Monday, 3 December 2012

6 weeks to go....

My 5 year old was an absolute champion in the Variety WA Santa Fun Run. He ran fantastically and only went up on my shoulders twice (for about 100m) and ran/walked the entire thing – 4kms in about 27mins!! Very proud dad. Little cheat even sprinted over the line to beat me – much to the cheers of the crowd! Awesome!!

6 weeks until Hobart and the start of the 2013 Challenge (or “early mid-life crisis” as my darling wife calls it…)

Running continues in earnest. Since the November 18th (the last time this slacker posted on the blog) I clocked up 40.3kms to close out November (a couple of 10k runs and a number of shorter ones). All have been ok – nothing too spectacular but necessary kms none the less.

Then on Sunday (December 2nd) I clocked up my longest training run for a while  – 17km. Unfortunately my sister, whom I usually use to help clam my pace in the longer runs, messaged me at 5am telling me she was unwell and wasn’t going to come along. After the internal debate whether I should go back to bed or not [I had the previous evening flown back from another trip to Darwin so was pretty shattered] I decided that I was committed to the run so went ahead with it anyway. Before I head out for these longer runs or even the ones that I think are going to be fairly intense I try to have a bowl of oats at least 30mins before training. Whether this really helps or not I have no idea but I personally think that I need to have “something” in the tank for these longer/intense sessions and about the only thing I can stomach at 6am is a bowl of oats. Only drawback is the microwave “beep” in a silent house is amplified 10billion%...J

I do enjoy the early morning runs. The few people that are also out walking or running all have that knowing look in their eye (like I hope I do) that we know we are getting the true beauty of the day that so many others miss out on.

So off I trotted trying to “be slow”, in effect to pace myself and start out moderately and speed up gradually…ha…not a chance – I did go out thinking I was slower but was still clocking 5:05/km pace for the first 5 kms (even up the hills). I did start to slow with fatigue a little and hovered around an average pace of 5:15/km for a long time that gradually slowed to a 5:25/km pace which is the average time I managed for the run. It was a nice run – lots of personal time and internal dialogue that went on during the run – even a couple of times where I didn’t hear a song as I was away daydreaming about something or other…I was in a bit of a trance at one point and I felt something brush against my leg and boy did I leap into the air and rather embarrassed to say it was just a piece of paper being blown along…Overall I was really pleased with the run – 17km in 1:32 and one short walk at 15.5km mark (more psychological than anything else).

That run now brings up at least one run per month for the whole year…cool hey. I have been running in more earnest since May. Average from May to date is about 8.7km per run, Jan – Apr was 5.1km per month. BUT still a run at least in every month of the year! Woo hoo…

So my training schedule has me out for a run on Christmas day, a 10k, so about an hour. I am sure that I could be up, out and back before the rest of the house is moving however, my dearest has emphatically told me No! I need to work my negotiating skills on her as I really do want to run on Christmas Day – I think it would be comical to go out and get a run in before the day begins. Watch this space ;)

A fair amount of travel coming up over the next couple of weeks as we have stock counts at work and I need to attend a few of them. At least I should get a few more air miles for the 2013 Challenge.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Thursday = Jacobs, Sunday = longer runs and Monday = Darwin

Thursday nights I try to get out of the office on time and head into Kings Park in the city to partake in punishing myself up and down the staircase known as Jacobs Ladder. This is 242 steps (one way) with an elevation of about 45mtrs (in the space of about 100m – so for every 2mtrs forward you are going up almost 1!). Also, ONE lap is a trip to the bottom and back to the top!
I tend to try to go with a running buddy either from work or my dependable sister gets dragged along. This week she couldn’t make it and so I decided to self-motivate and go it alone!  Well…punishing or what….

I mixed up the routine a little and decided that I would run two laps of the stairs and then one lap (bottom and up) of the “hill” next to Jacobs. [this is Mount Street – also one heck of a gradient, also over a very short distance but this time with no hand rails or steps to keep you going upwards). I decided that I would go till exhaustion.

I am very pleased to say that I managed 3 sets (ie 6 laps of the stairs and 3 laps of the hill) but I didn’t quite make it to the top of the hill on the last attempt – I was so spent and had nothing left in the tank. People were causally strolling down the hill passed me on the way up and were smiling away…I had no smile in return – in fact I didn’t even have the energy for a frown. Thankfully I had a gentle stroll back to the car to recover my breathing – wow it was a great workout and for the next two days my calves knew about it!

Friday and Saturday were rest days. Am really thinking that I need to get some cross training going on especially working on my core (and love handles) and so am trying to work myself up to this twice a week – Mondays and Fridays (Wednesdays are miserable at work and Saturdays – well one days off is ok isn’t it?). We will see what I can con myself into.

Sunday had a longer run planned with my sister. The lake near us is 6km around with nice path and markers every 500mtrs so we set off for two laps of that. I was a little na├»ve in the ways of tempo running and tried after 1km jogging to “run” 500mtrs and repeat three times….only in the third “run” did it dawn on me that I still had more than a lap to go…doh! Well after coming to my senses I slowed it down a bit and maintained an even (ish) pace for the rest of the run and added 1km on the end for good measure completing 13kms in an hour and nine (5’21 pace) so was happy with that.  Plus it was good to get the run in before getting on a plane for 6 hours.

Yup – back in Darwin for a couple of days for work. Last time I was here was back at the end of September. I can say this much – it is not any cooler and the humidity has stepped it up a notch! Went out at 5:45 this morning for a run and it was 26 and 95% humidity…probably ran too fast to begin with as by the time I was half way I was blowing hard…had to walk 100mtrs and then push on. Called it enough at about 5kms with a slower pace. [insert excuse here…there is a Jacobs’esc stair case 2kms into the run (135 steps) that has to be negotiated and adds to the exhaustion…] The humidity makes for a tougher run but it is good the experience the different conditions after so long in Perth. The run this morning was also a “bonus” run as I was not scheduled for a run today but needed to get out and stretch my legs after the flight and not the greatest food choices yesterday. I will make a mental note to pace better in the morning for my 6.5km scheduled run….

Oh – I have signed myself and my 5 year old up to the Variety WA Santa Fun Run this weekend. 4kms in a Santa suit. Even if he has to go on my shoulders it will be a blast and his first taste of a big event….I can’t wait!

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Struggletown - population - ME!

I have had the starting’s of a real funk this week.  Work has been a real drag with motivation at an all-time low, just a general feeling of lack of purpose really [but that is a whole other issue or blog ;)]. That said it has impacted on my personal drive this week….

After the fantastic run with Karen on the weekend I really expected to be on a high. I was pumped from the run, it wasn’t as far as my “normal” Sunday runs and as such I thought I would be full of energy for the next run and life was good. We had a good friend around on Sunday, he has been travelling and it had been a few months since the last time we hung out and he was lost for words at the change in me through the lifestyle changes that I have made to the point that he claims to have been inspired into dusting off his runners and getting out there too…

[I don’t know what it is but I still feel a little embarrassed when people make a fuss about the change that has happened for me. Yes I am proud and pleased of the change but I guess I feel saddened by the fact that I was “that” big that it has been that noticeable.]

Overall I was on a high, I put up my 2013 challenge on the blog and even did my first ever race recap. Then my mind took over……the old enemy that is “ME”.

It seems that I always seem to doubt and sabotage myself at every turn, especially once I publicis things. WHY? So because I get praise from a close friend and publish to the world my aims/goals I decide that all motivation and drive needs to evade me completely! Am I supposed to keep it all secret and not publicise these challenges/facts? NO!

So this morning (24hours AFTER my scheduled run) I dragged my carcass grudgingly out of bed to the bathroom. Wasted 20 mins in the bathroom all the while having an internal debate about going back to bed! Even once my teeth were brushed and I was pulling on my runners I was thinking about going back to bed (well it was 5:30) but I somehow turned off my brain and went into auto-pilot mode (not really knowingly but I did in any case) and made my way outside and stretched and ran!

Boy did I run. I did not plan on smashing times/kms I was glad just to get out there and put one foot in front of the other. By the time I looked at my watch about 3 kms in I was flying with an average pace of 4:55! AFTER 3KMS!! So I kept on going…5KMS @ 4:56/km!! and finished at 7kms at 4:57/km. The first time in my running history that I have done a run (of any length) in under 5mins per km!!!

I guess the moral of the story is to banish self-doubt and be your own best motivator. Even if you only get out there and walk around the block you will at least have been out there and got it done!

Monday, 12 November 2012

Suncorp Freo Fun Run - recap

Will you look at that, nothing for weeks and then two posts in a day J. I thought that if I am going to be serious about the runs that I take part in that I should at the very least post a re-cap of them just to share in the experiences and the highs and lows. Please bear with me as I am new to this re-cap thing and hope to get better in time.

So the Suncorp Freo Fun Run – 10km run.

A bit of jumping around and organising required on our side of things as this is the first run that my wife and I have ever run together and as such we needed to off load our 5 year old and 3 month old on my very gracious and generous mom. This was done at the very rude time of 7am on Sunday morning.

We made our way into Freemantle to park up and be at the start line well ahead of time. As it was the first time this run was happening and I don’t know my way around Freo too well I wanted to be there early to be able to find a car park and avoid all the road closures that were planned for the day.

The East Freemantle Football oval was the base camp and it was well laid out and was a nice big space for people to move around in. Port-a-loos were in full use and thankfully neither of us needed them as the lines were pretty standard for events with several thousands of people.

The start was chilly but wasn’t too squashed in the road leading to the timing gates. The one thing that could have maybe helped pass the time a little while waiting was a bit more banter over the microphones, that said there was lots of music playing and the mood was great.

8 am start and we were off…a fairly flat course that lead out of Freo and then looped back in through the docks. Once we negotiated our way through the docks we were running along the main drag of Marine Terrace, passed some of the waterfront cafes and restaurants. We then looped back and ran through the Freo “cappuccino strip”  which was a bit of a laugh having so many people puffing and panting their way down the road being cheered and watched by people out for their Sunday morning coffee fix and breakfast. It was a nice quirky aspect to the run.

Overall a fairly flat run which would lead to fast times. I ran it with my wife and was very proud that she ran all 10kms and we finished together with a time of 59:06 which is a nice respectable effort for a Sunday morning.

Random highlight – seeing a goat running along after his owner down the cappuccino strip…saw the goat at the end too but didn’t get his number to know what time he did it in – just content in the knowledge that we passed him out on the course J

Back again next year – sure thing!

October recap and November starts....

So there I go changing my focus and then dropping off the blogging map for weeks….sorry!

 I really am enjoying running at the moment. Don’t get me wrong, there are days that I am fed up and demotivated and don’t want to run but ultimately the feeling I get from actually getting out there and running is awesome. I enjoy the fact that my per km times have dropped so dramatically from the first time I started running (7:32m/km) through to the current average (5:17m/km).  Also, I have a small amount of paranoia that if I stop running I will gain all my weight back….. J

Any hoo….so in order to do a catch up I thought I would close off the month of October…

Kms clocked: 127.16kms
Total time: 12h 8m 25s
Average pace: 5m28s per km (improved from 6m05s in September).

I use Nikeplus to track all of my runs. I really love the way it tracks the distance, speed and time and with my iPhone it tracks my GPS location too so I get to see a map, including elevation. I am not so hard core (yet?!?!) that I over analyse all of this info but it is great to have and see. Also the Nikeplus site sends you little “badges/trophies” that mark achievements and these are what I keep coming back for…. J

I can’t seem to get to copy the pictures at the moment but examples are:

Extra Frosting – for running on my birthday
Jack O’Lantern – for running on Halloween
Sneaker Head – for tracking runs in three different types of shoes

And many many more. Some of them you don’t know about so are a really nice surprise when you get the notification. All help in keeping the motivation up too!

November to date:
Kms clocked: 49.36kms
Total time: 4h 26m 44s
Average pace: 5m24s per km

Three super cool things so far for the month of November:

1)      I ran 16.5kms on my Sunday morning run on the 4th. I ran all 16kms. I learnt more about pacing myself and by running with my sister (she did 10kms as I met her along the way) she helped keep me in check and ultimately allowing me to run the entire distance. Apart from a 5 min stop due to HAIL!!! Yup I got caught in a massive downpour that included hail and let me tell you – hail is not a motivator…I sought cover asap!

2)      I got to run in a 10km fun run with my wife at the weekend!! It was the first time we have run together in anything and I am so proud of her. She completed all 10kms with a smile on her face (and possibly a little distain for me when I wasn’t looking J). We crossed the line together in 59m 6secs. So proud of her!!

3)      I have updated and finalised my 2013 Run list, booked the flights and accommodation for the first two runs too! They are (promise this is the final list):

13/01/13 –          Cadbury Half Marathon – 21k
14/04/13 –          Canberra Running Festival – 21k
26/05/13 –          Barossa Half Marathon – 21k – this is in South Australia and am thinking that it will be an excuse for a road trip (2,500kms each way!)
16/06/13 –          Brisbane City 2 South – 14k – this is the only one not going to be a Half Marathon – long storey!
18/08/13 –          Alice Springs Half Marathon – 21k – the NT contingent  for the years challenge.
25/08/13 –          Perth City 2 Surf Half – 21k – got to run the home race J
15/09/13 –          Sydney Blackmores Running Festival – 21k
13/10/13 –          Melbourne Marathon Festival – 21k

So that is the list – a run in every State and Territory in Australia.

The training schedule is already in effect and runs for 51 weeks (yikes!) and if maintained will be for a total of 1,669kms (including the runs)!

Plus I am sure I will try to sign up for any other fun runs etc that coincide with the training schedule and are in Perth….

So until next time, I promise I will try to be better with my blogging…..

Happy thoughts and get tracks under your shoes, walking, running or jogging…it all counts!

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

A Change of Focus

So I have decided to change my focus…

 As of October 31st I will no longer be on the “Cruise” phase of Dukan and I will move to the “Consolidation” phase. In truth I have been in this phase, sort of, for about the last 6 weeks. I have been having oats for breakfast and the odd half a cup of rice here and there, and I have had chips too…..the horrors…. J

My weight has bounced around (depending largely on salt intake!) around 106kgs (lowest was 105.3kgs for a day). My Dukan goal weight is 104kgs. I have decided that as my focus has been waiving on the current phase it is time for a change and as I like the symmetry of the 1st of a month (started Dukan on June 1st) the 1st of November shall be the start of my next step in the process. I will continue to use the Dukan principles as the basis for my lifestyle – I have grown to really like it and have found it straightforward and logical to follow. I like the structure – eat this don’t eat that…simple for a fool like me! So on that note….

I will concentrate my efforts and blogging going forward on my exercise, family and adventures….as well as a bit of weight and lifestyle thrown in for good measure. During the Dukan process I have found enjoyment in going for a run and seeing my speed increase and the times per km come down has really been great for me and I am “loving it” – I mean really, can you love running? I am addicted to my Nike+ site and the statistics of my pace and kms etc etc. It is my birthday next week and I am really hoping for a heart rate monitor (sad I know but I can’t wait to have a new stat to track and measure) J

After my enjoyment of the Perth City 2 Surf Half Marathon in August this year (completed in 2hrs 6mins) I decided that I wanted to challenge myself (my amazing family relationships and bank account) to run races interstate. I know I will not be challenging for the top honours but I have come to realise over the past few months that running now days is about beating myself and my previous times, not the guy next to me (who I do tend to race for a bit). The interstate part – well that is just something that I think will be pretty cool to have done.

The added incentive is that having paid for the race etc I will be incentivised to train and keep healthy and active. I want to be the best example I can for my two sons.

So the race calander looks like this (subject to wife and bank approval)….

11/11/12 –          Freo Fun Run – 10k – so excited as am running with my wife!
13/01/13 –          Cadbury Half Marathon – 21k – how cool, you start and finish at the Cadbury Chocolate factory…this one is subject to my mom babysitting two awesome children for the weekend J
14/04/13 –          Canberra Running Festival – 21k – booked in and ready to go, just flights and accom to sort.
19/05/13 –          Sydney Morning Herald Half – 21k – just waiting for entries to open.
26/05/13 –          Perth HBF Run for a Reason – 14k – will try to rope in my wife for this one…
16/06/13 –          Brisbane City 2 South – 14k – booked, going to try and plan this one as a family
holiday too.
25/08/13 –          Perth City 2 Surf Half – 21k – got to run the home race J
15/09/13 –          Sydney Blackmores Running Festival – 21k – it is there to be run
13/10/13 –          Melbourne Marathon Festival – 21k – looks awesome and a must do!

These are the plan so far. I am trying to focus on the 21k as I like the distance and the training schedule fits in with having two young sons and allows the wife to have her own exercise days too. By running in these races I will have 5 out of 8 of the capital cities in Australia….just Darwin, Adelaide and Brisbane (for a Hlaf Mara) to go.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for various updates and progress reports. The Dukan process has certainly helped me with a loss of nearly 30kgs to date and will continue to be the basis of my life going forward.

Happy thoughts and lighter scales….and good runs!

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

September Summary and October Goals

I have seen a couple of blogs lately that give September summaries and I thought that was a really cool idea. It is a way to share the progress, successes and challenges. I also thought it might be an opportune time to post what I was planning on achieving for the month of October…dah dah daaaaaahhhhhh…. J


Starting weight:                109.6kgs
Ending weight:                  108.2kgs
Movement:                        1.4kg Loss (5.2kg gains in month! that I then managed to lose...phew!)

Running:              60.08kms
Gym:                     1 x session – 45 mins
Jacobs Ladder:    2 x sessions (5 sets then 6 sets)
Other:                   1 x 30km bike ride

Pros:      Pretty much have held stable at and around 107kgs for most of the month         
Cons:     Too many treats and some carbs have crept in!

Positives:             During the month I travelled to the Northern Territory for work. I was really pleased with myself for going out and finding a running route and getting out every day for a run of some sorts! Even when it came to meals, where possible I stuck to the Dukan way and was really pleased with that!

Less Positives:   Too many treats – choccies in the evening, carbs that slip into the meals etc and canned drinks! Plus I got sick for two days which was not pleasant.


Starting weight:                108.2kgs
Ending weight:                  104.0kgs – this is my Dukan target weight!
Movement:                        4.2kg Loss

Running:              100kms – this is in line with my training schedule for my November fun run
Gym:                     4 x sessions (Fridays – 1 per week)
Jacobs Ladder:  4 x sessions (Thursdays – 1 per week) Start to time laps/sessions
Other:                   Anything is a bonus

Limit any and all puddings this month. With 4 kgs to go I really really really want to achieve this in the month of October (before the 23rd would be awesome as that is my birthday!)

Small goals and targets is the plan for the month.

As today is the second I thought I would confirm that I have so far done a 5.9km run and have dropped to 107.8kgs (-0.4kgs).

Happy thoughts and lighter scales everyone.

Friday, 28 September 2012

4 months....

This weekend marks 4 months on the Dukan diet for me. It sure has been an interesting process to date. I have made a personal choice that come November 1st I will move to the next phase regardless of my weight at that time. Dukan says I should aim for 104kgs and the last 3 have been so hard to shift – I mean ridiculous! That said I am about 6 weeks ahead of the trend on my weight loss to date and for that I am grateful.

 I am truly grateful for the changes that have happened for me over the past 4 months.

-          I have managed to lose 28.7kgs (63.3lbs or 4.5 stone)
-          I have gone from a 46 trousers to a 40 (possibly a 38 as my jeans can now come off without being undone)
-          My running times have tumbled – running a 5k in sub 30mins and 10k in sub 1hr.
-          My feet have shrunk!!??
-          My mindset has changed….

 My mindset has changed…it really has. Look I still have a piece or two of chocolate after dinner, I still have the odd instance of carbs (mash/chips/rice – no pasta yet) but not when I can help it.

I am happy, I am lighter and I am motivated.

I have been away on business this week [no scales – first time in a long time I didn’t daily weigh] and so sticking to the strict Dukan was difficult, dinners dictated that I attend as work functions and so carbs were consumed but I left large amounts, I had small portions and went for the more protein options on the plates…change of mindset…

I also, for the first time, once I got to the place I was staying put on my running shoes and went out for an exploratory run to find a 5 – 6km route to run along. I have never done that before and in the past would never even have thought twice about doing that!

I am pleased that my mindset has changed and I am more conscious about the things I did and ate and the activity levels I maintained! I think it shows that things are working and things are changing and, for the better, will be staying that way.

I am pleased to say that after being stuck at or around 107kgs for just over two weeks this morning on the scale I was down to 106.3kg.

Happy thoughts and lighter scales

Monday, 17 September 2012

Inspiration ?!?

Inspiration (noun) –

·         Stimulation to do creative work
·         Somebody or something that inspires
·         Creativeness
·         Good idea
·         Divine influence
·         Breathing in (???)

 The above is the definition of inspiration. What do you class as inspiration?

I think that it is something that we take for granted far too often and in this day and age of instant news/video/music etc. I personally (and sadly) think it is and is becoming harder and harder to identify someone or something that is truly inspirational.

Business leaders, Sporting greats, World leaders, Religious leaders and more all play their part in making news headlines, mostly for the wrong reasons. Yes, I know that the news is selective and only publish what sells but the fact that these things occur is sad.

Is it me?

Do I live such a sheltered and naive existence that I cannot see the inspirational around me?
             Have I become desensitised to the wonders around me?
             Have I lost my spark/motivation/[dare I say it]my inspiration?

I have had it said about me before (to my wife and not to me directly) that I am always upbeat and cheerful and very rarely see the negative in something/someone. Whilst that may be true of my outward persona I do see the negative in things but I choose not to broadcast them or gossip about them and I think that it is much easier to share a smile than a frown. I still firmly believe that and will never change my views in that regard.

I have found myself frowning more and more of late and I think that it is time for that to end. I have taken up the mantel of “runner” as an integral part of my lifestyle change and vow that as part of that quiet (apart from the laboured breathing) I will use the time to meditate on and renew my positivity and to find the inspirational and the wonderment in my surroundings!

I vow that I will be inspirational to my two sons and wife.
I will find time each day to give my Thanks to the Lord for the wonderment and beauty around me as I feel that I take the blessings and challenges laid before me for granted far too often.

Apologies for a pretty heavy post but I have been feeling under a cloud for the last couple of weeks and need will shake that off and strive forward!

In closing here is a quote that I read today and think that is so apt in life….

I only have a few reasons to run but a truckload of them to quit. All I can do is keep the few reasons nicely polished
               Haruki Murakami

 Happy thoughts and positive views…thanks for sticking with me there!

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Mixing it up

Holy cow am I sore from the stair climb on Sunday….OW!

I think that the use of muscles long since forgotten has resulted in a very vocal protest on their behalf to the rest of the body. Put it this way…I had to consciously think about going for a coffee in the company kitchen, decided that it would be too sore so had a mental vote against the coffee….I know that I need to get up and move around to prevent seizing up but movement scares me J It is day 2 after the exercise and I guess that day 2 is notoriously known as the sore day but really….oooooooowwwwwwwwwww!!!!!

The purpose of this post if anything is for me to have a whinge - because everyone I tell, and that is anyone that has the compassion to ask why I am walking funny, tells me it is my fault/choice…not helpful! True maybe but not helpful none the less. No really the purpose of this post for anyone that may glance through it is to sing the praises of mixing up your training.

For the past 5 months I have been running, mostly on the road with a little treadmill work thrown in too. I had the grand total of 3 cardio sessions in all that time and a couple of bike rides. I ran the half marathon a couple of weeks ago in 2hrs and 6 mins so whilst not super fit I felt that I had a good level of fitness. I need to rethink this…whilst I think that I have some fitness the body has become used to the training and so the protests the muscles are making are all the louder as they are from breaking the norm.

Just as we have broken the norm with the lifestyle change (I will no longer call it a diet as it is a choice of eating habit and if I fancy a treat I will have it and not call it cheating – more on that at a later point in time) so if we can change out habit in terms of eating why too should we not change our habit in terms of exercise.

Make it fun – this helps keeping us getting out there.

Make it have targets – this helps to have a sense of purpose. It is not just to get fit/lose weight/tone up – these are positive side products of the exercise. If the sole reason for exercise is to lose weight then I think you may lose your way and end up disappointed. It is a side product of the lifestyle change we are making and not the reason for doing it in the first place. This is something that I am only just starting to come to terms with myself.

Baby steps – you cannot go from not exercising in years to trying to smash out High Intensity Training sessions, running 10k (or 5 laps of a stair case…). Take it slowly and listen to your body, baby steps is all it takes!

Mix it up – the moaning noise made every time I stand up (or at least attempt to) is testament to that.

All that said, I look forward to the next time I tackle those stairs because believe me I can feel the benefits and this weekend the new training experience is going to be a beach run…

Have fun and enjoy the journey.

Happy thoughts and scales everyone.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Still going and NEXT YEARS challenges

Dukan Day 102 - Cruise
Starting weight – 135.4kgs
Current weight – 108.0kgs
Total loss – 27.4kgs To go – 4kgs (Dukan target 104kgs)

I saw my lowest scale reading in years yesterday – 107.8kgs. I was stoked, albeit reservedly as I have learnt that every time I get confident/cocky on this diet it comes round and smacks me in the head…

Scales this morning were at 108.0kgs. I think that is as a result of water retention as I was thirsty all day yesterday and chugged about a litre before bed….tut tut tut. Also had three cans of Pepsi max over the course of the day which is about 2 – 3 more than normal. Again it shows that if it is in the house I will eat or drink it…I need to be more conscious of my actions….I have been thinking of getting something bright/striking to tie to my wrist that would catch my eye as I am about to reach for the snack etc. to hopefully make me stop…not sure at the moment…

On the plus side of things we were given tickets to the rugby on the weekend and so I was able to take my beautiful wife out on a date as my awesome mom was kind enough to have both boys (5 years and 7 weeks…) for a few hours. The tickets included dinner and drinks so apart from a smidgeon of potato I did not cheat….the bread rolls looked awesome though J

Skyped with a very good friend of mine on the weekend. We are close mates and talk often but only see each other infrequently due to time zones (UK – Oz) and the fact that we both have young families etc. etc…well he hadn’t seen me since I started Dukan and was blown away – despite the comment that he misses my double chin he was pleased for me which was pretty cool. Positive reinforcement is always welcome.

So I have decided (early I know) what my challenge will be next year! Originally it was to take part in a triathlon but I think I still have the running bug pretty hard at the moment so the plan is……

 10 Runs in 5 Australian cities from April – November!
(4 x half marathons (21.1kms), 5 x 14km runs and 2 x 10kms)

By the end of the year I plan of having run a minimum of 1500kms in training and actual races. I have never been one to go at things half arsed and this is just another example of that…all or nothing. I am sure I won’t be winning the races but I will be working on some personal demons and I will be winning in my sense of achievement. And to think that 3 years ago I started by running between lampposts….all it takes is one step at a time and one foot in front of the other…

My poor little sister has been conned into being my Sunday training buddy….Sundays are the longer runs and at the moment before my training starts again in earnest, for my first half of next year, we are mixing up the training…this weekend just gone we ran this thing called “Jacobs Ladder” here in Perth. 242 steps one way and up and down counts as one lap…well we made it through 5 laps…and do I know about it today…. J Positive pain…Next weekend we are going to try a little beach running.

 Hope you are all doing well and enjoying life.

Take care, positive thoughts and happy scales.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Still hunting for my focus....

Slightly out of sync with the update of the blog (like to try to update on a Friday) but here I am none the less…

I am continuing to fight the fat bloke inside. I seem to have lost my way a little bit with Dukan over this past month. I am not sure why or what that is about but I need to recover my focus!

Below are my graphs for the first two months that I was on Dukan and was focused…

And here is the graph for the month of August since my focus has waivered…

Yes there are still a couple of days of August to go but it really does paint a picture of how focus has drifted about for the month.

The Dukan site states that my goal weight should be 104kgs, my desired weight is 100kgs. Breaking the 110kg barrier has been incredibly difficult for me! Is it because my body is having a dummy spit over the changes or is it simply the fat bloke inside rebelling? Not sure but I need to get my focus back and fast! I guess at the same time I think I have lost weight quicker than anticipated on the Dukan website. It stated that from June 1st I would be on phase 2 until December 2nd. Given the current weight loss pattern and averages I calculate that I should be there by September 30th. That follows the average that takes account of all the ups and downs I have suffered over the past 3 months. Is that realistic – no idea, I hope so as I am keen to start the next phase of this life change! Life change – maybe I need to get that right in my head and realise more that this is trying to reset the bad habits of the past 30 years!!!

 So the big drop from yesterday to today – I ran and completed the City to Surf Half Marathon in Perth yesterday! Woo hoo…..what a great day. To think that when I started running (poorly and inconsistently) about 3 years or so ago I could barely get a km and yesterday I managed to run for 16kms before I took my first walk (for 200 mtrs). I finished in 2:06:04! I am mega chuffed. The last half marathon I did in the UK was in Feb 2010 and that took me 2:41:26!!

All I can say is that it is possible and we all start at the same point….small steps and frequent breaks will enable you to build up [gradually] and achieve!  Also, proof that the quantity of carbs we eat is unnecessary, through all the training I have been on Dukan and prior to the start of the race I had my usual bowl of oats for breakfast and only water in the race itself! (i did have an ice cream at the finish though....)

Happy thoughts and lighter scales everyone!

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Catch-up plus confession and re-focus!

Well it has been a while since I posted an update and I thought it was about time I got round to it.

So much has happened in life since last I posted.

My last update post was on July 19th (a Thursday). Weight 114.9kgs.
Saturday the 21st my second son was born at 4:58 am. My wife was amazing and awesome and I know I could never have succeeded as well as she did. I am so eternally grateful for my two boys and her!

The arrival of my son started 3 weeks of leave for me to try to help get our lives in order with his grand arrival and to help with the routine of our eldest boy (5 years old). 3 weeks of leave. The longest period of leave in one block since I started working…IT WAS GLORIOUS!! I could so see myself being a stay at home dad….unfortunately from a household income perspective it is not feasible but boy did I really enjoy the time off and time with my wife and two boys!

Not being in the 9 – 5 structure of the work day did throw the routine out a bit. I will be honest there were several instances of cheats occurring namely in the form of a small handful of curly fries on occasion and the odd (two) tim tam with afternoon tea.

Tim tams – let me tell you about a bit of a realisation….within me there will always be a greedy person trying to break out! Carbs – I am ok – I enjoy them but they are not the be all and end all for me! Sweets however are a different storey. LATE one evening I snuck into the pantry to have a tim tam…I ended up having six!!! I have NO willpower when it comes to sugary treats! Lesson learnt – avoid sweets.

The one non-Dukan thing that I do on a more regular basis is that I have a bowl of Uncle Toby’s Oats for breakfast. So apart from the odd transgression and the oats the time off was good and was overall a success.

13th August – Return to work. Weight 110.2kgs. Loss on leave 4.7kgs!

The return to work resulted in a return to structure and routine. My darling wife has coped with the two boys at home alone fantastically well (I am so proud of her!) and I am dealing with the post break blues in my return to the workforce (buying lotto tickets now!!). The first week back found me snacking much more than I did at home. At home I never had 10 am and 3 pm snacks and I also found myself drinking much more water (and coffee) that I did at home sooooooooo…..

I ended up recording almost a week of gains…weight at the end of that week 111.4kgs. That was a GAIN of 1.2kgs in the week. I am certain this was compounded by the fact that I did absolutely no exercise during the week while I tried to get back into the work swing, get used to feeding the baby at 4 am and get home from work “too late and tired”…poor excuses but they were the ones I used.

Over the weekend it was my mother’s birthday and that resulted in morning tea at our house, dinner at my sister’s house and breakfast the next day at the club (a buffet – all you can eat!). I stayed strong. No snacks at the morning tea. No carbs at the dinner and once piece of bacon with the scrambled eggs and mushrooms at the breakfast! Overall a good weekend navigating the constant barrage of food. A couple of runs achieved too and so I am happy to report that as of this morning I was back to 110.0kgs almost a new low (previous low was 109.4kgs).

I am typing this post for several reasons…

1)      To catch up on the trials and updates on the past month.

2)      To try to get my head back in the game. I feel that over the past couple of weeks I have let things slide. I am [today] 6kgs from the Dukan suggested weight and 10kgs from my target yet I am feeling like things are waning. Maybe I am trying to get ahead of myself and try to adopt Stage 3 before I should. If anything in this post I am trying to vocalise my faults to acknowledge them and hopefully overcome them.

3)      Acknowledge the greedy bastard inside of me! I know he is there and I know that I have to manage him. When it comes to sweets I have no willpower! NONE and the fat bastard inside loves that and wants me to fail and forget about this healthy lifestyle. I worry about this fat git when it comes to stage 3 but I hope that acknowledging him means that I will be prepared for the battle that will commence once I arrive at the start of stage 3.

Tomorrow will be a weight gain – I know this with some certainty as despite my plan for an 8km run tonight (we have a weather warning in place at the moment) I have eaten about 200g of biltong (beef jerky – South African style). It is pretty salty so I am expecting water gain. This does not condone the snack or the fact of it but it is self-admission of the fault and is hopefully the start of a refocused, prepared and committed me that goes forward from here.

Thanks for reading my rant along the way.

Happy thoughts and lighter scales.


Thursday, 2 August 2012


Hi guys,

Sorry I have been MIA for the past couple of weeks. We have had a bit of excitement in the household that has lead to me being distracted and unable to blog.

We have been blessed with the safe arrival of my second son. He arrived on his due date on July 21st.

We are all getting used to having a new little person in the house and are trying to find out each others routines which is leading to several sleep deprived nights...thankfully my five year old could sleep through anything and as such has not [yet] had his sleep disturbed.

I have been as best as possible sticking to the Dukan way but will admit that the exercise has taken a hit. Once things return to some semblance of normality I will post a better update.

For now, happy thoughts and lighter scales.


Friday, 20 July 2012

Week 6 - Cruise

So this is me trying to bring the weekly update back into alignment with a 4 day update.

6 weeks on a diet – this is quite possibly the longest I have stuck to a diet and I know that this is as a result of the scales continuing to tick over. Yes there have been some days when there has been a rise but those are the days that I end up taking stock over and working out what I have done wrong and then fine tuning for the next days! The truth is that if you follow the rules and don’t stray too far from the core principles you will succeed.

So the last 4 days have been a continuation of the recovery from the man flu. Still hacking in the mornings and evenings but went out for my first run in over a week last night. Was dreading it…how quickly do you get out of a routine…two weeks ago it was a no brainer, get home from work, change and hit the pavements for a run/jog…last night it took the whole 30km drive home to mentally wrestle myself into the mindset for the run! Once out there I was glad to get out and run but I had to mentally think about the run! Whilst I run and do sort of enjoy it I am not a runner by any stretch of the imagination! I lumber along and I am certain that I am not a pretty sight and if my iPod were to stop working and I actually hear myself breathing I am sure I would be arrested for obscene noises….however, I give it a go and two years ago when I started to move I used to use lamp posts as milestones (run for two or three and walk for two or three) then upgraded to running for a song and walking for a song. Last night, even after a week off I managed to run for the whole 6kms.

The Nike+ app for the iPhone is an awesome tool. It tracks your run via GPS and shows you your average pace and your personal records. I am pretty sad – I need gadgets and gizmos like that to keep me interested and motivated. I need personal challenges to motivate and progress myself. I personally think that we all need challenges, personal and public, to encourage and motivate and help us to excel. I have a half marathon (21kms) coming up in 37 days time. This is my current challenge and focus. I would be interested in knowing what others have as their focus and drive, if you are willing to share please do.

Side note – whilst I have lost 16kgs to date on Dukan since the start of the year I have lost just over 20kgs. This means that I have lost the equivalent of my 5 year old J. Hard to imagine when I pick him up that I used to carry that around with me on a daily basis…Plus he is a much cuter 20kgs than the 20 that I have lost J

I hope that you have a great week ahead.

All the best, happy scales and big smiles.  

Monday, 16 July 2012

Week 5 (+ 3 days) - Cruise

So after thinking that week 4 on cruise was a crappy week, week 5 turned out to be a little bit worse…I got sick…yes yes, man flu jokes aside I was pretty unwell. I spent the best part of 18 hours in bed Thursday and Friday with raging temps and weird ass dreams only to recover slightly on Saturday and plummet back downhill Saturday evening. Much improved after a further 12 hours in bed on Sunday. If anything it was an interesting week that was not without its challenges.

07/07 – (0.9) Loss
08/07 – (0.4) Loss
09/07 – (1.0) Loss
10/07 – 0.2 GAIN
11/07 – (0.2) Loss
12/07 – no measurement
13/07 – no measurement
14/07 – (0.8) Loss
15/07 – no measurement
16/07 – (1.6) Loss

So what happened over the week.

Sunday, went for my, now becoming usual, run in Perth city, up into Kings Park and round the park and back to the Bell Tower (12 kms). Got lost AGAIN, took a wrong turn, but still managed to get back on track and have a good run. Still without my baby sister as she is on holiday away at the moment and besides, she is faster than me and I need to make hay while the sun shines. So the week started on a high.

Monday, session in the gym – felt good – certainly not as stiff and sore as the first session so some improvement there! Not sure of why there is a gain after that session but anyway, we are still looking to tone some of the still flabby bits! AWESOME NEWS – have broken into the 11x.x weight band! Am now at a personal new low!! Chuffed!

Tuesday night, went for a scheduled 8 km run. It was dark, damp and a little windy…motivation for the run was LOW but I forced myself out there and ended up having a FANTASTIC run. A new personal best for the 5k (28mins flat!!) and finished the whole 8kms in 47:54 (another PB time).

So I was riding the wave of a great week after an uphill challenge of the week before and then WHAM I was struck down with the dreaded lurgy! The joys of working in an open plan office, in winter, under stressful conditions, oh and having a 5 year old with a cold too…So it hit me and personally given that I am 6’ 5” and 118kgs (J) I think that they were some pretty big germs to take me down!

Being sick identified a couple of things for me…1) my appetite was/is gone…still is now – I have had no desire to eat for a few days now…I have eaten out of necessity but not through want or desire! 2) Dukan is not appealing (to me) when I am sick. I experienced my highest levels of carb cravings while I was unwell. I have managed to get through – not entirely unscathed but we are through.

I did transgress. Three times…

1)      I had a bowl of Oats So Simple oats for breakfast on Saturday. Not as nice as I had built it up in my mind. I wanted something warm and sweet and comforting. It filled the gap for a couple of hours but was not a worthy transgression…
2)      I had two pancakes on Sunday morning. Nothing on them just two plain pancakes. They were nice and a pleasant change.
3)      After 4 days in bed and the house and feeling somewhat better we had to get out of the house so we went out for dinner. I had 10 chips…I purposely and consciously had some chips. I was very happy to be able to limit myself to 10. Days gone by I would have had mine, and my sons and any that my wife left too…

Do I feel guilty about the transgressions. No. Do I feel the need to atone for them. No.

I do expect that some of the weight lost over the past couple of days will come back on now that I am back on the Dukan express and I am prepared for that. I am sure that there will be a fair amount of water retention going on to recover the sweat lost over the 4 days. I think the fact that I am firmly in the 11x.x range has helped me with that mindset. I do not intend for the transgressions to become an ongoing thing. It was a nice to do after 45 days of diet and I hope was a sign of things to come with the change in mindset that this lifestyle change has brought to bear after 45 short days.

I hope that you have had a great week and the one ahead is even better.

All the best, happy scales and big smiles,