Tuesday, 27 October 2015

5 thoughts about doing a detox

As part of my 28 Day Challenge, we were told that for the first 5 days or so we should do a detox.  The detox (as we were instructed) consisted of:

  • Drinking as much detox water as possible.  The detox water included lemon, mint and cucumber.  They recommended drinking 5 litres (?!?!) per day.
  • Having a green monster smoothie in the morning, which included kale, spinach, strawberries, blueberries, goji berries, flaxmeal, chia and parsley.
  • Eat a low acidity / high alkaline diet, focussing on leafy greens, low sugar fruit and some fish once a day.
  • Generally stay away from simple carbohydrates, gluten, dairy and meat (other than fish).  Also avoid sugar, caffeine and alcohol.

I actually managed to stick to the plan pretty well for five days!  Here are some of my thoughts on sticking to this kind of detox eating plan.
  1. Drinking water has been CRUCIAL for me.  I think this is making the most difference in how I feel.  I've been drinking around 2-2.5 litres a day, which for me is a huge increase.  I've realised that I used to mistake thirst for hunger quite frequently!  I'm enjoying the water, but not the many bathroom breaks.
  2. I haven't missed drinking caffeine or alcohol at all physically, but I have mentally.  I've realised I attach certain activities to consuming these things.  I like relaxing with a book and a coffee in the mornings, and I like having a glass of wine on a Saturday night on the couch.  But physically, no loss at all.
  3. I really haven't noticed the lack of sugar, dairy or gluten in my diet.  I don't think I ate particularly much of these before, but I also didn't avoid them.  I think by changing my breakfast to a smoothie with no coffee, this cut out a lot of the usually gluten / dairy choices I would be making in my day.
  4. I have missed protein, particularly eggs.  I think I used to eat eggs most days!  I do like fish, and I probably have it two or three times a week, but not everyday.  I'm looking forward to getting some more variety back into my protein sources.
  5. I have noticed a lack of energy for exercise, particularly running.  During the day I'm fine, but my easy pace a few weeks ago is now feeling a lot harder to maintain, and my speed sessions are not quite so speedy any more!  Given I'm doing a few PT sessions a week (or will be), I'm ok with dropping the intensity of my runs, and just keeping them steady for the month.

Overall, I feel good, and it hasn't been as hard as I thought.  I've also lost 2.5kg in the week, which I realise is probably mostly water weight, but it certainly gives me incentive to stick it out for another three weeks.

Saying that, I know my first coffee / glass of wine after the month is over is going to be savoured :)

Friday, 23 October 2015

The Challenge that never got started

This week I was supposed to be all pumped and focussed on my 28 Day Challenge - even though I didn't really know what that would involve.  But my body had other ideas.

I went to a  group PT session on Monday night, where we did bench presses, straight leg deadlifts, assisted chin ups, squats, and then some other plyometric / dynamic work.  I found it really tough, and realised just how little upper body strength I had, but I felt good afterwards.  Well, in that small window between finishing and taking my measurements for the challenge.  Not so happy after that.

Anyway, I went to bed Monday night thinking, 'OK, I'm going to give this a proper go!', and committed to go to the other group PT sessions at least 3 nights a week.

Instead, on Tuesday I woke up with a migraine.  A really fun one, where light and movement and sound were all evil.

So Tuesday and some of Wednesday was a cycle of taking strong drugs, sleeping, trying to drink water, then repeating.  By about Wednesday afternoon I realised that I could open my eyes for a bit without feeling any head pounding.  Progress!  But I also realised how incredibly sore I was after my Monday night training session.  Like, I can't straighten my arms and it hurts to sit down on the toilet kind of sore.

I managed to eat some food, and read some material about the 28 Day Challenge which indicated that I was supposed to have been on a detox week, where basically you keep your food intake to fruit and vegies, with a little fish, and lots and lots of water.  Does no food and very little water count?  On the plus side, I already had two days down without coffee to break my caffeine addiction (it's real people).

Thursday I jumped up early (4:55am) ready to get back into my normal routine.  I headed to the gym for my scheduled 8km moderate run.  It was TOUGH.  Like my slow speeds were difficult.  And I quit after 6km.

I NEVER quit in the middle of a run.  But my body had been more beaten and battered than I realised in the previous two days, and I just wasn't up to it.  Or up to going to the Thursday night group PT session - just making it through a day of work was enough effort.

So my first week of my challenge has been a bit of a write off.  I have started the detox week, and am actually enjoying eating lots of fresh vegies and fruits, even whilst realising it isn't that much different to my normal diet.  I'm probably just being stricter about not have any dairy or gluten or caffeine, rather than a little here and there.  

And I'm really REALLY trying to drink more water.  It helps that I'm not drinking coffee - when I would normally want coffee, I'm just having water or a herbal tea instead.  And I do like having water with cucumber in it - yum!  I'm up to close to 2 litres a day, which is great (for me)!  But also involves many bathroom breaks.

So my new goal is a 21 Day Challenge starting Monday, with about a 5 day detox beforehand to kick it off.  We'll try again next week.

Monday, 19 October 2015

My last couple of runs, and a challenge

This weekend saw the annual Melbourne Marathon Festival on Sunday.  I didn't enter the half marathon because I wasn't sure if I was going to be ready to run it.  Last week, with the un-entered race coming up, I decided to do my own half marathon on the weekend, just because I could.

I knew that I wanted to push myself more than I have in my longer runs lately, which have been really just to get the kilometres under my belt.  But I also know I'm not currently fit enough to blast it from the start, so my goal was just to do the run in 2 hours.  Not fast, but hopefully steady.

I headed to the gym early on Saturday morning.  Yes, I ran my half marathon on a treadmill.  I have to admit that I much prefer treadmill running to running outside.  I know most runners have a view on treadmill running, usually more of a hate relationship, than a love one.  I like knowing that I can have regular drinks, I can watch tv, I can set the pace I want to run to hit the time I want, and it also helps that there is always  a bathroom close by.

I did my run in the 2 hours - pretty much exactly.  The first half I started slower, so I picked up the pace to hit my target of 10.6km in the first hour.  Then I kept the second half steady.  I've also learnt (the hard way) that it makes a huge difference if I can replace electrolytes during the run (I use a GU Brew tablet in my water), and also have a couple of GU gels to keep my energy levels consistent.

It wasn't easy, and my husband can attest to the fact that I hobbled around for a couple of days afterwards (although that may have been due to the leg focussed workout I did on Friday morning).  I know that I have run faster in the past, but for where I am now, I'm proud of that run!

This morning, after just doing a light yoga recovery session yesterday, I did an 8km tempo run.  I felt surprisingly good!  My run went like this:

1 km - 10kph
2 km - 10.5kph
2 km - 11kph
3 km - 11.5kph

I was happy with how strong I felt holding the 11.5kph pace for 3kms.  A few weeks ago, that would have been my fast interval pace for 400m sprints.  It just goes to show that my faster legs are in there somewhere ...

To try to lose a few kilograms to find those fast legs, I've decided to do a 28 day challenge with a local personal training studio.  It's the first time I've done anything like this!  I'm usually more of a lone exerciser.  Over the last couple of months I've been kind of hoping that 5kgs would melt off me without changing too much.  Of course, that didn't work.  So I'm going to see if this program can jump start my motivation and weight loss!

Wish me luck :)

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Back together again

So I'm just going to jump back into it, and pretend I haven't been awol for awhile.  OK?  Let's go!

At the moment I'm really starting to enjoy running again.  I've passed the 'this is all pain' phase of starting (or in my case, re-starting) to run, where you are counting down the minutes until you can stop, and the pace you see feels much harder than you remember.  Just to be clear with you all, there were many of these runs in the last few months, but with just enough of the good runs mixed in to give me hope that the phase will pass.

I'm now looking forward to each run.  I feel comfortable at an acceptable (although in no way fast) pace, and I have the strength and endurance to push myself, both in pace and speed.  I'm enjoying the feeling of breathing faster without feeling breathless.  I enjoy knowing that I can push out a burst of speed at the end to get the most out of my run, and my body will respond when I ask it to.  I like having a plan now, where each run has a purpose, and some runs are actually easy when easy running is required.

Although I'm not participating in the Melbourne Marathon festival this weekend (I wasn't sure if I would be ready to run another half marathon, and honestly, I didn't want to put that pressure on myself), I am going to go out and run a half marathon around my neighbourhood - or maybe on the treadmill - just because I want to, and just because I can.

Right at this moment I'm pretty happy to have running back in my life.