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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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?

The Handstand Challenge

I must be in a rather strange mood to overcome some of the fears I had when I was a child, things I previously couldn’t master now somehow seems to evoke an inner voice within me that keeps telling me that I need to give it another try. I gave running a try and now I’m almost ready to do a 5K run. I still haven’t grasped the fact that I’ve come this far. This time I’ve decided that I am going to take on The Handstand Challenge!

Surely you’ve done a handstand against a wall at school, I hear you ask. Well I tried, but never succeeded and it didn’t make things better that I was afraid of falling over. But that certainly was one of the reasons to why I didn’t manage to do a handstand at all. I leave the wise words to Master Yoda:

“You must unlearn what you have learned” – Taking on a new challenge is about letting go of all fears and believing that you can do it. When I found an epic step-by-step progression guide by Chris Salvato (handstand Jedi Master) for beginners on how to do a freestand handstand I knew I wanted to give it a tr…*ehem* I wanted to do it!  Whether you’re a Star Wars nerd, Padawan, Yoda fangirl or a mortal being, you definitely should read Chris’ inspiring and humours post on how to master the art of handstanding.

By practising for at least 5 minutes a day, I’ll be able to do a headstand within a month or two. Being able to spare 5 minutes a day isn’t very much when you think of it. The key to succeeding is to systematically and gradually introduce yourself to the handstand, to be upside down, and to rely on your hands to support you. Anyone can do it! I know it’s an odd date to start at (I should have started on the 1st of June), but I can’t have any excuses. I start The Handstand Challenge today! I’m going to document it as time goes by. It will be fascinating to see my progress and serve as a motivator that I’m getting one step closer to doing a handstand. Here we go Yoda…time to work on those fears, my inner core and those weakling arms in order to look super cool while being upside down.

May the force be with me!

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*