Saturday, December 21, 2013

Running at the farm - dodging cow poo, uneven ground and ant nests!!!

How glorious it is to finally be on holidays. We both had our last day of work yesterday, packed the car and then at 2am this morning we got up, and were out the door by 3:30am NSW time.

After around 6 hours (including stops) we crossed the border into Queensland!!! Great feeling to be heading home, well to Mum and Dad's home.

We got here at about 9 Qld time.. pretty good effort.

Onto business then...
At the beginning of this round I did some serious goal setting. I set two types of goals Habit Goals and Achievement Goals, you can see my goals under the Goals tab at the top of the page.

The second group of goals I set were achievement goals. As always I'm inspired by Kate and her ability to set insane goals and then totally achieve them. Her most recent effort saw her running the cross country course at her old school which she defiantly avoided as a teenager.

One of the goals I set for over Christmas while in Stanthorpe was called 'Choose your own adventure fun run - run from the house to the back dam at Mum and Dad's property'. When setting this goal I had no idea how far that was in kilometres but a goal is a goal.

I decided planning was the key and that I should walk the track from the house to the dam to see how far it is. As I hadn't completed my SSS due to our drive I decided to head up there Saturday afternoon - yep the day we arrived. I thought I'd use Map My Run to calculate the distance. I walked out of the house yard, noted that it was weird that the gates were shut, then through the second gate (which was also closed - again weird) and started off on the track. The first bit was pretty flat so I decided I might as well run as far as I could, then I would know what to aim for.

The weirdly closed gate...

the track

Getting started

Pretty soon I found that running a track on a property is WAY tougher than running on the road and footpath at home. On the road and footpath all I have to worry about is my breathing (which I really struggle to keep even) and my pace...oh and cars lol. On the track I had to dodge the following obstacles:

Dried up Cow Poo,
uneven ground and grass tuffs great for rolling ankles,

and crazy ants nests!

As I was running, avoiding the above hazards, I wondered who had been at the farm with horses...

I had completely forgotten about the cattle. The ones Mum and Dad earn a living from for agistment!

So that's why the gates were shut!

Now normally cows don't worry me at all, but usually when I encounter them either they are in yards or I am in a car....not in the same paddock as them on foot. The first ones I came across were more afraid of me and turned and ran off!

But this one really had me worried! Those horns gave me a fright and then the damn thing started coming towards me. At this point I was still running and it certainly made me run faster....

And then of course I had another hazard to dodge while running - fresh cow poo!

running away from the horned cow!

And then I was there!

I couldn't believe I'd run the whole way on my first go!! I was so excited!!!

pointing at the top of the dam wall, standing at the base!

From the house to the dam it was 2.2kms and it took me 18 minutes! I completely smashed the goal that I'd set - the run wasn't as long as I thought it would be but it was just as challenging!

So proud of myself!

So now I guess I need to reset my goals but for the time being I'm very proud of myself. Below are some photos I snapped on the way back of the property. It was a beautiful place for a run!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Protein bars

These little babies are my saving grace on my big work days. I pop one or two in my lunch box for when I'm driving. I'm a compulsive eat-while-driving sufferer. I try really hard not to but I think it's years and years of conditioning, combined with radio ads and boredom. My strategy to fight this habit is to have a full bottle of water on the seat and a protein bar in case I cave in.

For the last few weeks I've been buying these:

but I've also been researching home made protein bar recipes. I found one I liked the sound of but it requires tinned black beans - only available in America. Lots of other recipes sounded good but required crushed nuts and I really wanted to try the bean base. I figured I should just experiment and see what happened. My desire to make my own really only stems from trying to eat as clean as possible without additives and other nasties. This way I know exactly what is going in to my bars.

The original recipe came from here.

Fudge Brownie Chocolate Protein Bars

1 1/2 cups Red Kidney Beans drained and rinsed well
3 tbs cocoa powder
7 tbs chocolate protein powder (I used Natures Way)
1/3 cup of honey (pure maple syrup or agave can also be used)
pinch of pure stevia or 2 tbs of sugar of choice  (I botched this and only just realised I did 2tsp not tbs..we'll see how it turns out)
3 1/2 tbs coconut or vegetable oil
1 tbs pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup to 2/3 cup of chocolate chips (optional - I didn't put these in)

Put all ingredients except the chocolate chips into a food processor and process until smooth. If adding the chocolate chips add once smooth. Tip into a greased 8 x 8 tin and bake at 180 for 15 minutes. Allow to cool then refrigerate overnight. Cut into pieces and enjoy.

So then they went into the fridge over night, then I cut them into 16 even squares - 100 cals each. I put them in ziplock bags in pairs and popped them in the freezer - all but one bag which I took to work.

And the result....they were DELICIOUS!!! Definitely worth the hard work!!



Sunday, December 15, 2013

Week 4...well really week 5 update...

The delay in updating is solely due to my own slackness...I originally did my 'start' fitness test at the end of week 1, so it's only fitting that my week 4 fitness test was actually done in week 5...luckily the 12WBT site didn't scream and spit at me as I logged my details a week late....haha oh well.
So far this round I'm pretty happy with my progress. After my world fell apart in August I did put on weight and started this round at 108kgs. Not happy about that at all but I set the goal to do this round like it was my first. So, not too much looking back and being annoyed and definitely no beating myself up. I watched the live feed from Mish afterwards and she addressed this - she wanted to know if the lady who wrote in was enjoying beating herself up...and to get on with it and move on. Which is what my goal was this round anyway.
Week 1, 2, 3 and 4 I did well with my sticker chart...sticking to calories most days and when I didn't get a sticker I'd usually only gone over by a little. Doing awesomely with the water, not so great with sticking to one coffee, or the softdrink, mindset video, or getting to bed early. I've also been inconsistent with exercise.
I have lost weight. Focussing so much on my food and just exercising when I can has worked ok.  And as of week 4 I'd lost 3.8kgs.
Here's the sticker chart...I get $1 for every sticker...looking forward to some new clothes!
Another goal this round was to start the running program. I've already posted with great excitement about running 2.8kms on Tuesday in 28mins, well I followed it up with 3kms on Wednesday!
before the run - ready to go

it's impossible to take a clear photo and jog!!

Fitness test and measurement results:

 So I increased my pushups by 5, was able to reach 3cms further, did the 1km trial 28seconds faster, did the wall sit for an extra 17seconds and planked for 9seconds longer. Small gains but huge in my mind!

Measurements wise I have lost 1cm from my chest, 1cm from my waist, 3cm from my hips while my thigh and arm have remained the same. Not too bad its a 5cm loss over all. For week 8 measurements the goal is to beat that!!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Daring to dream...

Every now and then I surprise myself, I'm reminded that I am strong and capable. Far more capable than I've every believed. Today was one of those days.

I'll back track a little - so yesterday Kate Beck (Round 3 12WBT Inspirational Role Model Award Winner) wrote the most incredibly inspiring and insightful (3I's) post on her blog. You can read it here. Basically 18months ago Kate could only run 200m and on the weekend she ran 30kms...without...stopping...once! A-FRICK-ING-MAZE-ING!!! She has posted lots about her running and the way she has skipped from one distance to another but what shines through is her self-belief.

Early on in her running career someone said to her 'If you can run 1km you can run 5kms' and it has been her mantra ever since. That and 'I've got this' it. At the beginning of this round I decided to see this as a completely new round and I had a secret desire to become a runner. I shared this with Kate and she was just beautiful. She encouraged me to change programs to the Learn 2 Run (L2R) program and I did. But that's where it stopped. I carefully avoided logging in and focused on my nutrition - which is important but wasn't getting me any closer to my goal of being a runner.

I think the biggest issue has been that voice in my head, that laughs at my goals and says 'yeah right - as if you can do that'. I do my best to ignore that voice or at least keep it in check but it does niggle away at me. In any case I had a good think last night, after reading Kate's post. I thought about my lightbulb moment and the promise I'd made to myself - that I'm more than just 'the fat girl' and that I deserve to be happy and healthy. I stood up, went and got my workout gear out and set it on the table. I shut down the computer and went to bed on time and set my alarm for 4:30am. I didn't dare breathe a word about it to my darling husband. I have often said over the last few months - 'tomorrow I'm getting up early' and then I don't. I also made an agreement with the amazing Kate to be accountable to each other. I told only Kate that I was planning on getting up to exercise.

So 4:30am the alarm went off. I got up, got dressed, found my iPhone armband, earphones, waterbottle, headlamp (because it was still dark) and I hit the pavement.. When I looked up the plan for Monday's cardio, the L2R program involved 7x 4min intervals - some running, some walking - a total of 28mins. So my goal was to jog for the whole 28mins. I had no idea if I could do that. I have tried to jog the track we walk occasionally before but it's pretty long, and so I thought I'd focus on the time. I did my warm up and checked the timer on my polar - I hat to get to 32mins before I could stop. And off I went.

It got really hard, pretty fast. I quickly realised that my new shoes are gold! There was no rubbing on the arch of my foot like when I gave running a crack a few weekends ago and ended up with blisters in the arches of my feet. Instead it got mentally hard. I found myself thinking of Kate - if she could run 30kms after starting at only 200m, then I could run for 28 mins. I'd gotten close to that on the tready at the gym in June. But I've had a huge break and not done much exercise at all. I told myself  - in Kate's words 'Em, you've got this' and kept jogging.

This self-belief thing is hard going. I'm so used to hiding behind food or whatever. I've never been active before taking on 12WBT at least not for long stretches. So occasionally I need to be inspired by someone else's efforts ad dare to dream that maybe, just maybe I can do it too.

For 28minutes I pushed and bribed myself until the magical number ticked over and I stopped jogging. I really truly did it! I jogged without stopping for 28 whole minutes. The only slight blemish on the event was that my new ap, Map My Run stopped working after only a few minutes so it wasn't an accurate read of how far I went. When I stopped jogging I wasn't home but I was over half way around our circuit, so I walked the rest of the way - grinning from ear to ear.

Before driving to work I drove the route I jogged this morning and was shocked to discover I had jogged 2.8kms this morning - only another 200m and I'd have done 3kms!! I wish I had known that this morning.

So here it is....I want to be a runner. I already am a jogger but I want to get better, faster and be able to run for longer. I've set a goal for the Gold Coast Marathon 2014 - cause there is an awesome group of 30+er's committing to going and competing. I'm thinking....daring to dream...that I might just register for the 10kms. I mean, I nearly did 3 today and it was day 1!!! Imagine what I'll be able to do in 6 months!!!

I just need to keep working on silencing that voice in my head that thinks I can't do these things because obviously it doesn't know what the hell it's talking about. Today is proof of that!!

A special thanks Kate for being an inspiration, for your support and your honesty!!!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Theme songs and radio advertising....

I love music. I love songs that inspire me and often find myself connecting so much with a song that I adopt it as my theme song.

For a while now my I've had two and I'm still loving them. If you watched my video then you'll already know they are 'Change your life' Little Mix and 'Roar' Katy Perry. I have a few reasons for having chosen these songs. Firstly, they just spoke to me when I heard them for the first time. I mean, why wouldn't they. What do I work on every single minute of every single day? Changing my life. This is NO FAD, this is NOT a phase I'm going through, this is NOT A DIET. So 'Change your life' was  a no brainer on the theme song front. The bit that got me in 'Roar' was the line 'you held me down, but I got up, get ready cause I've had enough' - that's exactly it. My weight has held me back all my life and I've had enough that is why I'm doing this.

Why all the talk of theme songs?

Well I think everyone should have at least one theme song. I also love 'Burn it down' Ricki-Lee and there was another with the line 'this girl is on fire' - I like it too.

So yes, I believe everyone needs a theme song.

For my work I spend an absurd amount of time driving and constantly listen to the popular radio station that regularly plays one of my songs 'Roar'. Sometimes I get organised an bring the cable for my iPhone to work so I can listen to a playlist, but this is very rare. But I think I'll be turning over a new leaf.

I haven't had the best two days work wise. A family I've been working with for a while that I've been planning on exit blew up like a fire cracker....I can't really go into it...privacy issues and what not but I have done exceptionally well and not reached for food to get through it. But today in the car, with the mindless advertising between songs which I usually ignore and plan work stuff during I realised I needed fuel. I pulled into a servo feeling pretty crap, got out and filled up. As I went in to pay I thought 'should have brought my wallet so I can get an iced coffee' WTF??? I don't drink iced coffee - it upsets my stomach and the results are NOT pleasant. Luckily I hadn't grabbed my purse so I didn't buy anything. I got back in the car a little perplexed but patted myself on the back for not caving, still not sure where the idea/craving had come from.

As I drove down the highway an ad came on for their 'road crew' advertising where they were and what the had in stock. I nearly stopped the car for fear of running of the road. I was furious, here this station was saying about a certain type of iced coffee that it would 'fix it'. My day needed fixing and my brain had obviously registered their ridiculous advertising and told me I needed an iced coffee to fix my day.

Well - no more radio. From tomorrow I'll be listening to my playlists instead and cranking up my theme songs or P!NK cause I LOVE P!NK.

It has just made me furious. I know that the advertising world has a lot to answer for in turning us into emotional eaters and I'm just glad I caught myself before purchasing something I didn't want and that I knew would make me sick.

End Rant....have an awesome Friday tomorrow and a fabulous weekend!!!