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So, my first fun run the Queen of the Lake is on Sunday. I pretty much have been looking towards this run since I began my program so it has been looming.

I thought it was an apt time to consider my strategies for the race. Back in a past life I have run fun runs before so I am familiar with the drill (provided that they haven’t changed things too much).

My goals for this race are simple:

  • don’t fall over
  • don’t knock anyone else over
  • don’t require medical treatment
  • don’t get a parking ticket
  • don’t lose car keys
  • don’t come last
  • run the whole way

I am trying not to think too much about particular times, but I am gently hoping that I can run it faster than my normal training pace. I plan to try to run at about or not much faster than normal pace for the first 3K and kick it up a notch for each of the last 2K. I am perfectly happy having a really crappy time for this run because then in twelve months’ time I can mention it in an offhand way and say “Can you believe that I ran my first 5K in that time!?”


I am competitive by nature. Sometimes my best motivational tool is comparing myself to the people The only problem is that at my current state of health and fitness, I have to choose wisely to ensure that there is some comparison I can make which will show me the winner. Kind of like “Well, you might have a teeny tiny bottom, but I have my treadmill incline at 2% more than you”.

Pathetic, really.

I was doing it this morning. “You there watching the people play soccer – why don’t you get off your bum and run twice around Princes Park for once”. Or “Look at that guy meandering along – bet he hasn’t run twice around Princes Park in a looong while”. Or “So, you made all that effort to pass me and two metres later you pull off the path to rest – slow and steady wins the mindgame, loser.”

So I ran twice around Princes Park today (6.4km). I was pretty pleased with myself.

So I have some lingering annoyance from the gym assessment the other night. This is why. The person who was doing my assessment was lovely. I explained that since my last program, I had taken up running and told her how much and how often. She made all the appropriate impressed noises. And she designed a program exactly as I wanted – a variety of specific weights for upper and lower body, particularly core strengthening and very little cardio (because I am using the running for that).

So I was really happy until I finished being shown around the new routine and the gym owner (who I normally like) has a look at the program and arcs up that there is not enough cardio in it. Now recently he has mentioned on a couple of occasions that he hasn’t seen me for a while (which is often true – if things get busy, the gym gets visited less frequently). So I just know that he thinks I am slacking off, even though I have told him that I am doing all my cardio on the outside.

He wanted me to justify why I didn’t want to do gym cardio and he was pretty much pissing me off. I appreciate that some people might not push themselves as hard as they should, but I am not friggin one of them!! (at least not this time) If he had done my assessment he would have known all the answers to these questions, but he didn’t and still wanted to make all these assumptions about me, or suggest that if I am self-motivating then I am not doing the right thing. The stupid thing is that he was holding the results of my assessment which were evidence that I was actually doing really well with the whole self-motivating thing. In the end I said something like “We did talk about all this stuff in the assessment, you know.”

Anyway, I thought it was stupid of him. I like him and the other owner, but the reaction to hearing that I was exercising more outside of the gym than inside should have been “That’s great!! Tell us how we can help you achieve your goals.” Instead I was annoyed and less convinced that I will renew after my twelve month membership runs out.

PS. Actually the really funny bit was when my blood pressure was above the level that they like it to be (I am going through a process with my Doc to address this) and he wanted a note from my Dr. I said that he didn’t need a note from the Dr, that I was voluntarily assuming the risk and I was happy to sign any sort of waiver or release that he wanted, and that I would even draft it for him (I am a lawyer). Of course, he said that wouldn’t be necessary.

toby on sasha
Originally uploaded by danmccredden.

Okay, I am trying to help someone with uploading an image, so I thought I would show you my cute puppy dogs as a test. Aren’t they sweeties? (The little one is much bigger now).

I had my fitness test at the gym today, which is the first one since I started at the gym (about 2 weeks after I started this whole lifestyle change caper). So, you know how I have been trying to convince myself that even though my weight loss is not lightning quick, I am actually shrinking?

Well, it turns out that’s true!!

For starters, my resting heart rate was down by about 4 bpm since the last time I checked. But the really exciting changes came in my measurements. I should have written them down, but I was kind of reeling from the shock.

Biceps – minus one cm each
Calves – About the same
Hips – for some reason a completely different measurement (suspect that they haven’t got the consistency of measuring spot going with that one).
Boobs – Minus, like, 8cm.
Waist – Minus, 8 or 9 cm
R Thigh – Minus 8cm
L Thigh – minus 10cm (!!! – she measured this one twice)

So howzat, suckers. Kicking arse. (Just a little bit pleased with myself)

Starting Weight – 107.5kg
Current Weight – 103.5kg
Total weight loss – 4.0kg
This week’s weight loss – -0kg

This week’s result still affected by a bit of water retention and the fact that I had a nice supper at midnight with a house guest who arrived at 11:30pm. Have a fitness assessment and new program at the gym tonight which should be good because it will incorporate new measurements of all my bits. Intuitively these should be good results because I know that I fit into a lot of stuff that I didn’t when I had my last assessment, but we will wait and see.

I was hemming and hawing about going for a long run today, but I kicked myself in the butt and drove down to the foreshore so that I could take advantage of the beautiful weather and run through the winding paths along the beach.

45 mins makes it my longest run yet. It was lovely running and I feel much better having that extra time in my legs.

Well got our for my first decent hit out this week on the hilly streets around the weekender. Did 30 minutes with most of it up hill. Upped the pace for the last 5 minutes; enough to make me a little bit uncomfortable but felt okay. Felt so happy when I had finished. Still a little back pain to manage, but have decided I am going to get me one of those fitballs and take some advice from Guru Beki on core strengthening exercises.

Have decided to aim for doing the Spring into Shape series as my next goal. So that is three 8km runs about a month apart. Hopefully if I put in the time and avoid injury I will be able to score better results over the course of the series.

I am loving this running caper.

Earlier this week I was talking about how I was feeling all achey painey. Back in June, I felt about a hundred. In May, I was really struggling with sore legs, particularly during the cold nights. Anyone noticing a pattern? Given that all of these bouts of muscle stiffness and soreness have occurred in the week before that particular time of the month is due to start, I might have to consider whether there is a hormonal element to this extra muscular soreness.

I went for a brisk walk last night in lieu of a run and confirmed that I do in fact run faster than I am able to do a brisk walk. At least that is something. Hopefully up for a short run tonight.

Starting Weight – 107.5kg
Current Weight – 103.5kg
Total weight loss – 4.0kg
This week’s weight loss – -0kg

Happy to stay this week. Spent yesterday in bed with upset stomach and expect that also retaining water this week. All of that has subsided into a sore lower back, which means I have to ease my way back into exercise and haven’t been running since Saturday. At the moment it seems that every time I go for a slightly longer run, I end up having to take an extra day off to account for the extra niggles – last time with a sore knee and this time with lower back pain. V frustrating, particularly when my long runs are not that long.

So I am going to switch back to three runs per week. Much as I like to be able to run 4 times, these extra niggles mean that I struggle to do my 4 runs, and then end up not doing as much as I would like. At least eating has been goood (that’s what a couple of days of dry toast and bland meals will do for you).