Catch Up

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Oops! What a lousy blogger I have been. No post in sight for weeks. I haven’t given up on writing my post at all it’s just that I’ve been ill (we had some rather strange weather a few weeks ago) and as if things couldn’t get any better my allergy is here. Hooray! My energy was down to 0. My regular medicine only made it worse and it didn’t seem to work as efficiently as always. Walking around feeling like a zombie isn’t optimal now that I’m off from work and there’s nothing more I’d like to do than to enjoy the outdoors. Thankfully I’ve found an allergy medication that won’t make me drowsy or suffer from nasty side effects.

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Don’t worry I haven’t given up my running regime. Although I did have to go back a week or two to get back on track. Due to the tropical heat we’re having I had to change my routine and slow down a bit. Instead of running during the evening, I made the wise choice to run in the early morning (around 7-8 ó clock) when it’s “only” +20C outside. Running wouldn’t be as difficult if it wasn’t for that feeling of slowly melting away. So I’m rather thankful that I’ve gone back a week to ease my body into the summer heat. So children, always listen to your body. It knows what’s best!

As I’ve neglected my blog I’ll give you a short summary of my activities last week and the past few days.

21/7 Monday: Yoga (mostly back stretching as I was stiff as a board)

22/7 Tuesday: 4.60 km – 47m 18s (5 min warmup walk. Run 5 min. Walk 3 min. Run 8 min. Walk 3 min. Run 5 min + cooldown)

23/7 Wednesday: Yoga + Arm workout with weights 20+10 (as I’m such a weakling, well my arms that is, I’ve started weight lifting 2 kg in each hand)

24/7 Thursday: 4.34 km – 44m 8s (5 min warmup walk. Run 10 min; Walk 3 min; Run 10 min + cooldown)- it was so incredibly warm that day that I was barely absent during my run+ Arm workout with weights 20+10

25/7 Friday: Yoga + Arm workout with weights 20+10

26/7 Saturday: 4.51 km – 43m 8s (5 min warmup walk. Run 22 min + cooldown) + Arm workout with weights 20+10

27/7 Sunday: Beach day! Warmest water up to date. Went swimming and got back on land after 1 hour! Surprised myself. Arms and legs =spaghetti

28/7 Monday: Yoga + Arm workout with weights 20+10

29/7 Tuesday: Yoga + Arm workout with weights 30+10

30/7 Wednesday: 4.76 km – 44m 42s (5 min warmup walk. Run 25 min + cooldown)  + Arm workout with weights 30+10

I would have gone swimming on more occasions but the jellyfish decided to invade our shores on Tuesday. Please tell me I’m not the only one who freaks out when one or a gazillion of them touch your leg or when you accidentally step on one. Eurgh!! 😦  Shooo away with you jellyfish!!

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Feeling rather pathetic

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I do have to apologize for my absence and lack of update. During the past few days I haven’t been feeling very well as I’ve had everything from a headache and stomach ache to being stressed out and getting a strange break out all over my face. All of this is now thankfully gone and I can resume my running (although I’m pretty sure my legs will hate me), handstand challenge and blogging.

I don’t know why I’m criticizing myself for not running for a few days. It’s not like I’ve given up! But somehow I feel really bad for not stepping outside the door and going for a run. A part of me is afraid that I’ll slip into that state of being so lazy (unmotivated) that I’ll just keep telling myself that I’ll do it tomorrow and end up not doing it altogether. I don’t want to start all over again. There’s nothing worse than putting things off.

It’s rather strange that I should feel like this when I know that I haven’t given up. Surely, it is OK to feel under the weather for a few days. After all, sooner or later my body will need a proper rest. My muscles were in need of a rest. I couldn’t move them anyway. The last few days they’ve been rather stiff and things didn’t improve when I got that headache. I’m just going to put this all behind me, embrace that I needed a rest and rise like a phoenix (pardon for that metaphor).

How do you even manage to do this?!

How do you even manage to do that?!

Actually now that we’ve brought up negative thoughts (might as well get it all out) – how on earth do you people out there manage to do a handstand?! For the past week I’ve tried to do a regular plank without touching the wall. At this point the aim is to hold a plank for 1 min. How naive I was when I thought to myself: “Oh surely that will be a piece of cake!” HAH! I felt rather pathetic when I started to tremble and could barely hold my body off the floor for 10-20 seconds. I felt like a walrus on land (not a pretty sight). Am I really this weak? I know that doing a handstand isn’t all about strenght, but I’m starting to wonder if I’ll ever manage to do it. I’ve never really used my arms and inner core this way before. I think my body is at loss and have no clue to what is going on. Doubt is a dangerous thing! It certainly won’t help me. Just like with my running, I need something to motivate me. For me to make progress, I need to see progress. So I’m going to set a timer, do my very best, write down the amount of time I managed to hold a plank, and then increase the time by each day. Step by step and I’ll be there. Once I manage to do it for 60 seconds I can continue to the next level.

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Tomorrow I’ll resume my running. I’m not really sure how my body will react.  I’ll probably struggle after a few minutes, but that’s only natural. I’m hopeful that after 2 to 3 runs I’ll be back on track again. I need to stop blaming myself and take charge of things.  We all have those days when we are feeling uninspired and unmotivated. Tomorrow will be a new day and bring new possibilities!

Ever since I was little, my mum has always been there for me. Whenever someone or something got me down, she would always say this to me:Never ever give up!” That’s something I will always hold close to my heart and have with me wherever I go. Things won’t always be easy, but I will never give up! 

 

 

 

Weekly Recap: 26/7-1/6

 

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With 4 days off from work, I’ve been a busy bee this week. To tell the truth I’ve been busy cleaning the house, cooking, recharging my batteries by the coast and eating ice cream. The last two were incredibly exhausting! How dull it is to eat that much ice cream. Poor me! I’m actually right in the middle of scooping out Magnum’s new chocolate pint. I had my doubts, but this chocolate ice cream with chocolate sauce and chocolate sprinkle is a real chocolate bonanza! I was afraid that it would be too sweet, but it’s not. It’s incredibly rich in flavour, almost too rich. Oh who am I kidding, it’s a spoonful of pleasure! Excuse me while I lay down and have an ice cream coma…

Somehow I only fit in two runs this week. I needed to give my body some time to recover from the drastic increase in running. I am getting stronger by the day and I feel that running in barefoot/minimalist shoes has helped me in so many ways. I’m sure it helped me this Friday when I went for a 22 min barefoot run on the beach. That sense of freedom and being in touch with the ground got me to focus on how I placed me feet and improved my pace and posture. Surprisingly enough, I wasn’t sore at all next morning. I did however learn one very important lesson after that run – never go out for a run before visiting a toilet. It was not a very pleasant experience running around and slowly getting a stomach ache. It was the only thing I focused on and I could barely get through the first 10 min. So I had to pause my session and resume it one minute later after having “gone to the ladies’ room”. A bit disappointed that I had to pause, but if you gotta go, you gotta go. Lesson learned!

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Monday: Yoga

Tuesday: 4.27 km – 38m 42s (5 min warmup walk. Run 10 min; Walk 3 min; Run 10 min + cooldown)

Wednesday: Yoga

Thursday: Rest

Friday: 3.85 km – 36m 32s (5 min warmup walk. Run 22 min + cooldown) <– Completely barefoot on a beach

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: Yoga

I’ve been thinking of incorporating another workout into my schedule. Even though I do yoga, it’s for relaxation and stretching on a beginner’s level in order to recover from the running. I like challenges, especially those that I’ve previously not succeed at. My next post will probably cover this challenge, but for now it will remain a secret (well some of you might know of it). All I can tell you it has something to do with Yoda and my hands. Oooh got you curious there now did I?!

Weekly Recap: 19-25th of May

What a week! I’ve had my ups and downs, but there’s a wind of change *whistles* approaching and I can feel that my body is starting to adjust to my new lifestyle. My legs are getting stronger and my endurance has increased so much that I even surprised myself and went for a run for 20 minutes without stopping.  The support from my family, friends and everyone reading my blog has been overwhelming. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart!

As I start to approach my goal of running a total of 5 km, I feel this calls for a weekly occurring recap in order to keep record of my progress.

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Monday: Yoga

Tuesday: 4.11 km – 42m 35 s (5 min warmup walk. Run 8 min; Walk 5 min; Run 8 min + cooldown) + Yoga

Wednesday: Yoga

Thursday: 3.97 km – 36m 57s (5 min warmup walk. Run 20 min + cooldown) 

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Yoga + pilates

Sunday:  4.44 km – 42m 7s  (5 min warmup walk. Run 5 min; Walk 3 min; Run 8 min; Walk 3 min; Run 5 min + cooldown) + Yoga

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“I’m learning every day to allow the space between where I am and where I want to be to inspire me and not terrify me” – Trace Ellis Ross

 

She believed she could so she did

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I did it! Yesterday I managed to run for 20 minutes without stopping. I’m still in a state of shock and disbelief. Well perhaps not disbelief, somewhere deep down I knew I could do it, I was just extremely nervous of giving up too soon. But, I’m not one of those who gives up to easily! I really wanted to finish that run and I did.

The entire run/walk (still unsure what to call these C25K sessions) was rather smooth, despite of it being a rather warm day. Here’s a short run-down of how it went:

  • 5 min warm-up – How refreshing to get out today after a long day at work. Pleasantly warm and sunny! Feel light as a feather.
  • 2 min into the run – Still a bit stiff in my legs, but I’m sure I’ll manage.
  • 3 min – This stiffness isn’t going away and my stomach is starting to ache…great.
  • 4 min – If it’s going to continue like this I might not even be able to run for 10 minutes. How frustrating!
  • 4½ min –  The very least I could do was to focus on my breathing and drink some water. After all it was a rather warm day.
  • 5 min – My stiffness was starting to lift! Thank goodness!
  • 6-10 min – Well this isn’t too bad!
  • 10-15 min – Starting to get a bit tired, time to put in the heavy artillery and listen to Muse (Survival/Madness) and 30 Seconds to Mars(This is War). Badass mode is on!
  • 15-20 min – Phew! Almost there, but it’s getting incredibly tough to run in the sun so I’m trying my best to find high hedges or trees that cast some shadow over me. I have absolutely no idea what was going through my head at this point…it was blank! I do actually remember I had some weird idea on what it would be like to run next to horse (Scissor Sisters’ “Only The Horses” was playing at that moment). Went back to reality after hearing that I had only 1 minute left! OMG I could run a marathon (who was I kidding?). A smile started to spread across my face. “Begin your cool-down”. WHAT?! That’s it? I’m done? Ladies and gentlemen, I can officially say that I’ve run for 20 minutes without stopping! I was ecstatic and so proud of myself for not giving up.

At this point my face was scarlet red and flushed from the heat (I’ll spare you from a photo), but I didn’t care…I had completed the most feared day of all the weeks. 5K seems not too far away from now. I’m feeling more motivated than ever. I can’t wait for my next run. Did I just say that? Times are changing…

P.S. It might still require some work, but I’ve just updated the “about me” page section at the very top.

 

Oh my gosh, week 5 is here…

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If I’m going to rock week 5, I might as well do it in a Guns N’ Roses shirt

What’s so awful about week 5 I hear you ask? Thing is that it’s dreaded by almost everyone! Before even having started with the C25K running program, I had read several posts on the Facebook page where people were concerned about week 5. As usual week 5 consists of 3 days, but it’s the massive leap that makes the third day so daunting. I’ve already completed day 1 and 2 of week 5, and I was pleasantly surprised that it was a lot easier from the previous week. Could it be that my body is to starting to adapt to the increase of time/distance that I’m running? Today I alternated between a 5 min walk and a 8 min run. I was so focused on the running for the first part that I didn’t even hear the app telling me to switch to walking, well until I started to wonder why it was taking so long. Surprisingly enough, I didn’t face any real problems. I just decided to focus on my breathing (which went into autopilot after a while) and listen to some epic music.

BUT (yes that big but is needed!) on my next run I will have to run for 20 minutes! SAY WHAT?!  Yup, I thought that was a mistake when I read that for the first time…but apparently it’s not. *heavy breathing*It’s a rather strange feeling knowing that I have reached week 5, when it felt like years from now not so long ago. Yet, here I am! As many concerns there are, I’ve also read that one shouldn’t really pay notice to the time and that it is possible to run for 20 min at this stage. The key is to settle into a pace that you are comfortable with (turtle-slow in my case) and set your mind on “I’m going to finish”.

I’ve planned to take the bull by the horns tomorrow and just do it! I’m sure I’m going to be really nervous before I head out, but then again who knows I might even surprise myself. Wish me the best of luck! Certainly going to need it… *gulp*

8 good reasons to run with music

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I’m not sure what I would have done without music during my runs. I would have probably given up a thousand times by now if it wasn’t for my running playlist. I tend to update my running playlist from time to time so that I won’t grow tired of certain songs. Then there are those epic songs I’ll never get tired of and they will probably stay on repeat forever.

During this past week I’ve needed an extra boost and encouragement when running. The level of difficulty seemed  a bit too high for me. But then I came to the conclusion that it was all in my head. I wasn’t going to die if I ran a few more seconds. There were moments where it would have been so easy to just give up and go back home. Truth be told I did stop twice, but at the very second I stopped I felt the guilt and disappointment wash all over me and I decided to run a few extra meters by the end of my run in order to make up for it. I definitely needed something that would bring my motivation and spirit up for my next run. My solution? 70s music! Did it help? Why yes it did.  Thank you Sister Sledge and Abba!

Music just seems to soothe one’s soul and there are several other benefits when listening to music, even when  it comes to running.

Here are 8 good reasons to plug in your headphones and listen to some music when out for a run (I’m sure that there are many more):

1. Gets you motivated on your longer runs

At the Brunel University in England, researchers have investigated which music will motivate you the most during longer workouts. Music with an average tempo wins over a mixture of a fast and slow paced music, and over solely fast music.

2. Improves you reaction speed

The faster your music’s tempo is, the quicker your reactivity is.

3. Train harder without getting tired

Studies have shown that your workout-strains will feel approximately 10% less if you run to music that suits your pace, tempo and heart rate. In other words,  with music you will be able to perform 10% longer or with 10% higher intensity, without it feeling more difficult.

4. Maximizes your workout flow

If you combine your running with music it’s a lot easier to get into a “flow” – a state where your body and mind more or less hits into an autopilot mode and you don’t pay notice to what you are doing, but where you simply run. Being “in the zone” can resemble a lighter hypnotic state where you forget about time and space and where you are simply present in the now.  If you are able to achieve that flow you will experience a very pleasant run, the so called “runner’s high”. Music will make your run much more than just a workout and your head will be cleansed of thoughts, your stress will vanish and time will fly.

5. Reduces nervousness and stress

If you’re nervous before a race or competition, music can decrease your nervosity and help to to perform better. Slow and familiar music is good if you want to keep your nerves in check, while upbeat music can increase your performance. Whether you’re training for a race or not, nervousness, stress and heartache can worsen your results and even make you abandon your running altogether.

6. Saves oxygen

If you running pace/tempo is synced with your music, you can decrease the amount of oxygen you  use up by 7%.

7. Interval training gets easier 

Music can be your best friend if you’ve decided to do interval training/running. In order to keep your tempo, you can you the rhythm of the music to control when you place your foot on the ground.

8. Keep your spirit up!

Even with the best intentions it can sometimes prove to be difficult to stay at your desired intensity/pace during a longer and demanding run, music helps. Turning up your favourite song can boost your spirit and you will kick some ass! Or you might just end up looking rather silly running around singing to yourself…but who cares. 😉

 

Music makes you run!