Things had been going fairly smoothly with my training up until a few weeks before Christmas. I suddenly found myself struggling with my distances. I was up to walking 12 kilometres each day, 5 days a week. But on some days, I felt as though I could just fall in a heap on the side of the road, but I had to conjure up all the will power I could muster to push on - one foot in front of the other until I got back home.
I started asking questions. Why was I feeling so fatigued? I've had the pleasure of meeting a few fellow marathon runners over the past few weeks and was able to pick their brains about what I might have been doing wrong. Believe it or not, I discovered that I've been doing TOO MUCH! Wow, that's never happened before. I've never been one to do too much exercise. I was usually doing not enough! But there you have it. I've had to cut back on my training.
After being referred to marathon guru Hal Higdon's website, I've embarked on a brand new 14 week training schedule, which will take me right up to the big day. Wish me well!
No matter how hard I try to escape it, I seem to be constantly having to avoid cupcakes.
I think most humans are naturally competitive. We want to look better than the next person, drive a better car, live in a better house, and so on. After my life-changing cancer scare though, I've managed to wean myself off comparing myself to others all the time. These days, for the most part, I'm so busy focusing on what's right in my life, that I don't have as much time for comparisons and competition. Especially in areas that shouldn't really matter.
But then I started training for a marathon! Suddenly I'm an athlete. Me, an athlete?! By definition, that means I have to be at least competitive enough to want to cross the finish line. And that means, I need to keep up with my training schedule. I need to use my natural human instinct for competition for good. I'm competing with myself...against the doubts in my mind that I can actually do this; against the niggles in my body that cause me to question whether I'm up for the physical challenge.
But it all comes down to choice. I have to choose - will I succumb to the negativity in my mind, or will I soldier on? Will I get out of bed and go for it on my training days, or will I hit the snooze button and waste time on a few more winks? Will I crumble when faced with delicious cupcakes, or search for a healthier option?
|Gorgeous "Alice in Wonderland" themed cupcakes that I could have indulged in recently, but didn't!|
Since I'm training for a marathon, it's a no-brainer really - I must choose the healthier options...for my mind and body!
Who doesn't love a sweet fix every now and then? I certainly do. So to keep me on track with my healthy eating, I've had to come up with sweet treats that are also good for me. Here's my pear and almond cake, for example...
Okay, so it may not look as enticing as the "Alice in Wonderland" cupcakes, but it tasted great! Give it a go...
Pear & Almond Cake
3 pears, peeled & cubed
2 cups self-raising flour
1 cup wholemeal self-raising flour
1 1/2 cups organic raw sugar
3 free range eggs
1 cup lite organic milk
340g strawberry yoghurt
150g butter, melted
1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat fan-forced oven to 150°C.
- Combine all ingredients except pears and flaked almonds.
- Fold in the pears into the mixture.
- Pour into a greased & lined 23cm springform tin and gently press flaked almonds into the top.
- Bake for about one hour and 40 minutes.
- Allow to rest 10 minutes before releasing tin.