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.

Today I ran 5km

It is the end of the UpandRunning 5K course this weekend. I have bonded with the women on the course!!! It has been the most wonderful way to learn to run. This weekend (and the couple coming up for those that fell behind due to travel/illness and life) we are all doing our 5km races. And we are cheering each other on.

I decided to do almost the same course as the 4K fun run last weekend but extend my turning point. I did a trial there yesterday to make sure my new workout clothes were comfortable and to check the extended route. I also tried out runkeeper for the first time. As I finished up yesterday, I imagined the blue finish arch at the slightly new position and ran through from before the last corner to my new end point.

This morning I got up, had some breakfast, got ready, got my small one ready and we headed off. I really wanted to run the full 5km but was not sure if I could, my fall back plan was 30sec walking after 3km and another 15 sec at 4 km if I needed it; but that I would try dropping down a gear first before dropping back into a walk.

I did a good warm up today and a good stretch. I started runkeeper and I had my watch on as well as backup. It was time to start.

The first km was hard. It was the only time this morning that I really thought I might not be able to run the full length. But I know that the first 5 min is always hard and when runkeeper piped up at 500m and told me my speed I knew I was going a little too fast. So I dropped the pace a little, focussed on breathing and kept going. The second km was comfortable and so was the third. At my turning point I realised I had run further in one stretch than I ever had in my life. And I was running comfortably. I went into the fourth km still feeling comfortable but then it started getting difficult. At 3.5km I imagined the girls from the course lined up on the side of the track. They had pink pompoms and they were cheering and doing waves with the pompoms and calling out my name. They got me through that fourth km. And then, there was only 1km till the end. I had already run that last km so I knew that I could do it again. I could feel a blister forming on my left foot but decided that it would not stop me. I tried to pick up the pace by swinging my arms a little more. I had 500m left and I almost cried because I was going to make it. Every person that I saw that last km saw my smile. I was so thrilled to be out there.

I rounded the final corner and saw the end point. And then I saw my man and little boy all of a sudden start to run to try and get back to it before me. I imagined the girls from the course, I imagined the blue finish arch. I almost tripped because I wasn’t looking down but I recaptured my footing and kept going. And then runkeeper announced I was done and I still had 20m to get to my man and boy, so I kept running.

I made it to the end. I had not slowed to a walk. At each point runkeeper piped up I knew my pace was a good one. And I cried.

I am sitting here, 6 hours later, drinking a little champagne and having some cheese. My legs are tired but actually it is not that bad. And I am in tears again.

I am not the fat girl anymore. I am fit and I am healthy. Sure, I still have some weight to lose but I can run! I can run 5K! And I will keep running. I will keep making healthy choices.

I am so proud of me.

Times:
5K total – 36.32
1st km – 6.30
2nd km – 7.17
3rd km – 7.39
4th km – 7.39
5th km – 7.27

4km fun run!

Today I had my second 4km event. I signed up for a 2 event series in September and the first event was in mid-September. I was in the fun walk for that event. Today I was signed up for the fun run.

I did not have a good few days leading up to it. My eating was all over the place due to stress on several fronts. My sleeping was also not as good as I had hoped. But I woke up this morning and the weather was clear. That was a relief! Yesterday was raining and there are showers forecast for today.

I had a light breakfast at about 6.30. And water. We left the house at 7.25 and drove down to the lake where the race was being held. We left home a little later than I had wanted but that usually happens with the toddler! We got there, I picked up my timing piece and attached it to the top of my shoe. I pinned on my race number. I used the rental facilities. There was not enough time for a good warm up. I need to remember that for next time. But I did some warmups to get my heart rate lifted and the blood pumping and then gently stretched.

I had forgotton my music this morning. I don’t usually run with music but I missed it today.

I developed my race plan from the advice Julia Jones, the running coach from Up and Running gave one of the other girls. Run the first 2kms then I needed to walk 1 min then run to the end of that km, then if I needed to walk 1 min and run to the finish. I made sure I had my watch on today. I was hoping to run the whole distance but was very happy to have a good plan in case that was not going to happen.

It was a beautiful morning. I was excited to be milling at the start point. There were some familiar faces from last time. We had a couple minutes and then the horn blew and we were all off. I realised as we started that I had not warmed properly and that I needed to pace myself. I reminded myself that it was my race and I did not have to compete with anyone. I ran past my man and little boy, I ran past my mum who was loudly cheering. And then off we all went. I concentrated on my breathing just trying to settle into the race.

The first km was a little hard, I checked my watch and it only took 6min! My fastest 1km time ever! I started slowing down. This was where I wanted the music to distract me. The sun was in my face and I was trying to run but I did not feel like I had found my comfortable pace. The second km got harder but I did get to the end of it running. My second km took 7.10 min which for me is about my average pace. I walked for 1min and I am glad I did. The third km I was tiring. My breathing was ok but my legs got heavier. Again I was missing my music. But coming back the sun was not in my face which was good. Third km time was 7.50 and I think that was great given the min walking. Again I walked at the start of the 4th but I timed it and I was only walking for a min. I knew the end was close, I knew the 500m point and I knew when I came round a certain corner I only had 200m left. I started pushing myself then, not to take longer strides but just to move my legs faster. And my breathing coped and it was hard but I got there. My time for that last km was 7.48 with a total time of 28.43. That is almost 2 mins less than 6 weeks ago where I ran the first and last kms and walked the middle two.

My mum was so proud – she got a little teary! And I felt good. My man was also very proud. He said that I looked better finishing this race than I did the last one. That is cool.

I look so much leaner than I did 6 weeks ago! It was a real surprise to see how good I look. My man was right! My breathing and heartrate also recovered more quickly than last time.

I am tired now. My legs are tired. I am happy. I am really pleased with the improvement in how far I can run, in my time and how I look.

I am looking forward to the 5K next weekend which I am running on my own as part of the UpandRunning 5K course. Based on today, I don’t think I am ready to run the whole 5K. But I also know that I am not far off that. And I have training plans that will help me get there. This course has rocked! I know that I wanted to run before I started but I had no idea how to go about it. This course has really provided me with the tools to get there and I love that Shauna and Julia have resources for available for once the course is over 🙂

Hurrah! On to week 8 of the course! On to the 5K next weekend! And a rest day, tomorrow 😀

Rounding Up

Sleep is a wonderful thing. I am feeling more like myself. There is still some stress and sadness but I am no longer blue. And I have come through this partly because I kept exercising which was good for my head and I did not overeat. Mentally and physically, my body came through feeling alright. On this occasion, I did not let the old ways rule my actions. I don’t think I have been as aware before of my choice not to indulge in emotional/comfort eating. I must remember that I can choose better ways. It won’t happen on every occasion but I have really started forming new habits and patterns if under stress I can choose a better way.

I did very well last week. I met all of my mini goals. Setting the mini goals was just what I needed to really bring my focus back and it worked.
– I exercised every day, averaging 73 mins a day which is a step up for me. I don’t always do my exercise in one block, I include my two 15 min walks from the carpark to work in that because I choose to park that far away to increase my exercise
– I walked up the stairs at work.
– I ate according to my food plan, averaging at 8090kJ a day.
– I did not have any alcohol.

My stats today are
Starting weight: 140.9 kg (310 lbs)
Today’s weight: 95.5 kg (210.1 lbs)
Lost since last weigh in (2 weeks ago): 1kg (2.2 lbs)
Total lost: 45.4 kg (99.9 lbs)

Today, I am rounding up. 99.9 lbs – I am calling it 100. I have lost 100 lbs. And I am so proud of that. My next goal is close by – I am looking forward to another kg gone which takes me to a loss of 1/3 my start weight.

But also, today, I ran 2kms for the first time and I came in at 14.26 minutes. I am thrilled that I can run 2km and that I came in under 15. I was so excited. Towards the end, my legs were getting a little weary but my breathing was steady. After the 2km run, I had a 5 min break followed by another 1km run. And I completed the 1km jogging – I did not have to slow to a walk. My time was a little slower but I did it. I had an awesome workout this morning and I felt so much better for it.

My day was already excellent by 8 am! And amazingly I had some great workstuff happen and so it wasn’t all downhill from there.

This week I will have some interesting challenges. There is a work lunch, a dinner out, my mother coming to stay and a 4km fun run on Sunday. I plan to exercise everyday again and I will aim for 60min in total a day. I will do my running training on Wed and Fri which leaves me a rest day before the fun run (rest meaning no running not no exercise). I hope to run most of the 4km in the fun run. My exercise will offset some of the social occasions. But even with the social occasions I will choose wisely. I have already pre-ordered lunch for Friday. I have lots of tricks up my sleeve to keep on track; I have started accepting that no alcohol is one of my best strategies for staying on track. I have goals in front of me to help me stay focussed. I won’t need to round up for long.