a measurement of fitness

For the first time in around 8 weeks I went our for a run last night.
Oh. My.God.
It wasn’t just hard, it hurt.
Yeah it was warm, but not excessively so to cause a problem, yet I struggled like it was 40C. I felt like a fat slug trying to run through quick sand. It wasn’t that I wanted to go fast, I just wanted to go out. I honestly didn’t think it would be so hard.
I had to push through the mental pain, the inner struggle at how much I had lost. The idea that I had lost so much fitness hurt, that I was back at the beginning.
I struggled to get to 3.5kms, pulling the pin at that point and I learnt right then, that I have so much further to go.

When it gets hard I just have to tell myself I’ve done harder.

I’ve run a marathon.

I’ve done P2P on the hottest day.

I. Can. Do. This.


Even when I first started running it wasn’t this hard.
It was hard when my knee played up.
It was hard when my ITB played up.
It is hard now my hammy is healing.
My cycling is keeping me feeling fit, yet last night I felt the un-fittest I have ever.


I have put on over 7kg, and am struggling with the added weight gain and the difficulty in shifting it.
I am struggling with the feeling that I am starting from scratch again..
What I am happy with though is that I know how to move forward. I know what exercises I have to. I know what to do with my diet.
I am positive that I can get this back on track. I know I can make this work for me in a way I am happy with.
I don’t have to be skinny, the fastest, the strongest…I just have to be the best I can be at any given time, embrace the strength my body has, what I have achieved already. Knowing it is nothing short of amazing.
I. Can. Do. This.

In just over a week I have a 5k race. Once upon a time, and even as late as October last year, my goal was to get a pb, finish strong and have fun. Now, my goal is simply to finish, no matter my time, even if I have to walk part of it. Which I will be. I’m not going to be cocky, I’m being honest with myself. I have to be if I am going to get stronger, and get back to running properly.
I have done 3 of the four race distances* at this location and be buggered if I am not going to finish this one.


Onwards and upwards.
To be stronger than I was yesterday.
To keep fit and healthy.


*while I started the marathon, I didn’t finish it due to injury. I did receive a medal with iTab insert stating what happened. So I have all medals so far.

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onwards we adventure

The year that was.
Time to reflect.
Think about the future.
Discuss what we want to do.

Yeah, these are all things we do at the end of one year as the clock ticks over to midnight and 365 days are sitting there in front of us. Just waiting to be filled with our good intention.
And there are always lots of them.
Even for me, when I say I don’t want to make those kinds of plans, think those good intentions. We all fall into the trap in some way. It’s time to get moving and do better things for ourselves.

I am only planning a few things.
They are small but simple things.
I want to be more consistent with everything I do.
Be more consistent with my strength exercises.
Be more consistent with my running training.
Learn more with my cycling.
I’m not sure if this means I have to do a roster, or planning calendar. It has to be something to make sure I do my strength. I know it is good for me, but sometimes most times, I feel I would rather be out doing the actual activity. This is where I need to kick my own butt, and say, “..look what happened last year when you disregarded the workouts…do you want to repeat that..?” Well, no I don’t. I started the yer, just like this, saying I have to do something about it, and I did. A bit hit and miss but I did stuff. Then I did my hammy.
I just decided. Right then as I was typing. Go back to basics. Back to where I started with push ups, sit ups and squats. Then add in the rest bit by bit.

I wrote a post a while back about Fit not skinny.
That’s what I want to work on. Sure I do need to lose a few kilos, there’s being healthy and fit and there’s being over weight. No matter by how much.
Since seeing this new physio I have learnt a whole lot more about what I need to do to keep the injury at bay.
My fitness is important so I can keep going for years to come, whether by running or cycling. I have to decide on whether I join the gym and do pilates/yoga amongst other things.
I know what the problem is with my diet and I have to get super strict with it again. I tell people I like to eat and want to enjoy this life. There is a line between enjoying life and being a glutton and going too far.
A version of portion size and low carb is what I am aiming for. Not the low carb I was doing before, but more of a carbs for 1-2 of 3 meals a day.

I look back at what I have just written, and have a little laugh to myself. It is all well and good to write these things, but then think and say, well am I actually going to do them. You know, good intentions and all that. It takes 21 days to make a habit. Can I do that? Well that becomes my choice.
I have only 4 races this year so far, and I’m leaving it at that. Not worrying too much about other ones unless I choose to at the time. Taking this year off almost. At least from real life races. There are always plenty of virtual races to do.

Be the best version of you, and work hard at what you love.
Jen

Fit not skinny

The ‘Why’
When we start a new fitness or exercise routine what is our aim? To get fit, to lose weight, to look better in a bikini..? 
To look like what ‘society’ says we should. 
Unfortunately for many people this is the why they start something of this vein, when the only reason should be to be happy with themselves. To be fitter, healthier and Happy.  Most of us take a few goes at the new regime to get our priorities sorted, and to be doing it solely for ourselves. 
I’m in the third year of my running and as my regular readers know, the last few months have been soul searching for my Why.  The why am I doing this, Why. 
Today while out on the bike I had this weird epiphany, it’s not that I only just realised it, it was the title of this post. Part of my why is to be fit not skinny. The weight and toning will sort itself out as I get fitter, and keep active. I don’t want to be working out like this to get skinny. I want to be fit and strong. 

Weight vs strength
How does weight have an impact on your strength? To be honest I don’t know, but from what I’ve seen, you don’t have to be skinny to be strong. Some of my customers, and social media friends, go to weights classes and could dead-lift me out the gym. None of them are skinny. Fit and healthy looking, absolutely. 
This doesn’t mean I wont still be wanting to lose that 8k+ I’m carrying, it’s more a matter that it will sort itself out when I get my routine back into action. Despite my best intentions (that have gone awry at times) not being able to run means that there is a rogue kilo or two that has decided to call me home. Knowing I can get out on the bike gives me another outlet, I just have to push myself and not want to eat all the food after a short ride*. My weight will become less of an issue once I am back to 100% active.  It’s about being stronger than I was before and being able to ride or run the hills easier, finish a run with more left in the tank, and generally have it feel more comfortable. Like it was 6-8  months ago.
Weight is only a number right?
*This is something I have to work on. I know when I run 15+kms what I can eat, but riding 15k is such an easy thing to do, the distance to eat ratio is completely different, and i have to make the appropriate changes.

Fit endurance not fit muscly
I know a few people who attend the gym simply to get lean and be muscly and look good. While there is no problem with that, people can do what they like, especially as it doesn’t affect my life.  I however, want to do more with my gym workouts. I want it to supplement my cardio. I want to have that endurance (you never know when you’ll need to outrun someone/thing or zombies..). I want to know I can go a distance, and look good. I don’t mind if I have a few lumpy bits, if I know I am strong then that’s all that matters. Being a lean machine is not as important as being a strong one.

Fit not skinny.
Your ‘why’ is your business. Mine is to be strong and fit, to keep active well into my old age. Not to end up with knee/hip replacements or being injured form doing sports because I am unfit. 
I want to be fit and strong. The skinny will come, or not, with how I workout and what I eat. 
I have to watch my diet, and not watch as in watch it go down my gullet.

This next part of my journey is about the fit not skinny, the diet and workout, the physio and running. The bike.

Days turn into weeks turn into…

…Months and before you know it, the year has ended, your goals have changed, and your mind set is in a whole new place.
I had big plans for this year. Some I have kicked, some have changed and one or two have fallen off the wagon.
I’m a little lost at the moment hence my lack of race recap posts. Add to that, my last race there were no finishing photos of me. Or any out on the course. Out of 500 odd pictures, and wearing my most fluro gear there was not one of me. (Yes I’m still a little pissy about this, thankfully hubby is there when I cross the line xx).  I need to shake things up a bit and really get my body into gear again.
My last two races have been average, with both leaving me feeling icky, physically. Mentally, not so bad, as I have the understanding of why they ran the way they did.
I started, I wasn’t injured during, and I finished both with a sub 60 time so still happy with that I can manage it.

The first run was an interesting course, quite pretty really but with a nasty throat issue that made breathing hard, meant I was struggling to get a nice rhythm going.
The second was long and boring. It was hot and the heat was coming off the highway in waves, I was under-prepared fitness and training wise, I didn’t have my pocket drink bottle, and I have this nigggle in my glute/hamstring that drives me crazy when I run.

My goals for this year was to have fun, start and finish my races and get a decent race pb for the 10k distance. I have done that, with two runs left for the year. One is the toughest race and the other an easy downhill run. Literally.

Another goal was to work on my strength and diet.
Well, I worked on them, just not always in the right direction. I went through LCHF (fantastic but too strict for me, I like a little bit more leniency for simply enjoying life… and food).  Deciding that I did indeed some decent carbs in my diet I ended up way off the scale, not just falling, but crashing spectacularly off the wagon.
Meal prep days/evening has to start again. Sundays are not always good and the fridge is gettting low by then. Grocery day meal prep is a much better option.

My strength has gone all over, a month here, a month there and more days that I’m happy with where I do nothing.  My visit to the Physio today confirmed what I thought. My strength is shot. I was hoping that was all it was, but you never know til you ask.  More exercises to do, and concentrate on all the others as well.  I was honest and said I hd been less than consistant with the previous things she’d given me, or anything else for that matter.

While running is what I love totally and find it ‘easy’, it’s the other aspects I have to really push myself to keep up with.
I have always wanted to try boxing for fitness even though I am not a fan of the sport. I have done Pilates before, loved it! and have realised that something like yoga will be extremely good for me.ay be something for me down the track.
I have joined the local Sports Centre on a one month trial to see how I fair with classes.  I have never been one to do classes, always feeling that self consciousness, everyone is watching me. I know that no one is watching or judging (and really, who cares if they are), and as a woman in my mid forties I really shouldn’t be worries about what others think. If I did, then I wouldn’t run, but classes are a whole different thing, don’t ask me why, they just are. So I have to just bite the bullet and get in there amongst it and give it my best shot.

         I’m working on myself, for myself, by myself.

 

For my running, the less is more approach is something I’d like to do, especially if I can get in two classes a week.  The basis of less is more is running 3 times a week (short, tempo/fast and long) with two cross training type classes inbetween. Two days off.

My goals for next have changed now. I really need to get back to running basics. I have registered for 3 (5k, 10k x 2(?)) runs already, including a 25k trail run and at the moment will leave it at that. I have decided to take it easy on the races. Sign up if I feel like it at the time, rather than like this year and have it all booked up early.
I am quite liking the virtual races where I can support charities but run the distance at my pace over the course of a month, rather than training for one day.

If you haven’t already guessed, I’m at a cross roads. A loss of direction.
Some days I feel like I am running for other people, which I don’t need to do.
I’m trying to impress someone..who, I have no idea.
Like I’m running because I feel that I should. I need to find my ‘why’ again.
I need to go out there and run when I feel it, and get back to me.
I feel like I am burnt out.
These injuries aren’t going to fix themselves, and I need to get serious about other activities to keep me in a better physical shape.
So here I am at the end.
I will be working on the physical and mental me, a better body, a new lease on life.  Revamping my fitness.

 

 

Earned not Given – My marathon finishers picture.

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A reminder that I can do anything I put my mind to. 

Favourite run vs favourite medal

What makes a race your favourite?
The crowd support? Your perfect weather conditions? Having a good mindset the whole way through? Getting a PB?
Each race has its own story which almost makes them all memorable – for different reasons. Sometimes it can be hard to make a choice and if i tried to do this last year it would have been hard. Not so much this year.  There is a definite winner for each for this year.

Favourite race this 6 months: It has to be my last one. Launceston 10 – pb, great atmosphere, well organised, not too crowded at any point from start to finish, I ran it strong and comfortably, my mind was good to me (not crazy negative talk)

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Nearly there.

Does your favourite race come with your favourite medal?
Unfortunately mine doesn’t. I’m going to pick 2 medals – 1 virtual race and 1 actual race.
My virtual races are usually done over a week or more and are what I would consider a training run for any other purpose. Actual races, are…well, actual races with lots of people which changes everything when you normally run on your own.

Favourite medal this 6 months:
Virtual – Run like the Wind. My windmill for organ donors, turning obstacles into opportunities.  This medal has become the key feature for my next tattoo, I love the shape, and design. Simple but detailed. More on that another day.

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Actual – Cadbury. It’s my third medal of the  four Cadbury runs and while different from the last two years is just perfect – purple with a map of Tassie.

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Post run smiles with my bling and bag of chocolate

 

What is your favourite medal and race?
What is it that makes them a favourite?

Keep training, running and being active, Jennifer

 

 

Couples goals

Hmm, you say what..?

I keep seeing the hashtag attached to perky pictures of couple at races or the gym.
I hear within other conversations that said couple does everything together (or most things fitness orientated).
I roll my eyes at these things.
I have this weird feeling about the term #couplesgoals.
Look, I am not against couples going out and getting fit together, or enjoying a mutual activity.
It’s about the giving it a name. As though that makes it all the more exciting, or it’s something we all need to strive for.
Poo bah.
For me, and I say this regularly to my husband whenever it comes up – my only couples goal is that we are happy together.
We love being with each other, we love going out and doing things. It’s what couples do. Why should I give it a name.
He supports my running no end – gets up early, drives me to races, hangs around up to two hours longer than said race and drives me back home. All with a smile and no grumbles, loads of hugs and beautiful words.
Because that’s what couples do.
I get up at stupid o’clock and drive him to work when he has to work away (single car family) with no grumbles, and small smiles (due to said stupid o’clock). Because that’s what couple do.
If he wants to go out with the boys on the motorbikes, or with mates for whatever reason – I am booting him out the door.
Because that’s what couples do – they are independent people who love each other but can equally survive without needing to do all things together.

That’s my thoughts on this whole #couplesgoals thing.
What are your thoughts – Yes or No.