Unleashing My Inner Awesome

My "journey" through health, fitness and life in general

Archive for the category “Training”

Giving something back

Today was the last long run in the training I’m doing to run the half marathon at this years Brisbane Running Festival. 18km thankyouverymuch. My husband dropped me off near his work (I think he’s secretly a bit disturbed, but also somewhat impressed), and I ran home.

Did I mention it was 18km??

It was slow. It was hard. It was painful, and I’m damn sure it wasn’t pretty. But I bloody well did it. And now I’ve got some sprint/beach/hill sessions, and two more runs of 15 and 12km respectively, and in 3 weeks from Sunday it’s race day.

So what made me decide to run 21.1km on a Sunday morning? Well, there’s the “significant event” aspect. This year marks the 30th anniversary of Robert de Castella’s magnificent victory in the Brisbane Commonwealth Games. Sadly, I vividly remember that event, as well as the kitsch but world-changing moment when Matilda batted her long-lashed eye at the world in a wink.

But I also wanted to use my new-found fitness to give back. I’m never going to be a world-class athlete. There’s a limit to how I can contribute in the fitness world. I’m trying, and supporting others, but really it’s a drop in the ocean. So I thought I’d use my new network of fitness freak buddies to help me raise some money to donate to Youngcare, an extraordinary organisation that is working to provide age-appropriate accommodation to young disabled people. Around 7,000 young people currently live in nursing homes with the elderly, simply because there is no alternative. Youngcare are determined to change that, and give these guys a chance to live in their own space where it’s ok to put heavy metal posters on the walls, sleep in on weekends and play loud music. Not really too much to ask, I wouldn’t have thought.

So dig deep and throw in a few dollars for this amazing group of people. I’ve done my small part, now it’s up to you.

Donate here now! 

The way things change…

Isn’t she beautiful? I bought this little charmer on Thursday night. A bit shout out to Bill at 99 Bikes in Chermside for staying an hour past closing to properly fit me with all the bits and pieces I needed. You guys are awesome!

So yesterday I took her out for her maiden ride. Another friend just upgraded to a very swish Trek road bike, and was keen for a longish ride to try stuff out. Like the maximum speed on the trip computer. We decided to ride from home (inner north west Brisbane) to Nudgee beach for lunch, a round trip of about 60km.

At lunch we were chatting about exercise, and fitness, and stuff like that. And a sentence that came out of my mouth gave me pause for thought. I found myself saying “I didn’t do <exercise program that everyone else did> this morning because I’ve decided Sunday is my rest day. I need to not exercise on my rest day, and I need to be really strict about it or I’ll get overtired again”.

And then I though. Today’s Sunday. I’ve just ridden 30km for lunch, and I’m about to ride 30km home again. Since when is THIS not exercise? It used to be, when did that change?

When I got fit. And when I realised that doing stuff isn’t necessarily formal exercise, but that fit people actually do active stuff for FUN! And being fit gives you the ability to do that as well. Lightbulb moment!!!

At which point the conversation evolved to the fact that there were stacks of families out on the bike path, some with kids in trailers and bike seats, some on their own set of wobbly wheels. My lunch mate informed me that her (self-admittedly obese, even though she isn’t any more) family never did stuff like that. Never. No bush walks ending in a picnic, no family bike rides. Like she said, it’s no wonder they turned out like they did.

My family did that stuff, but somewhere along the line I stopped. Think I need to start again…

How far have *I* come then??!!

Yesterday I helped a friend train another friend. It was an “introduction to Crossfit” session, and I was there as unofficial photographer. About halfway through the session tyre flips were involved, and second friend said “I want to see *HER* do them!” at me.

Without even giving the matter a second thought I grabbed the tyre and started flipping. Down the course and back. Skinny jeans, light coloured shirt and all. Because I could. And yes, I went all Little Ms Competitive on the way back and beat my out time by two seconds thankyouverymuch.

So last night I was reflecting on who I am now and who I used to be. My wedding day was the most amazing day of my life. And thanks to a kick-arse photographer, an amazing dressmaker. copious quantities of boning, and the most awesome hair and makeup artist ever, I looked as good as I could have. I look back at my photos and love them, despite the saggy arms, rolls of back fat and big tummy. I still think I looked good, but I looked good for a fat chick.

The difference between then-me and now-me amazes even me! I still have a bit of pudge that I need to get rid of. But it’s not even the weight and size loss, it’s the fact that I was throwing tyres around in the park, and I didn’t even consider not doing it! When my friend called me out on it I just did it. No questioning whether I was capable (I knew I was), no second guessing, it just happened. And relatively easily as well.

I am beginning to love me. And from where I was, that’s a massive step in the right direction.

Day 3 of Ballistic in January Bootcamp – or, Oh, my aching body!

So. When I got the message from Sweat Depot back before Christmas about their 5 days a week January Ballistic bootcamp, I was keen. Super keen in fact. I’ve improved my overall fitness out of sight with these guys over the past month, and I just wanted to keep going.

Today was day 3. Yep, we started on the New Years Day public holiday. There’s dedication for you! So Monday was doable, and when Charles asked me yesterday how I pulled up after the first day my immediate answer was “not as bad as I expected”.

Hmmm. You know how the experts tell you that after a seriously hard workout you will be more sore the next day after the day after? Guess what? They’re right! This morning I was so freaking sore I could barely move. I kid you not, I have DOMS in the front of my neck. I don’t even know how you exercise the muscles in the front of your neck!

So looks like tonight is going to involve hot water, and Radox, and an early to bed session in preparation for day 4 tomorrow. That’s right campers, I’m backing up again in the morning. Friday is a day of rest, Saturday is Mt Coottha again, and then the 5th session of the week for Sweat Depot involves a mystery destination. All will be revealed! Unfortunately I’m going to miss the first Sunday session, as my god-daughters 1st birthday is on Sunday. Yes there will be cake. And yes I will be eating a (very small, portion controlled) piece of it. Hey, you have to live!

Conquering the mountain

Today I ran up a mountain in my home town. And back down again.

There’s a running/mountain biking trail a group of us have done quite a few times. It’s a 5k run down the side of a mountain, and then back up. There’s a fairly steep bit right at the top that you almost have to crawl up. I definitely haven’t mastered it yet, but it is getting easier.

Which is why when one of the girls suggested I do the road run before hand, I said yes. Hey, it seemed like a good idea. And then I started thinking about it properly. See, the road run adds another 3.75km each way to the circuit. So 7.5km more than I was already going to do. They start at a carpark at the bottom of the mountain, run to the start of the track and then run back down after the track.

Once I’d said yes I started crunching the numbers. A total of 12.8km. Half uphill. And Heartbreak Hill, instead of being at the end of the 5th kilometre, would be at the end of the 9th!

So this morning, while I was driving to the meeting point, I was composing the reasons why I couldn’t do this, and how I was going to explain to the others why I was pulling out. I couldn’t do it. I was kidding myself. I’m not that fit/athletic/strong yet. I’ll get there, just not right now.

But when I got there the others were so enthusiastic and encouraging that I felt I would be letting them down if I didn’t do it! So I just did. And it nearly killed me. My feet and legs were jelly at the end, my stomach was about to expel my breakfast, and my head was spinning. I was dripping with sweat and had totally run out of dry places on my shirt to wipe my face.

But I did it! There will never again be a first time. As I get fitter and stronger it will get easier (and yes, I will do it again!) I am not where I want to be yet, but I am a hell of a lot further along than I was. I will always be a “work in progress”, that’s inevitable. Once you stop improving you stop living. So there isn’t an end point to this journey, merely a whole lot of rest stops along the way.

Christmas Eve and I’m not at the shops!

That’s right, I finished my Christmas shopping yesterday. That’s a whole day early!

So what did I do on Christmas Eve instead of fighting the crowds and feeling anxious? Why, I went for a run of course! I ran the 5k Bellbird/Kokoda Track at Mt Coottha, which is a slightly insane and challenging run down and then up a steep hill. Finished it in the quickest time I’ve ever done, despite feeling a bit crappy after a cold.

Then we had coffee, and watched the storm, and felt ever-so-slightly superior to the ordinary people who were still in bed at 5am. Yep, that’s what time we started. That is not who I was, but it is definitely who I am now.

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