Running With Friends

While we were away over the weekend at the beach I went for a run with a friend of mine. She is one of those people that you hate. She does triathlons. TRIATHLONS! It’s crazy. She’s just so fit, and seems to have so much energy!

So we went for a run.

It was difficult. I felt so slow, and so awkward next to her, and I felt like I was slowing her down, and felt bad when we had to walk up steep hills.

But it wasn’t as bad as my mind told me it was. We were running at a beautiful beach, we kept seeing adorable baby kangaroos hanging out with their mummas, and other people with adorable pets walking around. We visited our respective partners while they played bike polo (the reason why we were there), and had enough energy left at the end to bounce on an inflatable pillow thingy!

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All in all, it was not as bad as I thought it was, and it NEVER IS as bad as we think it is. I always disparage myself when I run with others, but when push comes to shove, it is nice to run with others because it makes the time go faster, the kilometers fly by, and it’s a healthier way to socialise than drinking at the pub. 😛

Do you like running with others?
Do you also struggle with comparing your fitness to others?

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Why I Eat Low Carb / My Struggle With Weight

I am on a low carbohydrate diet. Not because I am some health goddess, but because I am currently trying to lose body fat. I want to lose body fat so that I can run more efficiently. Eating low carb/keto helps me to lose body fat. Win!

My History

So, here’s a quick run-down of my history with weight, and how I ended up here.

I was quite an athletic kid up until I hit puberty when it became unladylike to be sporty, (plus I’m not a super co-ordinated person with a very co-ordinated sister that I could never beat) and I was deemed the smart and effeminate one in my family, so I stopped doing any kind of activity that wasn’t walking or reading (I know, right?).
Plus, my mum isn’t athletic, so I thought it was ok to take after her (even though she was a notorious dieter and terrible at exercising, and she always struggled with her weight).

So then I was 18, I had just returned from my student exchange program where I’d gained about 15kg and I weighed about 82-85kg. I had gained it so gradually while overseas that I didn’t realise how much weight I’d put on until I saw my family for the first time in 10 months. Their reactions said it all.

Fat me

When I got home I began eating healthier and going for long walks, and I ended up losing around 15kg’s of the weight I’d gained within a year.

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This happened repeatedly after that. I gained weight, then lost some weight, then I would end up in a relationship, and I would gain weight again. Repeat.

This has kept going until about a year ago when I decided to start focusing a bit more on being healthy not skinny. I had been a vegan for about 4 years, vego for 7 years, and it had STILL been a struggle for me to control my eating habits. I ate so many of the bad things, as well as the good things, it turned out I actually just had a bad relationship with food! No magical new way of eating was going to fix my terrible relationship with food until I started to acknowledge it.

I started eating everything again. I ate everything that I had restricted for years. But once I got over the excitement of eating everything again, I started to focus on balance, finally.

Now

A little while ago, my boyfriend and I decided to try out the ketogenic diet (info here and here). It seems to be pretty controversial in the health world, but it does work. We both decided to try it to lose some weight, and to our surprise, we did!
He lost nearly 10kg by eating a diet of 60% fat 30% protein and 10% carbs. I lost 4kg by eating around the same macros and by running sporadically (in one month).
Then came his birthday, and we indulged slightly too much on the sweets and the carbs, which meant that we both stalled slightly, but we are back at it.

It’s pretty basic, and I know it’s not the most exciting, but we both seem to thrive off it. So we will keep going until we don’t feel as good eating this way anymore, and if that happens, we’ll stop.

So I obviously still weigh a lot more than I think is optimal for my own performance, but I am not uncomfortable in my body anymore, and I feel a lot more confident than I have before. I’m also a hell of a lot happier than I have been with myself before! I am also more aware of my relationship with food, and how I use it to treat my own emotional struggles.

We shall see!

 

Progress! Week 1 results! (And how I’m feeling overall)

Smashing goals, challenging thoughts, cramping feet and getting those KM’s!

This morning I checked my emails and saw my “progress from last week” email from Map My Run. I groaned. I was sure I didn’t make the km’s I needed for last week.

Well!
29.9km!! To say I was shocked would be an understatement.  (To see my progress overall check out my post here)

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So now week 1 of madness is complete, and it’s time to start looking at completing week 2 and trying to get past that 30km mark for the week. Honestly, I think I should be able to make it. 😉 *fingers crossed*

I have just returned from Day 8: 5km steady pace. Which was mercifully easy compared to some of my runs last week. Which made me think about how different each run can be. No two runs are the same! Sometimes it’s your legs that refuse to co-operate, and other times it’s your head. There are many runs I’ve cut short because my head just wasn’t in it.
This morning, I ran. It was simple! I got ready, walked out the door and ran. I didn’t overcomplicate it, and that meant that I wasn’t overthinking the run either. My body co-operated with my head, and the run went smoothly. What a lovely change! It could have been because of the rest day I had yesterday, or the extra stretching I did after my long run on Saturday, who knows! My only complaint today was the cramping in my right foot that set in at 4km 😦

So I think I will have to try to keep in mind how simple it can be for those days that I really don’t want to.

How is everyone else’s Monday going? Have you started your weekly mileage? Does your head ever get in the way of a potentially great run?

 

How to Get Started

 

How did it all begin? Where did I start from? Am I one of those annoying people that “just started” but can already run a 5k in 24 minutes?

Well!
Let. Me. Tell. You!

I am slow. I am a very slow runner. I have never been fast, but I am building speed. SLOWLY! It’s not easy when you’ve never been a very good runner, then you decide to start one day. It’s so easy to expect that you’ll be good at it in no time.. But that isn’t how reality works. We have to chip away at things to become good at them, and unfortunately for me, without a good base of fitness to work from, I was starting at square one!

So I started running just after my 28th birthday this year (which I mentioned in my previous post), and began like everyone else in these technological times: with the C25K app (I also used the Zombies, Run! app as a run-tracker and for a little extra motivation).
C25K is great for building up that base of fitness, enough to get you in the habit of running, and enough to get you to run continuously (if slowly) without stopping or walking.

I began by running around my neighbourhood for 20-30 minutes at a time, using the prompts from the C25K app to begin running or walking.
After a few weeks of that, I added my own extra running schedule in, and once I had completed the program I was able to run 6km without dying so I signed up for a 10k! (because obviously)

I raised a bunch of money for the race, trained my little butt off and ran the race, and it was… fine. I didn’t die, but I didn’t love it. It was something to do to keep me motivated to train.

The problem was that I was not training toward anything other than “be able to run 10 km without collapsing”. Which I did!

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After the charity run, I lagged. I gave myself a couple of days off, then went for a couple of short runs around the block and claimed my virtuousness of having “been on a run”, as we do. But I’d lost the passion, and the driving force of knowing I would have failed if I couldn’t make it to the finish line.

So I stopped bothering to run as much, or as far, and within a month I was running maybe twice a week (on a good week) for maybe 3 km at a time. And it SUCKED! I sucked. The world sucked and I hated every part of those runs.

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I finally worked out why! I had no driving force! I wasn’t running because if I didn’t I’d be eternally embarrassed to face all of my friends and family that had donated money and support, or because I knew if I didn’t make it my friends all waiting at the finish line would think I was a complete loser. I had no reason to run!

So I decided to make running my reason. To run is my reason now. I need it. I have used it to make my life better, other than the already stated benefits of running, I can also eat a bunch more and not feel guilty! My clothes fit better! My house is cleaner! I’m more organised! So many amazing benefits all from having this routine based around going for a simple run in the morning, or not getting drunk on a Friday night so that I can do a longer run on a Saturday.
So many damned benefits!
So now I’m running because I want to improve, and be fitter, and so that I can get all of the other benefits, as well as having that general base of fitness to work off if I do want to train for something big, without having to start from scratch.

Why do you run? Do you set a goal to work toward so that you have to train? Or are you able to motivate yourself to run regardless of what is happening?
Do you have any tips for how to keep going? Or how to begin?

P.s. This post should really be titled:

How I Got Started and the Many Mistakes I Encountered and How Much of a Motivator Guilt & Potential Shame Are

But it isn’t. Because I wanted you all to think that I’m going to impart some wisdom on you.

P.p.s. I hope you did glean some kind of information from my ramblings!

Running for More Time

Why I started running – and how it has helped me make more time for everything else in my life

I started running this year after my 28th birthday. I was reaching the half-way point in my undergraduate degree, share-housing, working in hospitality, and severely unhealthy and unhappy.
So I decided to do something. I started with a morning routine, which consisted of 10 minutes of mediation, 10 minutes of writing (I used this time to plan my day), and 10 minutes of reading. This then evolved into a routine that included a run in the mornings before I started my day (let’s be honest, it was a slow shuffle in the beginning).

It was amazing! I began by using the C25k App, which was brilliant, and soon I was confidently running up to 6km at a time.

I realised that when I was running regularly, I was so much more productive during the day! I was scheduling more into my day, including 30-60 minutes of running, and I ended up having more time to get everything done! For some reason, running made me start using my time more productively. Since I needed to squeeze in the extra running time every day, I ended up prioritising the rest of my time better.

Using my time more wisely is just one of the major benefits that I’ve noticed from adding running into my daily life, and I notice it so much more when I’ve skipped a few days, or fallen behind on my running schedule. I will realise that not only have I missed a few days of running, but I’ve also been more slack in other areas of my life, like study or housework.

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Isn’t it funny how such a small change can affect your life in such a huge way?

I’ll make sure to do a complete list of ALL of the benefits of running, and also my beginner running story, as well as some tips to get started ASAP!

Do you notice that you’re better with using your time when you’ve incorporated a fitness routine into your schedule? Do you feel more organised or prioritise your time better?

Consistency in Training

How to stay consistent with a new training schedule? (November challenge series)

How to Stay Consistent With a Training Schedule?

(November Challenge Series)

Do you ever look at fitness bloggers/Instagrammers and think “How the f*** do they keep it up?!”?
Consistency. They have the ability to keep promises to themselves and stay consistent.

This month I am trying to focus on my consistency as much as building endurance and losing body fat because the most challenging thing for me is trying to stay consistent, and actually keeping my promises to myself.

Have you ever started a new fitness regime and you think you’re doing so well, and then you just forget about it one day, then the next, then the next, and before you know it you’re sitting on the couch eating an entire bag of chips, after another week of no exercise?

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(P.s chips are life and sitting on the couch eating an entire bag is totally fine by me)

Yep. It’s frustrating, I know it. And it’s so easy to get defeated and quit at that point.
That is why I am focusing so much on consistency this month.
Keeping myself accountable is the most important part of my schedule, I need to make sure that if I HAVE to miss a day, that I will then have to make it up by adding extra km’s to my next run, or by making it up throughout the rest of the week. I need to make it to my km goal by the end of the week!

It IS hard though, and I’ve fallen off the wagon more times than I can count, and sometimes it is HARDER after you’ve just met a goal! It’s so much easier to stay motivated when you’re working toward something, and once you’ve reached the goal being able to ease off a bit (or a lot)!

So this month, I am holding myself accountable for every workout and every km. If I miss one, I have to make sure I add it in somewhere else and try to maintain CONSISTENT!

#consistencyiskey

Do you ever lack motivation? Or are you like me and struggle with sticking to a plan unless there’s a deadline? Let me know in the comments, or find me on my Instagram or Twitter! @thecrappyrunner

On Tuesdays, We Wear Black

Tuesday Run Log – Day 2 of November Training Plan/Consistency Challenge

Black is seriously the most versatile colour. If I can impart one piece of advice to you (that isn’t about staying consistent), it is that black is seriously the easiest colour for workout gear.
Colours are great, but I stick to black and grey for my workout clothes, because they mix and match so much better! No stress when I get up and put on my gear.

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Day Two! Tuesday: interval running – sprints

Distance: 3.24km
Time: 35:53
Average Pace: 7:58 /km
Tunes: A podcast! I’ve been listening to The Bright Sessions for a few months now. I will review it as soon as I’m caught up with the new episodes.
The Run: It was ok. Tough, but ok. Intervals are crap, and if you’re anything like me, you have to work hard to get through them.
Thoughts: 

  • Why do I do this to myself?

Don’t forget that you can still join me for my Month Of Madness! I’ll be uploading a printable schedule soon! (Which can be adapted for any new month of training!)

Are you training for anything coming up? Do you loathe sprints as much as I do?? Drop me a comment below! Or find me on Instagram or Twitter (@thecrappyrunner)