Tag Archives: upandrunning

Running update

There has been running in the last few weeks and today is a good time to do an update on all things about running.

I was supposed to go to the Orange Running Festival in a town called Orange, about 3 1/2 hours from home, on the 4th of March. I had booked acccomodation and registered for the race but we had alot of rain the week before. We had so much rain that there was significant flooding across the state. (There still is and I need to check in with my sister who lives in a town where the river was peaking yesterday.) We might have been able to get to Orange but we would have been taking detours and there was a real possibility we would have had to detour 3 hours out of the way on the way back. If it had just been me I might have gone but we were all going and I was not going to put us through such a long drive.

I was really disappointed not to go to Orange. We were going up with Bella, one of the Up and Runner girls from Canberra and meeting another of the Up and Runner girls in Orange. There will be meetings in our future.

We had a couple of dry days then a couple more rainy days and I got out and ran in the dry and the wet. I run either first thing in the morning or during my lunch break at work. The days are getting shorter and I really notice it when I go out in the morning. Most of my run is in the dark and I get to see the light change as the sun comes up. Fortunatly, the paths I run on are all pretty even. I am looking forward to summer time ending and getting a little bit more light in the morning. When I run at lunch time I really only have 45 minutes unless I want to work a longer day. But that is enough time to get out and do a warm up, a decent run and then a cool down.

Last weekend we had a long weekend in Canberra for Canberra Day. I knew that a 4K fun run was being held and because I did not get to Orange I decided to go in it. My parents were staying with us so they came along to watch with my man and boy. I also got to meet up with Bella and do a race with her. It was cloudy but dry and nice and cool for running. The 10K race started at 9 and the 4K started at 9.05. Bella and I did a warm up walk and got to see that there would be a hill in the first km. Hills! I did not expect that. And in an out and back course! But at least we knew in advance. There were more people in the 10K and it was exciting to see them off and cheer them on their way.

The 4K run started and I waved to my people as I took off. My plan was to run a steady race and complete it without walking. I ran up the hill and down the otherside and tried to steady my breathing. It was a lovely picturesque course along the lake but a different part of the lake to which I usually run.

The first 2km were fine. I started to see people heading back and I cheered the first few people on their way. How exciting! They were doing so well and were so speedy! It is one thing I like about running in races is that it is much more an interactive experience. I saw someone from my old work who seemed surprised to see me but we had a nice little acknoweldgement as we ran past each other.

I turned around, headed back and waved to Bella who was a couple minutes behind me. She looked like she was doing well, running confidently and steadily. Heading into the 4th km was harder and then I had the hill again but I ran up and down and was really pleased I did. Once I was down, I concentrated on my form; leg turnover and posture. I did not really try to speed up, although that happened as I drew close to the finish line. I saw my dad and my boy standing about 80 m from the end. I held out my hand to my boy and we ran to the finish line together. He is 2 1/4 now and likes running but can’t run that far. But we did that much together and we finished and I picked him up and said ‘we are winners!’. My man was at the finish line taking photos and my mum was there too.

And then I got to cheer Bella as she was not far behind me. She did so well! She had a little tumble during the race just before I saw her and yet she looked so confident and strong! I thought she did an amazing run.

It was a lovely run. And I was so happy to have been there with my family and Bella. It was very special ending the race with my boy. My official time was 28.36 minutes.

This morning was another special run. I got up at 6 and was out by 6.15. I went up the hill that I used to walk up when I started out last year. This morning I walked up, did some stretches and then ran around the top of the hill. I was planning to run around once and then a little more to get to a different path down. This path around the top of the hill is mostly level but there are two stretches with ups and downs. And I ran the whole way, in total 3.27km. I was slow because it was dark and a little uneven so I was a little cautious. I was so happy to complete what I set out to do, on a route that shows me how far I have come from where I started. And I got to see the light change and look out over north Canberra. It was beautiful. And it is so quiet at that time of morning! It started raining a little as I came home. All in all, this morning I did 6km in 55 minutes, which includes the 5 minutes of stretching.

I have bought the next two rounds of the Bridge to 10K plans from Up and Running which gives me another 8 weeks worth of workouts. I am enjoying them. Some are longer, some are shorter but they are well designed and are helping me train at the 5K distance with a structured plan. For me, the structured plan helps me stick to the training.

The next race I am signed up for is the Canberra Running Festival in mid April. I have registered for the 5K race. There will be more people running in this one than I am used to so the atmosphere should be special. I know someone running in the marathon the next day so I am hopeing to go and cheer him on in that.

I like running. I think I might have said that before 🙂 I really do.

Running in public

The running workout that I have been doing for the last couple weeks has involved the sequence (run for several minutes, walk for a small bit, do some half squats)*several times. And it is fine to do early morning when there is no-one about and I am running around the back paths of my suburb.

On Saturdays, I have started going with my man and our boy to a lake where we meet with friends. I do my workout around the lake and everyone else walks around and we meet at a play ground at the end for the kids to all get out and play. It works really well. The path mostly follows the lake; there are two bridges next to a very busy road and about 400m on the side of another very busy road. Last Saturday I was uncertain whether I should do the squats. I mean, it would look… Well, you see people running and walking and power walking and stretching but not really doing other sort of moves… And I feel self conscious enough…

But by the time I was at the first lot of squats I was 20 minutes into the workout and didn’t care that much. As long as I was not on the bridge (where there is not alot of room) I was good to squat in public. I was even next to the very busy road towards the end of the workout and squatted. And it was just me, doing my exercise and it didn’t matter. I was very proud of myself at the end.

Today I overslept and I needed to leave 30 minutes earlier to get to work early. So, I did not get my early run in. But because I was there 30 minutes early I was able to take a long lunch break. I packed all my gear and at 12.30 I got out for my run by the lake – it’s a different lake; a busier lake with bigger roads and bridges and alot of lunchtime traffic around it in the form of people walking, running, riding, sitting, strolling. I decided that I would do the two bridge loop which would give me about 7km for my workout. I know this workout needs about that much.

Again I was really uncertain about the squatting! Initially I planned to just walk for an extra 30 seconds before running again but by the time I got to it, I just did it. I stepped off the path so no-one would run/ride into me and got on with my workout. And each time I got to the squatting segment I was able to step off the path. So I did. And I felt silly. But getting fit is more important to me than a fleeting silliness. These people who see me exercise really don’t care. They don’t know me, they won’t see me again. All they see is someone working out and working hard. And I am ok with that.

Well, mostly ok with it. The next workout, the one I had planned for today, had skipping segments (not jump rope skipping but skipping along). I did not want to skip in public, but I am mostly ok with squatting in public!!!

In other news. Today I weighed in and the stats are:
Starting weight: 140.9kg (310 lbs) 3/1/2010
Today’s weight: 96.0 kg (211 lbs)
Loss since last week: 1.6kg (3.5 lbs)
Total lost: 44.9kg (99 lbs)

Last week I exercised on 6 days – I did 4 running workouts and 2 walks. One of the running workouts was a bonus; it was not planned but I got the opportunity and I also thought that I was busy the next day. So, I went. And then the plans for the next day fell through and I went walking that day instead. I deliberately did not run on two of my workouts. Last week I did a total of 34kms.

I ate well and consistently, averaging at 9225kJ/day which was a little more than I was aiming for but only twice did I think I had a little too much. I am doing well not having chocolate and really am not craving sugar, although I am still loving the summer fruit and choose to eat my extra kJ that way.

I have been more consistent in saying my positive affirmation. It starts off “I breathe in, I breathe out. I breathe in peace, I breathe in joy, I breathe in strength, I breathe in love. I breathe out fear, I breathe out discontent, I breathe out stress.” I repeat that a couple of times and then the focus changes a little. But, I breathe deeply and relax and when I say ‘I breathe in joy’, I can feel my cheeks lifting and I am smiling.

It was a big loss last week. Look at the numbers!!! Almost 45kg gone! Almost 100lbs gone!!! And I am very close to the lowest I got to in early December. My clothes are a little looser and I feel really good. It is very exciting. But I need to be careful. I need to eat enough to sustain my exercise – that is one of the things I got wrong in January. This week I am aiming for an average of 9500kJ a day, so just a little more than last week. I want to slow my weight loss to about a kg a week but I want to keep my exercise intensity up. I will aim for 3 of my Up and Running workouts and 3 fast walks. Again, I will choose not to run in some of my workouts!!! I love how far I have come, that more and more the expectation is that I will run!

So far, Feb 2012 has been a good month. My exercise and food choices have been ones that bring me closer to my goal of health and fitness. And my actions and choices bring me joy.

January Review – Febuary Commitment

There were some great things in January and some less than ideal things. And I am frustrated that I am recording a weight gain for the month rather than a weight loss. But to not report the gain would be a bad sign… it would mean that I was continuing in denial rather than facing up to my poor decisions.

In January I had committed to eating well, doing my Up and Running workouts 3 times a week and reading one book about self acceptance and thinking about it.

I did my Up and Running Workouts consistently. I am now doing a series called Bridge to 10K which builds on the 5K course by providing workouts that are challenging but aimed at the 5K distance, improving stamina and time. The longest workout in terms of distance I did was 7.3km which took 57 minutes and I ran about 40 minutes of that time. They are hard and more challenging than I would devise on my own but I trust Julia Jones, the running coach who devised them and so I would argue with myself to push through to the end of the workout. And that sense of satisfaction when I am done is amazing.

I read Karen Anderson’s book called ‘After (the before and after)’ about her journey towards self acceptance on her weight loss journey. It was listening to Karen talk to Shauna Reid and Carla Birnberg on the Two Fit Chicks and a Microphone podcast last year that inspired me to look at my own issues around self acceptance. The book was not quite what I was looking for but was a good place for me to start. I started building a personal affirmation which reflects where I am now that I can use in a meditative way. I thought about different aspects of myself, especially those that are the negative voices in my head and how I can talk to those aspects of me and not let them hold me back. But these things did not become habit and I realise while writing that I have not thought of them in the last 2 weeks or so… the two weeks which coincide with my poor eating choices.

So why did my eating go off the rails? It did, obviously as I had started losing weight and now I have ended up with a net gain for the month. There are many reasons
– pushed myself too hard with exercise and did not eat enough which meant that I got really hungry and overate to compensate
– then I dropped the exercise a little (back to my 3 workouts a week) but still did not manage to balance energy in with the exercise
– stress about money and using food to avoid dealing with the money issues
– going to decaf coffee. I decided I wanted to reduce my caffeine intake. I was having two large (mug sized) espresso coffees a day plus 2 mugs of black tea. Over two weeks I transitioned to decaf coffee and kept the black tea. But I realised on the weekend that I am not reaching for sweet things to give myself a mental boost – especially at work. I need to find another way to manage less caffeine.
– feeling very virtuous after the first two weeks because I did so well, especially at a lunch with friends where I chose to leave 2 slices of pizza on my plate. The old feelings of entitlement came back with a vengence that night and I had chocolate.
– work has been really busy. It is not stressful like my last job but I am so busy and focussed on the tasks at hand that reaching for an extra snack helps get me through.
– I stopped tracking food, I stopped weighing myself on the scales every couple days, I stopped saying my affirmations which remind me of the big picture.

I need to think about all these things, the lessons I can learn, the ways I can manage stress and work pressures better. I hope that in learning I can start making better choices.

So today I got on the scales and that third number is back. Weight this morning was 100.3kg.

Fact. Information. Move on.
(I will try not to beat myself up for too long)

So, that was January. I made some really good progress in terms of exercise and building tools to help me on the journey. I stuck to my eating plan for the first two weeks but it was not enough for the intensity of exercise. And the last two weeks contained alot of poor food choices. I am not back where I started because my consistency with running has improved and I have some tools that I can pick up again.

February…

One of the things I ate in January was chocolate, too much chocolate. When I eat chocolate I want more chocolate. Maybe not immediately but the next day and the next day. It triggers bad eating habits for me and they cycle in a negative way. I need it to stop. February will be the month of no chocolate.

I will take steps toward selling my unit which will lead to sorting out my money a little better.

I will continue with 3 Up and Running Workouts a week but will not run on other days. I need to find a balance with exercise and food and running 5 days in a row upsets that balance.

I will track food and aim for 9000kJ a day. I will report my weight every week on Monday; I like that extra bit of accountability. I will aim for a loss of 3kg in the month.

I will work on my affirmation again and I will say it every morning when I get up. I will reread After and think some more.

I will keep going. There is no end to the journey, there are many small steps. There is today, there is far off. There is continuing.

my weekly report

I have had a good week. I have averaged 8780kJ a day over the last week, I exercised on 5 days, doing a total of 25.4km in 3 hours 46 minutes. My exercise time is down from what I was doing last year but the intensity has gone up because of the running. I have been doing some reading and some thinking. I met my commitment to myself to eat well, exercise and do some head work. So, it was a very good week. There were some stress points but I did not use food to manage the stress. I also had an unstructured day yesterday with a big brunch and then two light snacks and then dinner but I tracked the food and I did not use it as an excuse to over eat. So, I am really happy with that. The number on the scale is down 2.2 kg (4.8 lbs) from last week! I am almost back to my lowest weigh in for last year and that makes me feel good. I know it is a large weight loss for one week; some of it I attribute to the week before (my stress eating last weekend impacted weigh in). It is also still a ‘starting out’ weigh but it is alot for one week.

This coming week I have a couple of social events that I will plan for but I think they will be ok given what they are and who they are with. I have my exercise booked in, I have meals planned and most of the shopping done. I will keep reading and thinking. I will try and eat a little bit more to bring it up to 9000kJ a day. I want to keep the weight loss steady and so it needs to be slower.

My running is going well. I had some good times this past week and I think I might try running 5K this coming weekend as a timed run. When I ran 5K late last year it was without good eating or consistent training leading up to it. Some of the Up and Running girls have been talking about 12 races in 2012 – be that virtual or actual races. I like that idea and as I will be away the last weekend in January I thought I could try next weekend. I will see how the week goes.

I got a call from the Get Healthy Program last week. I knew the call was coming – it was my 12 month follow up call – but I thought it would be a couple of weeks away. It was really good to report in to them. The Get Healthy Program is run by the state/territory govts in Australia and provides free phone coaching over a period of 6 months on healthy living to people living in those states and territories. I signed up in January last year for the additional support and I really enjoyed the calls from my coach. I agreed to do the followup call as part of the research on the program itself. I think it is important that programs get information from the participants so they can try to assess if the program met the objectives. There were questions about food/exercise/planning/motivation and weight and waist circumferance. I felt so strong and positive in that conversation. I haven’t finished this journey yet but I have come so far. I know that having those check in calls last year did help my motivation and commitment. I highly reccomend getting as much support as you can, be it a group, family or friends, online forums or govt sponsored programs. Wouldn’t it be a good thing if we could be there for each other as we walk our own paths to better health?

Weekly wrap

The past week was really quite good now I look back. I had a great time doing the Up and Running workouts… I write that and I wonder at who this girl is who loves running!!! Anyway, the workouts this week were hard and pushed me and I saw myself improve in the week as my body got used to regularly exercising and eating well again. It was just so good to see. I did my longest workout yet in terms of distance with 7.3km in 57 minutes, which included a total of 5.8km of running. I was so proud of that workout and I was tired afterwards 🙂 And I loved having the stats from my garmin to see how I did over the different segments. Overall last week I had 2 rest days and did 6 workouts with a total of 29.2 km. Yes, I did two on one day because I had my new toy and I was trying it out.

My eating was pretty much spot on all week as well after starting on Tuesday. I felt better for eating properly. My energy levels were good, I enjoyed the food and I wasn’t hungry or feeling like I was missing anything. It was like I slipped back into the way I was eating last year and that felt normal. It was a big relief to just fall back into it so easily. I was aiming for about 9000kJ a day and averaged (over 5 days) at 8830kJ. I was interested in how my running impacted my hunger and energy needs for the day and I felt I was listening to my body and making good choices. I ate a little more on the days I ran (up to 9300kJ) and a little less on the days I didn’t (about 8500kJ). And so it averaged out and I was really happy with that. But the best part of the week with food was the awareness of how much better I felt when I eat well, when I get hungry between meals, when I listen to my body when it needs a little more and then I give it a little more of healthy food. So it was a great start to the year. The other positive thing I did over the weekend was do a meal plan for the week, go shopping, prepare foods for lunch this week and cook one meal for the freezer. This week will be easier because I have a plan and am prepared.

I did have one slip up yesterday (hence not tracking for 6 days last week)… I had not planned an outing well. I really should have thought about this one a little better. Firstly, my period started yesterday and the first 24 hours are difficult with back ache, cramping and general moodiness; after that it is usually bearable. Secondly, the outing was not quite what I expected, I was disappointed and that threw me a little. I had taken food with me that I was not planning to track and that was a bad call. I was a little tense because of the company. And so I ate the foods I was not planning to track in amounts greater than I would have eaten had I not been where I was. When I am tense, I eat to help me relax because having a full belly means comfort and security. I know this is how my brain works. So, what do I do next time? Think about the outing/event and plan the food a little better. Take chewing gum so that I can trick my brain into getting the relief from a tense situation without the calories. Do some positive self talk prior to the event. Continue working on my issues around self acceptance. I can’t do much about the timing with hormones but I can have painkillers with me if I need them.

The slip up was half of one day. And in the scheme of a week it isn’t much, in the scheme of a month it is only a a moment. I was frustrated this morning when I stepped on the scales and did not see as large a loss as I would have liked. But now, looking at the whole week and knowing what happened yesterday, I can accept it and move on. I had a relly good week with food and exercise and I am happy. The number box on the floor was down 0.8kg (almost 2bs) from last week and I am satisfied with that. I feel that it is a pretty accurate reflection of how the week went.

I also decided what to read to help me in the area of self acceptance. I will read Karen Anderson’s “After: (the before and after)”. I chose this book because it is Karen who partly inspired me to look at self acceptance from her discussion with Shauna Reid and Carla Birnberg on the podcast Two Fit Chicks and a Microphone in episode 27. (Insert Plug for the podcast Two Fit Chicks and a Microphone: Love your work, Shauna and Carla!!!) Listening to that podcast again late last year made me first realise there was work I could do in this space. Without having something on the shelf that spoke to me on this issue, without knowing where else to go, not wanting to spend hours browsing book shelves in shops (although that can be fun), I decided to go back to the original prompt and start there. I have a starting point.

A new week awaits. New training plans, a food plan and a commitment to making healthy choices today.

Training Plans

I went out running today at lunch time rather than first thing this morning. My plan this morning was to get the early bus to work so I could get the early bus home. Leaving early meant putting off my run till lunch time. This worked well because it was raining this morning. I made it in time for the early bus this morning… I have since discovered that the express bus I wanted to get home does not have an earlier option for my home trip!

Lunch time running was hard today. It had been a couple of weeks since I had gone running at lunchtime. I had been running at other times but *For Reasons* there had been no lunchtime running. Today I got out and got going. The rain had stopped, it was getting muggy as the day warmed up but it was nice to be out. I did my warm up and stretches. I started running. One thing I am trying to do with my longer runs is pace myself a little better so that I am starting slower and am able to finish more strongly. Not that today was a longer run (it is my usual lunchtime route with 750 m warm up, stretch, 2.1km run, 3 min breather, 2.1km run, 750 m cooldown). The first few minutes are always hard but I got through that. I made it to my halfway mark with a time of 13.52 which was a little faster than I was hoping for. My calf muscles were tight so I did some more stretching and headed back. I really struggled on the way back. I started checking my watch from about 3 mins and making deals with myself just to get to that spot or go another minute. My legs felt heavy and things were just not feeling right. At 7 minutes, which I knew would be more than 1km, I dropped back to a walk. I walked for 1 min and then ran again. After another 3 mins I walked again. The second 2.1km stretch took me 16 minutes 40. The entire workout was 53 minutes.

I am really happy that I modified my workout rather than just stopping. Last week I struggled on the monday and I dropped back to a walk and did not run again. Today I tried to work out what was wrong and modified. It was a really positive approach to a workout not going as expected.

Walking back I thought about how I want to structure my exercise next year. I want to keep my running going three times a week. I want to commit to exercise 5 days a week. I want to do strength training. I need it to be sustainable, I need it to fit into my life. I want a plan.

The running course was excellent because I committed to the workouts three times a week. I wrote my running times each week on the whiteboard on the fridge. Having the times there as evidence was a wonderful reminder and motivator. I used a simple stop watch and had the workout written on a piece of sticky paper. It was easy and low key. When I tried to go high tech after the couse I got frustrated when the tracking wouldn’t work properly, I did not write my times on the fridge, I did not have the same commitment to the plan. These are some of the reasons I mentioned above. Next year, from the 2nd of Jan, I am commiting to the Up and Running Bridge to 10K plans. Monday, Wednesday and Saturday have worked well for running so far, I will keep it on those days next year. The next three running workouts, I am going to repeat Week 8 of the 5K Up and Running Course and then do a 5K run.

For strength training, I am thinking about using my free weights at home and whole body moves. I want to do two sessions a week. Looking at my weekly logistics, I can do this on Tuesday and Thursday mornings – I have 40 minutes both mornings so I need to think about what I can fit into that time.

I like getting out at lunchtimes. I have a 4km route that I will walk on Tuesday and Thursday as well as the strength training in the morning. That leaves Friday and Sunday as rest days.

My legs are tired now. I did the right thing in modifying my workout when I was out.

This is the first draft of my training plan for next year; it may be adjusted between now and January but I have a basic plan. I will trial my training plan in January for four weeks to see how it does fit into my life. If it doesn’t work out, I will make changes for February.

Wednesday running :)

I woke up and almost didn’t get up. But the thought – exercise is not negotiable- came into my head. I got up.

Today I ran 5km. I did a 1km warm up walk/run, some stretches and then 5km. Time 36.40. Very happy with running the whole way and with the time.

Running 5k was a surprise this year. I am so proud of that achievement. And being able to run 5K today after a bad couple of weeks is very grounding.