5 things I’ve realised

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The past 2 weeks have been rather useful and provided me with plenty of time to reflect over what I was actually doing, what needs to change and where I’m heading. Something I most definitely need to improve is my blogging. I always have these great ideas pent up in my head of things I want to write about, but for some strange reason I haven’t able to sit down and get it down on paper (keyboard/screen?). But guess what! That will change. My fingers are itching! Apart from blogging there have been 5 other things I’ve thought about or realised during the week that just passed:

1. I can’t put things off – Skipping a run because  it’s getting late (8 pm – which isn’t really late as it’s summer and light outside) is something I need to stop doing. Finding excuses to not run is dangerous.  I’m afraid of slowly slipping into my old habits of lounging on the sofa and doing absolutely nothing but stare at the TV. Now that I’ve come this far I can’t simply let it all go to waste. It’s time to toughen up and go for a run!

bild 22. Muscles remember – Apparently I still manage to run my regular distance after some absence. For some strange reason I had imagined that I would have to repeat several days and be out of breath before getting back on track. It was not without effort and persistence of course, but it looks like I still got it! Speaking of muscles, my legs have finally gained enough strength for me to bring out my Vivos (Vivobarefoot) that I bought when I was in London. Hurrah for comfortable barefoot shoes!

3. 2 more runs until 5K – Surreal as it may seem, it remains 2 more runs until I reach day 25. That’s when I will run a total distance of 5 km. How far I’ve come! I’m nervous and excited at the same time.

4. Some people can make a 360 – I remember a few years ago when a lot of people were appalled by the fact that I was a vegetarian (never really been much of meat eater and the step towards becoming a vegetarian felt like the only obvious thing to do). There were those who thought I was mad and those who said that I was going to have all kinds of deficiencies. There are those who will never understand me and those who make 360 just by having read a certain book, seen a movie, experiences something or simply had a change of heart. I’ve never been a person who talk people into my believes and way of living, but it’s rather refreshing to see that some of those who couldn’t understand me will now ask me of advice and have even started to take interest in Raw Food after having been served “zoodles” (zucchini noodles).  Speaking of zoodles, they are surprisingly easy to make (if you have the right tools) and so incredibly delicious that my next recipe post will probably cover this fresh treat .

bild 1 (1)5. I need to drink more tea – I know that sounds rather odd coming from a teaholic. But recently I’ve decreased my tea intake, mostly due to the fact that the selection (read quality) of tea at work is lacking and for some strange reason the nearest coffee/tea/water machine at work has this strange and bitter aftertaste when I choose the hot water. The easiest thing would be to have a tiny kettle, but we’re not allowed to. Yes I know, first world problem! For me to get a reasonable cuppa I have to walk up one floor, through a tunnel, down one floor and enter the cafeteria. Quite an effort for just one cup of tea. As a contrast, I lost count over how many cups of tea I had this weekend while at home. I even went to the most darling tea place in town. I felt complete. There’s nothing more comforting like a big cup of tea AKA hug in a cup. I’m not sure how I will solve my tea-at-work dilemma, but I’ll have to think of something…

What are some of the things you’ve realised or thought about recently?

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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! 

 

 

 

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!

Halfway and Ready for a Change

 

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How surreal this almost seems. Not too long ago I had almost given up running after barely getting started, and now I’m almost halfway through my C25K scheme. For the majority part of my life I’ve despised running, I could barely run for 1 minute without getting short of breath and every muscle in my body begged me to stop. Some days have been incredibly tough and I’ve asked myself why I’m actually doing this. Then there are those days where the clouds part, the sun comes out and everything seems possible. Like the optimist that I am, I try to focus on those positive days and change my way of thinking. I can’t change the past, but I certainly can change and improve my present and future…all it requires is some discipline and dedication.

Just because I’m getting closer towards my goal doesn’t mean I’ll stop there. My journey has only  just begun and there are many more extraordinary adventures to come. With that said, I believe I’m ready for a change. A change that I will take you all with me.

Behold, my new blog haven that goes by its new name:

This Veggie Runs

I’ve felt for quite some time that my blog name didn’t really portray what I was blogging about, and truth be told it was actually meant to act as a temporary option.  This time I need a clearer message. Something that will describe the overall topic of this blog and me as a person, yet stay simple and easy to remember.  So in short, I’m a vegetarian who runs!

I’m still uncertain how all of this will work out with changing a blog name, but hopefully all my posts and all you lovely followers will follow with it.*fingers crossed*

P.S. You may still see my old blog banner. I need to find some time to sit down and design a new one. Please, bare with me! Hopefully this change won’t be too traumatic for all of you. 😉

 

Post-It Countdown

To continue on the pink track, I saw something incredibly useful and creative on Pinterest a few days ago. As hard as I try not to and despite of the fact that we all have to start somewhere, sometimes I can’t help but to compare myself with other runners. Feeling that sense of purpose is required! Trying to develop a habit also requires determination and consistency. Putting up Post-It notes for each day can serve as a colourful and visual motivation when training.

After completing each run, I will just rip one off and feel that sense of pride that I’m getting one step closer towards reaching my goal. That is to say, complete a 5K run without fainting halfway through. Having it there right in front of you makes it seem less daunting. 25 runs in total (I’ve already completed 5)…hmm that’s not too bad! After today’s run it might seem almost impossible, but then again nothing is impossible. One step at a time and I’ll be there. Reaching day 25 won’t be the “end”, but the very beginning of a new start.

Cheers to a better and healthier life and future!