Consistent Progress

Term Four Fitness Challenge Review – Week 8.

Week 8, the final week of students being at school. While many people would think that this would mean teachers are currently thinking of school holidays and some downtime over the Christmas period, they’d be surprised to find the number of tasks still needing to get done including: marking and finalising marks for reports, course preparation for 2018, professional development planning, ensemble preparation and event organisation. Usually in the past my exercise regime falls by the wayside in these stressful times, I have a habit of getting on tracked and neglecting other important areas of my life.

I have kept to my traditional routine of cardio-vascular sessions on Monday, Wednesday and Friday with weights sessions on Tuesday and Thursday.

My cardio sessions showed a lot of improvement, which I am delighted in. Each day consisted of me spending 15 minutes on the bike, the resistance was still quite low at 5, but I managed to get the RPM consistently between 90 – 100. This meant that I not only got a good warm up but felt breathless at the end of it. I managed to introduce the ergo this week, 5 minutes of intensity with eh resistance on the highest possible , 10. I managed to keep my stroke rate above 30, usually 32 strokes per minute and completed 500 metres in between 2 – 2minutes and 10 seconds. The cardio session finished with a 10 minute run at 10km/h, my highest setting since starting the challenge.

The good results seemed to have continued with the weights sessions. I managed to get the 10kg dumbbells on both days (first time for that!) and used them for a number of exercises including, shoulder fly, bicep curls and tricep extensions. I pushed myself for the bench and shoulder press, using the 15kg dumbbells on Tuesday before bumping up to the 17.5kg on the Thursday. I managed to complete the 12 repetitions on each exercise, there was considerable burn and fatigue on the Thursday session with the 17.5kgs for the shoulder presses.

Overall, I am really happy with the progress made during the week. My attention now turns to this coming week. It will be a challenging one due to the change of routine. The students have left school, I still have Professional Development throughout the week, but as most people know, any change of routine can have a negative effect if one is not diligent.

Here’s to a week of due diligence and discipline!

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Inconsistent Posting Doesn’t Mean Inconsistent Sessions

Term Four Fitness Challenge Review – Week 7.

I have had an interesting few weeks regarding my fitness challenge for this term. Interesting not because of a lack of motivation or commitment to actually getting to the gym, in fact I’ve been quite impressed with my consistency, but rather that I have struggled to find the time to write an extensive review of each week’s session with any level of accuracy. I think that the reason behind this is because I have been leaving it until the end of the week to start it, making the task seem much larger than it needs to be. One way that I have considered combatting this is by writing a short reflection each day adding it to the larger post. The habit could tie in with my Trumpet Challenge posting, basically finish the practice session and then spend five minutes writing on each. We’ll wait and see whether I can commit to this throughout this week!

One thing that I do wan tot be clear on though, I have been doing great at getting tot he gym and putting in hard yards consistently.

To recap the last two weeks:

Week 5.

I managed to get all five session complete this week. I am pretty stoked that this was the case. All sessions went well, being able to stretch and push myself that little bit further.

Week 6.

I only managed four session during this week, I missed Friday. The reason behind missing Friday’s session was a bout of food poisoning that I cam down with on Thursday  at around 7:45am. Whilst I was over the symptoms but Friday morning I decided to take a day off to recover as I hadn’t eaten anything since Wednesday evening.

Week 7

Monday – Cardio.

This session went reasonably well. I was a little late to the gym which resulted in me cutting the session short. I only managed 15 minutes on the cycle before heading into school as my right calf has been quite tight and I don’t want to pull anything. Hopefully this will take care of itself throughout the next few days so I can pick up intensity again.

Tuesday – Free Weights.

I managed to hit the gym for a productive free-weights session on the Tuesday morning. I was a little concerned with how this session would go, largely due to waking up a little later than usual. I’m finding that it’s a little more challenging for me to get out of bed with it now being in Week 7 of the school term (energy levels are a little low).

I arrived at the gym just after 6:00am and hit my first snag, I thought there wasn’t a spare bench. After doing some looking I did managed to find one and moved it into position between two other benches, hopefully the other gym members didn’t mind as I encroached on their space a little.

My next problem, no weights between 9 and 15 kg…time to be creative! I used this as an opportunity to increase the dumb-bells being used for my bench and shoulder press by moving up to the 15 kg. his additional resistance was countered by use of 8kg dumbbells for flys, bicep curls and tricep extensions. The shoulder presses were probably the most exerting, especially the last two on each set, I did manage to complete my three sets of twelve so I am satisfied overall.

Wednesday – Cardio.

I had a great Cardio session on Wednesday morning. I arrived at the gym just after 6:00am again, the struggle to get out of bed continued. I made a conscious decision to push myself this morning both on the bike and the run afterwards. I managed to elevate the RPM on the cycle to an average of 95, which I was happy with. The run started at 8.5km/h before moving up to 9km/h, 9.5km/h and, finally, 10km/h in 2 minute intervals.

My legs felt fatigued at the end, but it was a good feeling!

Thursday – Free Weights.

I mangled to replicate the Tuesday sessions except for one small detail, the 10kg dumb-bells were also free. I am excited that I got out all of my sets with the 15km / 10kg dumb-bell combination. There was a little bit of struggle at the end of each set so I feel that I’m at about the right level of resistance for now. Looking forward to being able to push the further in the coming weeks!

Friday – Cardio.

This was my latest start to the week – I got on the bike at 6:15am which is very disappointing. I pushed myself hard through the 15 minutes and then had a choice, do I leave to get to school at my usual time or do I run? I compromised and ran for 5 minutes on the treadmill, but this time straight onto the 10km/h. I would have liked to have gotten the 10 minutes in but knew I was strapped for time to fit in all the commitments I had before my full day school meeting was beginning.

Reflection.

I’m happy with the progress made this week. My biggest downfall is still the going to bed at a decent hour. Hopefully I can work not his in the coming week and keep pushing to reach new levels and achievements!

 

 

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Back on Track

Term Four Fitness Challenge Review – Week 4.

After the disappointment that I experienced in my Fitness Challenge last week through missing a day on Friday. I was determined to make this coming week one of success, setting a consistent routine of 5 days and hopefully setting some new PBs since starting this challenge.

Monday- Cardio Vascular.

The week started with my cardio session. I was keen to get in a good session but got to the gym slightly later than usual (approximately 6:00am). I managed to jump on the bike and complete 15 minutes with the RPM at approximately 90 and a resistance level of 5. Whilst I am relatively happy with this I’d like to look at either increasing the RPM, the resistance or both.

I then continued my session on the treadmill with a 10 minute run. I wanted to try to continue to build on the work done in previous weeks by increasing the speed, I managed to keep it at 8.5km/h for the entire run. Ideally, this will be increased closer to the 10km/h over the course of this week.

Tuesday – Weights.

My weights session went quite well for my Tuesday session. I managed to get a bench relatively easily and also got both he 12.5kg and 10 kg dumb bells (which is a difficult feat). I completed my 3 x 12 rep sets on bench press, shoulder press, shoulder fly and bicep curls before changing to the 9kg dumb bells for the tricep extensions. I am still cautious of the pain in my right shoulder when I lift the dumb bell into position for the tricep extension. I have found that supporting the shoulder with my left hand has assisted in this.

 

Wednesday – Cardio Vascular.

I managed to get up and to the gym in excellent time this morning, by 5:50am. This was really important for today’s session as it is my earlier start at school with a 7:00am for a big band rehearsal. I completed a session similar to my Monday one, unfortunately there were no gains in my cycling there were, however, gains in the run with me increasing the speed to 9km/h. Whilst this does not seem like a significant increase it has had a positive effect on the outlook of the challenge…maybe I am starting to get a little fitter.

Thursday – Weights.

My weights session went quite well this morning. Unfortunately there were some hiccups with the weights available as I could only get the 12.5kg and 8 kg dumb-bell sets. I managed to compete all of my routine quite easily as a result of this reduced weight. I tried to counter this through increasing the intensity and reducing rest times between each set. It serves me right for getting to the gym a little later than usual! There’s a huge difference between 5:50 and 6:00am.

Friday – Cardio Vascular.

I have managed it, five sessions in the week!

It feels really good to have completed another full week of the challenge and gotten things back on track. I completed a cardio session identical to my previous ones for the week. I am a little disappointed that I haven’t gone the extra mile and completed any ergo sessions, perhaps that’s something that I can add into Week 5 a little more consistently.

Other work that would be nice to start adding in is some work on my abs, perhaps a different exercise each day to keep it interesting as I do find abs the most boring to work and commit to.

Week in Review.

I am absolutely wrapped to be able to say I completed my five sessions. There’s some improvement in the quality of sessions that I can address as I head into Week 5, especially the cardio through adding in the ergo for five minutes and an abs routine for each day. I might look at varying the abs routine to keep it interesting (Sit-ups and planks one day; obliques and extensions alternate).

The other area I still need to work on is my diet. Whilst I have worked own reducing the amount of snacks and am no longer eating many chips (crisps) I still am finding I am eating a little too much chocolate. I guess more self control is needed when I go to the shops to buy berries and mangos as a snack for the evening!

On a positive note, I have increased my water intake each day. I will try to keep at the 2 – 3 litres in the coming week.

 

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A Slight Hiccup

Term Four Fitness Challenge Review – Week 3.

Week Three was proving to be another strong week. I really was feeling that a good routine had been setup, I was feeling fresh, enthusiastic and really keen to not miss a day and I didn’t, until Friday.

A slight hiccup occurred, certain circumstances outside of my control lead to me having to miss my early morning Friday session. I had then planned to go for a run during one of my breaks at school, unfortunately, again, due to circumstances outside my control this could not happen either.

Monday – Cardio-Vascular.

I am aware that in a lot of ways Mondays are the hardest session in the week to commit to. I also believe that they are the most important. I always find it difficult to get out of bed after the weekend, I love my job but it’s the longest point until another break making the motivation at times not high. I have also found that if I commit to Monday the other sessions become easier during the week. Similarly, the intensity of my Monday training also sets the intensity for the week. It is my thermostat day so to speak.

I arrived at the gym a little later this morning, I didn’t get out of bed until 5:40am rather than the 5:20am. More attention is going to be needed to be given to my alarm and getting up straight away, no more snoozes!

Despite this slightly later start I did manage to do the same routine as on Friday last week; 15 minutes cycle; 5 minutes ergo; 10 minutes run. No world records were set today but the intensity was good and I headed off to school and my trumpet challenge practice feeling that the week had started as positively as I possibly could.

Tuesday – Weights Session.

For the second day in a row I arrived a little later at the gym, these bed times need to improve! This caused some problems with the weights I had available and also getting bench to work with – 10 minutes makes a huge difference!

Luckily, I noticed a bench under the Smith’s Machine, I grabbed it and repositioned for use with the free weights. The only weights I could get today were the 12.5kg and 8 kg weights which cause a few issues for some of the exercises. I managed to complete the chest and shoulder press with the 12.5kg but had to use the 8 kg weights for the other exercises. To ensure an intense workout, I worked muscle groups in pairs through alternating exercises with little break between. Bench press worked with should fly; Shoulder Press with Bicep Curls; Triceps at end. I wanted to do my lat pulldown again but the machines were busy so I headed to the abs area to complete a series of setups.

Wednesday – Cardio Vascular.

A disappointing session due to sleeping in. I managed to only get out the 15 minute in the bike before having to shower and change for school’s 7:00am rehearsal.

Thursday – Free Weights.

Today was a better session, largely due to getting up on time and to the gym to start before 6:00am . I managed to get the weights I needed for the workout being the 12.5kg and 10kg dumb-bells and worked on the muscle groups in the same combination as Tuesday’s session. I swapped the heavier dumbbells for 9kg weights for the triceps, I’d like to try the 10kg but am cautious as I do not want to re-injured my shoulder while lifting the weight into position.

Friday – Cardio Vascular.

I had intended to complete a hard cardio session this morning. Unfortunately, the best made plans can be turned on their head very quickly. Some family difficulties arose which resulted in em not leaving the house until later 7:00am. Rather than miss my Trumpet Challenge practice I decided that I could probably get a run in on campus grounds during one of my breaks (during the last two periods of the day). This didn’t eventuate due to being allocated a relief class at that time.

Weekly Reflections.

I am again happy with the progress made during the week. Of course, there is some disappointment about Friday’s missed day, but sometimes these things can’t be helped and one of the things I am truly focusing on in life is omg;y worrying about the things in your power to change or effect. There’s no pint losing positivity or energy over decision or factors that aren’t your to control (easier said then done).

I have eaten a little more junk food than I wanted this week, something I will try and rectify in the coming week.

I am really looking forward to next week’s sessions and, hopefully, getting back to the full five days.

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The Daily Challenge of Life at the Moment

I haven’t posted for a very long time on my website, it hasn’t been an intentional thing on my behalf just a fact that life feels like it has gotten away from me…

I have found it increasingly difficult over the past few years to just keep my head above water at times with the amount of “stuff” going on in my life and taking up time which is the most valuable resource a person has, after all, it is the only commodity one can’t make more of, only slowly lose it.

I love my life. I really do believe that I one of the most blessed men to ever walk this earth, I have so much going for me (and that is not me trying to boast).

My wife and children are my everything and why I try to do everything that that I am doing to hopefully become a better man, it doesn’t mean that at times I still feel that I fall short of being the husband and father that I want to be and that they need.

I have an amazing job, I am a musician. I get to go to work every day as a Music teacher at a beautiful school and get to share my  love and passion for Music and the Arts with so many young men, it really is a privilege. I am mindful though that with this privilege comes a lot of responsibility and my occupation isn’t without a cost to time away from those I love and hold dear.

Then there’s just the everyday run of life…that takes time as well.

So, why am I saying all of this? Is it to try and justify not posting for a very long time? Absolutely not, it is merely to try and give a broad picture on where I find myself at this moment in time, after all, a life not reflected on is a life not lived and I want to continue to make sure that my life has been one lived to its fullest potential…something that at times I probably don’t live up to as much as I’d want to.

Where am I at? What is it that I am striving for and am passionate about as 2017 continues to move along.

Putting it bluntly, I want to grow and be a better person. Hopefully by the end of the year I’ll be able to look back at 2017 and have grown and developed in every area of my life. I don’t think that I will necessarily have “made it” in any of the challenges I am undertaking but hopefully I can be at least one step closer in each of these.

Being a better me…what does that mean exactly?

Well that I believe can be broken down into a number of smaller categories and sections, I have been doing this every year for the past 7 years and there have been some positive results out of it…some of my goals I am going to outline below.

Goal One – Family.

imagesWe are created to not live in isolation but to live in community and, primarily, as a part of a family unit. I love my family both my core family of wife and children and my extended family (both my wife’s and my biological family). I have always tried to keep family as the core that everything is built around, they are why I work as hard as I do, but don’t always get the right balance between work and time with them. I am really going to try this year to keep the right priority and focus, spending quality time with them regularly being totally present.

Goal Two – Friends.

UnknownI have some great close friends, they are keenly loyal to me and I know that I can trust and call on them at any time of the day. These relationships have been built over many years of time together, sharing joint experiences both happy and sad times. The past few years have been challenging to get quality time with them regularly due to the business nature of my work and wanting to spend every spare moment with my family. I am going to try and work on these friendships more, not taking them for granted, throughout 2017. It doesn’t mean necessarily spending less time with family but more trying to get the right balance between being at work and being away from work.

Goal Three – Fun.

I used to know how to have fun and have a laugh. Somewhere along the journey I’ve become a lot more serious about everything in life. That’s something that I need to change whether it’s through being spontaneous in doing something, making light of a difficult situation and just consciously trying to smile more…I think this one for me will be a big challenge but they say that laughter is one of the best ways to reduce stress. Let’s give it a crack.

Goal Four – Fitness.

UnknownThese post are usually all focused on my fitness goals and progress. I have been exercising, but no where near as frequently or at the intensity that I’d like. This has been a result of the stresses at work and need to get in at much earlier times, combined with late nights and then injuries on top of it. All excuses aside I need to start back into a good routine as I am carrying a lot more weight than I want to be at this moment and a I worry about what the long term health effects would be if I don’t change something. Similarly I need to work on my diet. The stresses have resulted in me eating a lot more unhealthy food, sugary and salty…another aspect that will need to change in 2017.

Goal Five – Furthering / Formation.

UnknownI’ve worked really hard on some of these goals over the past years and am happy with some progress. I have managed to maintain a healthy (and manageable) reading regime of a minimum of twelve books a year (one a month) for the past four years. I’d love to read more but know that with the speed I read that it is just not feasible without having a negative effect on other areas of life.

I made the decision this year to really try and further myself as an educator. I am currently working towards completing my Certificate IV in Training and Assessment so that a Vocational Education Training (VET) Course in Music Performance may be a possibility at school. I am also looking at completing some Kodaly courses / accreditation over the next couple of years.

Musically I have started learning the trumpet, I feel that this will help me become a better band director in school through being able to share experiences and  knowledge with students…let’s see how that goes. I have also been working towards my Fourth Grade AMEB Flute performance exam…hopefully that will be done by half way through the year!!!

Goal Six – Financial.

imagesI have set some very specific financial goals. A book that I am currently reading, “The Richest Man in Babylon”, has really confirmed a lot of my previous thoughts and beliefs about savings and planning for the future. There’s been a lot of savings measures I’ve started to bring into my everyday life, trying to try the fat, as well as more structured budgeting to where money is going for saving/preparation for various planned expenses. Hopefully by the end of the year we’ll really start to see some dividends in this area of life.

Goal Seven – Favourable

A wise man once told me the importance in looking upon others with a sense of “favour” or good grace. This is something I really struggle with, always jumping to the worst conclusion as if I have been wronged. I’m really going to try and make the effort to look on every situation with good grace, showing favour and forgiveness to people always…I know this will probably be the biggest struggle for me but if I can take it one day at a time I might be able to at least improve a little.

The Challenges of Daily Life

Well that’s what the year 2017 is going to look like. Will I achieve all my Fs? Probably not…can I give them a red hot crack and see how far I get? Absolutely.

One sure thing is that I know I will fail a number of times (look any that, another F). But it really isn’t a matter of whether or not I fail but rather what I learn from that experience and, as I said to one of my boys at school during the week, how I respond to the situation after failing / being let down. There’s a lot I can’t change in the world and the environment I live, but what I can always change and work on is who I am currently am in my thoughts, reactions, speech and relationships. If this remains my focus I know that come the end of the year I will have grown and transformed.

Will I post more often in 2017…I hope so, but hey…who knows what life is going to throw at me.

The challenges I face in life daily are really and some are big of me but through the grace of God there is nothing to big that it can’t be overcome.

 

 

 

A New Year Means New Beginnings

Day 1 – Tuesday 1st January 2013

Today marks the beginning of my Fitness Training for 2013. With the New Year comes New Beginnings, I admit that we are all affected by what we have previously done and experienced but this does not need to necessarily dictate our future and the successes we can have as individuals going forward. We are a product of our past but have control over present which, in turn, has influence on our future and who we become. This had lead me to decide on calling my fitness challenge for this new year “Pushing the Limits 2013” as it is exactly what I want to do, push the limits on who I am and ultimately who I can be.

When my alarm went off this morning I was really tempted to not get out of bed and take the day off. I felt I could justify it with the night before being New Years Eve and me not getting to bed until after 1:00am. After running through this process in my head I pulled myself out of bed as it is more important to me to start the day off well. It would be fantastic to see if by the end of the year I had completed an entire year of training, the 1st of January I feel; is a logical place for this to begin.

Day One - A New Year Means New BeginningsLuckily the temperature today is no where near as bad as what it has been over the past week in Perth, this suited me as I was going for a 7km run around Lake Monger. This run I had completed a few days ago in just over 44 minutes, I was hoping that today I would be able to better this time. With my iPod on Lincoln Brewster’s album “Today is the Day” I started my run. My legs were feeling quite stiff from yesterday’s cardio session and when combined with being quite dehydrated still from last night’s gig in Northbridge I found the run at the start quite challenging. Today’s run I managed to complete in 40 minutes at a time of approximately 5 minutes and 43 seconds, a little better than the last run but still a long way to go before I am completely satisfied.

I am really hoping to Push the Limits throughout the course of 2013, taking it a day at a time and building on the successes of each session will be the key.

Rounding Out the Year

Day 221 – Monday 31st December 2012

This morning’s session signalled the end of my Fitness Training 2012 regime, to complete the year I hit the gym to do a cross-training regime.

I am quite happy with how the session went, especially considering that when I got up this morning I didn’t overly feel like completing the session. Perth’s heatwave has continued and living in a house with no air conditioning meant that the outside temperature of 40 plus degrees last night was really like 45 degrees inside the apartment. The result of these conditions was a night of disrupted sleep with me waking every couple of hours from only a light sleep to turn the fan back on and in a pool of my own sweat (not very pleasant at all).

I finally did manage to pull myself out of bed at 7:00am (an hour and a half after when I had planned to get up) and due to the temperature already being over 35 degrees I decided to head into the gym to do a cross training session rather than complete a 7km run.

I arrived at the gym a little after 8:00am and headed for the treadmill. Starting on 7.5km an hour I did 5 minutes before increasing the speed to 10km/h for 10 minutes and then finally 12.5km/h for the last five minutes. After 20 minutes I had run 3.31km which would equate to an average of  kilometre every 6 minutes and 3 seconds. I was feeling nicely warmed up by this stage and headed to the rowing machine to complete a 10 minute row. I had decided that I still wasn’t going to push myself too hard on the row and so set out keeping my stroke rate at 30 per minute and an average 500m split of around the 2 minutes and 15 seconds. For the first 8 minutes I managed to maintain this before increasing the work rate for the last 2 minutes to have completed a distance of 2,247m inside the 10 minute timeframe.

Day 221My legs were beginning to feel fatigued from the work put in across the running and the rowing as I headed onto the cycle to complete a 15 minute ride. I alternated the resistance on the bike in two minute intervals beginning with the resistance on 6. My legs were quite fatigued and I found it difficult to sustain a speed above 90 rpm on the level 6 resistance. By the end of the 15 minutes I managed to have ridden a distance of 6.89km, whilst this is a long way beneath my personal best I am aware that I am still only just getting back into the routine.

To complete my workout I moved over to the stretching area and completed three sets of 50 sit ups using a 7kg medicine ball to provide extra resistance. After this I spent a good 10 minutes stretching out my leg muscles to try and help in my recovery before tomorrow’s planned run in the morning.

As the year draws to a close and I look back on my training in 2012 I can honestly say that I have learnt a lot about myself. There is a bit of disappointment that I did have an end of the year where I didn’t really commit to my training, as a result of this I have put on weight and feel incredibly unfit. I am excited though about the prospects moving forward into 2013, the past week has been enjoyable to start to try and get some sort of routine back, I do have a long way to go but feel like it is possible. I am still considering the goals I want to set for myself in fitness and life in general in 2013 as there are many exciting factors outside of control that will come into play. Do I want to try and run a a marathon come August, or do I want to change my regime a little and include cycling and swimming to push for a triathlon? My main focus on training is to try and have a healthy lifestyle, I want to feel good and hopefully extend the length of my life so that I will have more time to spend with my beautiful wife and the children we will have in the future. Whilst these are my focus and main motivation I do know that it is important for me to set some short term goals.

I feel 2013 is going to be a great year for me and my family and friends, on this note I say fair well to the Fitness Training 2012 an hello to my 2013 regime – Pushing the Limits 2013.

 

Taking Baby Steps

Day 219 – Saturday 29th December 2012.

This morning I felt like it was another important step to me getting back into shape with me completing a 7km run around Lake Monger. When my alarm went off at 6:00am the last thing I felt like was getting up, however after some procrastination I managed to pull myself out of bed and got ready for my run. I had thought that this morning I really wouldn’t enjoy the experience as Perth is still in middle of a heat wave and the temperature really hasn’t dropped for the past three days by more than 5 degrees. I was pleasantly surprised when I began my run that I didn’t it find it too hot at all, my legs were quite stiff and it did take me a while to warm up but the heat wasn’t really too much of a distraction.

Day 219Today’s run had the purpose of being a starting point, I wasn’t too interested in the time it would take me but more into whether or not I would complete it. I have experienced the joys in the past of pushing myself too early in a training program only to sustain a slight injury that sets back my progress. It was important as I ran to keep this in mind, especially when having the humbling experience of having other runners run past me whilst I was completing my second lap. This was a new experience for me as in the past I have always been the one who has done the overtaking.

Keeping my focus on just completing the run in a reasonable time, and without injury, I managed to run the 7km in 44 minutes and 28 seconds. This is by far not a blistering speed and well off my personal best times but is a start. It equates to running each km in 6 minutes and 21 seconds, I will aim to get this time down to 6 minute kms as my first goal with an aim of smashing it down to 5 minutes in the next few months. A worthy challenge and achievable goal.

As I write this I can’t help but reflect on where I had gotten to fitness wise towards the end of 2011 to where I am today and everything that has happened inbetween. Some people would feel demotivated to find themselves in a less fit state than 12 months prior. I can’t felt but feel motivated to dedicate myself to getting back there. I can remember from my past experience it isn’t about the one session but the accumulation over a period of time and the baby steps that are taken with each session. Today’s baby step of getting back into a run will only prove beneficial if followed up by another session tomorrow morning. Here’s hoping that I can take that next step as well.

A Disappointing Effort

Day 218 – Friday 28th December 2012.

I would like to be writing this post saying that this morning I was up at 5:00am and completed my planned 10km run. Unfortunately, this is no the case, in a disappointing effort I didn’t complete my run this morning. My alarm went off at 5:15am and instead of getting up I rolled over, turned it off and went back to sleep.

Day 218

They say that you can learn something from every situation and I believe that this is no exception. One of the largest factors for my failing to get up this morning was a failure to go to bed at a reasonable hour last night. I was hoping to go to bed between 10:00 and 10:30pm however got distracted by a movie that came on television which didn’t finish until just before midnight. Five hours sleep always used to be enough for me to be able to function, however in the past year I have found that I can’t function as well off that amount of sleep. I have been working off a six to six and a half hour regime but think that I may need to try and get seven hours sleep a night regularly as I go into 2013. One of the advantages with this next four weeks is that I get to work on finding the “right” bed time for me to be able to not just survive but function at my best in the coming year.

I am sure as the next year progresses I will need to reassess amount of sleep and things will change, but if I  have a plan it is always easier to readjust it after having been proactive than just being purely reactive in all things.

Here’s to a (hopefully) earlier night tonight and a great run tomorrow morning!

The Slow Road Back

Day 217 – Thursday 27th December.

I have slowly started  working on getting back into some sort of routine with regards to exercise. The second half of the year has proved nothing more than problematic for getting regularly to the gym. Unfortunately I have no one to really blame for this but myself. I am going to stop short of declaring that I will be back into a full training regime immediately…I just worry that I might fall short of this goal. I do, however know that I by slowly plugging away at things that I will get there.

I realise as I write this that the road back is going to be a long and difficult one, I currently weigh 84kg (the heaviest I have been for years). I have started looking towards next yeart and the goals I want to set myself to help inspire me to train, I believe that this is an important key to life in general – set yourself goals to help you strive for success and to become more than you are at the present.

The past week has seen me do three sessions at the gym, the first one a cross training cardio session with the next two being weights sessions. Whilst it might not seem like a lot of time it is a lot more than I have been doing over the past few months.

My cardio session was quite good, I didn’t push myself too hard with it as it was the first one back, I managed to run for 20 minutes on the treadmill before completing a 10 minute row and a 20 minute ride. I didn’t set any PBs with this session but did feel good at it’s completion.

It's a long way back to fitness after such a long break.

It’s a long way back to fitness after such a long break.

I completed my first weights session for a number of months on the 24th of December. I did my usual routine with a little less weight. I managed to get out three sets of tweleve reps on 60kg for the bench press. This was followed by using a combination of 17.5kg, 15kg and 7.5kg for the rest of my training program.

Both Christmas Day and Boxing Day I suffered from my first weights session, however come this morning I was back in the gym for my next weights session. I tried to start off with a bench press on 60 kg but couldn’t complete it with my chest still being quite sore. I moved the weight back to 50kg and still struggled to manage three sets of eight repetitions. At the completion of this I moved on and completed the rest of my routine, with being sore I dropped the weights used to be a combination of 15kg and 7.5kg dumb-bells. The day really did turn into an opportunity to try and stretch out some of my soreness.

Tomorrow is supposed to be a running day, I am hoping to have an early night tonight (probably around 10:30pm) as I will need to be up at 5:00am. Perth is currently in a heat wave and the temperature will be up over 40 degrees tomorrow, if I don’t start early my run just won’t happen. I am glad that I won’t be in the gym tomorrow as I injured myself whilst playing goal keeper in a friendly game of soccer this afternoon (I jarred my right thumb).

I am really excited about the challenge before me, it’s going to take a lot of dedication to get back into shape. Give me six weeks of training and I think (hope) that I will be right on the way to being back on top of it all.

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