I’ve had an amazing weekend, full of activity and relaxation all at once!
First off I was required to run for 2 hours by my marathon training plan. That resonated within me as a time AND distance goal. My previous best half has been in Birmingham, where I completed the distance in 2 hours and 2 mins. If I could shave off even a little bit of time, I could perhaps beat that.
And I did! I ran at an average pace of 9.09 minutes a mile, which is a fantastic achievement for me! Also, as I ran along the canal, some parts were really waterlogged and muddy and required me to slow right down in order to pass them safely (I was literally slipping and sliding in the mud). So after those parts I made myself motor to really make up the time. I did my best and I completed in 1 hr 58 minutes, which I think is a great time for this part of the training!
I chased up the massive cardio session with a walk with my boy, and then it was nachos and beer time! Okay the beer wasn’t very healthy, but I like to healthify my nachos quite a bit. We had:
- Organic black beans
- Organic red kidney beans
- Chili peppers
- Plain Quorn pieces (that we marinated with the chilis for a while, so they came out piping hot!)
- Cheddar cheese
- Low salt tortilla chips
- Red onions
- Dash of lemon juice
- …and nothing else.
This beautiful spot used to be a set of quarries. Now these are filled in and make the perfect spot for nature watching, walking, hiking, and watersports (the mind-boggling list activities includes golf, camping, aerial adventure, canoeing, ringo rides and windsurfing). Oh, and the setting for ridiculously priced houses. See this one?
A snip at a mere £200k.
We also saw signs in the shape of dragonflies:
And bench art:
Gotta love goose shaped furniture!
As we walked my boy and I chatted about the future. From a fitness related perspective, the goals I have at the moment are to run a marathon (potentially the Venice marathon, as that would be really something, and if I was going to do only one, that’s the one I would pick) while at the same time not losing any upper body strength. I’ve seen quite a few gains so far:
- My thighs are becoming more muscular and less fatty
- I’m able to lift 7kg with each arm, 8-10 reps to failure, woo hoo!
- My waist is becoming more defined.
In it, she talks about whether you are ready to go that extra mile with fitness and actually show yourself off to the world. My immediate thought is that fitness should be about your health, not just your looks, but actually having such a goal requires so much more focus and real attention to the little details than just “I want to be healthier”. It could be a vehicle, if you like, for what is ultimately a healthy, lean lifestyle.
The second is by Donloree, of bikiniorbust.com (her post is here, Redefine your Impossible). I really admire her for being a figure competitor, by the way. In her post, the message I got is that you have to let yourself know you are good enough to work towards your dreams, and letting each success roll you onwards and onwards until there’s nothing you can’t do.
It’s a confidence thing I’m sure we’ve all had at some point. ”I would love to, but I can’t because I know I’d never make it”. For myself, I always tend to look challenges straight in the eye and sprint towards them, rather like a myopic bull, or maybe a Spartan warrior – a sort of “Have at iiiiiit!!” war cry on my lips. I like to say that situations make or break me, and I’m kinda proud of the fact that nothing has broken me yet. But there is always a first time, of course. The charging bull could get skewered by the matador; and everyone knows what happened to the Spartans in the end. But I’ve seen success after success, and I’m happy to take on the next challenge, and the next one, and the one after that.
Could I do this thing? Could I get myself to a state of being “competition ready”? Would it would be giving into my short sighted dreams of old , of wanting to be skinny and pretty whatever the cost to my health? Or is this goal actually the healthiest thing I could do for my body, watching what I eat and being stricter with my diet only where necessary, and only giving my body the best nutrients, burning away the heart-killing fat and building a strong body for life. Because I would want a body for life, not just for any competition. This is where a lot of the figure competitors seem to be coming from, as opposed to the traditional “waif model” outlook.
Should I do this thing? Well, I’m at the upper end of my healthy weight range at the moment. I should like to lose a bit more weight, but fat, not muscle. I could stand to lose a stone, easy. I could probably do that by “eating clean” around 60% of the time (observe weight loss with nachos above), upping that to 70% or 80% if I don’t see any change.
Will I do this thing?
…Is that a challenge?
I guess there’s only really one answer to that. Charrrrrge!
(Image from here).