Quick update before my road trip!

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

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

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

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

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

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Off we go to Tekapo!!

New Foods & Exercise Reset

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Tonight was another food experiment…  SPAGETTI SQUASH

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

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

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

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

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

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REST OF THE WEEK

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

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THU – Run (repeat of tonight’s timing)

FRI – Morning weights session before road tripping with Em

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

An easy run & some new recipes for my cookbook

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The 4BY4 Challenge

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

 

 

Do you have a favourite healthy meal?

Are you a lone runner or do you prefer buddies?

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?

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?

Sashimi, Stairs & Sunburn

It was a late night spent at my dads place for tea last night so I thought I’d merge yesterday & today into one 🙂

Managed to get through the first week back at work… I’m normally really good with making my lunch for work so I’m not tempted by the cafe downstairs but when I woke up on Friday I realised we’d already gone through all our salad type ingredients so there wasn’t much left for lunch. I remembered Tank had just opened at the mall down the road so I went for a wander at lunchtime. I got one that had roasted vegetables, feta, seeds and almonds – I wasn’t expecting the almonds to be whole, or so many of them but it was delicious.

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Friday’s are planned as my rest day but it’s not usually a complete rest – especially when Kate’s homework includes 20mins of exercise per day! I decided to make use of the home gym area again tonight, I ticked off the 3rd of 4 circuits I need to complete for the week and did some extra exercises to make it past the minimum 20mins.

Then it was off to dads place for sushi night: he supplied the fresh sashimi (Salmon & Kingfish YUM) and my job was to bring the rice plus any extra veges I wanted. I love making my own sushi because I find bought sushi always has too much rice and not enough of everything else in the middle.

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 This morning was an early start for a Saturday (much to Liam’s disgust with my alarm waking him up!) because I was meeting a few other Pumped ladies for a stairs session. These stairs are different from the ones I’ve mentioned in an earlier post but just as brutal. On my last lap of the stairs I counted about 116 steps which is far less than St Martins but they are steeper and have gaps of flat between each set. I was standing at the top of one set of stairs in this pic below, you can’t see all the way to top but it gives you a bit of an idea of what we were up against!

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Emily had kindly arranged a circuit for us that included about 5 laps of the stairs, some with reps at the bottom and others with walking lunges in-between the sets of stairs or two feet jumps up the steps. The first time I did these stairs I remember jogging up the first 30 steps and dying, the whole rest of the circuit I walked. This morning I managed to jog up about 1/2 of all the steps I did (less towards the end) so I was pretty pleased to see the improvement 🙂

Before Christmas I subscribed to some magazines, a couple that I quite often purchase & Runner’s World (I’ve wanted to purchase this before but can’t find it here). A Free Training diary & some Brooks socks turned up in the post the other day so I also spent a bit of time tonight filling in my first week of training. Really looking forward to the first magazines turning up!ImageI spent a few hours this afternoon relaxing down at a domain watching Liam play cricket. It’s not my favorite sport by any means but it’s a good excuse to go lounge in the sun for awhile and show my support to him at the same time! Face got a wee bit pink from the sun – always sunblock up even in cloudy weather with a cold wind!!

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It’s official the holiday is over :(

Back into the work routine today, I admit getting up early this morning was a struggle! After what seemed like one of the longest workdays ever I put my running gear on and headed out to the beautiful Hagley Park for a run.

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It was only a 3km run (coming back from injury) but it felt like a very long time since my last one – and I loved it! It’s strange when you get out routine with something getting back into it seems insanely hard, it’s like your brain forgets that you actually enjoyed the task and instead remembers it to be a boring and hard task.

I arrived home from my run and remembered “The Boss’ aka Kate had set us homework for the week: Complete the following circuit 4 times by Sunday – may as well get No.1 ticked off tonight! Must admit I’m really enjoying using the home gym for stuff like this!
100 High knees
90 Cycles
80 Jump lunges
70 Star jumps
60 Wide/narrow squat jumps
50 Step ups
40 Dips
30 Press ups
20 Aeroplane Abs
10 Burpees

Run done, Circuit done: Foam Roller – oh how I’ve missed you my old friend!

For some reason after a warm & very pretty windy run my dinner tasted magical so I had to share it with you. I made a avocado pasta dish with salmon and various greens YUM! 

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I’ve been spending a bit of time this evening going through my music and creating an awesome new running playlist. After going for my run I remembered how bored I am of the current tunes on my phone – it’s not going to make going for runs any easier if I’m not enjoying the music! Any suggestions are welcomed 🙂

First PT session of the year tomorrow morning before work and there are mixed feelings currently: excited because I haven’t had a PT with Kate for a few weeks now… nervous because a few weeks off and a bit of indulgence in the holidays means I probably will struggle to pick up where I left off…