Three Things Thursday: Deadly Sins

LUST

A running stroller that turns into a bike trailer …. need I say more? Ok you twisted my arm. It can also be used for skiing and hiking (strapped to you!) DROOOOOL!

GLUTTONY

No “Trick or Treaters” showed up….Hmmm what is a girl to do?!?!

PRIDE

Yep this ridiculously good looking little guy is with ME!

Have you comitted any of the seven deadly sins this week?

Did you celebrate Halloween or did you hit the gym to avoid the candy temptations?

Any experience with the Chariot? All feed back would be appreciated… Seems TOO good to be true.

All over the place

My running these days is all over the place. I can get my sessions done but just not in an “ideal” order. Even though I am following a program I do have to shuffle my sessions around a LOT to fit in with life. This week there was plenty of shuffling and the result was something that would make any running coach cringe. A speed session after a long run. A 5km time trial after my intervals. My two rest days were back to back and not spread out before or after my hard sessions.

There was a time in my life (ohh a distant memory now) when my life could be scheduled around my running. When I could spend time and money on recovery and nutrition. These days its just a bonus if I get to stretch and foam roll after a session! There are no special diets, no weekly massages or walks in the ocean to recover the legs. At most I’ll slip my compression pants on but even those take 20 minutes (that I don’t have) to put on so that rarely happens.

I know if I could find an extra 20 minutes a day to invest in my running and recovery or re-arrange life to get the right runs out on the right day I could optimise my training.

It occured to me the other day that even though I am not doing high mileage I am shooting for PBs on every front and am striving to get the fastest times out of my legs to date, yet I am spending the least amount of time and effort in my training and recovery. Ordinarily this is the point where I would re-adjust and make more room for all of that. But not this time. . . I love my new casual approach to my running and I love not being completely and utterly consumed by it.

On Friday I woke up with a massive craving for runny eggs. . . not the greatest “just before a run” meal but I wanted it. Did it repeat on me? YES. Could I have performed better on say a piece of toast and a banana? PROBABLY.

I LOVE running. I dream about it. I spend lots of my “spare” time reading about it and I look forward to my sessions (99% of the time!). But running does not define me, it is just an enjoyable and important part of my life.

For that reason I am happy to miss out on all the benefits that could come from an “ideal” schedule and all the bells and whistles that go with training. For this mummy just running and giving 100% when I do run is enough for me. I’ll try my best to provide the right training, nutrtition and recovery for my running but not at the expense of something that does define me like being a mummy and wife (and food lover!)

I am PASSIONATE about Health and Fitness
I LOVE Running but
I AM a wife and a mother

A whole lot of good that REST did me!

I was expecting some great runs this week after an “easier” week last week but what I got was just the opposite. Even though I hit all my target speeds I really didn’t feel strong in any of my runs this week. I think I must have caught a mild version of Big A’s cold as I had the sniffles and was just NOT feeling inspired.

Suprisingly I still managed to do all my 5 planned sessions but today, after a week of feeling less than peak I decided to listen to my body and traded my 90 minute Long Run for a 30 minute Easy Run. I am so pleased I did because as the day has gone on I have started to feel much more myself. Hopefully I have kicked the “lurgy” to the kerb and wont be needing 10+ hours sleep every night anymore.

On top of all the extra sleep I have also needed extra food. Between breast feeding and running I was already an energy burning machine but add in the sudden cool weather and my poor body fighting a bug and I have had to eat like a monster for the last couple of weeks to keep up with what it is demanding. To keep my energy up I have introduced a new meal to the day and it fits in nicely between breakfast and morning tea! Its kind of “breakfast round #2”. I’ve got to stop writing about eating, I am working up an appetite just thinking about it.

After Little A was born I set my sights on a half marathon. I chose the half because getting out the long runs required for a marathon was just not going to fit into my schedule with a newborn. I also decided that as I had such limited training time I would focus on speed and not distance and just have one token long run each week to build up to the half marathon distance. This week aside, I am LOVING the speed work. A 5 minute warm up, 20-30 minutes of flogging myself and a 5 minute cool down fits in perfectly with Little A’s routine and these high intensity runs are just firing me up.

And now that I am reaping the benefits of all this speed work I am wondering if all my efforts are a little bit wasted on a half marathon when I am only doing one token long run per week. Should I be focusing on shorter distances in which I will be able to maximise my speed work training and focus on the longer distances when I am focusing my training more on distance?

Do I shoot for the longer distance or do I focus on achieving 5km and 10km PBs? There are pros and cons of both for me at the moment. For example the shorter speed sessions are easier to fit in but the longer slower sessions will be easier to do when I start running with the pram soon. Realistically I could achieve both this year but even then which should I do first? Should I peak my fitness and then build up distance or build up distance and then work on speed? Decisions, decisions!

Well at least I have something to think about on my training runs this week. Hopefully I can make a decision by the end of the week and adjust my program accordingly.

All in all it wasn’t my best week of running but its not always going to be sunshine and roses. On that note here’s my favourite quote for the week:

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain”

Happy Easter

Thank god I am returning to running this week because I have almost eaten more than Little A’s body weight of chocolate! Am I the only one having chocolate for breakfast this Easter????

If you had asked me what my favourite thing about Easter was any other year it would have been one of these 3 things:

1. Cadbury Cream Eggs
(I love their TV ads too!)

2. Hot Cross Buns
(with fruit please!)

3. 4 day weekend
These days everyday is like a weekend but its still nice to have Big A around for 4 days!

This year however I am excited about easter for a whole new reason…

Easter egg hunts!!!!
For the next decade at least we will be enjoying the magic of waking up to Easter Egg hunts on Easter Sunday. I must be a big kid at heart but I think there is something so cool about finding chocolate hidden all through the house.

Anyhow Happy Hunting at your house. I wish you and your family a Happy and Safe Easter!

Favourites for Friday

I am just passing the final days of pregnancy now and “Passing” is the perfect description. It feels like an event getting from one day to the next and all the time wondering if today will be the day. In a bid to not let the last weeks drag I have kept my social calendar pretty full with lunches, coffees, shopping, movies and pampering. Indeed I would be a lady of leisure if it weren’t for the extra 12kg and discomfot instead I am definitely a “lady in waiting” ( I totally get that saying now and geez I don’t like to wait!)

Anyhow, on to the good stuff. Its Friday and here I celebrate with sharing some of my favourite things with you:

Cheese – Shredded, Parmeasan, Jarlsberg, Cheedar and all most evey other kind. YUMMO! I have to say I had such a limited amount of cheese in my diet before pregnancy (because it is high in fat) but now I put this yummy stuff in and on everything and I wont be giving it up post pregnancy thats for sure!

My Mini Notebook (I think its called a Netbook??) – This pint sized laptop has been a god send. Its the perfect size for browsing on the couch, emailing, blogging and reading kindle. It follows me everywhere around the house and I wonder how I ever used a full size laptop. This thing is too convenient for words.

Apple Juice – Its always been yummy but I really took to apple juice early in pregnancy and my love affair has returned in the last few weeks. I can now be satisfied with one big glass a day but at the start I could have downed 2litres a day and I nearly did once.

Maternity Clothes – As much as I was happy to still fit in to some of my ordinary clothes, Maternity clothes are way more comfortable! Stretchcy, loose and oh so practical.

Royal Copenhagen – Before my next pregnancy we will definitely have to buy some shares or a branch of this company! Thanks to me and my little tenant I am sure they will be recording a record quarter for this summer. And to the lovely folk at RC – Thank you for bringing back Watermelon Sorbet!!! It was a long summer last year without my trusty favourite but I have well and truely made up for its abscnece this year. I have always tried to keep this to a once per week habit but I have given in to my every craving since pregnancy and even ended up at RC TWICE in one day (and I am NOT a one-scoop girl!)

Online grocery shopping – I have always HATED shopping. Now I have discovered online shopping I get all the big bad bulky stuff delivered and just pop out each week for my fresh fruit,veggies,meat and bread. It is so much less of an ordeal now to do the shopping now that all the big stuff gets delivered. I swear I am spending less too!

My Garmin – yes it still made it to number #1. Because even though I’m only walking (waddling now) its been so instrumental in keeping me focused and motivated.

Well I will post again on the otherside. Wish me luck!!!

Carbs… I love em!

I have always enjoyed “carbs” but since being pregnant I adore them…

Fresh tiger loaf bread still warm from the oven, mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, Hot Chips and any other form of potatos, pasta & rice…I just can’t seem to get enough.

So I thought I would take this opportunity to write about my biggest biff with the “weight-loss” industry (well one of them anyway):

THE PROMOTION OF LOW (or worse, NO) CARB DIETS!

People are scared of “Carbs” and avoid them like the plague. I don’t think “carbs” deserve the bad rap at all and here’s why…

Carbs are gold! But I am a runner and runners are bias – they are our life blood. The reason we embrace them is they are the most useful and easily converted energy source for our body. But runner or not we all need energy every day so it is no wonder that “carbs” are recommended to make up over 50% of our diets each day.

When you mention “carbs” people tend to think of things like I mentioned earlier, potatoes, bread, rice and pasta. And yes while these are excellent sources of carbohydrates these only make up a small portion of the carbohydrate family. These “carbs” are still good and an important part of EVERY diet but people avoid them like the very mention of them is going to add inches to their thighs. The truth is these particular carbs are energy dense and you get a lot of energy per serving as opposed to other carbs and protein. But rather than cut out important foods in achieving a healthy balanced diet we just need to adjust our serving size for how energy rich they are.

So yes some carbs if eaten in excess will make it easier to gain weight based purely on the fact that more energy in than out = weight gain – NOT carbs in = weight gain.

Also another reason not to be a carb hater is not all carbs are high in energy. Did you know all fruit & vegetables are primarily carbs? In fact if its not protein and its not fat it must be carbs! Obviously foods can and do have all three (fat, carbs & protein) but if something mainly consists of carbs or protein we tend to classify it as that.

so to recap so far:

1. Carbs aren’t the devil….our serving sizes are
2. Carbs should make up over half your daily diet
3. Carbs are the most important energy source for ENERGY
4. Carbs is a term that is misused to describe only a small portion of what carbs are. So don’t just jump on the anti-carb banwagon.

Balance is always the key. So just be aware of the energy dense carbs and realise that you may not need as much of them to feel satisfied and be refeulled as you thought you did. But please, do not deprive yourself. At the end of the day a potato is a vegetable and if you want to have a potatoe every day then you are eating a vegetable every day! However remember that one potatoe has more energy than a bowl of broccoli so adjust your portion size accordingly.

my final thoughts…

LOW or NO carb diets will NOT achieve a long-term, healthy maintainable weight -loss. Diets that do not follow the healthy eating guidelines i.e 50-55% carbs will not be sustainable and are not the answer to weight loss.

Anything and everything in moderation and remember there is only one simple answer for weight loss. Burn more than you eat!

So in conclusion if you would like to lose some Kgs move more and eat less don’t remove a VITAL food group.

As for carb-loading (after all, this is a running blog) I will save that for another post because “effective” carb loading is a skill and worthy of much detailed discussion.

Body Image

“You wear tight clothes, usually (pregnant) women buy bigger dresses and hide their bodies but you are proud of it”

This was a comment I got yesterday from a a dear and special 88 year old man. So yes his views and opinions are a little dated and probably don’t apply today but his comment still stopped me in my tracks and I would say it has been the highlight of my week. Let me explain…

Firstly I might just clarify that I wasn’t exactly strutting around in a tight mini dress or a skimpy outfit at the time. I was actually in a “training” singlet and long tights. So whilst I was covered up and modest, yes it was a figure hugging ensemble.

Whether the comment was meant as a compliment, criticsm or whether I was meant to respond by going to the nearest Target and buying up on oversized clothes – I didn’t care! I was too busy marvelling in his last five words!

I am proud of it…. very proud of it! That very statement still surprises me. I truly don’t believe “proud” and “my body” have ever been in the same sentence before. For the first time in years I honestly admire my body (and do so in the mirror every night before bed).

For all the changes that pregnancy brings the transformation to your body is definitely a big one. I have always wondered and speculated how I would feel about the changes, especially being a body conscious Personal Trainer who has never been classified as “overweight”. And although I have never been classified as “overweight” I have always struggled with my body. Even at my lightest and lowest body fats I have always looked in the mirror and seen the things that I want to change. I have never appreciated and genuinely loved my body in that moment. Pregnancy has been the greatest gift in so many ways but it is my relationship with ME that it has had the biggest impact on.

For me PREGNANCY IS LIKE A BIG RELIEF. A relief that there is something bigger and more important in my life than me! My body’s purpose is so much more than aesthetics and how fast and well it can perform. It is growing and nurturing a life and it truly blows my mind. I feel so indebted to my body for being able to give me and my husband something we so desperately want. Every thought I have ever had about how my body should look or behave seems so trivial and insignificant now. For the first time in my life I have no expectations of my body and I just want to support and look after it in hope that it will support and look after our child.

I am now nearly 6 months pregnant and “officially” the heaviest I have been in my life yet completely in love and in awe of my body. It is an amazing feeling and provides me with so much hope for the future. My self worth is not measured by how I look but who I am. It is not real happiness or real living when you are at war with your body. Your body should be loved and appreciated for something more than how it looks. Only then can we every “truely” be happy.

“He who lives in harmony with himself, lives in harmony with the universe” Marcus Aurelius

My Post-baby body will no doubt be different and how I feel about it will be compltely different again. I just hope that I have the ability to continue loving and appreciating my body for the miracle it is. Whether its growing a child or not it does amazing things every day (like keeping me alive and running 42.2km) and for that I am very grateful!

In the meantime I am going to continue to enjoy and admire the softer, rounder more feminie version of me!