It hurt, but I kept going anyway

I didn’t get a chance to do my SSS yesterday – so SSS on a Sunday it was.

I have been doing the Advanced Lean & Fit program – modified because I have gone over on my ankle twice in the last four weeks – and not while exercising! I have bought a you beaut medium heavy duty support bandage and have been working around the injury. I had planned to do the 10km run training program this round, and the good news is I can comfortably run and jog on a treadmill for over half an hour – so I am going to give the 10km running training a go outdoors this week. I thought I might have to start at week one – but I just looked at the week five program and I think I will be able to do it. And I am planning to enter a fun run on Saturday – so that fits nicely with the training schedule.

But back to the SSS today.

It began with a warm up walk on the treadmill at a steep incline – and then rolling intervals on the treadmill for 25 minutes.  My treadmill measures distance in miles – so it says I did 2.7 miles, which is actually 4.2 kilometres. I can hardly believe I went that far in that time with the amount of walking involved in the warm and during the intervals themselves.

The intervals were in blocks – with the final minute in each block a recovery minute where I walked at a pace of 3.7 m/h. During the working phase of the intervals my top speed was 7.5mph (10km/h) – I can hardly believe I was able to run that fast on the treadmill. But I just printed out the plan from the 12wbt and said to myself JFDI. The intervals were I was jogging at a higher incline were a killer, my legs were burning by the end of the last set.

And this is what I looked like at the end of the rolling intervals.  I love the feeling of the first drip of sweat on my forehead, because I think “now I’m really working” and it reminds me of the saying “Sweat is fat crying”.

Mr G. took the photo for me – I was too bust trying to catch my breath to smile. But I was happy. I can’t believe how great it feels to push yourself to do something further than you thought you were capable of achieving. When I looked at the plans and saw the top speed was 10km/h I thought “I can’t do that” – and then I remembered that the first three letters of can’t spell can.

After the rolling intervals it was time for the AMRAP workout of the training session – upper body and abs.  There were three working phases. In the first working phase I completed 3 circuits and managed to do a couple of reps of a fourth circuit.  The second phase three complete circuits and got half way through the reps of the second exercise. The third working phase I thought this time I was going to go for four complete circuits – and I did it. I told myself I was going to do it and worked out how long I had to do each set of reps. I have a nifty app on my iPhone for timing AMRAPs and a beeper goes off when there is one minute to go. When I heard that beep go I knew I had to dig deep to make the time limit and keep good form.

And the result 653 calories gone! And a whole bucket load of fat crying. Gotta be happy with that!

 

 

I’ve been waiting a year to do this……

 

This is me one year ago. I was just approaching the finish line of the 2011 City2Surf. My time was 3:12:11.  Master G was there by my side. It was tough going up Heartbreak Hill, and every other small incline after that was sheer torture. I weighed 155kgs. My training regime consisted of walking on the weekends, one or two Zumba classes a week and two or three thirty minute Curves sessions a week. I was eating in excess of 2400 calories a day. I was in a better place than I was a year before that – but if I knew if didn’t do something to improve my health, I was risking more than heartbreak.

The good thing was the next day was the first day of Round 3 2011 preseason for 12wbt. My life changed completely from that day. Well, it was already starting to change from the moment I decided to sign up the Tuesday night before. I knew I was not going to be trapped in this body for much longer. Little did I know just how much my body, and my mind, was going to transform over the next fifty-two weeks.

So, I’m about to go to bed so I am well rested for the City2Surf in the morning. I was aiming to be running the whole 14kms tomorrow, but my running training has had a few setbacks. So my plan is to jog the first 5kms, and then do a walk and jog combo for the remaining 9kms. My goal is to finish an hour faster than I did last year. So, hopefully there will be a tweet from me saying as much at about 11:20am.

As well as shedding almost 50kgs in the last 52 weeks, I am much fitter and stronger in body, mind and soul. I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder in 2003, and some of the years between the diagnosis and 2008 were very bleak indeed, as I spent most of that time in a clinically depressed state, with brief episodes of manic upswings in mood. The Black Dog Institute was a great support to me in those years. But still, even as recently as six months ago, I was ashamed of having a chronic mental illness and I was reluctant to be open and honest about it with everyone I knew.

A few months ago Michelle Bridges announced that the charity she was fundraising for in the City2Surf was the Black Dog Institute. After shedding many, many tears after realising I really shouldn’t be ashamed of having an invisible illness, I decided I would fund raise for the Black Dog Institute as well. I know that the funds I raise will contribute to someone else with Bipolar Disorder or Depression finding the path to wellness as I have.

If you would like to help out please consider donating to this worthy cause. You might like to sponsor me fifty cents for every kilometre I jog and walk tomorrow. That would be a $7 donation, and it would help to make a difference.

Here is the link to make a donation
http://www.fundraise.city2surf.com.au/leonie_gray_0

I look forward to updating this blog with my finish time from tomorrow and the photo of me at the finish line. And the great thing is, even if I don’t finish in under 2:12:11 – the fact I have never given up will make the result worthy of celebrating.

 

 

Shuffling One Friday and LMFAO

Here is what my lungs would have looked like this afternoon about 4.30pm.

About twenty minutes later I’m sure they didn’t look like that any longer.  In fact, I think one half of them is lying somewhere on the southern side of the walking track at the Sydney International Regatta Centre.

Let me explain.

I did my one kilometre time trial this afternoon – a week late as it was for the end of Round 1 2012.  Better late than never.

I got to my starting point on the path, got my HRM monitor ready, got my Runkeeper app ready took one last look at my JFDI wrist band. And then I was shuffling. And shuffling. And shuffling some more.  In fact I didn’t stop jogging for the whole kilometre.  Haven’t done that since last century.

My legs were burning.  Despite the fact that my heart rate was only around the 130 beats per minute mark most of the time, my mind was telling me it was burning up and about to burst out of my chest.  I was sure I was going to cough up a lung any moment. I thought about giving up, but I was determined to jog the whole kilometre.

So what kept me going? Some of the usual stuff.  Telling myself to just keep going to the next landmark, and then allow myself to decide to give up.  Listening to the music.  Slowing down my breathing.  Telling myself it wasn’t that far, really. Telling myself I was over the half way mark, so less than half the way to go.

But there were two things which made the difference to my mindset and got me to the one kilometre mark.  Firstly, I kept looking at my JFDI wristband when I felt like giving up.  Can’t argue with those four words.

And once I was over half way, I realised I hadn’t achieved this since last century – and realised how good it would feel to push myself and succeed in achieving what I thought was impossible a week ago.

After my epic fail with my run program last round, I decided I would get consistent with all my other training during preseason, then begin c25k again week one of Round 2.  Changed my mind about that now.  C25k begins this week.

And why was I LMFAO?

Even as I was shuffling, I realised I wasn’t going to do it in eight minutes or under.  That was my goal, but knowing I wouldn’t do it didn’t make me laugh.  What made me laugh was the fact that at the Round 1 week 4 time trial I jogged and walked the kilometre in eight minutes and twenty seconds.  Obviously, I can walk faster than I can run at the moment!

But I will never forget the feeling when runkeeper announced I had completed one kilometre.  No one told me it would be easy, but they did tell me it would be worth it.  And they were right.

Yoga is as yoga does

I go to a yoga class now on Wednesday nights.  I tried a teacher at the end of January – I went for three weeks and decided her teaching style was not for me.  So google to the rescue – I found another teacher and her website really appealed to me.  Tonight was my second class with her – and I’m hooked!

There is a large range of abilities in the class, from me – not much flexibility and balance – to very advanced students who look like the proverbial pretzel at times.  She already knows my name – and checks on me and makes sure my posture is right and I’m “comfortable” – though her definition of comfortable is not the equivalent of lying on the lounge.  We can use blocks, belts and cushions to make sure we can either do a particular pose safely or do it in a modified manner.

We begin with relaxation, then a 70 minute yoga class, then 15 minutes or so of deep relaxation in the end.  I just kept my Heart Rate Monitor on during the 70 minutes – and burnt 295 calories (and 40% of those were from fat).

And what’s more important I feel so energised and relaxed at the same time.  I’m so glad I didn’t give up on yoga altogether – it was just a matter of finding the right teacher for me.

“That day, for no particular reason, I decided to go for a little run.” Forrest Gump

That’s how it started for me way back in 1992.  I just woke up one morning and decided it would be a good idea to go for a run.  Unlike Forrest, I just went around the block. Once.  But it didn’t take long before I was doing thirty minutes or so most mornings before work, and ten kilometres twice on the weekend.  Many times since I’ve stopped running last century I’ve wanted to take it up again.  But I’ve kept making excuses.  But not any more.

I am a runner again.

How?

JFDI and an app on my iPhone called ease into C25K.

I’m up to Week two, day two.  And I can do it. I just have to focus on breathing, not taking too long strides, weight forward and not crossing my arms in front of my body and I can do it! (Many thanks to the 12wbt Sydneysiders members who gave me those tips.)  It has helped enormously that I have a #runningbuddy – you may have seen her comments on this blog.

So my next step is to do Week two, day three, and just keep on going.  I have signed up for a running clinic later this month, where my running will be videoed and I will get feedback on how to improve.  And I found out yesterday that Michelle Bridges is adding 10km and Half Marathon training regimes to the fitness programs on 12wbt.  I am so happy about that.  My goal is to run the 10km of the Blacktown City Fun Run in June this year.  Next goal is to run the 14km of the City2Surf in August.  If I am ready I’ll start the half marathon training in Round 3 2012.  If I’m not ready, I’ll do that in Round 1 2013.

It’s more than just a way to burn calories and lose weight.  It’s something I really enjoy.

That day, for no particular reason, I decided to go for a little run. So I ran to the end of the road. And when I got there, I thought maybe I’d run to the end of town. And when I got there, I thought maybe I’d just run across Greenbow County. And I figured, since I run this far, maybe I’d just run across the great state of Alabama. And that’s what I did. I ran clear across Alabama. For n particular reason I just kept on going. I ran clear to the ocean. And when I got there, I figured, since I’d gone this far, I might as well turn around, just keep on going. When I got to another ocean, I figured, since I’d gone this far, I might as well just turn back, keep right on going. 


Preseason Task 4 – Gear Up

So if you know me you know for the last five weeks I’ve been training mean.  I can hardly believe the improvement in my strength, the way I can sustain a 80% of maximum heart throughout a workout and the overall improvement in my fitness.  And at “Pain in the Park” today I could get from the ground to standing with only using one hand.  Its a huge deal, as this time last year I didn’t dare sit on the ground as I was worried my 160kg frame would remain there.

These past five weeks have seen a huge shift in the way I perceive myself while I’m working out.  Instead of doubting myself, I’m just trying my best.  Instead of giving up, I’m pushing for just a little longer.  Instead of saying I can’t, I’m saying I will.

Today was a good example. And it involved planks.

No not those planks – these planks. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part of the boxing workout involved doing three twenty second planks in between bouts of boxing.  The first plank I said to myself – I’m getting off my knees and onto my toes – never done either of those things before.

That is,
1. Plank on toes.

2. Deciding I could do an exercise above a beginner level when I previously thought it was beyond me.

First twenty seconds finished with me still on my toes.

Second twenty seconds I started on my toes, but my inner voice said – “You can get on your knees if you think you won’t make it.”  How helpful was that thought?  At the ten second mark I was on my knees.

Third twenty seconds I decided I was going to do the full twenty seconds on my toes.  Each time as I breathed out I said to myself, “I can do this” – and I did.

So what does all this have to do with preseason task four?  Its about training mean and hard.  Its about striving to do my best all the time.  Its about having a plan that will see me achieve my goals.  Its about attempting to do the things I thought were impossible.  Its about having a plan, but being willing to mix it up. It means I will achieve the goals I set in preseason task three.

It means I am going to give it my best shot to move from a beginner level to an intermediate level by the end of Round 1 2012.

My “Gear Up” plan is to be found on the page “The Plan” – you can click on the link above – or the one below to find out what I intend to do this round – starting tomorrow!

http://fitandhappynotfatandhippy.com/the-plan/

Feeling flat? Too many endorphins? No, just need a rest day!

Thursday 19th January – RPM = 960 calories

Friday 20th January – Cardio in Gym 82 minutes = 945 calories

Saturday 21st January – SSS – Pump = 620 calories + Sh’Bam = 770 + Cardio in Gym (82 mins) 803 calories = 2193 calories

Sunday 22nd January – 3.2km brisk walk = 63 calories on Garmin (Now I know why some runners wear their Polar HRM and Garmin HRM at the same time!)

Monday 23rd January – Manly Scenic Walk 9km = 2355 calories

Tuesday 24th January – c25K = 248 calories + RPM = 741 calories + Zumba = 808 calories = 1877 calories

Wednesday 25th January – Power walk with incline intervals (level 4) on treadmill (30 minutes) = 507 calories

No wonder I’m feeling a little tired right now.

Will blog about “What I Ate Wednesday” (a new regular feature of this blog) tomorrow morning.

Won’t do the training I tweeted about (ie DVD + treadmill walk) tomorrow – don’t want to risk injury or burnout.  I’ve worked hard the last seven days and my body needs a rest.  No matter how much I want to train more.  Mr G has put his foot down though, and said you look tired, you need to give your body a break.

Training tomorrow will be watching one of my favourite movies

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