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Project Accountability Check In Time

October 29th, 2013 | Posted by Sara in Fitness | Iron Mum Training - (Comments Off)

Project Accountability is in full swing – though I have noted that I missed a few days of checking in on the Facebook page over the weekend (whoops!)

 The results are already starting to be evident.

I am feeling much more positive, my training has been bang on, and my work isn’t quite as overwhelming as it was starting to be.

 I find that the days I start with a green smoothie, and then have coconut water or another green smoothie in the evening are the best options. The freshness of the vegetables and water make me think twice before opening the bottle of wine. Its all habit forming I know, and the easiest thing is to slip back into bad habits in the interest of being simple, particularly when life feels ‘tough’

I am starting to add a few more ‘rules’ back into my days. My rules are tried & tested, there’s nothing extreme or life stifling.

For example tonight I implement the no wine on a weeknight rule again.

I’ve been doing 10-20 minutes most nights core work and stretching

I try to read a few pages of my book prior to turning the light off each night

Green smoothie and avocado on toast to start my days

I’ll take my supplements every evening whist making dinner

A new rule that I’ve been forced to implement is that 8.30pm is NOT too late to start my training session (though at 8.45pm I call it too late!) I’ve had to pull this one out a few times when I’ve had trouble getting Worm to sleep at a reasonable hour – previously it was 7.30 start, but I was missing too many sessions (and then opening the wine)

In addition to the general diet rules I’ve also had look at my 2014 schedule. It’s always exciting to plan out the year ahead, and with our impending move back south it was even more important this year to be prepared.

To try to make it a little easier this year I’m only picking 3 ‘A’ races to participate in. I will get to as many local triathlons and fun runs as possible, but only 3 major events. By major I mean an event I need to purchase airfares to participate in!

So 2014 will bring the following:

Mooloolaba triathlon – March  – This will by my mums first Olympic Distance Triathlon, and I am so excited to be heading back to the Sunshine Coast to participate with her. I will be working really hard to beat my time from last year, and particularly to run up that Alexanders head hill.

Busselton 70.3 – May – Busselton became a bit of a ‘bucket list’ type race for me when I started training for the 2013 Yeppoon 70.3. The Farmer & I love the coastline of Western Australia and the opportunity to participate in such an iconic race was too good to refuse – particularly when the Farmer reminded me to enter!

Gold Coast Marathon – July – I have never participated in a full marathon, and it seams to be a logical next step to my endurance fitness endeavours. Mum will probably run with me, and there is no doubt this will be another superb event that I can catch up with friends at.

So it appears that Project Accountability is right on schedule. Keeping the focus on my nutrition, exercise and emotions has lead me to become more aware of myself and also more flexible to deal with the daily challenges.

What do you do to keep yourself accountable? Tell me below, over on Facebook, or via twitter.

Xx

Sara

Accountability

October 16th, 2013 | Posted by Sara in Fitness - (1 Comments)

This time last year I hadn’t done a 70.3 triathlon (although the seed had been planted)

 

This time last year I had only ever ran 1 half marathon

 

This time last year it had been nearly 2 years since my last triathlon (which I did in the weeks before finding out I was pregnant with Worm)

 

It’s been 1 year since I decided to re-start my triathlon pursuits, and subsequently entered the Yeppoon 70.3 Ironman.

 

It’s hard to believe that after everything I have achieved in the past 12 months I would now be struggling so much with the simple things. Eating good whole foods, training regularly, living and loving my life.

 

I am really struggling with my training at the moment, I have only been in the pool once or twice since August. I haven’t been on my bike in a fortnight, and my last run was over 10 days ago.

 

It’s fair to say that my mojo for exercise is certainly waning.

 

I honestly believe that mojo, motivation, enthusiasm, keenness, inclination, interest, desire and ambition all have to be self driven. No one can do this for you. No one can provide motivation – people can certainly inspire you to succeed. But the inner drive, the pulling the shoes on, and the stepping out the door all can only be done yourself.

 

I haven’t been sleeping well, I’ve been drinking too much, and my leafy green count is certainly less than optimum. I need to pull myself together and take control again.

 

Starting today I’ll be keeping a daily diary listing my food, exercise and emotional state, I could wait until Monday but why wait – today is as good a day as any so lets get started.

 

Initially I won’t be counting calories, small steps for me this time, I will be happy to simply be accountable for what goes in my belly, and what exercise I do. Regardless of intensity, mileage, or calories burned.

 

If you’re interested I’ll probably post over on the Tis The Life facebook page, hopefully I might inspire someone else to pull their shoes on and blitz up some greens so that we can all benefit.

Disjointed

October 3rd, 2013 | Posted by Sara in Life - (3 Comments)

I feel constantly torn in multiple directions. Right now I’m struggling big time with life in general. I do try to keep my surroundings as happy and relaxed as I can. I am a big fan of the “if you can’t change it don’t sweat it” approach so things like waiting in lines or rules don’t generally cause me distress.

Recently though the Worm has been sick AGAIN! We had 2 days of a nasty vomit bug which left her dehydrated, unresponsive, and out of character.

Thankfully my mother was visiting at the time, so I was able to go to work for 2 half days, however I still feel that this isn’t enough.

The constant work/motherhood balance is hard to maintain. I work in a fairly high pressure, corporate environment where customer satisfaction is key. Having your account manager out of the office for nearly 2 days isn’t conductive to running a great business, and although my customers are generally understanding when you have so many of them it is inevitable that someone will get grumpy eventually.

With another big move pending (back to SA for The Farmers work) I am looking for a new position. Thankfully my employer is very flexible and I should be able to stay within the organisation, however I’m struggling with what I want to do.

Do I really want to be in this job forever? Is it too late to re-train? Can The Farmer & I survive another financial inconvenience whilst I take time out of the workforce to do this re-training? What do I even want to re-train in?

These are the thoughts that are keeping me up at night, they are somewhat overwhelming, and I don’t have any answers at the moment. I feel I can’t continue to hold this employment position and still be a good mother. I know that others can do the juggle better than I can, but I feel like I’m constantly letting someone down.

Either I’m not spending enough time with Worm or my focus in the office is torn. I acknowledge that if it wasn’t for my mothers visit I would haven’t been able to even spend the 2 half days in the office. I would have been out completely, so that’s a good compromise. But is it enough?

I can acknowledge that I’m experiencing a period of very disordered thinking. I feel that I’m not good enough at anything; I’m struggling to be a good mother, struggling at work, and even struggling at home. Any thoughts of triathlon training or even going for a walk are extremely hard to manage. To be honest I could quite happily spend a week in bed without seeing anyone, I’m ready to check out of the grind for a while.

I went for a walk at lunch, and was nearly hit by a car at a pedestrian crossing. I dropped my bag jumping onto the curb, and thankfully the car simply drove off – oblivious to the fact that he had nearly ruined my day. I was a little shaken by the incident, but more so relieved that the fellow hadn’t stopped – I’m sure I would have burst into tears if he had.

As a prime example of the disordered thinking I’m experiencing at the moment, literally minutes after the above experience I was almost wishing that the inattentive driver had hit me – because at least if he had I would have reason to feel hurt. Reason to feel sad and reason to cry out for help.

Right now although the logical part of me knows that I’m experiencing a brain chemical imbalance and am waiting for the drugs to kick in (I went to the GP last week to go onto prescription antidepressants) the illogical side is just blaming myself for everything.

My toddler had a rather epic meltdown at 3 am last night, she was inconsolable, running around the house, demanding the TV be put on. Then she wanted food, then she didn’t, then she wanted TV again. The poor girl had no idea what she was originally upset about, it took nearly 90 minutes of watching, waiting, keeping her safe, trying to settle her before she would lay down in my bed. It took a further 30 minutes of shhing, patting and gentle words before she finally fell asleep and let me lay down again myself.

Throughout the whole 2 hour time frame I was helpless. I couldn’t do anything to help her, she wouldn’t listen to any sense and just kept running around the room. I sat and waited, quietly in the dark. Mum was there too. I’m sure she was feeling equally helpless, but this poor 2 year old just has no control of her rage and emotion, where I just feel like I almost had no emotion at the time. I just wanted to walk out and leave.

I’ve received much advice, suggestions and opinions on how I raise my child. I don’t know what is good and what is not, I just know that I’m doing the best I can with the circumstances I’m dealt.

I know this is a jumbled up rant of dis-jointed stories and thoughts. It is my world at the moment, so I felt the need to vent, and I’m hoping that when I press publish on this mess my mind will take a breath and pause to remember that its not that bad, I am blessed, and my chemical imbalance will correct itself again soon.

Until then….. I sleep.

Half Marathon Mother

September 28th, 2013 | Posted by Sara in Fitness | Iron Mum Training - (1 Comments)
Coming under the bridge with about 5km to go

At the beginning of the year I put together a wish list of all the events I wanted to complete in 2013.

The list wasn’t just thrown together – it was specifically designed around having me in peak fitness for the Yeppoon 70.3 in August, anything after that date was dreaming.

I held off entering anything after the triathlon as I honestly wasn’t sure how I would pull up and when I saw that the early bird entries for the Blackmores Half Marathon closed on the same day as the half ironman I was certain that I would miss out on a place in the run, but I simply couldn’t commit to getting to Sydney.

I was then very lucky and was invited to run in the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival Half Marathon as a guest of Blackmores. This came as a HUGE surprise and also relief – it meant that I could accept the spot, and if by chance I did break down in the half ironman I wouldn’t risk losing my entry fee.

As it would happen my concerns about breaking down were (thankfully) untrue, and I was able to head down to Sydney last weekend feeling fabulous. I hadn’t done too much in the way of training between the 2 events. Between Worm being sick, transitioning to the big bed, and my general lack of mojo I hadn’t really spent any time focusing on the event at all – I think I was so excited about the night away from my family that it offset any nerves I had about having to run 21.2km at 6.15am Sunday.

 

My flights to Sydney were uneventful, I got to stop, read a book and enjoy the hospitality of the airline. After all the travelling with Worm I had completely forgotten how relaxing it can be to simply get onto a plane solo.

Saturday afternoon Mum & I caught the train to the city to check out the event expo, do a bit of shopping and continue the relaxation that I had started that morning.

Every I was going to need in the morning, set out ready to go

Every I was going to need in the morning, set out ready to go

The usual Saturday night pasta dinner went down brilliantly and then it was early to sleep for Mum & I.

 

When the alarm went off at 4.30am on Sunday I was up and rolling. Mum had come prepared with WeetBix and bananas for our breakfast, and as we wandered down to the start line I was as ready as I could be. I felt no pressure for this race, just to make it to the start felt amazing, and my only goal was to run with purpose. I really wanted to beat my time from last year (2hrs 26min), and internally I was aiming for a 2hr 15min half marathon time.

Pre race view

Pre race view

I was planning on taking a drink at each water stop, have a Dextro liquid gel at 5km, 11km & then have a gel if I needed it at the end. Even as I was planning this I was amazed at how far I have come in the past 12 months – last year I didn’t have any fuel on board, instead tried to grab a jelly bean to get me by!

From the start I felt strong. I gently pulled away from mum (actually this happened a lot faster than I thought, as usually I am the one trailing her). As I made it over the bridge I allowed myself to wallow in the moment, I looked over at the opera house & thought “I’ll see you later” and I spent time looking around myself.

Running in any event this big is fantastic for people watching. I was surrounded by all types big, small, stinky, stylish, unco, fluid, all different people from different backgrounds with different goals, we all had the same goal though – to get through the next 21.1km. There is something about running, I can’t quite put the words to it – but you are never alone, here I was in a field of thousands of strangers and I didn’t feel alone I felt safe & secure that I was among like minded people.

As I made my way around the course, the thought of stopping crossed my mind occasionally, but I was able to push it away fairly easily, focusing instead on my surroundings, and trying to maintain good form. I skipped the first drink station, I didn’t want to get caught up in that rush, and with the Sydney weather being about 10 degrees cooler than I was used to I was feeling great.

I settled into an easy stride, and was occasionally glancing at my splits, I knew I was running around 6 minute kms, but more importantly to me, I was running effortlessly. It wasn’t work, it was fun. I pushed up the hills, and tried to stretch out on the flats, picking up some time as I went. My dodgy foot screamed at me some times, my hip flexors talked at others, and on one partially strange occasion my left rib thought I needed to know about it as well, but still I ran.

Coming under the bridge with about 5km to go

Coming under the bridge with about 5km to go

I grabbed water at each of the drink stations, barely breaking stride it seamed, I found a good strategy of running past the early tables of water on the far right side of the traffic, and then ducking across for the last water table – this kept my pace up and I avoided the traffic jams around the tables. My hat has to go off to all the volunteers and organizers – considering the huge number of people coming around the course they worked fast and efficiently to keep water up to us, and to keep the roads clear of discarded water cups.

As I hit the 18km sign I felt amazing, I was able to slightly improve my pace, and I noticed I was passing more people. There was one man who I had being leapfrogging with through the whole race, he would speed up pass me, I would keep plodding and then he would stop and I would pass him. As we hit Circular Quay, I called out to him walking – ‘come on mate – we can do this’ he wasn’t keen to run then though, so I just kept going.

A quick look at my watch as I came past the 20km mark saw that I was running well, I was within a whisker of my goal time, but I knew I would have to put my foot down to scrape in under the 2.15 goal I had set. I started sprinting with no abandon -I was going to leave it all out on course, I was not going to have any regrets about this race.

Jumping for joy at the finish I felt AMAZING - Pity about the man in front blocking my photo.

Jumping for joy at the finish I felt AMAZING – Pity about the man in front blocking my photo.

It felt like I was blitzing past people – I had to jump dropped water bottles, and ducked in and out of other competitors as I ran around the boardwalk, as I crossed the line I jumped as high as I could. I was thrilled, I stopped my watch and it was 2.14.30. I had done it! I had run 21.1km with care, efficiency, followed my race plan and finished within the time I had allowed myself. I can’t describe how empowering this was to me.

Official time

Official time

I walked through and gratefully took the bottle of water, and power aid from the volunteer- again these people were AMAZING, the man who gave me my water smiled & said something along the line of “dude you just ran a half marathon!” The atmosphere at this event is electric, there are SO many people, supporters, competitors, volunteers – everyone was smiling and the finish line was so much fun. I quickly moved through the crowds to the grassed area so I could stretch out a bit. I didn’t know where my mum was – I didn’t want to call her, so I called The Farmer instead. Talking to him & Worm was so wonderful – I do miss them when I have a big event, but talking to them on the phone immediately after was just as good (without having to carry the 12kg Worm!)

Half Marathon Mothers!! I'm so blessed to be able to participate in events with my mum.

Half Marathon Mothers!! I’m so blessed to be able to participate in events with my mum.

I caught up with Mum after a short wait, she had run the end with one of her friends and did brilliantly, they have a great photo running together, and I think it is great to be able to share that experience. I am so blessed to be able to run with my mum. Its always a highlight of any visit to her, as I know that she will push me both in the pace, distance and mentally to keep up. These are all good things!

Before long it was time to head back to the hotel for a shower and then to board the plane to head back north & home. My body was aching, my hip flexors, and foot was very tender, and it felt like I had to physically lift my legs up each step to get onto the plane. I was SO happy. I knew that I had run the best race I could have and I had achieved my goal time as well. There were no regrets, and also no chance of running the next day!

Enjoying the hospitality of the Qantas club on the way home

Enjoying the hospitality of the Qantas club on the way home

My next major event will probably be Mooloolaba Triathlon, until then I will be sticking close to home, participating in local races and events to keep my fitness up. My plans for 2014 haven’t been considered yet – at this stage I am happy to just live in the moment and enjoy each step of the way.

Thank you to Blackmores for inviting me to run in the Sydney Running Festival. I probably wouldn’t have entered if it wasn’t for their support. I am now using the My Blackmores program and have already accessed their free naturopath service to ensure I’m getting the right nutrients for my body.

If you’re looking for a little more motivation to help achieve your goals- check out the #littlelesslittlemore hashtag on twitter and make your commitment here today.

 

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And then it was over…..

September 20th, 2013 | Posted by Sara in Being a mum | Little Human | Milestones - (1 Comments)
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And then it was over…..

I’ve written about my breastfeeding relationship with Worm quite a few times. I’ve endured the questions, comments, the support and often accusations that comes with the territory.

Whenever anyone asked me how long would I be feeding for I replied, “Well I’d like to make it to 6 months, then it will be up to Worm” as the time passed my time lines extended….. 12 months, 18 months and then 2 years.

The 2 year milestone was particularly important to me, as the WHO recommends “infants should receive complementary foods with continued breastfeeding up to 2 years of age or beyond” So to think I was giving my child the absolute best start possible was increasingly important to me.

“Breast milk is the natural first food for babies, it provides all the energy and nutrients that the infant needs for the first months of life, and it continues to provide up to half or more of a child’s nutritional needs during the second half of the first year, and up to one-third during the second year of life” source WHO

Breastfeeding a toddler is never easy. There are the boob-robics that happen when the toddler wants to drink and play at the same time.

..

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The middle of the very public area child pulling your shirt down demanding boobs (granted this photo was only taken 6 weeks ago when we were waiting to see the doctor)

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and of course then there’s the whole wanting boobie to help relax the baby for sleep caper.

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In recent weeks, I’ve felt the pressure to wean more and more…. But the tipping point came when Worm simply refused to sleep. Countless nights of being awake, sharing her bed, or sitting in the hallway trying to hold the door to her room shut has taken its toll.

All of a sudden the lovely evening snuggle became a chore for me – I came to look upon the whole evening routine with dread, thinking to myself ‘why should I persist with this, delaying the inevitable screaming’ I felt like I was simply delaying the torture. To make it worse a few months previously Worm had stopped letting me read a book to her before bed, so that vital part of her development had been cut out of the routine.

Last Friday I was invited to a girls night out with a lovely girlfriend, the catch was that I wouldn’t be home to put Worm to bed and The Farmer was going to do it for me. The few times that I have been away for bedtime we have always re-commenced feeding the very next night, or snuck in a late night feed to make up for skipping the bed time one.

For some reason I felt confident that this was a good time to stop. I went out, I came home to a quietly sleeping house. The Farmer had survived & worm was asleep. Come Saturday I just didn’t offer, Sunday she clawed at my chest asking whilst we were having some early morning cuddles but accepted me saying no quickly.

It’s now Wednesday. My worm is snuggled in behind me in my bed (LONG story involving rowdy neighbours, runaway dogs, febrile toddler & 11.30pm drives in the car -all whilst The Farmer is away again of course!)

When I asked her if she wanted to sleep in mums bed it was an instant yes (I’ll pay for that tomorrow night, but at 12am I wasn’t going to restart that battle) once in bed I was given a kiss & that is all. She hasn’t clawed, she hasn’t asked & she hasn’t jumped all over me.

I’m equal parts saddened & relieved by this. I really loved the bond that feeding gave us, I loved having a super power, and I loved that I gave her the best nutritional start I could.

I’m relieved that my body is once again mine. I can have a guilt free glass of wine. I can (if given the opportunity) go away for a few nights. I’m relieved that she is as happy and as accepting of the new relationship as I am.

But it means that its over….. And Worm is growing up, and that she won’t be my little girl forever……

That bit makes me very very sad.

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