Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Today I've found myself thinking about how small changes in life can eventually lead us to achieving our greatest dreams. The small step approach works, definitely, but as I've been thinking about it, I realised that when I started Sparkpeople, I didn't feel like I was taking a small step at all. In fact, it took me about two months to just get myself to sign-up for the programme!!
That was my big step - taking a chance at something that I wasn't very sure would work for me. Once I was signed up, I was really sceptical that it would work at all, and I think it was only after I had lost my first 5kg that I began to believe that I might actually reach my goal weight...... the hardest part for me was starting.
It was the same with running. I look back at the photos of my first 5km and I am in awe of the courage and will-power it took to do that first run. I look heavy, and it looks like it was hard work. But, I did it. Now, I feel confident enough to try for a half-marathon. In a sense, because I have built up my faith in my running ability over the years, this will be easier than that first 5km ever was.
Every first step into the unknown is a tough one. But, in this present moment, I am so glad I took those first steps towards a healthier life. I'm a happier person for it.
It is something I need to remember as I look forwards towards the next big steps in my life.
Friday, June 07, 2013
After listening to the advice from folk here on Sparkpeople, I set off for a long run with two goals: to keep myself at a 6min/km pace (about 3.5 miles, think) and to run for 70 minutes - my longest distance so far. I knew that would get me to about 12km (7.5 miles, I think).
So, off I went, and I loved every minute of it! I reached the 60 minute mark with no leg pain and got to 70 minutes feeling quite strong, which was wonderful - quite a difference to the last time I tried it!
Although I've only slowed down by about 30 seconds per kilometer it has absolutely made a difference to my endurance. I cant believe how much more I enjoyed the run because of it.
I did not take water with me, simply because I couldn't find any water bottles in the house. It was a cool day, though, with a bit of a drizzle for the entire run, so I didn't really need it. I will next time.
I have signed up for a 15km (Just over 9 miles) race at the end of July, which is a good stepping stone to prepare me for the half marathon in October. After today I'm feeling much more confident about it.
Here is my plan leading up to the 15km:
Week 1: 13km (+/- 75 minutes)
Week 2: 12 km (70 minutes)
Week 3: 14 km (+/- 80 minutes)
Week 4: 12 km (70 minutes)
Week 5: 15 km ( +/- 90 minutes)
Week 6: 15km race
Obviously, there will be shorter runs during the week as well. This is just what I'm thinking with regard to building up my longer runs.
Monday, May 27, 2013
Of course he did!! As I was crossing the finish line, he was receiving his trophy for coming first, but at least I got to see the Olympic 10km champion in the flesh and know that I ran in a race that he was competing in.
He finished the course in 29 minutes. I finished in 47.44. It still astounds me that people are doing a 10km course at double the speed I am - how do they do it?
I'm very happy, though. I achieved a new personal best and I managed that without runkeeper telling me how fast I was going (it stopped working for some reason and kept informing me that I had completed 0.00km in 0.00 seconds - very unmotivating!!)
My IT band started hurting at the 8km mark. I realise now that this was probably because I was going much faster than I usually do (Training is about 5.30mins/km; races are usually about 5mins/km). I need to start taking my strength training more seriously, especially with me starting to increase my mileage. The pain is not so bad now, and I know it will be gone in the morning, but it's enough of a warning light for me as it has started playing up quite a bit towards the end of my runs and my training has been quite steady and good over the last few months. I have no races coming up - but I am thinking of signing up for a 15km in July as prep for the half marathon I would like to do in September. This means I can take time to train properly - and include the strength training that I really don't do enough of!!
I'm reading 'Running with the Kenyans' by Adharanand Finn at the moment. In the most recent chapter I read he describes how before he heads off for a run he never thinks it's a good idea. He then goes on to say how it's only after the run that he understands why it's a good idea!! I really related to that comment. The big discipline for me at the moment is getting my running shoes on and out the door, but once I'm home I feel so fantastic - even if it's been a hard run, or I'm aching a little bit - that I know why I have to keep doing it. I certainly feel that way this evening.
So, onwards and upwards!! Let's see if I can manage this mileage increase well.
Friday, May 03, 2013
I'd say this has been a serendipitous week for me. One of those 'everything is coming together ones', and, after such incredible support and attention from the 'At Goal and Maintaining Team' it seems only right to follow on the progress of those ninja antics in my mind!
For many years I've said that I have wanted to further my studies and get a Phd. Although I've applied for a few programmes, I've never had any luck with them.
At the beginning of this year, my husband and I decided it was time to reach a little bit harder for our dreams. To the extent that we concluded it was time to reduce our expenses, so that we could reduce how much we needed to earn, so that we could concentrate on living healthier, more fulfilling lives.
Not long after this discussion, we were given an opportunity to live rent-free in a small house along the coast of Northern Ireland. We could move there as soon as our commitments in London were completed. As the discussion continued, my husband's father suggested I approach the local university about studying with them. I did this. It turned out there was a conference coming up at the University at a time when we were already planning on visiting the country so, I went along to it, learned a lot and met my potential supervisor. She encouraged me to apply for a place.
What followed was a little terrifying as I had to resign from my job before being accepted on the programme. But, faith being what it is, and with my husband's encouragement, I went through with it. That was two weeks ago.
This week I got a glowing performance management assessment from boss, which was then followed by an e-mail from Tina asking if my 'negative thoughts' blog could be featured by the 'At Goal and Maintenance' team. Both were such affirmations for me of all the hard work that has gone into my professional life and my health. What has followed has been so many positive and encouraging comments from spark members, that today, I truly felt at peace with life and with whatever the future holds.
About an hour ago I found out that my Phd proposal has been accepted.
Another step towards another dream that I was beginning to feel would be impossible to achieve. I know it will be a complete change in our lives, but it feels like the time is right for it.
So, let's keep at it! One negative thought at a time......
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