Olympians, crack and my Fitbit.

Fitbit

You know those people… the kind who live life in a slow way. They wake up gently, and wander through their day. They take joy in gardening and stews that simmer for eight hours. They watch the wilderness around them as they methodically and carefully repeat their perfected ‘salute to the sun’ each morning.

I wish I was one of those people.

I’m a hard and fast kinda girl. When I wake up, I tumble out of bed (unless I refuse to actually get up… then I stubbornly stick to the sheets and nothing short of a hurricane can move me), I fall down the stairs throwing clothes and make-up in my general direction before bounding out the door with breakfast (and sometimes even a cup of tea) still in hand. When I walk, I’ve been told, my short legs move comically quickly, and when I cook, I like the satisfaction of having it done and dusted in 30 minutes or less.

This tends to mean when I feel things I feel them big, bold and outrageously. When I love something (whether its shoes, boys or a new food fad) I love it vehemently with every bone in my body.

Right now, every bone in my body is addicted to my Fitbit. It could be worse, it could be crack (although it feels a little like Fitbit is my crack right now).

Basically Fitbit is a pedometer that can also do a million other things. It is the female version of a pedometer – it multitasks. It’s bloody amazing.

Think; steps counted, calories in and out recorded, kilometres walked noted, minutes of actual exercise done (verses slow walking steps), sleep tracked and even the ability to log exactly what you are eating. All with a nifty wee wristband (depending on the style you go for, I have a Fitbit Flex) that can talk wirelessly to your computer, Ipad and phone!

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Told you it was good.

I know there are people out there who will roll their eyes at the thought of every step being counted and every calorie being stressed about, but I’m seriously loving this insanely motivational tool (and I am always right – right?). Being a stupidly competitive person (see this previous post for tales of my Monopoly board flipping ways), the best thing, hands down, about this devise it that you are competing with yourself. Every day you get goals (they can either be set by you, or automatically generated by the software for you weight/height/aims) and you are encouraged to reach them, exceed them, excel them and push yourself.

If it hits 9pm and I haven’t reached my daily steps (my goal is 12,000) then I will go out for a walk. Raining? Then I will pace my miniature apartment and bound up the stairs and back down between each circuit. Call me crazy, maybe I am (ok, I definitely am), but this silly little watch has been more motivating for me to get moving than any inspiring movie, hard hitting book on obesity or personal trainer.

There is nothing I enjoy more right now than the small buzz this wonderful devise gives me when I reach my daily steps target (not a figurative buzz – like it actually vibrates). I am convinced this feeling is exactly the same as when all those ubber fit athletes win medals at the Olympics.

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Exactly the same.

I’m pretty much an athlete.

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Nail art, burning thighs and Ryan (Gosling, of course).

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I am in no way an athlete, in fact just typing that made me spray my peppermint tea everywhere (in a laughing, coming out my nose kind of way). But what I am is someone who is currently running around four times a week, and one of those weekly sprints (by sprint I mean as slow as you can get without actually walking) is often around the 20k mark. So, I say I have a small (or teeny tiny) authority on the question of how exactly to best handle running a decent distance.

My best runs are, in all honesty, when I forget I am running. I don’t continuously check my GPS watch, or have empowering quotes filtering through my brain, nope, when I completely ignore everything around me and go into a world of my own imagination, that is when I do my best times. It’s also when I enjoy myself the most.

Got a party coming up? Sort it out on your run. Going traveling? Plan it all while you are pounding that pavement. Can’t find time to work out your weekly meals (a la my previous post)? Do it while you jog. Seriously.

Now, I know there will be people out there crying “I have NOTHING going on to plan”, well, why don’t you picture what would happen to make the next day perfect. Like blissfully perfect. I’m not talking about, “wake up, marry Ryan Gosling, live happily ever after”, I’m talking every small detail. What are you wearing when The Gos first clamps eyes on you? Does your nail polish match your lippy or do you have some cool quirky nail art going on? Are you wearing Dior, Gucci or Topshop? Plan every inch (you know, to be prepared for when the day actually arrives). Hopefully, if you are like me, you will get so lost in those details (like the cool hipster picture that will be printed on Ryan’s t-shirt) that you will literally forget that your thighs are burning and your feet would quite like to pack it in.

You will also probably run into a few lampposts and trip over some small people, but everything has a downside, right?

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All images from Pinterest

Small legs, inner voices and the point of it all.

I have a big run coming up. A very big run. It’s the Auckland half marathon.

I’m not going to pussy foot around here, I’m terrified. Completely terrified.

In six weeks I have to run 21.1ks, and I’m pretty sure I can’t do it. I know everyone says to keep positive, but I’m not one of those crazy people who can just do stuff like this. I was never the athletic kid at school. Hell, I barely moved. Have you seen the length of my legs? (I am aware that you probably haven’t – let me tell you this, they are small.) I’m pretty sure me running a half marathon, is the same effort as an average heighted guy running the full shebang. Or at least that’s what I tell myself. Anyway, I am petrified. Because six weeks is really not long at all to get myself to the point that I want to be to do this race.

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And that point? I want to be able to run the entire thing, and I want to do it in 2 hours and 30 minutes, or under. Preferably quite a lot less than 2 hours 30 minutes, but I am trying to keep my goals achievable (and my legs still attached to my body).

I’ve told myself the only way I would be able to mentally (let alone physically) do this challenge is if I run the entire 21.1k distance before hand. (Like a couple of weeks before hand, not like just before, that’s called a full marathon. That’s a different challenge, for a different day. A day so, so far in the future that it’s a teeny tiny dot.) I know plenty of people say that as long as you can run 16k you can run a half marathon because the rest of the kilometers on the day come from adrenaline – well screw those people. When the little voice inside my head starts freaking the hell out come race day, the only way I can possibly think to calm it down, is to say “you CAN do this, because you HAVE done this.” And even then, I am pretty sure it will still be screaming bloody Mary.

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On the weekend I ran 18k. (Except I swear that sounds too far, I kept checking my watch and my paranoid head thought that it may have been reading something wrong. Imagine that! Doing all this training and gearing up only to find that when you thought you had run 18k you had actually run 9 and your GPS watch was being a dick.) On that 18k I stopped, I stopped for water breaks, leg stretches and a couple of times I stopped because I had to talk to myself (yes, in public) and literally will my legs to keep moving. So I don’t even know, with all the stopping, if it counts as a full run! But the real kicker with this run? It was on the flat. Like complete flat, and the first thing anyone has said to me about the Auckland Marathon is “oh, have you been doing hill training? Because you need to”, WELL NO I HAVEN’T BUT THANKS FOR ADDING MORE UNDERLINES TO THE WORDS FREAK OUT THAT ARE FLASHING IN MY BRAIN RIGHT NOW.

So, in the next six weeks I have to get out there and run hills, and I have to run longer and I have to run faster and I have to just keep going.

I’m not sure, but I think I might be a bit nervous. Maybe even freaking out a little?

Fuck.

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All images from Pinterest

The “what’s in my bag” smelly edit.

I love looking at the posts of fabulous fashionistas who take incredible photos of what’s inside their handbag. They usually have sophisticated purses with a perfect pile of the latest apple products, a single Dior lipstick and a COMME des GARCON coin purse in brilliant red. As much as I would love to do a look into my handbag (not that it would look a thing like that), I thought it might be more useful or perhaps more interesting to look into my gym bag(s). Lucky for you they are yet to invent smellavision.

I have three main types of workouts I do each week (sprinkled with a few random ones to keep the manically ‘spur of the moment’ boy happy), running, bikram and the gym. Here are my top picks to make sure you have all you need packed and ready for any of these.

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The most important tool in running (apart from your legs) are your shoes, make sure you are wearing the right ones for your feet. For me, those are Skechers GOruns. I love them. If I could I would buy them flowers and take them out to dinner. The boy might get jealous though.

If I want to date my shoes, then my Garmin Forerunner is probably my secret mistress. My running changed the second I got a GPS watch, and I have since not stopped tracking my distance/time/splits etc etc. I still don’t know if obsessively watching my stats helps my running or not, but it’s great for the competitive streak in me. Every run I try to time beat my last.

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I seriously love that my Country Road gym bag is big enough for a change of clothes, my hot yoga stuff, two towels, all my post yoga essentials and the mat! It makes it so easy. So I would recommend, spending a bit of time to find something that you can literally shove EVERYTHING you need in.

The only other note I would give about bikram is go for as teeny tiny an outfit you feel comfortable with. Believe me there will be someone there in less and when you are head down, bum up in the middle of the triangle pose in a room heated at 45 degrees, you won’t want any extra clothes. That and drink water. As much as you can pre and post.

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Runners and gym shoes should be different. If you will be doing any sort of weight training, lifting, squatting or lunging (which covers large amounts of gym activities) you need shoes that ground you at the heel. Other than that, wear what you want (I would strongly recommend against denim).

So, no designer lipsticks here, just the streamlined packing of a seasoned fitness freak.

I can hear all my past travel companions lol-ing (yes literally lol-ing) at the idea that anything packing I have every done could be “streamlined”. But this is (pretty much) exactly what you will find in my gym bags (give or take a few extra kilos of unidentified bits of paper, extra towels and the endless supply of extra undies*).

*I have a serious phobia of finding myself without undies (seriously). I don’t know how I convince myself that in the process of my day I will manage to loose the pair I am wearing, BUT IF I DO, I am always very prepared. You don’t even want to know how many I pack when I go on an actual holiday.

I didn’t impulse buy. Snaps.

So, after finding out that my Map My Run had been lying to me (how rude) and tricking me into thinking I had in fact run both further and faster than I actually had, I though it high time I invested in some actual GPS hardware. So I hereby introduce you to Gary, aka a Garmin Forerunner 10.

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For the first time in my life I actually did a little research and read some reviews about this purchase (I’m like a changed person). I was quite taken with the fact that this particular watch came in three colours, pink obviously being my favourite. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles the others did – which was reflected in the price, and as I’m not a whizz when it comes to things like numbers (or machines that go and stop and stuff) the simplicity was just what I was after. I wanted it to go when I ran and stop when I stopped. And it does (yay). It gives me a break down of how far I am going, how fast I run, the time it takes me and how many calories I’m burning.

It has been a few months since I have purchased it now and, apart from the one time it decided to not record a run, it has been great. It has helped to keep me motivated and I have started challenging myself to keep my speed up and consistent through out my work outs by keeping an eye on my minute per km breakdowns.

Most importantly it congratulates me when I finish, and who does love inanimate objects complimenting them?

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