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Training for City2Surf: Getting Two-Thirds There – Week 7

14 Jul

5 weeks ’till the City2Surf !  Woot woot !

Stoked, scared, excited.  A myriad of emotions as the big day gets closer.

But hey, let’s start this weekly post with the fun stuff:

Highlights:

Since starting up this segment on my blog, I’ve discovered a couple of other kick-ass mummy bloggers who are also stepping up to the running challenge.

Tat at Mum in Search is also doing the City2Surf.  We’ve made plans to meet (for the first time, no less !) at the finishing line.  That in itself is motivating me to finish strong !

Then, there’s Kirri at Happy Mums At Home who’s training hard for the Bridge to Brisbane run.

Go, ladies !

So, although I’m running on my own, I’m kinda running with the spirit of others.  And that helps take some of the loneliness edge of a novice runner.

Achievements:

Dudes…I did it !  I’ve hit the 10kilometre mark !  And just to make sure it wasn’t a fluke…I ran it again…this morning !

Yes, I have blisters.  Yes, my legs are as stiff as planks.  But, to know that I can run further has given me that extra boost of confidence.

"Image taken"

City2Surf is 14 kilometres in total.

The best advice I received when I was training for it last year was:

“If you can’t cover 14 kilometres before the actual race, that’s okay.  Just target to get to two-thirds of it.”

As I was breast feeding 6 month twins at the time and pretty much housebound, the time I needed to train and run was scarce.

Not to mention the self-confidence battles I was having in trying to get fit again.

But knowing that all I needed was to get to two-thirds of the actual distance whittled away a layer of pressure.

Last year, I managed an 8 kilometre run before the big day.  I was chuffed.  I felt ready.

I still felt like a wounded soldier when I actually finished the race.

I remember during the last 6 kilometres my body was screaming in pain – trying to figure out why I was still putting one foot in front of the other.  Muscle memory was telling my brain, “Um…what the HELL is she doing ???I don’t think we’ve gone this far before…”

But that’s when mind takes over matter.

You know you’ve done two-thirds in preparation.

All it takes is another third to complete.

And come hell or high water…that’s what you do.

***

You may, or may not know that I’m running to fund-raise this year.

Please click here to my City2Surf fundraising page if you would like to donate to the Miracle Babies Foundation – a support group for parents and families of premature babies and sick newborns, and the hospitals that care for them.

Training for City2Surf: Little Miss E – Week 6

10 Jul

To end a crappy week, last Friday afternoon was one of the most brilliant and memorable that I’ve had in a loooong time.

A special little girl came to pay me a visit.

It had been almost six months since I had seen her last, at her first birthday party.  But the moment she walked through the door, she still made my heart melt just like the first time I met her back in the days of NICU.

Little Miss E was born three days after the twinlets at the same hospital.  As the surviving identical twin, her start to life is a story of true inspiration.

This little tyke was born 13 and a half weeks premature.  And her birth weight was 720 gms (less than three slabs of butter).  After battling through three long months in NICU, Little Miss E beat the odds.

She started here…

And in 11 months, progressed to here…

To be the smiling cherub who came to visit last Friday…

On August 14, as I pound that pavement in the City2Surf, I’ll be running for Little Miss E – the Miracle Baby that holds a special place in my heart.

Please click here if you would like to donate to the Miracle Babies Foundation – a support group for parents and families of premature babies and sick newborns, and the hospitals that care for them.

A big thank you to Little Miss E’s mum for allowing me to share her daughter’s journey…Love you, Mama Tim Tam xxx

Training for City2Surf: Running for Others – Week 4

25 Jun

This week’s segment is a little delayed due to a few reasons.

Time constraints, bad weather, lack of energy and a big serving of sleep deprivation have all led me into a lull.

But this was always going to be the danger.  Any slight skip of momentum can lead to a loss of motivation.

So, I thought hard about it.  What could swing me back into action?

Last year, I ran the City2Surf for the first time and my source of inspiration was my two boys.

My twinlets came into this world 5 weeks early.  They had a shaky start to life with their first two weeks spent in NICU.

The Miracle Babies Foundation supports premature babies and sick newborns, their parents, families as well as the hospitals who care for them.

We are forever in debt to the Foundation for their support and help.  Today, my boys continue to grow and thrive but I will never forget those fragile first couple of weeks.

So, this year, I’m going to run with purpose.

I’m going to run for the other families and their premmie babies.  I’m also going to run in memory for all the lost Angels who will always stay in our hearts.

Besides, don’t we find more meaning when we do something for someone else ?

Feel free to donate to The Miracle Babies Foundation through my fundraising page.

Training for the City2Surf: Building Endurance – Week 3

16 Jun

Heartbreak Hill.  If you’re signing up for the City2Surf and plan to run the course, then you know that you’ll be facing this killer incline.

It will obviously be a breeze for the experienced runners who will effortlessly gallop their way along.  However, for novices – such as myself – it’s an absolute test of endurance.

Starting around the 6km mark of the entire 14 km course the hill itself is only about 1.5 kms in distance.  However, because you encounter it smack bang in the middle of the course, it takes you by surprise.  Whether you’ve prepared yourself for it – or not.

The view half way up "Heartbreak Hill"...not that you get a chance to enjoy it during the actual City2Surf...

The trick is to “save yourself”.  Find a steady pace leading up to it.  Then, once you’re there – attack it.  Hammer and tong.

Unfortunately, with all this rain and wind, along with the time constraints of raising toddler twinlets, I haven’t been able to do as much running as I would’ve liked this past week.

But in the rare occasion that I have, I’ve been focusing on my endurance.  All whilst tackling the beloved Heartbreak Hill.

I’ve decided that I’m too early in my training to worry about my time or how fast I’m running.  Those goals are completely in the back burner.  Instead, I’m making sure that with each run, I’m increasing the distance and making sure I’ve got some left in the tank to make it up the top.

So far, I’ve done 8.8 kilometres.

It damn well wasn’t easy.  I felt the insides of my shoes, rubbing my feet and forming blisters.  Half way up the hill I started getting the painful sensation of pins and needles in my feet and calves.  At times I slowed right down to a “Nanna-Shuffle”.

I just made sure I didn’t stop.

Dare I say, training for the City2Surf has revealed some hidden parallels to life and its challenges.

To take things slow and steady.

To build up that pace  gradually.

To store a little away for any upcoming surprises.

As always, here are the weekly highlights and achievements…

Highlights:

Running last Friday morning and seeing this spectacular view:

At the peak of "Heartbreak Hill"

Achievements:

Although my running has dropped this week, I’ve still managed to lose a kilogram.

Goes to show that it’s true what they say about weight-loss:

“80% diet and 20% excercise…”

See you all next week for some more running and fitness joy 🙂

Training for the City2Surf: Finding Will Power – Week 2

9 Jun

I’ve made it public last week about my sordid love affair with Salt ‘N Vinegar chips.  In the past, it has gone beyond control.

After spending a long extended stint in Japan (namely, almost a decade), the first thing I did when I arrived back in Australia was crash on my parents couch, watched Foxtel and ate bag after bag…after 175 gm bag of salt and vinegar chips.  Yeah, I know.  Disgusting, right ?

"Salt 'N Vinegar Chips, how do I love thee ??? Let me eat through the ways..."

While living in Tokyo, my folks always sent care packages with an abundant supply of these sodium-rich, mouth watering snacks.  Opening the boxes, the packets had inevitably burst open from the high-altitude air-freighted journey, leaving me with broken chips scattered everywhere.  It didn’t stop me from picking up and savouring each and every tiny little precious crumb.

So, here I am today.  On my running and fitness kick.  I know there shouldn’t be any room for my beloved crispy pals.  But breaking away from them is oh, so, so hard.

Going to Coles for our weekly grocery shopping on Sunday, I managed to achieve the unthinkable.  Walking by the confectionary aisle, I noticed an inviting bright yellow sales tag under my source of addiction:

“2 for $4”

I walked by that aisle three times.  Despite all the pacing, I stayed strong.

I left Coles without those extra snacks.

The drive home was excruciating.

I could only think about how terribly delicious that combination of salt and vinegar always is.  And how I was missing out.

Last week I mentioned how motivation and encouragement comes from others.  It takes friends, peers maybe even family to give you that hearty kick up the butt to get moving.

But when it comes to will power…that is all you.

No one else.  And although that can be a lonely concept, the rewards are again, only for you to reap.

Not buying those chips was a small triumph for me, but it lead me to avoiding bigger regrets.

Instead, I was able to enjoy this week’s highlights and achievements.

Highlights:

No major weight loss this week, but I can feel my body changing.

Wearing my pre-pregnancy jeans, they no longer feel tight.  There is a certain sag in the bum and in the legs.  Although I don’t need to yank them up all the time, when I do need to pull them up, they don’t stop in the same place.  My jeans can actually go a little higher on the tummy.  Amazing.

As for that post-natal rubber tyre stomach ?  It’s still there.  But that stubborn bulge is less prominent.  It’s no longer a tyre.  More like a billowing cushion…

I even got to wear new slinky jeans on date night !

Achievements:

One of the mums from my personal training group suggested we go for a run last Saturday morning.

Jeepers.  I am so not a morning person.  Yet somehow, I agreed.

So, she texted me at 6am.  It was pitch black outside.  I grumbled getting out of bed to put on my running gear.

Then, getting outside I realised just how magical early mornings are.  There was a pink sunrise.  Only cyclists and the milk delivery truck on the road.

We ended up having a great time.

During our run, this mum made a great point, “This is the only time in the day when I can truly say it’s just time for me…”

No screaming tantrums.  No smelly nappy changing.  No unpredictable family or children-related dilemmas.

We’ve arranged to go for another run tomorrow morning.

Tune in next week for more running and fitness adventures 🙂

Training for the City2Surf: Going Beyond The Call Of Duty – Week 1

1 Jun

There’s a mothers exercise training group that I joined almost three months ago.  I’ve spoken about them in previous posts – here and here.

Most of them are hard core.  Super fit.  They are the perfect group of people to get me motivated in losing all these wobbly bits brought on by twinlet birth and an undying love for salt and vinegar chips.

We meet every Tuesday and Thursday mornings – rain, hail or shine.

In all its heavy rain and strong winds, yesterday morning was no exception.

As we arrived for training, standing under the only tree in the park for protection, our trainer started to brief us on the raining trail she had planned for us.

We all looked at each other, looked at the rain and all groaned.

Yet, off we trotted.

As the downpour became heavier, one of the other mums jokingly yelled out to our trainer, “You know, this is totally going beyond the call of duty !!!”

And she was right.  Going beyond what we usually would’ve done and completely step out of our comfort zone.

But then, there is the outcome.

I seriously took up running three months after the boys were born.  It has been a struggle.  I am not a natural runner.  In fact, initially I hated it.

But as it’s typical of my character to live up to a challenge, I’ve tried to stick with it.

To try and conquer the fear.

A little over a year later, there I was:  Jogging in the rain with a bunch of superfit mums.

Despite looking like a drowned rat who had been floating in an open sewerage canal, I was loving every minute of it.  Soaking up the liberating feeling of being outdoors .  Appreciating the rain for all of its natural beauty rather than its usual inconveniences.

So here’s the deal:  I’ve signed up for the famously gruelling 14km City2Surf.

In its lead up (which is Sunday, 14th of August…10 and a half weeks away), every week, I’m going to write a post about my running and fitness.

Where I’m at in getting rid of these post pregnancy love handles.

I’m going to step out of my comfort zone and make sure I see myself at the end of that of that finishing line at Bondi Beach.

In each post, there will be a list of the highlights and achievements from the week.

What better time to start than now ?

Highlights:

  • I’ve lost five kilos in two and a half months
  • Went down a jean size in three weeks
  • My mother-in-law came to visit last week and while I was out of the room, she pulled my husband aside and asked him if there was anything wrong with me as I was “fading away”.

Achievements:

Running a 7km trail in the rain with a bunch of awesome women who are my inspiration.

I’m pumped.  City2Surf 2011.  Bring it on.

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