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.

Image

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.

Image

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.

Image

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…

Image

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… 

Image

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!

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

Hot running weather and way too many burpees…

Sleep wasn’t my friend Monday night and so I was slightly dreading an early morning workout with The Boss knowing I was already a little sore from her ‘burpee’ circuit yesterday. We started with the monthly challenge. Normally it’s something fitness related but this month we have a time limit to throw little hoops and see how many we get on the holder. Last week I got a big fat zero but I managed to get two this time around – one being my first throw! Next was a warm-up, well I say warm up but it took quite a long time… We normally do some boxing to warm up but this time I did a mixture of boxing and reps. 100 left right punches, 10 burpees then 90 hooks, 20 press ups. You get the idea? We went from 100 to 10 (with the reps getting higher as the punches got lower). Finished off the session with some strength work which felt harder than normal but I did get through all my reps J

I mentioned in my last post that I’ve had a mare on the food front over the last couple of weeks so I had a chat with Kate yesterday morning about being held accountable daily for few weeks while I get myself back into a healthy food routine.  She is going to randomly check my online diary/calorie intake and if it’s not up to date or I have gone over my calorie goal for the day I lose money. I don’t always follow a calorie diary but I do find that’s a very helpful way to get back on track if I’ve gone off the rails a little.

After that workout I was feeling my body I still had a run later in the day. We missed our long run on Sunday due to sports games: Liam thought the NRL Nines would finish around 6pm like it had the day before but it ended up finishing just after 8pm and I fell asleep (very unlike me).

Tuesday night’s run was hard but I actually enjoyed it at the same time?! Is that a thing?! It was one of the hottest days we’ve had here this summer, come 5pm it was still around 31⁰C. Normally I would hold off until it cooled before going out but I had a hair appointment. This run was my 3rd 10km run ever but I felt like I could have easily kept going (if I didn’t have other places to be) and I started to feel confident that I can actually do this half marathon in a good time. The first 4-5kms my legs were pretty stiff, it was flippin’ hot but I noticed I wasn’t having to coach myself on as much as I normally do to keep going, especially in the last half which is normally where I struggle the most.

Fuelling for longer runs: I’ve done a little research on this over the past couple of weeks and I think I need to start trying out little amounts on my weekend runs. I really dislike having to carry things whilst running though. Last night was the first time I’d carried a drink bottle with me because it was so hot and I didn’t want to have to stop for a drinking fountain but I was cursing it the whole way around. I do have a hydration pack at home that I will probably start using for my weekend running, that way I can carry some magical energy goodness with me and still keep my hands free (and look hard core at the same time because I’m wearing the pack in the first place…). I haven’t had much luck with any sort of gel, my stomach can only handle a tiny amount at a time and with most gels having a rip of top you can’t really save some for later without getting it everywhere. I quite like the sports beans though as I can take one or two (while the body gets used to it) and put the rest away for later and it actually feels like I’m eating something. Problem is most places only stock the lemon/lime or orange flavours when I know there are more delicious sounding ones around… I ordered some online yesterday, along with some Em’s Power Bites to test out too – looking forward to that package turning up 😉

Wednesday morning was dark, I wasn’t impressed! I met up with Dee for a circuit at the netball courts in Hagley: round two of the homework. She was running a little late and we did a pretty decent warm up so only got through half of each circuit in the end. Darkness is creeping in which is the one thing I dislike about the colder months: exercising in the dark! Circuit tonight consisted of WAY to many squats and burpees for my liking, legs hadn’t recovered from doing them over the last two days.

Image

My time trial run yesterday (Thursday) was tough. I may have started out way too fast; I was panting, struggling to get my breath and felt like I wouldn’t be able to keep going.  I slowed considerably during the last half of the km and got a time of 6:03. I managed negative splits for the entire run (last km finishing 5:30) but missed my PB by 8 seconds.

Image

Today is ‘rest day’ but I set a goal at the beginning of the week that I would complete a minimum of 20mins exercise each day. We went to the first Crusaders game tonight so I told Liam we will be parking further away and walking in, a 15min brisk walk to the stadium.

Image

I’m looking forward to the weekend it’s going to be busy though! I’m doing two events: 
Saturday – A Run to Remember (12km trail/road course) 
Sunday – The Color Run

 

 Are you entered in any races this weekend?

How do you feel when you just miss out on a PB?

Honest review & back to basic goal setting

I almost fell off the face of the ‘healthy lifestyle’ earth last week. I did some good workouts but I failed miserably with my eating choices. It’s been creeping up on me the last few weeks, I need to cut out the processed foods and start drinking lots of water again!!

February for Pumped is about being ‘Fat Free’ and there is a competition going on for people to try and donate the most weight (based on personal % of total body weight) and it seems I’m going taking other peoples donations on rather than donating myself. Tonight for me became about preparing good food choices for the week and kicking my butt into gear with our homework circuit.

I wrote the below out before I’d even tried it and it looks nasty… UPDATE: I’ve now completed it and it WAS pretty nasty! Good news is The Boss offered a coffee voucher to people who completed both circuits this week, I’m on day one and I’ve already done this 🙂

10 burpees – 1 squat
9 burpees – 2 squats
8 burpees – 3 squats
7 burpees – 4 squats
6 burpees – 5 squats
5 burpees – 6 squats
4 burpees – 7 squats
3 burpees – 8 squats
2 burpees – 9 squats
1 burpee – 10 squats
1min plank
Repeat in opposite direction

10 press ups – 1 min aeroplane abs
9 press ups – 1min squat hold
8 press ups – 1min plank
7 press ups – 1min high knees
6 press ups – 1min cycles
5 press ups – 1min dips
4 press ups – 1min dead ants
3 press ups – 1min squats
2 press ups – 1min walking lunges
1 press ups – 1min top plank
Repeat in opposite direction

I managed to do both tonight and timed myself for each half. I did the second round of the first one faster, but by the second circuit I did the last round slightly slower than the first.

 

GOALS

My goals this week are going back to the basics:
#1 – Drink 2.5L water per day (normally this is not a problem for me but for some reason I’ve been struggling with this lately)
#2 – Exercise for a minimum of 20mins a day
#3 – Make all my lunches/snacks for the working week

I’m now officially entered this year’s 20 Week Body & Lifestyle Competition. I’m not sure if I will stick to the two categories I’ve selected, it’s been a very hard choice to make this year so at this stage I’ve entered Upper Body & Strength.

A quick forecast of my week to come and it looks busy: I didn’t get my long run in yesterday so we are aiming for a longer than usual run tomorrow, plus I have PT first thing in the morning. Wednesday I am meeting a couple of girls for a morning circuit (take two of the homework circuit) and I have Circuit class in the afternoon. Thursday is time trial run. Friday I’ll have to do a small morning circuit to meet my goal of exercise each day as we have tickets to the first home game of our AWESOME rugby team the Crusaders in the evening! Saturday I’m weighing up whether to do a race in the morning as I have a wedding early in the afternoon. Sunday I’ve entered into The Color Run which is only a 5km fun run but I have a 12km run on my training schedule for Sunday as well…

The race on Saturday is called A Run to Remember and I missed out on it last year so I was really keen to do it this time round. It’s special to our city as it a charity run to honor the people who lost their lives in the earthquakes that struck our city almost three years ago. It’s a beautiful course showing off views of the city. If I do go I’ll have to miss the prize giving and memorial service which is a bit disappointing but I’ll be cutting my time fine to get back home and head out to a wedding in the country!

All in all I’m feeling more positive than I was this morning/last week and rearing to go for a great week!