Exercise Just for the Fun of it…Really.

I can see you rolling your eyes and scoffing, is exercise ever really just fun??  Absolutely, when the sun is shining, the temperature is perfect, you have a great group of friends gathered and a sense of adventure and anticipation in the air.  This is exactly how it happened a couple of months ago.  It started with a conversation about the legend of the Rock Cairn in Pannawonica.

Legend has it that a local townsperson would walk his dog to this location, making sure to pick up a rock from Pannawonica and transport it to the hill.  Over many years the Cairn of Pannawonica was built.  Every now and again a few townspeople will go for a wander to find the cairn, have a look, and take a rock with them from town.  I loved the story and every time I looked out in that direction, that little mound on top of the hill called out to me to come and visit.  Between a couple of us we locked in a date and then opened the invitation to  anyone who wanted to join us on the journey over unmarked trail, through spinifex and snake territory.  Sounds amazingly fun right??

Exercise doesn’t always have to be to achieve something, or to improve fitness, sometimes it is great to exercise just for the fun of it.  If you haven’t grabbed a group of friends and gone on an outdoors adventure then you need to do it now.  Go on…..

 

Mums Who Rock – What does it take to become an Ironman Finisher?

I have recently returned from a three and a half week holiday travelling throughout the Kimberleys in Western Australia.  Lets just say I’m finding it a little tough to pick up the reins of real life again.  In my search for motivation I found the perfect story to give me a kick up the bum.  It has all the best ingredients: a strong, amazing leading lady, an impossible dream, hard work, setbacks and achieving the dream against all odds.

Without further ado I would love to introduce you to Rebecca Sheppard, Beck, who I first met way back in 2009 when we were both attending the Townsville Multiple Birth Association playgroup with a toddler and twins, dark circles under our eyes, extra baby weight and wondering when we would ever sleep or carve out any time for ourselves ever again!  I love her journey, I want to stand up and cheer for her crossing that finishing line, and I want to take my hat off to a fellow mum getting it done and making time for herself.  Beck has kindly allowed me to share her story…….

fam IM2

Beck and her family.

My ironman journey

People talk about their ironman journey and I never really appreciated this expression – until I finished one.

I am a 41 year old, mother to 3 kids (aged 9, 7 and 7) who decided 2 years ago to have a career change from a Fisheries Scientist to a full time high school teacher. While I have always been sporty and swam as a kid, I only completed my first ‘enticer’ triathlon 4 years ago, after getting fit again and loosing my baby fat. I then did the swim leg for the Cairns 70.3 and was hooked and thought I can do this myself! I bought a second hand bike and started riding, running (very badly) and swimming. In the following 2 years I completed local triathlons and two Cairns 70.3 races which I loved.

Last year I hit the big 40 at the Julia Creek dirt n dust festival…..and while being slightly intoxicated ….joked with a mate about doing an Ironman. Why not I thought? Then when I mentioned it to a friend, they laughed and told me there was no way I could train for and do an Ironman with a full time job and 3 kids.  I made the decision right then to do it. Never tell an Aries they can’t do anything! So a week after the 2015 Cairns 70.3 I signed up without telling anyone. I ‘mentioned’ it to my husband one day and while he was supportive he also told me I was insane. While I kept fit for the rest of the year, I didn’t start my ‘proper training’ until January 2016.

I didn’t employ a coach – although a friend from the surf club did my swim programs and another family friend helped with my ride and run sessions. As my husband works away a bit I had to change things up quite often and do lots of sessions with the kids in tow. Generally I trained every morning – up at 4am – so I could be home by 615am – to do the morning school, lunch, drop off rush – and get myself to school by 8am. Afternoon sessions were a bit ad-hoc and fit around the kids activities. I swam when they did swimming lessons, I ran around the footy field while Nate trained and the kids rode beside me on their scooters along the strand or around the block. Weekend sessions were the longer ones – sometimes up at 3am to be able to fit a 5-6 hour ride in AND be home for the football games, dance lessons or lifesaving patrol. The rest of the weekend was spent preparing meals for the following week, school work and marking, nippers, surf patrol and the never ending washing and cleaning.

The first 4 months training were good as the sessions weren’t really (really) long and I got into a routine with work, family and home. It was still hectic and tiring and I felt like a juggler (an angry, tired juggler), but I managed. I had cut out alcohol and processed sugar and physically was feeling strong. Running has always been my nemesis and something I have never comfortable doing – or good at doing – so being able to run 20km comfortably on a Sunday morning helped both physically and mentally. Which is why rolling my ankle and then developing plantar fasciitis in the other foot was such a big kick in the guts (and head). I did everything I could to help – physio, podiatrist, sports doctors, massage, drugs…… but nothing seemed to work.

I felt defeated – I had put so much effort, time and training in for so long and felt like it was all for nothing. Mentally I was a mess and ready to give up. Luckily I have some amazing friends who I could talk to, draw inspiration and reality from. Maurice from Skilful Thinking shared a saying with me that stuck with me through to race day….“Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional”. I needed to stop making myself suffer for a silly mistake (running in dark without a torch) and focus on what I could do. For the last 2 months of my training I was limited to water running and very short runs…..but could still ride and swim. So that’s what I did.

Leading up to race day was not as relaxing as I would’ve hoped as we were in the middle of exams and marking. I only had one day off – which was spent packing the car and driving with the 3 kids to Cairns. Once in Cairns I started to relax as my hubby was there as well as my mum. The day before was relatively quiet after making sure I was organised with nutrition, race bags, special needs and equipment! I did however spend some time reflecting on why I was doing an Ironman after a friend shared his ‘why’. As I had never raced/trained/exercised for more than 6 hours, I was unsure why I needed to do this…..but I took the time to think about it anyway.

These are my “WHY’s”.

  1. It is for me. Selfish – yes, but once you have kids nothing is ever about just you. But the training part of this race is. It’s to show myself I can be an independent, amazing and determined woman who can do anything.
  2. It is for my kids. To show them no matter what you want to do or how hard or stupid it may seem, you can do it. And you never give up. Never.
  3. Is for all the busy, tired working mums who are exhausted, overweight, depressed, under-valued and who feel worthless at times. I know how you feel because I WAS that mum. It’s to show you that you are and can be so much more.
  4. Is for all my friends, family, colleagues, neighbours and random people who support, train, wake up at 3am, lend a hand, babysit, cheer, encourage, smile and wave…..it’s for you that I will keep going when I want to stop…. because you helped me when you didn’t need to or expect anything in return. I’m not going to let you down.

Race day

The ocean was a bit wild and rough, but as a good swimmer, I didn’t mind at all. My goal was to do the 3.8kms in 1 hour.

swim IM

My first lap was good however my second lap was a bit slower as I got stuck in ironman ‘traffic’. It had also got choppier by then as a storm came in. I felt great as I ran up the beach and looked at my watch and read 1:00:20. Transition went smoothly and I was on the bike. The roads were wet so I took it fairly steady.

At the 29km mark I felt the dreaded lump in my rear tyre. A flat! In my 6 months of training….averaging 250kms a week – I never once got a flat. So I managed to get the rear wheel off, pull out the glass and put a new tube in. This took me about 15 mins and then another 5 mins to get the wheel back on. 1 km down the road and it was flat again. I quickly worked out I hadn’t put the tube in very well (got a pinch flat) so I took a little more care and changed it again. For some reason I was ok with this and wasn’t too stressed. I got back on the bike and got another 100kms on the bike and was feeling good. Then the worst happened – just outside Port Douglas – a third flat. With no tubes or gas left I had a bit of a cry and thought this was it. All over! 6 months for nothing. This is when my values, my ‘why’ and my mental strength helped. All I could think of was the reasons for doing an Ironman and my kids standing on the esplanade with their homemade signs, pom poms, bells and face paint waiting for me. I had dragged them to physios, chiros, pools and running tracks over the last 6 months……and for what? It couldn’t be for nothing. I had made them believe they (and I) could do anything they wanted. I looked at the time and worked out I had 4 hours to get back. Could I walk my bike back in that time? I was willing to try. Thankfully it didn’t come to that as an event person rode by and stopped. He didn’t have any spare tubes but he rode into Port Douglas to get one for me. In this time I turned my watch off – I just wanted to finish. 20 mins later and I was back on the road….fingers crossed that I wouldn’t get another!!!

The head wind and rain along the coast was full on but as long as my tyre was up I was happy! My friend Nat was still waiting for me at Yorkeys Knob (I was an hour behind my predicted time) and she drove beside me cheering, yelling at me and encouraging me. Riding along the esplanade and seeing my kids, husband and mum waiting was amazing.

I took the time in transition and strapped my dodgy foot before the run, took a nurofen and started. My good friend and training partner Trevor had said to me, once you get off the bike and start that run – you are an Ironman. That was forefront in my mind. Nothing was going to stop me. My plan was to run between each aid station (2-3kms) and walk through the aid station (while drinking and eating…..the flat coke was amazing!). The first time I saw the kids, my friends and the crowds was incredible. I felt fantastic and couldn’t stop smiling. I can’t remember thinking about much on the run…..but I loved every kilometre. As I had stopped my watch I honestly had no idea what pace I was doing (nor did I care) or what time it was – I just had to finish. The final 3 km were fantastic and having my friends and family there as I crossed the line will be something I will never forget. I crossed the line at 12:58 and can honestly say I loved every minute.

ironman finish (3)

3.8km swim, 180km bike, 42.2km run……BAM, that is how an Ironman is born.

Was it the hardest thing I had ever done: YES!

Was the training and preparation physically, mentally and emotionally exhausting: YES!

Did I finally understand why they call it a journey and not just a race: YOU BET.

Will I do it again: HELL YES!!! Sign me up for next year baby!

Hitlist Number 5

I didn’t quite get a chance to post my new hitlist prior to going on holiday to Wollongong, New South Wales.  I love holidays and I love the chance to explore new backyards.  Half the fun for me is checking out what sights are around and what might be possible to visit.  I like to keep exercising on holiday and it is a great chance to have a little break from the gym, get outside and explore.

After living in Pannawonica, where a 2 hour drive to the closest shopping centre is no big deal, I often look at places to visit anywhere in a 3-4 hour radius from Wollongong.  One year we did a family trip to Canberra and this trip I did look at travelling to the Snowy Mountains to hike Mt Kosciuszko, the tallest peak in Australia.  I changed my mind for our family trip because the new location had a lot more to do in our short timeframes and lots of fun for young and old.  I have also included a couple of items to help me kickstart my health and fitness when we arrive back in Pannawonica.  Short and sweet for this hitlist.

hitlist5

 

Happy New Year Everyone, I hope 2016 sees you crossing off all your personal hitlist items!

Exploring Karijini in 50 photos or less…

If you visit Western Australia, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to visit not only because of the distances you will need to cover but also because there are so many spectacular places to see.  Karijini National Park, was right up at the top of my list of places that I wanted to visit while living in the Pilbara.  Due to my research and all the pictures I had seen of the gorges at Karijini, I had high expectations going into this trip.  I was a little nervous that the colours wouldn’t quite live up to the pictures or that the gorges wouldn’t be as great as I pictured in my mind.  We had also been told that it would be too hot camping and hiking at Karijini in October and that we needed more than a weekend, but sometimes you just have to stop waiting for everything to be perfect and just do things.  Our reasoning was that nights were still bearable for sleeping, down in the gorges would be cooler, the kids would enjoy swimming in the warmer temperatures of October rather than freeze in July, and three days was better than none.  I am so glad we just did it, it was the perfect weekend with fantastic weather.

IMG_3911

Room with a view – this is why camping is so great.

We used the rail access road from Pannawonica heading towards Tom Price and Karijini.  Just remember that you will need a rail access pass if going this way, carry no alcohol, and the corrugations on this section are pretty rough.  We shredded a tyre on the way home, so beware.  As we were coming from the north western side of Karijini National Park we decided to stop in at Hamersley Gorge on the way through.  This was our first stop and it didn’t disappoint.

HAMERSLEY GORGE

We spent about an hour and a half here before hitting the road again to drive a further 40 minutes to Dales Gorge Campground to set up camp for a couple of nights.  Dales Gorge Campground was a lovely place to stay and was an easy walk to beautiful swimming holes.

DALES CAMPGROUND, FORTESCUE FALLS, and FERN POOL

Our second day of exploring was jam packed as we decided to tackle Hancock Gorge.  This is the home of the very adventurous walks to Kermits Pool and to Handrail Pool.  As there has been several fatalities at Karijini National Park there is always a little debate about the safety of kids on various trails.  For us, I was confident in my kids ability to handle most trails, they have hiked many times before, have good fitness levels, and are aware of the risks surrounding them.  I am not sure on all the details surrounding the fatalities in the area but I found that the trails were well marked, and provided you follow the safety guidelines, quite safe.  As I have mentioned before, I believe that it is important for kids to take calculated risks and where better than in nature’s own wonderland.  The kids loved it.  After the hike to Kermit’s Pool we gave the kids the choice about whether we did another adventurous hike on the same day and they all screamed ‘YES’!  And no whinging all weekend….it must be fun right?

HANCOCK GORGE – KERMIT’S POOL WALK

HANCOCK GORGE – HANDRAIL POOL

After leaving the campground at about 8am, it was about 2pm by the time we finished both trails at Hancock Gorge.  We stopped in at Karijini Eco Resort and were very excited to find that they did coffee and ice creams for the kids.  If you are not quite up for camping, this is a lovely location to do a little bit of ‘glamping’ and still get to explore Karijini.

On our final day of the whirlwind tour of Karijini, we decided to squeeze in a hike to Circular Pool which is also near Dales Gorge Campground.  We wanted to let the kids have a swim before the 5 hour trip home and thought it would be a fairly easy climb similar to the trail down to Fortescue Falls just up the road….slight miscalculation.  This hike was nearly the straw that broke the camel’s back.  Everyone was tired after a busy couple of days, and of course packing up always makes for a few frayed tempers, so when this walk was a little further and steeper than anticipated we nearly lost a few converts.  In saying that, it was still a great walk and if we had more time we would have had a quieter day before tackling this trail.

DALES GORGE – CIRCULAR POOL

We did not see enough of Karijini and will have to plan another trip.  It was such a fantastic weekend away, and we returned with many tired but happy campers.  Photos and words cannot capture the beauty and majesty of Karijini National Park, it is one of those places that you simply must see for yourself.

 

Hitlist Number 3 – The Wrap Up

Have a look back over your last 12 weeks…..are you happy with what you have achieved?  Or are you still doing the same things, going to the same places, and achieving the same old results?  Sometimes it is enough that we make it through the week, but occasionally I want to try something different and feel like I am still progressing in some way and not just stuck on the treadmill of life.  I’m not talking about earth shattering achievements either.  It may be that you finally stopped in to checkout the short trail and lookout that you pass on the way home from work every day, or that you started jogging again, or simply signed up for the gym for the first time.  Those little deviations from the normal create momentum and opportunity for even bigger achievements.

A quick look back over my last 12 weeks or so and I have been able to complete most of Hitlist No.3.  Doing a little happy dance…..

Hitlist 3.2

1.  Completed the Panna 8 Week Body Fat Challenge – Didn’t quite lose the 5kg that I wanted but that is still a work in progress.

2.  I did find myself a fantastic training partner just by putting a request on a noticeboard.  Take a risk, ask your friends, ask another parent at school, or place a note on the noticeboard at your gym,  ask whether anyone wants to train together.  It is one of the easiest ways to help yourself reach your health goals.

3.  Completed all the different classes on the Panna Gym Timetable – happened to try them all in one week just for fun!  Keep trying new things you never know where it may lead you.

4.  Swim 2km.  Yep, did that even though it was a cold week that week (21 degrees in the water).  Quite chuffed that I can still swim 2km without too many problems, even managed 10 x 50m on the minute, alternating freestyle, backstroke, and breastroke.

Pool

5.  Completed the Mothers Day Classic 4km Family Fun Run – what a great challenge that was.

6.  Really proud to say that we managed to train at least twice a week for over 10 weeks.  Not always smooth sailing but definitely worth the effort.  You can read about it in this post.

7.  Kayak and Snorkel the Coral Bay Kayak Trail – I did kayak and snorkel in Coral Bay and it was stunning….I may not have completed the whole 2km of the official kayak trail.  Details, details.

8.  MTB to Pannawonica Hill was definitely completed and even did it again and dragged my training partner along just to be sure!  Great ride.

9.  Completed the Foundations of Technology for Healthy Living via the University of Tasmania.  This was actually quite an interesting course and the following bits of information were things that stood out for me:

 

Physical Activity
Sitting
10.  Clean up the diet and try some new recipes.  Our diet on the whole has improved but I have to admit that I did not get around to trying as many new recipes as I wanted to so I may need to carry this one over to the next one!
Another Hitlist bites the dust, now the fun part….choosing more challenges to place on the next one!  Any suggestions please let me know in the comments or over on Facebook. 

My Top Tips for Fat Loss – Results from the 8 Week Body Fat Challenge

As you may remember I was participating in an 8 week Body Fat Challenge with my training partner, ‘Wayne’.  I was being quite consistent updating the blog with our progress in the challenge (good on me) until Week 6 where I suddenly dropped off the radar.  I’m sorry, the tail end of the challenge coincided with hubby returning to a stint of reverse FIFO work.  Yes we moved to Panna to stop the FIFO lifestyle but somehow we are now living remote and hubby is flying to Perth for work??  Anyway…..the end of the challenge also coincided with 2 study courses that were due around the same time so I was sick of being on the computer.  We did still finish the challenge in style and I will give you a quick run down of the results and all the take home tips that you need to know if you are trying to lose some body fat.

Drum roll please…..from a starting cast of approximately 50 people ‘Wayne’ placed second overall in this challenge.  Wahooo – fantastic effort!! More importantly I think she now believes in her ability to improve her health and fitness.  I think she has made changes that will stick, and I think she may even enjoy her new love of the gym!!

Results

When we have a final look at the numbers you will see that for both of us our weight loss is similar to our % body fat lost which is a good thing.  This means that we can probably assume that the weight we did lose was actually fat and not muscle.  You will often see large weight loss results with smaller % body fat losses as a result of high levels of aerobic training and a significant cut in calories.   This is great for short term success on the scales but is very difficult to maintain over the long term.  Muscle is very hard to gain but has so many benefits for weight loss, injury prevention, and general health that we don’t want to lose it.

Even though my numbers weren’t huge, it is still progress that I am proud of.  I would love to know how many people dropped out of the challenge by the end of the eight weeks as weight loss is a difficult thing to commit to.  To help you out I thought I would put together a list of my top tips for sustainable fat loss.

1.  Find a Training Partner

Just trust me on this one.  Don’t worry about what sex they are, how strong they are, or what shape they are in.  You just want to know that they will turn up regularly, have a laugh with you, and that they are willing to get a little sweaty and pull a few of these faces…

2.  Set some goals that are NOT related to weight loss.

Numbers on a scale are too fickle to be all that you rely on to tell your story and give that all important positive feedback that keeps us going.  By all means track your progress but don’t stress about the weekly numbers too much.  Choose something that you enjoy doing.  Your goals may be to run 3km, climb a mountain, bench press your body weight, or something crazy like complete an Adventurethon!!  Dream them and make them happen……then dream some more.

3.  Build Muscle

This is one of the most beneficial things you can do for lifelong health.  To build muscle you need to lift a load that your body can’t quite cope with, forcing it to recruit more muscle fibres to get the job done.  For those new to lifting I would be aiming to find a weight that you can only just complete 10-12 repetitions.  Aim for 3 sets initially and remember that you may not finish 12 reps every set.  If you are hitting 15 reps the weight is too light.  If you have been strength training for a while then mix up the number of sets.  You might want to try heavier weights, completing 5-6 reps only and doing 8 sets of this.  Variety is the spice of life, so mix it up.  Try drop sets, super sets, eccentric loading, isometric contractions……the choices are endless.

A note to the women – if another female tells me that she doesn’t want to ‘bulk up’ just ‘tone’, I will seriously headbutt them!!  Toning is building muscle!  Often that initial feeling that you are ‘bulking up’ is because you may still be carrying extra fat whether because the diet hasn’t changed or your body hasn’t had the chance to burn through the fat stores.  Give it time.  If in 12 weeks you aren’t convinced that you are feeling the best you have ever felt, then stop doing it.  You will lose that muscle pretty quickly.

Image Credit

4.  Stop Eating Crap.

How well you eat will determine how quickly you achieve your results.  It is easy to think that you have to be on some special diet to lose weight.  The media loves to create hype around certain magic weight loss diets and push all these ‘superfoods’ at us. The truth is if we just made small commitments to eating a healthier diet the results will still come, we would just have to be more patient.  You know, like a lifestyle change, not an 8 week challenge.

5.  Keep It Simple, Stupid.

Research shows that strength training and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) appear to be the most effective ways to lose weight and keep it off.  Don’t try and do too much.  I am a chronic over exerciser.  I love to exercise and challenge myself, but the trouble with this is that I do a lot of different training without much of a plan to it.  I love the variety and I enjoy it but it is very difficult to get a handle on what you really need to be eating to satisfy your energy needs when you are exercising like a crazy person and varying it day to day!  From experience, my best success with weight loss is usually when I keep my routine based on strength training.  Generally, I am aim for 4-5 x 45 minute strength sessions a week.  I often throw in optional extras such as a short HIIT session, a jog, and/or a mountain bike ride if my week allows and I am done.  Simple.  Effective.  Realistic.

What have you found to be most effective for your weight loss or health goals?

Mothers Day Classic 4km Family Fun Run

As I mentioned previously, this event was merely the icing on the cake on our journey to run 4km as a family.  All the work, the pride, the satisfaction came from training together twice a week, sometimes three times a week, in the lead up to the Mothers Day Classic.  By the time the actual day rolled around it was all about celebrating a job well done.  We decided to make a weekend of it and booked a unit in Dampier, near the beach, where we had a relaxing couple of days playing at the beach, park, and enjoying a dinner out.  The other important part of the weekend was raising awareness and funds for Breast Cancer research.  A big thank you to our family and friends who sponsored Team Campbell and all our efforts. I will let the photos tell the story of our day at the Mothers Day Classic 4km Family Fun Run.

It was a great event to participate in, and it may become a Campbell family tradition.  The husband has been a little forgotten in all this, but his story is also pretty impressive.  My husband would be the first to tell you that he is not the most athletic person but he was quite keen to sign up for this family challenge.  Hubby has never run 4km without stopping…..ever.  The first time he did this was at this event, with three of his boys, holding hands as they crossed the finish line.  Mr Exercise Hitlist was a little emotional, quite chuffed, and it is a moment that he will cherish for a long time to come.  Mission accomplished I say.  Another special mention must go to my eldest child, 8 yrs old, who managed to complete the whole course without stopping.  He wasn’t fast but he stuck to his game plan and just kept plugging away.  This is harder than it looks in this type of event, as there are people everywhere so it is hard to keep a steady pace as you try and weave in and around people.  There were also a lot of children in the event, which was fantastic, but most kids would walk a little, and sprint or jog a little, then walk again.  My younger kids found that hard as they wanted to walk when the others were walking even though they had run much further in training!  They all did a fantastic job, but especially the eldest who was probably one of the only kids to run the whole distance!!  I am beyond proud of my little family.

After returning home from our weekend I asked the kids and hubby what they thought about training, running in this event, and whether they would do it again.

B1 (8yr old) – What did you like the best about training?  Icy poles at the end.  Favourite training moment? When you and I ran that whole 3km.  Did you feel like you could run 4km without stopping at the start?  No way! It was really hard at the start.  What did you feel like when you finished the 4km on race day?  I was really proud of myself, it felt good.  I also felt like I was saving lives.  Would you do it again?  Maybe, not for a while.  I would rather train for a bike race.

B2 (7yr old) – What did you like best about training?  Icy poles.  Favourite training moment?  When we did that really good run all the way to the pool and then we got to have a swim.  What did you feel like when you first started running? I didn’t like it.  My legs hurt and it was hard.   Did it get easier? Yes!  Some days it was awesome.  What did you feel like when you finished the race? Awesome.  Would you do it again??  Yes.

I found this drawing B2 had drawn a few days after the race....I think he had fun right?

I found this drawing a few days after the race….I think he had fun right?  B2 is the one right at the top yelling ‘Weeeee….’

B3 (7yr old) –  What did you like best about training?  Icy poles.  Favourite training moment?  The days off.  What about the 3.5km run?  That was good.  When I ran the 3.5km, I felt like I could keep running and running.  What did you feel like when you first started running?  Sore after the run.  What did you feel like when you finished the race?  Good.  When prompted for something other than ‘good’? I liked that we all ran together.  Would you do it again?  Not really.  I want to do a bike race.

B4 (5yr old) – What did you like best about training?  Icy poles.  Favourite training moment?  When I sucked it up and ran all the way to the shed which was the longest run.  (Just over 2km)  What did you feel like when you first started running?  I didn’t feel like I could do it but I could.  What did you feel like when you finished the race?  Good.  It was my first time to do a race.  Would you do it again? Yes.

Hubby – What did you like best about training?  Icy poles.  Loved the occasional cheer squads from the locals.  The guys waiting for the bus to go to work, and the more sane locals who were sitting outside having a beer.  Also loved the ticker shown by B1, and B3 when they did their breakthrough runs.  It was hard work though and some days I really didn’t feel like doing it.  Favourite training moment?  It was a training run with Team Rangas, which started out shocking, but then they kicked into gear and ended up putting me through my paces.  What did you feel like when you first started running?  I doubted whether I could do it, I wondered whether my knees could do it.  I thought surely this is just a phase and Beth will give it up.  I was surprised when it got easier.  What did you feel like when you finished the race?  I was a bit emotional, I was proud of myself.  I was blowing out holding hands with my boys as we crossed the finish line.  I was really proud of the twins for digging deep, as we mixed up where the finish line was.  They thought we were done but then had to find something extra to run the extra 500m to the actual finish line.  I was really impressed that the eldest finished without stopping, thought he would be the first to stop given the attitude at the start of the race.  Would you do it again?  Yeah I would.  I would love to do a team event with the family.

Me – What did I like the most about the training?  I love the excited chatter when we got home from a run, when they would chat about how far they ran before stopping, how awesome so and so was today, what we should try next time.  All while sucking on their icy poles.  I think this is really why everyone loved the icy poles!!  What was my favourite training moment?  It still has to be the D-Man running the 3.5km, it just clicked that night, he ran so comfortably.  He was just buzzing, and I swear he would have run the loop again if I let him.  Proud mumma moment.  In saying that, all my boys had runs that just made me proud!  What did you feel like when we first started running?  I felt like this was going to be the longest 10 weeks of my life and it would be a miracle if I didn’t have a mass mutiny.  There was a lot of ‘Sometimes things are hard, and it hurts, but you just have to find a way to get it done’, ‘Suck it up princess’, and ‘We just have to get the job done tonight boys’.  There were a lot of runs where I was really proud of them because they gave up at some point, felt like it was too hard, but then managed to regroup and finish off strongly.  What did I feel like when I finished the race?  I stayed with my youngest during the race and he didn’t have the greatest run.  He was a crook with a small cough and a little overwhelmed by it all, so during the race I actually felt a little underwhelmed and not sure I had met my expectations of race day.  Looking back at it all, it was all that I needed it to be and a great family bonding experience.  My youngest wore his medallion for all of the next week, to school and everywhere.  He would have worn it to bed if he could.  Would you do it again?  Absolutely!

Stay tuned for our next adventure, looks like they are all on board to try something else!

Weigh Ins and Workouts – Week 6

Just a very brief update on my Week 6 weigh in results as you can read all about my week in workouts in this post on Rockin’ the Timetable.  The lessons learnt from this week include the reminder that you can’t out exercise a bad diet!  I had quite a physical week with 8 classes and 3 runs but my eating was terrible.  Lots of Easter chocolate and a lot more carbs than I needed.  That’s the problem with a lot of cardio vs strength work as the cardio tends to make you hungry, increasing the tendency to overeat.

I am actually quite happy with my results this week, they weren’t spectacular but I think it bodes well for a strong finish in the next two weeks.

Weight remained the same this week but Body Fat% was down 1%.

Total lost:  1.8kg lost and 2%BF lost.

Why am I so happy with that you may ask?  After finishing the timetable challenge I had a lot of muscle soreness, typically a result of challenging the body and tearing muscle fibers leading to an increase in muscle mass.  The whole point of strength training really.  My theory is that I would have held on to a little fluid on a cellular level as my body was adapting to the stress I had placed it under during the week.  My problem knee was a little swollen as well with the increase in high impact activities in the classes but this usually settles with a little rest.  So I am hopeful that with a return to a better balanced workout week and better eating, I should have some good movement on the scales this week.  Watch this space to see if I am correct…..;)

I am really impressed with my training partner, ‘Wayne’, as her numbers are continuing to drop and her weight loss to date is really quite respectable.

This week she dropped another 0.3kg but BF% was up 0.2% which is neither here nor there.

Total lost: 2.6kg and 3.7%BF

Two weeks left of this challenge and we are far from done!!

 

Rockin’ the Timetable – Fitness Challenge Completed

There is a reason I love having my hitlist, well there are many reasons, but one of them is that it keeps me focused and allows me to feel like I’m getting things done.  It is easy to get caught up in everyday life, in being reactive and surviving the days rather than achieving and moving forward in whatever form that may take.  Over the next few weeks I will be aiming to cross a few items off my current hitlist.  Can’t remember it?  Neither could I, so here is a refresher…..

Hitlist 3

I have quite a few of these underway or completed, but this week was all about completing the gym timetable.  Initially the aim was just to attend all the classes, at least once, when I have the time.  I really like trying different things as how do you know whether you will like them or not if you don’t give it a go??  I always find there is a lesson to be learnt in each new activity I try.

This week I decided that enough was enough I needed to start crossing some items off my hitlist starting with the timetable challenge.  Just for fun, I decided to do all the classes in one week.

Timetable

It was tougher than I thought, especially the tail end of the week from Bootcamp onwards. Bootcamp was good old fashioned fun outside with big old tractor tyres, battle ropes, sprints, plyometrics, and good old squats, push ups, and sit ups.  It hurt, and it ensured that the rest of the week hurt too.  Ouch!

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Mother’s time on the Monday was 100 Club which if you have been following along, you will know it is 100 reps of about 6 different exercises broken every 5 minutes by a 1 minute plank.  It’s a great mixture of upper and lower body strength work, core, and cardio, that leaves you gasping for breath and hurting the next day.  Burn is a session that is typically up to the trainer’s discretion but always lives up to its name and ensures that your muscles will be burning by the time they are finished with you.  On the Monday it was a great little whole body workout with barbells, medicine balls and lots of lunges.  Lucky for me Tuesday was a rest day from classes and a chance to recover.  I did squeeze a short training run in with Team Rangas though.

Wednesday was Bootcamp as explained above, before doing a double on Thursday.  Mum’s time was a killer partner circuit followed by a barbell workout in the Burn class later that night.  Friday’s 100 Club was probably the toughest session for me as we had spent the day in Karratha, I was tired, sore, and it was a Friday night.  Some days you just have to suck it up and get it done.

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Following the hard slog on Friday night it was downhill from that point, just had to push through an Aqua session which was a little harder than expected.  Not so much the ‘blue rinse set water aerobics’ I was half dreading and instead a good mix of strength and cardio.  The final session of the week was Yoga (thankfully Jana was the trainer on this swing otherwise we would have been doing a boxing session, which I have done previously and it possibly would have broken me).

And that, people, is how you rock the timetable!!  Ok, now I am crawling back onto the lounge and enjoying a rest day!

Have you tried all the classes at your local gym?  Do you mix up your routine every now and again?  Go on, give it a go….

 

 

Workouts and Weigh Ins – Week 5

Little behind schedule for this update and I apologise that I am a little haphazard with my blogging of late.  I’m afraid the blogging will probably continue to be a bit all over the place until I finish all my study stuff due mid May to end of June.  Its also school holidays and I tend to find that I can’t hold an intelligent thought in my head when the kids are home 24/7, all the available brain space seems to be taken up in sorting out frequent debates over who’s turn it is, whether someone can have this, why someone can’t have that, working out how many kids in the house are actually mine and trying to work out where the other kids came from??  I love my kids, but geez they can be hard work sometimes!!

So keeping this update brief and to the point, here is this week in Workouts….

Week 5

Monday – All assignments marked and sent back in the morning so this day was the return to normal exercise.  Kicked it off with 100 Club but it was the start of a new month which meant new exercises.  First one is always tough.  100 Skullcrushers, 100 KB Squat to Overhead lifts, 100 Core Rotations using the Torsonator (new toy), 100 Fitball jack knives, 100 Front Squats (barbell), 100 Med Ball V-Sits (modified version for me on this one), and 100 lengths of the gym.  Managed to hit 100 on a few of these out but it will be tough to break the 100’s for all of them.

Did a bit of swim coaching in the afternoon.

Tuesday – Strength Program at the Gym with ‘Wayne’ in the morning. (Bench Press, Chest flyes and KB rack and press, Lat P/Down and Bent over Rows, Leg Ext and Alt Lunges(barbell).

Time trials for swimming club and club break up in the afternoon.

Wednesday – Walk and rest day.

Thursday – Boxing class followed by 2km run and 2km row.   Kids on holiday and hubby still away……..arrrrggghhh.

Running with the kids in the afternoon followed by a swim.

Friday – Afternoon 100 Club with four boys tagging along..so much fun.  Managed to hit 100 for all the strength exercises but didn’t do many lengths of the gym.

Saturday – 1 hour cardio (Spin bike hills and cross trainer combo)

Sunday – Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate…Happy Easter Everyone.  Run in the afternoon with the kiddos.

Weigh In….

The scales did me no favours this week.  My weight was up 0.6kg and body fat % was unchanged, as in still up the 6% from last week.  I’m a little dispirited with the scales and it is one of the reasons that I hate to rely on them.  I just feel that all the work and effort with eating well is not doing anything so why try so hard??  I’m sure anyone who has stood on the scales and not had their work reflected by the numbers has had these thoughts.  Really, really frustrated.  It has taken me a few days and a little easter chocolate binge to get my head back in gear and shake off the defeatist attitude.  My body is still toning and changing so I am happy with that.  There are a few reasons to explain away these results but if I am completely honest the diet is not quite where it needs to be so I really can’t expect the results I want if the eating isn’t on track.

Total to date:

Weight – Down 1.8kg and 1%BF lost (going backwards need to turn this train wreck around)

‘Wayne’ is continuing to head in the right direction with another great week this week.  Her weight was down a further 0.3kg and BF% down a further 0.9% which is fantastic in one week.

Total to date:

Weight – Down 2.3kg and 3.9%BF lost.

We are working our way through the classes on the timetable this week and this tail end of the week is going to be tough.  Well I am off to suck it up for our second class of the day….ahhh wish me luck!!