My 11 year journey that only really started 12 weeks ago

Apart from taking a bit of a fitness break between August 2013 – January 2014, I have been relatively active and healthy since I was asked to join Team Bangs on the Run back in December 2011 and train for my first half marathon in April 2012.

It’s fair to say that 5-6 months I was inactive in 2013 resulted in me gaining about 1½ to 2 stone and even though I knew that I would lose weight when I started exercising again, it’s worrying me that I’m not getting as lean as quickly as I did 2 years ago.

Nike-We-Own-The-Night-Launch-Event-me

I’ve gone through quite a big lifestyle change when it comes to training and eating the last two years. Because of the added issue with my stomach, I would say that 85% of what I eat & drink is very healthy and at the moment I most likely exercise more than your average person (running approx 30 miles a week, plus strength training 1-2 times a week & swimming once a week) – so why am I not seeing any significant results yet?

I know that change takes time and that I have to be patient. I also know that I was around a stone thinner two years ago when I started running, and doing exercise was so new to my body that my rapid changes in how I looked and felt probably came from that – but what is holding my progress back now?

Roast sweet potato, butternut squash and beetroot

These days I don’t count calories (which I used to do & lost weight from it maybe 10-12 months before I started running) I just try to eat 3 home-made meals a day at roughly the same time every day consisting of 50% protein/30% complex carbs/20% fat, with 2 small snacks in between (usually fruit/nuts/ricecakes).

I usually stay away from liquid calories like juice/fizzy drinks/alcohol during the weekdays, I stay away from things like cakes, sweets, biscuits, chocolate, crisps and so on as much as I can, and I very rarely eat takeaways or ready made meals.

I even do my best to drink a lot of water too, which I admit hasn’t been a strong side for me, but I really am working on it and am trying to drink 2 litres a day!

Realistically speaking, due to my food allergies and sensitivities, I can’t eat a lot of “bad food” and even though I sometimes do, I don’t think I eat it frequently enough or in such large quantities for it to have a major effect on my fitness progress overall.

I have 2 rest days a week when I don’t do any exercise at all and I get at least 8 hours of sleep every night most days of the week (if not more!)

So what am I doing wrong?

Orsii Gun Finger

Am I doing too much cardio and not enough weight training?

Is my metabolism just annoyingly slow? (actually, I can already tell you that it’s been tested and it’s not below average for my age and gender)

Am I eating too much food? (I mean, COME ON! Marathon training makes you hungry!)

Do I have to start counting the calories I eat vs the calories I burn and go down that painful route to see a proper change?(its something that I think is silly because it just makes you fixated around calories in a way I don’t find healthy)

Or am I maybe eating the wrong type food?

Does anybody have an answer or some sort of explanation?

Orsii

I am NOT a secret eater  and I exercise A LOT – so why is it taking forever to see results? I don’t want to “lose weight” – I want to be strong and lean and fit. I want to look and feel as good as I did 2 years ago and not being where I thought I would be at this time in my training is really battering my confidence.

Maybe 10 weeks is too little to see significant change this time around, but if that is the case, how can I be sure that I am doing all the right things to aid my progress & actually be successful in my transformation?

It’s quite disheartening not to see the same changes that I saw before when I initially started my fitness journey, and I am not sure what to do to improve my situation.

After finishing WEEK 8 with a half marathon, I couldn’t believe it when I realised I was kicking off WEEK 9 by leisurely running 7 miles!

training week 9 - 1

I felt tired but determined and running at night was a welcomed change to the sun & heat that I experienced on the weekend running the half. All in all it was a pretty decent effort on my side.

training week 9 - 2

I had swapped my medium long run with my Tuesday shorter run, but despite running around 21 miles in 3 days, I ended up doing a speedy 4 miles and if I am honest, I have no idea how I had the energy to push myself to do it! To my great surprise it felt relatively good and I was mighty proud of myself.

training week 9 - 3

On Thursday I wasn’t in the mood to run despite the relatively short distance. I felt very sluggish whilst running it, with my legs tired and my mind a bit foggy. Did it at an ok pace but wasn’t very satisfying! (my pissed off look proves the point haha)

training week 9 - 4

Went swimming as normal on Saturday morning and on Sunday I was only meant to run 10 miles, but I somehow agreed to running 14 miles with Cata instead. It was a super sunny day, much warmer than the half marathon the previous week, but also a lot breezier which was nice!

Started out ok and felt good plus kept a good pace until about 11 miles in – that’s when I started to overheat and kind of lose my grip of the situation. Incredibly frustrating and something that is starting to worry me more & more.

Thankfully we stopped at ASDA at mile 11 so I could buy more water and drink it plus pour it over my head and face. Not sure how to cope with the situation on race day if it’s super warm. I guess try to hydrate as much as possible, but even then, the sun just heats my head up so much I feel a bit delirious and out of it.

Any suggestions on how to avoid an overheated head/face?

The weather for this week looks a bit grimmer and this is what I have planned:

MARATHON TRAINING WEEK 10

MON: REST – Done
TUE: Strength training & 4 miles – Done
WED: 7 miles – Done
THU: Strength training & 3 miles – Not done due to badly twisting my ankle previous night
FRI: REST – Done
SAT: 15 miles – Done
SUN: Swimming – Not done but did around 4-5 miles walking instead

March is my anniversary month so I thought I’d share some music that the boy has introduced (or re-introduced) into my life. Safe to say I wouldn’t usually listen to most of this music, but I find it incredibly good to run to!

Once again it might be worth mentioning that loads of stuff is missing because I don’t want it to be a 12 hour playlist, so yeah, artists like (for example) Jay-Z had to stay off it as I might just do a running playlist dedicated to him (or maybe him & Bey, we shall see).