From Snail to Speed of Light- My Running Guide

We all need to take that saying with a grain of salt, I do hope you all understand. I have improved, and in my eyes really impressively, my running form, stamina and speed. It is pretty awesome what the human body and mind can manage!
But let us take if from the beginning.

The Beginning 

Last year I started to see a personal trainer to kick me out of my house and start doing something. This was a huge incentive for me to start doing something about my health. For me health is mental and physical. Physical as in what the body can manage and mental in how you deal with shit.

I started in May and came June I felt it was time to add something more. Some cardio on my days without my trainer.

I envisioned myself how I started running and gracefully took long and amazing looking strides. How I would bounce on my feet and every obstacle would be nothing as I jumped and bounced around them.
I laced my shoes and off I went!
It was amazing, I was running! I took strode after strode. I would run 5K at least. Maybe I should even aim for 10!
About one minute into the run I collapsed. Lungs ached, I could not find my breath. Ankles begged me to stop already. Everything that had bounced around was not me gracefully but my fat rolls up and down, up and down hurting everytime I hit the ground.
My 10 KM plan was officially a failure. I made some walk-jog for about 2 and then it was it. 

A Plan is Building Up

I could have given up there and then as so many times before. Something is different now though. I do not know what, something just is. I did not give up. Not at all. Quite the opposite.
For the first time in my life, I put a plan in action. 

  1. I consumed every little running video on Youtube. With Global Triathlon Network being my absolute favorite. They have both beginner and advanced as their target. 
  2. Reading about running and how it is beneficial and helpful for us. How we should run and what is the correct running technique. 
  3. Made up a running plan and decided to rigorously stick to it, no matter what or how I felt. 
  4. Practice not just running but really focusing on running form. Aim to work on muscle groups which would be beneficial to train, aiming to help my run. 
One of the first times


How Did This Manifest? 

I decided not to jog with music at all. There were these two ideas behind it. 
One: if not finding my headset to be able to listen to music would be a reason not to go, I did not want that reason.
Second: I wanted to not get lost in music but really focus on my form and breathing. 

I also decided to run in blocks of 3 weeks. And stick to that block of time, no matter what. If I felt like doing more I told myself not to do it. I was still at 110+ kilos and running with this amount is not recommended. The strain on your joint and the added weight on ankles each time you step down your foot is not something to disregard.

My Plan I Followed

First 3 weeks were mainly about getting out. I jogged 2 minutes and then I walked for another 3. Jogged 2 and walked 3. I remember being dead most of the time. Not liking it and how my lungs and joints killed me.

Then I added one minute to the run and subtracted from the walk, so 3 minutes walk turned into 2 minutes and 2 minutes jog turned into 3 minutes. This I did for 3 weeks. I would take each jog and practice belly breathing. Trying to get as much air into my lower lungs.
My calves did really eat me up. I would cramp up really heavily. I did not understand from what, and did think I was running out of electrolytes. Now I just think it was just extremely heavy for my body, even these small jogs.

The next following 3 weeks, I added and subtracted again. 4 minutes jog and just 1 walking.
Once a week I would also do intervals. 1 minutes really fast, 1 minutes slow, 1 fast, 1 slow and then walk 1 minutes and repeat for 20 minutes and then 5 minutes slow jog and that was it. 30 minutes all in all.

And then it was 5 minutes of jog, this was my plan but actually I felt so powerful that when I decided for the 5 minutes I just continued to run though I remember. I was so full of the potential that I did not see the reason why not to just continue. I did 10 minutes in one go. For me it was like a 10K race. I was extremely proud. And rightfully so.
I took 5 minutes and focused on one specific form. Legs, or arms, torso, or head. This would make the 10 minutes easier.
Over time that has also really helped me improve my form. Which today is pretty OK actually.

My First Jog In One Go

Before this day, I had just been jogging and stopping and jogging and stopping. But the time I ran my first 2 kilometer in one go was amazing!
I do not have any record of it, but I was so extremely proud. I remember my bargain of one more tree, one more sign, one more 5 minutes. Soon had I finished my first 3 kilometer jog. No stopping. 

Where Am I Now?

My goal now is to run 5K 30 Minutes flat or less. 10K 1 hour flat or less.
How I will get there is a post all by itself because this post is starting to look like a short novel.
I will finish by saying that I went out today for a run, and I did 4,3K in 30 minutes. I am soon reaching my goal. My plan, my idea, my execution.
I have come a long way from that first jog in June. From feeling that jogging was a punishment, and that all my body hurt from it, I enjoy it today. I am looking forward for the runs and if I do not do them for a while, I get grumpy and angry.
It is a really integrated part of my life today.
It took some time, and I still have a long way. Hips hurt after running due to the extra weight. But persistence wins the race!

If I Skip It Once I Should Just Skip It Forever- Why?

This is me. In so many aspects of my life and it really frustrates me. I do not understand where it comes from and why I have it. It is not procrastination, as I do have issue with that as well.
So what am I talking about?

I am on a roll. It can be whatever. Exercise, writing, reading, learning.
Now lately it was this- writing.
I said to myself that I want to have a plan of creating a post every 3 days. I think it is the track I can follow. I think that making more post a week will water down the blog. I will not try to make nice writing, make some sense in my writing, and I will be just stressed by it. I do this for fun and love of writing and not because I want fame or money.
I do want people to read, as I honestly think people can benefit from my words. But that is the point.

So every 3 days, to keep some track and so readers feels that it is enough of post coming and knowing that there is something new coming up.
It makes sense.

What happened to the plan?

Nothing. And this is what happened. It was not procrastination.
The definition of it is this:
Trouble persuading yourself to do the things you should do or would like to do. When you procrastinate, instead of working on important, meaningful tasks, you find yourself performing trivial activities.

I have read about it over there : What is Procrastination And it is not what I did.

So came the day of posting my blog. I had it planned. I had a topic, I had photos I had the text done in my head. It was just to write it. It was not that I did something else instead. It was just a busy busy day.
I am single mom, in a lockdown pandemic and I do have a lot to do. So Tuesday last week came and it went.
And that is the problem.
I did not do it due to procrastination, I did it due to life. Life came in the way and I had no time.

The Voice in my head then goes like

You will not have time tomorrow either. It will be really busy and you have too much to do anyhow. The day after that as well. And then Friday comes and you have a plan already then and you will not fit this blogpost in. There is no time. And then it has already been 6 days since the last post, and then you have ruined your plan of blogging every 3rd day.
People will not be interested in someone who is wishy washy with their publications. So then it makes no sense writing one and it is better to just skip it all together.

This is not just about blogging.

It is about everything.

  • I skip my language learning for 1 day and I feel it is pointless to even do it the next day, as I have failed myself once and now it is all ruined.
  • I do not do my exercise for 1 day and the same story again.
  • Not eating right, guess what? I do not need to do it again as I ruined it for ONE FING day.
Photo by Alexas Fotos on Pexels.com
this is not working anymore

In the past I have maybe been comforted by this. So this has might been helpful for me in the past, as I felt overwhelmed by life and I was trying so many things and struggling to get anything of the table so it was a helpful habit. Negative but actually still helpful.
I did not really want to grow. That is the only idea I have about it.
– Why else?

The things is though. I really want to grow now. I have a urge and ambition to go somewhere in life. Not professionally but personally. I want to become better and evolve. I have this feeling of being stuck as the same persona and I need to move on.
This habit is really not working for me anymore. It is so engraved in me though, that it is extremely hard to change. As I do not know what it is. It destroys so much in its way. It leaves me so unproductive and almost lethargic.
It frustrates the hell out of me. I want to go somewhere in life. I have plan in action and retrospectives and reviewing what I am doing. Daily planning etc etc.
So why do I feel that if I ship it once, I should just keep skipping it?

Why do I reinforce this? What do I keep on feeding myself this stupid stupid idea?

Moving forward?

I do not know. I am happy I did write this post, as in my head I had abandoned this blog and it was a story of the past.
As so many times before.
As I mentioned before, this is not my first blog rodeo and the mentioned reason has been the only reason why I have stopped in the past. Nothing else.
Failing my language learning has only been due to this. I have been over it for ages already but I just do not seem to change it on a profound level and I do not know what to do.

All I know it just has to change.

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?

Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck- Working Towards Financial Security

Living paycheck to paycheck: For many, this act of using most or all of your monthly income to cover your monthly expenses — with no money left over and none for savings — is a fact of life.” – Read more here

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

I used to have huge problems with my personal finances. Especially after my divorce. I spiraled down into this black place of borrowed money and panic over paying rent. 
I once had a washing machine dysfunction and my entire flat was covered in water, leaking down to my neighbors. I ran to the janitor in the building complex to fix it. He had to turn off water in the building and to turn it on, I needed to repair the connection with my washer. It cost 200 Bolivianos, 30 dollars or 25 euros. 
I did not have it. 
This was not the last time something like that happened, but at one point in life I was exhausted by this. Exhausted by living one small accident from chaos. One tiny incident away from eviction. I had to do something. 

How to Not to Budget and Failing to Keep On Track

This is my first-ever budget. It is not a fancy program that you connect to an app that is connected to your bank account. I had KISS in mind.

Keep It Short and Simple. 

There was no point in adding fancy things and complicating it. I needed it as simple as possible, to actually do it and be successful. I have more categories now, and few more tabs now. Tracking all kinds of different things.  
And truth to be told, even this was too boring and complicated and the first 2 months I did not really know what the heck I was doing and mostly did I not do it.
I added some arbitrary number ideas to my excel sheet, expecting it all to come together. Deciding I would spends this and that amount on this and that category.I had really no idea what I had previously spent, but it sounded great to spend 100 euro on food. That is about right, right? 
It was all just a mess and I felt many times I would be better off just stopping. I kept on though and practice become the master.  At this point it was Youtube and blogs I watched and read to understand what I needed to do. 

 And with this structures and processes happened. It helped me understand how I can budget, with my type of income, better. I am a freelancer and I get paid a bit all over the month, so it is hard to think about my paycheck as my monthly income. I want the money to work for me, not me for my money. I need to create the life I want with my money. If I do not want to spend 100 Euro on money, why should I put this arbitrary number into my budget? 

Realizing that a budget is not one thing fits all was the big thing that helped me. I can make it do and work for me, how I need to to work.

One Effective Way to Budget to Make the Money Work For You.

Instead of budget for future money, and adding in some random numbers into random categories I decided to budget with the current money I have. I decided to go from 15-15 each month, and everything that was leftover would be treated as extra money and be added to savings and anything that came into my account after the cut-off date would be counted as the new month’s money. I also decided to only budget the money I actually had received and not money that would come in. 
I also sat down and looked where I wanted to go in life. What were my life and financial priorities.  When these were defined I looked if they were actually in my budget and what amount did I assign to this priority. 

I wanted health and active activities, but I, in my budget had 0 allocated for this. So I always felt short of money doing just this. On the other hand, did I have a HUGE category which was for entertainment and drinks.
Where were my real priorities?  All this is crucial to define. This can obviously change over the course of time, and I look at this every month. What do I want to do? What is my focus this month?
Having these defined I set up the plan on how to allocate the money received and nothing else. 

 

  • I have only received two payments this month and it is only these two I will budget out
  • The most crucial expenses are listed out and how much I need to pay for these. If these are paid first, I know that my obligations are fulfilled and I can sleep better at night.
  • You budget clothes and no food? I have a full fridge for another week and I know there is coming in more money for this, in one week. And I have to get snow protective clothes for my kid! This is what I mean by having the money work for me. Why put money in a food category if I do not need it now?
  •  After paying them, tracking them just by adding them to the right category.
  • When I get a new payment I will add this into the budget and give the money a job in the categories I feel and know needs to be contributed to. 

This way I have a clear view of what I can actually afford and not and at what time. 

Will This Make You Reach Financial Freedom?

Absolutely not. 
This is the first change and decision I made to create a better financial life and stop the vicious cycle of living paycheck to paycheck. Creating wealth and financial freedom is a lot of work, but one has to start with the first step.  It was far easier and better than I could ever have excepted.
It is now clear and obvious what I have to pay, what I want to cover, and how to get the money create the life I want. 
This has resulted in far less stress and anxiety which has left me with a feeling of relief that I did not for many years. This order in my finances created the space how to add new levels to my money and make them work even
It is sometimes strange not to stress over my finances and the disorder it used to be in. Strange but amazing more for me. 
Overeating and stuffing myself due to poor financial control is no longer my problem.
This is why it is so important to have a holistic view of weight loss, as it is all connected. NO machinery works well without all its bolts and gears. 

Weight-loss Approach a La Manka

The constant question we all have! OK maybe not us all but we who want to shed it.

– How the F do we shed these bloody kilos?!

As mentioned before, this is not my first rodeo, I do wish it to be the last one. I know what I have done in the past and decided not to do the same.

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”– Rita Mae Brown

So I am doing something new. Something I did not try before. It does not seem too strange of an idea according to me.

So what have I done in the past- so I know what not to do again?

1. Stopped eating all together– It is really effective but you cannot go doing that forever so might not be so clever.
2. On the same line- stopped eating everything “Unhealthy“, pasta, rice, potatoes, sugar, sweets, meat, bread, fat, you name it. I have stopped it all. This has only gotten me to ravenously craving just these types of food ending in me not being able to stop once I started again. And you always start to eat it again.
3. Super strict just to indulge over the weekend- whatever progress that I might have had was canceled out over the food I had over the weekend. 2 days of stuffing yourself with food and drinks can easily cancel out any good work over the weekend.
4. That one workout would validate overeating – But come on! I worked out, I can eat this second serving of pasta and a dessert on top of this. Add some sugar into my coffee already! Anything else needed to say?
5. One times a week moving would be enough– My sister only goes to gym once a week and she in slim. Why should I need more? Maybe because you are 40 kilos over, and she is not.

What is the Plan for this and final time around? – HOLISTIC

I really believe that if I do not work on all aspects of my life this will never work. I have used food to cover up a lot of insecurities and issues I have. Also for boredom and stress. I need to work on the stuff inside my head. I need to find a way of living that brings everything together, so I do not need to rely on food and sedentary life to survive.

1. Bringing my finances in order– I stress over this constantly. After I got divorced while living in South America I did not live on much. Many days I could not eat as I could not afford to buy food for both me and my daughter. So many Sundays I ransacked all my purses to see if I could find few bolivianos for transport to school and work. Energy for caring for myself when in financial stress is 0.
2. Moving on a regular basis- No, 1 time a week is not enough for a realistic weight loss for me. I do not believe so. Once weight is shed and I need to maintain, OK. Now, not. I need to make sure my expenditure is higher than my intake.
3. Consistency- No matter what, gain or loss or stale just keep doing what I am doing. It is working somewhat. Just do the grinding. I do feel honestly happier and better just doing it, even if at the moment nothing is happening.
4. Transparency to myself– Be honest about what I have eaten. During christmas I know I pretended I had not as much food as I actually had. Or as much sugar as I actually had. I need to be honest. Rules are not bad. Rules are OK. And it is needed to be followed and be honest about them. It is ok to not do it all the time but be honest about it. If I am not, how can I make any tweaks.
5. Finding hobbies- I get bored and I eat. Or I watch movies and series resulting in me not moving. I need to work on all elements to have a balanced life, where I feel I am worthy of success. I have dedicated 30 min a week for learning/trying new things to push myself into doing more things than just sitting on my ass.
6. Working with a trainer- I am going to take in a trainer again. I am not there yet to put myself into hard workouts and know what I need to do to improve with them. I have goals with my body and I do not know how to reach them. I have lived a sedentary life, how am I suppose to know myself what can be good or how to do it. Bring in help where help is needed.

That is my plan so far. I might add or remove- I shall see. I think it looks like I have made a thought out plan and idea of my LIFE, not just my weight. I have considered the aspect of the past and looked into how I can make it manageable now. I cannot continue on this path of 30-40+- fluctuation in weight. My body is hurting and aching.

What is your plan how to take control of your life?

Recent Photo Taken, 20 Kilos Down

What Will You Do; 2021?

Soon the year is over. Really soon. In many ways this has been such a strange and weird year.
– The year of Corona.
I would lie though, if I said it has been a bad year for me. On a personal level this has been the best year in, like forever.
This year I started so many important changes and I have started a Journey I am pretty proud of. And I want to continue like that. One thing that has really helped me this year, has been lists. Amazingly helped me. Amazed me how small lists has helped me so much. The order it has made in my head has helped me to bring order in my life and with that reduced stress and with that made me make better choices and with that helping me to lose weight.
So I will continue with this, and bring you along with it.

  • Reading used to be a big part of me. It was basically all I wanted to do. The last 12 years it has been really little of this and 2020 I was able to mange 10. I will up it 50% and make it 15. I want to have “Self-improvement” “Financial” and the rest just “Novels”. I am quite excited about it!
  • In line with the type of books I want to read, I really need to work on my self love and acceptance. I am not perfect. I have certainty not been perfect and I will not be. I can work on accepting it and doing my best and striving to improve my best. But be happy and fine with anything. Love myself as I am, with flaws and everything.
  • I need to continue this trajectory of moving and working out. I am starting to see and feel real difference. Energy level, mental health level and physical level. I am happy I started this year, and I will continue no matter what. I want to particularly learn how to make a hand stand. I want to be able to run 5K in 30 min and 10K in just over the hour. I do not think that any of these are impossibilities. I want to keep the moving to about 5-6 times a week.
  • Life is about balance, it is so important. Life is about learning and continuing to improve ourselves as humans. I want to take this into account and work with it. To be able to grow I need to push myself and that is what I will do. I want to take on new hobbies and skills. Adding 30 min a week for new learning is a doable idea I think.
  • 2021 is the year I will start to invest, as in money. Money might not buy you happiness, but after my divorce and living in Bolivia without anything, I also know that not having money is not happiness either. I Need to have some cushion, if 2020 have taught us anything I think is this. Nothing is forever and everything can change in a blink of a moment. Financially I need to be prepared for this.

These are my goals and intentions for 2021. What do you have planned for 2021?

Let Us Try Some Non-Procrastination!

First of all- What does procrastination really mean?

  1. Be realistic! Have I not been doing all I should have done until now, a list with 10 items will most probably just stress me out. I work and have a child. What can actually really be done. 
  2. Time management- How long does a task really take? The enire task from start to finish.  Going and posting one letter might sound like a 10 min job, but geting dressed, walking there, standing in line, paying, walking back, will take more than the short 10 minutes I initially thought it would take. 
  3. Create a routine with when I should have them done by. It is nice to say I shall do this and that, but if I have no guidelines of by what time they need to be finished it is hard to see them done.
  4. Need to structure up the plan nicely. Make the plan nice looking. If I create a nicer look, I tend to work better. Not just some scribbled down words. Think Bullet journal!

These four things have I seen so far. I have only been in it for about one week, but could feel that this morning that these changes for success  needs to be done.  Let’s see if doing these changes can make the sick pit in my stomach going away.
I just know I need to get out of procrastination and into doing the stuff I want. A life without a plan is just a wandering around.
I do not want to just exist, Iwant to love and planning makes it happen.

The Month Has Come to an End

So, November month is over. We celebrated 1st of December yesterday. I like to make a little review from the passed month and get myself a new intentional plan.
If there is something I am learning is that without a plan in action, I do nothing. I cannot just do things if there is not a plan set. It is kind of a revelation, as I thought I was a woman in action. Buuuuut No.
There are too many other options out there that distracts me and I fall for them, all the time.
My head is already full of things and I think I suffer from decision fatigue, so this is the way I have managed to get things and I will keep it.
So.
November, has been both a hard and easy month.
Easy in the sense that the work-outs I am doing is really starting to bare fruit. I am noticing nice results and I can feel after each training that I have progressed.
Hard in the sense, that to find the motivation, in the dark and cold is really hard to work with. Not even the motivation, the determination. I just feel like I want to watch a movie and drink coffee all evenings long. Just the fact that evenings starts already at the afternoon now, at 5pm it’s pitch black.

I had as a goal to walk 1 hour a day during day light.
Did not manage. I just did not want to wake up. I have been walking every day, on average 1.56 hours but not in day light. I walked less than during October, but I am quite OK with this anyhow as the darkness and cold is quite overwhelming this year.
Work out 5-6 days apart of walking.
Did not manage again as I just want to drink coffee and sleep. I did 4-5 times which is OK but I think that a solid 5 should be better to have. It has been hard too, as neither are the pools, nor gyms open and in wet cold weather it is getting harder for me.
Add 30 min daily for self development activity, or enriching skills I already have.
Hahaha. Did not happened at all. I have done maybe 30 min per week. I just did not plan enough around this. I totally did not.

A lot of it has been me blaming the weather, mood, temperature. But it is just that, I blame something. I need to stop this pattern of blaming. If I want something, well then I just need to do it. No one will come and give it to me, and honestly I would not want it anyhow, not anymore.
I just need to focus, and do it. Hence the lists. I have started with daily lists of what to do, to add some clarity to my days.

So plan for December is:
Walk 1 hour a day in sunlight. Does not need to be one hour straight, but in total. It is important to be out and see the sun. It gives me energy.
Add Vitamin D to my routine of food.
5 Times a week with different trainings than walks, should be easier now as gyms and pools can open from this Thursday.
30 min of working on skills, or self development 3-5 times a week. Every day I guess was a bit ambitious. 😀

So, Let December Commence!