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?

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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?

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?

Hill Sessions followed by Tender Calves :(

Attempting Rapaki Friday night:
Liam wasn’t feeling well in the afternoon so I headed up to Rapaki by myself. The start was the hardest. I figure this was due to beginning on a hill with just a small warm up of stretching. It was a slow trip up but felt good overall. I stopped a total of three times but they were mainly due to the ends of a cold and not feeling like I had enough breath in me. Unfortunately I didn’t quite make it to the top because it got very dark very quickly. I pushed it to half way up the final slope thinking it’s so close… but in reality I was already struggling to see and I had to get back down as well.

On the way up…

ImageAnnnnnd this is about 10mins later… Stupid winter nights…

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In a nutshell I learnt:
# It wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be
# If I’m going up after work make sure I have a buddy & a head torch so we can go all the way without worrying about safety
# I don’t like being in the middle of nowhere in the dark on my own

 

Saturday was an early morning. The Boss had organised some extra testing for those who were in the cardio categories (as well as any others who wanted to come along). This started with the Beep Test at the studio. I’ve only ever done this twice before, once at intermediate school (I managed to get out of it every other time at school) and at the beginning of the 100 Day Challenge last year. I think I doubled the time I got last year, I remember stopping at Level 3 and Saturday I got to Level 6. I struggled with the amount of people around me though, there was a bit of bunching which meant you had to push through people to get to the cones – or run past them because people were behind you – however I do like me a challenge! Next we headed to a 400m track in Hansen’s Park to do a 12min run and see how far we could get. I managed bang on 2km, not my fastest but I haven’t been working much on speed lately. Finally we headed to St Martins Stairs for a 12min stair test. This basically meant go up and down as many times as you could. From memory I was headed down on my 5th set when the time ran out. Once we finished that we had a shortened ‘normal’ stairs session which is stairs/reps at the top/stairs/reps etc. A nice warm down run around to road to the coffee shop to finish.

The bottom of the stairs…

ImageThe lovely view at the top of the stairs!

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I was feeling good at this point, had a nice coffee and went home to do my reps followed by a 10km ride on the exercycle to tick off some extra km’s. Later on it was off to Dad’s house for Rugby, ‘sushi night’ and a spa (argh I forgot to take a picture!).

Saturday night I kept waking up due to horrible mozzie bites and sore calves. Come Sunday morning I was hobbling around, not impressed. In the end I cancelled my run and was only able to get through some of my reps (burpees/lunges and squats were postponed). I spent a bit of time during the day stretching and wearing my compression socks but I wasn’t able to be much more active than that. I’ve had partially torn calves before – in fact that is what stopped me last year running a half. The feeling I had wasn’t quite as bad as I remember however it was close so I knew I had to rest if I wanted any chance of still running St Clair. It annoyed me because now I’m behind with my km’s and reps and I know I may not get many in during the beginning of this week… But my focus is now on being able to run St Clair on Saturday because if I am unable to do this one I will cry, seriously.

Meanwhile at work today I was sporting a new look; business pants that hid my bright orange compression socks (unless I was sitting!) and some ‘comfy’ shoes that do NOT go with office attire… Apparently I was making a ‘non fashion statement’ HAHA. All in the name of running eh??

 

Do you run outdoors in the dark?

Have you ever had to pull out of a race due to injury?

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?