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!!

Screen Shot 2015-01-03 at 11.46.02 am

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).

IMAG0484

IMAG0486


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.

IMG_20150103_162039

What about you?

What are your goals for 2015?
What is your opinion on New Years Resolutions?

Advertisements

A New Day = A New Beginning

Image

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.

Image

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!!)

Image

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…

Image

Image

Image

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…

Image

 OR he wants to use my hand as a pillow as I’m trying to type…Image

Meet Loki the little mischief cutie

 IMG_20140517_135220

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?

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…

Image

Image

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!

Image

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?

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 🙂

Image

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…

Image

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

Image

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

Image

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?

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!

Image
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

Image

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…

Image

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