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Healthy Lifestyle

Run day dread

April 11, 2017

It’s a little under a week until the Two Oceans Half Marathon, and with each passing day I am filled with more and more dread. I don’t feel ready for it at all.

In all honesty, I’ve not been on the road as often as I should have been. I’ve still been working out with my trainer twice a week (with the exception of one week, as I had issues with my sinuses for 3 weeks). My booster pack with my trainer has completed and I’ve since signed up for more sessions with him. We’ve been working on strength and endurance, and I’m definitely a whole lot stronger than when I first signed up.

Although I’ve actually trained for the race, I’m finding myself googling, “how to run a half marathon without training for it”. My biggest concern is not the distance, I believe I can cover it. My biggest concern is that I won’t be able to finish within the cutoff time.

It’s too late to back out now

Although I don’t feel ready I’ve invested so much time and so much money on it. It’s not only the entry (I got a substitution so I had to pay extra), there’s the new running trainers I had to buy because my current trainers are not actually suitable for running, flights, gym fees and the personal training sessions, and the list just keeps growing. This half marathon is costing me a whole lot more than what I budgeted for. Our country has just gone into junk status, can’t let money go down the drain and give up before the race has even begun.

Also there’s the issue that I haven’t found running tights yet. At the moment I’m wearing long tights, but I don’t like jogging in long tights. It’s just not 100% comfortable. There’s so much that needs to be done. Where has the time gone?

Then there’s the fact that I overslept on my last long-ish race before OMTOHM. Saturday I was supposed to do the 10km at Lady Slipper/Greenbushes and like most of the last two weeks, I slept through my alarm. The race started at 6:30, I woke up at 06:20.

Let a light shine

That being said, I’ll fight the dread and remain optimistic. The marathon and the half marathon have what is called pace setters, which is basically people who lead runners (called a bus) who want to finish a certain time. So I’m going to join a bus and pray that I don’t fall behind.

Healthy Lifestyle

Still standing, still moving

February 27, 2017
fitness rock

It’s been a while since there’s been a fitness post in these parts of town. And although I not yet ready to share the reason why I temporarily stopped writing fitness posts, it’s time for them to return to the blog.

Back to the gym

Firstly, I joined a gym. Virgin Active in Port Elizabeth to be exact. So far I’m quite happy with them and hopefully will get an opportunity to share why I joined VA. I’ve also gotten a personal trainer.

On the road again

Secondly, I signed up for my first half marathon. The Old Mutual Two Oceans Half Marathon. Late last year, I flirted with the idea of signing up for the 2017 half marathon, but managed to miss the application period. I discovered that my brother signed up for it, and managed to get an entry. I then decided, come hell or high water, I will get a substitution entry.

The competitive side of me came out full force. At university I belonged to an amateur athletics club. More about that can be read here, as well as my failed attempts to do the Knysna Half Marathon, here and here (whom I kidding, I didn’t even enter). Long story short, I couldn’t let my brother who has never been a runner before, complete a half marathon before me. In order to ensure that I’m prepared for the race. I’ve enlisted the help of a personal trainer.

Not a walk in the park

Thirdly, I’ve completed my first parkrun and it was the toughest race that I ever competed in. I participated in the first Lady Slipper parkrun on 11 February 2017. I knew the race would be tough as it was the first trail run that I participated in. It was tougher than I expected and the heat didn’t help. The route is set at the foot of the Lady Slipper Mountain. It is beautiful with gorgeous views. The route has a number of ups and downs. One of the inclines was so steep that I was tempted to lay flat and roll down to my car. I’m glad I participated in it, and despite the difficulty, look forward to completing it again.

Are you following a fitness routine? Let me know in the comments below.

Image via Pixabay

Healthy Lifestyle

Move More: I will exercise

November 7, 2016

It’s been quiet on the blog, but not because I’ve fallen off the exercise bandwagon, well not completely at least. It’s been three weeks since I’ve last posted and for the most part, I’ve been sticking to my routine. The first two weeks I met my goals, but this past week was not that great.

Week ending 23 October 2016 in review

Last week has been interesting. In terms of exercise, I’ve done quite well and reached my goal. I aimed to cover a distance of 15kms, and I covered 17.98kms. I’m quite happy with this. My eating has however been terrible, but d

This week I do not aim to increase my distance. Instead my goal would be to once again cover a distance of 15kms.

Week ending 30 October 2016 in review

This week my study load began to pick up again. My final portfolio for one of my modules was due, but despite this, I completed 20,82kms. On Saturday a few friends and I participated in the Algoa FM Big Walk for Cancer and it was really nice. I also won a cellphone from the organisers, which is really motivating. Winning stuff shouldn’t be the only motivation to exercise, but it is really a good perk.

Now that my body is beginning to get comfortable with the distance of my regular route, my new aim is to increase my speed. For the most part I’ve been walking and occasionally jogging short distances. As long as I covered the distance I set out for the day, I didn’t care how slow I was going or how long it took me. (This piece I wrote at the end of week ending 30 October 2016.)

The past week

This past week I did not meet my goal. In fact I haven’t met my 10 000 footsteps per day goal at all this week. Things were busy at work and I had my final law exam. Basically I came home, rested for a bit then studied. On Saturday I completed a whopping 2km on the treadmill. I didn’t want to go out because it was Guy Fawkes and kids were up to no good in the area, so I decided not to risk it. One may think that not exercising for a week doesn’t make much of a difference to your body, but honestly it doesn’t. I could feel my hips getting tighter from the lack of movement.

This upcoming week my goal is to cover 15kms. If it were not for the fact that I hadn’t exercise for the past week I would have increased my km goal.

Healthy Lifestyle

Apps that help me move more

October 17, 2016
Pink Kettleball and Shoes

There are thousands of apps that can help people increase their physical activity. Here are a few free apps that help me exercise and increase my physical activity. At the end of this post, is an update on how well I faired this past week.

 

My Fitness Pal

My Fitness Pal

I primarily use My Fitness Pal (MFP) to track my food intake, but it also has an physical activity tracker. The physical activities track however grossly underestimates the calories that I burn, especially with cardio exercise. So generally I would manually input the correct values from my heart rate monitor. However, recently I’ve purchased a Jawbone UP2 and linked it to My Fitness Pal and the apps automatically sync to one another. If you’d like to connect on MFP my user name is BodyElectric1 (it’s a Lana del Rey reference).

 

Up by Jawbone

Jawbone UP

So I purchased the Jawbone UP2 and it arrived this past Thursday, 13 October 2016. Jawbone is basically a fitness tracker. It tracks the amount of steps you take, your activities and even your sleep. So far what I find interesting is my sleep pattern. Over the past two days that I’ve tracked my sleep, although I do wake up in the middle of the night, I jump between sound sleep and light sleep often. As I’ve had the app and device for less than a week, I’m still testing it out. I will post a review and my thoughts on the Jawbone UP2 soon.

Edited to add: I no longer use Jawbone. The strap broke in less than 3 months. As the strap cannot be repaired, they sent me a new one, which did not work. So I returned it and I’m on the market for a new fitness tracker.

 

101716-nrc

Nike+ Run Club

This is such a nifty app from Nike. The Nike+ Run Club (NRC) takes your runs, or in my case, walks and attempts to jog. It shows your pace, distance covered, total kms run per month and a number of personal records and averages. At first I was using the app to improve my pace, but I’ve decided to focus on my distance. NRC has helped my discover an easy 5km route from my house. The only thing I’m sad about, is the fact that it does not connect to Jawbone.

 

Pokemon GO

Pokemon GO

When I started walking again, I used Pokemon Go. Cause I needed to hatch my eggs! Pokemon Go is a game, but players are required to walk actual distances and go to specific places in order to play it. Unfortunately distances are not tracked if your phone is locked, the game needs to be actively on your screen. When I started using Pokemon Go, I was really slow and used the excuse that I needed to ensure that the app was constantly open to hatch my eggs. In a way this helped me from keeping my pace down and go further distances. If I went fasted I would have tired quickly and given up quickly. These days I don’t really care about hatching my eggs during my workouts so I don’t really use it anymore.

Play Music and Deezer

I cannot go out without music. It helps motivate me and keeps me going. Normally I use Play Music and depending on the amount of data I have, Deezer. On Play Music I just play a random bunch of songs that I like. Deezer has a number of amazing upbeat playlists that keeps me moving.

The past week in review

Last week I set a goal of covering 20km. Sadly I did not reach that goal. Monday the wind was terrible so I didn’t go out. On Tuesday, the weather was once again bad so I walked on the treadmill. As you may be aware from my introduction to move more mondays, I prefer walking/jogging outdoors. My treadmill is basically my last resort. When I use it I feel like giving up after 5 minutes, I go much more slower than I would outside and I drink a lot more liquids. So I only ended up completing 2.35kms.

On Saturday and Sunday I done a little over 5km each day. According to NRC I ran my fastest 1km this year on Saturday. Even though Sunday was ridiculously windy, I put on my jacket and went out. Furious wind plus hills, there was no why I was going to attempt to jog any section. So I walked the entire distance. I also had a 20 minute strength session, which focused on my arms, on Sunday.

Total distance covered for the week: 12.54 kms.

This week I’m going to set a more realistic goal of 15km.

What apps do you use to increase your physical activity?

Image via Pixabay.

Healthy Lifestyle

Move More Mondays: An Introduction

October 10, 2016

A while ago, I wrote a post on how I lost 15kgs in three months. Unfortunately I managed to gain back all of the weight back plus some more. How embarrassing. What can I say? I’m lazy and I love food. My weight has reached the point where I can no longer ignore it. As a way to motivate myself to sticking to a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet and exercise, I’m creating a new series on the blog called Move More Mondays. I didn’t come up with the phrase, I’m not sure who did, as it is all over the net.

What is Move More Mondays about?

Well it’s all about moving more. I used to belong to a gym, there’s a possibility I may still belong to one, its just that I haven’t been to gym in a year and they haven’t answered their phones every time I’ve tried calling. It was one of my goals to complete the Knysna Half Marathon this past year, but decided to focus on my studies instead. So that goal was missed

If you’ve been following the blog for a long time, you’ll know that I used to be an amateur runner. Yes I was one of those people that Twitter loves to complain about, the ones who run for fun. Back then I was one of the slowest runners in my club, with my fastest 5km being 32mins. I always felt as if I was super unfit, but looking back I realise I wasn’t. I tried getting back into running multiple times, but it never lasted more than three or four months. The reason being that every time I started I thought I could go as fast I used to, not taking into account I’m not as fit as I used to be and I weigh nearly twice the amount that I used. I’ve come to accept this and no longer over push myself to that point.

What will I be doing in order to move more?

I’ve gotten back into running. Well technically, it resembles speed walking than actual running, but I’m working my way up. What I’ve realised is that I enjoy jogging outdoors more than I do on the treadmill. On the treadmill I get bored easily and I’d be barely into my warm up and already feel like giving up.

When I’m walking outside, I persevere. I continue even in the wind and up the hills. I persevere when my thick thighs feel like lead and I continue through pain and stiffness in my calves and through the dull cramps in my feet. There’s just something about the fresh air that keeps me going.

I’m considering going back to gym or joining a new one. I’m still weighing up my options.

At the moment I am not following a specific plan, but would to like to continue building up my distance. Once I  can comfortably do 5kms I will start a plan and work towards longer distances.

My first goal for Move More Mondays is complete 20kms this week. Normally when I go out I complete around I complete between 4kms and 5kms, so the goal is to either complete four 5km runs or five 4km runs. Wish me luck!