Baby (running) steps

“How was your run?” 

It’s the same question KK asks me every time I return from my run. I’m so busy sync’ing my Garmin to my Strava that I often reply with, “Great!”. But this time, it was different. My run was fantastic and I could not get the smile off my face. Looking at my watch, I was asking, “What? A PB?” I had just run my fastest time on a regular 4km route from home. I was thrilled!


Strava details comparing my runs on the same route

It’s my last month taking blood thinners since my pulmonary embolism scare in December. Six months of rehabilitation and slowly getting back into running. It’s not the only excuse reason I have scaled back on my running. With KK’s femur stress fracture, we’ve both been living life in the slow lane this year.

But I haven’t been sitting idle…

  • I’ve been training regularly with a personal trainer (and friend) Super Stacey. The focus of my training programme has been on strength exercises, and especially targeting areas such as glutes and hamstrings.
  • I’ve also returned to following a more balanced eating plan *whispers: LCHF/banting*. More veggies, less meat. Cutting out dairy for the first time in my life. What an eye opener! Lots and lots of water. It’s made a huge difference to how I feel. (and yes, I keep promising to update you in a follow up blog on my diet.)
  • Shorter runs. I love heading out for a 4km run before the sun sets in the evening. My route is out, up, down and back in. Mentally, it’s easier to handle after a tough day at work. I keep the longer run for weekends. And when I say longer, I mean no more than 7kms.

Screen Shot 2018-05-14 at 9.47.16 PMI’m unable to say what has made the difference to my progress specifically, but I’m guessing it’s all of the above. It’s a factor of quality over quantity in my running distances, proper eating, focused strength training all wrapped up in one, and time… in my case, 6 months.

You can’t just run. You need to strengthen and fuel your entire body. And sometimes, you need to stop thinking about half marathons and be pleasantly surprised by the joy and relaxation of a simple 4km run.

In other news, KK is ready to start running again. Baby steps….

The year of the healthy eater

This year has definitely been the year of the diet healthy eating plan. Not a week has gone by without some article popping up on the web or tweets about no carbs, low carbs, Paleo, Atkins, Dukan… you name it. I’ve watched the outcry from dieticians against Professor Tim Noakes’ revolutionary eating plan. I’ve become aware of the Sleek Geek movement and the numerous updates.  Even buddies of ours swapped the regular burgers and beers for green leaves and black coffee. It’s truly been a year where everyone has joined one or other healthy eating plan in the hope of losing weight.

atkins-bookbSo when KK completed the RAC Tough One 32km running race recently, we were discussing the race and it got me thinking. You see, as a runner, KK will never walk during a race. In his mind, it’s a running race and the only time he walks is through the water stops. Yet walking during a race is very much part of my races. My walk/run strategy is what gets me to the finish line. Both of us are runners but with very different running styles. We do what works for us. dukan_diet_copy_18atkv9-18atkvc

And I guess that’s the point with diets too. Noakes’ eating plan is not for everyone, but it has worked for him. Sleek Geek has motivated loads of people, but the whole group thing might turn some people off. And yes, those on the cabbage/South California/Atkins diet might feel great for a week when they are able to lose 6kgs, and that’s okay.

Let them enjoy the high while it lasts. We’re all different and sometimes, something that works for me might not necessarily work for someone else. The key is to not judge or criticize but try to support as much as I can. Because let’s face it, there’s nothing as wonderful as crossing that finish line or losing those kilo’s! Is there?

It’ll happen. Just calm down…

I do not have any patience. Fact!

After starting my eating plan (diet is a dirty word!) at the end of July, I expected to see the weight dropping off, especially since I had stuck to the rules, denied myself chips and chuckles and ensured I kept my daily salads exciting and fresh. 

At my last appointment with Melanie, my dietitian, I complained bitterly. It’s really disheartening to see others around me losing 1kg a week and making it look so easy. I’m not even able to lose 1kg a month! 

I am busting myself at gym with my personal trainer, I’ve added in a spinning class. I have also tried to keep up the running training. But it’s starting to get to me. 

She listened and then methodically went through my daily eating schedule and made one or two adjustments. Then she sat back and smiled and said, “Bron, a watched scale doesn’t drop. Stop stressing…”.

I think if anything, sticking to a strict eating plan is teaching me more about patience than anything else. I’m okay with the discipline. I’m good with my portion sizes. In fact, I even enjoy the gym and watching how hard I can push myself. 

But once again, it’s never about the physical, it’s always what’s going on in my head and keeping that in check. It’s about calming down and keeping at it. It’s constantly reminding myself that I will lose weight and that I am doing everything right. 

I know this! If anything, my running training has always taught me this. It doesn’t just happen overnight. It’s the hard work that pays off. Eventually. 

Patience Bron.