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?


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.

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?

ME time

My Mummy Kilometre counter has just cracked the 300km. Considering I have been running for over 9 weeks this is by no means “high mileage” in the world of running

In the world of being a mummy however, this is a LOT of “me time”. In fact I have spent 31.63 hours covering these 322 kilometers. Thats an average of more than 3 hours per week I have spent away from my family and my responsibilities persuing my own interests. But I don’t feel even the slightest bit guilty and here’s why:

My running helps me cope
No matter how busy, stressful or chaotic life gets everything always seems manageable after a run. Running gives me time to put my life in to perspective and organise it in my own brain. Of course everything will be easier to deal with when you are pumped full of endorphins! If you want me at my best. . . catch me after a run.

Running gets me going
Its terrible to admit but running forces me to have a shower and get going with my day. The problem with being a stay at home mummy is on the days that we don’t have anything on it is SO tempting to laze in the PJs all day long. My runs add a bit of structure and pressure to my day i.e. I have something to achieve in Little A’s sleep time other than washing and cleaning!

“If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it”

I am setting an example
I spend my days trying to teach and guide our little guy and considering actions speak louder than words then the best way to encourage my son to live healthily and embrace physical activity is to do it myself.

Running makes me a good wife
(if not shooting your husband is a measure of being a good wife)

“Exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands”
Elle Woods (Legally Blonde)

The secret to a successful marriage. . . who would have thought!?!?

Rest Days

Talk about a love/hate relationship!

Why is it that all week you are hanging out for a rest day and then on the rest day all you want to do is go out and train?

Despite the fact that I am only walking at the moment I am still trying to take a rest day every couple of weeks. The higher the intensity of the training the more important the rest days becomes for the recovery of the body. While walking is only of low to moderate intensity I still can appreciate the mental benefits of a “break” from your routine. But mentally Rest days can also do your head in. Here are some of the things I struggle with about rest days:

1) Seeing that blank spot in my training calendar
2) Missing out on the post training high (that gets me through the day!)
3) Guilt (even as a PT who knows the benefits, importance and science of rest days I still can’t shake the occassional pang of guilt)

But there is a lot to love about rest days too. So from now on when ever I feel the pang of guilt or am looking at that empty spot in my calendar I am going to focus on and appreciate the things that only come with rest days:

1) Sleep ins
2) Breakfast with my husband
3) No sweaty clothes to wash
4) Longer showers (more time in the morning)
5) An awesome next session (because all my great sessions are after a rest day!)

Guilt can be good. It is what gets us out the door some mornings. But there are definitely times when its just not warranted. So from now on I am going to love and appreciate my rest days and treat them as an opportunity to nurture and appreciate my body and how hard it works for me every other day!