The week of not-so-much

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Sometimes I really hate my health. I’m not just talking about my physical health here, though that’s acted up this week as well, but mental health too. This week I have only attended dance class and done absolutely no other exercise. I had planned to go running today, but it’s so much wind that I know it’ll be a struggle from start to finish. I don’t want to ruin my Sunday by getting frustrated and angry with myself. Tomorrow’s dancing, and my running program starts on Tuesday, so perhaps I’ll be nice to myself and do one of my workout videos or barre instead.

On Monday we worked on our figure dance in dance class. My brain was on strike from the first minute of it, and I had a mental breakdown before we even got started. I’ve been ridiculously stressed this week, and I don’t know why. It got better further into the class, but still.

On Thursday there was a new dance class. The beginner’s class went fine, as I’m not a student there but helped a new dancer with her steps. My own class… not so much. I did learn a new dance, but I just couldn’t piece together the rhythm and when I was supposed to dance it to music… well, it was about three times faster than the fastest speed I had managed when practicing it, and so I couldn’t even do a tiny fraction of it. I did remember my slipjig (at least the lead), so that was good, but I didn’t leave class with a good feeling. I was stressed out on Thursday too, because I had three translations to do and very little time to do them, but I wish I was able not to let it affect me so much.

Logically I know it’s because it’s winter and I’m not taking antidepressiva any longer. Also I haven’t been good at doing the mental exercises I know I need to do, I haven’t exercised outside of dance class, my diet’s been really bad (well, not so bad this week, actually, so I can’t use that excuse this time), I’ve felt like crap because I haven’t been able to stay away from soda and snacks, and I’ve had far too much on my plate. And because I’m so stressed and tired, I don’t eat well (my food habits are horrible when I’m not feeling well), I feel too tired to exercise so I become even more tired, and things just spiral out of control.

I know I need to take charge now and change it, but I haven’t been able to so far. It says a lot that I’ve considered my dance classes a failure even if I should see it as a victory that I’ve attended both classes even if I’ve been tired and stressed and frustrated and in pain and whatnot. It’s not that long ago since I would have stayed home and ignored the entire world.

Frankly I don’t have reason to be stressed. I’m ahead of schedule on my writing. I’m way ahead of schedule in my studies, since I’ve read the entire curriculum, finished the latest mandatory assignment a month before the deadline and feel tentatively confident. I’m relatively on track at work. I have planned my lessons for next week. My apartment isn’t squeaky clean, but it isn’t messy either. Well, apart from my desk, but still. I haven’t been secluded in my apartment either. I met a writing friend of mine yesterday, and went to Starbucks with another on Tuesday. Then I saw my dancing friends in dance class on Monday and Thursday. I think that’s quite reasonable, given that I had a lot I needed to get done. And everything important did get done. So at this moment there is absolutely no reason to be stressed. (Do you hear that, self?)

Of course it’s hard to exercise and eat healthy foods instead of snacks when your insides feel like they’re trying to kill you. But that’s perhaps a reason to accept that life’s sometimes like that, and not feel bad about it. Believe me when I say that feeling bad about it only makes everything worse, especially when you’re a comfort eater, because then you suddenly have another reason to need to be comforted.

This got pretty long for a short update, but I’m aiming for a more positive update next week. I started a new training program on polarpersonaltrainer.com, since it syncs with my heart rate monitor, so I’ll keep you updated how it goes!

Have a wonderful Sunday!

Uncomfortable truths

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Today I finally gathered enough courage to step on the scale again. After nearly two months of not-very-healthy eating I feared the worst. At the end of last summer I was at my lightest, at just below 83 kg. I knew I had gained weight – how could I not have? – but it wasn’t as bad as I had feared. Yes, I had gained 3 kg (between 6-7 pounds), but with a hectic timetable and me doing the good old emotional eating, it could definitely be worse. I’m still quite a bit below what I was this time of last year, and considering I am very bloated now due to one of my medications, I’m happy that it wasn’t worse.

After postponing it forever (or so it seemed) I finally went to the doctor on Friday, to get my foot checked out. Two of the toe joints have been acting up for well over a year now, and it’s frankly problematic for my dancing. There’s no definite answers yet, but she said it might look like arthritis – which I have suspected too. And since it runs in my family… Well. We’ll see how it goes. On the other hand, I also told her that I had been able to quit antidepressiva completely, which she was very happy to hear. So that was nice! (Sorry, this apparently became a very disjointed post…)

Last piece of news: I signed up for the half marathon distance at the Bergen City Marathon, which apparently has become an annual tradition after one year. I am running with one of my best friends, and even if we get quite different results and barely run together, we at least start together. And this year I’ll manage to get below 3 hours. It’s not anywhere near the results of many other running/training blogs out there, but I cannot pretend to be better than I am.

The BCM is a very supportive and encouraging event. People of all sizes and shapes compete, and the people along the course are super-supportive. The fact that I managed to get through the entire thing last year, after not having trained whatsoever for a month and being considerably heavier than now, is partially due to those wonderful people. I am excited to see how it feels now that I have two half marathons behind me – if it’s harder or easier than I remember from last time. Lesson learnt from last time though: This year I’ll arrange for someone with a car to drive me home instead of waiting for my bus. It tends to get very cold… 😉

Well, off to find a training program. Do you have a good half marathon training plan to recommend?

When plans are thwarted

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Recently I’ve been following Kathryn Morgan’s 12-week challenge, and loved it. It went very well, for the first week, and a bit less so for the second… And then things started going downhill.

It wasn’t so much that I lost motivation. Last week started with the aftermath of a dance weekend (where my dance group’s teacher comes over from the UK and has classes with us). And I thought, well, I did the Monday dance class, and on Tuesday my legs definitely needed rest. Apart from the dance classes on Thursday I didn’t really have any energy for doing anything exercise-related for the rest of the week. I really felt lazy, but I genuinely felt exhausted. To my defense I tried.

Turns out it was the stomach flu. Or something similar. Yesterday was the first time I’ve even been outside the house since Saturday, and on Sunday I couldn’t keep anything down at all. I’m still not completely recovered – you tend to feel the effects of several days of barely eating, and I still think I eat far too little. There’s just no room anymore. Makes me think of the stories of those who have had gastric bypass (I think…?) surgery, who says that you can’t eat more than a little at a time, but then you have to eat rather often instead. It’s almost like that. I sort of managed to eat normally last night, but the result was that I woke up with a stomach ache this morning. Not very fun.

So now I am trying to tell myself that not following the plan when things like this happen, is completely OK. You can’t go running if you’ve just been spending three days sick in bed, and have hardly eaten. If you can barely get one solitary bag of groceries up the hill (which is natural after having been ill and thus become weaker and less energetic), there’s no point in even trying to strength train or do workout DVDs or whatever else you feel you need to do. There’s just no point – you’ll just end up feeling worse, and feeling like a failure.

Sure, sometimes you are able to train relatively normally right after being ill. But it depends on both the illness and your fitness level. For my part it sort of built itself up over a week, so it had more impact than it usually would. I think.

What will I do? Well, I am going to ignore the fact that I’ve missed quite a few days, and go back into the plan wherever it feels comfortable. It’s not one where the intensity levels of the workout increases a lot from week to week, so I think I might be able to dive back into the correct date. Perhaps I’ll do the yoga/stretching bits and some barre, and be happy with that. We’ll see.

 

Entrechats and improvement

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Around six times per year, my dance group’s official TCRG (certified dance teacher) comes over to teach us, through some fairly intensive weekend classes. This is mainly because there aren’t many TCRGs here in Norway, except one or two on the other side of the country, but in order to compete, you need to dance under a registered teacher.

This weekend is the first such visit of the year. Even if I’m not technically at intermediate level yet, I got to learn a new intermediate slipjig today. I really love slipjigs, even if I have a love/hate relationship with my primary slipjig (which I’m stuck with until I place in it), and while I did learn another intermediate slipjig previously, I like this one even better.

Partially I probably like it because I could actually do it. I cannot do it well yet, there are too many new things for that, but I wasn’t all that much worse than the other two, who have already moved up into intermediate a few years ago. But it wasn’t nearly as bad as I feared. At one point it was pointed out that I was the only one who pointed (oooh, the pun), even if I’m the one with the bad feet. (If only that had lasted the entire class!)

Also the dance had a lot of fiddly bits, with twists and crosskeys and diddly-dums (whatever they are really called) and other little things, but it also has lots of movement and leaps and overs. I have really grown fond of dances with that kind of movement where you can just go. I used to struggle with it, but somewhere along the way things changed.

Another thing I am excited about (at least I am now, but I was rather apprehensive when she showed us the steps) are entrechats, those jumps where the front and back foot switch places twice before landing. I have never done them before, and still cannot really, but when we used the wall bars to help us practice, I got a few really good ones. I cannot wait to master them.

Really I cannot wait to master the whole dance. I haven’t been too good at little fiddly steps in dances, but you have to start somewhere, and this one is the perfect blend of challenging and natural. I really, really like our teacher’s steps, even the primary dances. I am trying not to get too frustrated that I am still in primary, but after illness and injury and whatnot it’s just the way it is. At least my feet, which are normally very bad nowadays, behaved. I didn’t really feel much pain until just now. For those who wonder, it’s not a dance injury, and resting doesn’t seem to help. Dancing doesn’t seem to harm it either, fortunately, even if I cannot wear proper dance shoes at the moment. I won’t say that I haven’t been frustrated, but I am trying to be patient and at least not let it stress me out. That won’t accomplish anything good.

Well, that was all for today. Tomorrow’s another class, and we’ll see if my feet and head behave. I don’t deal well with not being able to do a step, and sometimes I overthink things. Well, I almost always overthink things, but sometimes I take it to extremes… I’m going to use my new foam roller, then I’m going to read or paint a little and then go to bed. I’ve slept really badly, so I need all the sleep I can get…

12-week challenge + revised resolutions

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I always do this. Every January I get so caught up in whatever I want or need to do that I make a whole heap of resolutions and goals, and forget that planning your life from the moment you wake up to the moment you fall asleep seldom go well. Besides, some of them are really unnecessary.

For example, do I really need a resolution about going to dance class once per week? I’m helping out as an instructor; it’s not like I can randomly stay home from the Thursday classes anyway. Also, do I really need to specify how many times to do what per week? Some weeks I have the energy and time to do more, some weeks are the opposite, and some weeks are so hectic that I won’t have a chance following my resolutions. Having goals that I cannot meet is really just a recipe for failure.

Then there’s of course the point that if I combine the resolutions from this blog, my art/writing blog AND my book blog, there are far too many to even remember. Hardly very productive. So here are the revised resolutions:

  1. Quit drinking soda (change: no fixed deadline)
  2. Work out at least 200 days this year. This should include running, dancing, stretching and strength.
  3. Be under my calorie limit in MyFitnessPal at least 200 days this year.
  4. Keep weekends free for creative pursuits, working out or simply relaxing, with the exception of some housework.
  5. Blog once a week.

So, down from 10 to 5! Could probably be less, but at least it’s an improvement. I have started using weekplan.net and mystudylife.com in order to make sure that I stay on top of everything that needs to get done, and get things done so that I can have the weekend completely off without feeling stressed about it.

I’m only half a week into that particular project, but it’s going well. I managed to not overdo it – for example I have a multi-step housework task for every Saturday (which can be completed earlier if I want), but I’ve realised that I don’t have to do the full shebang every week as long as the garbage is emptied, clothes and utensils are cleaned and the clutter is kept at bay. The task is very flexible with regards to when I do it, and small enough that it’s not overwhelming.

I also enter when I’m going to read a particular chapter in my textbook, but also work-related tasks (so I don’t have to try to remember them until I get to work again) and blog-related tasks so that I don’t neglect my blogs. I have a thousand topics swirling around in my head at all times, but I frequently simply forget to actually write them.

Anyway! I will probably update a little along the way.

12-week challenge

So, to the other main topic of this post. Because I couldn’t just have made two separate posts, apparently… I follow Kathryn Morgan’s ballet blog and videos – I’ve taken some of her classes on Powhow as well, and have purchased a few of the lessons – and recently she started a 12-week challenge.

I always like a challenge, and this can be easily customised to my own goals. For example, she doesn’t have specific workouts for each day, nor a specific time frame, just general types of exercise. For example, this first week there was barre/center on Monday, cardio on Tuesday, barre/center again on Wednesday, yoga on Thursday, barre/center on Friday, and leg workout and cardio on Saturday. Every day there’s an additional, optional workout. Today there was an option to do a stretching routine, for example, which I really needed after the leg workout yesterday.

I have to say that I feel really good today. I’ve followed the plan – on the barre/centre days I use the first 30 minutes of a Powhow beginner’s class (they feel the most useful to me), except on Friday when I had time to do the whole class. On Thursday I had very little time, so I just did a 15-minute yoga for dancers youtube video. Yesterday I did Kathryn’s leg workout video plus a Les Mills Combat video for the cardio part. I forgot that there’s quite a bit of kicking in that particular video, so I think I ended up with double the leg workout really… My legs barely worked afterwards!

I might have to adjust it a little bit now that dance classes start again. The Monday classes will have to substitute the barre/center part, as I don’t have time for more. I guess I’ll just focus as much on my technique as possible during class.

Thursdays are yoga days, which I sorely need, but also the insane double dance class day (4 hours usually). I’m not sure it’s smart to do even more than that when the muscles are so exhausted. Perhaps I’ll do a short yoga routine at the end of barre/center the day before, or I’ll just have to skip it altogether.

Aaaanyway, this post has become far too long now, so I’ll stop now. Hope you all have a good week ahead!

 

10 resolutions for 2016

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So, first off, I guess it’s time to come clean and admit that the advent calendar I wrote about in my previous entry was… a failure. In the midst of the exam chaos and waiting for my exam results, I forgot everything about it. Sooo… moving on.

I always have resolutions, even when I insist that I don’t (they tend to sneak up on me before I know it). I won’t go into what happened with those for last year, as I cannot even remember what they are. And with resolutions both on my book blog and my creative blog, it’s dangerously close to overload. But still health is too important to not have goals for the next year, and I think I’ll have to cut down on the others anyway. So, without further ado:

  1. Stop drinking soda again. Deadline: End of January
  2. Go running at least once per week unless the weather is completely insane. I have warm clothes, and it’s not like I’m not going straight into the shower anyway afterwards.
  3. Dance class at least once per week, but preferrably twice.
  4. Do stretching and/or ballet once per week.
  5. Do strength training once per week (might be combined with any of the above)
  6. Work out at least 200 days this year.
  7. Be below the calorie limit and use MyFitnessPal at least 200 days this year.
  8. Use the Mindfit app at least twice a week, and do whatever else is needed to keep my mind in the right place.
  9. Make sure I have enough time for my hobbies and to relax. A large part of this is to ensure that studying and lesson planning is done on weekdays, not the weekend, so that I can do other stuff in the weekend. Weekdays are stressful anyway, and I think I’ll be better off having two days when I can relax properly.
  10. Blog once a week or thereabouts.

Do you have any resolutions?

A different kind of advent calendar

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As we’re getting further into December and yet another day passes by when my food choices have been… questionable at best, I am forced to face some uncomfortable truths. Really, neither my diet nor my amount of exercise have been anywhere close to healthy since the beginning of November. There are excuses, of course. In November I was noveling (doing NaNoWriMo), and while it was a record year (211k!) and I am reasonably happy with what I wrote, it ate absolutely all of my exercise time. I did go to dance class, of course, but with two job travels I had to skip it more than I like.

Now life is extremely busy with two busy jobs and exams looming right around the corner. Since I’m a comfort eater when I’m stressed, which I’m constantly nowadays, it really doesn’t help that stores are battling it out to have the lowest prices on my favourite Christmas candy. Without exercise I haven’t been able to keep the stress away, which has led to even worse eating habits, sleeping badly at night, and feeling like I don’t have any time to exercise at all.

And the results are as they always are. Weight has started to creep back on, and even if I haven’t dared to step on the scale lately, I can feel it, and besides, simple maths. I know what I have eaten, I know (though I have ignored it) how many calories it has. Worse than that, symptoms of my past depression have started to show up again. The lack of proper sleep. The exhaustion and lack of initiative. The short fuse and lack of ability to deal with small problems, to mention a few. Being my first winter without antidepressiva, I really should have made extra efforts to ensure that I ate well, exercised enough (but not too much) and worked on the mental side of it.

BUT! I didn’t write this blog entry to be a pessimist only able to focus on my own problems without doing anything about it, even if it takes ages for me to get to the point. It’s not at all too late to do something about this. Because I am actually doing something about it, and since it’s now on the Internet I sort of have to stick to it, don’t I?

Anyway. Since I don’t have a regular advent calendar this year, I thought I’d make a workout one. Yes, we’re well into December already, but better late than never, right? So here’s the plan:

  1. From now on until December 24th my scale is off-limits. I tend to get too caught up in the numbers and not enough in what I do to get those numbers, and it might become a nice Christmas present to myself.
  2. I will exercise in some shape or form every day, but: I will not do the same type of exercise two days in a row, nor will I overdo it. This means that if I run one day, I’ll do strength training, dancing, combat training or aerobics the next, and so on. And I will not exercise at the same length and intensity two days in a row. If I do a long workout one day, I have to do a short one the next.
  3. I will stretch for at least ten minutes a day, since my neck and shoulders and everything else from my head to my hips are really stiff and inflexible at the moment.
  4. I will stay under my calorie limit every day until – but not including – Christmas Eve. I might make some allowances for my birthday, but I haven’t decided yet.
  5. I will eat veggies every day.
  6. I will say nice things to myself every day.
  7. I will use the Mindfit app every day, since I’ve already seen that it helps a lot.

This might seem excessive, but it’s only for two weeks, after all. Besides, most of these are things I need to do anyway in order to get my head back to normal.

Anyone who wants to join me?

 

 

Why it’s been so quiet here

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I didn’t mean to neglect this blog for so long. Or any of my blogs, for that matter, as the only blog I’ve updated somewhat consistently is my writing blog (partially because my writing buddy constantly nags me about it, partially because writing has gone rather well lately). It’s been a mish-mash of various reasons why I haven’t updated in well over a month. I have started several posts, but then never finished them.

Partially it’s because my diet’s been completely off. On days when I have dance class I struggle to eat enough, mostly because after strenous exercise I just don’t have an appetite – but then my appetite is through the roof the day after, and I feel like I just cannot eat enough to even feel not hungry, let alone actually full. I’ve now realised I have to do this food thing properly – not just eating little enough, but eating enough. And eating proper foods instead of some proper food and then unhealthy snacks. I’ve started doing Intermittent Fasting again, mostly because it worked really well back in May/June, and stopped drinking soda (and starting to remember to actually drink water instead…). I’ve also started paying more attention to what I eat. I didn’t gain too much weight while I was eating whatever, though, so that’s good.

Another reason is because this exercise thing has been… well. Not exactly non-existant, but just less. I’ve gone to dance class, but due to my toe problems now that it’s getting colder (probably some kind of rheumatism) I haven’t been able to actually wear dance shoes in class, leading to not being able to work much on my technique and so on. And then I’ve put far too much pressure on myself (quite ironic since I’m not even competing this year), which has led to my mind going blank in nearly every single dance. It’s not even any of my new dances (I’ve started to learn some intermediate dances even if I’m still stuck in primary) – it’s those that I’ve learnt ages ago and should be able to dance in my sleep. I know the dances, but somehow feeling that I have to do them perfectly now causes me to stress out. And then I’ve left dance class with a less-than-stellar feeling, to put it mildly. It went far better on Monday, though, so there is hope. And I’m going to look for warm exercise socks, such as those meant for winter sports, which will hopefully keep my toes warm and bendy while exercising…

I haven’t been running in a while either. It’s fully autumn now, meaning that it’s dark early, and the nice weather we had earlier is completely gone. Not very tempting to go out running when it’s dark and wet and cold. Not that it’s stopped me before, so I think I might just have to find the time and do it. There have been so many other things going on, that I haven’t felt like I had the time. But of course, with lack of exercise comes lack of energy, so I’m sure it will fix itself once I put my mind to it. I did do some Les Mills Combat, so there’s that.

In addition, with the bad weather, early sunset and general lack of being outside and exercising, it wasn’t quite so easy keeping the depression away. I’m working on it, and it’s not bad enough to be back on my meds, but, well, the motivation for blogging wasn’t really there.

And of course I could blame lack of time. With two jobs, studies, NaNoWriMo coming up (yep, I’m in plotting mode), dance classes, a social life and language learning plus general tiredness I just haven’t had the brain power to write anything, I think. I hope to change that now that things are settling down.

Will keep you updated on how this diet reboot is going anyways 🙂

The half marathon I almost didn’t run

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Truthfully, I could say that about both of the half marathons I have run. In April I had decided not to run, when my good friend and running partner talked me into going. This time it was my first “solo” half marathon, in the sense that I didn’t have someone who started with me and waited for me on the other side of the finishing line. So it was a bit scary.

I was debating whether or not I’d run until about fifteen minutes before I absolutely had to leave home. I had already prepared everything just in case, but I was definitely not feeling the enthusiasm. I had slept really badly (didn’t help that I didn’t even get home until one at night) and could barely get out of bed. When I get really, really stressed and overwhelmed, I sometimes feel physically paralysed. Weird feeling. So I started the day with a complete mental breakdown (oh God not this again I cannot be like this again I thought I was over it), then had my breakfast, and then I was out the door. Which was a HUGE victory.

The “look what I’m about to do” photo for Instagram. This is the route overview.

The half marathon was this one: http://knarvikmilauk.idrettenonline.no/p/11159/half-marathon and it was BEAUTIFUL. We ran over three bridges (two of them twice), it was sunny, the volunteers along the way were friendly and encouraging, and they had prepared enough water and energy drinks that there was plenty even for the last ones. That was a problem in Bergen City Marathon in April, actually – there was nothing left to drink or eat for the last two stations. The only problem, if you can call it that, was the wind. I think I could have gotten a better time if I didn’t have to spend so much energy running against the wind, and on one of the bridges it was so windy (from the side) that I was seriously wondering if I’d be able to run straight ahead. Still, it could easily have become far too hot without it.

Half way over the second bridge (where we turned and ran back the same way for a while) I realised that there was a woman who had held approximately the same pace as I did, and somehow we got talking. And kept talking, more or less, throughout the race. Why run five metres ahead of each other when we keep the same pace anyway, and we can run together? So we did. Neither of us had any very ambitious goals for the race, and for my part it’s easier to keep my pace up and my motivation in check when I have someone to keep up with. It was really nice!

Contrary to Bergen City Marathon, this one seemed to have more athletic people, more “proper” runners, and so we soon realised that we were nearly the last ones. We thought we were actually the last ones for a while, but somehow it didn’t matter. With my preparation and training I had decided I would be happy to just cross the finish line and, hopefully, get a better time than in April. Also hopefully get across the finish line before they stopped taking the time after three hours (which tells you something about my current fitness level), which didn’t happen – but when I checked the website today, my time was actually registered. I ran on 3:12:53, which is exactly five minutes faster than in April, when my time was 3:17:59. I am happy with that!

Anyway, when we had a third of the course left, we heard someone come running full speed behind us, and it was a woman who had run with a friend who had decided to not continue, and one of the Red Cross guys had told her that we were not far ahead. So she ran to catch up with us and ran/walked with us all the way to the finish. She was great!

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When we finished, we of course got the medal – isn’t it nice? I now have two proper race medals, and they hang side by side very visibly in my living room. If you got it, flaunt it! We also got a banana and a sports drink, but I wish they also had T-shirts. BUT we actually got flowers! A bouquet of roses each. Isn’t it nice? (Never mind the mess on my dining table…) Flowers, a medal, new friends, a personal record and a great experience – can it be better?

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I ran with my new shoes, too, and while it felt a bit risky and I am a bit sore, they were very good. Actually, very good is an understatement.

Today I’m exhausted. I never sleep well when I’m this tired, but even so I went to bed around ten and fell asleep about an hour later, I think, but I woke up fairly frequently through the night. And then I got up at half past seven today – it was a beautiful sunrise, and I get so much energy after a race.

So I’ve been cleaning up a bit here at home. I don’t have the energy for a lot of it, but I put a thing or two in their proper place, then relax a bit, then do another thing. And I’ve decided to say the final farewell to some of my favourite running shoes.

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I wore them almost to pieces – they are Gore Tex shoes, and living in a city as rainy as Bergen that has been invaluable. Particularly when you practically live in running shoes/trainers every day. But eventually they became too old and worn out to be worn in public, and I started using them for Storehesten Opp, a race (one that you can also participate in just for the social side of it, without being timed) up a mountain near my hometown. My brother and I have a tradition of going there, even if we couldn’t make it this year. The outer soles are still very good in these shoes, so they were great for walking in the muddy and wet terrain that is there. But I think their time is up now. They are heavy, stiff and lumpy now, and I realised that now that I have actual terrain running shoes (Salomon Fellraiser, which are GREAT) I am probably never going to wear them again. So out they go, along with another pair that is slightly ill-fitting. Why I bought them I have no idea, except that they felt good in the store.

Anyway! Just thought I’d write a little update about the race. Now I’m going to tidy up a little more here, then prepare tomorrow’s lessons, and make myself something to eat – and enjoy the fact that I did something I almost didn’t dare to do, something that I would have thought was completely crazy less than a year ago. And I had fun doing it!

But next year I’ll run in less than three hours, just saying… In other words: I will actually prepare and train for it. 😉

Back on track/new shoes!

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Wow, look, a new blog post! Who’d have thought! Long story short, lots of things happened since last time, and I’m only just beginning to get back to normal.

For one thing, after months of doing well both with regards to nutrition and exercise and tracking every single day, I’ve been slipping up. I have hardly been working out, except going to dance class, and my diet’s been… well, let’s not talk about that. And after being back to tracking my calories for a few days, I slipped up again today. I’m currently 700 kcal over my limit. Because I ate both crisps AND candy instead of dinner. Can I fix it? Time will tell!

One of the reasons why I’ve been slipping up is because I’ve finally gotten a second job. I’ve desperately needed the extra income, and while I only applied to be a substitute teacher now and then, I got an offer to teach German and English this school year, and I of course accepted. It’s been extremely scary, but also very, very awesome. My students are great, the school is good, the other teachers are awesome, and teaching is more fun and more demanding than I thought it would be.

In addition to that, it’s election time at my main job, and I also started part-time studies this semester, in business/finance. Sooo… busy. And I’ve had a rather stubborn cold, too. I’ve been completely exhausted these past few weeks, but there’s been a LOT of new things, so it will get better. I’m not used to working five days a week yet, after all.

I’ve also made a very hard decision. I will not be competing in dance this year. I’ll try to get to a feis in spring, but there’ll be nothing this autumn. I’m already balancing on the edge of doing too much this semester, and it would have been a weight on my shoulders. Since I cannot afford going either, it is the one thing that could be sacrificed. It’s a pity, but then I can save money for the Hullachan Pro before I compete again. And get a dress that actually fits. Instead I’ll be focusing hard on improving my technique (the heel kicks in Garden of Daisies will be the death of me, I swear, and let’s not even begin to talk about my rocks) and helping out with the beginners.

Also! I got new shoes today! Technically I got them three weeks ago, as a reward from my mother for reaching a weight loss goal, but though they felt awesome in store, they were very painful to use. Pity. I like Nike – around half of my workout clothes (the best half) is Nike – but apparently their shoes and my feet don’t go along. So today I went to the store and exchanged them for a pair of Asics:

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Don’t they look nice? (I’ve actually wanted that colour for my hair for a long time… At least my fringe, if I cut it short. Wonder if I’ll ever dare?) I’ve always favoured Asics, honestly, so it came as no surprise that I ended up with them again. The guy at the store was adamant that these were far better quality-wise than the Nikes I had originally bought (at another store in the chain). Doesn’t really matter when I couldn’t use the Nikes anyway, of course!

Perhaps I should do a test run tonight. Get back into exercising. Even if I feel really tired, perhaps some good old exercise is what my brain really needs. That’s been the solution before, anyway, when I don’t feel like I get rested no matter how much I rest. It hasn’t helped that I’ve been glued to my computer either, of course…

OK, time to log off and find my workout clothes!