From Snail to Speed of Light- Part 2 – How to Move Forward

fit athlete during training on running track
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

As you all, by now know, is that I am a somewhat newfound runner. Or at least a wannabe runner. A runner in the making.
I did a check the other day, mostly for fun of course, or maybe not. I am still not fully sure which one of them, it was.
Yes, so I did a check to see where in the runner scale I am. How much of one am I? According to this check, not a full runner just yet. Check it here.
Again it was just for fun.
What I have done though is becoming more intentional and focused when it comes to my running. It is such an interesting path. Never have I ever looked at exercise as I am looking at it now.
It is not a punishment it is an investment and a treat in and to myself. So I wrote a text about how I managed to go from absolutely nothing to something, sometime back. – Read about it here

I have now a new plan. Not so much looking back but looking into the future. How to move on from where I am, into something even better.

Where I used to be and the Future Where I Am Going

I have come a long way since I started my running journey, about 10 months ago. As you already read, it was an ultimate fail at first. My idea that I would just go and run my 10K without breaking a sweat just seems as quite ridiculous looking back at it. It is OK though. I did not know better.
I know that my goals seem too much for some. I have not received the best reactions as apparently they are too much for me but it is totally OK. I rather aim high and come somewhere near it, one day than conform to the idea that I as a fat person should not have plans or goals, that might be “too high”.

My old goals which I already have reached:

  • Able to run 5 minutes straight
  • Able to run 10 minutes straight
  • Able to run 3 KM straight
  • 5 K
  • 5 K in 30 minutes ( this one is still questionable if I reached as my Runkeeper stopped working the day of the run. So I am recycling this one.)
  • 10 K in one go, under 1.30 minutes. I did it in 1 hour and 15 minutes.

These are my new goals. Shorter list, but I am pretty sure it will grow.

  • 10 K in 1 hour sharp.
  • 5 K in 30 minutes.
  • 5 K in 25 minutes.
My first time trying hill practice- just last week!

What Is the Plan I Have?

I have been reading a lot of running articles and blogs. I did kind of surprise myself when I found myself doing this. It was about then I also figured that I am probably starting to think about this on a new level.

It started with Christopher McDougall’s “Natural Born Runner”
This one took me to the other places too, such as :

Runners World, Runners Need, Global Triathlon Network, and Higher Running just to speak about few of them. I constantly read and watch videos on this topic.
I started to see that a plan was really not set into action and what I did was great to get me reaching the goals I had reached but probably not the best to get to the next level.
My idea has been to just go out and run. The more KM the better has been my philosophy and that this would translate into faster, better, and longer runs. Automatically.
It seems like this is not the case.

I will have to incorporate intervals:

Running an interval involves running at a faster pace than your usual aerobic pace. … A pace that requires more huffing and puffing, a step up from your aerobic pace, is run for a predetermined length of time, with a recovery jog interval, and repeated for a set number of repetitions.Active.com

Hill training :

Training on hills improves leg-muscle strength, quickens your stride, expands stride length, develops your cardiovascular system, enhances your running economy and can even protect your leg muscles against soreness. In short, hill running will make you a stronger, faster and healthier runner

Slowrun:

Doing your regular, weekday runs at a slow pace reduces the risk of injury dramatically while still contributing to your fitness. A weekly long, slow run will improve your endurance, enhance your fat-burning ability, improve bloodflow to your muscles, and build mental toughness.

First time I did 10 K 1hour 15 Minutes.

How Will This Translate?

I plan to manage it like this.
3 times a week run so far, from now on to the end of June.

Week 1:
1x Hill training= Hills up and down for 30 minutes adding 5 minutes per time for this.
1x Slow run = Run for no time for 40-60 minutes. As speed nor length is really the interest I have seen it seems good to add some time here.
1x Interwalls= Meaning you do 400M fast 400 M slow. Then 500 fast,600, 700, 600,500,400. Inbetween 2-400 meters slow.

Week2 :
1x 30 Minutes fast= Run a fast 30 minutes race.
1x interwals= 5 Min fast and then 5 Min slow.
1x long run= The 10 K long run practice. Every 2 times of this adding another 1 KM.

These 2 should be switched between every second week.
So this is my plan and then by end of June see how my 10/ 5 KM speed has improved.
Let’s GO!

1 Year Anniversary of My New-found Life and Transformation


This was me exactly one year ago. I was just in the life-changing decision to start doing something with myself.
I was dead tired of myself and my whining. Every single time I met with my friends it was the same story.

“I want to lose weight. I am really getting too big. I just cannot go on like this. I just have to lose weight.”

But this went on repeat. Over, over, over, and over again. I was so sick and tired of hearing it.
I was also so sick and tired of feeling sick and tired.
Because no matter how much I smiled, and how much I said I did not feel bad.
I. felt. Bad.
All. The. Time.
Something just had to change.

16 May 2020

What Made Me Change?

Not only did I feel bad all the time, but it also hurt constantly. If I sat, it hurt. If I stood up it hurt. If I walked it hurt. If I laid down it hurt. The photo above is from my first hike of 2020. I remember it so vividly, as I walked 20K steps and I was crying coming home. Everything hurt.

Not only that.
I knew that I was not well as my blood vitals did tell me that. Everything supposed to be high was low, and everything supposed to be low was high.

I would wake up with massive headaches and my uvula swollen and hurting, on an almost daily basis. I knew I was snoring, and I did fear that I was suffering from sleep apnea due to the really swollen face and aching throat.
It was more than just few nights when I was a bit scared of going to bed. What if the sheer weight on my chest would be too much and I would suffocate.

I would have a strange feeling in my head as if wind was blowing in it. Still to this day do I not know what that was. High blood pressure or something else. For sure something was off.
I would get winded really easily and I remember getting my step counter and really struggle to get 5000 steps in, as it was just too much for me.

Joints and ligaments were hurting. I was constantly tired. I was constantly hungry. I was scared of falling, I did not want to break anything.
It just had to stop.
One day I just had enough. I was 35 not 75.

July 2020- I had already started losing weight here

Transformation to a Healthier Life.

The start was really hard. I got a trainer 3 days a week that I paid a small fortune for. My best spent money ever. I was now accountable, not just to him – as at that stage I could not be accountable to myself. I did not know how- but also to my money.
A single mom in a raging pandemic, not knowing if she would have a job or not, paying for such nonsense. I just needed to not waste one single cent.
And that I did not. I kept that word to myself.

It is funny how I thought 10 sessions with this trainer would solve it all. Somehow I really did. Silly me!

II just saw it as a lack of regimen and that I needed to work out few times and life would magically transform itself to pink sky and rainbows.
After 2 months of this idea I started to realize that I was way wrong and it was more than just few sessions with a trainer that I needed.
Neither the dietist really did it for me. I knew what I needed to eat, that was not the issue. I just ate anyhow, regardless of the knowledge.
That is where the idea of a holistic viewpoint grew stronger and stronger.

My body and health is the product of all stress, anxiety, bad thought, old coping mechanisms, memories, traditions and habits. it was not just about getting on a diet and run 3 times a week. It was about honoring myself and creating a better life- in general and overall. A overhaul of my life and its inventory.


Test of My Transformation and Finding Support In Myself

I went to my GP 2 weeks or so ago. Probably more.
My vitals are back to normal, except one part of my cholesterol but it is so marginal that he said that it is deductible.
I am no longer deadly tired, at some few occasions have I woken up with my uvula swollen. My daughter tells me I do not snore any longer, at least not to the extent I used to.
I smell better, why I do not know. Maybe I am not leaking, from you know where, as I used to.
I have better skin, sleep better, eat better, and my mental health is totally 180. My work on all the mental parts has been huge. From eating few medications due to mental issues I take occasionally one medication.
It was 2 weeks ago I went for a hike and I did about 30K steps and I knew I could do some more.

I am not going to lie though, It has not been easy. It was not simple either. It was difficult and hard. It IS difficult and hard. There are still so many parts that are missing.
It has not been easy for my friends. The change I am doing, and everyone will not support.
Many times have I been tested in my conviction to my transformation. Tested to see if this is really what I wanted. Friends pushing to peer pressure to not do what I was on my path doing. I have slipped up. I have done things I really have not wanted. Just as “Old” Manka would do. Give up. Give everything to the instant gratification monkey. Not looking into the future. It is not their fault. It is normal but it would have been easy to just throw my hand up and give up but the positive feelings has so far been winning over old pathways and habits.
It has been sad to feel that I have not been supported but in that, I have reached out to others. I have reached out to myself and that push and accountability I so desperately needed to get from someone else- I gave myself.

I give myself!

2021 Hike

I have a long way still. There are more kinks and stuff I have to work on to get where I really want to go. I need to push myself again, a little bit more and not feel so comforted in this change. I need to continue doing more. I have stagnated some the last 3 months, as I feel it is pointless. Pandemic lockdown has not added positively to the motivation.
I still have things that block me and keep me away from reaching my full potential.
But this year has taught me that I can do it. I am doing it. I am full of accountability and I can do it without the external locus of control but my internal.
I am stronger inside myself than I thought. remembering that hike last year and this year they were just so different. And how this coming year is quite exciting!

Hill practice run! first of many to come!