Tag Archives: inspiration

By hook or by crook

1 Oct

I know I can

This long weekend just gone I managed 2 x 10km walks back to back ie one on Sunday and the other yesterday. I haven’t been able to do that for a few weeks now so that is progress of sorts. So I’m ramping up the walking again over the next few weekends (I’m rapidly running out of weekends I might add). Combined with several sessions a week on the xtrainer plus weekly 2 weights sessions I’m hoping beyond hope that this will be enough to get me through New York marathon barring anything else going wrong (oops, shouldn’t have let that thought out).

I have to say that if it wasn’t for NY marathon and that I’d paid an obscene amount of money for the privilege of doing this event I probably would have thrown in the towel long ago, in fact not long after tearing my hammie attachment back in May. That’s been my usual course of action after an injury that has seen my stop running for any amount of time.

But this time I couldn’t.

NY marathon wasn’t going away and 3 November was going to come around anyway. And how awesome to be taking part in one of the biggest marathons in the world.

Even if I won’t be running.

So it has meant that I have had to train around my injury just to maintain fitness. I had a goal and by hook or by crook I was damn well going to meet it head on. Some people call me stubborn, some people call me mad.

Me? I’m just doing what I love doing – staying fit.

And yes, I am very goal oriented.

Don’t get me wrong. Yes, I love the feeling of being fit.

But really, who loves getting up at 5.30am to go to the gym for a 45 minute xtrainer or weights session?

Not me!

Who loves spending 3 to 4 to 5 hours on a Saturday afternoon doing walking training?

Not me!

Actually let me just clarify that. The thought of getting up early to get to the gym or the thought of spending hours doing walking training doesn’t exactly set my world on fire but once I’m up and out the door I do enjoy it.

And the feeling once I’ve finished, feeling hot, sweaty and tired?

Priceless!

Power hour

4 Jul

It was my second gym session for the week and this morning it was focused on shoulders, back, calves and triceps. I’ve skipped the hamstring exercises until the tendonitis settles down.

I was reading Gretchen Rubin’s blog, The Happiness Project where she was talking about heuristics ie the quick, commonsense principles we apply to solve a problem or make a decision. I liked the idea of re-naming my gym session to something more energising ie Power Hour. Sounds far more powerful and inspirational than ‘weights session’!

My power hour at the gym was spent doing upright rows, shoulder presses, calf raises, rear deltoid raises, triceps kickbacks, French press, seated row and push ups. The session started and finished with 5 mins on the xtrainer. I opted for heavier weights this morning so the final reps of some sets were a struggle but that will improve as my strength improves.

The tendonitis doesn’t feel so bad today. I haven’t done any exercises such as lunges to aggravate it so hopefully this will help with recovery.

Otherwise it was just a long day and I was glad to get home tonight. The butter chicken we had for tea was delicious, as was the lamb Biriyani we had last night. I packed ingredients for tomorrow’s lunch of herbed ricotta with roasted pumpkin open sandwich. It doesn’t look like an awful lot so I sure hope its filling! :)

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It’s what you do next…

27 Jun

It’s the usual story – I wake up and my first thought is, oh crap I really don’t feel like [select option] going to the gym/swimming/going for a jog/walk/doing weights, etc. (confession time: sometimes it resembles the opening scene from Four Weddings & a Funeral movie!)

It would be so easy just to turn over, pull the blanket up over my head to muffle the mumblings and grumblings and grab some more sleep.

After all, who would know? Who would care?

Morning tea comes and wouldn’t you know it, it’s a work colleague’s birthday so there’s food involved. I’d like to say there’s fresh fruit, natural yoghurt, and other healthy items but it’s a ‘special’ occasion so there has to be cakes, cookies, etc.

And of course there are gluten free options because everyone is so conscious of me not missing out on [select option] cake/slice/cookies/chips/dips, etc.

Go on, have one, it won’t hurt. You do so much exercise. You eat well most of the time. Go on!

Then I do start thinking, well, one wouldn’t hurt, or maybe two, or one of each? After all, who’d really care? Just this once? And they do look so delicious sitting there on the plates. Everyone else is having some so why can’t I?

I hit the mid-afternoon slump and have this overwhelming need for something to boost my energy levels.

There’s the charity chocolate box in the work kitchen. I seem to be making lots of trips to the kitchen presumably to get a drink, but that chocolate box has my name all over it. Not only could I have some chocolate that would give me energy but I’d also be donating to charity, surely that must negate the calories?!

Or how about a diet coke from the drinks dispenser downstairs? I really need something to give me a boost to get me through to dinner. Just this once? The walk down and up the stairs (74 steps in total!) would be good for me.

After dinner and all the chores are done. I’m about to sit down and watch TV. Hmm, I need a snack – I might just go and have a look in the pantry.

What was that? Have something healthy? Really?

Come on, it’s night time, I’ve had a long day, I’m tired, I deserve a treat! (cue whiny voice). This diet thing is way too hard – I feel like I’m missing out on all the fun. Why don’t I start again tomorrow? Or even better, I’ll start again next Monday. I’ve had [select option] chocolate/cake/cookies/chips, etc today, so I’ve blown my diet today, it would be better to start afresh next week, etc.

Sound familiar?
These are daily dilemmas and it’s what you do next that determines how you feel, how you look, how you function.

Yes, I can eat crap, I can decide not to exercise, I can justify until the cows come home why I’m not doing these things, I can listen to my ‘inner teenager’ or cave in to my ‘inner labrador’ BUT…and it’s a huge BUT, I also have to accept responsibility for the consequences ie weight gain, feeling like crap (eat crap = feel and look like crap), increase my risk of developing diseases as a result of an unhealthy lifestyle, suffer from joint pain due to increased weight and lack of exercise, and so forth.

So while I might grizzle, grumble and bitch sometimes about how hard it all is, I really believe the payoff is well worth it in increased wellbeing, fitness and good health.

But it’s not something that comes naturally to me; I have to work at this each and every day. I’m not superhuman, I’m not blessed with super strength willpower. To be quite honest, I’m a sloth by nature! :) And there are times when I not only fall off the wagon, the entire wagon collapses beneath me!

But back to today. This morning I had a weights session that focused on shoulders, back, triceps, hamstrings and calves. I’ve come to realise that I love back, arms and shoulder training because I see results so much sooner than I do with legs training.

It was very quiet at the gym today, maybe it had something to do with some footy game that was on last night? You know, something about state of origin or some such thing?! Anyway I appreciated the quietness because it meant that I had access to free weights and machines without having to wait for someone else to finish.

Breakfast today was berry bruschetta and for lunch I had corn chowder plus a home grown mandarin. For tea tonight we had kangaroo with mashed pumpkin and ginger and mango glaze. I’ve also received next week’s menu plan and I’m looking forward to banana bruschetta, herbed ricotta with roast pumpkin open sandwich, and lamb biryani, among others.

And remember, when faced with choices – it’s what you do next that matters.

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Attitude is contagious…is yours worth catching?

20 Jun

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Have you noticed that if you are around someone who is pessimistic, negative and has a ‘can’t be bothered’ attitude, that after a while you begin feeling tired, drained and negative yourself? Negative people drag you down. Conversely hang around someone who has a positive outlook, is optimistic (without being a Pollyanna) and up for a challenge, and you feel so inspired and want to do more.

A positive attitude to life, healthy eating and exercise can make a world of difference. I know that when I feel positive and inspired that everything seems so much easier – whether that’s following a healthy eating program, going to the gym or just not eating crap. And doing all of these things helps to maintain a positive attitude so it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I try to associate with people who are going to pull me up, not drag me down. I’m very fortunate that I have so many positive, healthy and wonderful friends who continually to inspire and amaze me, and make me want to become a better version of me.

This morning I had my second weight session for the week, focusing on my hamstrings, shoulders and back. There was no running today – my next running session won’t happen until Saturday. You can’t rush these things. But there have been no adverse effects from yesterday’s attempts so that’s gotta be good.

And yes, I do have to admit that when I first wake up in the morning and peer at the clock, my initial thoughts are along the lines that I don’t want to get out of bed or go the gym, especially now its so chilly. I am human, after all. :)

But because I have prepped all my gear the night before, ie my gym bag is packed, I have my program so I know what I’ll be doing when I get to the gym, my clothes are out ready for me to get dressed…I really have no excuse to get up and go. And I do know that once I get to the gym, or go for an early morning brisk walk, or go to the pool (well ok this takes a bit more convincing in Winter) I will feel so much better and then once I have completed the session, I am glad that I made the effort to go. Sometimes you really do have to fake it until you make it. And exercising first thing in the morning is a great way to start the day…once I make that decision to get out of bed!

There were no more breakfasts or lunches out today, thank goodness! It was lovely to catch up with friends over a meal but eating out can be such a minefield. Now, though, I can stick to my program and know what I am eating, calorie and ingredient-wise. Today I had baked beans and avocado toast for breakfast, left over chicken tikka curry with cauliflower mash for lunch and beef moussaka for dinner. Perfect meals for the cold weather.

But right now I have to make time to listen to Michelle’s latest videos…for a positive attitude top-up!

Eye of the tiger

7 Mar

Session: early morning run (5.43am)

Distance: 14km
Time: 1hr 23.14min
Av pace: 5.52min/km
Cals: 872
Weather: 9*c, wind – N, 6kph so a cool but pleasant morning.

I was channelling Rocky on this morning’s run. Don’t ask me why. I didn’t wake up and think “It’s the eye of the tiger, its the thrill of the fight, risin’ up to the challenge of our rival…”, and punch the air before getting out of bed. I wasn’t even thinking Rocky when I started running.

But about halfway into the run, an image of Rocky running the streets in his trackies and hoodie popped up. Goodness knows why, it’s been years since I’ve seen the movie and its all a bit vague. Maybe I was feeling tired and it was feeling all a bit same old same old. But I remember when Rocky was running the streets as part of his training and of course the scene when he runs up the steps to the entrance of the Philadelphia Museum of Art to “Gonna Fly Now”. Which by the way makes a great running mantra – “trying hard now, it’s so hard now, trying hard now. Getting strong now, won’t be long now, getting strong now. Gonna fly now, flying high now, gonna fly, fly, fly.”

Well there was no running up steps this morning but the image of Rocky running the streets inspired me to hang in there and keep going. Gosh, I might’ve even done a couple of fist pumps just because…

Maybe I should download Eye of the Tiger or Gonna Fly Now to my iPod for inspiration. ;)

“The world ain’t all sunshine & rainbows. It’s a very mean & nasty place, and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees & keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit & keep moving forward. How much you can take & keep moving forward. ‘Thats how winning is done’.” – Rocky

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Streaker extraordinaire

1 Dec
1 Dec 2012_Praiano, Amalfi Coast

1 Dec 2012_Praiano, Amalfi Coast

This morning a group of us celebrated an awesome milestone – Ewen has run every day for 365 days without a break. Streaker extraordinaire! It all began a little over 12 months ago when I was just starting to get back into running after having a long time off with a torn hamstring. The US Runners World had started a running streak challenge between Thanksgiving and Christmas and I decided that it sounded like a fun thing to do. And then I decided I would keep on running into the new year. Ewen had decided to join in given that he can’t resist a challenge and for a while so did Speedy Geoff and Janene. However, for various reasons (injury, illness) our respective running streaks came to an end – except for Ewen! And he’s still going! Today he ran 15km and then we celebrated the achievement with bubbly, cheesecake and strawberries. Followed by coffee and perusing Avon catalogues! :) It was a great morning.

Well done Ewen…..but we are still waiting for the actual..ahem…”running streak”! ;)

Meanwhile I did a hills session on the bike this morning – 7 x 2 min hill repeats. I’m starting with a modest hill and will progress from there! Even so, the first repeat had me wondering whether I’d even get to 5 repeats, let alone 7! Fortunately I did improve with each one.

Tomorrow: the plan is to swim in the morning (2km) and then run later in the day. Lets hope it’s not too hot.

“Challenges make life interesting, however, overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” ~ Mark Twain

Celebrate ALL achievements

11 Oct

Warning! A rant ahead……..

I believe we should be cheering on, supporting, celebrating everyone’s achievements when it comes to all things fitness. Whether it be running 5, 10, 21, 42 or 100km, achieving a PB at crossfit, doing week 3 of Couch to 5km, doing a triathlon (whether it be a sprint distance, HIM or IM and everything in between), Pilates, whatever. Lately I’ve been reading or hearing of mean spiritness and a misguided sense of  athletic superiority eg only an ultra is considered ‘real’ running etc and this saddens me. It saddens me because why can’t we just celebrate any type of athletic endeavour, acknowledge and applaud the effort that each individual puts into their chosen activity. Given the troubling statistics showing rates of  increasing obesity, with more and more people being sedentary and suffering lifestyle diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, various cancers, etc, I think we should be applauding anyone who gets out there and makes a difference in their own lives, regardless of what the activity is. Not everyone can be an elite athlete, or even a good athlete (whatever that means) but, in all honesty, it’s the effort that counts.

And please when someone responds to what you may have written about your training or the doubts that you might be feeling in respect of an event you are training for, by telling you that you will be awesome, don’t shoot them down for saying that, in some misguided belief that its putting pressure on that person. You know what, I am awesome! 12 months ago I was just starting out running again having most of last year off due to a torn hamstring, and now fast forward to the present and I am just over 2 weeks away from competing in a half Ironman triathlon, yes I believe I am awesome. Awesome for giving it a shot, for training my butt off for the past 5 1/2 months, and at least giving it a go.  It won’t be a fast time, I won’t qualify for anything, but having a BHAG has got me off my butt and motivated to do something that not a lot of people will do. It doesn’t make me superior to others, it doesn’t make me a ‘real’ triathlete or athlete, but that’s not the point of doing something like this. I wanted to see if I could do this, for me, nobody else.

So please, applaud the achievements of everyone who is out there keeping fit, training for events, just starting out on the road to fitness, returning from injury. Everyone is a champion. Celebrate your awesomeness – no-one can take that away from you :)

Ok, rant over…….back to my training program and tonight I celebrated my awesomeness ;) by doing the second of my bike interval sessions. As part of this session there were 4 big hills – well, virtual ones! I had 4 x 10min in a moderate-hard gear so I visualised cycling up long hills. This was hot sweaty work which was no mean feat given that my wind trainer is outdoors, in the carport. The rain was pouring down outside, at least I was under cover but it wasn’t exactly warm (well not until I warmed up on the bike and then I was hot!).

Tomorrow: the plan is a 2.4km swim session before work.

“Life is a journey, not a destination.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

ps WordPress is playing up at the moment and I can’t post a photo – will try again tomorrow :)

Counting down

26 Aug

Its nine weeks today to Port Macquarie 70.3 triathlon. 2 months, 1 week. 63 days. Whatever way you look at it, time is marching on. And between now and then there is still a lot of work to do. And I’m trying not to stress about it too much.

Which is why it was great to catch up with Jen, my wonderful coach this morning. To touch base, to talk about the course (ie the hilly bike course), and what is in store over the next 9 weeks (hmm, a lot more time on the bike and something about introducing intensity on those…ahem…runs off the bike). Besides it’s always nice to catch up with Jen, just because she is a lovely person ;)

And of course we had to have a macaron with our coffee :) (as you know this is all part of my finely tuned, nutritionally balanced triathlete’s diet).

And later in the day, I did a 10km run which was not only highly enjoyable (did I really say that?!) but also invigorating. I really do love running the day after the long bike sessions. I always expect that I will be tired but I find that I run strong, that my legs feel really good. I can’t explain this phenomenon but enjoy it nonetheless. Now if can get the same effect from those runs straight off the bike I’d be a very happy woman :)

Last night’s dinner at The Hungry Buddha in Curtin was great and really tasty. For entrée, I had pakora, followed by Khasi Ko Masu (curry of tender boneless goat flavoured with fenugreek, cinnamon, tomatoes, coriander, bay, ginger and garlic) and pulao rice (saffron rice spiced with cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, bay, cashew nuts and peas), and Kheer for dessert (rice pudding flavored with cardamom, raisins, saffron, cashew nuts, pistachios and almonds). There were lots of gluten-free dishes to choose from.

Tomorrow: the plan is to swim in the morning and then run intervals on the treadmill after work. It’s the start of my recovery week which can’t come soon enough!

“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can.” – John Wooden

 

Pump it

31 Jul

This Black Eyed Peas song was playing when I was doing weights in the gym this morning. So appropriate. Though when I got to the squat jumps/pushups/burpees/lunges circuit it was more like “cark it”! I take my hat off to anyone who can string together more than 10 burpees using good form because quite frankly, I suck at them!

After a really great coffee at Dead Man Espresso in South Melbourne (where you are well & truly spoilt for choice in cafes & great coffee), we met KT for lunch at World restaurant in Southbank. She is one truly inspiring woman who has had the goal of running marathons in every state/territory & will realize that goal in a month’s time in Alice Springs. And she’s doing Port Mac half ironman in October. And the best thing is it will be great doing this event with a friend!

Then it was back to the gym later this afternoon for my regular Tuesday bike intervals session for 45 mins. Those legs were pumping again! But it was a good workout. And I had worked up an appetite for dinner which was beef and red wine stew, followed by homemade apple crumble :) All part of my finely tuned, nutritionally balanced, elite athlete diet ;)

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