‘I Can’t Run’

I said these exact same words to myself around a year ago when I struggled to run for longer than 5 minutes on a treadmill without feeling like I required a full tank of oxygen to breathe. I said it to my partner over and over again meanwhile I’d be sat on the sofa gorging on my second packet of crisps of the day. Then I was unable to run as my body didn’t have any fuel from starving myself. These were all excuses, because running was hard. In fact, it seemed damn near impossible to me at the time. I’d see people out running and wonder how they were performing this miraculous act. Oh, how messed up this thinking was. In reality, I couldn’t run because I wasn’t in a good frame of mind to try, not because MY body was incapable.

My first piece of advice to anyone looking to get into running is don’t tell yourself that you can’t do anything. As I’ve discovered – the human body is capable of a lot more than we may even realise. It adapts to whatever you put it through! Everyone can run. You just have to get out there and remember that the first run is always the hardest!!

Don’t do too much too soon either. Even experienced runners make this mistake. It’s no use running six times a week on week 1 and then week 2 is non-existent. Start slow and build it up until you’re consistent week to week. This is where you’ll see your body changing and progress being made.

I’m about to enter into my training cycle for the Edinburgh Marathon in May after 3 weeks of being unwell. I’ll begin on Monday 6 February and train for 16 weeks. After recovering from illness I wanted to get myself back to a base-level of fitness before this begins and my first time back pounding the pavements was tough. I ran 2.5 miles (which was all I could manage) on Monday and then 3 miles on Tuesday – in pretty slow times compared to what I was doing prior to Christmas. It was difficult for me, mentally, to listen to my body and ease myself back in slowly. Yes, I’m a bit gutted I didn’t run a bit further or a bit faster but I would have done more damage to my body going hell for leather on those 2 runs. I made that mistake just after Christmas in going back to the gym too soon and it put me out for a further 2 weeks!

And… just after getting back into running, I’m off to Amsterdam this weekend for 3 days so I’ll be taking some more time off exercising. Hopefully all the walking we do whilst sightseeing will make up for it! I’ve also done a lot of research into healthy-eating hotspots in Amsterdam so I’ll be doing a post on where to stay on track whilst in the city, when I get back! Keep your eyes peeled!

Time to get my bags packed! Have a good one.

L x

 

Days Ninety Four To Ninety Six – Bedridden

I feel exceptionally guilty about abandoning my blog this week but I have a good excuse. I have been bedridden with either a sickness bug or food poisoning – I’m not sure which. It’s been total hell for me the last two days. I got home from my class and I was absolutely fine, had my dinner, watched some TV and went to bed. Then I woke up at ridiculous o’clock on Wednesday morning and that was me up the entire night being sick. Up and down, up and down. I got no sleep that night and I ended up having to take Wednesday off work. I spent the day in bed with no energy and no appetite. I could barely keep down water. In 2 days all I managed to eat was some toast and an ice lolly.

I also missed out on Brandon’s sister’s birthday lunch on Thursday, at a restaurant I’ve been desperate to go to so I was pretty gutted. I still couldn’t face any food and only began to feel hungry later on on Thursday evening. I ended up having an awful meal – a packet of Pasta N Sauce as it was all I fancied eating at the time. It was stodgy and sat in my stomach making me feel even worse! Bad idea.

Needless to say I haven’t been in the gym and it’s been driving me mad. I woke up this morning and I knew that evening going to work would be a struggle given how little energy I have had, so I didn’t even attempt to go work out. I’ll get back in the gym next week once I’m eating properly again, get my strength back and I’m feeling 100%.

My intake for this not-so-fabulous Friday was:

  • Nutrigrain Granola Bar
  • Graze BBQ Pistachios
  • Salad w/ Chicken
  • Salmon w/ Couscous and Asparagus

I’m glad to be feeling semi-normal and can’t wait to get back to my training. I’ll be taking it easy this weekend as I’m working tomorrow and have some plans with family on Sunday. It’s a great chance to give my body the opportunity to recover fully and I’ll bounce back pretty quickly from this I hope!

L x

Day Eighty Nine – Full Body Friday Workout

I’m a total doughnut. I set my alarm for 9am rather than 6am by accident. Luckily, my body is more than used to getting up early and I woke up naturally just after 6am. I’d have been really annoyed at myself if I’d slept in and missed the gym, nevermind being late to work! I skipped my cardio again this morning and did a heavy full body workout. I put my legs through their paces which I haven’t done properly for a while. Squats, Lunges and Deadlifts. REPEAT. REPEAT. REPEAT. I can guarantee I’ll be feeling it tomorrow. I then did the same with my core. I used heavier weights and upped my reps to get a really great burn.

I was a little bit naughty with my intake today, but it was nice to allow myself the things I wanted:

  • Nutrigrain Granola Bar
  • Apple
  • Graze Blueberry Toasts w/ White Chocolate Dip
  • M&S Sweet Chilli Lentil Curls
  • Smartie’s Cookie (this is where it all went wrong)
  • Salad w/ Chicken
  • Chicken Burrito – No Sour Cream, Beans etc so it’s not too bad
  • Doritos w/ Salsa
  • Cadbury’s Fruit and Nut

Brandon and I decided to have a night in and grab some dinner when he picked me up from work. We stopped off at Illegal Jacks for some Mexican and I have to say it was outstanding. The food was fresh and by omitting the high-fat ingredients, I’m hoping it wasn’t too calorific. Not that it matters with what I ate afterwards. I was having really bad cravings and I gave in to them. I ate far too much and too much of the wrong foods, which I’m slightly disappointed by. I don’t want to throw away any progress by eating crisps and chocolate, but at the same time I enjoyed it and life is for enjoying. As I’ve said countless times it’s all about having the balance.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

L x

Day Eighty Two – Keeping It Clean At The Office

I’ve been working in an office for nearly a year now and it has definitely had an impact on my eating pattern. It feels like I’m just constantly eating! I tend to have an apple or grapes as soon as I get to work at around 9.30am – I’m always completely ravenous by the time I’ve finished in the gym, gotten showered and ready and made my way to work. I’ll then have a cereal bar shortly after (usually at about 10am) but then I find myself eating the snack I’d saved for 12pm to keep me going til lunchtime. Basically, within the space of an hour and a half I’ll have eaten all the food I’d allocated for the day at work. I don’t get my lunch until 2pm so it’s a long time to wait having finished all my food in the morning. I need to find a way to break this habit and find a more satiating breakfast that I can have on the go/at my desk. (I hate porridge). I am certain that the office environment is to blame for my snacking problem because I don’t eat like that the rest of the time when I’m not at work. It’s beginning to get me down a little as I know it’s not healthy and I worry about the detrimental effect it may be having on my progress.

With these thoughts consuming me I was in a pretty bad mood/hangry (angry because you’re hungry) at work all day. I felt weak, lethargic and really tired. However, this all changed when my colleague Emma (who’s on annual leave at the moment) dropped into the office with some cupcakes just after lunch. Even just looking at the chocolate-y goodness boosted my mood, and tasting it was even better! I’ll be keeping Bibi’s bakery in mind for any future treats/cheats. It was a little bit naughty but I ran 6km on the treadmill this morning and I’m feeling pretty lean at the moment so I’ll forgive myself.

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Today’s intake was:

  • Apple and Grape Snack Bag
  • Nutrigrain Granola Bar
  • Nutrigrain Raisin Bake
  • Salad w/ Chicken
  • Salmon w/ Broccoli
  • The Delicious Rocky Road Cupcake

I was going to have some rice with my dinner but after my afternoon indulgence I thought it best to keep my carbs low in the evening. That’s what has made this a sustainable lifestyle for me; making small adjustments in order to fit in the things you want. If I’d denied myself that cupcake, I’d have ended up bingeing in 2 weeks time when any cravings got too much for me. Instead, I allowed myself the treat, made a compromise elsewhere and I’ll be happier and healthier for it.

I hope you all have a great weekend. I’m off for the next two days and I can’t wait to spend some time with friends and loved ones!

L x

 

Day Thirty Three – Friday Feels

So, as I’d hoped today was much better than yesterday! I woke up having left all my negativity behind and was ready to go smash the gym and have a great day at work!

I worked out HARD, leaving the gym drenched in sweat – my favourite feeling! I ran 7km again, pushing my inclines to 3.5% and upping my speeds throughout the run. I burned more kcals than normal – 540. I’m feeling strong when I run now and I’m definitely getting fitter and faster; the 10k is in my sights and I’m going for a sub-hour run. People have been commenting on my progress and my body as though it just happened overnight. Or they’ll say ‘have the biscuit, you’re doing so well.’ But they forget that the reason I’m doing so well and making great progress is because I’m working my god-damn ass off!

My intake for today was:

  • Pineapple Chunks
  • Nutrigrain Raisin Bar
  • Graze – Veggie Protein Pack
  • Chicken and Couscous (again!)
  • 2 Egg Omelette w/ Ham, Cheese and Tomato
  • Starbucks Chocolate Cream Frappuccino (Friday Night Treat!)

After dinner Brandon and I went to the cinema to see London Has Fallen (the sequel to Olympus Has Fallen). This was another of his little surprises to cheer me up yesterday! I loved the first film and was desperate to see the second. I don’t go to the cinema often but I did not want to miss out on this. The story-line is gripping (I won’t ruin it for anyone) and the film had the perfect balance between action and a little bit of humour. I can testify to its brilliance as I actually managed to stay awake past 9pm for the first time in a long time.

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I’m now looking forward to a weekend off with Brandon and seeing my family for Mother’s Day on Sunday. Have a great weekend.

L x

Day Twelve -TGIF

I’m never one to live for the weekend; but this week has been exceptionally long and tiring! Work has been quiet and the days are dragging. I much prefer being rushed off my feet. On top of that I’ve been juggling the gym and flat viewings; and as a result of my head going at 100mph constantly, I’ve been crashing out at 9pm every night! Tonight’s no different. I’ll be getting an early night so that I can get on with things and enjoy my day off tomorrow.

I value my sleep A LOT; I’d never been a morning person due to an erratic work schedule (late nights or early mornings) but since my job changed in July and I started working regular hours, I’m going to bed earlier and it’s not as much of a struggle to get up in the morning!

Despite being tired this morning, I powered through and worked really hard in the gym! I ran 6km, upping my speeds even further and once again finished off with medicine ball squats – 6kg. I really am on a mission to give my behind a good shape – especially for this weekend. I pushed myself a lot this morning with the aim to finish off the week on a high; and I feel like I have achieved that. Now it’s time for lots of rest and recovery ahead of Monday!

I have been eating more and more recently to fuel my workouts:

  • Grapes
  • 2 Easy Peelers
  • 1 Red Pepper and Sweet Chilli Hummus
  • Tikka Chicken and Couscous
  • Chicken w/ Fajita Seasoning, Peppers and Onion
  • 2 Squares of Dark Chocolate w/ Ginger

I have a super busy weekend ahead; going out for dinner tomorrow evening as a little Valentines treat, getting my nails done, flat viewings, meals plans and food shopping! It’s bed time at not even 9pm!

L x