The feeling of accomplishment, I feel …

… Can only mean one thing: My C25K challenge is completed!

It was the one that I was most hesitant to even start, because anybody that knows me, knows that I am just not made for long distance running. And yes, I am aware that I am using the term “long distance” quite loosely for 5km.

I have to admit, there might have been a few training sessions in the first 30 days of this, that I skipped, because it was much more appealing to stay on the couch, than to get up, get changed and get running. There was a point though, around the time, when the intervals became longer, that I knew I would not get away with skipping sessions anymore (apart from maybe possibly one, that I replaced with a long dog walk over some hills the next day but pshhht don’t tell anybody).

Then yesterday, the big day had come (way too soon), time to run 5km without stopping, no matter what. Luckily I had support in the form of my marathon-running friend who ran next to me the entire time and kept my mind busy by chatting away. There was that wonderful moment, at around 4.2km, when I had officially been running longer, than I had ever managed in one session. A little moment, that had to be celebrated … with running some more :).

 

 

My 5km run for C25K

A tiny bit slower than I had hoped, but I suppose I should be happy I finished, right?

 

For the first time I deviated from the training plan that C25k give you, in so far, as that I did not do a 5 minute brisk walk as warm up, but instead used a youTube video my fried suggested. It was so funny doing the exercises at home, because Liana decided, that she should be doing everything I did. So when I was hopping on the spot, so was she. And when I was standing on one leg, kicking the other back an forth, she was trying to do the same. Only lucky that the dogs were hiding at that moment, I am sure somebody would otherwise have gotten a random kick with all the legs flying through the air.

 

So now I am giving my body a few days to relax, in preparation to my next 30 Day challenge, which starts on Sunday. This time, I will be re-tackling the 30 Day Shred and am definitely planning to make it further than the first time I attempted the program. Back then, I made it to 4 days, and then decided that I did not want to be fit. That seems to be a thought I have a lot at the moment, particularly in the middle of a run, when my whole body is aching, but this time I am smarter and know that I feel great after the workout.

The big 20 minutes later

As you all know, Fridaywas the first of my big days coming up with my C25K. 20 minutes continuous running, I know I have talked about it before and how much of a challenge that is/was for me and to be quite honest I had very little faith that I would actually be able to finish it. But …

… I DID IT!  And I am more than a little proud of myself! I have to admit, I would probably not have made it anywhere near the finishing line, had it not been for my wonderful friend, who ran with me and kept talking away. For her it was a walk in the park, I doubt that she even broke a sweat! For the next continuous run bit, I will definitely see if she can run with me again.

This is what my stats look like when I run non stop for 20 minutes

This is what my stats look like when I run non stop for 20 minutes

Since it has been a little bit since I updated, I can even show off the next day as well. Tomorrow I am going out for day 39 of my C25K, you can see here exactly what I still have left to do.

The next day, back to intervals

Day 37, back to intervals

Is there anybody else doing the C25K at the moment? How are you all getting on?

Into the second half of my C25K

I am getting serious now about my C25K Challenge. So far, I can’t say that I am really enjoying it, but I always kind of knew that running/jogging would not be my favorite pass-time, since I have hated it ever since I can remember. When I was younger (and fitter) I liked to play sports and as part of them, I accepted that I had to run every now and then. During a match for example, it was fine, but as soon as we got to track running during training I lost my interest, and as such my motivation was severely lacking.

For the C25K Challenge for me it is all about running 5km in one go. The program seems to assume that those 5km should be run in 30 minutes, but I know that is as far out of my reach as fitting into a size 14 in 30 days. It should be in the realm of possibility, but I would really need to torture myself/my body to reach that goal, and that is not worth it to me. So, my goal will not include to run the 5km in any specific set time, but just to be able to complete them on April 22nd.

Yesterday I properly started the second 30 days of my challenge. As you can see here, I had to jog 8 minutes, walk 5 minutes, jog 8 minutes. If you are interested in my progress, and you are a member of Runtastic.  let me know, and I can add you as a friend. I have been quite impressed with the Runtastic Pro app, which I was lucky to be able to download on a day when it was free. I must admit though that while I am running, I frequently feel like punching the woman who keeps telling me “Your target pace it too low, please try to speed up” followed 5 seconds later by a “Your target pace is too high. Slow down!”. Not her fault, I seem to run too close to the water, which can easily interfere with the GPS signal.

 

This is what it looks like when I run too close to the water and keep confusing the GPS.

This is what it looks like when I run too close to the water and keep confusing the GPS.

 

As I mentioned in my last post, I am slightly terrified of the prospect of running for 20 minutes non-stop on Friday. That is pretty much 12 minutes more than I have run continuously in at least 8 years and probably even before then it was only on rare occasions. I am sure I will be very thankful for the encouragement that I will be getting from my friend, I just have to make sure to tell her that she is not allowed to let me give up, no matter how much I whine. In return I will try to keep the whining to a minimum.

Does anybody have any tips on how I will be able to make it through this challenge? The next one is starting on April 7th and I will keep you updated with details on the challenge in the coming days.

 

 

“Update Weekly”, She Said…

So much for my lovely Saturday posts, about my works in progress…Life doesn’t seem to want to play that way. But at the same time, I don’t really have any excuse why I didn’t post the last two Saturdays. I was not really busy as such, but I got sucked into the world of designing a knitted piece.  I am not anywhere near being able to show anything off for it, because I still have so much to figure out myself, but I have an idea and that is already a big step further than I have come before.

 

Our household for some reason cannot shake the sickness these last few weeks. While we are all better than the week before last, it seems that Liana just picks the most inconvenient moment, to decide that she is in fact still sick. Most of the time, this happens in the middle of the night, preferably just at a time that doesn’t allow me to fall back asleep before getting up at the ungodly hour that my alarms rings at the moment. Then I can only look on with jealousy how Stephen and Liana cuddle back into bed, and I have to go out into the cold morning, with the rest of our town likely only waking up 3 hours later.

Because I work for an international company, as part of a US based team, my work schedule depends on the time in our US office, rather than the local time here. Unfortunately in Spring, the clocks are turned backwards 3 weeks earlier in the US than they are in Ireland. (I am saying “the US” but have to admit I’m not even sure if the entire country switches the same day. Maybe there is parts that don’t change time at all?) That in itself would not be a problem, if it weren’t for the fact, that my normal working hours start at 6am. With the new time difference between the offices, until the end of March, I have to start my shift at 5am, which means I get out of my bed at 4am.

For the 10 years, before Liana was born, I was overwhelmingly more likely to see 4am by staying up, instead of getting out of bed at that time. And I am pretty sure that there have been a lot of times that I stayed awake that late. Through my teenage years, I was definitely a nightowl, sleeping as much of the day as I could and then staying up as long as I could. Even once I started my work life during college, i had a job working nights, where I’d finish around 6-7am.

Somebody needs to invent time travel, just so I could see my own face when I tell my younger self the hours I work now and how much I actually enjoy them. Nothing beats coming home early and having free time to spend playing with Liana or whatever other tasks are accumulating at home. To be quite honest as well, I sometimes feel like I am still half asleep the first few hours at work, and once my brain fully wakes up, a good portion of the day is already over.

 

For good news I can announce that I am finished with the first half of my C25K Challenge. You can always follow up on my current status here. There have been some injury delays, and there were days when I couldn’t face running due to being sick, but I made up those days and I am now all caught up. The next big challenge is going to be Friday, I have to run 20 minutes, without any walking in between. Right now I feel like there is no way I am ever going to be able to do that, but I am getting support from my friend, who trains for her marathon. She will run with me and try her best to motivate me.

Blogs that Inspire me

As part of Zero to Hero day 23, we were supposed to write a roundup, and I wrote it and thought I scheduled it, but for some reason it did not publish. I’ll have to have another look into the art of scheduling posts 😉

But since I don’t want you all to miss out on the post I have written, I am now publishing it manually 🙂

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Today I am writing all about posts/bloggers that have inspired my crafty side, since I started this blog. It is amazing the different projects and people you can find out there in the blogosphere.

A blog I love to follow is the Mad Knitter.  It is hard for me to pick just one post that is inspiring me, because in general, every time I read the blog I feel like picking up my needles.  I feel like Liz knits things that I would enjoy knitting and I am amazed at how many projects she seems to be able to finish. One post in particular that I have gone back to a few times is this one, an overview over what she had on her “sticks” at that moment. It would be a great goal to achieve her level of knitting and to be able to maybe make some money with knitting. At the moment I am a far way off, but I suppose you won’t get anywhere in life unless you “shoot for the stars…” 😉 .

Another blog I have in my WordPress reader and that I keep stopping on is Marissa Made it. Another fabulous crafter, she has the most gorgeous photos of her projects. They really make me realize how much more I have to improve on, but at the same time as well how much I envy knitters who have easy access to amazing yarns, since the only shops that we have locally stock predominantly Acrylic, with a few mixed fibers thrown in. I am very much looking forward to seeing what she is going to make with the Star Wars fabric in this post, because I am not sure if I can keep myself from buying whatever it is going to be.

Already from the title, the Snail of Happiness had me chuckling. This blog is very much in a different direction as the other two (no less talented though), and while she writes quite a bit about her crafting (mainly her masterpiece – and it is quite impressive!) she also has posts about sustainability, which is something that I would love to be able to bring more into my life. The snail also live geographically quite close to me, so while I was posting pictures of our storm, so was she.

And Life gets in the way (again)

By now, I should be way further through my challenges, than I am. Zero to Hero suffered, because I had a long weekend and did not feel like looking at my laptop, as it reminded me of work. On the upside, this meant I got plenty of knitting done in this time, and will write my first craft related post soon,

My C25K came to a screeching halt on Thursday evening, as I was cycling home after my Power Yoga class. I cycle everywhere in our little town, and thought I had gotten used to the erratic Irish driving by now. Irish drivers in general seem to lack experience with cyclists, so much so that the Road Safety Authority Ireland has placed ads on tv, to inform them of the basic rules of the road and common courtesy when sharing the road with cyclist.

Funnily enough, the very first rule that is mentioned is “On left turns, do not overtake a cyclist as you approach a junction. He might be continuing straight ahead”. To my misfortune, the driver that I encountered on Thursday, must have been skipping through this very basic part of driver’s education. He overtook me (so was clearly aware that I was there) and then cut of my way as he turned left. To avoid crashing into him, I braked heavily (with new brakes just checked in the shop a week before). I lost control of the bike and went over the handlebars. My left hand and knee took the brunt of the impact, but I still have bruises on both my legs, which are by now turning an interesting shade of green/yellow. I’m looking forward to the looks I’ll get when I walk into the pool at Aqua Aerobics tonight!

I was fuming when I got up, because the driver did not even stop to see if I was injured in any way. Completely oblivious to what he had just caused. Thankfully my bike was not damaged, the seat only turned slightly, which forced me to stand in the pedals the rest of the way home.

Overall, I am thankful that I am not more seriously injured, because it could definitely have been worse. Apart from the bruises on my legs and my two palms, I lost a few layers of skin on my left knee, due to which I have not been running again. Today is the first day that I am not limping when I am walking, so I will go to my Aqua Aerobics and see that as a sort of trial run to see how much pressure I can put on it. When I was a teenager, I injured the same knee (fell off a climbing wall and hit a few stones on the way down) and I remember it taking weeks before I was able to do any sort of sport again, and I was on crutches for a good month. I know that this time is by far not as bad, but I think there is a hesitation in my sub conscience, that remembers the pain only all to clearly.

It’s that time again ..

… and no, I don’t mean Valentine’s Day. I am actually one of those people that don’t really celebrate Valentine’s at all. We don’t have any dinner plans, I am sure I am not going to come home from work to any flowers/gift and I have not thought of any special ways to tell Stephen I love him. I prefer making an effort every day, instead of choosing one “random” day a year, to make up for the last 364.

What I actually mean is, it’s time to start a new challenge.  In fact, from tomorrow on, I will be doing the Couch to 5K Challenge (or C25K), by Cool Running. Since the program is actually planned out for 9 weeks, I have made the decision to use 2 of my 15 30 day challenges for this. In the process I noticed that the last week of C25K, you run 5km or 30 min on every “action” day,  so I was able to actually condense it into the 60 days that I will have available. As a result, I had to shift my other challenges around a bit, I am sure there will be more of that further into the year. To get a feel for what I have planned this year, you can have a look here.

My version of C25K

You can see below my timetable of how I am planning to tackle this challenge. I know, I know, I am starting the challenge with a Rest day, which is probably not the most common thing to do. I needed to make sure that I was able to put rest days on Wednesday and Thursday every week, because I already have activities planned (Aqua Aerobics and Power Yoga) so it would just be overload if I went jogging that day as well.

I am also going to add this to the new fancy page I have for my current challenge(s) (which is perfect for today’s Zero to Hero Challenge – Add a new page.) On that page I will mark every completed day, so you I am completely accountable on my progress. I’ll have to do a bit more playing around with different options as it seems the table is not showing us as nicely as I designed it.

C25K – Part 1

Day 1-6

Rest

Alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.

Rest

Alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes

Rest

Rest

Day 7-12

Alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.

Rest

Alternate 90 seconds of jogging and two minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes.

Rest

Alternate 90 seconds of jogging and two minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes.

Rest

Day 13-18

Rest

Alternate 90 seconds of jogging and two minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes.

Rest

Two repetitions of the following:
• Jog 90 seconds
• Walk 90 seconds
• Jog or 3 minutes
• Walk or 3 minutes

Rest

Two repetitions of the following:
• Jog 90 seconds
• Walk 90 seconds
• Jog 3 minutes
• Walk 3 minutes

Day 19-24

Rest

Rest

• Jog 90 seconds
• Walk 90 seconds
• Jog 3 minutes
• Walk 3 minutes

Rest

• Jog 3 minutes
• Walk 90 seconds
• Jog 5 minutes
• Walk 2-1/2 minutes
• Jog 3 minutes
• Walk 90 seconds
• Jog 5 minutes

Rest

Day 25-30

• Jog 3 minutes
• Walk 90 seconds
• Jog 5 minutes
• Walk 2-1/2 minutes
• Jog 3 minutes
• Walk 90 seconds
• Jog 5 minutes

Rest

Rest

• Jog 3 minutes
• Walk 90 seconds
• Jog 5 minutes
• Walk 2-1/2 minutes
• Jog 3 minutes
• Walk 90 seconds
• Jog 5 minutes

Rest

• Jog 5 minutes
• Walk 3 minutes
• Jog 5 minutes
• Walk 3 minutes
• Jog 5 minutes

C25K – Part 2

Day 1-6

Rest

• Jog 8 minutes
• Walk 5 minutes
• Jog 8 minutes

Rest

Rest

Jog 20 minutes with no walking

Rest

Day 7-12

• Jog  5 minutes
• Walk 3 minutes
• Jog 8 minutes
• Walk or 3 minutes
• Jog 5 minutes

Rest

• Jog 10 minutes
• Walk 3 minutes
• Jog 10 minutes

Rest

Rest

Jog 22 minutes with no walking.

Day 13-18

Rest

Jog 25 minutes.

Rest

Jog 25 minutes.

Rest

Rest

Day 19-24

Jog 25 minutes.

Rest

Jog  28 minutes.

Rest

Jog  28 minutes.

Rest

Day 25-30

Rest

Jog  28 minutes.

Rest

Jog 30 minutes.

Rest

Jog 5k.

Anybody out there who is starting this challenge as well, or has completed it? Any tips, tricks, hints on how best to do it?