The last time I blogged was about the races I have planned and the big ones that are my main focus. Since then I have done some amazing training races including the Bay 2 Bay 30km, Redhill Classic 36km and the Peninsula Marathon.
So, how do I feel this year, this time in comparison to last year?
Since coming back from Hawaii and post-Bay 2 Bay I felt exhausted. I just couldn’t seem to find my groove. I kept my training up but there just wasn’t a spring in my step. I listened to my body. I slept in when I needed it and ran in the afternoon and rested when I needed it. Last week I did a 93km week. Surprisingly I actually feel less tired now than I did then. The beginning of last year I had less distance and time on my legs so I was still quite fresh and about to conquer my first ultra. This time around I have 5 marathons (6 this weekend) under my belt, 2 Ultras.
This year I feel a lot stronger. I feel smarter in my running and more in tuned with my body. Why? I have changed two major things since last year that I feel may have contributed to how I feel:
Diet/Nutrition – As of November last year I embarked on a ‘Nutrition’ journey with the hope of trying to understand what my body needs to recover quicker and be a genuinely happy, healthy person. A friend told me about IIN Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I went into the course with an open mind and just wanting to better my knowledge and hopefully help my loved ones one day. Since I started in November, I decided that while I was going to be learning I would use myself as a guinea pig and cut out all meat and dairy. I wasn’t a HUGE meat eater before but cut out chicken, lamb and beef. I tested out different vegan meals pre-race and post-race to try and feel the difference. I definitely felt the difference in cutting out the meat as well as with dairy. So, maybe this has something to do with my new found strength and general all-around feeling? Having said this, everyone is different. I am still testing and figuring out which is best for me. I will talk more about IIN in another post as it has truly been a life-changing experience.
Work – In August last year, I got let go from my job in Production as the company was downscaling and cutting costs, me being one of them. Now, this was a scary thing for me. The security of getting paid once a month and routine going out the window at age 31. Panic started to set in. I’ve always worked and always loved it. What am I going to do? A few people kept telling me to relax, take this time to figure out what you want to do. Again, I have no idea? Then I started to think about my happiness. I wasn’t entirely happy in my job anyway, so, I felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders and I decided to go with it. I had always gone from one job to the next and never really taken the time to figure out what I wanted. I had always been interested in Nutrition and that’s when I came across IIN.
They are the two major changes I have had since last year. Maybe they have something to do with how I am feeling, maybe they don’t. Letting go was the hardest yet most rewarding thing I did. Trusting that I would find my way was hard. I’m not there yet, but I feel I am a much happier person and believe there is so much more out there. Believing in myself and my running, trusting my body to hold up with the challenges I throw at it on a daily basis as well as rewarding it with a massage, rest and nourishing food to get me over the line. Maybe it’s what I am putting in my body or maybe I am another year older so therefore wiser. Either way, I am happy where I am at right now.