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?

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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?

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?

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?