on ya bike

I may be a mixed breed runner (short and long distance lover) but I am PURE RUNNER. I don’t dabble in other things in any way other than for recreation with my family or something that directly improves my running. I was born to run – I know it and I love it.  So in the busy life of mummyhood getting on my bike has been far from a priority. If I had a spare moment I would rather squeeze in another run. Today I got on my bike for the first time in 12 months.

This morning Big A and I were spoiled with some “us time” while Little A went and hang out with Granny. Hands down our favourite thing to do with such time is to go and have a lazy big breakfast. Big A will ride his bike and I will run (usually with the stroller) to one of our favourite eateries but this morning I decided since I didn’t have Little A I should take this opportunity to get on my bike.

I’m so glad I did for so many reasons…

1.By getting on a bike I realised just how much my fitness had improved. We cycled to our usual breakkie place in a record time and I wasn’t even working for it. The consistent small gains when running make it hard to appreciate how far you have come. Getting on a bike after nearly 7 months back of consistent running showed much more dramatic results

2. I remembered how much I love x-training. Getting a great cardiovascular and leg workout without the impact of running… Not a bad deal getting the benefits of the session and the “rest”.

3. Little A has been SUPER SAD with new teeth pushing through and it was nice to know that if need be I could get to him twice as fast than if I were running. Yes this Mama suffers separation anxiety at times! Meanwhile he has a blast with Granny and doesn’t even notice that I’m not there!!!

Unless we invest in a little wagon or baby seat for the bike getting on the bikes probably wont be a regular gig for some years yet. All the same, today I was reminded of the wonderful world of fitness that exists outside of running (that can also benefit my running). So in the future when the opportunity presents itself I will happily trade a run for a x-training session.

Do you x-train? If so what is your favourite? Deep water running and spin classes for me!

Are you a pure runner or do you dabble in other things? Tris? Body Sculpting?

Plus 5

Since Little A was born my training motto has been a hashtag acronym I discovered on Twitter… #JFDI

In the interest of keeping this family friendly I wont write the full version but suffice to say its just the Nike slogan with a little bit of colour.

When I didn’t feel like going for a run or I was thinking of the 100 other things I needed to do, I told myself #JFDI (you know you use twitter too much when you think in hashtags!)

Now my training has changed its not about “Just Doing It”. If I don’t feel like it – I don’t run. So that training motto just doesn’t seem appropriate anymore and it has now been replaced with…

Plus 5

Another sweaty 5? Hell Yeah!

I have had quite a few runs lately when I am in the zone. Feeling amazing and just wanting to run forever. Last Monday on my first day of what I am labelling “intuitive running” I decided I was in the mood for a nice easy run. I had a few jobs to do too so I thought I’d knock out 8km and if the little guy was still asleep I could get dinner in the crock pot and hang out some washing.

At 8km I was feeling great. I really wanted to get some things done but I really wanted to run longer too.  I decided to go for another 5 minutes. After 5 minutes I decided to go for another 5 minutes and after that 5 minutes I wanted another 5. 20 minutes later I finally slowed the treadie, stretched and went into my waking baby.

It is so easy to make up 5 minutes of jobs in my day. I can stay up later by 5 minutes or I can put Little A in his walker while I do them. There are 100s of ways I can find 5 minutes to do other things. But making up 5 minutes of running is not that easy.

For me to go for a run I have to have a fed and sleeping baby (which only happens twice per day now… the sleeping that is not the feeding) and me be dressed in my running clothes ready to go. Its not as easy as “baby’s asleep I’ll go for a run now”. If I did that I’d be lucky to get out 20 minutes. Instead it is planned from the moment I wake up and decide I am going to run.

By the time Little A goes down I am in my running clothes and fed with my sneakers, water, phone and baby monitor at the door. If I am lucky Big A may have uncovered and switched on the treadie for me too. If by any chance I am running behind and haven’t done the breakfast dishes I dare not glance in the kitchen on my way out as I can’t afford even a minute. Lets not even talk about the preparation of a stroller run. Although I am getting this down to a fine art.

If I am running then there has been a lot of preparation and deliberate activities that have got me there. So if I am feeling great and Little A is asleep and I am keen to push out another Km then I will guilt free add on another 5 minutes. Yes, I could achieve a lot of things around the house in 5 minutes while Little A is asleep but this one sleep a day belongs to me and my running.

I would rather get to bed 5 minutes later or not have folded a load of washing than go to bed and wish I had down another Km when I had the chance because those chances only come by once a day. My washing, well thats there all day every day!!!

So tell me…

Do squeeze out every possible Km or do you cut runs short to fit in other things?

Do you have a training motto? Has it changed over the years?

 

Fail

You know you have failed as a housewife when you get in your car to get take away for dinner and it still smells of last nights take away.

Yes it was not my finest moment. Purely and utterly disorganised.

Life is not even chaotic but rather just constant at the moment. I seem to move straight from one thing to the next thing all the while trying to find a spare minute to work on the big projects in the background.

On Friday I put my head in the freezer to discover my pureeing stash for Little A had dwindled to almost nothing. 6 weeks ago I was whinging that I couldn’t fit even a tiny tub of ice cream in the freezer as Little A’s food took up ALL of it. Now I have my tub of ice cream but am back in the kitchen doing a daily batch of pureeing.

I have to confess I am hopless in the kitchen. Big A didn’t marry me for my cooking abilities. We eat simple meals that take little time to prepare. Nothing I cook or bake will ever end up on pinterest. Luckily though I love food and the desire for it forces me to at least try. I salivate at some of the recipes I see on people’s blogs and when I am feeling game I venture into my kitchen. Sure mine never looks as good as the picture but I try.

Luckily for Little A there isn’t much you can mess up when it comes to pureeing…

Peel

 

Cut & cook

 

Blend

 

Freeze

 

Mix and match for serving ( Sweet Potato, Brocoli, Carrot & Pumpkin)

While it is not difficult it is mundane and timely. I don’t love it. But I love Little A and I love that I am preparing food for him that is nutritious and brings him joy. Not every aspect of parenting is going to be magical and for me pureeing is not magical its mundane! Although I am becoming a bit of an expert… the other day Big A asked me how I could tell the difference between the Sweet Potato, Carrot and Pumpkin. I quickly informed him which shade of orange was which. Yep, move over 50 Shades of Grey cause we’ve got 50 shades of Orange and thats way “hotter” than grey!

Anyhow between preparing Little A’s meals and projects around the house I had given little thought to what the rest of us (Big A and I) were meant to be eating. For the last two nights after Little A has gone to bed I have realised I hadn’t organised anything for dinner and the supermarket was closed. So we have had to resort to takeaway. Don’t get me wrong I don’t have anything against takeaway but I prefer to enjoy it when I am craving a good indian meal or a pizza and wine night. I don’t enjoy takeaway when I really don’t feel like it and its purely as a result of me being disorganised.

So I am giving myself a big fat “F” for organisation this week! My punishment will be when I get in my car and it smells like a horrible mix of Chinese and Pizza.

So I ask…

Have you had a failure moment? Come on make me feel better!!!

Are you good in the kitchen?

Whats something Mundane that you do out of love for yourself or others?

The stars finally aligned

Over the last 3-4 weeks I have began to wonder if my love of running has turned into an addiction. Rest days started to get ugly! 2 weeks ago I thought it was a coincidence that rest days just happened to be crappy days for me. But after another 2 weeks of that pattern I was a little worried that I was “addicted” to the high I get from my runs and not able to enjoy a day to its fullest without getting my run on. That is not even the worst of it. On these rest days I was short fused. crabby and dare I say it resentful!

Sound like an addict?

It  wasn’t good. I was wondering what to do and short of just running every day I wasn’t sure how to fix it. Then it happened… an awesome rest day. One when you wake up and you are grateful that you don’t have to fit a run into your day and your body is sufficiently fatigued you couldn’t imagine running anyway. Mentally you have so many other things that seem more important and you enjoy every moment of your day without even a twinge of guilt for not clocking some Ks.

What was so different about this day? It was the first day in months when MENTALLY I had wanted to rest.

I don’t have set rest days. I have 5 runs to do each week and 7 days to do them in.  Which days become my rest days are usually determined by these things ( and usually in this order)

1. How busy my day is – if it is super hard to fit the run in then it becomes a rest day

2. My program where I am in my session mix in terms of coming off or going in to a hard session

3. Physical. If my body is tired or in need of rest (you think this would fit in nicely with #2 but my body always surprises me how it recovers from different sessions!)

4. Mental. If I am just shattered or not got my running mojo

The problem with doing it this way is that I am taking rest when it is convenient first and NOT when I physically and mentally need it. No wonder 4 weeks passed before the stars aligned and I finally got a rest day on a day that I mentally needed it too.

Hopefully my new approach to running will fix this. Next week I am throwing the program out the window and running to no plan. I am literally going to wake up each day and ask myself these questions:

1. Do I feel like running today?

2. If so, what kind of run? Fast, Hills, intervals, Easy, Stroller, Treadmill etc?

3. When can I fit it in to my day?

I don’t care what I ran the day before, I don’t care if I have taken no rest days or 10 rest days and I don’t care if my training is not structured or lacks direction. I just want to run ( or not run as the case may be).

I always follow a plan. To achieve the optimum out of your running you need to. You need to make sure you are getting the right rest, completing the right kind of sessions and building at the right rate. BUT for the first time in my life I am not about achieving the optimum. I just want to run. Will I race? Maybe! Does it completely terrify me the thought of lining up at a start line not having followed a structured plan (as flexible as they must be) – HELL YEAH!

I love plans and I know I will look forward to a new plan in the not too distant future but for now my only plan is to lace up my sneakers and see where they take me… I know it will be RUNNING and that’s enough for me.

Image
My pretty sneakers I mean

As an added bonus I’m hoping this “Do I feel like it approach?” rather than “can I fit it in?” approach will weed out that nasty “I can’t cope on rest days” monster. I am probably not the only one hoping for this result either. Apparently the only thing worse than a running addict on a rest day is living with a runner addict on a rest day!

What determines your rest days?

Do you run to a plan?

Clocked and Rocked it

For a couple of weeks I have been on a quest for that 3 minute 30 second Km. I have so wanted to experience the speed that our awesome female olympic marathoners run at… if only for a few minutes.

Well today I did it. Not one but FOUR x 1km intervals at sub 3 minute 30… JUST. Now all I need to do is get rid of the 3 minute breaks I had between each Km and then run another 38 of them and I will be olympic ready…

But I am not packing my bags for RIO 2016 just yet. Apparently it is not that easy!?!?! Actually if I can EVER run a 5km race at that pace I will be STOKED! How these olympiads not only do it but make it look effortless is a mystery to me!

Anyway today I was hoping to get out 5 of these killer intervals but as I slowed the treadmill for my recovery after my fourth one I heard the “Just letting you know I’m awake so come get me” cry over the baby monitor. So it was a super quick recovery and back to mummy duties for me.

BUT little guy aside I would have gone for one more today. Why? Not because I like pain and not because I hadn’t given my ALL on the first four but because I am a little bit inspired to push that little bit harder at the moment. Here are some quotes that have popped into my world over the last few days…

1) The human body is capable of so much more than we ever give it credit for

2) Most people never go long enough to find their second wind

3) Most people give up when they’re just about to achieve success. They quit on the one yard line.

4) That voice in your head that says you can’t is a liar

5) I don’t stop when I’m tired, I stop when I am done

So after my third one when I was feeling pretty spent, I got to wondering what if I really am capable of so much more. What if I am not tapping in to my “everything”. I often determine how many more intervals based on how I felt in the last one. Makes sense right? But what if I am not done, what if that was just a crappy interval and I’ll find my groove on the next one – then I will have ripped myself off!

So should I flog myself until I pass out? No, that is not my point. I am all for train SMART not HARD. But maybe, just maybe I am capable of and got more in me than I think.

I guess the positive side of not racing this weekend (apart from spending time with Big and Little A of course!) is that by not being in pre-race mode I can be experimental with my running and push and stretch myself without fear of needing to be in “peak” condition. And geez if I want to wake up and run hills tomorrow after an interval session today – I can! (ok so that would probably be stupid but just trying to make a point). Not running to a plan could just be my opportunity to grow as a runner or at least grow what I believe my capacity is as a runner (mentally).

Pregnancy taught me a lot about my body. Its a lot smarter than I ever gave it credit for and it knows exactly what it needs ( #1 reason why I am all about “intuitive eating”). I have to wonder though if my mind thinks it smarter and holds me back… just a little.

Please don’t go and crank that treadmill up to 20kmp/h or run so long you can’t walk all week BUT maybe do ask yourself what am I really capable of? It may be more than you think. AIM HIGH… You might just get there!!! But always build and train sensibly and with PATIENCE and consistency.

7 months

Our little boy is growing in to quite the character. This month Little A has mastered the art of blowing raspberries. Coupled with the copious amounts of drool this teething baby generates you really don’t want to be on the other side of these raspberries!!

And in other typical BOY behaviour …

Someone has been leaving his shoes out…hmm wonder where he learned that?!?!

“Crack me a beer and pass the remote”…he’s a real charmer isn’t he?!?!

Seriously though, this kid is growing!!! Remember these long lean limbs….

Well they’ve gone from marathoner legs to….

Sprinter legs… “All the better to play with mummy”

Speaking of playing, visiting the playground and feeding the ducks is Little A’s favourite pastime these days.

Yep… he LOVES the swing!

And more proof that he is my son… he got the hang of this hammock thing very quickly!

Little A is getting closer to crawling . It’s like edge of your seat TV everyday watching him experiment and try. As much as I want it to happen for him I am a little nervous for me! Life is going to be very different when he is getting around!

As for the sleep department, I was so looking forward to bragging about how Little A had returned to his old awesome night sleep ways (12 hour nights waking only once for a feed) but then he went and shook it up for a few nights. This one likes to keep me on my toes!

So now for some of my favourite snaps for the month….

“My sippy cup… all MINE!”

I swear this smile gets bigger everyday!

Bath time is always a hit… but don’t stand between this boy and his rubber ducky!

I love how blue his eyes are in this photo!Finally a photo where I can see a little of me in this boy… he’s all Daddy this one!

Runner problems & gratitude

I had a monster “must do or they’ll be taller than me” weeding session to do today. The whole time I was bent down ripping & pulling at these beasts I was worried about tiring my back and I COULDN’T have a tired back for my next run!!!

It occurred to me then, that if THAT is my biggest worry at the moment then I should be pretty thankful for how good life is… Seriously!

I love running and sometimes I can get a bit precious with my body but at least I can laugh at my own silliness!

Run, shower, fuel and then wrap me up in cotton wool till the next one I say!