Tuesday, 23 September 2014

How to Taper Like a Boss (Or Not)

I had grand plans to run two short, intense 5 kays and a leisurely weekend-10 kay last week as taper workouts for the Fish River Half on the 27th, but alas.  My body decided that it would be more fun to catch Miss K's cold, and as a result, not run at all.  Boo.

How's that for tapering...?*  I've always been a "go big or go home"-kind of girl, ha!  Luckily it was only a head cold, and the rest of the family is already over it, so I'm still hopeful and determined to run my race this weekend.  And perhaps even do my two planned taper runs sometime this week...?  Here's hoping.  

Will used the opportunity to get back on the bike (he's been taking it easy for the past six months or so in order to give me a chance to get back into running after J's birth) and couldn't be happier!

And about five minutes after he left for his ride, I came across this incredible cuteness:

They obviously also had to stretch those muscles after their respective rides...

I asked them what exactly they were stretching here, but neither of them could tell me...?

Never underestimate the power of the example that you set to your kids.  Never.  

Sooooooo, in T minus two days we are leaving for Namibia for the Fish River Half, woohoooo!

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I'm sure that you must have guessed by now that I wasn't one of the lucky winners of the 2014 Big Blog Exchange...  Whomp, whomp.  Looks like I'll just have to find another way to make my dreams come true, right?  Thanks so much for all of your support throughout the competition, though - it really means so much to me and, who knows, perhaps I'll pester you for votes again this time next year...!  A sincere congrats to all the guys and girls who did make it into the Top 16 - wishing you all the adventure of a lifetime!

*You know that this isn't ideal, right?  Just checkin'.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Thoughts on this weekend's long run

Before I share some thoughts on this weekend's long run (The Big Daddy - 18 km, whoop!), can I just say that I absolutely love summertime weekends in this beautiful country of ours?  Temperatures are rising and everything is green and fresh - we literally spend as much time as possible over the weekends just lounging and playing around in shady spots in the garden.  I love it!

But before I did some (much needed!) lounging around this past weekend, I had some business to take care of: My last long run before the Fish River Half-Marathon in Namibia on the 27th.  I had an 18 km run on the schedule, and have learnt by now that those need to be tackled with a positive mindset and a whole lot of respect, ha!  Here are a few thoughts on my 11 miler:

1.  The mind is such a powerful thing!  It has the fascinating ability to push the body to do way more than it ever wants to do.  I'm so thankful that running has taught me that.

18 km done!

2.  The wind was at my back for the mentally toughest part of the route - 't was gooooooood.

3.  I fuelled with honey.  It was very sweet (actually a bit too sweet for my liking), but did the job nicely: All natural, and no sticky mess.  I ran with one sachet and took a few slurps at 10 km and 15 km, which I think I'll do during the race as well.  

4.  This.  And summer has barely begun.

Us runners certainly are an attractive lot.

5.  Poor Miss K has a nasty cold, and Grandpa has been struggling to get rid of the flu.  Praying that they'll both feel better soon and that they'll be healthy in time for our trip to Namibia next week...!

Taper time!!

Friday, 12 September 2014

Nine months on, nine months off?

J Bear is nine months old today!  (Cue remark on how quickly the time has flown by.)  Seriously, though, these nine months seem to have passed way quicker than the first nine months after Miss K's (J's older sister's) birth - perhaps because I had a better idea of what to expect this time?  Or perhaps one is generally just a lot busier with two little ones?  Whatever the reason, though, J is definitely not a tiny little baby anymore - as K loves to exclaim on an almost daily basis: "He's bigger again today!".

And he loves feeding himself avocado!

Although there's been some highs and some lows [sleep deprivation being the lowest (and perhaps only?) low for me personally], this has been one mind-blowing, blessed journey so far.  The responsibility of helping two little people develop into content, fulfilled, happy adults certainly is a huge (and sometimes overwhelming) one.  But it is also one of the most rewarding things there is.  These two truly are my greatest adventure.

So then there's also the tiny little issue of "nine months on, nine months off" - have I lost all my pregnancy weight?  I promised that I'd let you know, and I'm all for keeping it real, so here it is: Yes and no.  No, because I still weigh one kilogram more than I weighed before my pregnancy with J Bear (I gained a total of 16 kg during the pregnancy).  But also yes, because I'm 1.5 kg lighter now than I was before my pregnancy with his older sister, Miss K (and I was at a pretty happy weight then).  But you know what?  Writing that down almost seems silly now - somehow having kids just makes the numbers on a scale or having a bit of a muffin top seem totally irrelevant.  Note that I'm definitely not an advocate of letting things go after having kids - far from it.  But, if after (mostly) eating a really healthy diet and exercising on a regular basis, I still carry one extra kilo, I'm 100% okay with that.  Perhaps it will disappear in good time, and perhaps not - I'm totally happy either way.

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We have some pretty exciting countdowns going on in the Running the Race household at the moment: Our family trip to Namibia (and my goal half-marathon for the year!) is in exactly two weeks and one day, whooop!  Aaaaaand, the winners of the Big Blog Exchange 2014 (of which I'm a finalist, thanks to all of you!) are announced in exactly four days from now...  Can you feel it?!?  

Happy weekend, everyone!

Fellow running mamas out there: What are your views on losing pregnancy weight?  Have you lost yours?