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My journey

My journey

Speaking to myself at the gym

April 23, 2018

If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you’ll know that this 2018 I’ve been attempting a weight loss journey. As with most people who have fitness/health/weight loss as one of their new year’s resolutions, January went fantastic. After that my journey kind of went downhill from there (the journey, not the weight, unfortunately). In the month of January, I lost 8.8kg. February when I began to struggle, and binge-eat carbs, I lost 2.1kg. March I lost control completely and gained all that I lost in Feb. Currently, my weight loss is hovering around 7kgs lost and honestly, I can’t let myself gain all of it back.

I started off my weight loss journey with banting. The great thing about cutting out carbs and sugar is that you drop the weight quickly. Unfortunately, I couldn’t sustain it. Firstly because you’re cutting out all processed foods, every meal needs to be prepared from scratch. Which meant so much cutting, chopping and peeling and a sink full of dishes for one meal. Then I started meal prepping, but unless I prepped multiple meals at once I found that 3 to 4 days into the week I’d be bored with my meals. And nothing good ever comes out of a combination of boredom and hunger. I’ve also come to realise that another reason why I realised I couldn’t sustain it, and probably the biggest reason why. There’s a strong possibility that I am an emotional eater. When I’m ticked off at someone, overwhelmed, stressed out, or upset or sad for any reason, carbs become bae. I just need to remind myself, when I’m binge-eating carbs, I’m cheating on my potential to be the next Beyonce 😉

Last week I’ve worked out twice, on Monday and Wednesday. And on both days, I really struggled. One of the workouts I enjoy doing is Fitness Girl ZA’s Plyometric Pyramid treadmill workout. The workout provides the gradients for the workout, but the speed is up to you. I normally walk at a speed between 5 and 5.3, which is a challenge but a doable challenge. On Monday I did the workout on 5, and my pelvis hurt so much while doing it, that instead of doing the whole 45 minutes, I only did 30 and went into the studio to do some strength training and ab work. On Wednesday I also went to gym, I didn’t feel like doing the treadmill and decided to join the spin class and I struggled so much. Normally I find spin classes really enjoyable, but I suffered.

In order to finish the class I kept telling myself, exercise is not a punishment for my body, bit a reward. And honestly, if it were not for that mantra I would have probably gotten off the bike halfway through the class. The only reason why I kept repeating this mantra is because I read somewhere, negative thoughts cannot create a positive live. And you know what, telling myself that exercise is not a punishment for my body, but a reward helped! It didn’t help the cramp I kept getting in my left foot, but it helped me mentally, else I would have walked out of that class. Just kidding I would never. I was near the front and giving up and walking out in front of everyone would be too embarrassing.

Hopefully, this will be a better week for me. But let’s all just remember to tell ourselves nice things about ourselves.

Love and light,

Odette

My journey

Giving up on a dream

January 4, 2018
dandelions

I had written most of this post in November 2017, but only had the strength to complete it now. This post is long overdue, but I need to be honest with you my readers, but mostly I need to be honest with myself.

Near the end of 2016 I set a goal to complete the 2017 Old Mutual Two Oceans Half Marathon. As I have previously mentioned, my training plan was all over the place and I ate like crap, to be blunt. I participated in the race and only made it to the 18 km cutoff point, where I was taken off the route. Not finishing the race, I was devasted, but having people in a similar situation to me, on the bus really helped.

So I set another goal. To complete the 2018 Old Mutual Two Oceans Half Marathon. I’d written about all of these plans of what I would do and prepare for the race.

These plans were delusions of grandeur.

It is January 2018 already and the race is at the end of March. I am no closer to being prepared for the half marathon than I was on 16 April 2017. I’ve not only failed to make headway on preparing for the race but have gained weight.

I have a bad habit of quitting while I am ahead. Perhaps I did it in the race as well? Am I quitting before I fail the race, again? It is definitely not my plan. Last year I entered into the race, but it has a lotto format. So basically they allow people to enter then draw the names of people who get accepted into the race. My name wasn’t drawn and I’m not heartbroken about it. I would be wasting my money and potentially injuring myself by participating.

It feels like I am giving up on a dream.

But I’m not. At the moment I do not know which way is forward, but I’m trying to figure it out. I’ve begun looking at running plans again and I’m going back to banting today. This weekend I’ll be spending some time planning and reflecting on the way forward. Till then, I’ll keep you updated.

If you’ve enjoyed this post and would like to keep up, you can find me on my social network accounts. I’m most active on Twitter, but I can also be found on Facebook and Instagram. And while you’re here be sure to subscribe to the blog and newsletter, to keep up to date with what’s happening.

Images via Pexels.

My journey

Move more, more or less

September 5, 2017

I haven’t done a fitness update in while, mostly because there is not much to update. I’ve been going to gym on and off. This is dependent on my school and work schedule. There was a point where I went every morning to gym for a week. Then I fell ill and struggled to get back into my routine after 3 weeks. And basically, since then I’ve been going to the gym whenever the wind blows in the right direction.

I also tried out the new Pound class at Virgin Active, and oh my word, it is so much fun. I went on Women’s day and unfortunately the only times that the class takes place is when I’m working, which makes me so sad. I’d really love to attend it regularly.

Run? Where?

And then there’s the running. Or shall I say lack there of? Since I’ve tried completing the 2017 Two Oceans Half Marathon, I probably went on one jog. How on earth am I ever going to complete a half marathon if I keep this up? I realised that the reason I’m not making any progress is that firstly I lack willpower, but mostly because I don’t have a routine. My gym routine consists of doing a few spin classes, a functional fitness class or two, or some cardio and strength training. I realised I wasn’t working towards anything. How am I supposed to reach my goals without having a plan? It’s like going on a road trip to Cape Town without following a map. Chances are you’ll end up spending 4 hours on a gravel road before you reach your destination, that’s if you reach it at all.

Ideally, I would love to go back to my personal trainer, I saw so much progress when I was with him. Unfortunately, my bank balance doesn’t allow for them at the moment. Apparently, I’m brilliant at making poor financial decisions.

The way forward

I’ve decided that the best plan for me would be to start from the bottom again. That means starting with a 5km plan. The Runners World 5 Weeks To Your First (Or Best) 5-K, plan is one that I’ve completed before.  I  feel that this plan would be a good place to start again. Once I’ve completed it, I’ll move up to a 10 km plan and from there to a 21km plan.  There are 6 months till the 2018 Two Oceans Half Marathon, and I feel that is sufficient. I reckon if I dedicate 5 weeks to 5kms, 3 months to 10km and the rest to 21km training I can make it.It would have been better if I had started immediately after the last Two Oceans, but time cannot move backwards. I can only prepare and plan from here and now.

I’ve been posting a lot of my workouts and meals (even if they’re not so good) on my Instagram stories, so be sure to give me a follow to keep up to date. I’m at @osoinspired.

Featured image via Pixabay.

My journey

My Two Oceans Half Marathon 2017 Experience: Reflections upon the race

June 28, 2017

Just when you thought I’ve moved on from writing about My Two Oceans Half Marathon Experience, here’s another post. Since the race took place, I have had a number of reflections and have learnt a lot from the experience. Before you continue with this post, I strongly suggest that you read up on “The Build Up” and “Running the Race”, and if you’re keen on learning more about my preparation for the race.

Have you read these posts? Are you ready? Let’s get started!

Incorrect pacing

As I had previously mentioned, I started off the race way too fast. I had forgotten my watch at home and got caught up with the speed of everyone around me. Eventually, I ended up tiring myself out. The first 2 kilometres are relatively flat, but I tried storming up Constantia Nek and that ended up tiring me out.

More time on the road

Here was probably my biggest mistake. I spent more time on the treadmill than on the road. Running on the treadmill is not the same as running on the road. I suppose treadmill runs are good for speed training, but half marathons are endurance races. Yes, there’s a time limit, but when training for the race one needs to ensure that you’ll be able to cover the distance. With my sessions with my personal trainer, we worked a lot on endurance exercises, to ensure that my body would be able to cover the distance. I still believe that I would have been able to finish the last 3kms if there was not a cut off time.

With my sessions with my personal trainer, we worked a lot on endurance exercises, to ensure that my body would be able to cover the distance. We also focused on some speed work. And after my sessions, I had the endurance needed to complete the race. I still believe that I would have been able to finish the last 3kms if there was not a cut off time.

In my build up for 2018, I will focus more on speed training and outdoor runs, as I feel that I now have the endurance and can maintain it. This is also coming from a woman who has not run since the OMTOHM. My excuse is that it is winter and I can’t run alone outside. I need to get my butt into gear and at least do fun runs on weekends.

Fast food trips

I ended up being that person. The person who rewards themselves with food after a gym session. Sadly that was me. I have on more than one occasion made a trip to MacDonald’s after a workout session. Instead of nourishing my body, I feasted on hash browns and fries. To be straightforward, I wasn’t eating healthy.

No weight loss

Let me be straight with you. I am in no way saying that bigger people cannot complete or run half marathons. But in order for me to complete the OMTOHM, I need to run faster and losing weight will help immensely with that. In between the MacDonalds trips and workout sessions, I only lost 3kgs. I know I could have lost more if I ate better. Eating healthy would be easier if salad tasted like brownies and ice cream.

Also running is a high impact sport. So the heavier I am, the heavier the impact will be on my joints such as my knees and ankles. When I was fit and weighed, I finished every race I participated in. Granted they were 5kms and 10kms, but the fact remains I finished them within their cutoff.

These are the main reasons I did not reach my goal of finishing the OMTOHM, but they won’t be stopping me from completing the race in 2018

Images via Pixabay

My journey

My Old Mutual Two Oceans Half Marathon 2017 Experience: Running the Race

May 11, 2017

This post is a continuation of My Two Oceans Half Marathon 2017 Experience: The Build Up. If you have not read it,I suggest that you first read it and then continue with this one.

Run Odette run

It took my brother and I about 1 minute to cross the starting line. Being fitter than me and having longer legs, I always knew that he would be faster than me, and have a stronger chance of finishing the race. About 20 metres across the line, he was already a few metres ahead of me. He slowed down, turned around and glanced to see where I was, and I signalled to him.

“Don’t wait for me.”

Off he went. It was still dark and with thousands of people milling around me, he soon disappeared into the crowd. That was the last time I saw him during the race.

The first few kilometres flew by. Quite literally. I remember thinking, this is quicker and better than I expected. Or that’s what I thought.

While journeying through the  the twists and turns of a darkened Cape Town, the streets looked like home. I could have been running through Kabega Park or the inner parts of Summerstrand. The road was quite crowded for the first few kilometres and for some reason, large groups of people were sporadically stopping all at once, then continuing to jog. It was quite annoying, as it meant that everyone behind them would have to stop. Nevertheless, the race felt fine and I thought as if I was off to a good start. That was until we got to the first hill.

Constantia is not in the winelands…

I was told that the race course had rolling hills and of course of the notorious Southern Cross climb. On the site I glanced a few times at the map, but never really paid attention to the elevation. With races in PE, I’ve never looked at a race map, let alone read about the elevation of the races. So I never really considered it. Granted, I’d never attempted a 21km in PE.

The first hill it started gradually. It was no big deal, I’ll be able to take it comfortably. Or so I thought. I jogged for a bit up, determined to power through without stopping. But these legs of mine had other plans. The hill got steeper and I slowed down. The road curved ahead, it looked like the hill ended at the curve. Kanti, the hill got steeper around the curve. I started doing intervals of jogging and walking. The road kept winding and kept getting steeper. After the race I learnt that this was Constantia Nek and apparently everyone except my brother and I knew that it was a steep hill. I was not prepared for this hill so early on in the race. And there I still had to go up Southern Cross in the next 10kms. I didn’t want to completely tire myself out, so I walked up the rest of that hill.

Let’s get on the bus

At the top of the hill, I got the last bus. Which was okay, because I was aiming to get on it. I was keeping an eye out, but I didn’t see any of the other buses. There was a lot less people on it than I expected, but they were a jolly bunch. I ran with them until we got to the 6km water mark. I think it was the 6km mark. At this point I began breathing really heavily, so I slowed down to drink some water and catch my breath. And it’s a good thing I did. About 20 metres in front of me, a woman slipped on a water bag and wiped out in the road. Fortunately she wasn’t injured, but this told me to be more cautious at the water station. The bus leader didn’t stop for water, he powered through in order to keep the pace, and left a handful of us behind.

For a bit I ran behind the bus, telling myself I would catch up. I could catch up right?

Decisions at 7km

As I approached the 7km I began to get comfortable with my pace.When I got to the 7km mark I checked the time on my phone. I was 10 minutes behind the pace I set for myself. This is why it’s important to wear a watch when trying to make a cutoff time. With another 14km ahead, and in that, Southern Cross hill, I knew that I would not make it past the 18km cutoff in time. I basically had two options, stop here and give up or keep going until I’m forced to stop. Only problem is, I am probably the most indecisive person in South Africa, in not the world.

But I asked myself, did I really come all the way to Cape Town to just do a 7km? It took me another kilometre to decide. I would continue till at least 10km. Or until they take me off the course. Which ever is first.

“If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start.” – Charles Bukowski, Factotum

But truth be told, when I saw that I was behind my pace, I was so disheartened. I had already given up on the race. After that point, I barely tried running at all.

A friend on the road

Just after the 8km loop I meant a Capetonian runner in his 40s who injured himself earlier in the race. We had a conversation and he shared with me that despite having done various marathons and other challenging races, he never completed the OMTOHM as he somehow always seemed to injure himself on the course. We chatted for a while. Before I knew it, I was past the 10km mark, where I told myself that I would stop. We walked/jogged while chatting for about 4 to 5kms. Truth be told, I probably slowed him down (well he was injured and shouldn’t be running anyway) but if it weren’t for him, I probably would have given up. He left me behind at the 13km mark, but I found other participants to chat to.

One  step closer to the end

As I got closer to the 18km cutoff, there was a lot more supporters at the sides of the road. There weren’t a lot of participants around me. Some of them looked like they came straight from Long Street to park at the side of the road and continue their party while watching the race.

Eventually I reached the 18km cutoff. It was not far after Kirstenbosch (the only area I recognised because I love Kirstenbosch). They took my back number and directed me to the bus, which would take us to the finish line, down an adjacent street.

It took all of the energy in me not to cry. I finished 18km of hilly terrain and my feet hurt like crazy. I do not know where I found the energy to not cry. When I got on the bus everyone cheered. Every time someone got on, we all cheered. We found solace in one another. We joked about the race with one another. The people on the bus were comforting. The bus ride itself, not so much. I have no idea where it was taking us, but it was not the race finish. I eventually up getting off at UCT’s Lower Campus and walking up to the race finish at Upper Campus to meet my family. My brother finished with a good time, but I knew that he’d do well.

I’ll be back to conquer the Old Mutual Two Oceans Half Marathon. Maybe next year, maybe the year after. Who knows, but one day I will get that medal.

Images via Pixabay.