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

Everyday I’m shufflin’

I like to run.  Sometime last century I woke up one morning in March and thought I might run today.  I ended up running around the block in bare feet – and I was hooked – and I bought a pair of trainers that afternoon.

Back in 1992 long before I had heard of JFDI or C25K or interval training I started pushing myself a little harder every day.  Six days a week.  For about 30  minutes on 4 week days and 10kms each Saturday and Sunday.  I had left my ex-husband and was living in a share house with two gorgeous guys who encouraged me to go for it.  My mother wanted to know why I was so happy – I told her it was the endorphins.  She started lecturing me about the dangers of taking drugs.  But it was too late, I was already addicted.

A friend from my university days and I were chatting one day, and it turned out she was learning to jog too.  We made the decision to enter the City2Surf.  So we trained on our own and we trained together.  We entered our first Fun Run in June 1992 – The Terry Fox Run – a 5km run around the grounds of Sydney University – where we had studied together.  We were so nervous at the start line.  I remember one of us said to the other at the start line – “So when the gun goes , we run?”  We were both about the same fitness level, but I am a lot taller than my friend, so we agreed if I wanted to stretch my legs a little further than hers the I was to go for it and we’d meet each other at the finish.  We both finished in about 30 minutes.  Very pleased with ourselves.

Our next fun run was the Bay Run.  From memory I think I did the Bay Run’s 7km in about 45 minutes.  What astounded us though was as we were about 3kms from the finishing line, there were the serious athletes running the course for a second time in the opposite direction.  We thought – why on earth would you do that after finishing the 7kms?  Then we realised that 7km + 7km = 14km = the City2Surf.  And it was next week – what were we thinking?

We were so excited the next week.  In 1992 it wasn’t as big as it was last year.  We were in the second group to start next to the Australian Museum.  There were no timing chips in those days, and you had to wait until Tuesday to get your results in the paper, and it took almost as long to find your name amongst the thousands as it did to run it.  I managed to jog most of the way – had to walk for a little bit.  But was pleased with my efforts as I did it in just under 90 minutes.

In October that year we did an 8km Fun Run around Burwood.  That night I went out with a group of friends and met Mr G for the first time.  It was love at first sight – truely.  And running didn’t seem as important any more.  I remember the afternoon of our first date a few days later I went for a run to calm my nerves from my home in Homebush to Bicentennial Park.  I know I went for runs after that – but that’s the last one that sticks in my mind.

So here I am in 2012 – currently 133kgs – and desperate to get that wonderful feeling of freedom I used to get last century, and the endorphin rush.  This post I think explains why I was so badly wanted to do the City2Surf in 2010 – at 165kgs and with absolutely no training.  I started the C25K program last round of 12wbt, but after spraining my for ankle the second time in ten days (not while running – just walking long a grassy footpath) – my doctor said no running for 12 weeks.

Well twelve weeks has come and gone. And along with the passage of time came the “Paralysis by analysis”.

All that changed last Thursday. I did a fitness test with some other members of a local 12wbt group.  For part of the 1km time trial I shuffled – without the help of the C25K app.

Then yesterday – the big leap – I was at the gym on the cardio equipment. 20 minutes bike + 20 minutes cross-trainer + 20 minutes treadmill + 5 minutes rower.  When I got to the treadmill, I thought JFDI – just like I did that morning in 1992.  And I alternated 1 minute at 5.5km/hr – my fast walking pace with 6.4km/hour – my shufflin’ pace.  The first two 1 minute intervals at 6.4km/h I hung on to heart rate bar as if my life depended on it – and the third time I let go.  It was great.  After less than 10 minutes total I’m hooked again. So, I’m off to get a properly fitted pair of runners.  C25K starts Monday!  First Fun Run – Sri Chinmoy on the 19th February – the 2 mile event – 3.22 kilometers.  My first running goal is to attempt this distance on the 19th without stopping – jogging, shufflin’ or crawling.

And so Round 1 2012 begins

I have had a great start to this round, despite having to cancel a Bridge to Bridge walk along the Nepean River  I had planned with about 9 other 12wbt members because of the weather conditions.  I almost put off exercise until the afternoon, but I thought JFDI and headed to the gym for a Body Pump class and some time on the cardio equipment in the gym.

This was my second Body Pump class since October, and when I did one two weeks ago I used the lightest weights, and at  that time I barely raised a sweat and burned about 250 calories.  So, I knew I could do better and I was determined to do better this morning.  I increased the weights to what I was using in October and in the last half hour there was definitely fat crying in the guise of sweat.

At the end of the hour my HRM read 712 calories burned!  Unbelieveable! I was going to be happy with my efforts if I got over 300.  So I headed into the gym and hopped on a stationary bike for 20 minutes.  I increased the resistence one level – and of course chose the random hill program.  I really felt that small increase in the resistence on the hills.  I really gave it my all in the last five minutes.

At the 20 minute mark I checked my HRM for calories burned. (I keep it showing my heart rate during the workout – so I can make sure I am challenging myself.)  Total for both workouts was 1026 calories.  Feeling mighty good and totally shredded.  So took a photo of my shredder face for the Facebook group.

The look on my face is due to the effort involved in taking a self portrait in the carpark of the gym without anyone seeing me.

I didn’t set out to make this workout a SSS on a Monday – but needless to say I’m pretty pleased with myself.  And most importantly, pleased that I didn’t let excuses and procrastination get in the way of having a workout after my original plans for the morning were changed.

When I got home I got myself a snack and sat down to do something I have never done before.  I planned my meals for the whole week until Sunday 22/1/12 on http://www.myfitnesspal.com  I feel in control, and its a relief not to have to worry about what I’m eating for the rest of the week.  This afternoon I am also going to plan the snacks too. (Who is this woman?) The great thing about it is I don’t have to do any calculations and I can change things during the week if the need arises.

How are you getting ready for the next 16 weeks?

A shot of Vitamin D and Caffeine

After feeling I was living in the gym last week doing the 100km challenge, I was really looking forward to a change this morning in my training routine.  The Sydney West Facebook group had organised an event – the Nepean River Walk (sometimes known as the Bridge to Bridge Walk).

Another member from the Blue Mountains and I met up with two other members (and one husband) to do the walk at 9.00am at the Coffee Club carpark, opposite Tench Reserve in Penrith.  I was a little apprehensive as it is 7kms to do the whole loop and my legs were a little sore from finishing the 100km challenge yesterday.  But I shouldn’t have worried, once we got going I forgot all about the sore muscles and just enjoyed the company, the views, and the challenge to see if I could make it a 500 calorie burn.

We headed south from the Coffee Club to the ramp which leads up to the M4 freeway – so we could cross the Nepean River to Leonay.  From there its down to the riverside track along a shady path heading north towards Emu Plains.  There were lots of other walkers, runners, dogs, prams and cyclists along the way.  Its a gently undulating pathway, and its fairly wide.

Before long we had reached the traffic lights at the Great Western Highway at Emu Plains.  From there we crossed the river on Victoria Bridge (unfortunately not as good a view as the bridge at the other end), turned right and headed south back towards our starting  point.

For a relatively short distance we were walking along a suburban street – no views of the river – but it wasn’t long before we were back in Tench Reserve walking along the pathways close to the river.

My legs were getting a little weary at this point and I went from a good steady rate of 150ish beats per minute (just right for my age) that I had maintained earlier in the walk to about 135-140 beats per minute.  So there is room for improvement in my fitness level!  I finished up with a 482 calorie burn for 82 minutes of walking and talking.  Quite pleased with that.

It was quite a joy to realise we were back at the Coffee Club.  It was about 10.20am – so the perfect time to enjoy a cup of coffee – skim of course!  The bottle of water we got before the coffees was nicely chilled.  Just what we needed after a walk on one of the “first” days of summer for the 2011/2012 season.

While we were at the Coffee Club I saw for the first time the kilo joule counts they have on their menu – informative and scary!  Some of the menu items were a whole days worth of calories on the 12wbt program.  It makes you realise how easy it is to put on weight when you regard that type of eating as every day rather than a treat.

I was also shown a shorter way to get to and from the Coffee Club today from the M4 freeway today by my travelling companion.  Coming from the Blue Mountains you turn right when you exit the freeway (so left when you exit if you are coming from Sydney) and then turn right at the next lights.  And then a couple more turns which take you south and west and you are there in no time.  A lot quicker than going along Mulgoa Road via the intersection next to Panthers Leagues Club.

Here is a website with more information.

http://www.seeuinsydney.com/2011/05/01/bridge-to-bridge-walk/

So my recommendation – JFDI!  If you live in the area its a great way to vary your training routine or of course it can be a regular workout.  You don’t have to do the whole loop – you can walk/jog/run for a certain distance or time and then head back again.

If you’re from further afield it’s worth considering the drive out there on a weekend – you can use the BBQ facilities in Tench Reserve and there is a Regional Art Gallery in Leonay across the road from the pathway.  You could even start or end your workout there.

Do you have a local scenic walk you like to take advantage of in your training schedule?

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