Starting again ... again.

I love summer! And this summer has been a particularly good one - hot weather, great family Christmas, fantastic, amazing holiday away ...
But just that amazing summer-ness can also be a bit of a downfall to the health and fitness regime. By the time you have a busy end-of-year, the crazy lead-up to Christmas, all of the food and drink of the Christmas period itself, a holiday where relaxing is in and routine is out, and the days at home where the small people are asking "what can we do today?", eating even vaguely sensibly and regular exercise just don't tend to be a happening thing - for me anyway. I admire those people who manage to keep a regime going through all of the other stuff, but I freely admit, I am not one of them.
So this week, having added two weeks of my first ever flu onto the end of my excellent holiday, and now being back at work, I have finally started to get myself organised into something resembling a health and fitness mindset.
And it really does feel…

New Year's Resolutions?

To goal, or not to goal, that is the question...
I haven't made any New Year's resolutions this year, in fact, I generally don't. When I have, I have done like most people, and they have lasted about three weeks and then gotten all too hard. Most people find that's the case, but so many of us still do make resolutions - I wonder why?
I think it might be because we like to have goals. I have written about goals, and how they help me to achieve things that I want or need to do. Having both small goals and bigger goals allows me to work what I want and how I am likely to get there, as well as giving me something to measure against, which I personally need.
So, goals are good, right?
Well, no, not always. 
There are some problems with setting goals. The biggest one that I find is that when I achieve one, I am a bit lost until I find another one, particularly with the bigger ones. What if I don't want to do that thing again? What if there isn't something else I can think…

You are what you eat...

And what you drink - she writes while having a cider and some snacks after her run...When I began this blog, it was in response to reaching a weight threshold that I didn't really want to contemplate. In the meantime, I have been up and down over that threshold on a pretty much weekly basis - but I am not as bothered by that as I thought I would be.
There are a couple of reasons for that:
Firstly, although I haven't lost any weight at all, I am fitter and more in shape than I was when I started back into all of this. Where I struggled with with a 4-5km slow jog, I am now able to go out and run for an hour and a half to two hours, and although I am still definitely walking up the steeper hills, I feel good when I get in at the end of it, not knackered.
I feel that I am healthier than I was as well - apart from the not-actually-asthma, and also not-bronchitis with a bit of not-laryngitis added in, that totally knocked me for a few weeks there, I haven't been sick all winter. My…

Having the right gear.

Anyone who knows me will know that this is not going to be a post about appearance - the right gear for me will never be 'what I want other people to see', because I generally couldn't care less, but what works for the activities I am doing. And that is why having the right gear is actually really important.
Having said that, I'd better make a bit of a disclaimer, because about a month ago I was lucky enough to win a competition through the Asics Roadtesters NZ group and I have received some awesome gear from them.
Anyway, with the West Coaster coming up, I have been going through all my gear trying to work out what will actually work best for me through the off-road half-marathon that I will be competing in (well, at least completing...). There are a couple of reasons that I need to think about this. If I get too hot, I faint. It's a blood pressure thing, but basically I have to wear stuff that breathes really well. I have a couple of favourite running leggings, but …

Fitting it all in

and not losing your mind in the process...Although, it has to be said, I am not sure about the not going crazy bit, just at the moment...
At the moment I am training for an event - the half of the Westcoaster. This is going to be huge; I have never done an off-road half before and when I did the 13km section of the team marathon of this a couple of years back, I nearly died, it was so hard. I have a training program which should work me up to the right level of fitness to complete it - and completion is what I'm looking for - but trying to follow that program is a logistical nightmare!
I addition to me training, the small people between them have activities every single day of the week. This means drop-offs and pick-ups, and staying at the venue if it's too far to go home, and then getting home and trying to get dinner eaten before it's the small people's bedtimes. And the husband does his share where he can, but that's mostly the weekends, because he works stupidly …

Listen to your body

Although I don't really want to admit to growing up, there are times that I notice that I am getting older. This doesn't mean that I am falling to bits or anything, but it does mean that when my body has an issue, it doesn't just clear up by itself any more.

Having said that though, most of the things my body has to deal with are more day-to-day stuff, not really those side-effects of ageing. (especially since I stopped dying my hair and discovered my natural colour is grey marle)

Like the sore ankle that I can hardly walk on the next morning after I do leg presses not-quite-right at my fitness class. Maybe I have had my feet too far apart, or too far back, but now I have adjusted my stance a bit, and it seems to be working.

Or the four day headache that I have at the end of term that lets me know just how tightly wound up I have been - it only hurts when it's letting go. A good massage or the osteopath can set that one right, but really I need to work more on the not get…

Bigger Goals

Lately I have been finding that those small goals just aren't enough to keep me motivated. There have been so many things going on in my life that is has been far easier to say that those things need to be done and there just isn't enough time left over for exercise. And to a certain extent that has even been true - things like moving house (again, and not for the last time), and Home Shows, and students' assessment marking, and kids' sports and cultural events can't be put on hold in the same way that a half-hour run can. What does it matter if I skip one?

But it does matter, and that's where the bigger goals come in.

In the same way that for me my weight was a catalyst but not a motivator, small goals alone are a benchmark but not a motivator. Not all people do, but I need something to work towards, and/or something to measure myself against. There are a few things I can do:
pick a challenge - find something that I have not done before, that is going to extend m…