Friday, December 30, 2011

4 sizes in a year: My 2011 retrospective

There are only a few days left of this year and I wanted to spend some time looking back over what an amazing year this has been for me.  In the first two weeks of January last year, I took this photo of myself.  I'd had enough of being overweight, tired and sick.  I was sick of feeling like a prisoner in my body. I was ready to change.

At the 'Half-Way' mark…
I apologise for the pile of toys in the background….just keeping it real!!
A year after the first photo [give or take a week] and I have taken this photo for you.  I'm still not quite where I want to be but I am in a far better place at the end of this year than I was at the beginning.

In 12 months I have:
  • radically overhauled my diet
  • lost one quarter of my body weight
  • gone down 4 clothing sizes
I have gone from not being able to run for 2 minutes continuously to running 16km without stopping.  I have also increased my pace from feeling like I was going to die at a speed of 10 on the treadmill to 10 now being a comfortable jog that I can sustain all day [well maybe 'til my blisters get me].  At the beginning of the year when I did my first spin class I honestly thought I was going to puke and wasn't sure I would actually be able to walk out of the room at the end of the class.  Now a spin class is my warm up!!

I used to spend every winter on puffers, antibiotics and steroids.  This year I have enjoyed fabulous health with maybe one virus [I think].  I have only missed one day of training due to illness all year and I'm not even sure where my puffers are any more.  My resting heart rate is 60bpm and my blood pressure is a fabulous 110/60.

All that stuff is great, but the real joy for me is not the change on the outside but the change on the inside.  For the first time in a long time I feel comfortable in my body.  If I am required to do something physical - run across the road quickly, chase down a child, take numerous flights of stairs, I know I can do those things with ease.  It's a great feeling to not be self-conscious, to have no hangups about myself, to know that I can rise to any challenge.  There is a sense of freedom that comes with that knowledge, I feel liberated.

But what I want you all to know is that there is nothing special about me that enabled me to do this.  The truth is that I was just a fat, middle aged, ordinary stay at home mum with thyroid problems, PCOS, and a bad back.  In fact, some mornings, my back was so bad I would have to get The Machine to put my shoes and socks on for me before I went to the gym.  But the difference between me and someone who has stayed the same/or gotten bigger this year?  I was ready.  I wanted to change.  I was willing to be 100% honest with myself.  I refused to let my illnesses/disease/arthritis define me.  I stopped using those things as excuses.  I stopped using excuses at all.

If you had kept all your New Years Resolutions/Diet Resolutions/Fitness Resolutions last January……imagine where you could be today?????

If you are ready to change and would like to become the person you want to be, then stick around in 2012.  Step Away From the Chocolate is launching a "New Year - New You" program where we would like to do one post a week specifically aimed at those who may be just starting on their weight loss and fitness journeys.  We want to keep you inspired, motivated and on track!!!

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 26, 2011

How times change…..

A post by Carla

So 2011 is drawing to a close, and I have been reflecting on the massive overhaul 2011 has given my life.  Here are some examples….

Gels were something you experimented with in your hair in the '80's
Gels are something you experiment with on big training days and during your Ultramarathon
Oh big 80's perm….how I miss you xxxx

'Smashing it' means one of your kids is in timeout and you are looking for the dustpan and broom.
'Smashing it' means you've done something to impress Humungousaur

You watch your 4yo climbing up a set of cement stairs and think 'Oh no, he'll put a hole in his jeans".
You watch your 4yo climbing up a set of cement stairs and think "Wow, that looks like a good shoulder workout".

You handwash expensive lingerie in the sink
You handwash 2XU compression wear in the sink

Oats were only an ingredient that you put in Anzac biscuits
Oats are one of the staples of your diet.  Eaten Raw.  With protein powder instead of milk.
What????  There are other things to do with oats besides make anzacs???  Who knew?

You argue with your husband over who has control of the TV remote
You argue over who gets to go to the gym at 6am

You can't wear your wedding and engagement rings because your fingers are too fat
You can't wear your wedding and engagement rings because when you are weight lifting it makes your calluses worse

You can't help out at your kids PE class because you are too unfit
You can't help out with your kids PE class because you are training with your Adventure Racing Team!
Adventure racing….see the attraction?  Hells Bells and Fairy Bells we are SO coming to smash you next year!!!
A power clean was getting the housework done before 10am.
A power clean is lifting 30kg of steel to shoulder height

A heart rate monitor was something I attached to a cardiac patient
A heart rate monitor is my ever present companion at the Gym that helps keep me honest!

How has your life changed this Year???

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Thinking Woman's Guide to Christmas

Beck’s approach to Xmas Festivities...

Since my husband has spent the entire 10 years of our marriage running a hotel he has been pretty much unavailable for any Xmas functions we have ever been invited too. Add that to the fact I was home with small children – we pretty much declined our attendance at most events. So in the end there really weren’t many parties to attend as either people stopped inviting us or we didn’t go. So while most of the city is out drinking themselves to oblivion I have managed to make it through an entire decade hang over free. Impressive/ sad isn’t it – depending on your perspective (and I know some people out there will take this admission as a challenge to undo all this great sobriety)...

So I will admit past festive seasons haven’t been a huge problem... but let’s face it when you have spent the other 11 months of the year eating crap, sugar and carbs, who really needs the added load of a flagon of booze - the damage is already done.

So here we are in 2011, kids are older, my husband has more time, we are hanging out with a fairly sociable crowd..... my answer is to select when and where you are going to let your hair down and when you are going to keep a rein on the “good times”. This weekend the S7 had our Christmas party... well in fact what we had was a tennis tournament with husbands (exercise) and a BBQ lunch(salad and protein) followed by some wicked desserts (time for treats) and yes a couple of glasses of sparkling with lunch for some (not Carla – no surprises there). For a “Christmas party”- pretty tame, but so much real and memorable fun.

I had planned the S7 Xmas to co-incide with my “3 days of self imposed home time” – where I have not exercised, I have slowed down and I have slept in – all guilt free. Important note – 3 days is the limit any more and it might end up being 3 months.. 3 years....have learnt that lesson the hard way!

So my message to all those at Christmas is a simple one - THINK. Don’t just get carried away and go with the flow. Plan the events you want to attend, plan the ones you wish to “let your hair down at” and make sure you balance that out with some exercise and controlled eating.

In the words of Humungousaur: .
It’s Xmas, don`t go without and regret it, but don’t over indulge and go backwards.....results are forever, sugar is very short lived!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Just don't do that: the Grinch who wouldn't eat Christmas

A post by Carla

So obviously the Christmas season is in full swing and although many of the Christmas work parties are done and dusted, most of us probably have a few festive engagements left to attend.  Then there are the big three, or as I like to call them 'The axis of evil' - Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Eve, where you will be tempted to stuff your face and drink excessively.  So for those of you who are already on a health and fitness program, or those of you who are planning to start on the 1st of January and would appreciate limiting the damage you will have to undo, I have a terrific plan of attack to limit over consumption of kilojoules through excessive Christmas cheer.

I was thinking about the over indulging problem the other day as it struck me that this is probably the first December in my life that I will finish the month significantly smaller and lighter than I began it.  You see, the members of S7 who aren't going away to the beach are engaging in a 'Summer of Strength', so this year I am eating and training like a body builder.  As I am investing a great deal of time and money into getting results, I refuse to be brought undone by the fact that Chirstmas and New Year fall in the middle of my training schedule.  Yes folks…I have turned into the Grinch who will not eat Christmas.

In my humble opinion, it's not so much that Christmas and New Years are particularly damaging times of the year, so much as we relax the rules we usually uphold for the rest of the year.  "Chocolate for breakfast?  Why the hell not….it's Christmas after all".  See how I just did that?  Seriously, who hasn't used Christmas and New Years as an excuse to stuff themselves stupid and drink alcohol like a six-year-old drinks red cordial at a birthday party.

So back to my plan of attack….a while back, when there wasn't much on TV, The Machine and I got into the habit of watching a series called "Skins", which is a BAFTA award-winning British teen drama following a group of teens through the two years of college.  In one particularly memorable episode, one of the characters JJ, who has Aspergers, goes to see his incredibly 'helpful' therapist.  When he tells this man of his overwhelming worries, the therapist says "and what do we say about worrying…. that's right….Just don't do that".  Although this is not particularly helpful advice to a boy with Aspergers struggling through his teen years, it is fabulous advice for middle-aged people with butts bigger than their Xmas ham and turkey sitting side by side.

And so, my friends, "Just don't do that" is your Christmas and New Year's damage control mantra….
All I need is to add the word 'don't' in there……...
Tempted to eat a traditional roast for Christmas lunch followed by a piece of all the 6 desserts on offer?  Just don't do that.  Want to spend Boxing Day laying on the couch watching the cricket and eating leftovers?  Just don't do that.  Planning to drink 2011 into oblivion on New Years Eve?  Just don't do that.

If it helps at all, work out the number of calories in a piece of plum pudding with custard, and then calculate the amount of exercise you will have to do to make consuming said dessert a neutral exercise.  For me personally, that would probably be a 90 minute run [not jog, run].  Sorry, but I am far too lazy and no piece of Christmas pudding tastes good enough to warrant that sort of torture.  What do we say about eating Christmas pudding?  That's right…..Just don't do that.

And for all of you who are sitting out there aghast at someone choosing not to consume vast amounts of food and alcohol [but it's Christmas…..] here's a statement that is really going to knock your socks off.  I actually don't see it as deprivation.  I see it as liberation!  The ability to say no to eating too much, drinking too much, lethargy, bloating, tight trousers and New Years Regrets is really liberating!  When I get to New Years Day, I will be looking and feeling healthy and fabulous and that is liberating!

The Machine has a triathlon on January 2nd which is great as firstly, I know there are a whole lot of other people out there avoiding overindulging too.  Secondly, there is nothing like standing around with a bunch of Uber-fit people to make you glad that you chose to  "just don't do that"!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Two Steps Forward One Step Back

By Beck
I weigh myself every day (Gasp – I think I just heard Jenny Craig collapse). The Humungousaur, JC (as in Jenny Craig not Jesus Christ), Mrs Weight Watcher, Tony Ferguson, Kate whats-her-name etc will all disagree with me and tell you that the number isn’t important or that once a week is enough. I firmly do not believe this – BUT I will put in a sub clause, you must understand the fluctuations that your weight may go through and not freak out when something goes up and not down (And by freak out I think we all know I mean –go-stuff-yourself- with –tim- tams).

Recently, I cracked a number on the scales I have been trying to break through for years – JOY, only to be followed by a PMT induced chip eating frenzy that undid all my good work (not –so-much joy). But the important thing is that by understanding and also keeping a close eye on my “movements" (that being weight not bowel) it’s easy to see where you may be falling off the wagon and get back on quickly.

If you are lucky or have the discipline of the Machine, Carla, a Body builder – you can probably lose weight consistently until you reach your desired goal. If you are me – you will find it’s a “two steps forward one step back” type journey. The important thing is to have more steps forward than you do backwards and even sometimes to take a flying leap forward to make up for lost ground (Ok – perhaps that’s a bit much with the metaphors).

Understanding what, when and how your body reacts goes a long way in helping you tune your nutrition and training to get the best possible outcome. For me – this means weighing every day, for others it might be keeping a food log or a designing a 7 day eating plan in advance.

There is a saying that is gold…. “If things don’t change they stay as they are”.  How many people wake up and hope that they have lost weight without proactively doing anything to make it happen? I hate to break it to you but there isn’t a magic fat sucking fairy that visits during the night – if there was I would sit up all night with a butterfly net. But for me to lose weight I need to work at it and embrace the fact that I am a woman (hear me roar) and let’s face it, PMT pig outs really can only be justified for a week (max) not the entire month.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Romance….Machine Style

So by now some of you are probably thinking that being married to The Machine wouldn't be so bad.  He enters stuff.  He wins stuff.  There's glory.  There's adulation [Unfortunately there is no prize money….but we're working on that].  But let me assure you that life in the household of Mr and Mrs Machine is anything but a bed of roses.

Take the other day for example.  The Machine has Mondays off to train and do other super elite stuff.  Usually our adventure racing team go mountain biking together but on Monday only the two of us were available.  So we decided instead of training, we should do something fun and romantic and have lunch together with NO KIDS  [how exciting]!!!!

However this IS The Machine we are talking about, and as it turned out, although he agreed to have lunch at our favourite cafe, 'Blue' at Inveresk, the catch was that we had to park 5 kilometres away at the Basin and run the Zig Zag track to get there.  The Zig Zag track for all of you who haven't visited Launceston, is described in tourist literature as:

Zig Zag Track
Distance: Approx.1km(20minutes) 
Difficulty: Hard - Dirt/informaltracks
Historical gravel trail that links Kings Bridge to the First Basin, with a series of zig-zags that climb high above the Cataract Gorge. This trail has been described as ‘testing the lungs of travellers’ but the views are worth the effort.

So just incase you still aren't 'getting it', you are basically walking up and down a small mountain.  No exaggeration [much].

Now this wouldn't have been so bad except that I had done a killer one on one PT session with Humungousaur that morning.  I had done power squats, upright rows, one-legged get ups and split lunges amongst other things and my legs were trashed.  [No I can't explain what these are as recalling them will trigger some sort of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder - you will have to google them].  Now of course, as he likes a bit of an extra challenge, The Machine got a parking ticket for an hour and 45 minutes because if there is no time restriction then there is really no challenge. Is there?

At this point in the day it was fairly warm [for Tasmania] and before long I was puffing, panting and sweating.  I was also having yet another revelation from the Universe about how short my legs are and how much easier it would be to do a whole lot of things like climbing up and down boulders if they were longer.  I did yell out "This isn't fun" to The Machine but he was either too far ahead, or moving too fast to hear me because he didn't reply.  When I did catch up, I asked him when in the world his idea of a romantic lunch had morphed into an extreme sport and he replied "When you stopped stuffing your face".  Bastard. [To be fair, he was referring to the Nigella Mermaids and making excuses post….I think]

By the time we got to Blue, it was pretty obvious that we had Buckley's of getting back to the car before our ticket ran out.  Due to his ludicrous time management  error in judgement, he had to forgo his post lunch macchiato so really he was only punishing himself.  He set a cracking pace on the way back, because he doesn't like to lose, but he did humour me with a hilarious game of "If our friends had blogs what would their titles and bylines be?"  Although in retrospect I think it was only as funny as it was because I was delirious with fatigue.  We got back alive.  We were late.  We didn't get a ticket.  Lunch was superb.  So I guess all is well that ends well.
I might look happy…but actually I am delirious
Now that you have read this story, you are perfectly situated to understand my trepidation when Beck generously asked the S7 and their families to her place for a social tennis game and Christmas BBQ. I responded 'But isn't it supposed to be fun?'  I tried to express my concern to her, honestly I did…..but I think she thought I was overreacting.  If today was The Machine's idea of a romantic lunch, can you imagine what his version of a fun social tennis game would be?????  Don't say I didn't warn you…...

Monday, December 12, 2011

Yin and Yang

By Beck.

Saying there are many approaches to fitness and weightloss would be a massive understatement. Unless you: don’t watch tv; don’t use the internet; don’t have a smart phone; never leave the house; and don’t buy magazines; you will not escape being bombarded with some new idea, magic cure or recently unearthed secret. Dieting is a national past time and talking about it is almost on the scale of a social revolution. Whatever path you choose on this journey it’s going to come down to only 2 things:

Are you die hard or hard trying?
If you are a die hard (like Carla), nothing will stand in your way of getting the result you want. If you are hard trying – you will work hard, and stick to the rules most of the time – and achieve notable success but not at the sake of the golden syrup dumplings you will make on a special occasion and just have to have a SMALL portion to try ......yep that’s me.

Recently Carla and I were dining out with mums from our sons’ class at School. The first issue was with the beverage order.... Beck: Sav Blanc – it had been a big week, Carla – rainwater from a BFP free tank in the central highlands (Round One: Carla) .

Give me strength.....when we sat down to order Carla was actually sitting next to me just waiting to hear what I was going to order to eat. I told the waitress I wasn’t ready, so she went round the table making Carla order before me... ha ha – Round Two: Beck.

Round three – Dessert. No worries here I wasn’t having any, neither would anyone else ( I mean who would eat dessert with us – they are sh*t scared they will end up in someone’s blog). But I did order a cappuccino and Carla – Green tea with aforementioned rainwater... Round Three – Carla!!!!!

Needless to say – we are unlikely to be invited back and our children may well suddenly find themselves off the birthday party circuit (lucky we know where our friends they drive.........)

In all fairness I actually think we balance each other well - I keep her from going completely off the deep end into a clean eating frenzy and she keeps reminding me milk won’t get me the shoulders I am working my ass off to achieve.... Ying and Yang!

(Dear Prep Mums – please invite me back .... I promise to leave Carla in the car with a bag of (vegie) chips and a protein shake then we can really go wild - and woo hoo maybe eat bread!!!!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Seriously…just shut the hell up: Gym Etiquette Part 4

I would like to begin this post with a disclaimer……I am not an antisocial person...seriously I am not, but there are some times when I just don’t want to talk to you.  One is when I am in labour [as one midwife found out the hard way].  The other is when I am in the middle of a hard training session.  Here are some reasons why:
  • I am in the zone – Once upon a time when I was a gym newbie, I got chastised by an instructor for having a drink.  The instructor told me that if it was possible for me to sip water after that particular track…..then I just wasn’t working hard enough.  These days I am certainly more able to understand this particular line of thinking.  Some days, if I am training really hard, I can choose to do one of two things 1) breathe or 2) talk to you and die from lack of oxygen.  So if I am working hard and I do not answer you, it is because I am not physically able.  Humungousaur, this does not apply to you.  As we have been working together for the better part of a year, I know that you are intimately familiar with my repetoire of facial expressions which include 'This sh*t sucks’, ‘I hate you, you b*stard’, ‘you want me to do WHAT?’, and ‘Stand back, I’m about to puke’.

  • I can’t count – one of my worst kept secrets is the fact that I failed maths [well almost].  I’m sure I have some form of numerical dyslexia.  It takes me forever to learn my own phone number….there is no way I can remember anyone else’s.  I struggle to remember my number plate or the birthdates of my children [I have THREE of them…that’s a whole lot of numbers].  To this end, I am sure you can understand that keeping count of repetitions presents as a challenge to me.  Therefore, if I partake in your conversation, no matter how witty or interesting, I will not be able to count where I am up to in my reps.   The last thing I want to do, in a 100 weighted squat challenge is to lose count of where I am up to and have to start again.
  • It could be dangerous – I am uncoordinated.  I fall down a lot, for random reasons.  Therefore, if I am running on the treadmill at a fast pace and you distract me, chances are I am going to shoot off the back of the treadie and you will be wearing me.  Similarly, I am beginning to lift heavier weights.  I, like Winnie the Pooh, am a bear of very little brain.  If you distract me while I have a loaded bar over my face, chances are I will drop it on my head.  That could get messy.  
  •  I will miss my favourite song – I have 3 children, a husband and 2 dogs.  There is no peace and quiet at my house and no space for listening to music.  There are also impressionable young minds to think about… 3 yo once spent a whole week walking around singing “From Friday to Sunday I make the girls go wild”. Similarly, he has been known to drop his pants and do his own rendition of ‘I’m sexy and I know it’.  The point is that often being at the gym is my only time to listen to great music.  Please don’t rob me of this experience.
  • I’m hardcore – it has to be said people that when I am in the gym, I am there to work hard.  I am not there to chat about what was on 60 Minutes last night.  I have limited time and I intend to make the most of it.
I am absolutely sending Santa the link to so I get one of these for Christmas this year….

So there are the reasons I am not a social butterfly at the gym.  On the way to and from classes, and when stretching, you have 100% of my attention.  It must also be said that if you want to talk to me…feel free to take me out for coffee sometime [long macchiato thanks].  You’ll have my undivided attention.  But if I am in ‘the zone’ with my iPod on, then please step away……

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Bruny Island Ultramarathon

Regular SAFTC readers will know that we completed the Bruny Island Ultra Marathon on the weekend (as a “relay” with the S7 not as Solo competitors– I haven’t completely lost my mind).
I could sit here and describe the hills, the rain, the sunshine, the fact the 70 year old Hash House Harriers tried to recruit us (but were concerned we wouldn’t be able to drink enough), the fun we had or the fact that we were absolutely shit scared that we had bitten off more than we could chew..... BUT what I want to focus on is the fact we stepped out of our comfort zone. We were so far out of our comfort zone we needed a ferry to get home (well we WERE on an island, but you get what I am alluding too).

We are women who are around their 40’s (mostly) who spend their days doing everything for everyone else and just getting to a gym to train twice a week is a massive effort. So co-ordinating support cars, days off work, children/ husbands being left to their own devices and then getting to the starting line at 6am after driving for 6 hours the day before – WOW... (in fact at this point I think we may have even been justified if we just went out to breakfast instead). Seeing as the local cafe had no plans to open anytime soon– getting underway in the race was probably the only alternative.

As we had driven most of the running route the day before we knew we were in for hills, gravel, more hills and predicted bad weather. Carla did a fantastic effort running the first 16km which started 2km up, up and up followed by some down and a lot more up (I am using technical ultra marathon talk to describe running routes here).

“The Goddess” who has since been renamed “Forrest” (as in “Run Forrest Run” ) took over and completed her 14km before the rest of us stepped in to do 2km intervals. “Forrest” didn’t actually stop running even though her section was over and she personally completed a massive 30km! Whilst everyone else was impressed I knew that she was just running because the camp-stove/ and Italian-on- stove coffee pot was in my support car and she was just running towards that.....she only stopped running when someone made her a coffee.... (not exactly the truth but she did get a coffee at the end... much to the jealousy of other runners who could smell fresh expresso coming from the roadside (and people laughed at me for bringing that along HAH!)
Espresso coffee being enjoyed road side
The (long winded) point I am trying to make is that not only did every member of the team successfully do what they set out to do, but they actually pushed themselves past what they expected.
Support Crew/Cheer squad waiting for the 'corporate crusader'
As we were so far in front of the majority of runners (starting while everyone else is still asleep does that for you) we were able to have 2 runners on the road supporting each other. What this meant is that those members who only came along saying they would run 1 x 2km leg ended up running more by being a support runner for other team mates. Everyone stepped out of their comfort zone and “smashed it” (to coin a now famous and slightly over used phrase).
Sooner or later someone will realise there are more than 7 people in the S7!
Carla and I are in the privileged position of having people share their stories with us, or speak to us privately and share their desires to do something “for themselves” or to improve the way they feel. If I could take one message from this weekend and share it with you it would be to take a risk and step out of your comfort zone –even just for a weekend!

Life is short- it can’t all be about school pick ups, washing and family demands.......

By Beck

Post Script:If you don’t know where or how to start – send us an email – no woman is alone in her mission to have an adventure!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Our Ultramarathon Adventure

Dear SAFTC Readers
Today we would like to introduce you to two of our S7 members. They have been so kind as to write a guest post for us in the lead up to the Bruny Island Ultra Marathon that we are doing this weekend. Our 2 team mates we have called “The Butterfly”and “The Goddess”.

“The Butterfly”– is the heart and soul of the S7 and we would hate her to ever leave. She is the person who hated gyms and worried that she wouldn’t be able to keep up. Over the time we have trained together she has accomplished a 6.4km fun run, gets up twice a week to train – even though she hardly sleeps and is turning into a naturally talented runner. We love her and her wonderful care for her team mates.

“The Goddess” – you have met before – she can run, and run and run – she has an amazing gift and it was her ( silly.. oops "lovely") idea for all of us to do this event and she has inspired us all to give it ago. The Goddess is the person who made herself run 42km on a Sunday the other week – because she wanted to have achieved it before her 40th birthday – amazing!!!

Enjoy ...

from Beck and Carla

From The Butterfly
I agreed to participate essentially because I didn't want to let the team down. When the numbers were low and the thought was to invite “outsiders' in to fill the spots I just couldn't allow it. Such is the strength of the bond of the S7 (it’s made a girl of 45 who has never run in her life and essentially hates to run... do it for the team…).

The thing I am looking forward to most is the friendship and fun we should have as a team that is it and the essence of why I am involved at all ( I could perhaps have achieved this same result from the CWA – but too late now).

The things of which I am looking forward to least are: the lack of toilets and if it is too hot when it is my turn to run and if I am sooo slow I make the team miss out on the medals at the lighthouse and the fact that I usually do not sleep much . ( Editors Note: The Butterfly can actually run faster than several of the S7 and let's be honest – we really aren’t in the running for any medals... and I hate to admit to the Goddess but I don’t think there are any medals..)

I have never been to Bruny Island before so that is an adventure in itself and I am driving one of the support cars so I really do need to find my way there.

My preparation has not been flash I suppose. I have never ever prepared for anything like this before I did not really know what to do other than our existing S7 sessions and the 7.5 km runs we have been doing on Sunday mornings. However I did run by myself 2km the other day non stop in 16 minutes which I thought wasn't bad but it did not make me do 3x2km in preparation which if I was hardcore like the rest of the gang I would have done?

Well there you are a bit of useless trivia from the mind of a non-hardcore, only a little bit fit old lady make of it what you will but I do so love being part of the SENSATIONAL SEVEN and I am off do my first Ultramarathon!!!

From the Goddess:
Why did you agree to participate? Thought it would be good bonding experience for the S7 and I am wanting to do a marathon next year so thought it good training

b) What are you looking forward to most? The finish line, getting a medal, we get one don’t’ we??? I mean really – we must!! Oh and the pre race carb loading lunch with the girls, wine is a carb isn’t it? & I never can refuse a road trip, love a road trip. Can’t wait to see the S7 team accomplish this together

c) What are you looking forward to least? No toilets & the hills, hate running hills!

d) Have you been to Bruny Island before? If so, what were you impressions? No and probably not the nicest way to introduce yourself to the place. Can I run and take photographs that the same time?

e) Do you have a race plan? Run fast to get it over with, crawl across the finish line if need be as long as I finish & get that medal. ( There is a medal isn’t there???)

f) What sort of things are you doing to prepare? Eating, eating, eating….you do need fuel.

Note from Beck and Carla - when you are sitting in your office reading this we will infact be on the road to this event - incase you there is news footage look out for the team with hot pink S7's on their t shirts.... we will probably be the ones sitting in on the side of the road making coffee... but thats another story......

Lighthouse where we finish the race - lets hope we make it!!!
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