Tag Archives: goals

Training hard again

10 Aug

At the start of October I will be running a half marathon for the first time in a long time. I was partly strongly encouraged to do it because my boyfriend is also taking part and it was partly my own decision because I desperately need a fitness goal to motivate me.

In 2012, I was in the shape of my life. I ran a marathon (not very fast but I did it nonetheless) after getting quite heavily into running. Since then running and the whole topic of fitness has dropped off my agenda, although it shouldn’t have because I felt so much better back then.

The hardest thing for me is not the running itself; it is the getting out of the door in the first place. It always seems like a pain to go running. I need to get changed, think of where I want to run and then get out of the door etc etc. The actual running I enjoy. I’m outside and feel pretty good. I don’t even mind if it is raining. A run in the cold, wet rain means a long, hot shower is waiting at home.

Of course, the road to a half marathon does not run smooth. Training was going relatively well. I was managing a long run at least once a week and was being sensible about increasing it a bit each week. I was even doing a bit of cross-training by getting back on my bike for the first time and cycling about 20km.

On Monday it went downhill when I started with a bad cold/sore throat/cough. I have been completely wiped out by it. I wanted to at least try to go for a short run but my body was telling me that this was not going to happen.

So instead of long runs in the countryside I have been lounging on the sofa feeling sorry for myself and trying every home remedy known to mankind.

I am finally beginning to feel better. I managed to leave the house this evening and go for an hour long walk. I was in need of some fresh air. Fingers crossed I can resume training in the next few days. There is still 6 or 7 weeks left for training which should be enough. If I stay disciplined and get myself out of the front door regularly- And that is a big if!

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Unrealistic expectations?

7 Jan

One of my resolutions was to focus on eating healthier and losing weight. The main impetus for this was I did an online BMI calculator just to see what the ideal weight for my height was. The long and the short of it is I need to lose 30 kilograms (that’s almost 5 stone in old money) for me to be the average weight for my height. That seems a little unrealistic to say the least. I wasn’t even that light when I ran the Manchester marathon in 2012! Pah! Who wants to be average anyway?

I think it has been proven that the BMI calculator is not the best indicator of ideal weight because it does not, for example, take into account how much muscle a person has and muscle weighs more than fat. Unfortunately, I can’t use this as an excuse. I have some muscles in my body that have never been used.

I wouldn’t say I was the unhealthiest and unfittest person in the world but I take the point that I could do with losing a few kilos or pounds. My downfall is food. I just eat too much; pure and simple. It isn’t just that I eat too much though. I eat the wrong things. I eat sweet things, mainly when I am just bored and don’t have very much to do. It isn’t a great attitude to have to food. Food should sustain us but in 21st Century living we are programmed to want to consume more and more.

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My solution to the problem is simple: Preparation. Prepare my gym bag in advance, prepare meals in advance and prepare to feel a little bit hungry at the start. But also be prepared to feel better in a few weeks and for people to tell you how good you look in a few months.

So far, even though it is only 7 days into the New Year, so good! I have prepared my lunches for work in advance and made sure that I prepared a recommended portion and not masses and masses of it. I have been to the gym four times and been back to hockey training. I have eaten more fruit and made sure I have drunk enough water.

The first few days I was going out of my head with the hunger. All I could think about was food. I made the very clever move of leaving my credit card at home (the vending machines at work only operate with a credit card), which means my downfall of heading to the vending machines when I am bored, a bit stressed or tired is now a moot point.

Although it sometime feels a bit boring to take my little lunchbox and fruit into work and go to the gym at lunchtimes, I do genuinely feel a lot better already. The hunger pains are subsiding ever so slightly and I am sleeping better from the exercise. In some ways I would say dieting is a bit like giving up smoking. Your body reacts to the absence of something, either food or tobacco, and makes you crave it more and more. You need willpower and discipline to stay on the right track. In the end, the hard work will be worth it when you feel better and look better.