The benefits of training buddies

I will admit it. I don’t love exercise. I don’t jump out of bed in the morning thinking YAY time to get the blood pumping and the heart racing (actually I can think of FAR more enjoyable ways to do both!) For me every exercise session is a JFDI session. For that reason my workout buddies are absolutely invaluable. I may let myself down sometimes by not training but I will never pike on a training session I have promised to do with someone else. On the rare occassion they dont turn up, I figure I’m there anyway and do the session.

This weekend I was once again reminded of how wonderful training buddies are, and of how lucky I am to have the support network I do. I am still struggling a bit with sleeping and want nothing more at 6am than to roll over and go back to sleep. Its cold out, and dark and what sane person gets out of bed at that time if they dont have to? Me apparently. Saturday morning was bootcamp. Every Saturday morning I feel like rolling over and going back to sleep but I dont. I’ve promised people I will be there so I go. There was a part of me (a very large part of me) that hoped it was raining this Sat morning so I could sleep in, but it wasnt so I dragged my sorry butt out of bed before i could think about it and turned up. We had a fabulous boxing session and I burned 533 cals I would not have if I had stayed in bed. Not my biggest burn sure, but I know I gave it everything as I had complete jelly legs by the end of it!

Sat afternoon I headed up to my brothers place and spent the afternoon running around with my 4yo niece. It is nice to be able to keep up with her energy levels a lot better than I used to. I still had 100 of this weeks push up challenge left so I did some while I was there. It was so cute watching my niece (aka Mini Me) trying to copy me. She can’t do them on her toes but she smashed them out on her knees 🙂 Even my brother was impressed that I was able to do “guys pushups”. With their encouragement I managed another 50 in spite of aching shoulders from Friday night’s pump class and the morning boxing session.

Normally I use the hour + drive each way as an excuse to stay up there, (and eat and drink too much) and skip training in the morning. This week though I had committed to meeting some people for a double lap of the bay on Sunday morning. (Yes thats right DOUBLE!). There was a moment when my niece begged me to stay that I felt like cancelling, but I held strong and came home. I’m so glad I did!

Woke up this morning to glorious sunshine and met the girls at the bay. We did the first 6 and a bit km pretty easy pace (some of us faster than others and the only run was across the iron cove bridge) and then met up for breakfast. (I was good poached eggs and 1 piece of toast). The 2nd lap, we decided we would interval run. I teamed up with a couple of newbies who are doing their first round and we basically broke up the bay into chunks. Our intervals werent timed or measured, but we were consistent. I actually figure the new girls are fitter than I am they just dont know it yet! We all pushed each other along, and by the end I had SMASHED my old PB by around 5 minutes! We did the 7km in 1hr and 2 minutes. I thought we might have got the 1 hour at one point, but there just wasnt enough left in the tank. By the end, we had walked and ran 14km in 2hr and 14 minutes. I had burned 1178 calories. (Super SUNDAY Session!) and the second lap we’d averaged around 8 and a half minutes per km which for me is pretty fast! (I usually do 9 – 10min). Teaming up with the others was inspiring and motivating. The enthusiasm of people just starting out on their journey is infectious and I find it really rejuvenated me. Without my training buddies I would have a) Not got out of bed or b) only done 1 lap and c) not pushed myself to run as much as I did! I even managed to finished the 300 push up challenge while stretching after the bay. YAY!!!! Now just have to start the 800 step up challenge.

So here it is lunch time Sunday and I feel like I’ve really accomplished something exercise wise this weekend. Don’t get me wrong, I am sore… oh boy am  I sore and it’s going to be worse tomorrow, but I am also incredibly satisfied. Im also looking forward to enjoying my dinner out tonight with no guilt!

I hope everyone else has a fabulous weekend and gets out to enjoy the gorgeous sunshine!


Surprises on the scales

Last week I had a huge loss. I figured that was the plane bloat and extra fluid I was holding due to eating heaps of salt and other less than healthy foods while I was on holidays. Since I’ve been home I’ve eaten pretty well (apart from a big red flag weekend) but had only managed to exercise on 3 days. I was therefore hoping for a loss but expecting only about 500g if I was lucky. Imagine my surprise then when I stepped on the scales and saw that I had dropped 2.3kg!!! That’s huge. Not counting last week, that’s my biggest loss ever. I’m thinking there was a bit of leftover fluid and maybe my body has gone into shock at eating clean again. Either way I don’t care. It’s awesome!!! Added to that my scales say I’ve lost 2% fat. Happy days 🙂 those are the same scales that 2 months ago would measure my fat at all because there was too much of it.

The only downside is how it effects other people. I know it’s hard not to compare yourself to others (I struggled during round 1 preseason I remember), but when people complain about a loss of 800gm and think its terrible and want to throw in the towel because its not as big as those like mine, it makes me feel bad for sharing and takes some of the gloss off. I’d like us to celebrate every achievement, no matter how big or small. Sure some weeks the numbers aren’t massive (although really I think 800g is huge) but the effort that went into getting those results are just as big. Bodies just don’t work according to some magical formula especially female bodies. Some will lose small numbers on the scales but massive inches. Others lose more on the scales and less on the tape measure. Some get big results on both and for others it’s slow going all the way. Everyone is on their own journey. It’s a journey not a race. It doesn’t matter if we don’t get there first, what matters is that we pick up our feet day after day, step after step and keep going. I know it might seem really easy for me to say when I’m sitting on a really big loss this week but I mean it. Next week I’m expecting a small number, maybe even less than 500g – that’s the way my body usually works, but I will celebrate that as well as celebrating with those who lose big numbers. I hope that others continue on their journey they start to feel the same about the scales. Any loss is a good loss. Even of there is no loss, the scales are but one indicator of the changes we are making. Celebrate ALL the accomplishments – increased fitness, sticking to the meal plan, being in control of food instead of it controlling us, running further / faster, doing more push-ups etc.

On the subject of push-ups, really pleased to say I’ve kept up and am now halfway through Michelle’s 300 push up challenge this week. Not always easy, especially to do them on top of regular training, but I’ve done them and most of them on my toes even though I’m only “required” to do them on knees.

Here’s hoping the positivity flows into the next week 🙂 and congratulations to EVERYONE for their amazing achievements on and off the scales this week.

Learning to Run

Anyone who knows me knows I have never been what you would consider athletic. Sure, as a kid I was fit, did every dance class known to man and tried my hand at numerous sports, but apart from dancing I never stuck with anything for more than a few weeks especially if it involved running. I hated running. I was crap at it and I hated anything I was crap at. The only time I recall getting any sort of solace or comfort from running was when they told me our first dog had to be put down, and I ran down the street with him back to the car because I couldn’t bear walking. Since then I havent done any running voluntarily… until 12WBT.

Round 1 saw me attempt the couch to 5k… for a few weeks. It helped. As did all the running drills I did in bootcamp etc. I stopped the C25K mainly because I was doing all sorts of other exercise and it didn’t really fit in. By week 8 of 12WBT though I had improved in my running enough to run 1km without stopping for my fitness test. I was pretty happy about that!  I had planned to run during my holiday but that didnt end up happening, so I was a bit worried about whether I could repeat the performance for my fitness test in Round 2.

Thankfully I did! My time wasn’t as good, but that wasn’t the issue. I just wanted to run the km again. It’s very much a mental thing for me. When I start puffing an panting my brain tells me I should stop. I have to keep making deals with myself to go further. This time though it was a bit different. Sure I was puffing like a steam train about 50m in and I knew I wasn’t going to do it easy, but I also had the knowledge that i have been able to complete it before, and that as bad as my breathing sounds (passers by give me concerned looks – probably thinking I’m about to keel over), that as long as it doesn’t get any worse I can keep going. I even had some left for a sprint at the end! Funnily enough, as hard as the jogging part was, the sprint part actually felt good! My legs strode out, my arms pumped, I felt strong! Don’t get me wrong, it was only very short  and I wouldn’t have broken any Olympic records, but for that few seconds I could actually tell why people enjoy this running thing.

I therefore decided to join a group of inner westies for a Couch to 10km training session. When the alarm went off at 5.30 on Friday morning, I didn’t let myself procrastinate. I was up, dressed and out the door before I had the chance to think about the fact that I had just voluntarily cut short the first proper night’s sleep I’d had in a week. It was cold and dark when I met the ladies near the bay and I was a little intimidated when I saw that most of the others were regular runners – some had even done marathons! Luckily the lovely Carol was there (my partner from my first ever bootcamp). The lady who had organised it, and her husband are both runners and had set out a course for us with  cones. We’d run to the first cone, then walk back, run to the second cone, then do a combination of walking and running back to the start. We kept this up for the whole session. Cheri, the organiser ran with Carol and I (how that girl can hold a conversation while running i have no idea!). She was a great motivator and didnt make me feel like I was holding people back at all. By the end of the session we had walked/jogged 4km. Most of it was jogged! I even had enough left for another sprint finish and once again I got that awesome feeling for that few seconds of sprinting.

I’m planning on attending these sessions every Friday morning if work permits. I’m really looking forward to improving how long I can run for. A little part of me is also looking forward to extending the length of my “sprints”… who knows, maybe one day I’ll be able to actually run (not just jog) the whole 1km! Miracles happen right?


Getting back into the swing of things

This morning was week 1 round 2 weigh in. As it was only 2 days since my “start” weigh in I wasn’t expecting much. I nearly fainted in the bathroom when I saw the result though – 2.5kg down! Now in no way do I think that is 2.5 kg of fat, but I am very happy. Happy because it means I didn’t really gain as much weight as I thought while I was on holidays, and happy because I am only 400g over what I was when I left Australia a month ago. I should be able to drop that this week and continue the weight loss.

There have been some other consequences to the holiday lifestyle I was living and not all of them are pleasant. My skin is awful at the moment. I’m covered in zits, my skin has lost it’s glow, I look grey and pasty. Hopefully a couple of weeks of clean eating and drinking plenty of water will fix that. I’ve also got jet lag for the first time ever. I’ve slept only about 8 hours in the last 96 and 4 of them were last night! I’m exhausted. My immune system is low (lack of fresh fruit and veggies while away I think) so I picked up a cold on the plane. Add TTOM and I feel generally crap. House looks like squatters have moved in as I’ve had no energy to do anything.

I did at least get the shopping done and so have eaten well for the last couple of days. I’m already starting to feel better. I can’t undo all the damage over night but I know I’ll be back to the new/old me very soon. Haven’t managed any exercise yet (prioritizing sleep and recovery) but will do my fitness test after work today.


Keep calm and Carry On – Back to reality

I arrived back home this morning after my fabulous trip. I had had the best of intentions to exercise once I got back to England, however I broke my toe on my last night in Casablanca (accidently kicked the bed leg) so walking was painful enough – running was just not going to happen. I’ve faced the scales. I’ve put on 3kg during the trip. ok. I can accept that. I ate and drank anything and everything and did stuff all in regards to exercise. I enjoyed every moment of my trip but I let my self discipline disappear. That is the result. I’m not going to let it stress me out. I’m home again so that means back into my routine.

Luckily I have a couple of meals in the freezer as I have no tie to do the shopping before I go back to work and I really dont want the bad eating to continue now I’m home. Toe is still out of shape but nowhere near as painful so I should be able to get straight back into the exercise too without using that as an excuse. Round 2 starts today, and whilst I am a little behind on preseason tasks and preparation I feel ready to take on the round. I’ve done my measuring (funnily enough only increased waist size – the rest were down from Week 8, Rnd 1). I’m planning on doing the fitness test on Wednesday morning as I have nanna duties tomorrow and otherwise time is taken up with work. Bootcamp should be on for Saturday and the fab ladies I worked out with in my local area last round are keen to keep it up this round. I will also join a gym this round to help keep me motivated on dark cold/wet/rainy winters days when id rather sit on the couch wrapped in a blanket.

Goals for this round:

Lose 10kgs including the 3 I’ve just put on (to bring total lost to 22kg)

Run 2km without stopping. (am hoping I can still run 1km)

Keep consistent with the food for the full 12 weeks (allowing myself a little leeway for my 40th birthday weekend towards the end of the round)

Do 20 full pushups.

Stay positive and not let the “I’m back home” blues get me down and sabotage my efforts

Great motto for me this round

Great motto for me this round

by the end of the trip I was looking like a porker!

by the end of the trip I was looking like a porker!

stone henge camel