Tag Archives: training

And the pressure’s on

12 Oct

Flyer NY marathon

Its official!

Bib number: 56290

Blue Wave #4 / Corral #56

Start time: 10.55am

The bit that has me worried though is the following:

SWEEP BUS and STREET OPENINGS

Sweep buses will follow the marathon route at a 6 1/2-hour marathon pace, roughly 15 minutes per mile, after the 10:55 a.m. start. These buses will transport any entrant who wishes to drop out to the post-finish area.
• After the sweep buses pass by, the city streets will reopen to traffic. Cross-street protection, medical assistance, aid stations, and other services will no longer be available. Runners on the course should move onto the sidewalks. The official end time of the race is 7:25 p.m.

I’m in the 10.55am wave. This means that the sweep bus will not be too far behind me. Nothing like applying the pressure. As it is, I was giving myself 7 hours to do the distance. Now I’ll have to revise and somehow try to do it in 6.30hr.

The other thing that has me worried is that I start an hour before lunch and will finish about 6pm, all going to plan. I’m going to be starving. I have the choice of water, sports drink and powergels, with fruit available from mile 20 onwards. I think I need to pack some bars in my fuel belt. I’ll be looking forward to dinner that night! :)

Today’s long walk

I was up early (5am) for a 6am start today – to walk 27km, my longest walk to date. This time I had breakfast before I left home. Last week I didn’t and I was starving by the end. I also wore my fuel belt today with 2 water bottles. I didn’t carry any extra food as I didn’t think I needed it. However I think for the final 2 long walks (30 and 34 km) before the marathon I will carry snacks so I can work out what will provide the best source of energy plus keep the hunger pains away.

My hip felt fine when I started but by the time 11kms had clicked over I was feeling it again…bugger. I saw Ruth near my turnaround point. After a brief chat (we were meeting up for lunch a few hours later) I set off for home. Other than discomfort in the hip area everything else was fine. I was tired by the time I had finished and was glad to stop. Also, the walk home is harder than the walk to Lake Burley Griffin because I walk down to the lake, which means there are hills I have to walk up on the return journey.

Stats:

Distance – 27.2km

Time – 4hr 27.08min

Pace – 9.48min/km

 

The human iceblock

27 Jul
This was the temperature part way through my walk

This was the temperature part way through my walk

I was the human iceblock this morning. From 5.50am to about 8.15am I was outdoors walking 15km in sub-zero temperatures. I just did not warm up, nor did it get warmer. By the time I finished I could just glimpse the faint rays of the sun through the clouds or fog or whatever it was. I have to admit there were times when I was so close to quitting or tempted to ring Mr CJ, although his reaction to coming and picking me up so early in the morning is probably what prevented me from doing that! On the return trip (it was an out and back walk) I was focused on the coffee and the mushroom omelette I was planning on having for breakfast. I am so food focused sometimes but whatever gets me to the finish line!

Anyhoo I walked 15km at a fairly constant pace for 2 hours and 21 minutes. Most disheartening was that I only burnt 578 calories. By the time I got back home every part of me was frozen and it took a while before my hands could function properly again. Which was a bit of an issue as I was starving and trying to prepare my breakfast!

Honestly its times like these that make me wish we lived in the tropics! :)

And now, later in the day, its starting to catch up with me. I’m feeling so tired. I find it staggering that I can run 15km and it doesn’t bother me yet walking 15km totally wears me out. Ok, I have gone shopping, done some housework, the washing, our tax, but still. I don’t think I’ll be long out of bed tonight.  :)

Today's long walk

Today’s long walk

Mini milestone week

1 Jul

Its week 8 of the 12WBT program this week. This means we’re about 2/3 of the way through, once this week is over. It’s gone so quickly.

It’s also mini milestone week so this means updating measurements, re-doing the fitness test and completing the mini milestone activity on Saturday. The activity is a biathlon (rower & run) but I’m going to do a triathlon with a difference: it will involve xtrainer, bike and run. I’m hoping to increase the run distance to 5-6k, if my physio gives me the nod. I’ll find out tomorrow :)

My other milestone activity is trying on a pair of jeans that I haven’t been able to fit in for a couple of years. At week 4 I could do up the zip but there was still some progress to be made.

Back to this morning. Today I was doing my walk/run session. Last Friday I ran 3km with no stopping. Today the plan was to do my regular 6km course, walking the first and last kilometre and running 4km non-stop.

Dressed in running singlet and long sleeved top plus fleecy tights I headed out the door. Nope, still cold. Backtracked, and added arm warmers. Headed out again. Nope, still cold. Back indoors, on went headband and cap plus gloves. Headed out again. Third time lucky. I felt warm enough to continue!

I walked the first kilometre very briskly just to stay warm. Then I was running. For 4km. One foot in front of the other. For 4km. At a gentle running pace. For 4km. And then I had reached 5km and it was back to a walk for the last kilometre home.

I felt good. But I wasn’t going to push it. Time is not on my side. I can’t afford any back sliding now. NY marathon is November 3. I’m currently running 4km at a time. See my predicament?!

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The road to the New York Marathon

26 Jun

A marathon begins with a single step…

This morning I walked/jogged 6km and I think I probably jogged more than I walked. So I’m taking this as the start of my journey to the New York marathon – from this to running 42.2km in just over 18 weeks. A big ask? I hope not but only time will tell. Anyway back to this morning – I decided that instead of going to the gym for a cardio session I would do my 6km circuit around home. It wasn’t frosty, there was no rain, and it wasn’t too windy. I had a bit of a dilemma re clothing. What do I wear for a jog/walk session? I get cold while walking but I certainly warm up while running. But would my excruciatingly slow jogging be enough to keep me warm? In the end I opted for the gear I wear when I go for an early morning walk. This involves 4 layers of clothes – running singlet, long sleeved fleecy top, long sleeved running top, big polar fleece jacket, fleecy running tights, tracky pants, gloves, headband and cap! I decided against the scarf today!

But of course I hadn’t contemplated running for as long as I did! So guess who got quite hot?! I did briefly contemplate calling by the house partway through my session to remove several layers but then decided I could tough (or sweat) it out. I need to re-think my clothing for these early morning sessions, unless it is sub zero temperatures! By the time I headed back into a heated house, I felt like I’d been in a sauna. I was most definitely warmed up for the next stage of my exercise session – 50 pushups and dips.

The jog/walk went really well. There was no pain, no twinges, and no aches. It was just a gentle plod along to Guns’n’Roses Welcome to the Jungle, among others. As I said it was a pleasant morning after the particularly chilly windy and wet weather we’ve had recently. I’m hoping to jog a very slow 3km on Friday morning before my core strengthening session. It’s all progress.

It was weigh in day today but this morning the scales were not my friend – a 600g gain. Boo! However I’m not too fussed about this because I feel good, my clothes fit much better, and there are some items that I have started wearing again that I haven’t been able to fit into for quite some time.

For breakfast I had the scrambled eggs with spinach and avocado. It was delicious and filling but I have this annoying thing about thinking I need toast to go with my eggs. I even calculated reducing the amount of avocado and having a slice of toast instead but then reminded myself that as part of doing this program I was going to follow the menu plan and recipes to the letter (well apart from adding herbs and spices to add a bit of flavour oomph). So I went without the toast and you know what, I didn’t need it. A similar thing happened over the weekend when I had an omelette on Sunday.it was without toast but I was trying to justify why I needed a slice of toast with it. In the end I went without the toast and again, I hadn’t needed it. It’s just habit to include toast but its proving a stubborn habit to break. It’s only a minor thing but it just goes to show how sometimes I eat food just because its habit and not really because I need it.

For lunch I had the antipasto pita pocket again. I think it was meant to be the tuna and coleslaw pita pocket for lunch today but we didn’t have any cabbage at home and the last couple of days its been too cold to go out to the shops at lunchtime to buy some. However I did venture out at lunchtime today, bought both the red and green cabbages and will have that particular recipe on Friday.

I also ventured into Kikki K and walked out with a recipe folder and inserts, as you do. The grand plan is to organise my recipes.

Back to the antipasto pocket – you can’t go wrong with roasted capsicum, feta, artichokes, grated carrot, lettuce and eggplant dip. It’s a delicious combination. Tonight for tea, and for lunch tomorrow, I’m having corn chowder.

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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!

The week that was: review of week 3

2 Jun

I can’t believe that it’s been almost 3 weeks since I started this round of 12WBT. It used to be said that to form a habit takes 21 days. However there seems to be a shift in thinking lately that it takes anywhere between 26 – 66 days depending on the habit you’re either trying to make or break.

However I have noticed that I’m not picking at food between meals, I’m trying to differentiate between head and stomach hunger (ie kicking the emotional eating habit) and most of the time I’m satisfied with less on my plate. It does help that the weekly menus offer up tasty options and for someone who loves variety, this program offers plenty of variety.

Not that I’m anywhere near perfect, no way, not by a long shot. Ask me again in 66 days! ;)

This was how week 3 panned out for me:

Monday – froze on my early morning walk. Note to self: wear more warm clothes! Dealt with a social event with amazing restraint. Diet coke anyone?!

Tuesday – apparently I’m an elite athlete according to a health check I had today! On the serious front, my cholesterol ratio is improving. This has been a long time coming. Had my weekly physio appointment and there has been some teensy improvement – I have been given the go ahead to use a recumbent bike at the gym!

Wednesday – lost 300g! Discovered that lentils and I have an uncomfortable relationship. Underwhelmed with dhal.

Thursday – weights session and 5 mins on the recumbent bike! Amazing how little things like this can make my day! Busy planning next weeks menu and exercise program.

Friday – a hungry day. The grumbling gremlins made their presence felt in the afternoon. Drove me crazy. But I didn’t attack the charity chocolate box (just thought about!)

Saturday – my version of a SSS – swim, pool walking, bike, treadmill and weights. The grumbling gremlins hung around again today. Deployed my secret weapon. I also made and ate an awesome chicken, roasted eggplant and capsicum roll with ricotta & baby spinach for lunch. Did the final 50 push-ups for a total of 300 for the week (two weeks now).

Sunday – rest day. Loved the smoked salmon cases with salad for lunch. Very fancy schmancy!

Week 4 – bring it on!

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Those fancy schmancy smoked salmon & tomato cases with salad

Flags

23 May

This morning was potentially a red flag day.

And what is a red flag day you might ask?

These are days where you know you are going to be challenged nutrition wise. This morning our work area had organised a Biggest Morning Tea event so there were going to be lots of baked goodies. Ok normally this isn’t an issue for me because I can’t eat most baked items but some people had very graciously baked gluten free items and then informed me of this. That’s right, they were putting the guilts on me because they had spent time and effort baking food with ingredients they don’t normally use so that I could eat them.

There were brownies and Florentines on offer – omg, lots of delicious gooey chocolatey goodness. I love Florentines. And brownies aren’t so bad either. And you should’ve seen the range of other baked goodies set out on the table for morning tea – cup cakes, mini cheesecakes, sausage rolls, croissants, cookies, cake, etc. Actually come to think of it, there were no macarons. Obviously either cup cakes are easier to make than macarons, or macarons are not in favour in our branch.

However, I am happy to report that there was no waving the white flag and surrendering to these calorie-laden, artery clogging, oh so chocolatey, delicious looking delights. In fact, I wasn’t even tempted. As I said, if it’s not on my program I aint eating it. I’ll donate money (which I did given it was a fundraising venture) but I didn’t have any brownies or Florentines. Not a crumb. I have to say, letting people know that I’m following the program has made it easier for me to stick to it because I have made the commitment out loud. Everyone knows about it, not just me. I can’t sneak in non-Mish-approved snacks because people know what I’m doing.

Instead I had my natural yoghurt with mixed berries, which is one of my favourite snacks. Chobani natural yoghurt is delicious. I love a thick, dollopy yoghurt and this yoghurt ticks all of the boxes for thickness and dollopiness. However, I don’t like their fruit flavours – these are much too sweet and the yoghurt is not as thick so I prefer to have the no fat natural yoghurt and add my own fruit or flavourings. At least then I know what’s in it and I’m not adding more sugar than I need.

And there was no flagging at the gym this morning either, even though I’m really only doing half a workout.

There was the warm up on the treadmill before doing assisted chin ups. I thought I had selected the correct weight but when I got up and grabbed the handles I damn near killed myself. Waaaay too heavy. Get off, add some more weight (the more weight added, the easier it becomes – the reverse of most machines), get back up and damn, still too heavy. I know it’s been a while since I’ve used this machine but surely I haven’t lost that much strength. And I’m not that heavy. Really. So get off, add more weight…and then I looked more closely at which weight I had selected. No wonder I was struggling – I had gone a lot lighter than I thought which meant I was pulling up more of my own body weight – I really must wear my glasses! Once that was sorted I managed to complete the exercise.

There were more exercises but no dramas. Then another 5 mins on the treadmill followed by 5 min on the arm crank thingo. I’m so not rapt in this cardio machine – it is boring, boring, boring. But I have very few cardio options at the moment so I have to suck it up and use it. BUT only 5mins at a time – I cannot do more than this without screaming from sheer boredom.

The push up challenge continues. 200 down, 100 to go :)

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Weighing up my options

21 May

Week #2, day #2.

That must mean its weights day in the gym. I’m feeling the effects of yesterday’s 50 push ups and the swim-with-pull-buoy session and now I’m going to add to it with an upper body weights session. I have this vision of morphing into the Incredible Hulk in the upper body with puny legs!

Discovered, when I got to the gym, that I was wearing the heart rate monitor strap for the wrong watch. Fail! I found myself automatically heading to the cross trainer for my warm up before stopping myself. Uh huh, no can do. So it was a 5 min gentle walk on the treadmill followed by 5 min on the upper body ergometer aka the arm crank machine. This is a very deceptive machine. It looks easy. You stand and pedal with your arms, end of story. Resistance can be varied. I thought the treadmill was boring – this machine tops that. Five minutes on this machine feels like an eternity and its hard work. Yes, I admit, I turned the resistance down…and down…and down. Five minutes is my limit – both in endurance and boredom tolerance level.

Much as I wanted to use the leg press, or do squats and lunges I stayed well away from this part of the gym. Instead what followed was a circuit of lat pulldown, cable rows, chest press, shoulder press, barbell curls and tricep dips. And another 25 pushups – in public this time. It didn’t help my technique any but I was conscious of not face planting, as my arms were feeling very jelly-like by now. (another 25 push ups done after work). Only 200 push ups to go!

It will be interesting to see whether I can even move my upper body tomorrow, let alone swim! :)

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A tale of two posts

14 May

Amazing how things can change in a day, in fact in less than 12 hours. So what follows are “before” and “after” posts.

Post 1: Getting my s*** together

6.05am: weights session + abs
Time: 54.28min
AHR: 104; MHR: 221 (HRM is playing up)
Cals: 132

I didn’t need an alarm clock this morning. Around 4am I stretched out my left leg and…*wham*…cramp attack! Holy crap, that’s a horrible way to be woken. It is the most painful thing – the intense cramping pain that just seems to go on and on and on.

However I didn’t get up at that hour – even I draw the line there. That is just way too early. Instead after a fortifying coffee brought in by Mr CJ before he headed off to work, I eventually got up around 5.35am. Plenty of time, she says. The gym doesn’t open until 6am, she says. Except I couldn’t find my weight gloves. No worries, cycle gloves will do. Membership card? I know it’s around here somewhere as I rummage through my gym bag. HRM? I only wore it yesterday so it must be here…or in the bathroom…or spare room…or??!! Shower stuff? I am having a shower at the gym after my session. @#$%^! Why didn’t I pack last night?

Mad dash to the car, throw bags in, start the engine, switch on the wipers. S…c…r…a…p…e. S…c…r…a…p…e. @#$%^! I need to scrape off the ice. Dash back indoors for a jug of warm water to pour over windscreen.

In the gym car park. I’m only a few minutes late. Halfway across the car park to the front doors and I realise I am missing my gym bag. It’s still in the car. Backtrack to collect it.

It’s been around 6 months since I’ve set foot in the gym. But it may as well have been 6 years. I had no routine however I did have my workout session plan. I spotted a few familiar faces. What really surprised me was how quiet it was.

Machines had been moved around so I spent some time searching for both the leg extension and hamstring curl machines. I am starting on the lightest weights as I really do want to be able to move tomorrow. On some machines this was okay – the lat pulldown and chest press weights could probably be increased next time but I had to keep checking the weight on the shoulder press machine. Damn, I was convinced it was heavier than…10kg! Actually even the leg extension and hamstring curl machine weights felt a lot heavier than what they actually were – and they were on the lightest setting. Oh well, can’t go setting the benchmark too high too early!

Nearing the end of the workout my tummy rumbles were becoming rather audible. I was starving! I needed input! However there was still the 5 min final blast, ab exercises and shower before I could even think about having breakfast.

Then before leaving for work I had to pack my running bag for the SG session at Dickson oval. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, it’s a double whammy today – weights in the morning and running after work. Thursday will be the same. Awesome.

Food-wise I have no complaints except I can’t randomly pick at food when bored, tired, stressed, while preparing meals, whenever. This is one of my worst habits and the hardest to break. However so far, so good. Breakfast this morning was Bircher muesli and it was both delicious and filling. Bonus! Lunch was chicken noodle soup, very fitting for this chilly weather.

And I really love the 12WBT app on my phone – it includes a food diary, plus it has my weekly program (food and exercise) if I need to refer to it eg when at the gym trying to figure out how exactly I’m supposed to do a certain exercise without looking a complete dunce.

The take home message for me today? Pack my gear the night before!

Post 2: I cried

5.31pm: SG session at Dickson oval
Distance: 5.2km
Pace: 6.42min/km
Cals: 306

I went to the SG session at Dickson oval after work. It had been a chilly day and certainly hadn’t got any warmer as the day wore on. So it was on with layers, tights and gloves for tonight’s session. I was feeling hungry and tired as my last meal was lunchtime. Work conspired against me to ensure I never got around to having afternoon tea (which I might add is highly unusual for me). I had a nagging headache that just wouldn’t go away.

After a warm up we did 2 x 10min continuous 100m intervals, with half of us up one end and the other half of the group down the other end, with each runner handing over a baton after running the 100m.

It was the final 100m. And then it happened. About 10m before the end of the run I felt that horrible popping sensation at the very top of my L hamstring, similar to what I felt 2 years ago when I tore my R hamstring. #%^*+! I couldn’t run after that as it hurt to put weight on that leg.
It hurts when I sit.
It hurts when I bend over.
It just plain hurts.
And driving home I cried. Tears of frustration because its like, here we go again.
If I’d had a block of chocolate in the house I would’ve devoured it. Not that it would’ve helped nor would it have made me feel better.

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Operation Marshmallow to Muscle

13 May

5.50am: cardio session + abs
Session: 10 x 1 min hard efforts (1 min easy spin) bike intervals on wind trainer; 1min mountain climbers & squat thrusts with medicine balls; abs – 3 exercises x 3 sets; stretches
Time: 53.26min
AHR: 133; MHR: 221
Cals: 304

Operation Marshmallow to Muscle is officially underway. The soft squishy middle needs to go, or at least morph into something less soft and squishy. Muscles hopefully will be revealed.

So it’s goodbye…temporarily…to chocolate, magnum icecreams, sponge cake with jam and cream, and all the other tasty delights I have been…ahem…indulging in lately. Hey, it was Mother’s Day after all! But for the next 12 weeks, unless it’s on my nutrition plan it’s not part of my food consumption.

For the past few months I have enjoyed the luxury of not having to get up really early in the morning to exercise but instead I have been running at lunchtime or after work. Well, things are about to change…well not about to, they have! This morning I was up on my bike on the windtrainer at 5.50am doing a session of 40mins which included 10 x 1 min hard intervals. It’s been a while since I’ve been on my bike so yesterday afternoon I had to dust off the cobwebs and brush out the leaves that were caught up in the spokes. Mr CJ sprayed the bike with insect repellent so I didn’t experience any nasty creepy crawly surprises this morning.

Last night I prepared today’s lunch and cooked a couple of chicken breasts in preparation for tonight’s meal (chicken noodle soup). I diarised my exercise commitments for the week and then I breathed deeply. I can do this! I have a secret weapon for night times which are my downfall when it comes to snacking and when I tend to hover around the pantry and fridge. This secret weapon will be revealed all in good time. :)

This morning I weighed myself (gulp), took measurements (bigger gulp) and a ‘before’ photo (omigawd). However, these stats and the photo will remain private – a girl has to retain some mystery. :)

So the bike intervals were done – hot and sweaty work and 10 intervals seemed to take forever. This was followed by 1 minute of mountain climbers and then 1 minute of squat thrusts with the medicine ball. Can I just put it out there now that I hate mountain climbers with a passion. In fact, they are up there with burpees as things I don’t love at all. Anyway I started the mountain climbers at speed (stupid, stupid, stupid) and promptly died about 30 seconds in. How could it possibly be that only 30 secs have gone by? I did some more at a slightly slower pace. Still 20 secs to go. @#$%! Another one…or…two…or…three…done.quite.slowly…because I could hardly move at this stage! Ok, now let’s do some squat thrusts. Awesome! With a heavy medicine ball. Double awesome! Squat…now…what?! Stand up raising the heavy (did I mention this?) ball above my head. Do this for a minute. I cannot believe how out of practice and out of shape I am. Running certainly does not prepare one for this. Trust me on that.

Okay, now I can lie down. Thank goodness. Yes, yes, I know…it’s not rest time, its abs time. Three sets of three different abs exercises. I watch the video for each ab exercise intently and then try to mimic the action. Somehow I don’t think my efforts quite replicate Mish’s graceful actions but hey, it’s close (ok I look like a dying bug), and you know what, right now close enough is good enough.

Finally it’s time for stretches. Now this bit I like and I can feel the stretches doing me good. I confess I don’t do these stretches often enough so I will religiously do them as part of my program *cross my heart*. When the program says ’stretch’ I will stretch. :)

This afternoon I hit a brick wall figuratively speaking – yep, the dreaded mid-afternoon slump. I was almost face planting the keyboard. I’m blaming it on the early morning cardio session. I resorted to a caffeine kick (black coffee) as well as some afternoon tea (a designated, Mish-approved snack). Hopefully this is only a temporary state and I will soon get used to the early morning exercise sessions.

One day down; 83 days to go…

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This morning’s breakfast – apple & ricotta toast

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