Monster Blog

My blog is always in the back of my mind. Unfortunately, despite being a classic DINK (double income no kids), I still find it difficult to find time to write, which is a shame because A LOT has happened this year worthy of blogging about! So I’m going to do a mighty big ‘Monster’ post to cover ALL of it so I’m up to date and can get back into blogging without having all the things I haven’t written about weighing on my mind!

The Triathlon

I competed in my very first triathlon in March. Now, let’s not get carried away, it was not a 12 hour iron man by any stretch. It was an enticer length women’s triathlon designed to, well, entice the ladies into trying a triathlon. It worked. I was so intimidated by the idea of a triathlon, especially the swim and the transitions (i.e. going from swim to bike and bike to run) that I wouldn’t have gotten up the nerve for anything bigger. To be honest, the idea of mixed gender triathlon intimidates me, which is super lame…in any case it was the perfect mix of circumstance to get me out there.

I was number 1 because of my last name. Not because I was super keen or seeded. Just to let to 20 people who asked/assumed that know...

I was number 1 because of my last name. Not because I was super keen or seeded. Just to let the 20 people who asked/assumed that know…

For anyone considering doing a tri, here are my top tips

–         Do it with a friend! I was so nervous at the start, getting my stuff set up and trying not to feel completely out of place but my good friend Tania helped me keep calm. We also had great fun training together and shared tips we’d found online (including using bright towels to find where our bikes were ‘racked’).

–         Practice your transitions (no brainer)…more than once. I thought I had my transitions sorted, had practiced a swim to ride and a ride to run. But my transition times were terrible on the day. I underestimated the importance of transitions for my time which was out by about 5 minutes on what I had wanted to do. I know it was my transitions which let me down. My husband who was there watching said I dawdled on the bike to run and stopped to do up my shoelace. I guess I used the transitions as a rest to recover from the leg before, but really they should be done briskly and running just as hard as you would in the run leg.

–         Don’t be scared of the swim! I was and it was unfounded. If you are worried about the swim just hang back a bit on your first one to start and do at least twice as long as the length in practice sessions (depends how far you are going! Ours was only 300 m but our training swims were 1 km). I jumped straight in with everyone despite fear of being hit in the face by an errant foot and didn’t get hit once. My strangest experience was coming up for a breath, facing the right, looking straight at someone less than six inches away who was coming up for a breath facing left! Awkward .

–         Pace yourself on the swim. I went out HARD (nervous energy no doubt) and the leg to the first buoy was super easy, to the second felt like I was dying and the final two were strong. So maybe don’t go out too hard for the swim. Don’t panic about being the last, I did and felt really self-conscious and like I would be the last out of the water. As long as you have done some swim training beforehand, you won’t be last in an enticer (I recommend doing an enticer!) and if you need to catch your breath for a second or around the buoys, just do breaststroke! It’s not the end of the world!

–         Think through what you are wearing and the order you will need to change. I wore leggings for the ride/run which – after the swim – were very difficult to get on in a hurry. That was a mistake – nothing tight!!

–         Get a support team! Every time I passed my cheer squad I got a huge boost and they always made me smile yelling funny things out or just cheering.

All in all, I felt like it was a real accomplishment. Yes, it was only a tiny portion of the full Olympic distance tri (which I watched my brother-in-law compete in the next day, very inspiring!) but the challenge, fear and exhaustion all combined with adrenaline, strength and sense of achievement for us both to decide that next year, we’re going to do the next one up. Like big girls 🙂

To the Snow Fields – In Summer…

Well, not quite summer, but in early Autumn (March) hubby and I decided to load up the mountain bikes for a road trip…to the snow fields! During summer, they open up Thredbo – one of our favourite slopes in the winter, for riding.

On the way, we stopped in Canberra, which is a mountain bike mecca. So many places to choose from for riding! We decided on Stromlo which is a mountain bike park which makes Glenrock (my local) look pretty average (and it is not, Glenrock is massively sweet as bro). It was well maintained, the trails are well thought out and overall just sooooo much fun! I even tried a see-saw for the first time (and did it successfully once).

Our second ride at Stromlo was on the morning we had to get to Thredbo by the afternoon for our mountain bike induction. We chose a loop we thought would be doable in the time we had but ended up slightly stressed out as it took a bit longer than expected! Probably because of the truly monstrous climb which was involved – I almost died and had to have several breaks. In the end the trail was super fun and we were sad to leave but excited to get to Thredbo and do some full on downhill riding.

I’m not a downhill rider, luckily in the last season Thredbo put in what was referred to as a ‘flow-trail’ which was challenging but not out of the ream for an intermediate rider – probably not for full on beginners though. In order to get our passes, we had to do a mountain bike induction which basically involved some instruction on getting on the chair-lift with our bikes (which was surprisingly easy). We also had to do a quick test with our guide to show we had basic MTB skills, just going down a hill with a few turns which we passed easily. He said it was surprising how many people with zero bike skills wanted to try the trail and without some skills, its just plain dangerous. He then showed us down the flow trail to shows us the features and also point out where it crosses with the DH trail for hubby.

Thredbo on bikes!

Thredbo on bikes!

It was super fun but also a real challenge and kind of scary in places. We did the induction in the afternoon and were all set to go for a full day the next day. It was a good idea as the induction takes up a couple of hours and you still have to pay for a full-day pass afterwards if you want to keep going. I ended up doing the trail seven times and it took about 20 minutes each time. By the 4th or 5th, I was feeling it. In fact it HURT and not where you might expect. Of course my hands hurt from gripping the brakes just to stay in control (in fact when we took my bike to be serviced, they said I’d worn out my brake pads! Yep, that’s embarrassing). My forearms hurt the worst and every bump felt like torture. The first half was the worst, very bumpy, but the second half was smooth and super fun and by the bottom I thought ‘that wasn’t so bad, I could do another!’.

It was weird being at ‘the snow’, as well call it, when there was no snow. It was a ghost town. MTB riding on actual mountains has not really picked up in Australia to the same extent as in Canada (i.e Whistler). I think though that they need more trails before that will happen. Yes it was fun, but the same run over and over starts to lose its excitement and if we wanted to stay more than a day or two there needs to be more variety. All in all I think I enjoyed Stromlo the most, although I learnt a lot from my downhill riding. There is a downhill flow track on Stromlo we did once on the way to the snow and once on the way back. On the way back, I beat my first time by about 2 minutes, which I attribute to the confidence boost I got in Thredbo.

The Colo(u)r Run

A friend of mine asked me way back in February if I wanted to join her on the Color Run. I was hesitant. Firstly, in Australia we spell it with a u, i.e. Colour. Secondly, it is a purely for profit event with ‘runners’ able to contribute to charity at their will but no donations from the organisers. Thirdly, it is a total gimmick where people run in tutus and the majority do not even run it with people stopping to dance around in coloured powders like idiots. I mean, come on I am a runner, not some half-arsed walk/runner who needs a gimmick to want to run…

Um.

Yes, I own two tutus...

Yes, I own two tutus…

Yeah it was awesome. Soooo much fun with some great friends who were totally into it and we basically had fun dodging around people, not caring about getting dirty, or looking like idiots in our tutus, smoothing coloured powder on ourselves and each other and leaping around/pretending to be horses (it was around a race track) when we should have been running. Yes, a lot of people just sauntered the whole thing. Yes, we stopped to dance around like ‘smurfs (blue)’ or ‘oompa loompas (orange)’ at each of the colour stations. No, charity did not benefit. But do you know what? Even though I like to run for a cause, sometimes I just want to have some fun and am prepared to pay money to someone else to sort out the details.

And they damn well sorted it.

It was so well organized, no crowding or too much waiting which, for an event where over 10,000 people joined in (pretty much all of Newcastle was there it seemed), is saying something. The after party was good fun with music and hyped up DJs and everyone going nuts with their little finishing packets of powder, exploding everywhere.

It has actually gotten me excited about running again, I enjoyed it so much. I did parkrun the day before in preparation, knowing I wasn’t going to push on the event day, and did NOT enjoy my run. But after doing the colour run… I really wanted to go back and do a parkrun! Weird eh? I’m actually pretty keen to sign up for another event soon to keep my current running motivation going. I was reading through my old City2Surf posts and thinking about how defeated I felt afterwards compared to how I felt after the Color run…no contest really. After City2Surf I wanted to vomit. After the Colour run I wanted to party.

So let’s party, feet, let’s party.

 In Summary…

I actually have about 2 or 3 other things to talk about (commuting to work by bike, loving on MTB riding a bit more, swimming during winter, RAW challenge) but this is more monster than I had intended and I have some other shit to do. So I will leave you with some Mantras I’ve been using lately:

No-one is thinking about you. They’re thinking about themselves…just like you

Why should they overtake you? You are strong, fast and ride all the time. You ARE the fastest

I LIKE going to the gym. It isn’t a chore, it’s a privilege!

Happy travels!

Back in the Saddle

Sometimes you just need to bite the bullet and do what you are putting off or dreading. Fear is an interesting thing and I always think about an experiment involving spiders which I came across a few years back. Basically, people scared of spiders experience a spike of fear and adrenaline when they first see a spider. This initial feeling of fear is the most intense and does not increase past this point the longer they are looking at the spider.

Running was my spider until this morning. You see, I haven’t been running this year since I have been focused on the thrilling sport of mountain bike riding (and let’s face it, I just didn’t feel like running). Although I want to keep up my riding, it is also time to get back in the running saddle (the horse analogy would really be more appropriate to bike riding I suppose…). I have been putting it off and making excuses since my last parkrun 8 weeks ago!

My time was not the best. In fact it is my third slowest ever (for parkrun). But you know what, I ran the whole thing. I went. I ran 5 km. I set my alarm, got up and went out for a run. I almost bailed several times: when I set my alarm the night before, when my alarm went off (the first, second AND third time), after I got dressed and once I was in the car were ALL breaking points where I asked myself how much I really wanted to go (the answer was an unconvincing: “lots?”).

But I am so, so happy I went. Now I KNOW I can still run 5 km and it isn’t horrible. I didn’t die, in fact I felt pretty good after which means I could have gone faster. My initial fear has spiked. I faced it and now I can move on to enjoying running again. This first time is the hardest it is going to be; it all gets easier from here. Which is just as well because….

I’m doing a TRIATHLON! That’s right, a friend and I have signed up for a triathlon! Impressive, no? Um, no not really. It is an enticer tri-athlon for women to encourage involvement in the sport (brilliant idea) – and it worked on us! The distances are as follows:

SWIM = 300 m (cake. My friend Tania and I swim that easy in our weekly sessions)

RIDE = 10 km (too easy. I ride 10 km routinely and often through the bush, so on the flat it will be a cinch)

RUN = 3 km (puh, not even a parkrun!)

However…put them all together and I don’t know how it will all work out. Especially since it is in less than a month and I have only just started running again… I have no idea how long it will take, I don’t know how I will feel after each leg or where I will sit in the scheme of the other entrants. But I am going to do it and I will be training as hard as I can over the next few weeks in a last ditch attempt to not completely embarrass myself!

To get motivated, I dug through my old Womens Health mags and did some creative (for me) cutting and pasting. I called the book my ‘find your motivation’ picture book. I think it worked. I definitely feel like going for a run when I look at the running page and I am always keen to go riding so that one works a little too well (screw work lets got for a MTB ride!!).

Cutting and pasting is not just for kindergarten...

Cutting and pasting is not just for kindergarten…

I found it useful anyway. Weight loss is such a small part of why I ride, run and sign up for events like triathlons – but it can easily become the focus. So why am I running? Because I like to run, I like how I feel while running and after a run. I like how it makes me feel physically – strong and powerful. I like the effect fitness has on my daily life, enjoying the natural world and the city I live in.

YOLO right?

I run…to leave the old me behind

On Sunday I participated in ‘Run Newcastle,’ a new event which has come to town (there seem to be more and more each year which is great). I hadn’t put much thought into it, certainly hadn’t been training, but my sister said she was doing it and I should too.  So, last-minute decision, I was in!

The night before I was looking through my race pack and the bib had something a little bit different on it: A space asking WHY I was taking part. It really made me stop and think. Why WAS I doing it? I wasn’t training for it, trying to lose weight or get fit, I wasn’t trying to raise money or set a good example (although I do like to think I am setting a good example for my darling niece and other little treasures in my life). So why? To support my sister whose idea it was? Partly, but there is more to it. I realised I wanted to do it because quite simply I wouldn’t have dreamt of doing it only a few short years ago. I trained for months for my first 5 km, this race I signed up only the week before on a whim. I have changed, and I think it is important to reflect on that.

Good question...

Good question…

I think it may be the best fun run I have done. It wasn’t too long, I wasn’t stressing about it beforehand and…. I bloody well smashed it! It actually had a few quite large hills, but I had gone in with a game plan: walk the hills. City2Surf (shudder) I ‘ran’ up the hills, but my pace was so slow I was basically walking. This time, I walked FAST. I power walked with geeky arms swinging up the hill for the steepest parts and then ran again.

Here’s the kicker, I still did the run in only just over a 6 minute kilometer (39 min 20 for 6.5 km, they were a little misleading calling it a 6 km run as it was actually more!)! That’s only just over 5 km in 30 minutes timing which is incredible since the last parkrun I did (also 5 km) was 32 minutes. Even more incredible that today I did another 6 km run, no hills or walking, and my pace was much slower at 6 min 30 seconds per km! Why was Sunday so good? How did I perform so well? I think it was just a combination of great weather, good lead up, pumping atmosphere, walking the hills (GENIUS method, I truly am converted) and really pushing myself down the hills to an astonishing (for me) pace (my max pace recorded was 4:06 min/km! Say WHAAA???).

We also got the nicest event tee I've gotten! Win win!

We also got the nicest event tee I’ve gotten! Win win!

I felt so pumped afterwards (can you see me finishing with a winners double hand pump at the finish line?)  and was super proud of my sister who did an incredible 5 minute 40 second timing (finishing in 36 minutes 30 sec). Her ‘why I run Newcastle’ reason was to set a good example for her baby girl Cate and I know Cate will one day appreciate the achievements of her incredible super-mummy, I know I do. After the race I just stared at my splits (1 km splits that is) shaking my head at the pace. I’m not sure I could do it again, it just seems so unlike me…I have hardly been doing any running lately (barefoot testing be damned) and instead all my efforts have mainly been devoted to MTB riding. In fact I am obsessed with getting out on the trail and no doubt some of my running success was due to the improved fitness from riding so much.

I also missed posting about the Fernleigh15 which was a 15 km fun run along a track in Newcastle called, surprise surprise, the Fernleigh Track. Another event I signed up to from inspiration by my sister and, once again, hadn’t given a lot of thought to. It was pretty fun although very bloody long (15 km in 1 hr 46 min 15 seconds average pace 7 min/km – we walked a bit of it) but my sister and I did it together which was lovely. We walked parts (no way I could have run the whole thing without training for it).

I like to give a thumbs up when I pass a camera, such a loser...

I like to give a thumbs up when I pass a camera, such a loser…

All in all I liked it so much better than the City2Surf and think I will make it the focus of my training as next years big run…and just be a spectator at next years City2Surf!

In the end it has reminded me that running can be fun. I don’t need to make it the focus of my life, but I will be incorporating it more than I have been lately. And leaving my old self well and truly behind…

Comparison the Dea(r)th of Confidence

On Saturday I beat my all time best 5 km run time by 20 seconds and achieved a goal I had been working towards for over a year: run 5 km in under 30 minutes (my parkrun time this week was 29 minutes and 44 seconds). I have done it once previously on a different course (29 minutes 58 seconds) but almost died in the process and had a small vommi at the finish line. That was in April and I had been unable to match this time, until now.

The funny thing is, while I was running it on Saturday, I was thinking to myself how crap I was at running and I didn’t know why I kept trying. People kept overtaking me and my friend, who I introduced to parkrun and who was doing his first ever 5 km, had outstripped me in the first km.

I hadn’t been watching my pace very closely to begin, only for the last 2 or so km and thought I was way over the 30 minute mark. It wasn’t until I rounded the last turn, saw the finish line and saw I was at 28 minutes that I realised I was going to make it in under 30 minutes.

How did it manage to surprise me so greatly? The run hurt, yes, I was definitely pushing it. My new way of thinking is ‘yes, this hurts. But you know what, if you slow down it’s not going to hurt less, you will just finish with a worse time. So just keep going and you won’t feel any worse.’  It works quite well, I think the interval running I am doing is helping there.

So why did I believe I was doing so badly? My mistake, I believe, was to compare myself with other people.

I compared myself to my friend, who finished in 25 minutes, and who is athletic. He rides, does all sorts of extreme sports and is generally an athletic person (he once paddle boarded for over 12 hours straight just because he wanted to know if he could).

I compared myself to my husband. The day before I did parkrun my husband did a 14 km run ‘just to make sure’ he would be able to run City2Surf. My goal for City2Surf is to scrape through under 90 minutes after a relatively intense 10 week training program. He did the same distance, with absolutely zero preparation, in 80 minutes. I was both impressed and depressed by this.

I’m not sure what the moral of this story is. Would I have done a faster time if I had felt more confident and secure in my running capabilities? Or was comparing myself to faster runners motivating me to try a little harder and make me push a little bit faster?

I think I need to just be comfortable with the fact that, no, I am not an ‘athletic’ person. Every single physical activity I have ever done or tried I have had to work HARD for and have been CRAP at to begin. Sweat, pain and often humiliation (snowboarding in particular I could tell you some stories) occur whenever I try something physically demanding.

That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try, or push myself or be proud of my achievements.

I am still a runner and no one, no matter how fast they run, can take that away from me.

Chumbawamba Style

I get knocked down, but I get up again. You’re never gonna keep me down. Worthy words to live by sung by a british pop/punk band in a pub rock anthem about binge drinking. Classic.

This week I have had a few little bumps which have knocked me down somewhat. It’s funny how you can go from feeling completely in control and smug about how great you’ve been health wise, to feeling like all your good work has been completely wiped away. The trick is, to know that it is OK to fall off the health wagon momentarily – as long as we jump right on back.

Social Eating

Sometimes, there is just no getting around it. We are social animals and in social situations sometimes it is not acceptable to refuse food or to suggest an alternative. And why should we? This weekend was FULL of social eating for me, here is a taste (pun-tastic) of my decisions/experiences:

  1. Date night! A lovely night out with my husband at a local, small, intimate Spanish Restaurant near our house. We had some amazing tapas and delicious red wine. When we rang up for a booking at the last-minute we were told we had to wait an hour and a half. No problem we sez, and did an hour-long workout together at home (p90x shoulders, biceps and triceps) before heading over, biceps flexed.
  2. Movies with my sister for a girly afternoon. We had popcorn and choc-tops…but we also had a salad from Grill’d for lunch instead of a burger.
  3. Dinner for a friend’s birthday to a Teppanyaki restaurant. So fun! Also SO full of salt and oil…so instead of drinking wine I had soda water with lime to reduce calories.
  4. Out to dinner for a family birthday. Shall we share a bottle of wine? Sounds go to me! I’ll order the fish and veggie option for dinner. Deal.
  5. Finally, the baby shower. Cake, mini-sandwiches, quiches and more sugar than you can poke a stick at. Did I eat the cupcakes? Yup, and how! When I got home I went for a 60 minute jog.

Lots of losses there but the small wins I had made me feel like that I was still in some sort of control and that I hadn’t completely fallen off the wagon.

Rain

Winter has started with full intention this year. Cold. Wet. Windy. Not the ideal ingredients for getting out and exercising! My alarm went off to walk my dog on Friday morning and I just couldn’t drag my self out of bed into the cold rain in the dark. Even Melvin couldn’t have been less interested, curled up in a little ball under the bed – he barely cracked an eyelid when my alarm went off and I checked out the window to see if it was just windy or windy AND rainy. But I got into work and my boss HAD gotten up and walked her dog. Hmmm, maybe I need to take a teaspoon of cement and harden up? Or maybe I should just tell myself she is crazy…What am I afraid of? Getting wet? Cold? Odds are it will be raining tomorrow morning. Can I do it? Or, more importantly, should I do it? To get my 70 minutes of exercising in a day…. YES, I should. I guess I’ll break out my wet weather gear :/

Its been a biiiig weekend and I will have to work extra hard this week to get my health goals back in line (I did not drink anywhere near enough water this week OR make my veggie OR exercise quota. Tut tut.). But City 2 Surf training started today and I went for a lovely long run in the extremely chilly winter air. It was invigorating! I think I’ve reached a running fitness level where my lungs don’t hold me back anymore, I’m more likely to stop because of knee or ankle pain and blisters than struggling to breathe. It’s a good feeling 🙂

THE PLAN: City2Surf in sub 90 minutes

Intervals, Fartlek and Tempo oh my!

The ultimate in amateur running in Australia, City2Surf (14 km run through Sydney) is coming up in August, and my 10 week training plan starts in June.

Posted this week by the City2Surf facebook page

Posted this week by the City2Surf facebook page

I’ve adapted a pre-existing training plan (originally suggested on the City2Surf website in 2012 by R4YL magazine, ‘Intermediate’ level), and squished and squeezed it into a schedule to fit my life. I went Excel mad to make up a ‘pretty’ and ‘easy to read’ timetable…but no matter how many colours I used it still looks complicated. In fact it looks like the concoction of a mad woman. You may need to click on the timetable if you would like to read it!

10 week training timetable

10 week training timetable

Session outlines. Equal time hard/easy where not specified

Session outlines. Equal time hard/easy where not specified

Speed chart

Speed chart

There are three parts, the 10 week time table, a description of different activities, and an outline of pace I want to run at for each activity. Yes, I probably could have spent my time on something more constructive. But to be fair it was during my evening TV time (multitasking like a boss).

Now, my normal approach to running is to, well, run. Just run and try to go faster than last time. Occasionally increase the distance and throw in a hill or two to keep things interesting. But last City2Surf I didn’t reach my goal of sub 90 minutes, actually it took me 95 minutes (I think I said 93 in another post, shaved 2 minutes off without even trying there…). So changes must be made.

However, I’m a little dubious of the plan. How am I meant to complete the full City2Surf at race pace when the longest run in the training schedule is meant to be run at ‘slow/mod’ pace? I think I will end up attempting race pace on the long run on Sundays. The 30 minute on Saturday is also supposed to be ‘slow/mod’ but I am going to use it to consolidate my 5 km pace.

I have also kept in other elements of my workout schedule I think are important including some weight training, MTB riding and yoga (I don’t think I’m ready for p90x, I will start using it in dribs and drabs and focus on it a bit more later in the year). The Fartlek and tempo/intervals runs are pretty short so I plan to throw them in along with another training session. I think its pretty balanced, but it’s definitely A LOT of running.

Looking at it now it looks somewhat impossible (I know, I know, nothing is impossible if you set your mind to it.). At the peak, if I include my 45 minutes morning walks, I will be exercising an average of 100 minutes a day. Crazy.

Crazy like a fox?

 

Thirsty Work

If you start to feel thirsty, you are ALREADY dehydrated.  Or so I have read.

A friend of mine has said she believes that the difference between feeling great at one work out and struggling at the next could be your level of hydration (possibly also fuel in your body, timing meals and workouts is super important apparently. Not an art I have mastered at this stage).

Water is good for your skin and…well I’m not really sure what else. Getting enough sleep or something? Probably, maybe I should Google it….

“Water flushes toxins out of vital organs, carries nutrients to your cells and provides a moist environment for ear, nose and throat tissues. Lack of water can lead to dehydration, a condition that occurs when you don’t have enough water in your body to carry out normal functions. Even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you tired.“ – SOURCE: http://www.mayoclinic.com

Good to know.

In any case there is a recommended guideline for how much water is ‘healthy’ to drink so I am going to assume that the people who came up with that know what they are talking about! A good discussion I have found was written by HFG Australia and can be found here.

Pure, sweet water

My husband is convinced whenever I get a headache that I haven’t been drinking enough water. And maybe he is right. Time to either squash that myth or concede he was right (sigh).

THIS WEEKS GOAL: 5-6 GLASSES OF LIQUID A DAY + sweat replacement

‘Liquid’ includes: Water (duh), tea, coffee, milk, juice (according to HFG guidelines)

It DOES NOT include: Wine. Or alcohol.

I have 2 cups of tea on an average day, a half juice/water at lunch and a smoothie for breakfast. That’s 4 glasses, so I am going to add in two full glasses of water on top of that while at work PLUS at least a drink bottle of water per 30 minute workout. I will work at increasing to an extra glass of water (3 a day). If I miss a cup of tea or have toast instead of a smoothie, I will add in another glass of water, etc. Deal.

Oh yeah, and I am cutting out soft drink COMPLETELY. I don’t drink it frequently, I have maybe one to two Coke Zeros a week but its pretty pointless. Lime and soda or half orange juice/soda water is a better choice when out at the pub/for lunch etc.

Progress

Still aiming for 5 serves of veggies a day, probably achieving that maybe 4-5 times a week. Needs constant improvement! I am getting more in the habit of eating veggies at lunch though which is progress.

I did 77 minutes a day of exercise on average last week so still going strong on the 70 minutes of exercise a day. Feeling good too. Fit. I shaved 4 minutes off my 8 km run and I threw in a sizable hill to boot…but at 56 minutes it needs improvements. Still, I did run the whole thing so trying not to lose sight of how far I have come.

Cycling is going well, I have been for a few MTB rides and have been increasing my road and gym riding. I did a gorgeous sunset ride yesterday around my beautiful city. About 10 km and a good 35 minute workout. I felt really invigorated afterwards and would like to work at improving my time on the same route.

My weekly measurements (waist, stomach, hips) are showing a definite change (1-2 cm) and my clothes are feeling a little loose so I am on track for a loss come June 1st I believe. But I don’t really mind if not. I mean, I’ll be disappointed of course but I am feeling pretty happy and confident in my body at the moment. Last night we went round for a roast at my parents and my mum made a delicious lemon meringue pie from scratch. I had a huge serving and enjoyed every mouthful. I still feel no regrets. I am confident I know how much I can and can’t have at the moment. I’m feeling quite empowered actually. Hopefully it isn’t false confidence.

Overall, feeling great and loving it!

Next post: My City2Surf training plan. Starting to get exited/terrified at how close it is…