Dear everyone, I am looking forward to being back in the thick of all things blog-related over the next week. So much news! Next weekend I am running a half marathon, and meeting some bloggers to boot.
Right now though, I am swimming in superfoods.
Cheap Superfoods were kind enough to send some spirulina and goji berries my way. For all you Aussies who are into the slightly too healthy for your shirt thing, Cheap Superfoods is all about getting the high quality stuff to you as cheaply as possible. It’s all online, and there are no frills. Honestly, I’m glad they contacted me. I know I’ll be ordering from them again.
This time around, I received (free) a packet of Goji Berries, and packet of Spirulina.
Say what?! As in, what the hell is spirulina? I’ve been intrigued for ages, so I jumped at the chance to review it.
So what’s the big deal?
Amino acids. Also B12. Also, an awfully large amount of protein for such a small quantity. For those non-carnivores among us, it’s apparently an excellent source of protein and nutrients – it’s a complete protein, which I understand is quite rare for a non-dead animal delicacy.
This stuff is crazy. I have to admit that I was initially scared of it. I kept opening up the packet, being overwhelmed by the earthy smell,and closing it again.
Finally, I braved it, and threw a teaspoon into my morning pancake.
And you know what? It was good. Green. But good.
I also received Goji Berries. I was a little suss on these too (such a cynical person Kate!). I was worried that they would be bitter.
Turns out, when you throw them into your salad, they have an incredible texture. I’ll be continuing to add these babies to my lunch. Apparently they decrease inflammation (though sadly no-one has indicated it can improve swollen knees or shin splints) and have a truck-load of vitamins.
Easter is a time to eat a truck-load of chocolate. Repent later.
Also – Game of Thrones is back! It may be the only thing Mr The Rake and I have in common. Otherwise it’s running, too many jobs and healthy food v beer, pizza and video games. Also law. And insults.
It’s also a time to STOP for this crazy lady, and get some sleep. And it’s been bliss. However, it’s also nice to be back into the blog world, and there’s a lot to catch up on!
First and foremost, right?!
Can you spot the kangaroo? She bounced away when she realised that I wasn’t going to back away.
I bloody well earned my chocolate. Or at least half of it.
Yesterday’s 18km trail was a wonderful way to start the count-down to the Canberra half marathon. I’m not taking it all that seriously, but I am looking forward to racing the distance (and for me it marks the point at which the marathon becomes very real). More exciting is that I’ll get to cheer on Jenelle, who is running the full thing.
And on the way into the mountains, I found a kindred spirit in Va. I can now say I’ve met a woman who took a clock to bed in the middle of the night, only to wake up at 4am, and be struck by the realisation that a large wall clock will only tell her the time – not wake her up. She got up to get her daughter out of bed to put the clock back on the wall, and plugged her normal alarm clock back in.
Va and I – still smiling post-race and pre-breakfast.
My goal for March was to spend more time running outside – and to get in a great tempo. Sadly, this was totally derailed. Between knee problems and no running, this was a mostly cross-training month.
Anyone want to share their goal this month? In April, I want to get in three weights sessions a week, with the exception of the Canberra half weekend.
I think this will help me build some strength before I hit marathon training for real. Maybe I’ll even start to like it!
The Goal Getter Challenge: At the start of each month, choose a goal to aim for. On the last day of the month, post a photo with your progress to instagram or twitter using the #goalgetter2013 tag. See you there!
I can think of no better way than this to get ready for the new week ahead.
My negative:there is so much I haven’t looked at all weekend, it’s going to be mess to sort out!
My positive: I am rested, happy, and back in my runners -the world can work around me.
What blog posts have you loved this week? (Give me things to read!)
What do you do to celebrate Easter?
Your Mental Monday Moment?
Are you into the chocolate thing, or do like Easter for other reasons?
The running break has done me a lot of good, but we’re done.
This morning, I woke up at 6am, and even though it was too dark to run outside, I did jump on this old friend for 7km of sweat. And then a weights session. I smiled the whole time.
And a pre-breakfast workout means that breakfast tastes ten zillion times more awesome than normal. And I LOVE breakfast (Mr The Rake asks me to compare my love for him to breakfast – it’s the most accurate measure).
I was a little surprised when my nutritionist suggested an even bigger breakfast than I normally have. Did I mention I love her? For me, her aim was to give me more carbs at breakfast and lunch – especially on training days – so I wouldn’t be so damn hungry and keep reaching for stupid foods.
When do all of you work out? In the last few months, I’ve become very much a morning exerciser. Partly because I love breakfast so much.
When do you work out?
What is your breakfast go-to?
Is it easy for you to get into working out after a break, or does it take some time?
So I’m a bit obsessive. And sometimes that’s great. The OCD tendencies in most runners are what get us over the line. It gets us through sticky tempo runs, and drags our lazy behinds out of bed when the alarm goes off at ‘what the hell were you thinking’ o-clock. Basically, it makes us awesome.
Awake before the rest of the world.
Sometimes it’s also good to learn to be less obsessive. This whole break thing, for example, is going to make me a better runner in the long term, and its giving me time to recharge. I’m also looking at it as a way to relax, deal with less intensity in my life, and have fun with friends.
This morning, I ran a race (don’t freak out Cait – I very calmly jogged 4km in about 40 minutes).
This is my friend Va – it was her second race. Ever. She inspires me every day.
Just after the drink station
Here’s the thing though. I am neurotic. And I have this wonderful split personality in my head that spends half its life saying
Be strong. You are disciplined enough to do whatever you want. Go for it.
And the other voice, that responds with,
Well, yes, but at what cost? Have you considered chilling the hell out?
That second voice is one I have acquired over time. I’m fairly sure that piece of my brain was missing when I was born.
Sometimes, the winning voice is easy to determine.
Have to get up early? Just do it.
Want to run 10km? Just do it.
The need to work extra time at the end of the day to achieve more before the day ends? Chill out.
Then there are situations where the voices just fight.
Right now, those voices are fighting over me. We know that I’ve dealt with an eating disorder. I know that it’s just one of those things that might play on my mind forever. A lot of people deal with that voice telling them to lose weight, go on a diet, exercise more, whatever. My voice likes to aim for the Nicole Ritchie circa 2006 look.
I’ve gotten pretty good at telling that voice to shut up.
The problem with a break from running is that without that high intensity exercise all the time, I find myself looking for clues that I’m about to explode out into elephant territory. Clearly it’s not going to happen, but it’s there. A constant, irritating voice asking why I’ve ‘let myself go’ so much over the last two years, lamenting the fact that I ever started running and turbo-charged my appetite in the first place, and asking why disciplined Kate can’t just take action and freakin’ deal with the situation.
While it may sound very first world and of no real consequence, for me and plenty of others, that voice is paralysing. Nothing is enjoyable if all you can focus on is the size of your thighs.
So I’m taking action.
If I’m going to take some time off running, I’m going to come back to it with a much more measured attitude. I’m going to get my training in order, but I’m also going to get my food in order. Over the last few months, my good old fear of carbs has been creeping back. And worse, counter-acted by ‘you’re an idiot brain’ with chocolate or ice-cream to compensate. In sum, the whole food thing just isn’t working for me at the moment.
Look, it’s still part of a healthy diet…but it probably shouldn’t replace half a meal.
Ever the pro-active neurotic runner chick, I recognise that I’m going down a crappy road, so I’m booking myself in to see a sports nutritionist.
We can’t always do it alone, and I intend to pick her brain until I figure out what my body needs, how to manage it with my lifestyle (i.e. not waiting until 3pm for lunch between work and work), and how to enjoy dessert without feeling guilty or going all in for the binge.
Let’s get this shit sorted.
Does food ever bother you, or do you just go with the flow?
I’m almost too far gone in my running life to hold on to the feeling of getting started. So while I can still remember that feeling, let me introduce today’s post: So you wanna run?
New Runner Alert – Top 10
There is a stack of info on running. On training paces, on nutrition, on working up to your first 5km, and on transitioning from walking.
What about the more personal stuff? No-one ever says ‘hey, so if you pursue this you will have to change what you eat’ or squeezes your bum and says ‘that muscle? In there? That is going to huuuuuuuuurt‘. And no-one, particularly not your average ‘weights are awesome and carbs are bad’ trainer, is going to be able to help you find the balance between running and strength training.
Um no, I will not be giving up the cupcakes. Thanks for your unsolicited advice though.
Dear new runners, here are 10 things I found out when I started pounding the pavement:
1. I know you want to hit the road and run every day, but please don’t.
Start with a day off in between each running day. Ride your bike, take a Zumba class, go and pole-dance or whatever other fad is in. But take some time to do something other than run. Not taking the time leads to injury, and anyway, it sucks to do the same thing every day.
2. When you do run, vary it up.
We all start the same way – run. That is all. But try out some intervals – sprint to the next tree, then jog slowly to the bench. Mix it up. It helps your speed, and, if you’re trying to lose weight, I hear it helps. A lot.
Pretty sure little Kate was running to the camera and then planning a walk break.
3. You have this wonderful muscle called your piriformis.
Run far enough before you learn to stretch well, and it is going to be on fire. You think it hurts to walk after that last run? Yeah? Well…don’t try to sit down.
It hates running, it hates what you fed it, it hates water, it hates being empty. It just hates you.Sorry guys – the only answer here is trial and error. But as a start, some common triggers are fats, high fibre, eating within an hour or two of a run, or too much protein.
Try it – try a run after a low carb dinner, and then try another after fuelling properly.
9. Weights are good and bad.
Want to get serious about running? Body pump and trying to up your squat weight are probably not going to help. Stick to higher reps and lighter weights, and check out compound exercises. That said, body builders can and do run – it’s just not their primary sport, and they won’t be running at their peak.
10. It hurts.
It never gets any easier. You get faster. And longer. And sorer. And happier.
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I am Kate, a 24 year old Aussie living in Sydney. During the week, I run a business and spend time with my other half – Mr The Rake. In every spare second in between, I run.
I started Run With Kate to track my progress as I worked toward running the Melbourne Marathon.
I ran it. And I kept running. Running has helped me to overcome anxiety and disordered eating. It’s given me new friends, new goals, and a totally new outlook on life. Join me as I share my running adventures (and stupid stories) and share your adventures in return.
The Goal Getter Challenge : At the start of each month, choose a goal to aim for. On the last day of the month, post a photo with your progress to instagram or twitter using the #goalgetter2013 tag. See you there!