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.