Monday, September 17, 2012

Thoughts on Training

As someone who lives an incredibly busy lifestyle without a regular routine each week is full of new challenges.  I have my three days at my day job, study, doing admin and attending various screenings and events for my husband's career, days where I'm generally just too tired to do anything, and in between all of that I try to have a social life too.  Add planning meals and when to train to the mix and if I don't take that time to plan the week, the whole thing is going to fall over in a great big heap!

But I do plan, and I make it work.  But what happens when something gets thrown into the mix I wasn't expecting?  I'm thinking of this in particular today because over the past few days an ongoing condition with my two top left ribs and scapula flared up, which gives me a lot of pain.  

I can usually train with it, and do, but yesterday it was hurting in a way I wasn't very comfortable with I decided to take the day off my planned 10km run and rest with a heat pack.   Oh the guilt!  It got me thinking today about what the line is between listening to your body and making excuses? 

Today my neck was a still a little stiff and my legs were aaaaaaching with DOMS but because my neck had loosened up, I headed out for my delayed run anyway, promising myself I could take is slow as long as I got it done.  But once I got out there in the crisp air, with the music going I found my stride and while my legs felt heavy I smashed out a run only 20 seconds longer than the PB 10km I did on Thursday.  HOW, HOW, HOW?  Bodies really are amazing.  Sure when you're muscles are sore and fatigued, it feels harder, but you're still capable of doing things you never thought possible.

After today I'm definitely starting to find that balance between listening to my body and making excuses - hopefully next time I need to let my body rest I won't have to beat myself up so much and I can take that recovery time without the side of guilt.

Heading out all strapped up earlier this year - not a lot gets in the way of a run!
(PS: I promise to start taking some more recent photos soon!)

Anyway.  Since I changed my plan yesterday and let my body rest, and I had an appointment with my osteopath today who told me to skip exercise for 24 hours I wasn't able to go to Bikram yoga tonight either.  So.  The new plan is this:

Tuesday night:  Rowing intervals then Combat at the Gym
Wednesday: 8km run with hill reps
Thursday: Strength training
Friday: 9km run
Saturday: Remember how I said I was hoping to find a local bootcamp?  Well I didn't so I've rounded up some local 12WBT girls to participate in our Week 4 Fitness Test and the Super Saturday Session!  Just a touch excited about this!
Sunday: 17km run 

Not a bad week coming up although not as much strength training as I would like.  

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Week 3 Round Up

Getting this week's round up in a little earlier - well actually my round ups are usually late, so I guess I could say I'm being timely in this case! 

So firstly, I'll start with how the #nutritionphotolog went - except for the fact I sometimes accidentally ate my meal before remembering to take a photo, for the most part it went well and do feel like it's not only keeping me accountable but it's also ensuring I remain mindful of what I am eating.  I've just been putting together some "highlights" from my nutrition for the week and looking over it I am amazed how much great food I've been able to eat all while remaining at my daily calorie intake.

Here's a sample of what my week looked like food wise:

So here we have my beloved morning skinny flat white (130 calories), 2 egg and ricotta omelette with tomato, capsicum and mushrooms with wilted baby spinach (193 calories), broccoli soup with two slices of wholemeal bread and olive oil spread (260 calories), pumpkin and green bean red curry (290 calories), All Bran Wheat Flakes with Honey and Almond, skim milk and strawberries (242 calories), the trusty apple (72 calories), lasagne (269 calories), penang chicken (257 calories), another morning coffee (90 calories), All Bran Wheat Flakes with Honey and Almond, skim milk and sliced banana (273 calories), Beef with creamy mustard sauce (291 calories) and some Green and Black's dark chocolate (28 calories for 3 pieces but I'd already scoffed half before remembering to take a photo).

This week I'll make a more concentrated effort to get a photo before I hoe in!  

Training has been fairly good.  In fact I smashed out some of my best running times in this week's training runs which was really satisfying, and yesterday I had a killer strength session with my PT - today I have one of the most hardcore case of DOMS I've had in ages and I've been practically living in a hot bath and I'm almost too scared to spend some time with the foam roller!  But this is what it's all about right?  

In other news, those who are in Vic Crew get over to the Vic Crew page as we are arranging new team shirts - of course there's the usual debate over colour and style which is tiring, but I'm really excited about the Vic Crew coming together with some gorgeous new tops at the Sydney finale!  I really hope I can go to finale this time round as our lease is up at the same time and we have been told we are moving as our landlord wants the place back to live in.  I've been putting $2 aside each time I train for about a month now with the idea that might pay for my flights down the track.  

Anyway, next week is a big week training wise (ok, ok, when isn't it these days?) but being week 4 I really want to get into it and ramp it up!

Sunday: 10km run
Monday: Brikram Yoga
Tuesday: 8km run with Hill Reps, Body Combat in the PM
Wednesday: Strength 
Thursday: 9km run 
Friday: Strength with PT
Saturday: KIMAX at AVLC maybe?  I'd love to find a local bootcamp to attend though.
Sunday: 17km big kms to run!

By the way, got this message from Mishy herself on Twitter after my 10km run on Thursday morning.  Made my day :)

Have a great Week 4 everyone!  

Monday, September 10, 2012

Nutrition Photo Log

Hi All,

As I mentioned, I'm now creating a photographic diary of my nutrition keep myself accountable, and just thought I'd take stock briefly of how it's going.  So far so good!  I've been posting them on Twitter and even had a few join in.  If you're on Twitter and you want to join in, simply use the hashtag #nutritionphotolog and I'm @nikkimaloo if you want to follow me!  Just be warned - Twitter is my therapy while I am using public transport, so I tweet a LOT!

I'll also be posting a collage of my Nutrition Photo Log here on a weekly basis, so stay tuned! 

And while I'm here, just a quick note to wish all my fellow 12WBTers well for weigh in tomorrow!

xx Nikki

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Week 2 Round Up

Well, to be honest this week went a little pear shaped and as far as staying on track with my nutrition went.  As I ramped up my training - I added a Bikram yoga class and a couple of extra evening training sessions to my week - it seemed like the old "well I've been training hard, so I can have a much larger portion / an extra snack" mind set came creeping back from where I left it just the week before.  

So, time again to put a lid on it.  I was chatting with some gorgeous 12WBTers on Facebook and one of them told me about a friend who took photos of every meal and snack she ate and posted them to keep herself accountable.  I already keep a food diary using the My Fitness Pal app, but honestly, I'm so good at telling myself that I am "refuelling" or that the calories in couple of glasses of wine "don't count" and it doesn't seem to bother me that I'm clocking over 1800 calories some days.  I'm never going to lose these final kilos if I don't tighten it up and I also think this could be a fun project.  

I'll tweet my eats over at @nikkimaloo on Twitter, but every few days I'll put together a collage of my meals and EVERYTHING I have eaten is going in it, no matter what it is.  Good healthy egg white omelette for breakfast?  Sure!  It's going in.  A sneaky slice of bread with peanut butter?  Sorry Nikki, but you ate it, so own it.  

That aside, I now want to finish my round up of week 2.  I tried Bikram yoga for the first time, something which I have always wanted to try and my lovely friend Bec had started going in South Melbourne so I invited myself along. I was actually really worried I wouldn't have what it took to get through a 90 minute session of yoga in that heat and I was warned by the instructors that it might make me feel unwell and to just lay down and rest if it did.  Well, I'm pretty proud of myself and my fitness level, because I breezed through the entire class and loved it!  Sure it was super intense and hard work but I really enjoyed it and felt AH-MAZ-ING afterward.   I've decided this will most definitely be a regular thing for me.  

Also this week I got back into my interval / speed runs. I ran 8kms containing 4 x 1km intervals running at 80-90%.  For once I didn't find myself swearing under my breath at my running coach because as I hit the fourth interval I felt strong and ran hard and remembered only 6 months ago accidentally reading my running plan backward and running 1km intervals and barely being able to make it through the third one and the fourth I shuffled through and it took over 8 minutes.  NOW each km came in at about 5 and a half minutes - even the last one!  It never ceases to amaze me how consistency will bring you amazing rewards when it comes to training.  I guess you could extend that to just about anything in life really.  

Me, heading out on a 16.5km run last Sunday morning.  Don't I look excited?

So with that I'll conclude that while Week 2 wasn't what I would call a screaming success, I have managed some wins and what I didn't get right, I now have a plan in place to fix it.

Week Three - WATCH OUT!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Week 1 Round Up

Hi everyone!

I hope you're all having a brilliant week.  Just a quick update to give you a heads up on how my week went.

Wednesday was the first weigh in for the round and low and behold, after only two days of eating clean and working hard I was 1.2kg down!  This has made me so excited for the rest of the round as it really is the best result I've had in ages.

It's been a busy week so I didn't fit in as much training as I would have liked, I was forced to make Wednesday my rest day, so yesterday I faced a silly hang up I had and ventured into what I call the "protein shake" part of the gym.  I still felt a little self conscious in there but I think this was due to the fact I had a lot of standing around to do waiting for equipment.  In future I think I'll schedule my strength work for less peak times.  

I also spent a little time doing some interval training on the rower and on the treadmill.  It was the first time I'd run on a treadmill and goodness knows how long, possibly a year.  I don't remember it being this easy?  Even with an incline I felt strong and fast.  So for those who are really looking to improve their running and are having trouble walking away from the tready and out the front door - DO IT! - I did it in May last year and I can not believe how far I have come with my running since then.


With a busy week or so ahead of me, I have slotted in this training and I'm putting it here so I can keep myself accountable:

Friday - 9km run (done!)
Saturday - KIMAX w/ 5km bike commute
Sunday - 16km run
Monday - Bikram Yoga
Tuesday - 8km run with intervals in the AM, body combat in the PM
Wednesday - Strength training
Thursday - 9km run
Friday - Strength personal training w/ PT
Saturday - REST (but I'll probably end up going for a swim if the weather is nice!)
Sunday - 17km run

Some of the 12WBT people may notice I don't have a SSS in there - this is because I really do run long distances on a Sunday and I'll burn over 1000 calories on those runs!  

Anyway, also just going to take a moment to revive my old Friday tradition of taking a moment to acknowledge some things I've enjoyed this week:

Warmer weather, the promise of Spring, re-starting 12WBT and the excitement around it, the days at work going really quickly, good coffee, old favourite songs from a million years ago popping up on shuffle, being able to run, the feeling of promise when a new season starts.

Well that's it for today.  I actually have a lot of study to catch up on after the film festival, so I'll probably be blogging a lot more regularly ;-).

Have a great weekend gorgeous people xxx

Monday, August 27, 2012

Revival of the Ever-Neglected Blog

Hi Everyone!

Well here I am again, having another stab at blogging on a regular basis.  I just knocked over Day 1, Week 1 of Round 3 2012 12WBT, and had the idea I would keep a notebook with all my stats and thoughts, and records of my training but then I thought, hey why not chuck it up on this so-called blog and share?

So this morning I woke up feeling full of promise and excited about what I might be able to achieve over the next 12 weeks.  I got up, had a coffee and then my husband and I set out and smashed out a 15km run.  1053 calories burned before the day had even started.  What a great feeling!  (Must remember this next time I want to stay in bed).

Nutrition has been great today, I'm not following the 12WBT eating plan to a tee as I am keen to keep my breakfasts high protein during the week, so this morning I heated up a bit of pre-made zucchini and ricotta fritatta, followed by half a grapefruit.  The rest of the day I followed the program, and I plan to have a snack as desert shortly which will be strawberries with a big scoop of 5AM Vanilla Bean yoghurt.

So I'm going to be honest here and give my start weight, which I am not happy about - the last few weeks were spent indoors, eating sporadically in movie theatres during the Melbourne International Film Festival and I put on quite a few kilos despite trying to keep my running training on track.  It was an utter fiasco!  So my start weight on Sunday was 71.4kgs and my goal is to get back down to my lowest weight which was 65kg by the end of this round - anything extra will be a bonus.

My big goals for this round are:
To lose 6-8kg
To run my second half marathon at the Hamilton fun run on 11th November, beating my PB time of 1.24.02
To finally crack my 1km time trial PB of 5.01

So there we have it.  Day one of what I know from my last four rounds, will be a whirlwind 12 weeks.  Bring it on!

Nikki x

Monday, May 7, 2012

Belated Update

Soooo. Hi! Yes, I’ve allowed a good two months to pass me by before coming back to update this blog.

The last two months also have been the last 8 weeks of Round 1 2012 12WBT in which I have had some amazing achievements, and along with lots of bite-size pieces of success, all in all I can say that progress has been made and it’s been consistent and that is an achievement I am very happy with.

I few highlights for me include:

*Running a PB in Run for the Kids at 93 minutes and 11 seconds, running as part of the amazing Rell’s Runners team, which I could not be prouder to be part of.

*Finally booking in and seeing an osteopath to sort out my ongoing neck pain. Which turned out was being caused by my two top rips and poor scapular support. It’s not 100% sorted out yet, but I have spent a good deal of time over the last month pain free which has been awesome.

*Lost 3.5kg over the course of Round 1. Not as much as I had hoped for, but considering weight loss is not as high in my priorities as it once was, I am happy to even have this as a result.

Now it’s all over and done with – well except for finale which is going be to MASSIVE – I’ve decided that while I love the program, I am now in a different place and it’s time to move on. I know I can do this on my own, I know I can get out there and find my way and I know I have made many gorgeous and wonderfully supportive friends who will continue to be there and inspire me.

Nikki xx

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Last Days of Summer, And A Big Hello to Autumn

Well. I've been trying to find the time to post a "last day of Summer" round up, and then tried for a "first day of Autumn" post, but obviously, thanks to a lack of time between training, working, shopping, cooking, socialising and an accidental two hour nanna nap yesterday afternoon, time has passed me by and here I am posting in Day 2 of Autumn.

So, Summer. Well, if you call what Melbourne gave us weather-wise Summer. But just days ago, I was thinking about Autumn approaching, and getting out in the Autumn weather, and how pretty Melbourne is at this time of the year, my thoughts naturally turned to running (see, I told you I was a convert!). Then it occurred to me - I'd made it through the Summer! Late last year, when Summer was approaching and we had our very first very hot day I grew very worried, very quickly, that my training would slide - especially the running since it nearly always takes place outdoors. I was worried the excuses would come creeping in: "It's too hot" is one that springs to mind immediately.

Then it dawned on me - I made it! I did it! There were no excuses, I was even out there running 14kms just last Sunday in the 35 degree heat!

Now my next challenge - conquering Winter. As the days get shorter I know I will find it harder to get up in the morning. So I really need to focus NOW on my commitment to becoming an early riser. I've not been great at it lately, and it is because I get to bed way too late.

Now, a quick round up of Week 2 Training:
I have been so happy with it. I managed a total of 28 kilometres over three runs (including the 14km run I mentioned above), a combat class, a KIMAX class, two strength sessions.

Week 3 Training:

So far, Monday was a strength session - my legs were sulking after my big run the day before, so I smashed out an upper body session, Tuesday 6km speed run. Completed on the treadmill as it was pouring rain. I don't really like running on the treadmill, but I needed to get this done as my training week was FULL, Wednesday a group workout in Princes Park which is touch football and boxing based, Thursday morning a 7km run and then KIMAX in the evening.

For those who like boxing and have KIMAX in their gym I urge you to go try it! It's so much fun:)

For the rest of the week, tonight I'm going to head to a Pump class, tomorrow I have a great boxing session at Jells Park to look forward to (which includes a 5km ride there and a 5km ride back), then Sunday, an 8km run. After last weekend the 8km run feels like a rest!!

My nutrition has been getting better and better, and I saw a 1.4kg loss over the last two weeks, which I am very happy with.

Finally - my Friday list of things that made me happy!

Setting out in the rain on Thursday morning and having the running track all to myself, running into a fellow 12WBTer whilst running last weekend, exceeding my goals, the fact that it's Autumn, by far my favourite season in Melbourne, unexpected ducklings sightings, impromptu catch ups with my best friend last Tuesday evening, sore muscles reminding me of how hard I have been training, well deserved baths, lovely Twitter people being awesome, awesome friends.

There's probably more but that's all I can think of right now!!

Have a gorgeous and fabulous weekend everyone!!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Belated Blog Hop, Week One Round Up, Friday Happy Post and General Update

Hello strangers! I’m not defaulting on my commitment to blogging regularly out of slackness – I assure you! I have truly had a stupendously busy week. As we all know, kick off was last Monday – it’s already been a week! – and I have had a big week.

To avoid this being one of those bumper-unreadably-long updates, I’ll just give you a brief week one round up, before I launch into my old “Friday Happy Post” – belated, but I still think it’s important to take a moment to appreciate some small things, especially during such a massive, hectic week!

Week 1 Round Up

Monday: Started Kick Off bed-ridden. Yes. That’s right. My neck pain flared up, I couldn’t move, I couldn’t train, and I was freakin’ FURIOUS with my body! A night of next to no sleep ensued, which of course exacerbated the pain so …

Tuesday: Hobbled into work, and immediately booked in with a new Physiotherapist. I had been seeing one for nearly two years who hasn’t really helped the problem, so I decided to book in at a sports medical centre. We did some work on my neck and back to relieve the pressure, strapped me up to stop me hunching like a grandma and was sent off with the instruction to not train till Thursday. Ok! I could handle that! Only one more day till I could run.

Wednesday: Neck improved vastly. Weigh in, down 400 grams in two days. Felt happy, but was busting to finally “kick off” Thursday morning.

Thursday: Despite being strapped up, I started the day with a 6km speed run with 500mtr intervals – gosh they are hard, but so, so worth it. Not just for the endorphin kick at the end, but seeing my times get shorter each week is so satisfying. Spent the rest of the day planning my meals for the next week, and scheduling my training.

Friday: Started the day with physiotherapy, then hit the gym for some strength work.

Saturday: Was SSS and indeed it was! I rode my bike to my local train station, jumped on the train to Glen Waverley then rode the 5km down to Jells Park for a group training session led by Rell from Frichot Fitness. It was Rell Challenge day which includes a 1km time trial – I am busting to do a sub-5 minute kilometre, but just missed out at 5 minutes and 1 second. BUT! Still a personal best so I was really, really happy. After training, I rode the 5km back to the station before catching the train back home. 877 calories burned. Then I got invited to a social gathering that afternoon for some other lovely 12WBT in the West. I figured, hey, what the hell and cycled the 5.3kms to the occasion and back. Was a lovely afternoon, but boy my legs where heavy on the way home. So all in all I rode about 23kms and participated in a group workout and burned 1210 calories. Enjoyed a well deserved two glasses of wine that night at a gorgeous friend’s birthday occasion.

Sunday: I got up, rounded up my husband, drank a strong coffee and then we hit the pavement. An hour and a half later we were home, happy but exhausted, having run 12.6kms. Spent the afternoon in a movie theatre doing sneaky stretches – I highly recommend this, my legs are actually quite happy today (Monday) and I was expecting to have DOMS all over the place! So, for those out there who aren’t stretching because it’s boring or annoying – just make the time to do it, your body will thank you!

General Update:

So Week One didn’t quite start out as I wanted, I was in an unhappy place but I turned it around and I’m really pleased with the week in all. I was especially pleased with my nutrition. I don’t suggest any 12WBTers follow my lead here, but out of personal preference I have decided to up my calorie intake to see how my body reacts, and so far, so good. Instead of 1200 I am eating closer to 1400 a day, and I’m proud to say that each day those 200 extra calories come from good, whole, clean food.

Now. Things I appreciated this week:

Hitting the pavement on Sunday morning as the same time as a number of Rell’s Runners and knowing they were out there running too, getting a personal best on my 1km time trial (still on a high from that one!), Hugo, drinks with friends, cute puppy dogs, meeting new friends, thunder storms that remind me of home, and my husband winning an award for his excellent arts journalism (Go Jake! Yes, I know you are reading this).

So, that’s my week one round up. I wonder what week two holds?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Blog Hop

As many of you are, I am a reader of the gorgeous Ange's blog Fom F**ked to Fab and last week she linked to a blog hop over on Kate's blog which I am really keen on participating in! Yeah yeah, I know I am running a bit late, but I've been away for the weekend, sans internet - unless you count the iPhone, but I am a lazy typist when it comes to the phone, so it really wasn't happening till today!!.

So, as suggested, for those who don't know me, my name is Nikki and I live in Footscray with my husband, a film critic, and my cat, who is what I call, a howler cat. I work part time as a research assistant, part time as a live-in PA to my gorgeous husband, and I am also studying to become a fully qualified personal trainer.

This is my fourth - yes fourth!! - round of 12WBT, and I am really excited as I type this, kick of has begun! Love it!

I am a runner. I wasn't one before, but I am now. I am currently training to run 14km in Run4Kids in April, and then in July my very first half marathon in Run Melbourne. It's a huge milestone for me, because last year, I ran my very first 5km race in Run Melbourne and now this year I will be running a half marathon!! This seems utterly bizarre to me, but I know I can do it, so I am going to! Plus - I want those endorphins please!!

Anyway, as part of this new commitment I've made to blog about 12WBT regularly, here I am joining up to this blog hop as a way of both sharing my 12WBT world, but also keeping up to date with the many gorgeous people I have encountered through 12WBT and giving support. I love the forums, but they are so busy that I find it hard to really connect with people properly so this is such an amazing way to really keep up with transformations, journeys, breakdowns and breakthroughs.

So - Day 1, Week 1, Round 1 - here we are! Let's make the next 12 weeks something amazing that we can look back on and be proud of what we have achieved! Let's do this!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Goal Adjustment - Finding the Right Direction

As a lot of you would know, I was planning on doing the Advanced Lean & Strong program for this round of 12WBT, but after a week of serious thought, I've decided that the program is not right for my goals. Sure I want to tone up, but with my running program which will have me running three times a week with a total of 23-27kms a week over the next 8 weeks, my Jells sessions on Saturdays, this new training session I started going to on Wednesdays, the boxing based training I do at home and the fact I really want to start going to KIMAX on Thursday evenings, I really don't feel like I have to time or stamina to add in 5 big strength workouts a week. I am doing some great strength work at the moment with my PT and I love it, but my real goals lie with running and I am not prepared to sideline those.

Running is really important to me. It is something from as early as I can remember, that I was not good at. I remember always coming last in races at sports events in primary school, and only in the last year have a discovered I actually can do it, and not do it too badly either. Sure, I am never going to be the fastest, but who cares - I can actually run kilometres and sometimes I run lots of them.

Anyway, getting away from my point. My point is that I have decided to go with Advanced Lean & Fit for this round - but on my strength days I am going to seriously up my weights. I know a few people suggested the Half Mara running program to me - but I already have a running plan that is tailored specifically to me and my goals that I am really pleased with (getting brilliant results!!!) so Lean & Fit it is. Lean and Strong will be there for other rounds should my goals change, but for now, while OF COURSE I want to tone up, it just doesn't suit me.

Now I've made my decision, I have all weekend to get comfortable with it! Even though after talking to my awesome Twitter family yesterday and getting some excellent advice I started to feel better, and I kind of knew right away this was the right decision to make.

So. Now I have made a decision, that I feel very positive about, I am looking forward to some big challenges this round! None of my goals have changed, just my approach!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Goals Part 2 - 12 Weeks or Before

I wrote a post just the other day as part of my preseason tasks titled Goals - 12 Weeks and Beyond but this morning it occurred to me I have a few more immediate mini-goals which I have been striving towards for some time that I would like to achieve ASAP. Now it might seem like I am being impatient but seriously, these goals feel so close at the moment I have decided they will be mine in the next few weeks.

1. I want to run a sub 5 minute kilometre. My personal best is 5.04, and I thought I was going to beat that last time I ran a time trial but I didn't get anywhere near it with my 5.16. I'm not unhappy with these results, in fact when I tell friends I can run a km in 5 minutes they are pretty blown away - but I KNOW I have it in me to beat that time, and so, I want to.

2. I want to conquer my fear of the weights room in the gym. I am more than happy to grace the cardio equipment - that said, since I started running outdoors I am completely uninspired by the cardio equipment at the gym. My sole reason for rejoining a gym was to start lifting heavy stuff. I do this with my PT once a fortnight, but aside from that I only visit the gym for group fitness classes. You'd think that would be more intimidating right? No - in a group fitness class you can convince yourself you're hidden amongst the crowd (you never are, a good instructor will know everyone in their group). It's not even that I don't know how to use the equipment - I do! It's a really irrational fear that I have just GOT to get over if I am going to reach my goals this round. And it needs to happen STAT.

3. I need to make pushups my b*tch. I know I can do push ups. If I am in the middle of a group workout and the trainer says drop I can do a few before my brain kicks in and says "oh, wait - I can't do pushups!" then it becomes all too hard. I could stop typing and try to do one now and it would be the hardest push up I have ever done, all because my brain gets in the way. So I have decided, from today, I will do 3 sets of 15 pushups - each set on my toes until I HAVE to drop to my knees, and each day I will strive to do one extra. I will work on the technique and I will get it right. I know when I have got push ups down it will feel amazing to do them, and I really want that.

Aside from goals, I have an experiment in the pipeline. From today I am going to give 1400 calories a shot. I've been at the same weight for about 4 months now and I really want to drop the rest of my excess weight - the sooner the better. I read Rell's post Don't Be Afraid to Eat yesterday and it occurred to me that - when my nutrition is in order - I never allow myself over 1200 calories a day. It's always under - not drastically under, but most definitely under. Usually if I go over my calorie intake it's with a couple of glasses of wine, and even then, if I know I'm going to have something to drink I will seriously scale back on my calorie intake that day by dropping my snacks and eating very low calorie meals. So I've put it to myself to not drink for the rest of the month, give 1400 a shot for a couple of weeks and see how I go. I am confident I won't put on weight, so I really have nothing to lose. That extra 200 calories will be good, clean, whole food each time. Today it's going to be two boiled eggs and half a mango.

Anyway, time to finish this post off. I am proud to say that I have really started to honour my commitment of being more consistent with my blog! Three posts this week. How about that?!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Day One: Project Early Bird

Yesterday, Sunday, I was up rather early for a Sunday - before 8am! But I don't consider that a real step in my efforts to become an early riser, as I would normally get up at about 7am on a weekday - especially the days I head into the city for my day job. No, this is about becoming someone who gets up early, has time to train and do various other things before the day starts.

There's something extremely appealing in this idea - although when it comes down to getting up bed just seems so much more inviting than getting up and starting the day.

This morning I knew I didn't have to train, as I have a weights session and pump class scheduled in for tonight, but in any case, I set my alarm for a whole half an hour earlier than usual. I also do this when I have a run planned, and can manage to drag myself up in time to run, but I usually press the sleep button twice and don't end up leaving for a run till about 7am and then end up rushing to get ready in twenty minutes before I need to leave for work. Or, if I am working from home or studying, I just end up running behind in my schedule... I might even allow myself to sleep till 8am or later on those days. I know!

So. Bringing the conversation back to this morning - I had set the alarm for 6.30 am. I pressed the sleep button once, but I was up a whole 20 minutes earlier than usual. I got up, made a cup of tea and got ready - I didn't realise I had perfected the process of getting ready for work in 15 minutes (gym gear, and lunch packed the night before). So here I am blogging the extra 20 minutes away!

Now I know I did press the sleep button once - but it was more out of habit than anything. And you know what, sleeping and waking up times ARE just a habit. Here's to the start of the new habit of getting up early! I am already loving having this small window of "extra time".

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Goals - 12 Weeks and Beyond

I've been meaning to blog about my goals for this round for a few weeks, but like my commitments, I wanted to take a little time to really define what is important to me and what I really want to get out of this next 13 weeks, on top of my bigger, longer terms goals.

I have two big long term fitness goals - to run a half mara in July and to become a fully qualified PT. In regards to both I am making really steady progress and I am happy with the way things are going. So I wanted to make some smaller 'non-interrupting-the-big-goals' goals. Some goals might even be 'little goals that help the big goals become within easier reach' goals.

1. My first goal is to become an early riser. I have never has a special talent for getting up early. But I really love early morning training, and I also really enjoy the idea of having time before the day starts - getting up and rushing to get ready before a dash to work is no fun. And sleeping on days off till goodness knows what time is a waste of the day right? I know sleeping is good, but so is living life?!

2. Complete the L&S program. I have had a lot of conflicting information on this program, and thankfully I got the opportunity to speak to Rell about it yesterday and now I have a clearer vision in my head about what I want to get out of the program. Running is my priority, but I want to build my strength. I know there are a lot of L&Sers out there that say I can't do both. I can do whatever I want! From my very first round of 12WBT I had to adapt the program to fit into my lifestyle and make it something that I got exactly what I wanted out of it, why should it be any different this round?

3. Lose 5kg. I know I still have a bit of weight I could drop. So I would like to lose the last 5kg and be done with this. I've been quite happy with my weight for the last 3 months so this isn't as an important goal to me as the others, but I think losing a few more kilos could only help with my fitness, so I've decided that it needs to be done. Which leads to ..

4. Get my nutrition back under control. I'm not a binge eater and I'm pretty good with my choices, but there are too many days where I skip meals, and lately the evening snacking has been making a spectacular comeback. I really miss the feeling of knowing I'm in control of my food and how eating really clean makes me feel.

So there I have it. Four shorter-term goals, all within reach if I really want it.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Commitment Time

Today, I’ve decided to take a little bit of time to make a few commitments – those who have either done in the past, are doing, or are even new to 12WBT, will know this week’s pre-season task is all about commitment.

I’m a bit funny with commitment. I really do start out with the best of intentions, but I am easily waylaid and often get distracted with other things, and some of the things I intended to start, or intended to do regularly drop off.

Or, alternatively, I over commit. I want to do too many things and over-budget my time and end up rushing from one thing to another without giving each commitment the time and focus it deserves – and of course, the loser here is me, because I don’t get everything out of it that I wanted.

So this round, I commit to some very simple things, all of which I have given a lot of serious thought to how I will fit each of these into my current lifestyle.

I’m going to run. Three times a week, sticking to my running program rain, hail or shine. Well. Maybe not hail. That could be dangerous. I will run 14km in Run4Kids in April, leading up to a half mara in July (my first one!).

I’ll dedicate 8-10 hours a week to study. I’m completing my CIII&IV in Health and Fitness and I want to finish the courses well in advance of the 12 months I’ve been given. And I’m going to pass it with flying colours.

I’ll complete 12WBT Round 1 2012 Lean and Strong. I will tone these little spindle arms! Not only will I complete this round, I will give it 100% after a largely failed attempt in Round 3.

I’m going to blog more consistently. Whether it’s just a couple of lines and a random list of observations, do check back because I’m getting consistent with this blogging caper!

I’ll start planning my meals again. My nutrition has gone a bit hit and miss since moving house, thanks to not planning my meals. I will take the time out each Thursday morning and make this happen.

I’ll train as much as I can. As I mentioned, I will follow my running plan. I will try to make it to Jells Park whenever possible – cycling if I have to. I will continue to see my strength PT once a fortnight and I will build my own strength programs based on his, 12WBTs and what I learn in my course. And importantly, I will endeavour to get as much value as possible out my stupidly expensive gym.

I will FINALLY, go and get a second opinion on this neck pain. I will get this sorted out. I don’t want this hindering my commitments above like it has in the past. I will do this before kickoff.

So there you have it. Keeping in mind I still need to fit in work Monday-Wednesday each week, admin duties for my husband, keeping the house, socialising, attending film events, and of course taking a little time out to RELAX.

So here goes! Wish me luck – not that I’ll need it. These are commitments after all, so I won’t be leaving them to chance.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Hello Pre-Season Round 1, 2012!

Well here we go! Task one has just opened and it's time to get on the forums and introduce ourselves - here comes the start of what will be an amazing 16 weeks!

This will be my fourth - yes FOURTH, I can't believe it! - round of 12WBT and I am just as pumped for it as I was for Round 2011. Actually maybe I'm more excited then ever? There's something about it being a fresh new year, the program being bigger and more badass than EVER, and oh... the fact that I am not here for weight loss is a huge thing for me. Sure, I want to lose a few kilos but all my bigger goals this round will be focussed on fitness goals. This is not a concept I am used to!

Kick off couldn't come quicker! Not just for kick off, but around this time I will also commence studying my Certificates III& IV in Health and Fitness - I'm going to be a fully qualified personal trainer!

I am very excited for what this round, and moreover, this year have in store for me. Not only that, I can not wait to see the amazing things others do over the coming months - not only the amazing people I have already met and grown to love to bits but the new friendships I will make and the journeys people will have.

If you're a reader and you are considering joining 12WBT, please stop hesitating now! It is an amazing program and for a small price you will give yourself 12 weeks that will change your life.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2011 - Reflections On Health and Fitness

Well I'm been trying to find a moment to sit, blog and sum up my year like everything else has - as usual I'm late (fashionably?) to the party, but hey, I'm here!

2011 has been an extremely full year! I can't believe how much my life had changed - not just in aspects of my health and fitness, but my outlook has changed - I've always had a lot of determination, and I've finally found ways to channel it, and it's helped me grow as a person. I know a little bit more about myself. It's amazing no matter how old we are, we can still grow and continue to learn more about ourselves.

2011: A Summary
Completed three rounds of 12WBT - a program I was aware of the moment it opened. I watched the 2010 rounds go by, saw some amazing results but really did not feel like I had what it took. By Round 2 2011 I was an Ambassador for the program and attended the finale workout as an assistant personal trainer. It was an extremely proud moment for me.

Started running. I started running on the treadmill in my local gym (I know, boring right?) - I did the first 5kms I ever ran on a treadmill, then the first 10kms. I remember seeing that 10km tick over on the treadmill and nearly bursting into tears - I couldn't believe I had done it. From there I decided I needed to start running outside. My first run ever outside was only a mere 3kms and I found it hard. From there, I was determined to make it to 5kms outdoors - I signed up and trained for my first ever Fun Run - Run Melbourne. I did 5kms in 30 minutes and 20 seconds. To this day I still haven't been able to beat that PB!

Later, after failing to sign up to Melbourne Marathon in time, the gorgeous Rell Frichot let me run in her place - I still can't express how grateful I was for that opportunity and I was determined to smash it big time. I was expecting a time of about 1 hour and 18 minutes, and came in at 1 hour and 1 minute and 45 seconds.

The next (we will get to the end of me blabbing on about running, I promise!!) goal was to get a 15km run under my belt for my major milestone to cap off R3 2011. I was nervous, I was worried I'd hold other runners back, but 1 hour, 45 minutes and 11 seconds later I was done! I still feel quite chuffed about completing it. Thank you to all of the gorgeous #rellsrunners for running with me - it was a special and really important day for me. Not only after I completed 15kms - I THEN ran a 1km time trial and THEN participated (well, to the best of my weary tired muscle's abilities) in a TABATA session.

Personally things have improved for me too - I am enjoying the work / life balance of only working three days a week then having time to support my husband's business and time to do the things I want to be doing. It's less money, but I don't care. Money isn't everything and I am happy I can look at my year and feel like it wasn't spent in an office stressing about things that don't really matter to me personally.

I've had quite a lot of ailments in 2011. Neck pain, which I have GOT to get under control. It's an ongoing issue for me and it's very disruptive to my life. Not to mention being severely painful! There was the month I has stomach flu. I was SO sick for weeks on end. Horrible virus. I had to have a number of dental procedures, which all in an all were preventative work but really, who LIKES going to the dentist. On the bright side, after suffering with atrocious dental pain in 2010, 2011 has seen me with not a hint of a toothache.

Moving house: a lot of you who follow me on Twitter will know I had to move house suddenly thanks to our land lords deciding the ideal time to renovate would be over Christmas. After being good tenants for over 4 years it was a blow. Weeks of house-hunting ensued - it was competitive and depressing. Not to mention the wasted weekends spent looking, the stress of the looming date to vacate, and my natural pessimistic nature when it comes to these things. That said we found a place. We moved, and I love it it. We are in a lovely place, across from a gorgeous park with a running track along the Maribyrnong. I like having more space and I have just started working on the garden out the back with the plans of having my first ever fresh herb garden.

There's plenty more to be said, but I did really want to focus my reflections on physical and mental health and fitness.

2012 plans blog post to follow!!