Why do I run…?

So I can eat these (and other) delicious items….


Enjoy

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Post workout recovery – what I choose to do.

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If there’s one thing I’ve learnt through long runs and marathon training, it’s how I like to recover after a long run. Short runs, like a five or ten k requires a slightly vastly different routine than that of a 20+ km run. Not having the time to do my usual recovery session recently, I realised what I like to do and how my body works.

A short run requires light stretching, a protein shake and I’m good to go. Nothing more than that.

A long run works the body and mind in a deeper, harder way, so need a more intense variety of recovery.

I like to take my time and let my body cool down, relax. Then refuel and refreshen.  From a long run it takes up to 2 hours before I eat properly and at least another hour after that before I have the energy to do more than be a couch potato. I let my body relax, and I have learnt to make sure I do it properly.

I know what I am like if I don’t recover properly, headaches prevail and general grumpiness. Not nice for anyone in the direct vicinity. Myself either. I dislike how it feels. I may not always like the pain on a long run but I do love the feeling I have after.

My routine goes something like this.

Finish my run. Spend ten minutes chilling, walking and letting my body relax. Let the shakes in my legs calm down.  Make a protein shake. Stretch and drink. Eat a banana. Chill out a bit more. Drink water. Shower. And somewhere around 1 1/2 – 2 hours post run I am ready to eat properly.

This was really put to the test when I did my 25km run. What I thought would be an ‘easy’ run was a lot harder than I thought, and my post run routine was stretched to its limits. I passed, but not without more aches and pain than I wanted.

The week after when I had my 30km I also had another little helper. Proper fuel in my camelbak. Water is great and definitely required but on long runs you need to do more than just hydrate. Replacing the salts you lose are important and help the body to keep moving. Tailwind is my new best friend. While I didn’t drink all 2 litres of it, I was so much better off afterwards. Less tired, more energy, and no headaches.  I will be using this on my marathon and any time I do more than 15kms. If it works I’m going to use it.

I had to explain my recovery routine to my husband prior to my 30k. I’d said that I would be up and out the door at 5am, allowing four hours to do the run. He then said, but that’s only mid morning. And so I explained what I do and the time frame it takes up. He seemed to understand then why I was happy to get up that early on my day off. I will be up that early if it means I have more time to do other things later. (Even if that day it was veg out on the couch and watch a movie or two and eat all the food I could stuff in my mouth).

My recovery session after my marathon this weekend may be slightly different again, but hopefully as much the same as usual. It’s a 2 1/2-3 hour drive from home and I have my family with me as my support crew (plus its Father’s Day here), and it’s a race which means meeting up with friends (more like running acquaintances) and being around the general atmosphere of race day. Then the drive home. At least I won’t have to drive at all.

recovery is important no matter what distance you run, or how hard you do it. Fuel, hydration, rest and stretching.

Now I must head off and make up my list of what I need to take with me, I can’t be forgetting the important things. Especially not with a 3am get up on the day.

Happy running and safe recovery.

Jennifer

 

 

Diet is everything

Twelve months ago I was running all the time. Loads of 3.4 – 5.8k. Every day almost I was running. I was fit. I was strong. And when I went on holiday, I was confident I could do anything because I had trained my body, I had changed how it functioned. I felt awesome. I felt sexy.

And then I looked at the photos. I hadn’t lost any weight. I was still roundish. Large thighs, super wobbly belly..happy enough, though not really happy with how I looked to how I felt.

Is this where the problem lies with a lot of our body issues.  That is a conversation for another place and another time.

February thinks year I decide to return to weight watchers, as has been mentioned here before, to kick-start my diet. Get me back on track.

Fifteen weeks later I look amazing. I feel amazing. And having seen some of those old pictures, feel that the body and my mind finally are on the same page. I’ve always felt more confident and comfortable in my skin when I’m about the size I am now.

I am so close to my goal weight, within a couple of kilograms, and with only more strength and weight type training need to firm up the wobbly bits. Namely the belly 😦
Diet is the all encompassing difference. You can do all the exercise you want, if you don’t change your diet then nothing much will change.  I know now I was eating the calories I ran off. I wasn’t really changing how I ate. And kept all the junky foods on the leash as well.
It’s about the portion control as much as anything. Smaller portions, more of the good stuff and limiting the other shit. And loads of exercise. Sport. Whatever rows your boat.
Exercise had to be taken regularly not seriously.
Yes and no. I think we get the idea behind that line though.

Before and after pictures I said I would share. I am feeling so good right now  and proud of myself.

Early October 2014. Fit and strong yes, but carrying extra weight.  I do miss my boobs. I also know where I would rather be.
Early October 2014. Fit and strong yes, but carrying extra weight.
I do miss my boobs. I also know where I would rather be.
Mid May 2015. 14 weeks after starting weight watchers and getting running again.
Mid May 2015. 14 weeks after starting weight watchers and getting running again.

All this exercise and diet. It’s all about becoming the best person you can be. Being the most awesome person. Being comfortable and confident within in yourself. No matter your size. We all know where we want to be, and where we are capable of getting to.

I look forward to seeing where I am in another 15 weeks. Toned, fitter and stronger though still around the same size I am now.

Diet. Lifestyle choices. Culinary intake.

Last night’s weight in was not pleasing but expected. A minor gain which is understandable given my body has been in recovery mode.
But now to my general diet and what I do. Yesterday’s post was highlighting the worst I can do.
Even being on a lifestyle plan. It’s not a diet, it’s a change of diet. An improvement of my culinary intake. Ok, a change of diet.
I am good with my breakfasts and my dinner – portion control. It’s the snacks and lunch I have trouble with.
And caffeine. Everyone who knows me knows how much I love my coffee. I can’t (won’t) exist until I’ve had that first one.
I’ve tried the lemon juice in warm water and wasn’t impressed. I’d rather a proper hot lemon tea. Which I have started using as an alternative to that extra coffee, or if I want a soothing drink after dinner, mid morning…whenever.
So I can have two coffees in quick succession first up. Followed by up to 4 or 5 more. Depending on the day or my mood.
I digress. Back to food. Breakfast consists of many different things.
– Greek yoghurt with muesli and fruit
– eggs on toast
– straight toast* with jam and vegemite
– egg and bacon (with no bread)
– banana and egg no flour pancakes
– baked beans
All easy and filling meals.
*Toast. I am not gluten intolerant. I have no intolerance or allergy to any food. I have found however that basic white or wholemeal bread was making me feel bloated and sludgy. And giving me a little heartburn (which may be more attributed to my age than anything).
So I stopped eating it completely. And felt so much better. Then got those bread-carb cravings. Enter the bread challenge. Finding a loaf that would fill the void and not leave me feeling crap.
Only problem is now I am eating too much of it because it is so nice.

For snacks I try to eat fruit but sometimes I need a little sweetness or some savoury chips. I have ‘diet’ snacks, from weight watchers which I know are half decent for me. I try not to eat too many of them though.
Nuts are good, but I’ve never been good at nuts. I know I should, but just can’t get into it.

Dinner in my house really hasn’t changed  much, I am simply keeping an eye on my portion size. If my boys want to go the deep fried/super fatty thing I have one item and fill up on salad or vegetables.
Pasta is my killer. And rice. Do not put a bowl of pasta in front of me. I will want to inhale it. Self control. Deep breath in. And out. Leave the pasta alone.

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This was my breakfast today (2 eggs fried with a little cheese and bbq sauce) and lunch will be something very small. Maybe a cruskit with avocado or a salad. Dinner will be whatever is found in the freezer. Or the supermarket.
Saturday nights here is pizza night. Life wouldn’t be worth living if I chose to get rid of it.
I make my own bases (flour, water, oil and yeast) so they are free from preservatives and other rubbish. I am looking for a nice gluten free base to make for myself so I can still enjoy it without the after effects.

With an appetite as voracious as mine I have to work hard.

Training, commitment and victory – it’s all applicable no matter what the goal.

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(bad) Food! and exercise

I have a really good appetite.  I love food. Good food, Bad food.  Pretty much all food. I’m not overly fussy when it comes to eating. Give me a super sized steak and I’ll demolish it in no time. Complete with lashings of hot mustard.  I like desserts, but it’s not a sweet tooth I have but rather a salty one.  It’s the savoury (usually bad) stuff that rocks my boat. Tacos and nachos.  A bag of spicy crisps and a tub of sour cream..oh, I’m sorry, did you want me to share? Chips and dip full stop.  A decent pizza.  A block or two (who am I kidding, the whole platter please) of cheese and a bottle of wine and I’m a happy girl.

Back in the day I could eat what I wanted and it was no issue. Now, 20 years and 3 kids into the future, my metabolism has changed. I do still try though sometimes.

This is partly why I am doing Weight Watchers. Again. I need to lose weight. To change my eating habits. To kick-start the self-control, the discipline.  The good thing (for the most part) is that once I have a thought in my head of what I want to do, I can just get on and do it. I want to lose weight and get fit. Consider it sorted.
In 10 weeks I’ve lost a dress size and if I’m being honest but not modest, am looking pretty damned good. I still have a few more kilos to go, and am working hard to get there with no more gains, no matter how small the loss may be.
Reading this back and seeing the list of food up there ^, you could be forgiven for thinking I was a junk food fanatic that has had to undergo a huge change. Not so much. I love those foods, but know how to do the whole moderation thing. I just reach for those before a chocolate tis all. I love my veges and a good salad. Fruit and yoghurt.  Water is a hard thing for me to drink. I always have one or two after my runs, but have trouble outside of that.
For most of us, especially for those  who eat well generally, the problem lies with portion size. A little more of this, a little more of that. What doesn’t look too much in the spoon becomes a whole lot on the plate. And then we feel compelled to eat it all. And before we know it we have put on a few kilos, or a lot.
It’s really not that hard to control this. More veges and lean meats, less of the carbs. Grain bread, and things like cheese and chocolates in moderation. I find it easy enough, like I said, once I get it in my head, consider it done.
I was grumbling about my knee last night and having to go back to the chiropractor to get my ankle looked at (long story, but I’ll tell it another day. Just understand the knee problem is actually the ankle) and hubby said maybe I should stop running if I can’t do a 5 or 10k without the pain.
He said with all my exercises on the wall and a good diet, I should be able to keep trim. And that is true.
I said I wanted more than just losing weight and being slim. And I love the running. The endorphins. The accomplishment. The hard work and pain that comes with it.

                                                       I wanted to be fit and strong. Lean and healthy.

Not just lean, muscly and healthy.

So I continue on. I eat properly. I exercise regularly. And enjoy feeling my body getting stronger, fitter, healthier.
Tonight is weigh in and I will update my progress page with the details.

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welcome to the world of crazy chick running

I love running. there is a certain freedom that comes with plugging in some pumping music and hitting the road. Or the trails. Just you and the disappearing k’s. What started as a way to have absolute me time has turned into something of an obsession. Even on days where physically I don’t want to, I mentally need to go running. I have to do it. It’s become a way of life.

I’m still at the very beginner stage. And while I may never get to peak athleticism, I am willing to put it all out there, give it a go and if all I get out of it is a fit and strong body then I’ll be happy. And sexy legs that look good is shorts or a mini skirt.. yes please.

I want to use this blog to share my diet, training regime – outside of simply running, my times and where I run, as well as other running related problems, thoughts and experiences.
When I find a pre weight loss and running journey picture of me that I like I will post it (cue body issues and discomfort of seeing myself overweight and unfit). Sharing the ups and downs of the running life. And how my body will change for the better because of it.
I am not a gym freak, but know that running alone will not tone up the jiggly bits. Running is my preferred option, but I know that the extra workouts will help over all with my strength, speed and stamina. And really, who doesn’t want a fit, strong body.

I went looking for a running quote and found so many I will include one to each post or as inspiration for each day.
Jen 🙂

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