The Second Run

Buoyed by success of running for 40 seconds I thought I would tackle the 60 second running of the couch to 5k program week 1 day 1.  I was surprised that the running portion was actually ok(ish)!  I didn't feel like I was dying or struggling to breathe so that is a form of success, yippee!  The walking portion was a little shorter that what I had done before so I really felt that I could have used a little longer.  Overall though, I was happy to have managed it and felt slightly challenged but achievable. 

I'm determined not to get injured so the plan for the next run is to do the same one again and see if it still feels ok.  I'm running on the treadmill at the gym because, despite it being hot in there, it's much cooler that the heat and humidity outside even at night and I appreciate the cushioned surface of the treadmill while I'm carrying so much excess weight.  It's also easier to monitor and adjust my run/walk speed and time to keep me honest haha!

I'm really happy and excited to be running again and I'm hopeful that I can keep this feeling going at least until I make it habit and not give up in week 3 like in the past!

Running – Starting From Scratch


So it’s time to get my health back (and get rid of some of this 91kgs), and my friends must have been thinking about their fitness goals for next year too when the email about entries opening for the Auckland Half Marathon popped into our inboxes.  So we’ve all decided to go for it and tackle the 21.1km in October 2018!  Now I can’t run the length of myself right now, so the idea of doing a half marathon is a big stretch but I am optimistic that over the next 46 weeks I will be able to make it to the start line prepared, ready for the distance, and uninjured.

The Kit:

I got a nice new pair of Nike Pegasus to see me through the start of my new running regime.  Once I’m further down the track I’ll take a trip to a local running store to get my running analysed again to see if there is another shoe that will be better for the longer training runs.
I then went into the Warehouse and bought a whole bunch of cheap singlets and t-shirts.  I also got some cheap sports bras from K Mart, but these are super unsupportive (i.e. painful!) for running so I’m just squeezing into the trusty shockabsorber and hope they start fitting better in a few weeks!  I’ve already got some lululemon tights and a bunch of sports socks to complete the outfit.  And let’s not forget my Nike Apple Watch that I got for my birthday.

The First Run:

The couch to 5k programs generally have you running for 60 seconds and I just don’t think I can even do that so I found an entry level program that has you running 100 metres then walking 300 metres and repeating this 4 times to make a total of 1600 metres (just shy of a mile).  I was pleasantly surprised to find I could run for 40 seconds and feel pretty good.  I finished my run sweaty and feeling really pleased about it.  I then went to stretch out my legs which always feel incredibly tight.  I really don’t want to get injured so building up slowly and paying attention to stretching is very important to me.  I’m strangely looking forward to my next run.

Winter is Coming .. better get out the blankets

First of all I am super excited about the new Game of Thrones season coming in July!  But I am not as excited about actual winter coming this week. 

In New Zealand winter officially starts on the 1st June, but many places in the country has already had a bit of snow and few cold snaps.  In Auckland we don't get snow but we still complain about the cold which leads the rest of the country to the south, to call us "soft" and make fun of us, as in this article from our national newpapers website:
NZ Herald atricle
//From NZ Herald
When I was in Scotland last year I really wanted to get a wool blanket in the Dress Stewart tartan.  I had seen this picture (below) when I was looking for inspiration for decorating the bedroom and I just love it.

Image of bed with tartan blanket

So I set out scouring the streets of Edinburgh.  I had expected the high end shops like Romanes and Paterson or Hector Russell would have what I was looking for, but alas they had any blanket I could have wanted except Dress Stewart.  I started to feel like I wasn't going to get what I wanted, so when I found a blue version in the Edinburgh Woolen Mill shop I decided to get it.  Later, while trawling through all the tartan and Scottish shops on the Royal Mile, I came across the tartan blanket I wanted, but it was in a super soft lambswool and not the slightly rougher texture I was looking for.  I bought it anyway.

It wasn't until I was at the airport ready to head back to New Zealand that I finally found the blanket I was looking for!  So yes, I now have 3 tartan blankets!  That should keep me toasty warm this winter!

Images of my 3 blankets
//My 3 blankets
Do you have a favourite blanket or comfort item?  Tell me in the comments!

Coming Back From Burnout


I got burned out.

Lying in my hospital bed at the start of the year recovering from Pancreatitis I knew that I was broken.  I had just come back from a wonderful Christmas vacation in Tahiti but that wasn't enough to fix me.

Hospital Selfie
The year before, my office got word that we were closing down and would all be out of jobs.  Some people were laid off just after Christmas and the rest left in dribs and drabs over the course of the year.  The environment, the atmosphere, was very different as people openly expressed their fears, their anger, their hopelessness.  I had almost a whole year in that environment before my termination date and I thought I was doing a good job at staying positive.  In hindsight, I think it would have done me better to have negotiated to leave earlier.

I was also preparing for a big vacation to Scotland to visit my parents, sisters, family and friends that I hadn't seen in 5½ years.  I had a lot of anxiety around this trip but I had started seeing a therapist and this helped me develop coping strategies.  Now I'm out the other side of that I see that those mountains were definitely mole hills but they didn't feel like it at the time!

I stopped all my extra activities because I felt too stressed by their demands,  This included running, yoga, ice skating and choir.  I pretty much stopped seeing friends too.  It all felt like a chore.

Choir waiting to go on stage

So then I started my own contracting business.

Redundancy, reunions, starting a business and then health issues?  My answer was to take 3 months off.  I finished up the contract and focused on getting healthy.  Being a driven, perfectionist, control freak led me to burnout, but still here I was, scheduling in daily runs and yoga, planning my wardrobe decluttering project.  After 2 weeks of not living up to the schedule and constant berating by the inner critic, I realised that the only way to begin to recover is let go of the self-imposed demands and live schedule-free, for a little while at least.

My 3 months are almost up.  I sleep all the way through the night now, I don't need any prescription meds, I have started socialising and talking to people again and I have an exciting new job lined up.  I'm keen to start adding stuff back into my life, but I know I need to be slow and deliberate about it, so the next step for me, once I've had a week or two to settle into the new job, is to begin exercising but without any pressure to perform (and no signing up for races!).