Thursday, 23 June 2011

Saying goodbye to the Marathon :(

It is with a heavy heart that I have made the decision to not take part in the Liverpool Marathon 2011 - and I have to be honest .......I'm totally GUTTED :(

Ive been losing weight steadily for the past 2 yrs and to date have lost 4.5 stone but still have about another 3 (ish) to go, and yes running is great for toning up but, on my long runs I was feeling that I wasnt 'fueled' enough to last the distance.

With me only starting Slimming World recently I dont feel confident enough to make the decisions on running diet yet, and yes in theory as per the earlier post it will be good to do the protein/carb days when I am in the swing of things but for this year and time ticking by I dont feel that I had the time to suss out the diet without having a negative effect on the diet as in eating the wrong things, but then I couldnt afford to have the running taking a knock because of lack of energy (if that makes sense?)

Now that the pressure is off I have the time to take stock of the diet, I know what I need to eat to fuel runs and I know the Slimming World plan, all I need to cross reference to maximise both.

Plus there is the heat ... I dont know if its the spare weight I have or just me, but I go down like a sack of spuds in the heat as it is without running in it, and have noticed a couple of times when Im running home from work its a real struggle

next up is family, pure practicalities kick in, if both hubby and myself are doing the same run then we need someone to look after the kids, plus there is all the long training runs, I did mine on a Saturday, hubby did his on Sunday = no family time,

Running is something that I have only just recently discovered first hand, spectator yes, participating only since March and is something that I want to fall in love with for many years, and dont want to put the pressure on so much that I dont enjoy it in the first 6 months

I feel sometimes that Im using them as a cop out and making excuses but they genuinely aren't

just the place where I am in my life at the moment. Its not over by any means and this is being treated like an obstacle that needs to be overcome.

And overcome it will be, I am not saying no, im just re-adjusting, yes A marathon will happen, it wont be the Liverpool one this year but it will happen, I still have a 5K and 10k in the diary, and a half marathon in August, so for the remainder of the year is being spent on ME, losing the remainder of the weight and building up my base fitness, ready to train over winter for a spring Marathon, hubby can train during the summer months when its hot and I can train over the winter months when it's nice and cold - but watch this space IT WILL HAPPEN just needed a little tweeking around the edges

I remember Kate, my Slimming World consultant explaining (see I do listen lol ) about the journey we are all on, you can either take the direct route or the scenic route, unfortunatly, in this case Ive had to take a diversion but the destination is always the same , healthy living, healthy diet, healthy fitness - all in moderation

So to all those runners embarking on the 'Long and Winding Road' my hat is off to you, and I have so much respect for you all, I will still be there cheering you all on - saving my biggest cheer for my hero hubby.

Good luck to you all x x x x

Monday, 20 June 2011

Post Race Euphoria - time to get back to business

So, the races are done, for the moment, we have one more in the diary but it is a few weeks off. So now is the time to get back to business. Back to planning meals and training schedules, tweaking and trying to be a 'good' as possible. We've been discussing Protein/Carb balances a bit recently, via text! It's so hard to know in some ways. SO many diets promote low carb, high protein regimes. But that is no good if you're trying to train for longer distance runs, or even if you just run regularly - you need plenty of carbs to keep the energy levels high enough to be able to keep running harder for longer. I am an obsessive reader of fitness magazines, and every month every one has a new idea of a new balance, a new way to eat.... Carbs before, protein after working out. Protein before, carbs after. No carbs afer 7pm. No supplements and all fresh and natural v loads of supplements and meal replacement shakes. CONFUSING??? Oh yes!!
So, after some deliberation, I concluded that really you just need to get a good balance. Nice low GI healthy low fat carbs (veggies, rice, cous cous etc), plenty of lean low fat proteins (fish, chicken, nuts, yogherts, beans) and tons of veggies, salads and pulses. Not rocket science, meat or fish and three veg perhaps!!
For me, that means actually eating more proteins. I am a carb-aholic, so I'd like to swop some of the carbs (bread??!!) for more fish and pulses in what I eat - that is the goal for the next week or so!!
Training? Well, that is all on track. A few runs (intervals, and longer runs), a couple of gym sessions (mainly strength based weights with cardio after) and swims, and on Monday evenings, Yoga with Patricia - who is 80 years old and fitter & more flexible than the 20 years old students in the classes!!

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Croxteth Park 10k

Instead of doing seperate race reviews, we decided on a joint review, 1st timer V's Elite !( Elite???!!! Hardly, it was only my 5th 10K!) to share the different experiences.

My Race day started OK - despite having the worst nights sleep ever - had my standard porridge (slightly more than my Slimming World allowance - sorry Kate !!) but stuck to the same breakfast - remembering the rules of not doing anything new on race day.....

I got up nice and early to have my usual bowl of museli with banana, seed mix and raisins with a coffee, then just before I set off to the park, about 2hrs before the race I had a small bowl of plain yoghurt with honey

Then we were off.......

I met Claire at Croxteth Park Hall and then the nerves kicked in and I started having sneeky peeks at all the other runners trying to suss out how fit/fast they all were and trying to figure out where I'd come - I did the warm up run - talking 10 to the dozen - visited the bathroom...............and again.........and again .......and (you get the picture!)

Although Ive met friends at other races before, this was different, It was great to do a warm up jog (something I mean to do but usually fail at), and standing in the start-up crowd chatting with Andrea was great ! The crowds at the hall were small compared to my 'usual' races, the atmosphere was relaxed and friendly, and there were no queues for the toilets at all - Bonus !!!

I must admit my nerves had gone at the start and suddenly after the start everybody started whissing past me - aaaggghhhhhhh - so what did I do ?? - after all the preparation - and talks from hubby ( who is a seasoned runner was getting antsy watching from the sidelines rather than being involved) - I did the fatal mistake, panicked and started off too fast trying to keep up with the pack, breathing went AWOL and took until about 2k to sort it out again...... (same thing happened to me, but realise THIS time that it will always do that, so instead of letting it put me off, I just went with the erratic breathing and wobbly legs for 2k until I calmed down and settled into the run). -

But we did it I finished whoop whoop go me !! I beat my training PB by 6 minutes (I somehow beat my PB by very nearly 5 min and got a SUB 55 mins time !!! I have to put this down to weight training - legs of iron and a relaxed start).

Here is the photo to prove it !!!!

The course was a surprise. I assumed that it being a park race that it would be on paths - I bimbled down the paths only to find myself running on trail tracks and across fields - good job it wasnt raining ! - this was probably ok for me because of being a beginner im not stuck to just one style of running - and because of where I live and where Im doing my normal training runs Im up hill and down dale as it is )I did worry about dirtying my trainers though - Im such a girl running lol !!)

Im not usually not a fan at all of anything remotely 'off road'. The park-y trails were fine, really nice actually and the fields were a surprise (note to self - find route map before run). In the end I wound up enjoying the field tracks, they were a bit uneven in places (I did stumble once, and there was a bit of an obstruction at one gate) but thankfully it had not rained enough recently to make them slippy at all. The views were nice, it felt nice to be out in the countryside a bit, and although it felt a bit narrow in places with not much passing space at times it did ensure I paced myself a bit. The race marshals were encouraging, they clearly indicated where we should be running and there were plenty of them, the signage was clear, and saw all the km markers (does not always happen).

The only thing I was worried about was coming last (I knew she wouldnt, and she didnt!). and to be honest I think I should have concentrated on my own game rather than what everybody else was doing and worrying about people watching me - I think I just need to boost my confidence in my running and my abilities.

Yes it was my first 10k running - but have been on the sidelines as a spectator for many years, and I personally thought it was extremely well organised, water at 5k, timings and photos were up on the website really quickly - I have a special thanks to the marshals who were brilliant and really encouraging - especially the one who told me to pretend it was a steeplechase when I asked him if he was having a laugh expecting me to get over a sty at about 7k (whoever you are you made me chuckle !)

This was a fab race to do and it'll go in my diary to do agaim, just need to remember to get trail shoes if it rains next year - there was even a free post-race massage available from Gina (of Mossley Hill Athletics!)

So BIG THANK YOU'S to Bug Runs for making my first 10k a really great day - and in the words of Arnie - 'I'll be back' - LOVED IT - thank you x x

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Because you're Amazing !!!

I have been going great guns over the past year with my weight loss, I have been tracking my calories on my fitness pal and if I do say so myself have been doing brilliantly and have lost 4.5 stone but now am finding myself struggling to lose any more (I have about another 3 to lose )

The thing with calories is that they are in everything, and everything you pick up has the calorific value on the side so that they are easily checked and recorded, the issue I have found with that is, you are allocated a certain amount of calories per day, and it doesnt matter if you eat X amount of calories in fruit and veg or solid chocolate as long as you record the calories, it is up to you to make the right decisions on what is best way to use your calories to maximum results and if you havent been 'taught' the right choices then you arent going to get the correct nutritional needs, especially with the training side coming in.

So I've found myself floundering a bit and feel like im going to need the support of a group or run the risk of going off the rails. I looked at all of the usual suspects and found Slimming World to be the best to fit in with 'real life', it teaches all of the fundemental food rules (which are the standard, fresh fruit and veg and lean protein).
The beauty of this is that Slimming World have the 3 plans to choose from and can be adapted depending on your daily needs and requirements.

The Green Plan - higher level of carbohydrates, limited protein

The Original Plan - Higher level of protein, limited carbohydrates

The Extra Easy - Mixture of both protein and Carbs

For the majority of the time I stick to the Extra Easy and find that this fits in REALLY easy with family life and I dont eat anything different to the rest of the family (to look at anyway- I have quorn sausages instead of 'normal' ones) - I have 3 children - 2 of which are girls and I have a real problem with them having any future body issues and dont want them going through what I have been going through, I really dont want them to see mummy eating something different to the rest of the family.

But its great in that as time goes on and I get closer to the marathon and up my long runs Im going to have to 'up' the amount of protein for muscle repair, which is where the Original plan comes in and closer still when I'm carbo loading is where the Green plan comes in, so in theory I can get to the marathon, still losing weight, and sticking to the plan.

It also helps that the group I've found is great with a really friendly consultant - Kate - who is always at the end of a text to talk you down from a (Non Quorn) sausage butty ! - Im really lucky to have found the group and each week come home really fired up full of hints and tips

Looking forward to sharing this journey with you as well as my training schedule - all part of the big picture, weight loss and training all ready to come together - yipeeeee cant wait so excited x