It’s Almost Road Trip Time!

This half marathon I’ve been dreaming about for years is one sleep away… ONE SLEEP Eeeek!

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My legs are feeling MUCH better after a massage – I swear Rachel (massage therapist) must have magical powers or something! Between Kate & Rachel my worries about St Clair melted away and I’m looking forward to seeing what I achieve tomorrow! Holy hell it’s tomorrow??

I have spent a lot of time getting everything ready yesterday & today. I made some of these suckers this morning to take away

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We also are having a Pot-luck dinner and will be using the leftovers for the following night – everyone has to make a dish to contribute. Liam + me = 2 dishes I had to make last night.

I feel like I have so much stuff I need to take away with me… It’s only two nights how much stuff do I actually need? 

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All in all I’m not exactly sure what to expect on the drive up but it’s going to be fun! Liam is driving up after work so he’ll be meeting us there later in the evening.

RACE EXPECTATIONS:
My main goal is to simply finish it, however if I can do so in under 2:30 I’ll be pretty happy!

Bring on the finishers medal I say (it’s a bottle of wine!!)

 

Are you racing this weekend?

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?

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?

Aoraki/Mount Cook Inaugural Marathon (calm down, I only did the 10km)

My weekend started one of the best possible ways it could… ROAD TRIP!!!

I went away for the weekend to Aoraki/Mount Cook for a race. A couple of Pumped ladies had won entries for the Inaugural marathon (they did the half, I did the 10km) and had asked if anyone else wanted to join them. It’s a bit of a journey I still hadn’t been to Mt Cook before so I jumped at the chance and the bonus was that I was offered a free entry to the race.

I drove to Emily’s place and the two of us car pooled from there. A quick coffee stop in Geraldine (about 1.5 hours in) and then we kept driving to Tekapo for lunch.

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Another hour or so later and we got to Aoraki/Mount Cook. Driving in we worked out where each race started (It seems like a very long distance when you’re in a car!) and the hills didn’t seem quite that bad in the car (I’ve been told since that some of those hills were pretty tough!). We checked in to the hotel and went to find our Kennel Chalet before meeting up with Simone & Mark.

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This race worked slightly different than others I’ve been to, we had the pre-race briefing at dinner the evening before as opposed to in the morning just before the race started. There was a HUGE line for the buffet; I hope that next year they might spread it out a bit/put more food out at a time. I don’t think the hotel realised how much runners eat before a race (some people’s plates were piled insanely high!). This lead to the veges being brought out a little bit before they were ready, crunchy kumara (sweet potato) is not one of my favourite foods I’ll admit.

RACE DAY!!

Sunday morning was a little strange. Normally I have to travel somewhere for a race but as I was doing an out and back course and there was no race briefing on the morning I didn’t have to leave the kennel until 15mins before the race started. So as Emily was getting up and ready I was sitting on my bed not really knowing what to do with myself haha! Emily & Simone had to catch a bus out to the start line at 7:30am ready for 9am start. I got ready earlier than I needed to and used a bit of time to keep moving once I got outside in the cold.

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About 8:50am we were walked out past the finish line and onto the road where we were starting from. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 GO! Everyone seemed to be going at quite a pace, the start was downhill but I noticed I was definitely going faster than normal. My first two km were well under 6mins so I made myself slow just a little. I knew the first half of the race would be faster as it was sloping down and I wanted to make sure I had enough to get back up – especially the last 400m as this was the steepest part of the course… These stairs were just before the finish chute… I know they don’t look like much but trust me they are horrible after a run!

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My hands were super cold and my body instantly noticed the slight incline at the 5km turnaround, in fact it seemed like quite a few runners had only trained on the flat because a lot of them stopped and walked a wee bit at the turnaround point. I managed to keep a pretty steady pace with those around me, once we got into our rhythms no one passed me (for me this is an awesome feeling) and as my running app clicked over 10km I realised it was a PB for me (YES!!). The course ended up being 10.4km but the best feeling for me was managing to keep running up the last hill and in doing so passing 4 runners who either slowed considerably or who stopped to walk it – I think that feeling was even better than crossing the finish line haha. I also got my first ever finishers medal at this race too, a lot of our races are quite small in comparison with other countries so it’s not often we get medals.

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Being so close to the accommodation I knew I had an hour to kill before Emily & Simone were due to finish so I walked back down to the kennel chalet to for a hot shower, some warm clothes and a snack. After lunch Emily & I decided to go for a wander, there were some 30-60min walks quite close to the village and we thought we had around 3 hours before prize giving (turns out it got moved forward two hours so we missed it – I better not have missed out on a spot prize!!). We decided to try one of the longer tracks first which ended up taking us close to a little bridge – so detour we must!

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On the way back we spotted another very short walk so we headed in there before getting back to the chalet. Not knowing that prize giving had already happened we got ready and met Simone up at the café. This is when I found the post on Facebook, so feeling a bit sad we headed to the bar downstairs with the cosy fire which became our home for the next few hours…

Monday morning was supposed to be a sleep in but both Emily & I were wide awake before 7am (sigh). We wanted to go see one other small walk behind the hotel so we checked out and headed up there quickly.

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Then we finally found an entrance into the memorial garden we spotted earlier in the trip:

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Emily did some research and decided on our way out we could stop and do a walk/hike up to see the Tasmin Glacier. This was the best walk we did (in my opinion) just look at the scenery!!

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We headed back home, stopping again in Tekapo for lunch.

I was hoping the weather would clear a bit more than it did, I never seen all of Aoraki/Mount Cook, I’ve decided it’s not worth playing hide & seek with a mountain – you will not win, ever… However I did manage to see the tip of the mountain for about 5mins on my race, I really wanted to stop and take a picture but my time was going really well so I didn’t want to stop!! So this was the best picture I got… Still breathtaking!

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And this is what it looks like minus clouds (apparently)

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Did you race over the weekend?

Dancing, tiredness and a 16km run

I did something Thursday night I haven’t done in WAAY too long… I put on some music and danced randomly around the lounge – Liam didn’t even look at me weirdly (LOL) in fact he said something that made me stop and think. He seemed to be enjoying observing me as he mentioned that he hadn’t seen me like that often. We’ve been together for a little over two years now and I’ve come to realise that certain things that make me randomly happy I have forgotten to do often – like simply putting on music and enjoying it.

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I’ll be honest and admit it made me a bit sad and it shows how you can get so wrapped up in the pace of life you forget to stop and remind yourself of the little things that make you happy. I think it happened without me being aware, I think back a couple of years and about the same time I started a new job (at which we aren’t allowed to listen to personal music players or have a radio playing) my car stereo also stopped working and I procrastinated on getting it fixed, in the end I got a new car before I had fixed the stereo. They were the two places I always had music playing.

 

Friday = one day of work left!! The day started out one of the best ways it can: our monthly Pumped Breakfast! I really enjoy these and am so glad Kate decided to start them. As well as having a lovely spread of coffee & yummy foods we also get to hear about peoples successes during the prior month which is so motivating and inspirational. It’s gives us a good excuse to have a chat to everyone as well – especially those who you don’t normally catch up with during the week.

I think I forgot to mention this last month in my lack of blogging but March for me was my 1 year anniversary with Pumped. I got a shiny certificate this morning 😀

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After visiting the doctor in the afternoon I was back to feeling really tired again. Good note was that they decided to take some blood tests so I will find out this coming week hopefully if something isn’t looking as good as it should be, and hopefully this random tiredness will start to go away!

I ended up missing the stairs session Saturday morning after falling ill late Friday night, something that lasted into the morning (It’s REALLY not my week this week is it?!?!). It was a very quiet day all in all and nothing much exciting to write for it on the blog front – sigh…

Today however I woke up feeling a bit better which I was very happy about – I knew I had my long run scheduled for today and I REALLY had to do it. It ended up being a slight rush as Liam decided last minute that he wanted to run before his hockey game as opposed to afterwards like we originally planned. So off we went… We didn’t have a lot of time so we headed to the park to do laps. Normally we go to South Hagley but when we drove past there were kids EVERYWHERE!! Turns out there was a youth duathlon on this morning – so we kept driving and went to North Hagley instead!

One lap ended up being slightly over 4km: the good and bad? Bad: I’m still getting used to laps (mentally speaking) but my running app went to the pack for the first time so it was really handy we could do 4 laps and know we had done our 16km (Good). I won’t show you the screen shot because it’s completely wrong and the map itself jumped in and out. At the 6km mark it told me we’d done 5km, then it didn’t do anything until we got to the final lap, it had the audacity to tell me I’d only done 6.5km and the last km had taken me over 30mins!! In total it took us close to two hours, which is slower than my normal pace but I suspected that would happen after my week. The weird thing was I found the first lap was the hardest one, but I was really happy that I wasn’t struggling with mind games in those last two laps because my legs did get quite tired towards the end so I had that to focus on to push through.

I’ve had a nap since my finishing my run lol… But I am feeling human again which is good because I need to go replenish the lunch foods area of my fridge so I have no excuse to buy food tomorrow!

 

Have you ever had your running app/watch etc stop working mid run?

How big is music in your life?

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?

I’m back and even more crazy than before…

Firstly I apologise for seemingly falling off the face of the blog planet… I have been writing a bit but nothing quite got to the ‘published’ state (sigh). IT’S BEEN A MONTH!!!

I managed to roll my ankle at The Color Run because it was pouring with rain and the course was on uneven ground; it got really sore the next day and put me out of action for a little while. Then we had some insane weather, a few days of heavy rain resulted in pretty bad flooding around the city.

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Then a week later we were bracing for another dose of the rain – THANKFULLY it wasn’t as bad as the first round in regards flooding.

BACK TO IT:
Yesterday I completed my third race for the year – City2Surf which was a 14.5km mainly on road race.

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It was cold and windy but I decided rather than having the hassle of dropping off/picking up my gear I’d just suck it up and leave all the gear I wasn’t going to run with in the car… I’ll be honest and say I did regret my decision! Also made me realise I need to get some more layering clothes ready for winter (any excuse for a running gear shopping trip!!). Liam and I arrived at the start after taking the bus from the finish and headed to where some of the Pumped team was meeting up for a quick photo before heading over to the start line.

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Being the longest distance I’ve run so far in my training I didn’t have a time goal as such. I was hoping to keep it closer to 1hr 35mins. We crossed the finish line at 1hr 38mins so I was pretty happy with that considering we had to stop for a couple of traffic management teams along the way and the first km took ages to actually get running. The start horn went off and it was a good couple of minutes before we got going – so our first km took 8:30!! The rest averaged 6:30-6:40 which is around what I have been doing with my longer runs.

I must admit there were a few infuriating moments during the run. I lined up towards the end of the ‘runners’ section just before the start of the ‘recreational runners’ section but there were SOO many walkers in front of us including some with prams, skateboards or dogs (dogs were strictly prohibited…) that we had to weave around for at least 4km. My goal was to reach the 8.5km mark before 10am (which is normally easy at my pace) as the people who were doing 6km were starting at 10am and I REALLY didn’t want to have to weave through them as well. We hit the 8km mark at 53:57 due to the slow start etc. but it seemed like the walkers set off earlier than expected. There were heaps of them and it made for an even more infuriating time than weaving at the start of our race. They took up the whole road and footpaths and there were lots of runners attempting to get past, in fact by the time we got onto the main road we had to keep going onto the side that was still open for cars just to pass all the walkers. Moral of the story – I need to pick up my pace slightly so I don’t run into them next time ARGH!!

Overall though I’m happy with how I went. There were a few moments I struggled with my head space and I am beginning to realise I will probably need to carry my camelbak with me more often, I’ve found out I like small sips of water fairly regularly as opposed to stopping at the drink stops every 4-5km and I need to start working on fuelling during long runs. This is what I have to test out on my runs so far…

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This week I’m focusing on getting back on track with my running schedule, over the last few weeks we’ve missed at least one run (sometimes being the long run eeek) so no excuses this week…

I am saving the homework set by Kate for Wednesday & Thursday mornings. It’s a ‘card game’ as set out below…

PICK UP 52:

Hearts = ABS of my choice
Diamonds = Press ups
Spades = Squat jumps
Clubs = Burpees

Ace = 15
King/Queen/Jack/10 = 10
9 = 9
8 = 8 (and so on)

Shuffle the pack of cards and do whatever gets turned up… All up it’s 99 reps of each exercise so I should be able to get through it with two small morning sessions 🙂

 

GOALS:

I’ve started to realise I’m feeling a little lost when it comes to where I want to head with my Health and fitness goals. For over four years now my goals and dreams were basically to lose weight and attempt to get to a 5km run. My ultimate dream which part of me thought would never happen was to complete a half marathon. This dream is now 7 weeks away and I’m so excited about it!! However because of focusing for so long on it I am now struggling to see what I want beyond that. I know I want to keep going along the fitness lifestyle but for me I seem to need specifics in my head to strive for.

This is where The Boss comes in; we’ve been chatting on and off for the last couple of weeks and what keeps popping up? A Marathon… 

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A Marathon?? Now that is a scary thought… Even a month ago if someone had mentioned a marathon (Kate did awhile back – I kind of stopped listening and laughed in my head at the outrageous thought) I would have passed it off not thinking about it. Not so much now. For some reason my mind is now seriously considering this, even though at this point I’ve only run a little over two thirds the distance of the half marathon.

Queenstown International Marathon: This is the one I’m considering, a couple of the Pumped ladies are already working towards this, in fact Emily is blogging about her journey here. It is 35 weeks away which will give me 28 weeks to increase my distances after completing my first Half Marathon. That’s doable… I guess… (eeek)

I’m working on setting goals for other areas of my fitness so there will be more to write about in the coming days/weeks regarding this!

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!

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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

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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…

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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