#ShieldItsYourMove

Ok, so I am pretty damn excited about this campaign that I’m taking part in, starting today, and running until the end of August. Firstly, because I’m revoltingly competitive, and secondly because its something I do everyday, and now theres a competition associated with that something I do every day – keeping active.

Shield have challenged me, and a bunch of other bloggers to a #ShieldItsYourMove campaign. The basic idea is to ‘just keep moving’. There are mommy and lifestyle bloggers (me), sports bloggers, food bloggers, fashion and beauty. You name it.

We all have the month of August to move as much as we can, and track our daily steps on our jawbone Up2 devices. We all move for different reasons – for me it’s training once a day and working off that office stress, as well as chasing a busy toddler round the house. Im not sure how the other bloggers spend their movement time, but all will be revealed during the coming weeks when we post our updates using the #ShieldItsYourMove hashtag across various social media platforms.

Moving and keeping busy is easy when you feel confident – which is where Shields new MotionSense technology comes in. It’s the words first anti perspirant with unique micro capsules activated by movement. So, the more you move, the more it keeps you dry, and the more you move the more Shield MotionSense releases fresh bursts of fragrance. And I’m not just saying that. I have been a Shield user ever since my wedding in 2013, when I trialled several antiperspirants in the build up to the big day and Shield came out top. Let me tell you, there is no sweat like wedding sweat!

So, follow my journey here, on Instagram, Twitter and on Facebook as I try to out move the other bloggers for the month of August.

Why don’t you join me?

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On This Sleep Thing.

I had a conversation with a friend last night who is keen to start trying for a baby. His wife is (naturally) very nervous. Amongst other things (gaining weight, finances and hormones) she’s worried about the lack of sleep a new baby will bring.

And I don’t blame her. Carter is perfect in many regards, but when it comes to sleeping, he’s a bit of an under achiever. And he’s over a year. So it’s not as if I haven’t given him a fair chance to prove me wrong.

Lack of sleep is 100% guaranteed when you have a child. Your newborn might sleep through from 6 weeks, but like any wild animal they can turn on you at any time. I know friends who smugly told anyone they met that their newborn slept through. And then said newborn turned one and never slept again. I know moms whose eleven-year-olds have sleep regressed, and I know my story – a baby who naps beautifully during the day, falls asleep on his own within minutes, but who sleeps through the night only 30% of the time. He’s 14 months. Which means that I haven’t slept through the night in 5475 days. That’s a lot of no napping, a massive rest respite, a sad RIP REM.

Now, before you dash off to your nearest Doctors office and swallow a box of birth control, I do have two pieces of good news: 1. You don’t actually need that much sleep and 2. It gets easier.

The only way I can liken coping on little to no sleep is to compare it with fitness. Have you ever trained for a race? Let’s say you have, and let’s say it was for a 10k. Let’s also assume that you were starting at a zero base – couch potato level. Your program starts you off gently, maybe a 2-kilometer run/walk the first day. Your heart rate spikes, you’re out of breath and you finish sweaty and exhausted. It’s possible that you may wake up the following day fucked. Your head foggy, your body swollen and battling to function for most of the day. You wondered how you could ever do more. But then the following week you have to run a solid 3 km’s, and it’s bloody hard, but you didn’t walk once, your body is a little less stiff, and you feel slightly happier. Within 4 weeks you are cruising a solid 5k’s and possibly beating your time. When race day approaches you’ve got this 10 k in the bag. You finish, tired but unbroken, and suddenly you start thinking about another race – perhaps a 21 k this time?

Lack of sleep is a bit like exercise fitness. If you happen to be a parent, think back to a time when you were kid free. If you are currently kid free then, well, damn you, you well rested bastard. Right, so thinking back to BC (Before Children) – you were used to long nights of unbroken sleep and a routine that was all yours. Now imagine you went out on a bender, got home late after a wine-fuelled dinner party or were babysitting a small human. All of these actions are guaranteed to result in less and broken sleep. Remember how you felt when you woke up the next morning? Fucked. Your head was foggy, your eyes swollen and you battled to function for most of the day.

But then you had a child of your own and that first night back from the hospital meant no more nurses or staff to help you. And then your baby had to wake up for a feed every 3 hours and – like a blind drunk – you stumbled from room to room, boobs exposed, bleary eyed and tried to do what you needed to do. You’d wake up in the morning, and how did you feel? Fucked. Your head was foggy, your eyes swollen and you battled to function for most of the day.

This goes on for a few days – you’re probably still so used to not having a kid that you’re sleeping through some cries, your 2-am alarm and the baby monitor beeping. You wonder how you will ever get used to the constant waking up. And then a few weeks pass and suddenly you wake up without needing an alarm, feed the kid with military skill and it all starts feeling easier. A few months in and your baby is going through a sleep regression, teething,

Fast forward a few months and your baby is going through a sleep regression, teething, colicky or in pain. You sleep less and less but function better and better. By now you might be back at work juggling deadlines, demands and clients. On 18 minutes of sleep you’ve put together proposals, dominated meetings and finished budget forecasts. You are acing this. You are running your 10k.

Turns out, the less you sleep the easier it becomes to not need sleep, and little rest no longer means you can’t function the next day. Our bodies are amazing things, and simply adjust to help us cope with this change in our lives.

That being said, combining the two can often be dangerous. I went out on a wine fueled bender last night, and also happened to be on baby duty. I am fucked today, eating McDonalds at my desk, my head throbbing, my eyes swollen, wondering how I’m ever going to function again.

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Why I’m Left Feeling Bitterly Disappointed By Half Iron Man.

Three years ago I took part in, and completed my first ever Half Iron Man in East London. Upon crossing the finish line I burst into tears. I was elated, so proud and felt like I had achieved the impossible. (Turns out, it’s the 2nd hardest course in the world, so my feelings were justified I suppose). Fast-forward to 19 June 2016 when I crossed the finish line in Durban, and all I felt was a heavy heart and bitter disappointment.

It’s been a few days since finishing the race, and I’ve been trying to understand why I feel so ‘let down’ about the entire experience.

The weeks and month leading up to the race were not kind, and as mentioned here, the odds just seemed to be against me. When I did the race for the first time three years ago, I had a lot more time to train, people to train with and it was I Summer, which meant Winter with its debilitating cold, dark and sickness wasn’t an issue. Back to back bronchitis, chronic anemia, no sleep, shin splints, planning a first birthday party, a resignation from work and massive stress in my life left me feeling seriously fragile for most of my training.

We arrived in Durban on Thursday – to give us enough time to register, chill with the friends whose house we were staying at, and acclimatise for the race. The big rule before any event like this is easy; REST UP. Unfortunately, the Monday before, Carter had started with some severe gastro that was so bad we did what we have never done before and actually panicked enough to take him to the hospital. There, they declared a viral gastro infection and asked us to ‘wait it out’. On the Saturday before the race (having waited it out for 7 days) he was only getting worse; there was blood in his stools, he wasn’t sleeping, had a raging fever, was as miserable as sin and we were exhausted. We took him to the hospital in Durban and within twenty minutes he was admitted for dehydration and on a drip. Emotional doesn’t even begin to cut it, I was devastated for two reasons – one for my poor sick baby in hospital, with a now bacterial dysentery (the guilt!) and two, for the race in less than 15 hours time – which Barry and I had both trained so long and hard for, sacrificed family time for and had been planning for, for the better part of half a year. Barry insisted I still race – knowing that after this 70.3 I was probably going to give up triathlon for a bit and focus on finding some balance in my life. With a heavy heart I left the hospital to go and pack my transition bags and rack my bike. If it wasn’t for my friend Eryn who we were staying with – who had just completed the Full Iron Man – I probably would have given up there and then. Thankfully she got my mind right(ish), helped me pack my bags, nutrition and bike and helped me get to the race to set up. She also took me down to the race the next morning at 5 am and stood on the cooking hot pavements, with her hubby and son, and supported me the entire day.

On the same Saturday that Carter was admitted – before we took him to the hospital – we had the pre-race training swim. Normally the pre-swim is a free for all where athletes get to play in the water, get a feel for the waves, the current and the ocean. This year the ocean was not playing ball, and the race organisers seemed uneasy. They made it a swim where you had to queue up and head off 10 at a time, with the organisers checking people in and out using our timing chips. Alarm bells were ringing in my head, and as the queue got longer and longer and more and more swimmers were coming you the water looking less than happy, I was in full blown panic mode. After about an hour and a half of waiting to go in, they abruptly cancelled the pre-swim. The water was just too dangerous. My heart sunk a bit further into my chest. The swim was my Achilles heel and mentally I had been preparing myself for this single discipline the entire time. Distracted by a very unwell baby though, we left and took him to the hospital, as above.

After a last visit to see my baby and Barry in the paed ward, I went home to Eryn and Greg and slept surprisingly well (could be the red wine or Xanax..or both). Up to this pint I had also picked up a tiny bit of Carter’s gastro, which meant an upset tummy and zero appetite – also not great before a race).

Race morning arrived and I was up at 4 am. For those who take part or spectate in triathlons, you understand its not as simple as arriving and running in to the water. It’s a mammoth task of logistics, planning and time. Even though your bike and two transition bags are packed and racked the day before, you still have to get down to transition the morning of the race to pump tyres, stock nutrition and triple check you have everything you need in the relevant bag. I did this all and left the transition area to find Eryn. It was dark and fresh and a beautiful morning. My tummy was feeling better, Carter seemed to be on the mend, and I suddenly had a bit more optimism about the race. Then the race organisers made the announcement: The swim had just been cancelled.

3000 athletes went in to panic mode. This was the first time in 20 years that the swim had been cancelled – which meant that the ocean really wasn’t in a good mood. Many people were angry and quick to judge. I was gutted. The biggest challenge for me, and one that I finally felt ready for had been pulled form under me. Which meant we technically weren’t doing a triathlon – we were doing a duathlon. I, along with 2999 other athletes felt cheated.

The race, instead of a well oiled slick machine now turned into disorganised chaos. The pro athletes (only about 16 in total) still had to do the swim, and the rest of us plebs would start on the bike once they were done. We walked down to the swim, my mind now completely unraveled and watched them start. ‘The waves aren’t that high’ I thought to myself as I looked down. Then the gun went and the pros went off and the only thing I can liken it to was confetti being tossed into a gale force wind. Swimmers were everywhere. Some immediately got pushed several hundred meters to the left, others got pushed to shore and some just could not get past the surf. Two ladies had to be rescued and many of them (remember, all pro athletes) said they thought they were going to die. To give more context – take a look here.

It was while watching the pro swim that I realised the organisers had definitely made the right call. I can guarantee that several people would have lost their life that day should the swim not have been cancelled. However, that still didn’t stop the thoughts banging in my head. People just aren’t going to respect us now. People will say it wasn’t a real race.

Now, this is where I think I started feeling like a loser, and why the race has left me with a bad taste in my mouth. The bike start – instead of happening as people came out of the water – ie a staggered approach – but still relatively in line with your age groupers happened with all 3000 athletes at the same time, but actually not at the same time at all. Which meant a 2 hour queue as they let people off, five at a time every 15 seconds. I happened to be one of the very last in the queue, which meant that by the time I eventually started my bike, other athletes had already been out there for almost 2 hours. That does a lot for ones psyche, and even though your time only officially started once you had got on your bike and started cycling, mentally it felt like you were already behind. As an example, if athlete A started at the front of the queue and cycled a 4 hour race, and athlete B started at the back of the queue and cycled a 3 hour race, athlete A would still finish the bike first and start the run while athlete B was still riding. This is what happened to me, and even though I feel I had an OK’ish bike time (for me anyways!) I came off the bike and started the run when pretty much everyone had already started. Because of my late start, and the mentality of the organisers and volunteer staff being that of a normal race (ie cutoff times after swim and bike), by the time I turned around at the 40 km mark, people had already started packing up cones and aid stations and cars were flying past me on the freeways. Not cool. That, coupled with a really bad stitch in my shoulders made me a glum chap.

I got off my bike in transition and looked around in dismay – it seemed as if 90% of the bikes had been racked – which made perfect sense when you thought about it logically, but totally threw me, because even though I was well within my cutoff time, it felt like I was coming stone last. I started the run when most people were on their second lap, and so by the time I started my second lap, I had marshals rushing me along – again forgetting that I was making decent time and that time on the clock wasn’t an indicator of athlete performance. “I started 2 hours after everyone else!” I wanted to scream.

The run was shitty, and I will never again underestimate a ‘quick 21km’ again. Because it was completely flat I assumed it would be the best and easiest part of the day. It wasn’t. Flat means no hard uphill, but it also means no lovely downhill to relieve your legs. It was also 1 pm by the time I started, and 36 degrees.

I just felt the spectators at that point were disinterested, and I felt lonely for most of the run. Even my parents, who had come all the way to see me race, looked bored. I think it had been a long day of waiting, and due to the slow start, there wasn’t much excitement in terms of masses of athletes all competing at the same time. I could see them thinking ‘really, is this it?’

About 8 kms in I started running with a girl Siobhan who I met along the route and who mentally helped me a lot. I left her after a few kms as I was feeling a bit stronger, and she needed to walk a bit more. (I hope she somehow stumbles across this blog and makes contact – I never caught her last name, but we did commit to having lunch in Joburg together to celebrate not dying). The last 10 kms were much better than the first, and I kept a very slow but steady pace (race day goal was a 6:45 and I was managing between 7:30 and 8. I was hurting and the tummy cramps of the previous few days had flared up.).

On those last 10 kms, again due to the lateness of the day and mentality of how it’s usually done, a lot of the aid stations had closed up, sponges and water had run out and the promenade had been opened properly to the public. I ran into 2 people, was hit by a wayward soccer ball and had to dodge more than one child running in and out the crowds. By then I was close to despair and started going in to a very dark place.

Eventually, I finished, in my slowest 21 km time ever of 2:44. I crossed the finish line happy, grabbed my medal and T-shirt and made my way back to the supporters area. It was completely empty. That kind of (un)welcome does a lot for this already battered ego, and I felt so sad and despondent.

The positive to the race was that my baby boy was discharged that afternoon so he and hubby at-least got to see me on the route, which was a beautiful sight when you are empty and broken inside.

Sadly, I don’t feel as if the organisers handled the delayed start well, and I’m bitterly disappointed by how I was made to feel like a B grade athlete out there – at no fault of my own. I think the organisers had been prepped for a 7:30 am start and a cutoff by 15:30 – so when the plans changed and the time got pushed out, they weren’t aware that it was OK and athletes competing were not a bunch of losers. I also definitely know that having had the swim portion cut out – which actually made the race harder for some reason, has made me feel like a 2/3 Iron Man.

Does that mean I have unfinished business, and will be coming back next year to see it through? Probably not. I’m feeling a massive sense of relief that this race is over, and that I can focus on some other aspects of my life right now. Nothing that looks or sounds like a swim, bike or run… although, that’s what I said straight after my very first Half Iron man in 2013…

CJ was less than thrilled as well
CJ was less than thrilled as well

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I took this photo when the pros went out on their swim. You can see the lifeguards rushing in to assist a swimmer

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Carter in hospital with bacterial dysentry
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Race registration with Eryn
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Finishing in a time of 6:26
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On the Friday we did a team swim. The water was harsh but not unmanageable.
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Half Iron Man 70.3 (and the uneven, pothole infested road that’s got me there).

*Disclaimer. You’re about to get knee deep into the biggest pity-party this side of 2016. Sorry.

In 13 days’ time I will be standing at the start line of 70.3 Durban, and hopefully finishing less than 8.5 hours later, with a second Half Iron Man medal under my belt.

I’m dreading it. I feel like the odds have been stacked against me from the very start of this race.

Firstly, the race is on 19 June, slap bang in the middle of Winter. Which means training has been happening leading up to, and in Winter – dark mornings, dark nights, freezing weather and less than ideal circumstances. Have you ever been swimming at 5:30 am on a Monday in -2 cold degree, in the dark? It’s super kuk.

When I last did the race I was kid and fancy free. I could train twice a day, and train with my now-husband and some friends. Now that we have a son we have to split our time – so one of us will do the morning run while the other trains, and visa versa in the evening. That means apart from a very lonely 5 months of exercising alone, I also never see my husband, and get to tuck my child in bed 50% of the time. We are like 3 ships in the night.

I’ve also had the worst year, health wise. I was recently diagnosed with severe anemia, which is a relief, because I genuinely thought I had caught a bad case of the stupid. I’ve given and received bronchitis several times and had more throat infections than Zumas has wives. I’ve pretty much trained through antibiotics, iron drips and the plague.

And then the broken sleep, and sick baby, and teething baby and baby in general. Holy hell. My one-year-old gives zero shits that mommy needs to be up at 5 for a spinning class, and then a full day of work afterwards. And it’s fine, because I have dragged this kid through the trenches with me. We wake him up at godforsaken hours on the weekend, bundle him in layers of clothing and trek him from race to race. He has been a champ, and I think when he gets fed up of having to attend one more training session or Club V class he decides to grow 18 molars in the space of a day. Just for payback.

So I’m really tired, and exhausted, and so looking forward to this day being done. I’m also really scared that I don’t finish in time because despite it all I’ve given it 100% and tried my absolute best from day 1. I’m so worried of what people will think or say if I fail – how silly am I?

Also, have I told you that despite training 7 days a week for the past 4 months I HAVENT EVEN LOST ONE KILOGRAM? Anyway.

My husband slash coach asked me yesterday what my next goal is after the race is done. My answer? Chill the fuck out. (Until the next family gathering when after one too many glasses of wine I agree to another race, like Comrades or something equally stupid).

Freezing morning rides
Freezing morning rides
Solo Wattbike classes
Solo Wattbike classes

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Early dark morning at Germiston Tri
Early dark morning at Germiston Tri

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Finishing Germiston Tri
Finishing Germiston Tri
Supporting mom at her race
Supporting mom at her race
Does an iron drip qualify me as an Iron Man?
Does an iron drip qualify me as an Iron Man?
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WIN A Personal Training Program Worth R4000 With P3 Fitness Centre

A while ago I wrote this post. One that resulted in floods and floods of emails, calls and messages. I’m still amazed at just how many women could relate to how I was (and sometimes still am) feeling.

It’s been a few months and I’m getting there. Slowly. I still have some kilos to go, but in the middle of work, training for a Half Iron Man, being a mom, wife and friend, I find very little time to stress about it as much.

Also, I really, really love pizza.

I do also fall off the wagon from time to time, and being winter in Joburg also means its a lot harder to train and find time when it isn’t freezing or dark, to get my ass in to gear.

I’m pretty sure I’m not the only person who has hit a bit of a mid-year slump, and who’s waiting for a change of season/new month/week/year/bikini/the stars to align to start working for the body they want.

The thing is, the time really is now, and every day wasted means a day you haven’t started. A year from now you’ll wish you had. I promise

So, some good news for those of you ready to take the plunge, but aren’t quite sure where to start.

I’m teaming up with P3 Fitness Centre and personal trainer Jennifer Barkhuizen (BA (socsci): Sports PsychologyBA (HMS) HONS: Sport Science) and giving away a two months personalised online training experience with her. The prize includes a dietary programme, online training plans specific to your needs, Skype consultations with Jennifer, body measurements, before and after photos and so much more. The prize is valued at R4000, but the way you will feel afterwards is priceless.

I personally find that being accountable to someone is half the battle won, so a customized 2 months plan with an exceptional trainer might just be the motivation you’ve been lacking till now.

So, if you are looking to get your body back after baby, trying to lose weight for your wedding or simply want to be a better you, then this is the competition for you.

It’s so simple to enter:

  • Comment on this post and tell me why you want to win this prize
  • Like the Rupert Approves Facebook page
  • Make sure you follow the Rupert Approves blog
  • You can also get an extra entry by tweeting me @KateKearney

Winners will be drawn and notified on Friday 3 June

In the meantime, if you want to find out more about P3, you can contact Jennifer on barkhuizen.jennifer@gmail.com

Good Luck!

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The Little Device That’s Keeping Me Very Accountable

I’ve entered another Half Iron Man. With MUCH cajoling and bribery from my family-in-law might I add. I think I’m crazy. Work is busier than ever, I have a very demanding 9 month old, 2 dogs, a husband, 16 hours of traffic a week, no nanny and am starting an additional career advancement course through my company. So what possessed me to now dedicate a further 8-15 hours per week to training is beyond me. I suspect it has a lot to do with the fact that half my family is doing the race, and a lot more to do with the fact that I am fiercely and stupidly competitive, and a dare – in pretty much every shape or form – will have me agreeing to do it.

So here I sit, crapping bricks about how my life is going to work for the next six months, but also so excited about getting this arse into gear and re-learning a skill I last utilised in January 2013.

So, what’s keeping me accountable? 3 things; the people who now know I’m doing this race (AKA all of you), my own sense of warped pride, and a little device that has become my new bestie: Fitbit.

Fitbit Charge HR

Confession – when Fitbit was first launched I thought it was another glorified step counter that allocated 5 movements for every fart or sneeze. Then several months ago a trainer suggested I get one to stay accountable. I scoffed at the idea, but like any seed that gets planted I decided to let it grow, and a few weeks later I bought myself the entry level one.

I was hooked – the band, along with the app turned me into a crazy woman who started watching her wrist like a hawk, waiting for the lights to show I’d done my 10 000 steps for the day. I logged food, training and started competing with friends and colleagues through my phone. A few months later, being the gadget-whore I am, I upgraded to the Fitbit Charge HR and my life was turned around. A very dramatic statement sure, but suddenly I was wearing a device on my arm that measured not only steps but meals, heart rate, calories burned, floors walked and workout sessions. I was so used to strapping myself up like a pysch patient before this – my Polar watch requires a chest strap, the watch and a separate GPS tracker just to do what the Fitbit can.

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There’s something very rewarding about feeling your arm vibrate when you’ve hit your step target for the day, or when you see you’ve consumed less calories than you’ve exerted (yay weight loss!). I do suspect though that the greatest reward is are the free smoothies at Kauai, because the Fitbit is linked to Vitality Active Rewards, and gives you points just for moving.

The Charge HR is available from iStore, www.myistore.co.za, Incredible Connection or DionWired for R2 999. They come in small and large and in colours black, blue, tangerine and plum. I have the plum one and when I wear it I kinda feel like this lady (except a bit fatter and with more sweat)

Fitbit Charge HR

Fitbit has a device for every level and comes in a variety of shapes colours and sizes. Plus, news just out is that they’re lunching a brand new device called the ‘Alta’ which is the high school cheerleader of the Fitbit range. It’s slimmer, sexier and more fashionable. Basically everything I want to be in my next life. *Swoon*.

Fitbit Alta

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Blake Lively, You Are Not helping Matters.

I just took a light jog with the dogs and the pram. In my nursing bra. My oversized boobs were literally flying into my mouth.

Why did I just take a jog with 2 dogs and a baby you ask? No, it was not to taste my own boob milk, nor was it to proudly display my multitasking skills whilst I clutched dog leash in one hand and bouncy breast in the other.

You see, my face slash body double Blake Lively has also recently given birth to a baby. I’m not sure of its name. Probably God. 

Have you seen Blake Lively post partum? Wait did you see her pregnant? Holy mother of all things fertile, the woman looks like a Victoria Secret model. She’s all lean arms and legs, luscious hair and flat tummy. It’s depressing dear reader – and don’t for one second try to tell me she’s wearing spanx under her dress made of human skin. I tried them things. All that happened was that my post baby belly went from sitting around my waist, to being squished up around my chest, resulting in 2 sets of 36 D’s to deal with. 

She has time to wear a hat?
She has time to wear a hat?

Seriously?

I mean COME ON!
I mean COME ON!

Im still wearing the pregnancy leggings I lived in for 9 months, and when I dare to wear a tight top I look 5 months knocked up. You guys, my cellulite has cellulite.

I had an easy pregnancy – so I guess this is my big pay back – the fat that won’t come off. What makes it even worse is that my bordering on problematic pregnancy cravings (white chocolate, vanilla cake, Kit Kat chunkys and toasted cheese sarmies have not at all abated). Harder still is that junk food is the easiest thing to eat when nursing a baby in one hand and fondling my fat rolls in the other.

I did go back to gym. Once. I signed Carter up to Club V, left him there and waddled off to the floor mats. There, I bumped into a lady I used to work with, who has the body of Blake Lively’s twin sister. She told me, very kindly, to go easy on myself. 12 months is a very long time to be stagnant, but I was too stubborn to listen. 8 jumping squats later I could actually feel myself starting to black out. 1 attempted plank and a handful of running lunges later and I think I actually DID pass out. 

EIGHT DAYS LATER and I was only managing to sit down n the toilet again without crying. 

I know I need to be patient, I know its only been 7 weeks and 6 days since I gave birth (and all the lard in the world is worth it when I look at this perfect little kid) but man, am I feeling crappy about this post baby body. 

I guess, in a perfect world, I would have a nanny to give me some time off to hit the gym, a slew of maids to do the washing and drying and cleaning when my baby vomits all over his brand new outfit (again) and a million more hours in the day to get everything I need to done. 

For now, I will take running up the street, clutching heaving bosoms in a nursing bra, whilst holding on to a pram and 2 hounds. 

Welcome to motherhood. 

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Time to run

At the end of last year, my friends Lauren and Don as well as Barry and myself decided to enter the Two Oceans Marathon (well, the half marathon, Barry will be doing the full because he rocks and has the fitness levels of a super athlete, no jokes). Barry, also being the spreadsheet wunderkind , developed a training program for us, and off we set on our daily runs, happily chatting our way through the first week or two of easy 3 and 4 kilometre sessions.(That would soon change)

Having just recovered from a foot operation in October, I was only allowed to start physical exercise in December, and was fairly nervous about my fitness levels which had crashed and died. Thankfully both foot and fitness levels recovered fairly decently and the raining got off to a good start.

We are now just under 5 weeks away from the big race, and our training schedule has become a lot more intense, and pretty much takes up all of our free time in the evenings. Look, I realise we aren’t doing anything that extraordinary (read Iron man, climbing Kili, Comrades etc), but for 3 people who have never run more than a 5km, I think we have come really far and I am exceptionally proud of the perseverance and dedication we have all given this – especially since the people around roll their eyes when we mention ‘training’ and pretty much all of our close friends couldn’t care less.

Another perk to all this training is the awesome kit we get to experiment with, and being a bit of a gadget girl there are several items I could not do without when training. If you are looking to get into running, or any other form of exercise, I suggest investigating some of these handy items.

The first item is an incredible tool called ‘Runtastic‘ which is an app for most phone models (iOS, Android, Blackberry). Runtastic tracks distance, speed, time as well as provides a host of other information. The app even speaks to you during your run, tracking your distance and motivating (sometimes) along the way.

The device which I use the most is my Polar heart rate watch and foot pod. the watch tracks heart rate zones, calories burnt and time and the footpod allows me to track distance and speed – all very helpful during a long training session. there is also nothing as motivating as seeing how many calories you’ve burnt and just how far you’ve pushed your body.

 

Speaking of calories burnt – this next app/website has proved invaluable during my training and has really helped me to focus on my eating. My Fitness Pal is an app which allows you to track your daily food intake as well as exercise, and works out calories eaten.It also predicts weight loss and weight gain depending on your daily calorie intake. The niftiest thing about the app is that, when used on your phone, it scans images of barcodes (yes, even local!) and lets you know nutritional content. The app also encourages you to invite friends, and view their progress. Nothing motivates one as much as your BFF becoming a skinny bitch before you, right?


Other handy websites I have found are Runners WorldWomens Health and Shape magazine. These tools combined with a personal will to succeed, amazing running friends and a dream to cross that finish line have all been huge motivators!

Here’s to the early mornings, early nights, sacrificing Phuza Thursday and sticking to a goal!

Early morning run time
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