morning. My lesson learned: I WILL be sore the next day if I’ve run for over an hour and then decided to wear decent sized heels for the rest of the day/night when I don’t tend to wear heels very often!

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I really enjoy standing up here – you can’t see it overly well but it shows after the devastation of the earthquakes we do indeed still have a city – even though a good portion of it got demolished.Image

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The Color Run
I woke up late on Sunday as my alarm didn’t go off. It was set for 6:30 and I woke up around 6:55 so not too bad but it meant I had to rush around and leave pretty quickly. The warm up before the race was at 8:10am and I had to drive to Kathryn’s place and then head with her out to the race to pick up my pack so that I was ready to go before the warm up started. We got there in good time but as we headed in to pick up my pack the wind was feeling quite icy. I hadn’t checked the weather since the morning before and had no idea it was going to be considerably colder than the insanely hot day we had on Saturday. When I got back to the car to change into the T-Shirt I’d been given all of a sudden it started pouring down…

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We had 15mins before the warm up was due to start so we sat in the car like a lot of others – no point in being out in that longer than we had too! It was time to head back it – it was COLD. I jogged past everyone to get to the warm up area and spent the next 50mins trying to keep moving before we could start the race. It got a bit warmer once we are all huddled in the start chute but by this time it was steadily pouring down and had basically turned into a wet T-shirt competition! Finally the countdown began and we started on our way, slowly the rain and the cold became bearable. The run in general was fun, we embraced the weather and set out on a steady run, Kathryn has just in the last week or two got up to running 5km without stopping so I was quite glad to have an easy paced run, stopping to walk through each color station. It got freezing again a few minutes after we crossed the finish line so we didn’t stay very long and I must say changing into dry clothes and sipping on a coffee was the best feeling ever! I was too scared to get my phone out in that weather so I’m waiting for the pictures from the event to be posted online!!

In some ways this race was worse than Mud, Sweat & Tears which is held over here in winter. Sure you get wet and muddy and cold, but the times I’ve done it was ‘fine weather’ and you expected what was coming up during the course. Yesterday morning we weren’t expecting rain and for it to be that cold, and we had already been soaked through well before we even began the race. Looking back though I’m still glad I did it and didn’t chicken out like a few other competitors were doing.

In the evening a group of Pumped ladies met with another PT who Kate met recently called Anita. She focuses more on running than Kate has been and agreed to have a chat about ways we can improve our running techniques. I had read a lot of the information she was sharing on some running websites before but it was good to get reminders and some new information. I’m quite interested in seeing what her half marathon training plans are like in comparison with the one I’ve been following and she will be putting on some sessions for us during the weeks to come.

 

Start of a new week:
My legs are still quite sore today so I have been focusing more on stretching than exercise tonight as well as setting some goals for the week:

GOALS
# – Run a total of 25km
# – Complete the homework circuit twice
# – Do one stairs/hill session
# – Plan out my meals/snacks for the week

Hot running weather and way too many burpees…

Sleep wasn’t my friend Monday night and so I was slightly dreading an early morning workout with The Boss knowing I was already a little sore from her ‘burpee’ circuit yesterday. We started with the monthly challenge. Normally it’s something fitness related but this month we have a time limit to throw little hoops and see how many we get on the holder. Last week I got a big fat zero but I managed to get two this time around – one being my first throw! Next was a warm-up, well I say warm up but it took quite a long time… We normally do some boxing to warm up but this time I did a mixture of boxing and reps. 100 left right punches, 10 burpees then 90 hooks, 20 press ups. You get the idea? We went from 100 to 10 (with the reps getting higher as the punches got lower). Finished off the session with some strength work which felt harder than normal but I did get through all my reps J

I mentioned in my last post that I’ve had a mare on the food front over the last couple of weeks so I had a chat with Kate yesterday morning about being held accountable daily for few weeks while I get myself back into a healthy food routine.  She is going to randomly check my online diary/calorie intake and if it’s not up to date or I have gone over my calorie goal for the day I lose money. I don’t always follow a calorie diary but I do find that’s a very helpful way to get back on track if I’ve gone off the rails a little.

After that workout I was feeling my body I still had a run later in the day. We missed our long run on Sunday due to sports games: Liam thought the NRL Nines would finish around 6pm like it had the day before but it ended up finishing just after 8pm and I fell asleep (very unlike me).

Tuesday night’s run was hard but I actually enjoyed it at the same time?! Is that a thing?! It was one of the hottest days we’ve had here this summer, come 5pm it was still around 31⁰C. Normally I would hold off until it cooled before going out but I had a hair appointment. This run was my 3rd 10km run ever but I felt like I could have easily kept going (if I didn’t have other places to be) and I started to feel confident that I can actually do this half marathon in a good time. The first 4-5kms my legs were pretty stiff, it was flippin’ hot but I noticed I wasn’t having to coach myself on as much as I normally do to keep going, especially in the last half which is normally where I struggle the most.

Fuelling for longer runs: I’ve done a little research on this over the past couple of weeks and I think I need to start trying out little amounts on my weekend runs. I really dislike having to carry things whilst running though. Last night was the first time I’d carried a drink bottle with me because it was so hot and I didn’t want to have to stop for a drinking fountain but I was cursing it the whole way around. I do have a hydration pack at home that I will probably start using for my weekend running, that way I can carry some magical energy goodness with me and still keep my hands free (and look hard core at the same time because I’m wearing the pack in the first place…). I haven’t had much luck with any sort of gel, my stomach can only handle a tiny amount at a time and with most gels having a rip of top you can’t really save some for later without getting it everywhere. I quite like the sports beans though as I can take one or two (while the body gets used to it) and put the rest away for later and it actually feels like I’m eating something. Problem is most places only stock the lemon/lime or orange flavours when I know there are more delicious sounding ones around… I ordered some online yesterday, along with some Em’s Power Bites to test out too – looking forward to that package turning up 😉

Wednesday morning was dark, I wasn’t impressed! I met up with Dee for a circuit at the netball courts in Hagley: round two of the homework. She was running a little late and we did a pretty decent warm up so only got through half of each circuit in the end. Darkness is creeping in which is the one thing I dislike about the colder months: exercising in the dark! Circuit tonight consisted of WAY to many squats and burpees for my liking, legs hadn’t recovered from doing them over the last two days.

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My time trial run yesterday (Thursday) was tough. I may have started out way too fast; I was panting, struggling to get my breath and felt like I wouldn’t be able to keep going.  I slowed considerably during the last half of the km and got a time of 6:03. I managed negative splits for the entire run (last km finishing 5:30) but missed my PB by 8 seconds.

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Today is ‘rest day’ but I set a goal at the beginning of the week that I would complete a minimum of 20mins exercise each day. We went to the first Crusaders game tonight so I told Liam we will be parking further away and walking in, a 15min brisk walk to the stadium.

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I’m looking forward to the weekend it’s going to be busy though! I’m doing two events: 
Saturday – A Run to Remember (12km trail/road course) 
Sunday – The Color Run

 

 Are you entered in any races this weekend?

How do you feel when you just miss out on a PB?

Honest review & back to basic goal setting

I almost fell off the face of the ‘healthy lifestyle’ earth last week. I did some good workouts but I failed miserably with my eating choices. It’s been creeping up on me the last few weeks, I need to cut out the processed foods and start drinking lots of water again!!

February for Pumped is about being ‘Fat Free’ and there is a competition going on for people to try and donate the most weight (based on personal % of total body weight) and it seems I’m going taking other peoples donations on rather than donating myself. Tonight for me became about preparing good food choices for the week and kicking my butt into gear with our homework circuit.

I wrote the below out before I’d even tried it and it looks nasty… UPDATE: I’ve now completed it and it WAS pretty nasty! Good news is The Boss offered a coffee voucher to people who completed both circuits this week, I’m on day one and I’ve already done this 🙂

10 burpees – 1 squat
9 burpees – 2 squats
8 burpees – 3 squats
7 burpees – 4 squats
6 burpees – 5 squats
5 burpees – 6 squats
4 burpees – 7 squats
3 burpees – 8 squats
2 burpees – 9 squats
1 burpee – 10 squats
1min plank
Repeat in opposite direction

10 press ups – 1 min aeroplane abs
9 press ups – 1min squat hold
8 press ups – 1min plank
7 press ups – 1min high knees
6 press ups – 1min cycles
5 press ups – 1min dips
4 press ups – 1min dead ants
3 press ups – 1min squats
2 press ups – 1min walking lunges
1 press ups – 1min top plank
Repeat in opposite direction

I managed to do both tonight and timed myself for each half. I did the second round of the first one faster, but by the second circuit I did the last round slightly slower than the first.

 

GOALS

My goals this week are going back to the basics:
#1 – Drink 2.5L water per day (normally this is not a problem for me but for some reason I’ve been struggling with this lately)
#2 – Exercise for a minimum of 20mins a day
#3 – Make all my lunches/snacks for the working week

I’m now officially entered this year’s 20 Week Body & Lifestyle Competition. I’m not sure if I will stick to the two categories I’ve selected, it’s been a very hard choice to make this year so at this stage I’ve entered Upper Body & Strength.

A quick forecast of my week to come and it looks busy: I didn’t get my long run in yesterday so we are aiming for a longer than usual run tomorrow, plus I have PT first thing in the morning. Wednesday I am meeting a couple of girls for a morning circuit (take two of the homework circuit) and I have Circuit class in the afternoon. Thursday is time trial run. Friday I’ll have to do a small morning circuit to meet my goal of exercise each day as we have tickets to the first home game of our AWESOME rugby team the Crusaders in the evening! Saturday I’m weighing up whether to do a race in the morning as I have a wedding early in the afternoon. Sunday I’ve entered into The Color Run which is only a 5km fun run but I have a 12km run on my training schedule for Sunday as well…

The race on Saturday is called A Run to Remember and I missed out on it last year so I was really keen to do it this time round. It’s special to our city as it a charity run to honor the people who lost their lives in the earthquakes that struck our city almost three years ago. It’s a beautiful course showing off views of the city. If I do go I’ll have to miss the prize giving and memorial service which is a bit disappointing but I’ll be cutting my time fine to get back home and head out to a wedding in the country!

All in all I’m feeling more positive than I was this morning/last week and rearing to go for a great week!

Morning routines, smashing PB’s and a Labrador wanting to help with my reps…

 I finally got into some early morning workouts this week. Dee, one of the lovely Pumped ladies had asked for some motivation to do a workout Wednesday mornings and I jumped at the chance as I was also needing a bit of a accountability with my mornings. This week we decided to meet at Hagley Park and do Kate’s homework circuit:

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I must admit we only got through half of it by the time we had to pack up and head to work (think we were chatting too much…) but it was still a good start to the morning.

After work I had circuit class with Kate which was a little different than the usual inside circuit. We’ve been lucky with the weather lately and being able to do outdoor classes but it wasn’t too flash this particular evening. Usually we would do something along the lines of one round of the circuit, do a few different exercises and sprints to break it up followed by another shorter round to finish. This time we did 45 sec on a station, a few reps or sprints and then 30 sec on the same station before moving on. Made it a little more like interval training which was a nice change – I like my variety 🙂

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve found I’m able to push myself more than I could over the last few months. I’ve had a couple of injuries that would be niggly off and on and I’ve had to be careful with sprinting and jumping type exercises because that was what was setting it off – I REALLY didn’t want to go backwards again with it! Currently it’s looking good, I’ve been doing all these things with no niggles or pain and bonus – I feel like I’ve got more out of my workouts 🙂

Thursday = time trial day. I had looked up my PB from a couple of weeks ago and mentioned to Liam that I really wanted to beat it this time. As we started off I actually felt like I was going well, 1km mark came along and my app told me I’d been running for 6:03 (includes a few seconds from the 2nd km). By this time Liam was a few steps in front of me, I was pretty happy and said “Woah babe, 6mins!” (secretly hoping I hadn’t started out too fast and could keep it up). 2nd km I was faster still and when the 3rd km mark came around the voice told me my average was sitting at 5:34 – Woah, I couldn’t believe it! I had been worried because I felt like I had slowed up yet it was my fastest km. I did slow a little towards the end of the run but managed to keep every km under 6mins and finished in 29:05. I took a total of 2mins 14sec off my PB (31:19) WOOHOO!!!

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Needless to say I was feeling pretty proud! I have noticed though that I am really bad with inconsistent lap times. My splits usually differ considerably and I struggle to know how I’m going only knowing my time at each km because sometimes if I’ve slowed sometimes I don’t have enough time left to bring it back as much as I would like too. For this reason I’m looking into what GPS watches are around, not that I will look at it the whole run but I think it will help me get a feel for my pace and know when I need to step it up, especially for time trials!

This morning was an odd feeling for me: a few of the Pumped girls ran Buller Marathon/Half today which was supposed to be my first Half Marathon. Unfortunately I had to pull out late last year due to the above mentioned injuries. I was really excited for them (especially Hayley as she completed her first marathon!) but was a little sad I wasn’t joining them. On the bright side though, I’m in a better position right now for St Clair than I was for Buller so here’s hoping nothing major comes my way in the next couple of months… 

To keep on track I decided to incorporate the homework circuit into a stairs session this morning and Dee offered to join me. Besides getting eaten alive by mosquitoes it was a good workout, I even found a buddy who wanted to help with my press ups! I didn’t catch a picture of him but a gorgeous chocolate labrador was playing on the stairs and followed us around for a while. As people went past we asked if they knew where he lived but it wasn’t until the end of our workout we found out where his home was. Every time I got down to do reps he would come over and try to play – it kept the workout fun haha!

Instead of the step ups/2 feet jumps in between the sets of 20, 15, 10 & 5 reps mentioned from Wednesday we would run down & back up the stairs (all 219 of them). There is a nice flat area at the top of the stairs to do reps and it’s away from the nasty mosquitoes which was a big bonus!

 

Would you recommend/not recommend any particular brand of GPS watch?

How do you feel when you smash a previous personal best?

Hill Runs, Birthday shoes and Spikey Balls

Circuit Wednesday night seemed to be more of a killer than normal. Maybe it was because I was already suffering a hint of DOMs – I don’t know! It did seem like we had more sprinting than normal and for a change from the standard circuit class we spent the whole hour outside doing interval training. Most sets that we completed were 20sec high intensity followed by 10sec rest: repeat 4x per exercise.

The two hardest exercises we did? 
#1 – Lunge hops. We did 4 sets per leg, by set 4 of each it was definitely burning!
#2 – Unsure of the correct name, but something like ‘press up crab walks’. Basically we would do a press up and then take one ‘step’ sideways on our hands/feet and repeat down the driveway. Now we only did 4 sets of this; first time was 20 press ups, get up and sprint down the rest of the driveway, jog back and start again (Next three 15, 10 & 5 Press ups). My arms were already sore today so this one pretty much wrote me off, I actually struggled to mash potatoes afterwards HAHA!

Thursday was a bit a busy day with work and I had a dinner out with my family in the evening. I knew I was going to do a run on Friday so I swapped the two days in my training schedule.

Friday was my birthday and I’d actually remembered to take the day off work. I did what any crazy fitness person would do: I started my day with a hill run! I’d been psyching myself up all week to run up Harry Ell Track. It’s only a total of 6km out and back with a gradual elevation of around 120m. I think the steepest part is at the very beginning so once that bit was over it was quite a nice trail. It was a bit of a slow journey up but my goal was to keep going without stopping or walking which I was able to do. HAPPY FACE TIME!

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I’ve been feeling a few niggles with my running shoes over the last few weeks and had decided that would be one of my rewards for hitting my January goals with Kate. I achieved all of these before I headed out for my run so it ended up being a quick trip back home  and then it was off to Shoe Clinic I went!

I had a feeling it was going to be a bit of an expensive trip… Previously I’ve only had shoes that were specifically for road running but I’ve been doing a lot more off-road work lately. I went in thinking the last couple of years I’ve had to have the most boringly coloured (mainly light grey with a little pink) shoes in the store because I was rolling inward considerably and needed the stability. I was also aware that these shoes have been discontinued so if that was still my only option I’d have to purchase them again before they ran out and I wasn’t too happy about this. However when I arrive I talked to the salesperson and he decided to fit me from the start again because I was going to try some trail shoes as well. Shoe Clinic have you run barefoot on the treadmill to start off with to determine what type of shoe would suit you best. We noticed at this point I was definitely not rolling in as much as I used to (apparently like with wearing glasses your body can start to fix itself). He got me to try a couple of pairs that were the next step down stability wise, as well as the pair I currently have. I noticed instantly wearing a new pair of my current shoes I could feel the stability in the heel was too much and it was almost over correcting my stride. The pair I tried on that I liked the best was mainly white (not too pleased with this). He remembered I didn’t like the colour of my old ones so he went away and got the new season version of the shoes – blue & yellow. I put them on and instantly said yes I don’t mind paying an extra $40 for the bright colours! So that was road shoes sorted, I went through the same process with some trail shoes – long story short I ended up purchasing TWO pairs of shoes.

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Really really happy that I could get nice coloured shoes this time BUT most of my running clothes are currently purple/pink (Such a girl dilemma!) I think this gives me a good excuse to go out soon and purchase some clothing that matches my new shoes 😉

I haven’t tested out my trail shoes yet but I did do an 8km run yesterday in my new road shoes (yes… I know you are supposed to break them in slowly…). I went well overall, kept my average of around 6:30min per km. They feel much lighter than my previously brick shoes so I’m happy!

Today = massage day! Since I moved house it’s now on the other side of town from me but the drive is well worth it. Rachel does such a good job working out any niggles you might have and ensures that any prior issues are still staying away. I got a new toy from her tonight – a spikey ball. I’d never used one of these before but already I can see it will be an essential item at home.

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I made a favorite dinner of mine tonight. Let me state that I love pasta. There is something about the carbs that is so tasty but trying to ‘donate weight’ as my PT likes to call it, is not the easiest when you love pasta. I had heard about replacing the pasta with vegetable substitutes, not going to lie – this sounded weird. Anyway i decided to search for some recipes and give it ago. I stumbled upon this one on a Paleo website Zucchini Noodles with Avocado sauce. It was AMAZING! I added fresh chilies to the sauce and the veggie loving, one pot wonder in me stir fried the zucchini along with other vegetables and mixed together with the sauce. I honestly don’t notice the pasta is missing which is a BIG bonus for a pasta lovin’ girl 🙂