Ups & Downs –

Oops, am I in trouble again?
Not this time.
It’s one of my new workouts.

I have been writing up my own workouts for a few weeks now, taking ones I see online and tweaking them for my home gym, or using a workout from instagram as an idea base to make my own from.
In all of these, I’ve included my physio’s exercises and making sure I have a variety of cardio, weights and a combination to keep me happy.

What is this ‘ups and downs’ you talk about?
After writing up two as a test, not knowing if they will actually work, I have used them several times a week and find them very good.
I’m not sure if they are a thing elsewhere, but I like them.
They get my heart rate up, and the challenge is put out there.
I have one for arms/shoulders and one for core/butt.
I tweak them a little each time I use them, and put my run distance on the sheet (every little bit counts for Run Down Under).

Ok, the idea behind them is that there are two portions to the workout.
Cardio and strength.
Five rounds with both time and reps for each.
The run part starts at 5 mins – time goes down, speed goes up and the strength portion starts low on reps and go up with each round.
So as an example, it would be 5 mins/8.5 speed; 4 mins/9 speed; 3 mins/10 speed; 2 mins/sprint/ 12 speed.
The reps start at 10 and work up to 25 with 4-5 exercises to do.
I then finish on round 5 with a 3 min sprint on L2 before cool down stretches/physio exercises.
This takes around 45 mins and makes me sweat like crazy.
Boy do I feel good afterwards though. It hurts, and I grunt like a stuck pig or ‘someone dying’ as my son put it (that’s what a 2 min plank will do for you).
I add weights to whatever I can to up the ante – it’s gotta do me good right…?

Where to from here…
From here I will up the weights, add an incline to the runs and practice those burpees and push ups.

Sometimes I wish I had started this two years ago when I first thought of it. Sometimes in life we have to learn things the hard way to get a better understanding of the ‘why’ behind it.
I run when I can (park run and longer if I have the opportunity) and know that when I do run these exercises are doing me good, making me stronger.
And that is what I am happy about.

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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.

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. 

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.

———————————–

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

Crank-e 5k: 16/9/18

What can I say?
This was one of my best runs.
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After Ross and being under prepared I got myself sorted and in two weeks turned it around.
While 5km is not long it is a fast run, and I wanted to feel confident on the flat loop and be able to push myself.
I have revamped my strength workouts and sorted my week into something that resembles organisation.
When I injured my ITB the physio gave me some exercises to help strengthen and repair. After doing these and a couple of extras I found my speed increased and it felt easier. While easier is not the best word, with my glutes being activated properly as well as the other things, I felt I could get more done with less work. Ok, that sounds odd to say it like that (as I talk it in my head while I type), though I think you may get the idea. The fitter you are, the better your body works, then you can do more without feeling like you are working as hard.
So I have started these workouts again, re-assessed my diet (and being stricter on it) and in a week I feel so much better all over.
I have set it up in 4 week lots after reading this:
It takes 4 weeks to notice your body changing,
8 weeks for your friends to notice,
12 weeks for the rest of the world to notice.
Give it 12 weeks.
Don’t quit.

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I digress, this post is about today’s run.
There were loads of people, as usual, it’s a fast fun race that is supporting our main hospital.
Mr 14 came with me to do the 2.5km run while I did the 5.  The first lap was getting a rhythm and finding a place in the crowd. I had a shadow with me the whole way till the turn around point, cruising easily (well, it looked that way) where we went our separate ways – me pushing him through to the finish. I felt good, not too niggly or sore, although a mouthful of water would have been nice, even just a splash.
The second lap I concentrated  feeling good and not looking at my watch. I wanted to run comfortably – if a pb was to come then it would be – within reason. I thought that as I come up to the last 500m I would check and see how close I was.  I had passed the 27.30 pacer early on and wasn’t sure how close he was after that. I did think he was right on my tail though.

I didn’t want to jinx myself by checking my watch. I looked at the half way mark and was happy knowing I’d paced my son to a good time, then not again til after I had finished. I felt the buzz at 4k and said ‘do not look, do not look’.
As I came around the corner and headed down towards the final turn my ears pricked up at the announcer mentioning the 25 min pacer.. holy shit., really, I’m going that well. I made the turn and then grinning like a mad man (and hopefully not looking too crazy) pushed myself to the finish.  I glanced at the clock as I passed and fist pumped as I crossed the line knowing I’d done a major pb. Fingers crossed the picture looks alright.

Overall I was super happy with this one, well run, finishing strong and happy.
Train well,  train hard and run happy,  Jennifer

 

Ross 10k – 2/9/18″

It’s been a week since and I’m only just getting around to posting this. I’d actually forgotten, being busy with work and trying to calm my quad.
I’d done the training but missed hills and strength. Ok, so all I’d done is some running. I arrived on the day half an hour early, perfect time really. Having been here before I knew where everything was and what to go was.

Grabbing my bib I head to the toilet – standard practice really. This year they had a 2km race for the kids so we registered Mr 14 and headed out to stretch and listen to the usual pre race talk.
As we set off I aim to go slow and cruise, knowing my leg would niggle pretty quickly before I settle into an easy pace.
The turn around is further along than I remember and I’m starting to hurt.
By the second kilometre I am feeling ok and start the turn for ‘the hill’. I get up it ok, walking just a super short bit before taking the down hill and grabbing a drink at the 3km mark.
I call out and wave to hubby and Mr 14 at the drinks station and continue on.
The roads are so long and flat that it feels like it takes forever but my watch buzzes 5km at 27 min, and I head out again for the second lap.

I’m cruising along, still feeling the pain in my leg and notice at around the 9k mark that my watch has died.*
I kind of pick up the pace as I head down main street, but that last corner and heading to the finishers chute is what does it for me.
They call out names where they can, and I hear mine. I’m smiling all the way and there is a good picture or two (yay!) of me finishing.

I glance at the clock and think that I’ve blown my time by 2+ minutes so don’t worry about it till the next day.
Imagine my surprise when I see I missed my PB by 90 secs. If my watch was still alive I would have definitely pushed to try for 3 pb’s in a row. Had my watch not die when it did, I would have been able to push myself just that little bit and get another pb. Aaah, hindsight is a wonderful thing.
I would have yo say I am pretty happy with this result despite going in under prepared.

Mr 14 oh so closely missed his dream of 10 mins for 2k by 2 seconds. His goal for this weekend’s 2.5k race is to get it in 12 mins.

*my watch had been giving me grief all week. It wasn’t holding it’s charge and it felt like I was hooking it up every day. Finally realised that one of the charging pins was all out of whack, so straightened it up and bingo…watch is charging once again. Thank fook for that. Didn’t need the headache that could have caused.

Train hard, train regularly, don’t miss the important things, Jen x