Runner & Fitness Blogger = One Tough Mother

Archive for December, 2012

2012 A Year in Review

2012 has been one very interesting year.

It has been a year of self discovery, of hard work, sweat and tears.

One thing is for sure.

I have definitely gone outside my comfort zone.

There have been things that I have done that I never thought would be possible. Setting goals has helped, but regularly re:evaluating those goals has also greatly helped.

At the start of the year some of my goals looked like this:

  1. Get to 65kg
  2. Run 5km race in 27 minutes
  3. Swim a 1km ocean swim in 25 minutes
  4. Read 24 books in 2012 with my eyes
  5. Have weekly family fun time

So how did I go?

Well I totally SMASHED them.

So let me break them down for you.

1. Get to 65kg

When I started goal setting back in October 2011.

I put down a goal of getting to 65kg.  Why 65kg?  Well It seemed like a nice solid round number that happened to be in the healthy BMI.  

I did however thought that goal would be a lot of hard work, and to be honest I wasn’t sure I would get there.  I thought that if I could just get to 68kg then I would be happy.

You see I was 78kg at the time and 10kg seemed like a lot to lose.  But as the weight slowly came off, I believed in myself more, and realised that 65kg was totally possible.  

On the 24th July 2012 I weighed in at 64kg.  I not only reached 65kg, I went one further and got to 64kg.

Not only that.  I ended up changing that goal to 62kg in May.  And I achieved that goal of reaching 62kg on 20th November 2012.

2. Run 5km race in 27 minutes

When I put down this goal, it was initally run 5km.  However a goal is not a goal if it is not SPECIFIC.   When you really are specific about goals, you really push yourself, and you will be amazed at what you can achieve.

The race that I had in mind to achieve this goal was Run For The Kids .

I knew I could run 5km in 30 minutes.  Wiping off 3 minutes is a lot when it comes down to running (I did not know this at the time, I do now).

Run For the Kids wasn’t 5km.  It was 5.2km.  I ran that race in 28mins14secs.  Not bad considering I had only started up running in October 2011 (and not even regularly running at that).

After running that race, I pushed myself even further.  I put myself down for an 11km race, and then I went on to run a half marathon!

I should also note that on the 24th August 2012 I ran my fastest 5km, at 23m42s. You can read about that here.

3. Swim a 1km ocean swim in 25 minutes

I put this on my list of goals, because at the time I was thinking that I could do a triathlon sometime in the future.  I mean I could swim, I could run, I could ride a bike.  Even doing a mini triathlon could totally be possible.  So I broke down that goal.  I knew that if doing a triathlon would be something I wanted to do then I needed to get into open swimming.

So I started training in the swimming pool to build up my swimming endurance.  I based this goal on swimming laps in a pool.  Let me tell you now, swimming in a pool is COMPLETELY different to swimming in the ocean. You have a lot more variables swimming in the ocean than you do in a pool.

So this particular goal I still achieved, because when you take into consideration I based my time in a pool, and not in open water, and also taking into consideration I swam breaststroke 80% of the time, and also currents to deal with, and a mass of people and so on, I’m crossing it off the list.

I swam the 1km race in 28mins. If you wanna read about it, you can see it here .

4. Read 24 books in 2012 with my eyes

Now you might think this is a weird goal.  Read 24 books with my eyes?  I mean wha?

Why eyes?  Why eyes specifically, well you see I also listen to audio books while I do housework, but it doesn’t seem fair to add them to the list.  So that’s why I was specific about this goal.

I ended up reading read 26 books in 2012 (I’m currently on my 27th book for the year).  You can see my list of books on Good Reads.

5. Have weekly family fun time

Family time has always been important to me.  I have so many fantastic memories growing up, and all those memories are ones that I created with my family. I want my kids to have those types of memories too. So I have been making more family fun events and it has been great bonding with my kids.

We have gone bush walking in the Grampians.  There are so many different tracks, and being in nature is fantastic.  The kids love seeing the wild animals, and love to explore.

I’ve also taken them to different playgrounds.  I tend to do this more so when we go to visit my parents in Melbourne. to different playgrounds, to the zoo, the movies, and play board games.  Some take up a lot of time, some a little, some a lot of money, some free.  Either way we have all had fun.

So what are my goals now?

Well here are a list of some of my current goals

  1. Read/listen 30 books
  2. Run 3 half marathons
  3. Be a pace runner for a half marathon
  4. run 7 fun runs
  5. have a veggie patch
  6. Do 5 chin ups in a row
  7. Have a chicken coop

I look forward to crossing them off and replacing them with new ones.

I’m already booked into 3 fun runs too.  One of those being a half marathon.  I’m super excited!

I also look forward to discovery more about myself, and enjoying quality time with my family.


Sane/Paleo Lasagne

We all love Lasagne.  Well I know I do.  The only problem with lasagne is that it’s quite fattening.  It has a lot of carbs, and well not really great for the waist line.

So what if you could have it and know that what you are cooking is really great for you.

Well I came across this SANE / Paleo recipe from Carrie Brown over at Marmalade and Mileposts.  I found out about Carrie Brown from a podcast that I listen too called The Smarter Science of Slim.  Carrie is also a Chef.  So she turns everyday recipes into Saner / healthier alternatives. One of those recipes happens to have been good old Lasagne. You can find the recipe here.


I slightly modified the recipe to feed 4.  I also added puree carrot and I slow cooked the mince in the slow cooker for about 6 hours (totally worth it in my opinion). I didn’t use xanthan gum cause I couldn’t find it and being Christmas Eve, I doubt I would find it in my small country town grocery store.

Either way, wow.  Seriously so totally worth it.  I can’t wait to make this again! A really simple and fantastic recipe.

Ipad Alternative

Something totally not fitness related, but I thought I would add. 

I love Apple products.

I fell in love with Apple when I got an iTouch a few years ago.  When that got sad, I replaced it with an iPod nano (which I still have and still use), and then a refurbished iPhone 3 (which is great, but it’s a bit of a dinosaur now, and is very slow, can’t wait to upgrade).

Well I would totally love an iPad, but can’t afford it right now.  Also the kids would fight over it because they would want to use it all the time, and well I can’t afford one let alone two.

When we are on long trips, I do let my kids play with my phone (yes there are kid friendly apps on there, I’m a mum, I need to keep my sanity).

Well a few weeks ago Australia had a “Click Frenzy” Sale.  (Think America’s Black Friday Sales, but all online.)  They ended up calling it Click Fail because a lot of people couldn’t get to the relevant websites to get their deals.

Me however.  I got my deal 🙂

I found this

A 7″ Android powered tablet.  I got it for $99.  So natural I got 2.  😀

Now some of you may think, that’s a bit of an indulgent.  But let me tell you this.  A few weeks ago our dvd player for the car died. One TV screen was working and the other wasn’t.  To get a new one it was going to cost $80 just for 1.  $150 for dual ones.  I figured, why not get this instead.  I can put games, education apps, put movies on it, as well as music and books.  So I was sold, and it has been one of the best investments.  We do a lot of travelling up and down the highway, and if we want to do ‘decent’ shopping it’s a 45min drive one way or 1h20 the other way.  So this keeps the kids entertained.  It was well worth it.

So if you can’t afford and iPad, go the Dxtreme.  I’m really happy with mine, and you know what, the kids don’t know the difference.


A few days ago I came across this article.


However I already knew that I was in the overtraining stage.  This article re:enforced that fact.

Don’t get me wrong I am enjoying The Asylum however I have been doing some crazy workouts for a really long time and well it was just going to be a matter of time before my body was going to say “seriously stop it I need a rest”.

Yes I have had days where I have been so tired I felt like I slept through a workout, or just gave up halfway through it.

I have also have had days, where I have not given it my 100% or just did it low impact or ‘cheated’.  Really I was only cheating myself.

I have been tired.  Sometimes I have had to take a quick power nap.

Yes I have been allowing recovery weeks, but at the same time I know I have needed to give my body the rest it needs and deserves.

For a while I was l like “but I have tough mudder in a month (19th Jan 2013), and I want to be at my best peak form”.  Well you know what I’ve come to realise now, that I need to do what is best for me.  Yes I still plan on doing tough mudder, but I might not be at my peak fitness.  But holistically I will be fantastic.

Starting back up yoga has really helped.  I really like the holistic side of it.  The breathing I have found it to centre my mind.  I hope that makes sense.  Ok sometimes I get the breathing wrong, breathing in instead of out, or out instead of in, but at least I’m doing it.

I’ve started up Namaste Yoga which makes for a great cool down after a run, or one of my Asylum workouts.  Yes Shaun T recommends you do Relief after each workout, and I like it, but I much prefer the ‘flow’ of namaste yoga, and it goes for the same amount of time.

Today I also purchased “Michelle Merrifield’s Yoga”. I have no idea if it’s going to be any good. But for $8 at BigW you can’t go wrong.  If I don’t like it, well I’ve only lost $8.  Oh and I’ve just discovered she is an Aussie.  Nice.  Yay for supporting the local community. Ok ok ok, so she is not exactly ‘local’ to me.  I mean I’m in country vic, she is in the Gold Cost, that’s like 2000km away…. and now I’m rambling 😛 opps sorry bout that.
Anyway I got the intermediate.  So it could be hard, I have no idea, but it will be different from the current yoga dvd I have now.  Which I think I will get rid of cause it’s just not doing it for me anymore.

So the whole point of this post is to listen to your body.  If it’s telling you you are doing too much, then you are doing too much.  Stop, take a few days off, rest, and recovery.  You need it and you deserve it.

Well I know I do.

Ok so I went and watched the dvd so I knew what I was in for.  I like the scene, can’t really get past the aussie accent (is that weird?, I know it shouldn’t be but it just is ok), and well some of the poses are a bit advanced for me.  I will still give it a go, but I will go back and get the beginner one as well.


Stretching, Yoga or Pilates.

I have to say I love a good stretch.  Why does stretching feel so good? Because it is.  It is so good for me (and for you too).

I’m not too sure what attracted me to yoga.  I guess I like the holistic side of it.  It feels good for my body, but it calms my mind.

Stretching is also fantastic for runners.  I have benefited from a good yoga/stretch routine after a long run.  It has helped with my total body fitness, to be pain free, with agility and with balance, and so many other different aspects of my fitness, but also my life.

Take example today.  Today I was suppose to do a 6km easy pace run.  However my body feels pooped.  I’m been doing some crazy workouts for quite a while now, and I can feel that my body is just not up to it’s peak performance.  Today I did not do my run (the other reason is that it’s going to be hot of 35c), I instead did a yoga routine.  The yoga routine I wanted to do I couldn’t find 😦 but I did still do my yoga (it was relatively easy, which I was disappointed in but still felt great all the same), and now I feel a lot more relaxed.  My body feels relaxed, and not tired or sore.

I needed a rest.  And tomorrow I go back into my crazy workout routine again.  Insert *sigh* here.  Why a sigh? Well I just feel like I’m really pushing myself, so I’m going to reassess my workouts, in the lead up to my tough mudder.  I have also planned on my recovery program.  I’m not sure if I will do the whole 90 days program, but I am planning on starting Tai Cheng.

So even if you thing that yoga, pilates, stretching, tai chi or any other form of ‘relaxation’ exercise is not for you.  Give it a go, and do it regularly you will be surprised at how and where you will benefit from it.

Now vs Then

We live in a world of instant gratification.

We see something, and we want it, and we want it now.

People just don’t want to put in the hard yards.  They want the easy option, the easy way out.  But if it were easy then everyone would be doing it.  And would you want to be different?
For many of us we want to be different, we don’t want to be like everyone else.  I know cause I use to be one of them.  But not any more.

The difference between now and then? For me it was setting goals.  You’d be amazed at what you can achieve when you put your goals down on paper.

My list of goals varied.  Some were health related, some were personal, and some were work related.

I still write my goals.  I write them every week.  Some stay the same, some get modified, some get completely removed (either 1, because I achieved it or 2, it’s not something I want to do anymore), and those ones get replaced with new ones.

When I first decided to start running, I started with run walk intervals.  This was one of my first runs. I was using my nike+ on my ipod, so I’m not too sure if the distance is accurate (It was mostly way off – short), as I didn’t have a my garmin at that time.  However 3.3km in 23mins, is not bad considering I thought I was going to die.  Running was not my thing. Obviously it is now.
The difference between now and then?  Well I didn’t give up.  I kept at it.  It took a while for me to enjoy running.  I’m glad I kept at it, as I enjoy it a lot more now.

The other difference is that it took me ages in my head to look and feel skinny.  I know this sounds crazy? But when buying clothes I would still go to size 14 (this is last year).  It took me a while to get my head around that I wasn’t a size 14 anymore but a size 12.
Then the same thing happen this year when going from a size 12 to a 10.  Or a M to a S or even a XS.

You see my entire adult life (well since I was a teen), I was a size 14.  I was use to being this size, but once the weight came off (from being a size 16), It was goodbye 14 altogether.

I’ve also only now see myself as skinny and feel it too.  It’s taken me 18 months of exercise and changing my eating habits, and changing mentally to really see myself in a new light.

And yes of course I feel better for it.  I love the new me. I’m in a place I thought I’d honestly never get to.

If you want to change, then change, but it’s up to you, and no one else.

Insanity Asylum – My thoughts

So I’m now into my 4th week of my Asylum/Running Hybrid.  I still have another 6 weeks to go. But I thought I would give you all and update on what it’s all going.

Asylum is nothing like Insanity.  You can see elements of Insanity, but Asylum is definitely your sports performance workout. Well what would you expect when it is marketed as a ‘sports performance’ workout.

Now I would call it High Intensity Athletic Drills or High Intensity Athletic Training.  HIAD or HIAT.

No joke, Asylum is hard work, and the training intervals in there are tough.

However that being said, I can already see an improvement in my performance in just this short amount of time.

Speed and Agility have really helped me to focus on accuracy.  Sure I might not be going fast, but I’m staying inside my ability level and getting it right.  I rather it be right and slow, than fast and messy and having the wrong type of technique.

Vertical Plyo has really helped me with building up speed.  As Shaun says himself “You have to go down to go up” and he was right about that. I have also surprised myself at how far I can actually jump.

Back to Core is a totally new and different aspect of a core workout.  The first time I did this I was sore in places I didn’t think I could be sore. And if you are swimmer, you will totally benefit from this workout.

Strength, well I have a love hate relationship with this workout.  I love it because it’s tough, but that’s also why I hate it.

I will give you another update once I finish it.