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?

Half Marathon Race Recap – I DID IT!!

I’m still in slight disbelief that I’ve now completed a half marathon – it’s an odd feeling but lets start from Friday!

THE TRIP UP:
Friday midday the group of us who were travelling together met at the Pumped Studio. We got given our new singlet’s! We headed off in groups with around 3 hours to make it to Kaikoura. On our way we had a scavenger hunt and had to tick as many missions off as we could…

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This was an entertaining afternoon – one of the funniest moments was our group rocking up to a big team of construction workers (who were having a meeting at the time) and asking for a photo with their hats and hi-vis.

Overall most people were willing to help us out, unfortunately the people at the dairy we asked about the free ice-cream ended up being a bit rude and walking out the back of the shop. This was soon forgotten about when we found some lovely people at a café who gave us a free coffee which I was the recipient of 😀

By the time we got to Kaikoura I was feeling some travel sickness – thankfully it started to go away closer to Blenheim. Quick trip to pick up our race packs and it was back to the lodge for the first meal as a group with MASSES of yummy dishes that everyone had brought along.

 

RACE DAY
We had to be up, fed and ready to go for the 7:30am trip to St Clair Vineyard. My breakfast of choice was a bagel with cream cheese. This seemed to work on my last long run so I thought I’d stick with it!

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With Summer behind us the morning was cool but the sun helped keep us from shivering too much before the start. It was a long line and it took Liam and I a couple of minutes to get to the start line once the countdown had happened but then we were off!

My goal? Finish under 2 ½ hours. 

I lost Liam around about the 2km mark – we had quite a bit of running down through vineyards so it was harder to pass people so he got a little in front and the gap kept getting bigger. I knew at that point I was the one who had to keep myself going if I hit the wall. My music was pumping and because I decided to run with my hydration pack I didn’t need to stop at any water stations so I knew I had it sorted! Overall the ground was a little more uneven than I had trained on but nothing I couldn’t handle.

At one point I heard someone calling my name, which I wasn’t expecting. Virginia & Michael were our support crew and they managed to make it to a couple of spots during the race to get some photos and cheer us on. It was a good feeling seeing someone out there every so often who knew you, there were a lot of people out watching around the course who would clap and say motivational things as you went past but it’s so much more effective when it comes from someone you recognise!

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Look at that scenery!!!

 

I had some GU on me for fueling which I took over a long period of time rather than having a whole one every 35-45mins. This was the main reason I wanted to carry my hydration pack because it meant that I needed to sip water more often than there was a water station.

My legs started to feel tired around about the 18km mark. I knew I just had to keep putting one foot in front of the other because if I stopped for a moment it would be so much harder to start again. I spied Brogan in front of me and we ended up running together for a couple of kilometers – it helped us both equally to keep going at this point.

I heard my app click over 20km and I knew I was close to my time goal but I wanted to pick up my pace a bit. The last few vineyards that we ran through were softer than the others and they also had big tractor tire tracks – this made it harder to run on. The last km seemed to take forever to get through; I’d get to a corner or the end of some vineyards and think ok it must be this corner! No… Ok keep running. By the time I actually came around the last corner it took a few seconds to register that it was indeed the last corner. It wasn’t until I heard Kate yelling “SPRINT DEBBIE” that I picked up my legs and booted it to the finish line.

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Bonus?? Finishers medal was this nice bottle of wine 😀

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TIME GOAL
My goal was 2:30 or less. I came in at 2:24:26! 5mins under what I set myself so I was pretty happy with that.

I’m really proud I crossed the finish line in good time but for some reason it never quite hit me that yes I just ran 21.1 freaking kilometers. I think it was such a long time coming and previously I had to pull out of few half marathons due to injury. Maybe I didn’t want to build the excitement up incase I ended up getting injured again. I also think completing a half became the ‘norm’ in my mind so it wasn’t until later that night when Kate said you might have been surrounded by almost 3,000 people today who all completed a half marathon but if you think of how many people in Christchurch have actually done one it’s probably only 1% or less of the population. This helped put it into perspective for me.

Our night finished with lots of laughs and some very bright clothing – it was a fantastic weekend all around.

Now remember when I said I lost Liam at around 2km? He kept going and ended up completing it in 2:01:18 SO PROUD!!

 

Did you race in the weekend?

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

And we are off!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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