All in the Mind!!!

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This morning when I got up at 5.30 to go for my 5k run, I was mentally in a great place! I hadn’t run since my 10k last Thursday, I’d had a fairly relaxing weekend and I’d just woken from the best night sleep in a week. My legs were fresh. I told myself that this morning would be the day I run 5k under 24mins and that I did…..

As I left my driveway, I went out hard and fast. I kept telling myself to ignore any pain in my legs and to push through it. The first 500m seemed hard and hurtful, but I ignored it and pushed harder – as I approached my 1k mark I looked down and was surprisingly happy when I saw 4.35mins. When I have my mind set on a PB, I always aim to run the first kilometre around that time. I was feeling ok but felt at my maximum at this point. As I looked up at my 2k point I was hoping to reach a time of about 9.30mins so when I saw 9.20mins on my watch, it was received very graciously. By this time I kept telling myself once I get to 3k I only have 2k left and that’s easy. When I reached 3k in 14.06mins, I was starting to think that I’d reached my maximum and that the next kilometre, which is usually my slowest, was going to really let me down, but I kept pushing. I knew I must of been at my maximum because I was starting to feel that ‘I want to vomit’ feeling and when I saw 18.50mins at 4k I knew I had it in the bag. 

As I started my 5th kilometre, I had no pain anywhere throughout my body. I felt strong, I felt fit, I felt like I could have taken on the world! When I made my last turn down Warrigal road to run my last 500m I knew when I hit my 5k mark and stopped my watch it would show 23mins something….I was thrilled and over the moon when I saw 23.25mins!!!!!!!!!!!! I would have been happy to see 23.59 but 23.25….a fist pump and a shout out of relief was definitely appropriate for this point in time!!! I was pumped, shocked and excited all in one! I did it finally. After running 5k in 24mins several times in the last few months, I knew I would crack it eventually, all I had to do was wait for the perfect moment and back myself every step of the way! 

A run like this morning, signified to me how important our mental state is when trying to achieve anything. If I got up today with a negative attitude and no willingness to run hard, then I wouldn’t have come close to a PB, instead I smashed it by 40 seconds!!!!! If you want to achieve something, you will as I believe it’s ‘all in the mind’! 

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2 Years On…Bigger and Better!

It’s been two years now since I started my journey of discovering the ‘old’ me. The fitter me, the healthier me and the lighter me! I’m happy to say that two years on, I feel the best I’ve ever felt, both physically and mentally. I feel fit and strong enough to cope with life’s challenges in a far better manner than the past. I’m simply just happier in myself, therefore I’m more in love with life and the beautiful people and things that fill it. It was the best thing I could have ever done – taking the plunge to put on my runners has changed my life forever!!!

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My journey started with the want to lose my ‘baby bearing’ weight. I was the heaviest I’d ever been without being pregnant and with a diagnosed heart condition, the lights were flashing to do something about it. Originally I changed my eating habits by simply ‘cutting out the crap’ and reducing my meal size. Thankfully for me, I’ve always loved eating fruit and veggies so doing those two simple things with my diet helped me immensely!! After a couple of weeks of eating well, I lost a couple of kilos really easily, but I felt I needed more and it was after a long hectic day at home, with three kids under 5, made me come to the realisation of needing some time to myself. With that I put on my runners and the rest is history.

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It took me 6 months to lose the 13 kilos of weight that I had gained since getting married and having three babies and since the very first day I started running until now, I’ve worked consistently week in and week out, building on the distance and speed of my running. Bit by bit I pushed myself to run further and faster and to date, my longest run is 10km (pb 48.52mins) and my fastest run is 4km (pb 18.47 mins). It’s been an awesome two years and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every step my foot has run on the pavement.

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It hasn’t been easy though. There have been days where I’ve had to force myself to go. Winter mornings are a killer, it’s been challenging fitting exercise in while juggling work, 3 kids, a house and a husband who works really long hours and the pain from my ‘netball’ knees has at times been unbearable! But none of this
has ever allowed me to lose focus on what I want to achieve. Running is one of those exercises where your competitor is yourself, so the only person you’re letting down by not going, is yourself! That’s what I love about running though, the challenge to better me and the feeling of a pb never ever gets old…this week’s pb was my 4km hill run 19.21mins – makes you feel so pumped!!!

As I reflect over the past two years, one of the things that’s has assisted me in not giving up, is to constantly set goals. Running especially, can be an exercise where it becomes boring very quickly and because my lifestyle and my heart condition doesn’t allow me to go to gyms or bootcamps, I’ve had to choose an exercise that is convenient and non competitive. When I do feel like I’m getting bored, I know that I’m ready for a change. In the past most of my changes were an increase to distance and then I would spend several weeks or months improving on the speed of that distance. I’ve hit a safe limit for distance for my heart now, so a change now is either in routes or routines.

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My mantra:)

In the past couple of weeks I’ve started a new routine and I’m LOVING it!!!! Now that it’s light at 5am, I have more time in the mornings to exercise. So I’ve decided, instead of my two work days being my rest days, I now exercise every day Monday-Friday and have my rest days over the weekend. Last weekend was the first weekend in two years I didn’t go for a run…it was lovely not having to fit it in over an extremely busy weekend, but by Monday I was chaffing at the bit to run lol! This routine also allows me time to catch up over the weekend if I’ve missed a day through the week for some unforeseen reason…meaning children lol!

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My new routine:
Monday – 5k run
Tuesday – 15min power walk, 10mins of planks, squats, leg raises and lunges using my tiny pink weights, finished with 5 min power walk.
Wednesday – sprint/ short distance 3 or 4k
or 1k sprints with a minute rest between for 4km.
Thursday – same as tues
Friday – 10k run hill run 3 weeks in a row and in the 4th week a flat run
Saturday & Sunday – family fun!!

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The lifestyle I lead now isn’t something I have to force myself to do. Now that I’ve been exercising and eating well for so long, it comes naturally to me each and every day. I love nothing more than to start my day with exercise. It allows me to achieve so much more in my day. I crave salads and veggies (especially if we’ve had a big weekend of get togethers) but I never deprive myself of my favourite treats…all in moderation!! The energy I have now is so fantastic and when faced with a stressful situation or a crazy busy period, I feel so much more in control rather than throwing in the towel and feeling overwhelmed by it all! I feel I’m a better mum and wife where my limits stretched now far our do my limits of the past! I encourage anyone who wants to become the best ‘you’ you can be, to start with something that makes you happy….for me that’s running:)

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When I was diagnosed with a dilated aorta of the heart 2 and half years ago, I was so scared and so overwhelmed with what was inside my body. My first thought was I can’t not be here for my babies!! Now that I’m at my perfect weight for my height and I’m as fit as I’ve ever been, I’m giving myself the best chance for my heart to not get any worse. I will spend the rest of my days continuing to work to help my heart, so I can live a long and happy life with my beautiful party of 5 and inspire my children to be the best they can be!

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Moment of Glory….

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Today I achieved something I thought I never would! It’s almost 2 years since I took up the challenge of running and I’m so very happy that I did! For me running is many things. It’s my fitness, it’s my therapy, it’s helping me maintain my heart condition! When I started running I never thought I’d get to the point I’m at today. Initially I was happy just getting out there and regaining myself back after having three babies in 5 years! That feeling only lasted a few months. Once I got past the sore feeling and feeling like I can’t catch my breath, I went from only worrying about how long I could run for to how far I could run.

Month after month I started believing. Believing in myself that I could achieve anything that I want to. I was becoming stronger and stronger, week by week I was getting fitter and fitter. My ability to run 4km turned into 5km and 6km until I reached my target distance of 10km!! My personal best times were being improved on bit by bit as I just kept chipping away! But today’s personal best and run in general was the best run I’ve ever ran and it went something like this….

I woke up feeling amazing. It was the best night sleep I’d had in about two weeks. I was very excited to be wearing my new outfit that I bought through the week…Lorna Jane 7/8 black tights, Michelle Bridges hot pink racer back singlet and a white bonds sports bra! I felt ready, I felt so comfortable in my new outfit and my head was happy and clear. My plan was to go out hard and run 5km under 25 mins – that I did! I’ve been carrying a knee injury lately and it’s the best it’s felt in a few weeks so I was happy to get to 5km under 25 mins without it causing me to much grief!

The first 5km were the hardest because once I started the back half of my 10k, I felt amazing! When I reached the 7km in a pb time of 34.50 I knew there was nothing stopping me running 10km under 50mins. Usually by this point in my run I start to lose a few seconds each km from fatigue but I felt so fit and energised today like I could’ve ran a marathon! As each km kept rolling by I couldn’t believe my ears when I was being told by the Map My Run lady the times I was running – I was in disbelief….8km 39.30, 9km 44.09!!! The last kilometer usually feels like 10km in itself but as I kept putting one foot in front of the other and feeling on top of the world, it was over before I knew it! And there in that moment as I’d run the the run of my life and had finished as strong as I started I was granted the time of 48.54 minutes at 10km!!!!! I was in shock, absolute disbelief. In that moment I had created my own personal moment of glory!!!

As I walked the 2km to get back home, I kept shaking my head and was questioning what just happened. “Maybe the Map My Run App that I use was lying?” I said to myself! But I’d run that route before and it was pretty much my 5km route twice as I wanted to do a flat fast run today…well that I did!! I’ll never forget that moment I finished – I wasn’t sore, tired or breathless…I felt fit, fantastic and most of all happy and content that me, the person who use to want to hurl at the thought of running a kilometer let alone 10km had just achieved something special…in the land of the world of amateur running anyway:) lol! After today, I believe anything is possible and if you put the hard work in you will reap the rewards!!!

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A Year of Maintenance!

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This time last year I had very little winter clothes coming into the cooler months! I had just reached my goal weight after losing around 13kgs in 6 months through eating healthy (basically cutting out the crap) and exercising (mainly running)! I’m happy to say that a year later I have plenty of winter clothes to choose from and they all still fit as I’ve maintained my goal weight!

Like anything losing it really is the easy part, it’s the maintenance part that can be challenging. It’s funny how the power of our mind is the key to all of this. When losing weight your mindset is quite different to when you are maintaining. You go from being very strict with yourself to relaxing a little and treating yourself a bit here and a bit there, but if not managed well, this can be the start of where weight creeps back on! Then you can go the other extreme and become obsessed to the point where you lose too much weight and start to look too thin – not healthy ….trust me I know I’ve been there and it’s not nice!

Last year after getting to my goal weight I lost a bit more and a bit more and then before I knew I was struck down with a terrible gastro bug for days which left me looking very unhealthy and very sick looking! I learnt a lot from all of that! It taught me to get myself at a weight where I have some reserves. Getting down to a weight that is too thin for your height is like living on the edge. You may look healthy and trim but what reserves do you have if you get sick?? It took me months to build my body fat and muscle back to where it was. But I did and a year later I feel fitter, stronger and healthier than I’ve ever been!

I still maintain a heathy eating diet. My rule to myself is be sensible Monday-Friday and enjoy my favourite treats on the weekend! I love eating healthy so to me it’s not a chore but a way of life. Just like my running. It’s not a chore it’s a part of my day to day routine and without it I wouldn’t be able to achieve what I do in a week! My exercise program at the moment for winter consists of 3 runs (approx 18-20km) a week and 2 walks. My way of life that I chose to live is what works for me. I think it’s important that when losing weight and maintaining it, you have to;
1. want to do it
2. find what works for you in the way of food and exercise
3. be consistent with whatever you chose
4. believe in yourself!

Anyone can lose weight and become fit. But the way we do it is completely individualised. We are who we are and we are all individuals breathing the same oxygen, but no one can force you to do something that you don’t want to do…only YOU can be the one to make the decision:) I believe before training your eating habits and body, you have to train your mind, because if your mind isn’t at it’s best nothing else will be!

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4 Week Challenge!

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It’s been 18 months now since I started my fitness trek. The very firs time I put my joggers on after many years, I started power walking and before I knew it I had built up the courage to start running. Initially I would concentrate on running for a certain time and eventually as my fitness started to increase, I started to concentrate on the distance I ran. Back in January last year I started running 4km each time I ran. Eventually I build up enough confidence to extend that by another km and another. To date the longest I’ve ever ran is 10km.

Since the new year my running regime has consisted of 20km per week over 4 days – 2 x 5km runs, 6km run and a 4 km run. I’ve ran 2 PBs this year for 5km and 6km, but just recently I’ve become a little bored with my running. I still love it and maintain it each week, but I feel I’m ready for another challenge. Running for me now is apart of my week’s routine and I couldn’t live without it! Since my recent heart tests came back showing my dilated aorta hasn’t gotten any worse in the past year, my cardiologist is happy with me to keep my running up. But due to my condition I can’t be challenged to just any exercise and while running is safe for me, I’m happy to keep it up but I’m going to mix it up a bit at the moment!

After having discussions with some of my friends who exercise, one great friend in particular, has been a great ear for me of late. We’ve discussed different things that she’s doing and what I could do. So I’ve decided to mix up my running and do a 4 week challenge over the next month. Now that I have my new running shoes – the Asics Kyanos, what better time to challenge myself!

My 4 week challenge consists of:
Week 1
Tuesday –
5km time trial
Thursday –
sprint session…4x1km sprints with 1 minute rest between each km.
Saturday –
10km run
Sunday –
Light, easy 4km run

Week 2
Tuesday –
5km time trial
Thursday –
Sprint session – 3km time trial
Saturday –
10km run
Sunday –
light, easy 4km run

Week 3
Tuesday –
5km time trial
Thursday –
Sprint session – 4x 1km sprints with 1 minute rest between each km.
Saturday –
10km run
Sunday –
Light, easy 4km run

Week 4
Tuesday –
5km time trial
Thursday –
Sprint session – 3km time trial
Saturday –
10km run
Sunday –
4km time trial

I started on Tuesday morning with my 5km run and tomorrow will be my first sprint session which I can’t wait to do! I love speed which Is why the shorter distances suit me better, but I’m determined to do a 10km once a week for the next month!! My goal for this challenge is to measure improvement. I will be recording every time I do and if I manage any PBS in the next month that will be a bonus.

Running for me now has nothing to do with weight loss – although it helped me tremendously to lose my 10 plus kilos of after baby weight. Now it’s all about a personal challenge. It’s a time when I can be just me and no one else. A time when I can compete against myself and my running times. A time when I can think or a time when I can focus on nothing else but breathing. It’s my time to do something for myself that I love, which keeps me fit and healthy, which contributes to me being a better person in all areas of my life!

I shall update you with how my 4 week challenge went when it’s complete! Feel free to jump on the band wagon and have a go or create one for yourself that you’ll be able to manage!

My Current Running PBs to date:
1km 4.35
2km 9.30
3km 14.23
4km 18.47
5km 24.02
6km 29.37
7km 35.40
8km 40.57
9km 48.00
10km 52.21

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Create the best ‘YOU’!

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Last week was International Women’s Day! How did you embrace the women within you?
I was recovering from a gastro bug the kids passed on…not my finest or classiest of moments that’s for sure lol!

As a women, I think we are an extremely important part of society! Not only are we nurturing and intelligent, we are strong…I mean what man will ever be able to birth the size of a watermelon out of their sacred area?? Without women the population of the world would slowly dwindle so we ARE needed! But we are not just baby producing machines, there is so much more to us!

Just recently I’ve had several people stop me and tell me I look great considering I have three children. One lady asked me if the kids were all mine and then politely said “my you are thin!!” As flattering as it is, it makes me so frustrated and annoyed that the general stereotype for a mum is under dressed and over weight!! Why can’t us mums be fit, slim, healthy and trendy without people being so surprised about it!

Several months ago I wrote a blog called “Yes I’m a mum of three children!”, which highlights how annoyed I get by people’s ignorance when they get a shock that me, oh god forbid me, would have birthed 3 children…that’s right because a size 8 women is so incapable of that…NOT!!! Which takes me to the point of this blog! I’m fed up with people’s reactions and stereotypical attitudes towards us mums. Shouldn’t we be praised and acknowledged for being a good role model for our children? Doesn’t what we do rub off on our children and if we are leading a fit and healthy lifestyle, isn’t that a good thing to pass onto our children?

So as a fellow member of the mothering society I strongly urge you to take control! Take control of yourself and your life and create the best ‘YOU’ that you can be! If you are not happy with yourself, don’t beat yourself up about it anymore, do something about it! And I’m not solely talking about weight loss. That could be one area. You may want to build your fitness, change your eating habits or seek out a new wardrobe, if you know what it is that will help ‘YOU’ be the best ‘YOU’ can be, than start now!

TIPS to get started…
*Set your self realistic goals and keep a regular check of them! Once one goal is achieved set a new one.

*Cut out the crap! If what you want is to lose weight or get back to eating healthy, then cut out the bad food from Monday – Friday and treat yourself in moderation over the weekend! Drink plenty of water and reduce the size of your meals. I also recommend to go on a good women’s multivitamin to…I take rest and restore by Nature’s Way and highly recommend it!

*If your desire is to get fit, pick an exercise that you know you’ll be able to manage in your busy schedule and be consistent with it…like everything consistency is the key to success!

*If you need a new look, the first thing to do is to clean out your wardrobe! Get rid of what you don’t wear or doesn’t make you feel good anymore. Make a list of what you want and write down your favourite colours etc and then go shopping….maybe go through some fashion mags before you go, or just go with what’s most comfortable for you! Westfield shopping centres have stylists that you can go to now.

*Pamper yourself…make sure you make time for pampering at the hairdressers, nail saloon or massage parlour. As mums we spend our days pampering everyone, we deserve some too!

*Most importantly don’t forget about yourself! Yes it was our choice to become mothers and a mother should always put herself first before her babies, but that doesn’t mean we should let ourselves go! If we establish a really good routine at home with great organisation, then trust me there will be time for yourself!

It’s time mummas…time to shut the critics down and change the way people perceive mums! After all when us mums are FEELING our best, we are DOING our best and that is extremely important!

If you do take the plunge today to change something, please keep me posted, I’d love to follow your transformation!

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An Inspirational Year!

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It’s been almost a year since I put myself out there to the blogging world. As a wife and mum of three who works two days a week as a special education teacher and has a love of running, cake decorating and craft, I started blogging to not only capture the significant moments in my life, but to also hopefully help other mums out there, to debrief about the same issues that my life is faced with. I’ve written over 100 blogs now which touch on parenting issues, fashion findings, home decorating and my running progression!

I’m not only surprised how many people have read my pieces, but am quite humbled that I regularly have people message me to thank me for helping them to start their journey into getting fit, thanking me for a good suggestion or letting me know they are “glad I’m not the only one:)!” As my blog’s caption is ‘life is about learning’, I feel that this is happening from some people who take the time to read my posts. I believe we all have something to learn from one another and I’m quite happy that I’m teaching someone something from the comforts of my own home!

I love to hear about people’s goals and achievements! It’s nice to bounce ideas off each other as hundreds of heads are always better than one! Just this weekend I received a message from a Facebook friend who I met at primary school updating me on how she is going with her running and thanking me for my words of wisdom and encouragement…how lovely is that! Being told that I’m someone’s inspiration…well you guys are mine! It’s positive feedback which allows me to stay focussed on my goals and inspires me to keep writing!

So I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the wonderful people who have followed my life’s journey over the past 12 months. I have received so many beautiful, heart-felt comments on so many of my blogs and I truly appreciate every kind word anyone has ever taken the time out to write. As I venture into my second year I can only hope that I am able to help more and more people along the way!

A BIG thank you from ME to YOU….I hope we can keep on inspiring each other;)!

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Don’t forget to enter the my personal planner competition….only 24 hours left until the competition closers and the winner is announced…good luck!
Click here to enter

Fist Pump Moment!

pExactly one year ago I started a running diary which consisted of distances and times that I ran. It has allowed me to keep track of my improvement over time. When I started running I did it for two reasons, to help me lose my last lot of baby weight and to help me build my fitness to a point that it use to be. These two factors that I have been able to not only achieve but maintain for almost a year now, also gives my heart condition the best chance of not getting any worse!

On January 2nd 2012 I measured my first run of 4km and set a goal for myself to run it within half an hour. That day I achieved my goal and ran it in 28.53mins. From then on I chipped away at that time. Bit by bit, step by step, I improved. 4km was a safe distance for me. I knew I was capable of always finishing and never stopping until that 4th kilometer was complete. Anything longer than that freaked me out so I didn’t push myself any further.

As the months went by, before I knew it I was running 4km in 25 mins! The challenge against myself was becoming addictive! I became more confident with each run and now I am able to run any distance up to 10km! Growing up I always played competitive netball, so that competitive instinct comes roaring back out each time I run! Eventually 25 minutes was a thing of the past and I was slowly getting closer and closer to 20 minutes! My main goal was to eventually run five or so minutes per kilometer and by the end of last year I was consistently doing that not only for 4km but for every kilometer up to 8km!!!

Running PBs
1km 4.35
2km 9.35
3km 14.23
4km 18.47
5km 24.30
6km 30.02
7km 35.40
8km 40.57
9km 48.00
10km 52.21

The day I ran my first 4km in under 20 minutes I was so pumped! I couldn’t believe it! From a netballer and sprinter to a long distance runner….who would have ever thought! But once a goal is achieved you set your sights on other goals then and although I never thought in a million years I would ever run 4km in under 19 minutes I’m happy to say I did and only two days ago!

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My pb was 19.30 so my goal was to get under the .30! Running isn’t easy and running a fast pace over a large distance is ever harder! I’d pretty much resigned myself to being at my peak for my 4km and I was happy with that! I did have in the back of mind that it would be nice to take 10 minutes off my original pb I started with a year ago, but I silently kept that to myself!

We are currently on holidays at the coast and as a runner, there is nothing better than running at the beach! It was my first run of our holiday. I’d had two bad night sleeps, a sore knee and was getting over a kinked neck! But I was determined to get out and have a run. I walked to the point where I wanted to start my run, it was about 1.5kms in total! So many people were out and about – running, walking, bike riding! I created a new playlist on my iPhone so I was all set. The minute I took off I felt fast! I actually thought I probably should slow down or I’ll die in the arse lol!

As I reached my 1st km I was 4.35mins into my run, then my second 9.35mins! I was stoked with these times but had run them several times before. It was at my 3rd km and a pb of 14.23 that I thought I may have been in with a chance! I was still feeling fantastic and had the end in sight! Where I normally sprint the last 100m by the last 500m I was starting to feel the tank was getting low. But I held on and pushed the last bit and when I reached my 4km mark at 18.47 mins I fist pumped the air lol!

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People were probably thinking what is that freak doing, but I didn’t care….I’d just taken 10 minutes off my original pb from when I started running 4km a year ago!!! Straightaway I had to tell someone so I text a bestie of mine who runs and would understand what that meant to me!!! What a great feeling:)

Anyone can do what I’ve done. I’m no Olympic champion and never will be, but I am my own champion and my children’s champion and that’s all that matters to me! I do this for myself and in the hope that I inspire my children to always want to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle.

Well now it’s a new year, new chapter, new goals, but one thing that will always be the same will be my will power, strength, determination and consistency….this is what brought me here to the point I am at today:)!
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My Longest Run To Date!

Well I did it! Last Sunday I completed my longest run to date….10 kilometres!!!

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It’s been just under a year now since I put my running shoes back on for the first time in many many years. That very first attempt of running was nothing shorter than painful. Every inch of my body, every muscle, every ligament and tendon felt that run, but that didn’t stop me from going back the next day and the next to slowly build on something that I to this day can be very proud of! For the first few months my aim was to run non stop for 20 minutes. Once I became more confident and felt myself becoming fitter and fitter, I started measuring the distance I ran. My pet run is 4km which I can now run in 20 minutes (pb 19.50) and occasionally I like to run 5km which I can run in 25 mins (pb 24.36)! For a long time a 5km run scared the hell out of me let alone anything higher!

Then slowly but surely I started to want to challenge myself to running longer distances. I slowly increased over time from 6, to 7km and up until last weekend my longest run was 7 and a half kilometres which I did in 40mins. My goal was to run my first 10km run by Christmas and I wanted to run it in under an hour! Well I’m happy to say that it’s only September and not only have I completed my first 10km run but I ran it in 53.40mins!!!

I sit here, three days later, still in disbelief that not only did I complete it, I didn’t once stop, feel like stopping and felt so good the whole time I was running! If someone had of asked me 12 months ago lets go for a 10km run I would have laughed in their face….how things change! I had it in my head that day that I wanted to increase my run to 8km. I was running a decent pace (2km in 10mins) feeling pretty good, but when I got to 6km it felt like I had run 12! I was feeling fine but it felt like I’d been running for 2 hours! When I finally reached my target for the day of 8km I knew I still had running in me so I kept going! I was 43mins at 8km so my last 2kms I really brought it home considering….the adrenaline obviously had kicked in!

As much as running is a physical challenge, it is one of those physical activities that is very mentally challenging! Something that seems easy at first or when you speak about it in conversation is actually really hard! It’s the same thing over and over again – left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot! If you think about the pain the run is harder, if you tell yourself I want to stop you most likely will! All this is controlled by how we think during running! I remember those days at first thinking, wishing my run was over, but now I’m the opposite! With the help of happy thoughts, my tunes and thinking about my loved ones or what I have to do for the day, my run is over in the blink of an eye and I enjoy every moment of it – of course I’m only human so there are still times where a run can seem harder than normal, but not on Sunday – my mind would not let me give up, I was so determined to do it! I felt so empowered after it as 10kms is a long distance!

So often I’m asked how do you do it? Or people will say I wish I had your motivation! You have to find something that motivates you and you have to want to do it! For me it’s my heart. In order for my aorta not to dilate any further, I need to prevent high blood pressure. By keeping fit and eating healthy this keeps my weight down and blood pressure down. While this happens my heart doesn’t get any worse and at the end of the day I need, I must be healthy for my children to have a mother….that’s a massive motivator!!!

So where to now?? I’ll just keep running 4-5 times a week. I’ll keep up my pet 4-5km runs and do a longer run each fortnight like I’ve been doing for a while! I get bored really easy so I keep changing my routes which really helps! My aim is to run a 10km run each month to see if I can improve my time! But my real challenge to myself now is to keep improving on all my PBS and get myself ready for 2013, as next year will be the first time I will enter into competitions! I never started running to compete against other people, it’s always been about competing against myself for myself, but I figure by entering in competitions, my money will be going to charity and it will be another great excuse to do what I love the most and that is running!

Thought for the day:
Believe in yourself by saying “I can do this!” Because the minute you say I can’t, you won’t!

No Pain, No Gain!

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Last Sunday I did something I never thought I would ever be capable of doing….I ran 5km in 24.36 minutes – I was running less than 5 mins per kilometer!!!!

The week Leading up to this moment:
I’d had a massive week! It was the week leading up to mum’s 60th birthday. I started with sinus on the weekend, which I get at this time of year, but I didn’t feel sick with it! By the Tuesday my voice had escaped me. I was suppose to go to work but decided to rest my voice for the year 1 excursion the following day….everything except rest happened on my day off as the three of my children woke up with conjunctivitis – grrrrrr!!!! So after a day of eyes being bathed in warm salty water, my eldest was able to go back to school the next day but my girls started to get a cold. This ended up with Mia getting croup and Sienna getting a middle ear infection!!!!O

Meanwhile each day I was spending time organising mum’s 60th birthday party and trying to fit in a run here and there. I managed a couple of 4km runs that week but wasn’t feeling flash and the lack of sleep was starting to catch up with me! By the end of the week my voice started to return to normal but the girls were getting worse before they got better! The day before mum’s party saw me making 3 cakes, 24 cupcakes a Mexican dip and enough fried rice to feed 70 people! Thank goodness all the craft stuff I made and the photo slide I created had been completed at the beginning of the week!

Of course the night before mum’s party the girls slept terribly and I was up at 5.30 to finish off the last of what had to be done! Mum had a wonderful 60th birthday though and was worth the hard yards organising and preparing for it. I was shattered by the end of the day and was asked by my brother-in-law if I was ready to run my first 10km run the next morning. Mentally I was ready, but physically I didn’t want to push it! I passed on the opportunity and went and had bacon and eggs at mum and dad’s instead lol! I then layed around all day to recoup after a huge week. I had it in my head all day that I’d go for a 5km run that afternoon, but I convinced myself that a PB wouldn’t be possible!

But I was wrong…..

The Run:
I didn’t have a very big window of opportunity to go as we were going out for dinner, which can be a good thing as you are almost forced to run just that little bit faster. I was about to set off and the kids ran happily towards me to give me a big kiss before I left….they are my good luck charms:) I used my new earphones my brother-in-law had given me which are awesome!!! They mould to your ear and don’t even look like falling out!

I started my run at my usual pace and was feeling not too bad at first. I felt like I was going pretty fast and at the 1km mark I was up to 4.35 mins. I was stoked! A PB already for 1km! My second km started to hurt a little. I kept telling myself to hang in there as I’d started so well! I thought for sure I’d lost some time but at the 2km mark I was 9.35mins and again on a PB! About 50m into my 3rd km I was almost convinced that that was as good as I’d get as I was really starting to struggle! It didn’t help having to keep going from one side of the road to the other to avoid the magpies!!!!

When I reached the 3km mark and was well under 15 mins it then became a mental challenge! I kept telling myself to keep powering through! “If I can run 3km in under 15mins I’ll be able to run the next two in under ten!” My aim was to reach Warrigal rd at the 20-21 minute mark to have any chance of getting under 25mins! This was the last time I looked at my watch! By now I was imagining reaching the finish point! I kept saying no pain no gain and it will be worth it! I could feel the kisses on my cheek my babies gave me before I left and pictured their beautiful little faces the whole time!

The last 100m felt like a kilometer but as much as I felt terrible I suddenly got a burst from somewhere and was able to finish my run how I started! At first I was just stoked I’d completed my run without stopping but when I saw my time of 24.36mins I was pumped!!!! It’s the best feeling when you achieve something good….I’d taken 36 seconds off my PB!!! No wonder it hurt. To date, it was the longest run I’d ever ran under 5min kilometers! I shared my excitement with my husband who asked…”is that a good time!” thank goodness I have Facebook and my blog lol!

I don’t like hurting when I exercise. I like it to be fun and enjoyable. But this was a moment in time when ‘No Pain No Gain’ was applied and at the end of it and even now I think it was worth it!

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