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!

Who Is the Person Behind the Blog You Are Reading?

This could be a really tedious and annoyingly boring post. Imagine listing up your entire life in order of your life. Telling all the little in and out of one’s personality and life.
And then. And then. And then.
Not planning on doing that 🙂
Let us do a few Questions & Answers and see if we can get to know each other some.

Where are you from?
My passports are issued in Sweden and Czech Republic. So I guess somewhere along that line.

Where do you live?
I live in the Czech Republic as of now. I moved here about 12 years ago, not really knowing I would stay for this amount of time. I had a plan to stay few months and that would be it. My father is Czech so there was some meaning of moving here. I did venture out to Bolivia for about 3.5 years, so I have not lived in Prague for 12 years. I moved with my husband and child to Cochabamba, Bolivia but returned 3 years ago.

Married, Single, Mother, what?
As mentioned, I was married but it did not last. Two people wanting to be right and not give in is a hard equation for a lasting relationship. We made a child, my, not so, little daughter. She is here with me now. I also have 5 sisters, brother and a mother.
They all live in Sweden though. I have Czech family but we met way too seldom.

What do you do for a living? 
I work as a teacher, and more specifically an English teacher. Yes, what a shocker right. Expats in Czech republic that is what we all do. I work mainly with companies and business English. I am a certified Agile Coach, but I never really hit it off with that. I like many principles of it, but honestly, I just think going to the same place, work with the same for 8 hours a day would bore me.  I also do translations and some proofreading.

What do you like to do when you are not working?
This is something I am discovering at the moment. I am not so sure. I have had a feeling for a long time I am not doing anything. I used to read, sew, create with arts n crafts. Cook. But last years I have not done a lot of things. I have had a feeling that I lost all these things since I got divorced, as life changed from stability to instability and all I did was to just survive. There was no time to have real hobbies, I could engage with.  I am finding out that I really love exercising and the time I spend doing this is quite a lot. Just today I built a plan for what to do today, reading about what muscle group I am using for each exercise. It is really interesting!

What do you like eating?
This is also something I am discovering at the moment. I have eaten just about anything always. Never really thought about how I feel afterward or what it does to me. More the merrier so to speak. I have noticed that I do not enjoy eating late at night, as it leaves me feeling stuffed. Coffee over tea, but herbal tea is quite nice too. Which I never thought I would feel. I enjoy savory over sweet. However, I do not like too much salt, as I used to. It was my go-to thing. Add salt and it is good. I enjoy the taste of each item, and I prefer not adding too many flavors to it.

What is your plan in life?
I really want to come to a point in life of financial independence. I want to be able to work, only because I want to and not because I have to. I want to work on my writing skills, to be able to publish a book I have been working on for a long time. There is this idea that is growing, that I want to work with people like me. Obese or overweight who want to change their lives. On all levels. I want to have hobbies, I enjoy doing and learn how to play the piano.

What is one strong attribute you have?
That I just do not give up. Ok I panic, and cry, and feel life is utterly unfair and why oh why do I have such a hard life. But after that I set myself up to work and I just do it. What needs to be done, I do.  Okay, then I might come back to the giving up phase and crying phase, but I end up just doing it anyhow. I have learned over my course of life that almost everything is doable. You just need to find the way. I very often freak out during the way, douting everything but one just needs to keep one. If one door does not open, find a different door, to the same room.

What is one negative attribute you have?
This is a tough one, as I do not have many.
Has no one ever said. I have, at least in my head, many. To point out just one is hard. And that might sum up a negative attribute I have. I talk down about myself and focus on bad things about me. How mediocre I am, how many things I have failed for no other reason than just myself. How I have all these bad sides which no one likes. We become what we think about ourselves, so I just giving this negative gift to myself.

Well ladies and gents. Those were some questions and answers from me, to me. I hope you have enjoyed it. Who are you, who reads this blog? Tell me, would be interesting to hear 🙂

Let Us Focus on NSV- Non Scale Victories

I am not going to lie. This morning when I did my weekly weigh-in I almost lost it. I had not lost anything. Nothing. Not a single gram. This is not the first time. I have had this 1 kilo up and down for 2 months now.
“But Manka, once you have lost, most of your weight. Weight loss slows down.”
I have not lost most of it yet. I have 20 kilos down so far, but even just to enter into non-overweight territory am I missing 10 kilos. So there are still quite some kilos to go.
Hence me almost breaking down in tears this morning. I feel I am doing so much, and no result is yielding. This is not starting to affect my well-being as I am really just thinking about this and nothing else. I need to change things up, so let’s focus on some NSV instead!

What is NSV?

NVS is an abbreviation for Non-Scale Victory. And it has been a term in the weight loss world for quite some time already. This is what we tell ourselves we should focus on, and not the scale, to see that health is not only what the scale says.

Nonscale victories, also known as NSVs, are health improvements that result from small life changes. They may go unnoticed if you’re only focused on the scale as a measure of your success. A bathroom scale shows a number — a snapshot of your weight at a given moment on a given day. – Healtline

I guess that it is correct to think like this. Health is so much more. I am able to do things now that I could not, not even when I was 10 kilos less than now. I have a really hard time though to actually be happy about these things, as I just do not want to be considered obese any longer. I am so over it.

 Here Comes My List! 

  1. I can fit in my bathtub as of now. We have a pretty normal-sized bathtub and I could actually not fit in it before. I could not stretch out properly as the tub gets narrower at the end. So that is a pretty nice feeling!
  2. I am able to run several kilometers, without feeling like I am about to die. Not only can I do it but I enjoy doing it. I love the feeling of rushing breath and how I can transport myself.
  3. The blouse I bought last September actually fits now.  It seems to be a reoccurring issue of mine. To know how big or small I actually am. You can read about it here.
    I bought a blouse, that did not fit me that well. Today I think it is a pretty nice fit.                               
  4. I bought a ring few years ago, and I have not been able to fit it. It is back on my finger now.
  5. I have gotten some new hobbies. Today I count working out as a hobby. It is imperative that I move on a daily basis, if not it makes me totally grumpy! As I am challenging myself to live differently from the past, time is being used differently than in the past. I value learning things and experience new things.

Moving Forward

I need to find a balance between these two measurements. I need to learn that these measurements are OK too and that everything is not in what the scale says. That it is OK to be standing still for to months. Learning to see it as a learning experience too. I am working on how to deal with maintenance. This is my end goal, so I should be happy I have found it.
The only problem I am not supposed to be there. I am working to lose weight, so if my losing weight strategy is actually a maintenance strategy, well then I am a bit off. 
Anywho. I will try to be happy about these victories and feel proud about them for now and not worry too much right now, about anything else.

January Has Come to and End- How Did I do- Life Transformation

I am a Agile Coach, not working as it but have certification in it. I really got hooked on it, as it is so structured and as my life was fundamentally unstructured it was great for me.
One thing I really like in Agile is the idea with retrospectives.
So what is a retrospective? Simply put it is this:

What went well?
What did not go so well?
WHAT CAN I DO DIFFERENT TO MOVE FORWARD?

You obviously need to have a look at your sprint plan and what was the stories that you planned to have finished.
So that is what we are doing today! January sprint is over today so let’s have a look.

So what was the print plan?

What was the plan of the month?

  1. Read on average 1.5 books
  2. Working on my self-love
  3. Keep putting my health first– meaning mindful eating, and work out a min of 5 times a week.
  4. Working on my Czech, a min of 4 times x 30 min a week.
  5. Keep budgeting and adding investing.
  6. Learn something new or improve an a skill, ideas such as an instrument, drawing, handicraft, sewing, on the amount of min 30 min per week.

WHAT WENT WELL?

  1. I did read a book- Good Omen.
  2. Have said no to people I do not want to deal with anymore and work I do not want to be a part of.
  3. Kept the min of 5 times as week. I have done a mix of work out, to my ability in this lock-down world we are living in. I did my fastest and longest run so far.
  4. I did work on my Czech in various books and have spoken at home as well.
  5. I am budgeting, tracking and I added etoro so now I am investing too, which now is divided between two stocks and one cryptocurrency.
  6. I did work on an SEO course.

WHAT DID NOT GO SO WELL?

  1. Had hard time to make the time for this. I read on my phone and I did not like that so much.
  2. I made the task very vague so I find it hard to really see what I need to do in order to work on it.
  3. I cannot really say anything that did not go so well. I have done the best I could do with my abilities in this situation.
  4. I could have been better speaking at home. I do not leave the home very much as we are in lock-down so there are not so many other places to work on it right now.
  5. I have done all what I can do at the moment.
  6. This one I could have worked much more with. The SEO course was quite shit, so I cannot say I learned anything new. I could have worked on sewing and drawing which is free as I have the tools.

WHAT CAN I DO DIFFERENT TO MOVE FORWARD?

  1. Bring the book in my bag as I do not like reading on the phone. Add 30 min before bed. I do enjoy reading.
  2. To make it clearer. What does really self-love mean? I need to rework this plan in general.
  3. That I can do much more than I believe. I can measure more for the future.
  4. 30 min 4 x a week is really doable so I think I will just leave it like this for now and make no changes for following month.
  5. Make a clearer plan in how I want to invest and how much. Write it down so I can see what I am actually investing in and for.
  6. This one is my absolute worst one. I can add much more time. I do a lot of brainless scrolling where I could work on something new instead.

In general I am quite happy with the month. I am quite excited of what February will do for me.
How are your plans and resolutions going so far?

A Day in a Random Non-famous Persons Life

I know everyone claims that the personal blog is D E A D and all we want to read is blog articles about one subject over and over again. From 500 different angles and then do it all from the start again, when all the angles have been covered.
Unless you are rich and famous and we want to indulge and envy their life.

You know what? I do not C A R E.

I enjoy writing, have always done, and guess I always will. I have also always had this feeling of wanting to be heard and tell a story. So- Voila! Here we are. So here are photos from my lovely day today. Just me, Manka , a random non-famous or rich person who just wants to share life.

07.30 AM– I do not eat until lunchtime, so for me my morning coffee is so special. I love coffee but I try to only have this one. My sleep really get compromised if I drink more. So this one cup is quite holy for me.

8.05 Am– As we are in lockdown, my daughter has basically not been in school since March, I need to find things to keep her and my life as “normal” as possible. I try to take her out 3 times for proper training and then the rest of the days just to be outside. I need her to have great routines from small already. I bought a basketball yesterday and we tried it out today.
It was a hit.

02.30 PM– I live in Czech Republic, but I am not from here. I did move here 2008 but never got around to learn the language. 2014 I moved with my then husband and daughter to Bolivia which went straight to hell and I came back 2018 with my daughter. I made a promise to learn how to speak it. It has not really happened so much. Making it happen I made the decision to study 4 times a week for about 30 min. Today was one of those day!

04.00 PM – Before daylight is over for today, I went outside. I try to walk for a minimum of 1 hour a day. I think it is really important right now especially as it is dark already at 5 PM and as we have to be home from 9 PM.
I try to head out with someone so I can keep up with them. I do not enjoy speaking with them over chats or messages.

My neighborhood!

And now it is 07.10 PM and I am finishing this off. I have obviously worked too but took no picture of that. Will have to be for next time. And yes there will be a next time.
I do not care about the idea that blogging is dead, or that no one wants to read my personal journey. Well I do this for the few who do wants to read. And for me!
And I do believe that somewhere there are people missing this equally as much as I.
I am so tired of reading the blogs from the rich and famous. I cannot relate. I do not want to read blogs only talking and writing 500 articles about how to do keto.

So I will do this my way. Whatever people say 🙂