Just a little reminder to find an activity that you love to keep yourself motivated🙂
Who can fail to be inspired by ‘the fastest human ever timed’: Usain Bolt. “Lightning Bolt” is the holder of 9 gold medals in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay at three consecutive Olympics as well as an eleven-time World Champion.
Good things come to those who believe.
Better things come to those who are patient.
And the best things come to those who never give up.
But before anything else, you have to believe.
“It’s hard. It’s like hard work. It’s day in, day out sacrifice. day in, day out.”
“Faster means they’re not going to catch me. No matter who you are, no matter what you’re doing, no matter how focussed you are, no matter how ready you think you are, you’re not going to catch me ’cause that last 10 metres is going to take me three and a half strides to cross the finish line… and this is where the glory begins because when I cross the finish line, I do what I want. Celebrate ‘To di world’. Do crazy stuff because I put my flavour to it. I make them love and enjoy.”
“He has some very special qualities, but as a competitor and as a person he has the ability to focus”.
Don’t think about the start of the race. Think about the ending. – Usain Bolt
It’s been a while since I posted, and for good reason:
Unfortunately, things didn’t go quite to plan, so my baby was born nearly two weeks late via emergency caesarean. She’s thriving, but I’ve had some ups and downs and was readmitted to hospital. Hopefully, that’s behind us now and we can start moving forward.
I’m not allowed to run, swim, cycle or drive until 6 weeks after M’s birth, so no sports until 10th December😦 However, this does mean that I have time to do some planning. I’ve signed up for ParkLives which offers free outdoor fitness classes in a number of parks across the UK. I’ve chosen to sign up for ‘Buggy Mums’ which takes place at 11:30am on Tuesdays on Southampton Common and 11:30am on Wednesdays at Weston Shore. I’m not sure whether the classes are exactly what I want to do, but they are free and are somewhere that I can meet other mums:
“Buggyfit fitness classes for mums and children are an hour long, and usually involve a 3 mile route in total. Classes start with a moderate warm up walk, moving into a power walk or run to raise our heart rates. Each session includes group exercises specifically to the individual selected to strengthen particular muscle groups, and enable us to cope with the demands of motherhood. We finish off with a cool down and stretch.”
A week after M was born, we went to our first parkrun, but we didn’t take part, we just watched and cheered others on. The following weekend, we missed out on parkrun as everyone in our house needed a lie in, so last Saturday, we finally got to take part in our first parkrun together.
When choosing a buggy, Stuart and I opted for an Out N About Nipper Sport. It is primarily a running buggy, and although it is not possible to run with a baby under 6 months old (or before they have enough strength to support their own head), this buggy can be used to transport babies from birth.
It is quite a large pushchair, but it is light and suprisingly manoeuvrable. Possibly the only downside is that it is forward facing, so I can’t easily see my baby whilst exercising.
I agreed that Stuart would complete parkrun at his own pace and I would walk it. I knew that this would mean that he would complete the run and be able to join me for my second loop.
It was difficult to know what to wear for this parkrun. I usually run in shorts all year around, so I thought I would be OK wearing leggings, however, it was really cold, so I ended up layering up with tracksuit trousers, a hoodie and a running jacket. I also added a beanie and gloves for good measure… this turned out to be too much, so I had to remove several items of clothing whilst walking.
This was also the first chance that I had to try out my new trainers. Millet Sports sent me a pair of Hoka One One Bondi 4 to try out. Although I can’t run, I thought I could at least find out how comfortable they were by wearing them for walking in. So far, I’m very pleased with them – I’ll post a full review later when I’ve been able to run in them.
For much of the parkrun, I was with the tail runner, who was surprised by how quickly I could walk. However, there were times when I managed to pass other people, who were able to overtake me on the downhills (as they were able to run and I’m not allowed to).
Stuart ran past me on his second loop and I saw him in the finish funnel as I passed it. He was then able to join us for the second loop. In the last 20m of the event, I was passed by some other participants, so I was the final finisher, however my time wasn’t too bad. My aim is to do the next event in 45 minutes, if possible.
The following day, I took part in the Decathlon Running Series 5k on Southampton Common. Stuart was able to run it, and I persuaded my mum to walk it with me. My mum doesn’t usually walk a lot, so I thought it would be a good challenge for her.
My mum and I were comfortably ahead of another family with a baby when the tail cyclist joined us. Apparently, the other family had decided to take a short cut. We pressed on and thought the marshals were really good and supportive. As we got within 500m of the finish, the other family had rejoined the route, so I urged my mum to walk a bit faster so that we would not finish last… we just about managed it!
This was a good free event. Each participant received a free t-shirt (yellow for men and pink for women). The sizing was a little skimpy, but they were OK. Also, after the event we were able to claim free drawstring goodie bags containing a bottle of water, a pineapple drink, a chocolate cereal bar, a sticker, a catalogue and a lanyard.
I had thought that it would be fun to do some parkruns at Christmas and New Year in Cornwall with my family, but the nearest parkrun (Penrose) is not doing any additional festive events. Hopefully, we’ll get to run on Christmas Eve and/or New Year’s Eve. I’m hoping I’ll be able to persuade my mum to join us for a walk.
I had hoped to sign up M for baby swimming classes, but I’m not allowed in the water until December and the times that are available are not convenient for Stuart, so I guess we’ll have to wait until 2017. I’m confident that even if M doesn’t get to the classes, she’ll learn to swim before adulthood!
I’ve also started planning my cycling adventures for 2017, but I’ll need a road bike, so Stu and I have paid another visit to Vankru. I’d really like a Tifosi bike, but the colour scheme that I admired at the Cycle Show isn’t available on the website, so I’m considering a Canyon.
What have you been up to whilst I’ve been off-line? Do you have any tips for exercising with a new baby?
Continuing with my feminist inspiration on a Monday morning, I thought I’d share this Filipino commercial for Pantene shampoo. It shows some of the dichotomies that women face. We’re encouraged to be more ‘masculine’ to succeed in a man’s world, but then are berated for that behaviour. A man who states his opinions firmly and strongly is labelled a ‘boss’ whereas a woman is simply ‘bossy’. Here are some more examples of this paradigm:
Whatever your feelings on this duality, the key message is applicable to everyone:
Don’t let labels hold you back.
Be strong and shine.
I like this Covergirl advert about female empowerment and breaking barriers. Featuring a host of stars who’ve been trail-blazers in their respective fields, I find this advert inspirational.
Ellen DeGeneres: Girls can’t. Sometimes you hear it, but more often, you feel it.
In 2016, the inspirational Nicky Spinks made fell running history by becoming the fastest person to run a Double Bob Graham Round. The 49-year-old cancer-survivor marked 10 years post-diagnosis by running the 132-mile Lake District route, which included around 54,000ft of ascent, in a time of 45 hours and 30 minutes. She took over an hour off the previous record set in 1979 by Roger Baumeister, who was there in person to support Nicky during her attempt.
Well, I’m still hanging on waiting for mini me to arrive, but she seems to be as stubborn as Stuart/determined as me!
I’ve eaten plenty of spicy food, but there’s a limit to how much curry/fajitas/chilli I can take! I’ve also eaten a lot of fresh pineapple, but apparently pregnant women need to eat at least 7 for the bromelain to have any effect!
On Monday, I went to tri club swimming, which was fun, but I think people were surprised to see me there. Then on Tuesday, I went out for a brisk walk up and down a nearby hill whilst Stuart did a scheduled hill sprints training session.
I was advised against doing parkrun on Saturday, which was disappointing as I felt fit and well and I missed seeing everyone, but I took the opportunity to have a lie in instead. I also didn’t make it to swimming last night, so I’m hoping to fit in a brisk walk (to get some raspberry leaf tea) today before having a relaxing massage.
Fingers crossed that I’ll have some news soon!
Triathlon is one of the most physically demanding sports in the world. Mastering three disciplines simultaneously puts an immense amount of pressure on an athlete’s body.
After a string of injuries forced Non Stanford to take a break from her sport in 2008, it was the mental strain of starting all over again that challenged her the most. It was during this period that Non had to learn true patience, accepting her limits, understanding her body and controlling the urge to push beyond what she could do. The gruelling and often lonely training tested Non’s mental resilience. While many athletes would have thrown in the towel, Non used the experience to emerge a more complete competitor.
There is no greater opponent than the one inside your own head. We explore the mind game that every athlete has to overcome on the path to greatness.
To go from World Champion to not even being able to stand on a start line was pretty tough. I was pushing a bit harder in training and got injured. Patience is one of the most valuable lessons that I’ve learnt as a triathlete. I’ve had to learn it the hard way. Everyone has self doubts or moments of weakness. It makes you more tough at the end of the day.
Tomorrow I will be more patient.
I love my wife, hills, beaches, camping, walking, my landy and my dog.
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