20/20….

Today marked 20 days straight of exercise!

20 days ago, I finished work for term 3 and started what would end up for me, because I work part-time, 20 days of holidays. I set myself a challenge that I would exercise every day of my 20 days off and I can happily say that I completed my challenge today…20/20 done!

Over the past 20 days, I have run more than 50km, walked for hours, done a total of 40 minutes worth of planking, boxed for minutes on end and have done numerous amounts of squats, leg raises and lunges! And I’ve enjoyed ALMOST every second of it lol! Each day I would exercise for half an hour to an hour and in 24 hours that’s so simple to accomplish.

My love of exercise and particularly my running, is not only assisting me in keeping fit, lean and healthy, it’s my therapy. It keeps me sane. It helps me stay on top of the craziness that life brings when you’re a working mum of 3 kids under 8! It’s the only time I can focus on the thoughts in my head and where I spend a lot of time planning projects or daily chores. It’s my time where nothing else matters except for me! Most importantly it’s my energy….if I start my day with exercise I accomplish so much in my day – it makes me happy and I always feel fantastic after it!

There were only a few times over the past 20 days where I had to force myself to complete my daily exercise but I did it! Because the kids have been on holidays as well, they enjoyed many days with me and would ride their bikes while I walked or would plank alongside me. It’s been enjoyable for everyone!

I love my active lifestyle that I live. Between exercise and healthy eating, it’s not only giving myself the best chance of keeping my heart condition at bay, it’s leading a good pathway and setting a positive example for my very active children. I’ve been living this exact lifestyle for 3 years now and I haven’t yet steered off track. When I am feeling a bit flat or am in need of something to spice things up, I set myself a challenge like the one I’ve just completed. It allows me to regather and refocus on something new…like they say change is as good as a holiday!

My next challenge is to run 100k in the month of November 😳….wish me luck!!! 👍
I shall keep you posted!

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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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Results are in!

Last month I set myself a new running challenge. As running has been my chosen exercise for the past 18 months, I’ve found myself to have many ups as downs with it. I love to run, but it’s one of those exercises that I find myself becoming a little bored with every now and again. But once I tweak my routine or route a bit, I get a new lease of life for a while and I’m all good!

My latest challenge I set for myself has been the best one yet! You can read all about from my post 4 Week Challenge! I’m happy to say I completed it last weekend and am stoked with how I went! It’s amazing just by changing a few things in my weekly running routine and having a positive attitude towards it how much I’ve improved! Just in that month I set PBS for my 1,2,3,9 and 10kms!!!! And my most rewarding achievement of all was running 10km in the 50s!!!!!!

Here is a list of my results over the 4 weeks….
4 week challenge
Week 1 –
5km -25.40
Sprint session (4x1km with 1 minute rest between) – 4.08(pb), 4.45, 4.39, 4.44
10km – hill run 52.53

Week 2-
5km – 25.14
3km (sprint session) – 14.03 – 4.28(1km), 9.17(2km)
10km – flat run 50.42 (pb) – best achievement by far!!!

Week 3 –
5km – 24.57
sprint session (4 x 1km with a 1 minute rest) – 4.10, 4.42, 4.34, 4.40
10km – hill run 52.42

Week 4 –
5km – 24.39
3km – 13.53 (pb)- 4.23, 9.13
10km – flat run 51.55

My 4 week challenge now leaves my running PBS at….
Running PBs
1km 4.25 – sprinting only 1km 4.08
2km 9.15
3km 13.53
4km 18.47
5km 24.02
6km 29.36
7km 35.40
8km 40.57
9km 46.00
10km 50.42
10km hill run 51.10

I’m so stoked with how I’ve gone!!! And am even more stoked with running my 10km hill run yesterday morning in 51.10!!!! If you know my area that is Warrigal, Padstow, Mains and Beenleigh rds there are some challenging spots that’s for sure!!!

Where to from here?? Well for starters I DISLIKE winter and and the only good thing that comes with it is the fashion and those beautiful crystal blue skies!! So my challenge to myself now is to get through winter by maintaining one 10km run per week, one sprint session and a light run session per week as well. There isn’t enough light in the day to exercise on my two work days so they will be my days off and the other 5 days will be for my 3 running sessions and 2 walks with my beautiful babies!

We’ve hit the hard time of the year now where the weather is cold and the days are shorter, but this is where we have to dig deeper and force ourself not to lose sight of our goals and to just keep going….

Remember all you have to do is put your shoes on and start…the rest will fall into place:) and before you know it you’re hot, sweaty and the thought of your nice warm bed is a thing of the past:)!

Here’s to surviving winter….:)

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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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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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Exercise is a Drug…But a Damn Good One!

If I was told a year ago that in a years time I would be obsessed with exercising I would have laughed like someone was telling a funny joke! I know what being obsessed with exercise is like…I’d been there and done that before! I was off on another track (having babies) for a while, but eventually found my way back on the track that I knew for many years before becoming a parent!

I look back at what I was like and wonder how I existed with the lifestyle I led! I got myself into a pattern of bad eating habits, poor sleeping and never getting out to exercise, but then one day I decided to change all of that and although they say losing weight is 80% food and 20% exercise, it’s the exercise I now do that has enabled me to become the strongest person I can be….it is my drug I take which helps me cope with the throws of life!

For me, exercise….
*Helps me to clear an overloaded brain…so much can go on at the one time around here and there are days where I literally feel like my brain is going to explode….but once I’ve exercised I can come back to the same situation with a clear mind!

*It helps me to manage my busy life without having regular meltdowns….there are times of the month or certain times of the year when life becomes so busy I just want to stop and scream…this feeling is becoming a faded memory of the past since exercising!

*It allows me to think positively….it’s so much easier at times to look at an ordinary situation with a negative attitude…since exercising I feel so much more calm when faced with a difficult situation!

*It allows me to get so much more done in a day…before exercise, I would have days where I could barely put one foot in front of the other, now I just get up and soldier on until things are done!

*It allows me to feel confident as a mum, as a teacher and as me!

*It allows me to feel strong…like I can handle anything!

*But most importantly it allows me to feel awesome! Keeping fit and eating healthy helps me to get out of bed each day with a step in my stride!

You often hear people say ‘your obsessed’ with exercising or ‘it’s their new obsession’! Once exercising for a while, like a drug, your body starts to crave it, your mind keeps telling you need it, which is where the obsession starts! But when put into context and compared with actual ‘drugs’, I know what I would rather choose! If my ‘drug’ in life is exercise and for me that’s running, then I’m proud to say I’m an addict! Because at the end of the day like any obsession with the cravings and withdrawals….exercising may be a drug in habit, but a bloody damn good one!

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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!