It was about this time a year ago that I started getting back into exercise after having my second baby.
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I started with running 1 minute and walking 9 mins and doing that 3 times for a 30 minute cardio workout. Each week building it up, 2 minute run, 8 minute walk, 3/7 etc.
When he was about 9 weeks old I started doing some Fit & Fab Mummy Bootcamps, at the beginner level and just taking it easy and listening to my body. I also did a bit of swimming.
As I felt myself getting fitter and stronger, I just did that little bit more.
Giving myself little challenges. Doing 50 burpees at a time, then 100, 200, 250 and up to 350 at once. I would add weights to my workouts or go for a ride or a swim or just choose one of my favourite workouts and do that. It has taken time.
In the last 12 months I feel my strength and my fitness is better than ever. This just tells me that even after having children, you can be fitter, stronger, lose weight and be happier if you make it your choice to do that. And that’s the thing, it is a choice.
If you have something to aim for, or have something to motivate you, you are more likely to succeed in what you want to do.
In the last 12 months I have completed 5 triathlons – including my first Olympic distance triathlon, 3 Ocean swims – including Pier to Perignon (4km), my first half marathon in 3 years, and in 2 weeks, I will be completing my first marathon since 2007. Yes, I have done one before, but I stuffed it up, so the time is right to do another one! I have been training for about 7-8 months for this event.
What has motivated me? And why a marathon?
I enjoy challenging myself. I like to set myself goals and targets. It gives me focus and something to aim towards. Exercise is my stress relief. I feel better and have more energy when I exercise. When I achieve something, it gives me a real buzz. To know I am setting a good example for my family is something I love as well.
My kids see me exercise, they watch and cheer me on at events. It’s such a great feeling.
It’s been tough…
Some days I don’t want to get up and do a workout. Sometimes I am tired. Sometimes I just can’t be bothered. But I have never regretted getting up and doing that workout. I always feel better once I do. There have been times when I’ve been in so much pain doing a long run and others when I felt I could keep going after 32km, which is good, because I have to be able to do 42.2km in a few weeks! I am not saying it’s easy and I have had lots of down days, but it’s how you approach them.
I have had the late and sleepless nights, but each morning I prioritise myself – less stress and more energy benefits the whole family
What have I learnt…
Exercise is my stress release. It is my time. ME time. I love my weekly long runs. I put my music on and I just run. I do a lot of thinking, singing, planning, focusing on not tripping over and just getting out there and putting one foot in front of the other.
Or it might be that 10-20 min workout I do in my bedroom before the kids wake up in the morning. It gets some endorphins pumping and is a great start to the day!
I have done some 5 km PB’s, some 10 km PBs and just a few weeks ago, I took 1.5 mins off my half marathon time that I did back in July. I have been playing around with my running fuel, my nutrition and finding the products that work best for me. For me, Arbonne PhytoSport has been my secret weapon. Since using it, I have noticed my endurance is so much better. I don’t get sore during a race and I have got some great times on my runs.
I haven’t been sore after my runs, even two days after. My body is getting the right mix of nutrients it needs to keep me going, I am staying hydrated and my body is recovering and repairing as well.
What’s after the marathon?
2 weeks out, I am looking forward to getting it done. After that, the triathlon and ocean swim series will start again, so that will be my focus. I think I will focus on half marathons and work on getting a better time with that. I am loving the long runs of around 20 km and would love to get a sub 1:50 time one day, so we will see. But one thing I know is that I will continue to set myself goals and challenges. I will keep stepping outside my comfort zone and giving it my best.
I am not saying go and sign up for a marathon, but set yourself a goal, a target. Give yourself a challenge. It might be to run 5 km non stop. It might be exercising 3 times a week. It might be doing a 10km or a triathlon. Whatever it is, just do it.
Don’t sit around thinking about it, just do it.
My aim is to do the marathon in less than 4:30. So I will let you know how I go!
Have you set yourself fitness goals? What are they? Please share in the comments below.