Twice a day keeps the doctor away!

16 Dec

Two exercises sessions a day between now and Christmas – how hard can that be? I am an experienced exerciser, and I wanted to ramp it up so that I could gain more fitness and lose some weight. Here is how the first week went:

Monday

6 am BodyPump class with weights to music, great class and a good workout. Started to put my weights up a bit and I was able to hold my technique through some challenging tracks. All good so far.

6 pm Spin class. Fantastic class, completely in the zone with the instructor who was very fit and athletic and told funny jokes. A winner.

Tuesday

6 am Run, 4 km which sadly is all I am up for at the moment, and even that was a struggle. The track I run is mostly in full sun, and i am struggling with a lack of running fitness due to accident and injury earlier in the year. Hey fitness, come back soon, I need you!

6 pm – planned spin class. Head off to the gym, but major road blocked due to serious accident. Finally managed to turn around and head home after 45 mins, but enthusiasm gone and I forgot about doing a video online.

Wednesday

6 am Pump again. Different instructor, young and inexperienced, nice guy but barely incoherent, so couldn’t follow instructions on a track I hadn’t done before. Most of the class the same, so it was comical watching arms and legs waving all over the place. My technique was lacking from Monday, but I felt great all day with a (literal) warm glow.

6 pm – planned for spin class, but didn’t make it when work function ran well over time and I couldn’t leave.

Thursday

6 am – run planned. Raining. Says it all. I refuse to run in the rain, and in my defence I once ran an entire Half Marathon in the pouring rain, so bad I could barely see where I was going. Having done that, my quota of rain running is used up. Found some great 12WBT workouts and did that instead.

6 pm – Spin planned. Stuck at work. Again.

Friday

8 am Pump for the third time this week. Feeling good, and confident in my technique.

6 pm – planned spin class, but stuck at work. Seeing a pattern here!

Saturday – thought about a run, but opted for day off.
Sunday – raining early, but went for a big walk up a steep hill and back down for 45 mins.

Weekly wrap up? I didn’t make it for two sessions a day, but I had a lot of fun trying! Seven exercise sessions weren’t bad – a challenge to beat that this coming week!

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Surviving the Silly Season!

8 Dec

Who isn’t exhausted just thinking about all of the parties and function that we will attend in December? Anyone would think that we will never see our friends, family and work contacts again, the amount of effort that we all go to to catch up, right now!

As a veteran at attending function after function, sometimes several a day because of my job, here are my best tips for surviving the season:

1. Don’t drink too much. OK, I know that this advice will fall on deaf ears most of the time, but it’s a no brainer. But drink too much at a work function and not only will you look pretty stupid on the night, but everyone will be talking about you the next day. Trust me on this, after I saw this happen a few days ago. Plus go overboard and do something really stupid under the influence and your job may be no more. At work functions I have perhaps one glass of wine and the rest soft drink. Plus you need to pace yourself over a long evening, and you can see the experienced hands at work here.

2. Don’t eat the food at a function and then go out to dinner after. It’s one or the other. If you add up the calories for each of the lovely nibbles that come around they will range from 50 cals for something really small, to 100 cals for most delicious morsels, and 150-200 cals easy for a chicken satay stick. Considering most of us would eat say 6-8 pieces at any function, easily 500 cals, plus the calories from the alcohol or softdrinks (probably another 300 cals) you can see the problem!

3. Exercise as much as you possibly can to counteract the effects of it all. I know that this can be pretty hard, particularly after a hangover (speaking from experience here), but even a walk or a swim helps clear the head.

4. This one is really critical if you regularly overdo it at parties and functions, or suffer from regular work functionitis, like me. Eat like a sparrow the rest of time. If you eat out at lunch, have something light like vegetable soup at night. If you eat a heavy restaurant meal at night, ease off on breakfast tomorrow.

5. Eat half. I have a work colleagues who attends even more functions than me (at least one a day), and he drinks no alcohol and eats half of what is in front of him. Learn from the experts!

6. At functions ignore the bread and the dessert. It probably won’t be what you want to eat anyway, and it is better off on the plate than on your hips. Again the experts at eating out will always refuse dessert at a function. Otherwise your three course function meal, which you don’t even necessarily enjoy or want, could easily end up costing you upwards of 1000 cals.

7. If you regular have to eat at restaurants at lunchtime like I do, have a set routine where you order eg the fish or chicken, but ask them to hold the potato, pasta, rice etc, and replace it with salad. I do this every time, and it means that you can still be polite with your business colleague/friend, and no-one cares or notices. Most restaurant meals are not designed with the regular eater-out in mind!

Good luck and enjoy!

Running resources

8 Dec

I’ve been running on and off for around six years this time around (25 years ago was the first incarnation), and in that time I have I have come across some fantastic resources. I am posting them here in case they can also help someone else achieve their goals, plus keep reminding me of what I need to do to get to my marathon goal.

I have a lot of books on running, and I will share some of them here, plus I will keep updating this post as I find more at home. The best resource for any beginning runner is Runner’s World Magazine. I have had a subscription for years, and it never disappoints. The link to their online site is here: http://www.runnersworldonline.com.au/; and here: http://www.runnersworld.com.

Some great books which I have recently enjoyed reading are as follows. All are available to download in the Kindle Store.

Short Fat Chick to Marathon Runner, by Kerre Woodham. Kerre is a NZ broadcaster who went through her own marathon journey, including the New York Marathon, also a goal of mine. I was told about the book by a fellow Kiwi runner on a run one morning, who turned out to be a world record holder in her age group. It’s incredible who you meet out on a run!

Marathon Method: Essential Guide to Training for Your First Marathon, by Joe Donovan. Really helpful manual and answers all of the questions you are asking, or more to the point, should be asking but didn’t know to ask!

I also highly recommend anything by Jeff Galloway, who recommends a run/walk method, which I have used from time to time. His website is here: http://www.runnersworldonline.com.au/

5 km Fun Run – Rip the Bandaid

8 Dec

Well there is nothing like just getting out there and just doing it.  A 5 km fun run was my 12WBT first milestone, and I did it with a week to go.  Whilst it wasn’t pretty, no run in summer at 7 am ever will be, at least I did it, and beat everyone at home sitting on the couch.  I had to walk part of the way at the end, which was somewhat despressing!  Never done that in a fun run before, but in my defence it was extremely hot and uphill (OK- there were just a few uphill bits; alright – I was probably imagining it, but I did see a slight slope), and my heart rate monitor was showing 170 bpm at the time.  To avoid the organisers having to call an ambulance, I walked.  One day I will look back on it and laugh, and this is what documenting the journey was all about.  My running buddy, Nice Husband, naturally athletic and but not too much more recent training than me (don’t you just hate that?!), did it in 28 minutes.  My best time was close to this, and my last 5 km run was 33 minutes.  How I long for those days, when I thought I wasn’t very good!!  Just shows the enormous difference losing weight will make.  Bring it on!!image

Mini marathon and the weather hots up…

8 Dec

I celebrated week 2 of my 12 Week Body Transformation by not doing any exercise.  In fact not doing any exercise until the weekend when I did it all in one hit.  The week brought my usual crazy round of interstate trips and work functions, and I didn’t get in any exercise at all, but went to way too many functions.  I did however decide to do a mini-marathon of my own at the gym and completed four hours of classes in a row, which was rather fun.  The next day I backed this up with my weekend long run.  Only 6 km at the moment, but I am only just starting. Can’t say I’ve lost much weight, but I am feeling great, and I think I can see the start of some muscles poking through!  So really the week 2 blues didn’t eventuate, although it would be nice to actually lose some weight, but I am coming to the realisation that my lifestyle is the major impediment.

At the beginning…

1 Dec

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This blog documents my fitness and marathon journey.  I’ve called it Marathon Dreaming, as running a marathon has been my dream for a long time.

Seven years ago I came back to running after a 20 year break, and completed four half marathons.  It was however too much too soon, and I was plagued with injuries and got burned out after a few years.  Inevitably the running and fitness dropped off, but the benefit was no more injuries, which were becoming painful and the treatment expensive with weekly physio appointments become a feature of my life.  The best option was the drop off the pace and enjoy life for a while, which I did.

As a consequence, I am in week 1 of a mission to run a marathon next July, which is seven months away. I have previously run 4 half marathons, but nothing long distance since 2009, basically because life got in the way.  This time one year ago I embarked on the same exciting enterprise, but accident and injury early in 2012 stopped it dead in its tracks, and in fact I am lucky to be running again at all, let alone so quickly afterwards.  I started running again mid year, but it was a bit too soon, and I have eased myself back into it, so I think I’m ready.

So this morning was my first long run of the quest for the holy grail of marathon.  Seven kilometres in beautiful Spring weather was a great start.  Much slower than I ever ran previously, but that isn’t the point.  The journey has begun…