It’s a New Year, and time for new goals… and I am heading towards my two year anniversary at Sport Science. From someone who could hardly walk around the track when I began, my goal last year was to run a complete 5K… and I did it. And my goal this year is kind of a “go big or go home” kind of a goal: Two Oceans Half Marathon, here I come. I know it’s crazy… but a gal can dream and I will have the SSISA Team behind me all the way, getting me to the finish line for my dream race, the Two Oceans Half… I can’t believe it myself… but together we can do this.
I think when you join the Healthy Weight Programme your biggest concern is getting through the required workouts. How even, especially when you have to get up at dawn!!! Turned out the workouts were the first thing that I got a handle on, as I got better at working out, so my diet changed. I wanted to eat healthily so that I could exercise better. The third pillar of the programme is sleep… and that proved to be incredibly hard for me. After years of getting up for small children in the night, and working nights, while my family slept, my sleep habits were appalling. It has taken two years… but I can finally say that I am tracking seven hours of sleep a night. Sleep is hard, you have to do it entirely on your own… there is no class to encourage you. And I thought I was winning when I got to six hours a night, but I just kept on trying and trying and finally cracked the seven hours. It does make a difference to your life, its remarkable how well you feel when you are well slept.
I ran the Bay to Bay 15K – I know, fifteen kilometers is unimaginable. A friend gave me an entry for Christmas and honestly I would never have entered without that… I would never have believed that I could run from Hout Bay to Camps Bay. A lot of people warned me about The Hill… 2km of Suikerbossie, close to the start, I was more than a little nervous but I took their advice and just walked up the hill as fast as I could. From the top of the hill I ran all the way to the finish… perfect conditions, a lovely cloudy day with a gentle breeze blowing into my face to stay cool. I was astonished I could do this, and I am so thrilled, honestly this is like having my life all over again. If you are starting the Healthy Weight Programme, just keep at it, you have no idea where it can take you.
Last year over the holidays I kept going to gym at every available moment and when our class returned they were fresh, and I was not. This year I took a break from gym and weights, between Christmas and New Year… I used my gym workout time to run instead and made sure I swam in the ocean everyday. Honestly, there is nothing like the great outdoors, I felt fantastic… and while coming back to gym after ten days off was a bit of a shocker, one or two workouts later I was back to where I left off. Lesson learned, sometimes you need to take a break and that’s okay. It’s not a twenty year break, and I won’t lose all my fitness overnight.
Where the mom goes, so the family follows. We used to breathe a sigh of relief for lazy Saturday mornings, and we blinked and the day would be gone. Then we started park running and yes, it was literally a crawl around the course, and a lot of “Who wants to get up so early on a Saturday morning?” Now, that’s all changed. The whole family gets up and runs the Parkrun, week after week… reaching their milestones, and enjoying it. So much so, that one of my kids asked for a Parkrun birthday party recently… and yes, all her friends joined her on the course, to my surprise. It is quite true, that moms lead by example. It’s not what you say, but what you do that counts.
My running time… is so slow. Slower than that… and I haven’t seen a marked improvement for ages. I am not complaining because I can run further and further than I ever imagined. But I would love to see some time improvement, even if it is marginal. I am really hoping that the Sports Science Running Programme will help me to improve my Park Run time, just a little bit.
I am so excited about the upcoming Two Oceans Half Marathon… you just cannot imagine how excited I am. I can hardly believe I am going to be running it… but every time I go past a part of the route, I am thinking: “In a couple of months I am going to be running here…” I am beyond excited about this. From a 5.6 km Fun Run last year to a 21 km this year I just can’t wait. It is definitely the “Onwards and Upwards” that I need for the new year.