Runner & Fitness Blogger = One Tough Mother

Archive for the ‘Goals’ Category

Feb Running Stats

We are halfway through March already! Far out this year is just flying by!

But um where are my running stats for Feb do I hear you ask?  Ok, ok, ok, I thought I had posted them, or at least scheduled to post them, but for what ever reason, that did not happen. So sorry about that.

So how did running go in February? Pretty good actually.  I ran 3 days a week as per my schedule and everything is on track. Yay!

Onion Runs Feb 2013Total distance 88.92km done and dusted for February.

The breakdown is as follows:
January – 83.7km
February – 88.9km
Total – 172.6km
To Go – 827.40km

I did have some pretty interesting runs.  I got to run all over Steve Monaghetti.  I made him by biatch. Ok so I didn’t exactly run all over him like you think I did. It was a track named after him in Ballarat, but still 🙂 I did have a good time on that track.

I also had a very long run where I thought I was dying, it was so hot and humid, you can read about it here.

Overall I’m really happy with how things have been tracking. I’m going to still be running 3 days a week, and strength train 3 other days, but I’m going to concentrate more on speedwork.

I have a love hate relationship with speedwork.  I don’t like it.  I do like hill training however (go figure).  So I’m going to incorporate v02 max workouts on the track at least once every 2 weeks.  Well that’s the plan at least.

To Read or Not To Read

I enjoy reading now more than I did years ago.

My family (my dad and sister) are big readers.  They read all the time.  It’s rare for them not to be reading something.

One of my books this year is to read 30 books.  With my ears and eyes.

I’m doing really well so far.  I’ve read 7 books so far. 6 with my eyes, and 1 audio book.

But I also have another mission.  I want to read more non fiction books.  So I’ve decided for each 2 fiction book I read I need to read at least 1 non fiction book.

It’s also really handy to have my ereader back working normally (it’s brand new and was being a spaz), this makes reading a lot easier, and it fits perfectly into my handbag.

The other advantage of reading is that encourages the kids to read too.  I caught my son asleep with a book on his chest, too cute to say the least.

Tackle new Recipes

Challenge Accepted!

When you are are parent, you know what your kids like, and what you’re kids don’t like.  So you tend to make the same meals over and over again.  It can get a bit boring.

This year I have un-intentionally made a goal of trying new recipes.

It came about because well, I want to go more SANE ie Paleo way.  I see the benefits already by not eating so much rice and pasta and bread.  My son has also un-intentionally gone gluten free.  He doesn’t really care for bread, he’d rather have rice or corn thins.  He does eat bread every now and then.

So I’ve baked some things that I know that the kids will like but done a twist. For example, my kids like eggs, so I tried a cheese soufflé.  Big hit with my daughter. My son ate it but didn’t fall in love with it.

I’ve created a Pinterest Board where you can see the recipes that I’ve tried and tested here.

Other recipes that I haven’t found online, but in recipe books I will write up and post on my blog, just look up Tags of food or recipes.

The goal is to obviously have new recipes to add to the list of kid approved.  I’ve already written up my menu plan for the next 2 weeks.  I’m excited!

83 down

Kilometres that is.

For the month of January I ran 83km towards my goal of running 1000 km in 2013.


nikeplus 01-2013

So how am I coming along?  Well right on track actually.

As you can see from the nike+ screen dump, I had 13 runs with an average distance of 6.4km (6.4 x 13 = 83.1 km).

Considering it was also the holiday period and what not, I’m happy with the result.  I didn’t get to run as often as I would like or as far as I wanted, but that doesn’t matter, I still went out and did it.

Now February is a shorter month, but that doesn’t phase me, I’m still going to do my best to totally smash my goal.

A Year of Fine Tuning

So last year (2012) was a year of just getting fit, and pushing myself.

This year I plan on just maintaining my fitness.  Yes I still have fitness goals, but my fitness goals are different to what they were.

For example in June I set these goals:

  1. Get to 62kg
  2. Run a sub 55min 10km
  3. Run a sub 25 5km
  4. Finish a half marathon
  5. Run a half marathon

But now those goals are:

  1. read/listen to 30 books
  2. run 7 fun runs
  3. run 3 half marathons
  4. be a pace runner for a run
  5. run a fun run in another state

I should mention that these are in no particular order.

The other thing that I’m fine tuning is what I’m eating.

Notice I didn’t say diet.

That’s right, I’m not on a diet.  I’m just eating way better. I’m eating way more veggies and whole foods.  I’ve cut down my carbohydrate intake and increased my protein intake.

My protein intake use to be anywhere from 10-20% of my total food intake.  Which is really low.  I was eating anywhere from 40-80 grams of protein a day.  Which in the grand scheme of things is not a lot.  My carbohydrate intake was insane! It was anywhere from 180 grams to 300 grams a day!

Protein is important as it helps to build and sustain muscle.  I also found out recently that our body will naturally convert protein to carbohydrates if it’s needed (how cool is that).

So my percentages for my carb/protein/fat intake was as follows:  55% Carbohydrate / 15% Protein / 30% Fat.

I’ve now changed it to the following: 40% Carbohydrate / 30% Protein / 30% Fat.

It’s taken me a month to get use to the changes, but let me tell you, eating more protein has done many things.

  1. It’s filling me up faster.
  2. I’m not feeling as tired
  3. I’m not craving sugar as much

And those are the things I have noticed.  I still have to fine tune it, but I’ll get the hang of it.

The other thing I’m doing is I’m trying out a lot more new recipes.  Especially paleo recipes.

Why Paleo? Because that’s what our ancestors ate.  And no I’m not talking cave people (although they would have been paleo eaters), I’m talking our ancestors of just 100-200 years ago.  In the sense of if they didn’t grow it, kill it, or make it themselves they wouldn’t eat it.

I don’t know if I will ever go full paleo because I know carbohydrates have a place in a runners diet. And well I’m a runner (and I do like my carbs), but I will try to make better choices.

I’m a Tough Mother

Be Warned Long Post Ahead

In June 2012 as a birthday present for myself I entered myself into Tough Mudder, at Phillip Island Vic for Jan 2013.

I had first found out about Tough Mudder about 8 months prior to around October 2011.  I didn’t enter in their 1st event in 2012, because I knew that I was not fit nor strong, but I put it down on my wish list, and my goal list of things I wanted to do and to achieve.

Fast forward to 19th Jan 2013.  A year of strength training, run training, interval training and HIIT Training.  I was ready.  I was ready to cross off Tough Mudder off my goal list.

After waking up at 6am and getting the family organised, we left at 7.30am for the drive over to Phillip Island.

The TM information pack advised to be at the circuit 2 hours before my start time.

My allocated start time was midday.  I got there around 10am.

After going to the toilet, as I was busting for a wee, I checked in.  On the way in I met a fellow individual entry Tough Mudder “Isaac”.  His scheduled time was 12.45pm.  I thought I wouldn’t see him again, so I sent him a good luck, and went on my merry way.

After getting my registration pack, I put on my race bib, got my number on my forehead, and went to the bag drop off and dropped off my bag, making sure that I had a snack before I dropped off my bag.

I did however forget my hat, which I’m glad I forgot cause it would have been hopeless, and I would have taken it off and thrown it away.  I also forgot to put on sunscreen.  And yes I got a big burnt on my face.
The other thing I forgot (but I realised this the day before, when I was repacking my pack), was my hydration pack, but I’m glad I forgot that too, because that too would have been useless.  It would have just dragged me down, and the “straw” part would have gotten clogged up with dirt and mud.

Once my bag was checked in and my snacks were eaten, I wandered around the area to check out the sponsors and so on.  I also wanted to see where the start line was.
Could I find that start line?  No.  Signage for the start line was  bit poor, but only to discover that I was standing right in front of it.
The start banner was not in the air, like the finish line.  It was along the side of the fence.  Which I thought was kinda of stupid, because spectators and other fellow mudders were standing in front of it obscuring the sign, which was pretty big, but there were a lot of people.

So I got to witness the 10.30am start wave.  I thought to myself  “No one is monitoring you’re start wave”  I mean how would they.  So I decided why wait around?

  1. I would get bored.
  2. Starting now, would mean I would finish earlier.  Which would mean I would get home earlier.
  3. It also would mean that my boyfriend and my kids wouldn’t get bored or whine or complain that I was taking “too long”.

I climbed over the 7 foot Berlin Wall to get into the starting gate.  I did it on my own with no one else’s assistance.

I was surrounded by teams of Mudders, and although I entered as an individual I knew that I would not be alone.  That is one of the things that drew me to entering Tough Mudder, the comradeship.
Also if you think about it, Tough Mudder is a sponser for Legacy.  Now if you don’t know much about Legacy Legacy is a charity providing services to Australian families suffering financially and socially after the incapacitation or death of a spouse or parent, during or after their defence force service.
Legacy help those who have helped us, and well that’s what Tough Mudder is all about too.  Well my interpretation of it. 

So I was in the start line holding bay waiting to start.  We all listened to the MC talk about what to expect.  Some of us would finish, some of us would not.  I did not want to be one of those DNF.  He also told us that some obstacles we may not be able to do.  For example if you couldn’t swim, then you wouldn’t do ‘Cliff Hanger’.  If you suffered from a heart condition, epilepsy, or had a pace maker or any type of metal in your body, then you wouldn’t do ‘Electric Eel’ or “Electric Shock Therapy”.  He also told us to make sure our shoes were double knotted.  I always double knot my shoes anyway.

The Rocky theme songs starts to play, and then the count down begins.  In 5,4,3,2,1 the horn sounds and we were off.

I was pumped, I was at the start of the pack.  As I am a runner I was going slow, but I was still the 1st female in the front group.  I saw a guy up ahead of me, I figured, I will just keep with his pace.  As i got up to him, low and behold it was “Isaac”.  So we were not alone.  We decided to help each other out and do it together.

The first obstacle was coming up, and when I saw what it was, I was like “oh my” (yes oh my, I’m going to keep it clean people). The 1st obstacle was Arctic Enema. Having done my research on the obstacles I knew this one was going to be a tough one.  In fact, there were 4 obstacles I was unsure about.  They were:

  1. Arctic Enema
  2. Electric Eel
  3. Everest
  4. Electro-Shock therapy

Now Arctic Enema meant jumping into a pool.  A pool (well a shipping container) full of ice.  Not only that.  There was a divider in the middle.  Which you couldn’t climb over, you had to go under.  When I got to the pool I just went for it, there was no point delaying, as I could tell that my muscles were freezing up.  I went under and was glad to be on the other side climbing out and continuing on.

I’m glad that this was the 1st obstacle.  Because it was a tough one, it also meant that the running would warm me up.  Having it at the start meant that I would not be fatigued later to do it.

The next obstacle was a good 1km away.  It was an 8 foot ‘Berlin Wall’.  With the help of Isaac I was able to climb over the walls.  I say walls, cause when you got over one, you had to do it again.

We then ran, err I mean walked through thick sluggy mud for about 400m, to get to the ‘Kiss of Mud’.  This meant commando crawling through muddy water to avoid the barbed wire above you.  The barbed wire however got lower and lower, so it meant you had to get muddier and muddier.  Was I enjoying it?  HELL YEAH!

If I wasn’t already wet and muddy I was about to with the ‘Underwater Tunnels’.  Crossing the pond and going underneath bobbing barrels, ensured that I was going to be drenched.  The level of water was also varied, from shall to deep.  As the water was not clear you were not going to be aware of any drop off except for what the person infront of you was doing.

After passing through the underwater tunnels, we came up to the ‘Mud Mile’.  Walking through calf deep thick, dark, sludgy mud, was slow, hard work but loads of fun.  Unexpected depths ensured slip overs and, nothing else to do but laugh it off.
This however was only the beginning of the mud mile.  Up ahead you could see the congestion of people, and you could clearly see why? Mud Mile was about to take on a whole new level.  It had changed, from walking through mud to now crossing muddy mounds.  There were about 20 all up.  This obstacle required team work.  You simply just could not do this alone.  You needed help getting up and over.  Those mounds were covered in wet slimy uneven/bumpy mud.  And then the trenches were knee deep muddy waters.  This particular obstacle properly took the longest to complete. How long I could not tell you. Yes I was wearing a watch but because every part of me was covered in mud I couldn’t wipe it clean.

The next few obstacles were as follows (I’m not too sure of the exact order however):
‘Dirty Ballerina’ .  This was suppose to be leaping over muddy mounds, but we were told not to, as it was too dangerous so it meant going into the trenches and then lifting yourself out.
‘Log Bog Jog‘.  Going under then over log’s placed at varying heights.
‘Boa Constrictor’. Crawling through plastic piping.
‘Ladder to Hell’.  Climbing up a vertical ladder, which was approximately 5m high.

By the time we got to the halfway mark an 1 hour 30 past.  It didn’t seem that long that we were on the course, but apparently we had.

The obstacle in the middle was Bale Bonds, and that just meant climbing over, round hay bales stacked like a pyramid.

After this it was Hold Your Wood.  Now I found this particular obstacle a bit of a challenge.  You had an option, carry an approx 30 kg big of wood on your own, or carry a 100-120 kg log as a team.  I chose to carry the wood on my own.  It not only meant holding the wood, it also meant carrying it 400m.  Which didn’t seem that far, but when you are handicapped with something that is awkward to carry it gets tough.  I started carrying it on my shoulder. Then a third of the way through the other shoulder, but that was awkward, so then I carried it in front of me. I was struggling by the end. And needless to say I was glad to put that bit of wood down.

When the water and food station came up I was glad to see it.  That banana didn’t even have a chance, it was gone in less than 2 seconds.  And the water, oh water. So nice. But it still had a fair way to go.

There were now a few hills.  Now I don’t mind hills.  I just kept going, while others were stopping to walk, I knew it was just a hill and that I will get over it.

At least no I know I’m not claustrophobic.  Trench Warfare ensured that. Crawling through earthen pitch black tunnels, with only your hands guiding the way, and the light at the end of the tunnel. I was also surprised to find out they were not straight.  This is a good thing.

More hills awaited us, but we got to run along the coast line, which was beautiful.  Didn’t see any Fairy Penguins, even though it is their territory.

The next obstacle caused me to get an injury.  When I was younger I hurt my coccyx.  I don’t know how, I just did (most likely via falling down backwards).  Well Greased Lightning  ensured that that tail-bone injury was going to get a whole lot worse.  Now Greased Lightning is a giant slippery slide.  Sounds like fun.  And well it should have been, except that it was not flat.  It was bumpy, and it was one of those bumps that I landed on (possibly a rock, I have no idea).  I decided to go on my bum (while other went on their stomach).  I assumed it was going to be flat, it wasn’t.  And well I was hit on just the wrong angle and I went in utter pain.  It hurt.  But there was nothing I could do about it.  I just kept on going.

At least I knew I was a strong swimmer.  And even though the life guard in the water offered me his kick board after jumping into the water for Cliff Hanger, I was determined I wouldn’t need his help, I shooked my head and swam to the edge of the pond and climbed out.

By this stage I was getting tired.  So I was going slower, but I gave it all I had.

The only obstacle I skipped was Spider Webs. And that simple to the fact they were doing repair works on one of the nets, and their was a 30min wait.  I really didn’t want to wait around 30mins for 1 obstacle. So both Isaac and I agree to skip it. He was also getting tired too. You see he wasn’t a long distance runner.  Because I have distance in my legs, he found he wanted to keep up to me.  He even said “the competitiveness in me wants to keep up”.

We were now back on the grand prix track.  That meant we were nearly at the finish line. I could feel my stomach starting to grumble.  God I could have just devoured a burger with the lot, with chips and gravy.  I mean it wouldn’t matter what the calories would be.  I would have burned them off already.

Up ahead there was a huge team waiting for King of the Mountain.  Which was just a bigger version of Bale Bonds.  There was a short wait as you could see that others were fatigued too.  I got over, and I had to walk.  I was starting to get a cramp in my calf, and my hip flexors were tight, and walking helped stretch them out. Isaac was also suffering with muscle cramps too, so he wasn’t objecting to walking.

The end line was now insight.  We had just past the 18km mark.  That orange headband was mine, I was going to get it.  Even if that meant getting shocked in ‘Electric Eel’. Attempting and failing with ‘Funky Monkey’.  I was just so exhausted I just didn’t have the energy to get across those monkey bars.  Then climbing over a 9f Berlin Wall (two of them here too), to get to the 2nd last obstacle.  ‘Everest’.  The girl in front of me was on her second attempt at it.  I wanted to do it in one go.  Isaac did it with ease, Just ran and lept like a impala to the top.  I went flat out, ran up it, and reached up and grabbed a hand, then another, then got pulled up.  I would have stayed to help, but I just wanted to keep going.

The music was playing at the after party.  The crowd was cheering.  And even though we had ‘Electro Shock Therapy’ left.  I didn’t care.  I just went for it.  I got zapped once, but it was worth it.  I made it.  I got to the end (and you did too). I earned that orange head band.

I am now a Tough Mudder Graduate.

So I can say that I am Offically A Tough Mother… er Mudder

Tough Mother

Have me committed

Cause I just finished


The 30 day program took me 10 weeks, but only because I made it into a running hybrid, as I did not want to give up my 3 running days, and I wanted to do the whole program not just 3 days a week of it.

Asylum is no joke, it is tough, but I stayed within my skill level and I slowly progressed.

I wont lie, at one point (the lead up to Christmas), my body was feeling it. I was getting tired, and I wasn’t giving it my all.  I ended up skipping approx 3-4 workouts.  One being vertical plyo, another being back to core.  However that being said, I still worked out on those days I just did yoga instead, because my body really needed it.

So tomorrow is technically my last day of my asylum/run hybrid, and will be my last run before I do my Tough Mudder on Saturday.  This last run is suppose to be 8km, however due to it going to be a hot one, and time limitations, I’m doing just a 3km run, and will also to back to core as well.

So if you are thinking of doing asylum you need to consider the following:

Also excuse my extra rambling’s in there too.

  1. It is a sports performance workout.  If you are a beginner, put this workout down, and start off with something else. 
  2. If you are an athlete, in the Military or Special Forces, and looking for a workout, this is fantastic.
    If you are not an athlete just yet, this workout will make you one. But you need to be fit.
  3. Asylum is NOT Insanity.  It has elements of insanity, if anything Insanity’s ‘Max Interval Sport’s Training‘, gives you an idea of what to expect from Asylum.
    I also STRONGLY recommend doing insanity before doing asylum.
  4. You don’t need a jump rope.
    I have a small house.  Yeah I have high ceilings, but I don’t have a lot of ‘turning’ space for a jump rope.  It’s totally possible to do it without it.
  5. An agility ladder is a MUST.
    Sure you could tape your carpet and what not, but just get a ladder. My kids love playing with the ladder too.
  6. You will need weights or bands for Strength.  Go the weights, unless you do a lot of travelling, then go the bands.
  7. Know your limits, and STAY WITHIN YOUR SKILL LEVEL.
    Asylum will test you on so many different levels, especially in game day.  I found some of the sports in game day where a lot harder than others.  For me I totally sucked at rock climbing / bouldering.  Surfing I also didn’t do too well either.  But I did what I could do, and stayed within my skill level.  Shaun will repeat this to you as well.
  8. Don’t skip Relief.  Sure it’s another 24 minutes, but it will be the best 24 minutes of your day.  Do it after all your workouts if you can.
  9. Keep your eating as clean as possible.
    I was a bit slack with my diet, and could have been better with it.  But keep your macro’s at 40/40/30.  Meaning 40% Carbs / 40% Protein / 30% Fat.
    If anything concentrate on eating more protein.  You’re body will naturally convert any extra protein into carbs if it’s not needed.
  10. Stay committed.  You can do it!
    I say this, because I know, I did it.

So will I do Asylum again?  Most likely yes, but properly not for another 6 months at least.