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

New name, new ideas.

The beginning..
As many of you know, I have been a bit all over the place this last few months. Running has hit an all time low after an amazing year. Injury, unsure of where I’m going and what I want to achieve.
I’ve had such an amazing run (pun totally intended) over the last three years and while it doesn’t need to stop I have needed to re-asses the activities I am partaking in.  Genetics plays such an important part of how we do things, and while my running has slowed down several things I know that the things in my jeans genes will inevitably cause me to slow down that particular action.
I have always known (just been too lazy to really do anything about it) that I should be doing more than just running – more stretches, other sports etc – and after everything I have read, those that do several different sports or gym classes are less prone to injury. Yes, this is a very sweeping statement, but they start from some truth somewhere.

 

Cycling
According to my husband I have taken to this cycling thing like a duck to water (my words, his thoughts), he is crazy proud of how well I’m doing, and enjoying it.  I always had a bike growing up, loved riding it, rode it everywhere. Insert the usual story of kids and moving around and I lost fitness, thoughts of doing much of anything and cycling never really came into the equation.
Somewhere in the last ten or so years we picked up another bike for me and I rode it ocassionally, but my knees screamed at me, like seriously hurt, so I just stopped riding. The pain was too much, even a gentle slope was agony.  I used to joke I can run but not ride bikes. My knees hurt.  I then did a session with a PT and she showed me how I should be riding a bike…ahh, it all made sense. I still didn’t get on my bike.
Fast forward a few more years and we are here where I am today. Proud owner of a super cool bike and itching each day to get out and ride.  Like I said to my co-worker who questioned my ‘you always said you hated riding and wouldn’t do it’ notion – when you get a correct fit and the right size bike, it all falls into place. It becomes a dream to ride.  Cycling will also help my legs, which follows through to my running, become stronger. And that can only be a good thing, right?

Running & other stuff
So, you think that now I’m cycling I’m not going to run anymore..ahh, not on your life. I still want to run, there is a certain freedom to just getting out there and going for it. Also, I can still indulge my new found enjoyment of trail type runs which I cannot cycle with a fang dangy road bike.
The immediate future is me working on running again (thank you mr Physio) with two races straight up in Jan and Feb of 2019.
My next visit I will be asking the Physio if I can start again as I don’t want to miss my first race (the fourth race of four years for the Cadbury series* – my term there).
After several discussions with hubby I will be taking it easy next year, doing races as I feel like it, if there are spaces available when the time comes and not having it all planned out. Ride my bike, work on general fitness – pilates class and hopefully boxing – and seriously do my strength work. 
Having seen the results from the leg test at the Physio  has made me realise how much can be gained from just one simple exercise.
My big race next year is a 25k trail run in April – one that I definitely want to achieve. 
It will be a big year but we will ride it out together, have a great run…

The name
I love to eat. Simple. After exercise is a good time to do it. After all isn’t what we do these things for. So we can eat All The Food.
I have changed my Instagram gram to reflect this also. 
I run. I ride. I eat. I love a good food shot, I love plating up a sexy meal – and yes food can be incredibly sexy. 
I want to add in the food aspect of my running and riding, more that just food in general. While I do love a good bag of chips, I am pretty healthy otherwise, so this will not become about what you should or shouldn’t eat (we all know the rules), but more about my journey with food and how it works with my body**.

**I have noticed a huge difference already with my non running than to when I am getting out and running consistently.
*Cadbury series – four races over 4 years. 5k 10k, Half and Full marathon. Next year is the final for me in the 5k run. Although I never actually finished the marathon, I got more than half way and they allowed me a medal. 

it’s time to ride…

Buy the bike
I have mentioned briefly in another post somewhere about wanting to start cycling, or maybe I had just been thinking about it…anyhoo.
Well, shit just got real, coz the weekend just past resulted in me gaining a road cycle and the gear to go with it.
Hubby and I did a 15k ride and…omg, how much fun was that. Why have I waited so long to get back on a bike. Sure the seat was weird, and hurt even though I had all the padding. The gears are quite different to anything I have used before and the drop bar..so natural and comfortable. I definitely don’t want a flat bar.  I didn’t push it but I certainly wasn’t taking it slow either. I’m glad I am as fit as I am, for I found it reasonably easy.  The hubster was mightily impressed with my first go, he has cycled on and off for many years so is much more of a natural on the two wheels. 
I am a little wary of the speed, and public roads, so will slowly be getting to that point.  I found pain in places I didn’t know existed the next day, which was interesting. I know cycling different to running, but I figured the muscle groups were similar. Not so much.
He even commented that I have good leg muscles..well, duh. 

Beautiful schmexy bike

Physio time
This was physio week and I have to say I am very happy with the result. I love what this guy does, he knows his stuff.  As a sports person, he knows what I want to do – run – and is doing what he can to get me back out there.
There was good news and not so good news. I’m not going to say bad news, because, while it was not ideal, it certainly wasn’t bad.
I still have a ban on running ~ sad face ~ and a modified version of my original exercise with several more added to it. I can however cycle, with a time (and pain) limit, but this is my cardio and I am going to embrace it like there’s no tomorrow.
My exercises are still on a 3 day rotation, which suits me fine. I’m working out, resting, and making progress.
As part of his initial diagnosis he did a test on my legs and today we did it again. I said I could feel what was happening and the pain was not always there like it used to be, just niggling away, and especially bad on a busy day at work. I wanted that confirmation I was getting better I spose. Well, holy shite, I almost doubled my score, in a good way. It was a massive improvement. Physio man was happy.

The second part of my new exercises.
Love this guy’s drawings, they’re such cute little people.

Cycling
It’s been nearly a week and I have walked past my bike every day, patting it on the seat and stroking the handlebars (yes, I did this, lurve my new bike!) but have not yet had another ride. The main reason being the weather – wet, cold and depressing – if it was wet and warm I could probably tolerate it easier. I am totally hanging out for the weekend to go riding again.
That’s the easy bit, the other is to control my love of active wear fashion.
My running wardrobe is so big now I made up a spreadsheet of what I had so when I buy things I can work it to match more than one pair of pants/top/socks. Yes, I’m that sad. 
I said to hubby “you realise the monster you’ve unleashed here…cycling fashion is soo cool..” he laughed, said yes and agreed. I have purchased my first cycling item and fingers crossed it works. Padded knickers that I can wear under my running shorts. That way I am multi tasking my wardrobe – bonus all round, less spending, coz cycling kits are way more expensive that what I spend on running.
I somehow managed to match everything with each other. Bike, shoes and clothes. And later I noticed my phone cover is the same colour..ugh, how..I have no words for this.
While it may look orange-ish, it is most definitely not. More of a salmon colour. Which I really find, gross, but the technical term, Satin Acid Red…well that’s more like it.

That feeling after your first ride!
Inadvertently completely matched outfit to bike. 
I borrowed the blue top and wore socks to match, which also match part of my shoes, which match my bike. 

Latest virtual run
My last virtual run was one I wasn’t going to do until I saw which city it was for. As a born and bred Hobartian there was no choice, I had to do it. When I saw the medal, I knew exactly what my finishers picture was going to be. One of the busiest intersection in the city, but I think I nailed it. After like a hundred pictures – streetscape, too many cars/people, half a medal, too much finger, medal moved – because I couldn’t actually see the screen on my phone. I think it works though.

The injured break


We take breaks from running for all sorts of reason. We get busy, go on holidays, are sick, the family are sick, work is overloading us, we lose our ‘mojo’ or for most of us, the worst thing that stops us running…is injury. Because this usually means a forced stop, we often have mixed feelings about it. Our mojo, our wanting to run can still be there, yet, we have to not do the thing we love.
It can be a very emotional time. We struggle with our feelings of failure, of the what ifs, the why didn’t I’s. We think about all the things we know we should have done, the exercises that could have prevented it. But what if something happens that is hard to prevent, an injury that may or may not happen. Something that you can’t prepare.

What if we just go about our business with no idea we are doing ourselves harm until it is too late and then sit on said injury for maybe too long before realising it is slightly more serious than tight hamstrings or a sore glute.

Such a thing has sidelined me for at least two weeks. And it hit home hard. I had felt the pinch for a few months but did nothing about it. I finally went off to the physio to see what she could do. Nothing as it turned out. I was not at all impressed with her diagnosis, (even though she kind of got it right), no actual proper term was mentioned, only a pfaff about answer and exercises which I believe were not going to work. I paid, said my thank you’s and off I went.

The next day I asked my brains trust (running group on Fb (of 30,000 women) where there is always more than one person who has had an infliction at some point) for their thoughts.
Several answers came back so off I went to do some research. Now I had an idea of what it was, everything I read made sense. It was like I could have written it if I had a better way with words and knew all the scientific names for things. 
It turns out I had Proximal Hamstring Tendinopathy. A real pain in the butt. Literally and figuratively.


A friend had recommended her physio so I rang and booked in to see if I could get some definitive answers.
Well, the man brought tears to my eyes, but in my head I knew it was the right thing.

After a short conversation and a couple of tests I had my answer.  
I knew deep down I would most likely have to cool right back or stop running. 
I knew it would be hard work, after my ITB. 
I didn’t want to accept it. I didn’t want to feel like a failure. I didn’t want to accept that I am not as young as I was. I didn’t want to stop. Simple. And right at the point where I was thinking about the new direction I was heading.
I did know though, this was part of the catalyst for the new direction.
I wasn’t expecting it to hurt like it did.
I could feel the emotions welling up, I could feel the sting of tears. 
I was all good until he said those words – “…no running for two weeks…”
Walking is fine, but if it hurts, then stop.
That was the end of me. 
Where I live is not exactly a flat place so I now have to drive everywhere, even to go for a simple walk. My street is steep, my driveway is steep.
I cried all over him. 
It was horrible.
I paid up, made my next booking and sat in the car.
Sombre. Feeling sorry for myself. Pity party for one.
Sent hubby a message.
Then pulled up my big girl panties and drove home.

I have one exercise to do. That’s it. One. Three sets, three times a day every third day.
I’ve done my first day. It was intense. A half hour for each session. 
I will do my two weeks of exercise. I will get stronger. I will continue to run. I will be stronger on my return. 
It’s not the end of the world. I still have my health, I am still capable of doing so much physically. 


I have one job – one exercise. for two weeks. 

The point of this is that we all have days, weeks, sometimes months, where we cannot run for what ever reasons.
We can throw ourselves pity parties as much as we want. It wont get us anywhere. Just further down in the dumps about whatever the predicament is. Why bother, so long as you are upright, breathing and have relative good health, there is nothing to bitch about. two days ago I wouldn’t have been able to write this, I was still in party mode. Yesterday I concentrated on getting my reps done. Properly.
Today, I have collected my thoughts, and put it all in perspective. I AM healthy. I CAN still do exercise. This is just a BUMP in the road. 
So while we all go through the motions of denial, anger and then sadness when we get injured, we have to pick ourselves up and get back on the horse.  Don’t be scared. Work through the pain. Come back stronger than before.
That’s my plan.

What injuries have you had that have put a stop to your training. How long were you out of action for?

Feeling stronger than yesterday

There’s a lot to be said about motivation and lack thereof.  Three days ago I was in a funk and really feeling the down. Today, I feel strong and invincible.  In those few days 1)hubby stated he was doing this years city to casino and 2) I went to the physio.

The city to casino will be good for both of us, myself for GCAM training and hubby to help his fitness goals. He used to run a lot when he worked away and I know he would be good at it if he really wanted to push that bit further.  Competition aside, a 10 (or 11k ) run is a good distance, not too long to get bored or need excessive amounts of training, and not so short at it’s over before you get into a rhythm. I have all faith he will do it, and help me along at the same time. It will be good to get in some distance again.

My visit to the physio went well. She wasn’t too fussed about the lack of workouts, the fact I concentrated on getting my form right when I did them was more important. I got a massage again, and she tweaked a few things, changing one or two exercises to better help my recovery.  I’m not sure what it was, but when I walked out, I felt strong and ready to conquer the world. To lose the phone and wallet and just run. My white board will be changed again to accommodate  the added exercise and my weekly strength workouts from my fitness magazines.  There are so many workouts and routines and I want to try them all, so I’ve decided, one way to keep the body thinking, burning calories and being in top shape, is to use one of these for a week before moving onto another one – most of them are a full body set up. This is my year of strength.

Looking forward to a run tomorrow and on the weekend. It’s time to bring it!

Run strong, be your best version, Jennifer

Running scared – no excuses

I’ve been lazy with my workouts.

Its been busy at work – I’ve been lazy.

Physically I am tired – I’ve been lazy.

My body has ached and is sore – I’ve been lazy.

I really want to run – I’ve been lazy.

I really want to run – I’ve been scared.

I’m scared it’s going to hurt.

I’m scared it will cause more damage.

I now have to admit this to the Physio on Tuesday.

I’ve been lazy and scared of doing my workouts.

There are no excuses.

There are no reasons why I cannot and should not do them.

Mind over matter – I Can do this. I Will do this.

Being lazy will not get me running again.

Being lazy will not get me to GCAM.

Being lazy will not get me stronger.

Being scared will do me no favours.

Being scared will get me nowhere but stuck in a rut.

Being scared and lazy will only damage me in the long-term.

Time to pull on my big girl panties and get the job done.

 

Be safe out there, and keep your strength up, Jennifer