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?

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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?

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?

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?

16 Days to go until St Clair! Plus… What on earth have I got myself into?!?!

The long weekend was a mixture of some very nice relaxing days and some not so relaxing days…

Sunday I had my long run, I ended up cutting it short at 14km because I wasn’t feeling too flash and ended up slightly hyperventilating. I didn’t do very well with the choice of fuel I used. I found some Horley’s Replace gels I must have bought last year before I had to pull out of my first planned half marathon but unfortunately I really didn’t enjoy the flavour of them on top of my body not being very use to fuelling yet. A few ladies I know have been raving about some of the GU flavours so I ordered a few online to try this weekend, I’m hoping if I like the flavour it might be a bit easier to work on getting this fuelling business sorted…

They turned up last night!

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My android running app also stuffed up again which annoyed me, up until two weeks ago it’s been really accurate – I’m wondering if the last update might have screwed with the GPS or something. Luckily I’ve been lapping Hagley Park lately so I know what distance I’m doing (But it puts my year’s km total out which also annoys me…). I’m hoping it will get sorted soon but I’m going to purchase a running watch but as part of my 20 Week Challenge this year (which I will talk about more later in the week) my reward for meeting my 5 Week Goals will be the running watch which means I have 5 and a bit weeks to wait ARGH!!!

The good part? I’ve definitely noticed that my mind games have changed with running. I struggle the most in the first 3-4km now but once I get through that the head space is a lot more positive which I think I prefer over struggling with my head space later in on a run. Another purchase that turned up yesterday is a pair of recovery compression socks, I usually feel my calves after a long run so I wanted to see if they would make any difference to my recovery – a little excited to test them this weekend!

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Monday I went along to a stairs session Emily had organised at St Martins Stairs. I find it funny how every time I get there I seem to forget how steep it was the last time I went… There is a little bit of a walk until you reach the beginning of the stairs and look up you’re already puffing HAHA. Enough complaining!

For a warm up we walked up to the top and left our jackets/water bottles etc. on some rocks. Our session usually consists of around 5 laps of the stairs with some reps in between each one. We had 5 exercises to do in between each lot of stairs: first round 25 of each, second 20… right down to 5. Then each time we did the stairs we went up a slightly different way:
1 # walk (warm up)
2 # single leg jumps (I was shocking at these so I ended up doing 2 feet jumps and still almost falling on my face on every second step)
3 # sprint 30 steps, walk 30
4 # 2 feet jumps (for me this one turned into sprint 30, walk 30 as the balance was still in the dangerous level)
5 # we had to go ALL the way down to the very bottom, do 100 walking lunges back up then run up the stairs.

Finish it all off with a casual run back down the road and a nice iced drink to cool down.

 

Tuesday I got up in a grouchy mood. I was sore, tired and I think I slept funny on my neck. Instead of bailing on PT with Kate I still turned up. I honestly wasn’t in a very good frame of mind for PT and I felt ‘weak’ which I was trying not to think about because sometimes that is enough to make you believe you are weak…. I ‘swore’ 3 times which I’m normally really good at avoiding so I had a 30 press up punishment reward. I left feeling glad I turned up; even though Kate knew I was grouchy and less motivated than normal.

I was in a much better mood the rest of the day for it so thank you Kate! In fact maybe I was in too much of a good mood…  I MAY have done something a tad insane later in the day. Emily has been giving me some ‘healthy’ peer pressure since Mt Cook to enter a trail run through part of Queen Charlotte Sound. I got a wee reminder from her…

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She shared that, tagged me and said you know you want to… I really did want too….

I wanted to tramp Queen Charlotte Sound this year so maybe this is a good taster of how beautiful it will be. So I’ve signed myself up for a 26km trail run in July (12 weeks away). AM I CRAZY?!

Website for anyone curious!

I may have just jumped into the deep end… I’ve had a look at last year’s results and a few people were out there for around 5 hours – I figure I can beat that… don’t want to be the last person crossing the finish line :/

I’m a little excited now though; I’m going to have to get kitted out soon so I can train carrying the gear I need. You know what that means? SHOPPING!

 

How do you get yourself motivated to exercise when you really don’t feel like it?

Have you ever entered a crazy sounding trail run?

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?

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?