yaninasmarathon

See it, aim for it and do it. Stretch yourself and grow!

Archive for the tag “health”

Goal Setting

Have you set your 2014 fitness/running goals yet? Apart from keeping up with my running and doing races, I have also made it my mission to be able to do 10 full pull-ups by the end of this year.

It got me thinking that a good way to get to the bigger goal is to set yourself smaller ones along the way. Do a bit of backwards planning. Write down the steps needed to get you to your end goal, then set a date for achieving each one. Use the SMART formula. Celebrate your success when you achieve each step. Before you know it your ultimate goal will be achieved….and you may do it sooner than you imagined.

Why not share your fitness goal for 2014 with everyone? Once it’s out there, others can help you to achieve it. Leave a comment and share what you are aiming for 🙂

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A Cause Has Appeared

Yesterday I made it my intention to run for a cause, today an email landed in my inbox, it seemed I should do something so I have. Here’s the link, have a look, share it around, and support a worthy cause.

Have a fantastic day! 🙂

https://colorrunauckland2014.everydayhero.com/nz/running-for-less

Tired and Wired

Today as I was running past some fast food outlets I noticed a truck doing deliveries. It caught my attention because it was delivering one of the popular caffeinated drinks consumed by many (mostly) young people. It contains 161mg of caffeine! It made me think about how the market has driven companies to formulate these products. Society, by and large, demands that we keep up with the rat race, keep going all day, work long hours, work all week and weekend. These days we always are near some form of communication, a mobile phone, a computer, laptop or tablet, everyone can get hold of us at any time. There is an expectation to be available 24/7. So many people end up with adrenal exhaustion from stress, stress that causes a false fright or flight state, false because it becomes permanent. Then these same people need something to keep them going because the adrenal fatigue causes great tiredness and they turn to stimulants, the most prevalent being caffeine. And so they end up wired…and tired.

What would be so much more energising is allowing oneself the time to relax, go for a walk in the bush, sit by the ocean and breathe in the sea air, listen to the birds in the trees. Sleep late once a week, eat nutritious food, switch off the gadgets, don’t be available 24/7. Allow yourself to just BE 🙂

Poised At The Bottom Of The Hill

Today I got wet…well I should rather say soaked! I had about one hour left of my long run (today was 24km) and the rain came down. At one stage it was quite painful! Stoically I kept going, the result being I ran too fast once again, and I was dripping, sloshing and squishing by the time I finished and reached the shelter of my hubby’s car. I did think to myself that had I been doing next Sundays run of 35km, I may have given up…or would I?

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Today also marks four weeks to go until the Gold Coast Marathon. Finally I am feeling excited. Due to the weather (it has not stopped raining since 9am!) I have been preparing my taper and subsequent carb load by entering all the relevant information into my training sheet. It feels good to have it all down on paper so it’s out of my head, which leaves room for other thoughts. Like the fact that I am poised of the eve of my biggest training week ever! This week marks an 81km week culminating in the 35km long run on Sunday.

Now, if you have been following my blog since last year, you may remember that at this stage in the build up to the Auckland Marathon I became ill and had to miss out the 35km planned run, so I never did the big week and long run, and consequently I am feeling a little apprehensive about my body’s ability to cope with the (in my mind) massive mileage. No doubt I shall be fine, but I am nonetheless nervous about it. What helps me though, is the knowledge that after that the taper begins, and so the next big run is the race itself! All I have to do is get through this week and all will be fine. I feel like I am poised at the bottom of a steep hill, looking up to the top where Sundays run lurks, and then on to the other side where the taper is waiting until the final climb of the race and the ultimate relief of the recovery week.

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A Teeny Blip

I am in a quandary. It seems I may have a teeny umbilical hernia. This is definitely NOT part of my planned lead up to the GC Marathon!

On Tuesday evening I got up from watching TV and noticed a tender area just below my belly button. There was a small lump there and my hubby suggested it may be a hernia. My brain refused to accept this and so I decided to wait until today to see if it went away. This is typical of me as I am not one to go screaming and yelling to the doctor at the slightest, or even more serious, sniffle or twinge. I prefer to see if my body will heal itself, as it should.

Anyway, I continued with my training on Wednesday and come yesterday morning as I was heading out for my 16km run, my friend also suggested it may be a hernia. So after my run I succumbed and rang the doctor and got an appointment for that evening. And so she also suggested it may be a very small hernia (it really is less than the size of a pea) and has written me a referral to the specialist. So now I wait for an appointment.

In the interim, my doctor thinks its fine that I continue to run, as she knows I am training for the GC, but I am now worried I may do more damage by doing this. I have a long 32km run on Sunday coming up and I don’t want to miss it. I also don’t want to make myself worse! And all this is whizzing around in my head as it is not a confirmed diagnosis yet.

So today I am in a quandary, which is possibly why I am procrastinating with doing my workout for today (strength and 6km easy run) as I am not sure if it is a good idea.

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Learning To Breathe

It has been an eventful week, both running and just as a family. Not in a negative way though. My youngest daughter has been home from Uni for two weeks (we dropped her off back in Auckland yesterday) and my husband had a further check up with his specialist about his hip. It was great having my daughter home, and her cat was extremely happy as the two cats we have don’t really get on, so when she’s not here the other one mopes a bit. My husband is happy too, as he is now able to drive again, which makes me happy as I don’t have to a) take him everywhere and b) have him going on about my driving…..

In amongst all of this going on, I have been learning a new breathing technique which I read about in a recent issue of Runner’s World magazine. Basically it meant that I had to unlearn my previous breathing pattern of inhale for 2, out for three, 2:2 as I got faster, and 3:3 for easy runs, and start breathing in for 3 and out for 2, or 2:1, or the hardest (and I still can’t get this) 2:1:1:1. Anyway, this is too complicated to explain it all so you can read about it here. Needless to say, I have definitely noticed a difference, although it is very east to fall into my old pattern as I get tired. Which I certainly did yesterday.

My training for the GC Marathon has been going well to a point. I say this because I realised last week that I have been running really slowly. So I ramped it up on my 11km midweek run last week and it felt really good. Then I looked at my training schedule and realised slow was what I was supposed to have been doing, up until this week, as I was working on strength and not speed until now. Speed starts tomorrow! I find it quite amazing that I subconsciously felt it was time to go faster, even if I preempted it by a week. Maybe there’s something to be said in waiting a little longer, and I can be impatient, but then listening to your body is something I have been going on about for a while. And this leads me back to getting tired yesterday.

My long run was for 26km and seeing as we were away I decided to run from Colville to Cor0mandel.

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That’s a picture of the cafe and general store. The cafe is fantastic, called The Green Snapper, and if you’re ever up there you must pop in. We went up to the bach for the weekend on the way to take my daughter back to Auckland. I logged my run on MapMyRun and you can see it here. It takes in three enormous hills that climb forever (well it felt like it to me!) and so I listened to my energy levels and walked when I needed to. It rained a bit on the way, nothing too bad, which was lucky as the prediction was for wild weather! I have decided that it is my last hilly long run now, as the strength phase of my training is done, and now I am going more for endurance and speed. The GC is a flat race and there’s nothing like the principle of specificity. Train flat for a flat race, and I plan to get in under 4:30 this time! Anyway, to get back to the breathing….I have found that done properly, this new technique has definitely helped me to feel more comfortable and dare I say it….faster. Watch this space!

A Snapshot Of My Current Journey

I am just a little over half way through my first week of my weight loss month and so far the workouts have been fun. To let you in on a snapshot of my month, each week looks like this:

Day 1: EPOC run

Day 2: Strength workout

Day 3: Relaxed time trial

Day 4: Fat-burning run

Day 5: Strength workout

Day 6: Fasting run

Day 7: Rest

My day one falls on a Tuesday, so my rest day is a Monday. I like to have Monday off and just do some stretching exercises and maybe a walk if I get a bit fidgety.

Each week gets a little harder, and follows the FITT principle to some degree (the frequency does not change in the 4 weeks). If you would like a description of the workouts I can send them to you.

I am enjoying the new training programme and am also enjoying addressing my nutrition. I have found that planning what meals I am going to eat a week in advance, has kept me on track and I am starting to feel the results. There are many resources out there with regard to eating and it really is a matter of seeing what will work for you. I have been wheat free for a few months now, which in all reality has made me choose gluten free options. In addition I am experimenting with different options for the grain based meals. For instance tonight I am making a bolognaise mince, but will be putting it onto a kumara and cauliflower mash (now I’m hungry!)

Another thing I started 8 days ago is a 21 day meditation journey. I am finding this a great help with becoming aware of bad habits. I started this mainly because I do not sleep very well, and put this down to being too hyped up and worried about stuff. Seems like I can switch it all off when I run though…..now I have to learn to switch it off at night!

So there is a lot going on this month for me, but so far I am enjoying it and looking forward to popping out the other end and looking back on my achievement and then what will I do? Celebrate!

Celebrate!

Today I did my longest run since the Colville Connection. I ran around the Mount base track and back to the start and as I set out I was feeling good. Halfway through the first lap I got quite tired and once again it was the hills that did it. I am really not very hill fit…..well I think that I’m not but maybe in comparison to other people I may be.

I was thinking about comparisons while I was running. Even though I felt tired, I reminded myself that 4 years ago I was overweight and unfit, and was not able to make one lap around the Mount without taking many walk breaks. It made me think that there is always improvement to be made, and also that to get fit and healthy is a journey, and you need to go back and revisit the past sometimes to see how far you have come, and the most important thing is that you need to celebrate that achievement.

My husband and I were having a discussion in the car on the way home from my run. It was on a totally unrelated topic, but it has meaning here. We were talking about how many young people these days either get killed or badly injured in car crashes, and what causes this. We were discussing the absence of calculated risk taking in today’s society, how children may not climb trees and jump off high things, how many children spend their days glued to the X-box in a world of unreality. We discussed how society has become too PC, and coupled with this is a “tall poppy” syndrome, where to celebrate any success is seen as something to be avoided, lest we offend someone who hasn’t done the same. Let’s all just participate.

But that is not what life is about, mere participation. Life is to be celebrated and achievements we make throughout that life, however small they may be, are worth celebrating. Don’t rely on other people to congratulate you, congratulate yourself, celebrate! So I congratulate myself for the achievement of becoming fitter over the last 4 years, and the fact that today felt a little hard….well really that is a fantastic thing!

Time To Slim Down

It’s been a week since the Colville Connection, and I have had this last week “off”. I put this in inverted commas because I haven’t done nothing exercise wise, just had a cruisier week with lots of walking, a few jogs and some strength training. I have found it quite enjoyable actually, and I think it is really important to have a week like this after an event, just to recharge the batteries, take off some of the physical and mental stress of training for an event.

My next event is the Gold Coast Half Marathon at the beginning of July. We have booked our accommodation already and online entries open on Monday. Then we need to book flights, so keeping an eye out for specials all the time. But before all of this is a month of trimming down.

Ever since the final lead up to the Auckland Marathon I have been a little heavier than I thought I ought to be for a runner. Finally in the March issue of Runner’s World magazine this thought was justified when I saw the article about your perfect running weight. According to this article I could be lighter, so Monday I start with their recommended training programme to shed those few kilos I need to make me faster and feel fitter. Combined with a healthy eating plan, I should drop about 500g a week so it will take me about 6 weeks to get to where I need to be. The training programme runs for a month and I plan to slot into the half training schedule after that to prepare for the Gold Coast.

I don’t think this will be easy as I have been quite free with my food choices and portion sizes. I feel there shall be some hungry moments in the days to come, hopefully not long lasting!

Wish me luck!

Ready, Set….

I know my race is soon, or should I say my body knows it. Or perhaps my mind is the one with the knowledge and my body is displaying the classic “there is a race this weekend” symptoms. I am sure those of you who are runners out there may at one time or another experienced these symptoms….things start hurting for no reason.

You are happily in your taper week and up until this week, things have been pretty okay. No injuries, fitness levels are good, you’re feeling ready. And then suddenly race week comes around and little niggles appear. Today it was my left knee and right ankle, yesterday my right shin. Added to this I am having the usual “I am not ready, I haven’t trained enough!” running through my head. Absolute nonsense, as I am ready and definitely have trained enough, but there it is, running around, driving me silly.

This race will be what it is, somewhat different on a few counts. My hubby is coming along, crutches in hand, to cheer me on from the comfort of the deck at the family bach. I will wave to him twice, when we pass right at the beginning, and again at the end of the race. This is my first trail/off road race, half marathon distance and so I have no idea of expected finish times. I know it will take me longer than a road race, and that’s all I know. Guess I will find out on the day. Finally, it starts quite late…9.15am…which for a hot summer day is going to make for a hot run. I am used to running and racing earlier.

So there it is….race in 3 days time, and I am as ready as I am going to be for it.

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