Sunday, August 23, 2015

I've been a half marathon runner for over six years. Running has helped me manage my stress and keep my weight relatively stable. If I don't run for a long period of time, I get moody and cross. For no reason. I just feel on edge. I can be exhausted, but when I push myself to run I get home feeling fresh and rejuvenated. No workout gets me going like running does. A little over a year ago I joined my local running club and now running has become social for me as well. I have met some special people and it has been amazing to run with others who are as obsessed with all things running as I am. I know people get sick of runners talking about their running, so it's great to get on the road with people who genuinely want to hear about your PB (personal best race time), new kit or the next race. 

I've also learnt that far is never far enough. When I started running I always said I would never run more that 21km races and I most definitely would never, ever, try to run a marathon. "Our bodies aren't made for that" was my go-to line. But, last year I watched friends finish the Cape Town Marathon and I decided I had to try it. I have one month to go before I stand at the start of this years CT Marathon and I can now tell you that we are as strong as we train ourselves to be. Last weekend we ran 30kms as a training run from Sea Point to the bottom of Suikerbossie and back. It was blowing gales, pouring with rain and at one point I could not feel my fingers. "It just makes us tougher" became my new line. It is incredible what our minds can do. I have been training for four and a half months now and it has been the hardest thing I have ever done. I have discovered a new found self discipline and self motivation. The goal is to finish, enjoy it and be able to walk away from it feeling relatively OK. I hope I'm going to still want to run after it at all. What's pushing me even more is that I have decided to run it for charity. Atlantic Hope is a temporary place of safety for abandoned babies and I have pledged to raise R5000 for them. I am almost there.

Along the journey I have learnt a lot about the right nutrition in connection with the amount of exercise you do. I've learnt about portion control and about eating clean. I've learnt that running far does not give you the go-ahead to eat anything and everything afterwards and can tell you that training for a marathon does not give you your dream body. You build muscle and don't shed as much fat as you think, but I am fitter and stronger than I have ever been. I have carried on with pilates and took up swimming along the way and I am counting down until after the race to hit the gym again.

I have been very lucky to be sent some awesome gear from brands I work with at the magazine. I couldn't keep up with my laundry that comes with exercising 6 days a week so I got to go to Lorna Jane and pick out a sports bra, tank top, long top and tights. I love the detailing on her workout gear. I have some of the sports bras. They are super supportive and the backs are always interesting so I like layering them under open workout vests.

I'm also testing out the Garmin Forerunner 225. it makes getting my info so easy while I am running because your pace, distance and time is displayed on one screen and I can press one button to see what my heart rate is. The heart rate is colour coded so you know what zone you are in. The heart rate monitor is wrist based so you don't have to wear a strap or foot pod which is why I ever wanted one in the first place so this is so clever and one less piece of gear to put on. It also tracks your steps and calories daily which is an added bonus if you choose to wear it throughout the day.

I also came home to brand new adidas ultra boost shoes. It's a bit too close to race day for me to try new running shoes out completely but I took them out on a short run and can tell you that if you prefer a very cushioned running shoe, this is for you. They feel like you are on a cushion! The adidas stripes on either side are plastic and act like a cage around your foot while the actual shoe upper is made of elastic stretch primeknit fabric which is more like a sock making them very light and more suitable for different foot shapes. It also make it very flexible. And I love that they are black and white. These are probably the only running performance shoe I would wear as a lifestyle sneaker too.

You would of noticed the blog has a new layout. This is because I have decided to expand the blog into fitness fashion as well and wanted a fresh look to the site. I'm excited!

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For regular updates on my marathon journey follow me on Twitter and Instagram: @caraleer


Nadia said...

Good luck with your training leading up to the marathon :) I'm trying to get back into running after an accident, and it truly is such a challenge, but so rewarding.

My favourite Asics actually need to be replaced, so I think I'll go try on some Ultra Boosts soon - love a black running shoe, tbh!

Cara-Lee ruditzky said...

Hi Nadia, one step at a time! I started out barely being able to run 5kms! Good luck getting back out there!

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