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An Athlete’s Mindset – True Grit

The RIO Olympics 2016 have come to an end! I can finally get back to my “normal” sleeping schedule.

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This was probably one of my most-watched-live-events and it was worth EVERY WAKING MINUTE!

I guess everyone who managed to tune in to the RIO Olympics have taken home something.


As an amateur athlete, trying to be my best at my chosen sport, I can ONLY IMAGINE how hard olympians work. I truly believe that you get out what you put in. Your success is measured by ALL your blood, sweat and tears. And of course, having God behind your back! I cannot talk about success without adding in that spiritual element. But that’s just me. 😉

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We can all learn a thing or two about these athletes. They all have similar characteristics. STRONG both MENTALLY and PHYSICALLY. But the mental aspect will determine what the physical aspect will do.


Belief. Determination. Discipline. Fearless.

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You have to BELIEVE that you are capable. Be DETERMINED to achieve. DISCIPLINED to follow through. And FEARLESS when it comes to pushing beyond your limits.


Athletes are defined by their failures and bad days, and NOT giving in.

For the weekend warrior, thriving and striving to train for an event or just to stay active/get fit, you can probably relate to some of these:

-Waking up in the wee hours of the morning when everyone else is tucked in their warm comfy bed just so that you can get that workout in

-Sweating it out, huffing and puffing away (and possibly looking like a dead chicken)

-Dreading the process of the workout, where every step just seems endless

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-Pushing yourself to the point where you absolutely DO NOT want to do this anymore

-Constantly tired and sleep deprived

-Waking up with aches and pains

-Unsightly tan lines, dry hair, dead black toe nails, blistered feet, cuts and bruises

-Days when you miss the podium by a fraction of a second

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Giving 110% during training but still failing time and time again

-Days when your coach screams “ONE MORE REP!”

-Days when you think of skipping your workout (that inner battle)

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-When you are afraid to look at your training schedule because you know it will only get harder

-When you miss out on important gatherings/events involving family and friends

-When you are on a strict diet, watching the rest devouring sweet treats and snacks

-The times spent nuturing an injury and then getting another injury (and possibly another)

-The fear of losingIMG_4970

-Days when you’ve had a bad workout on top of having a bad day

-The times when you trained to your max, ready to take on a race, only to be disappointed by the outcome

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-When everyone else is asking you to give up and telling you otherwise

-When no one is behind your back

-The physical and mental pain of pushing through your workout AND on race day

IMG_4967-When you feel your muscles BURNING, heart PUMPING, lungs BURSTING

-The day you question your sanity, thinking “IS THIS WORTH IT?! WHAT AM I DOING?!”

-The day you feel you have NOTHING left

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-The day you want to quit and throw in the towel

And then…

Somehow…

Somewhere…

Deep in that dark pitt…

You see a ray of light shining through. In your heart and in your gut, you know that you STILL want this. You dig deep, searching for that hope and belief you have within yourself, and then you hang on to it.

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You push through. You fight the negativity.

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And when you overcome the impossible, you smile because you know that all the BAD days were worth it.

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We all have bad days. It is what we do with them that will eventually shape our success and personality. And this applies to EVERY other aspect of our lives.

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Sucess comes to those who stick to what they say they will do, long after the motivation and positive feelings have left. Day in, Day out. Only a few are willing to fight through their current emotions.

Do YOU have it in you?

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Ways to Add Some MOVEment to Your Daily Life

Hello from the Sunshine State!


From my last post, I hope that you have made some effort to MOVE a little more?IMG_2990

If you haven’t, here are some tips!

1. At work/school

Yes, I know that work/school load forces you to sit for most of the day. But it doesn’t have to be that way!

Drink more water

When you drink more water, nature calls! That means that you would have to MOVE (to the toilet). Drink a cup of water every other hour or so. Water is good for your body, keeps you hydrated (especially under the aircon) and it is good for your skin!Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Use a cup instead of having a big bottle near you. That way, you’d have to get up and get water = MORE MOVEMENT! #toughlife but trust me, it is worth it.

Lunch hour/Snack time

Meal times are a great way to get up and about. Even if you have packed your own lunch, take it outside! Have it under the sun. IMG_3911You’d get your dose of Vitamin D, some movement and it helps to clear the mind! We all need a mental break from work. You’ll be feeling fresh and ready to smash out the rest of the work day. It also helps with post-food sluggish-ness.

STRETCH!

I tend to have VERY tight hips, shoulders and upper back. The lost in range of motion in these areas have caused lower back pain over the years. It gets WORSE with sitting! Every 30-45 mins or so, I would get up and do some light standing stretches. IMG_1045

This is my favourite dynamic stretch!IMG_2950

Twist your upper back to your right while driving your right knee towards the left. I do 5 reps on each side.

2. Transport

Traffic can be a nightmare. Some spend up to 3 hours just stuck in traffic! It is an absolute waste of time plus you end up with more SITTING.Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

You can:

-Get up earlier (avoid traffic)

-Get off work later (slot in some workout time after work to beat the traffic! Great way to kill time!)Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

-Park further away (brisk walk)

-Cycle/walk to work/school (I know this is not possible/feasible for everyone. But if it is, DO IT!)Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

-If you’re in a train/bus, walk around if possible. Just make sure that it is safe and that you’re not disturbing other passengers.

3. At Home

Cut out time spent on screens (TV, comp, game consoles, phone etc). Spend more time with your family over fun games or do some CHORES! I don’t know about you but I LOVE to clean! It satisfies the OCD-ness in me and I find it very therapeutic.

4. Anywhere

TAKE THE STAIRS! If you know me from my Uni days, you’d know that I NEVER take the lift. FullSizeRenderEven if we had to climb 16 flights of stairs! Sometimes, I take the stairs at malls too.


These are just some of the many small ways that you can add some MOVEment to your day.

The HARDEST part is getting it done!

You might think: PFFFFT! These small changes wouldn’t change anything!

1 year = 365 days x the rest of your life

Start setting some small goals and get to it.

Our human bodies are made to MOVE! You’ll feel SO MUCH better!

*Again, this is your cue to get up!*

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Sitting – The New Smoking?

We all know that physical activity is important for general health. The typical guideline for physical activity (in a week):

150-300 minutes of MODERATE intensity (power walking, walking, house chores etc)

OR

75-150 minutes of VIGOROUS intensity (running, cycling, swimming, rowing etc)

OR

A combination of both

PLUS

at least 2 days of strength trainingIMG_5105


To the already-active individual, hitting the recommended hours in this guideline would be a piece of cake! I know many people who can complete it in 2 days (myself included)!

BUT! (there’s always a but)IMG_6701

If you are sitting (sedentary) for most of the time when you are NOT being active, you’re not much better off than the physically inactive person.

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If you workout for 60 minutes or more but spend the rest of the day seated (work/school/etc), then congratulations! You’re an Active-Couch Potato! Sounds cute but the effects are not that cute. In fact, it can be life threatening. Active-couch potato-ing has been associated with unwanted metabolic biomarkers (decrease in insulin sensitivity) [1].


What is “sitting”?

Sitting (or sedentary behaviour) includes behaviours that do not use much energy (less than 1.5 metabolic equivalents) during the hours that you are awake [2].

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Examples: Driving/commuting for long hours, seated at a desk for work/school, watching tv, meal times, chilling by the beach etc

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Technology has both improved and worsen the situation. On one end of the spectrum, there are many available trackers/step counters/health apps/fitness apps etc that can encourage movement. And on the other end, it contributes to more SITTING! From online shopping to food delivery. Heh, we don’t even need to go grocery shopping or cook our food!


Sitting and Health

More sitting time has been associated with obesity, Type 2 diabetes and heart problems.

Obesity

This is an easy one. If you eat more than you expend = weight gain.

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In essence, if inactivity is not offset with a decrease in food, you’re heading for obesity land.

Type 2 diabetes and Hearth Problems

Our body cells use energy in the form of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) which are made from blood glucose (carb) and triglycerides (fat). Sitting decreases the demand for ATP (because you’re not using much of it) and downregulates the mechanisms that are used for drawing glucose and triglycerides from the blood into the muscle cells. These include the GLUT-4 transporter protein (needed for blood glucose to enter the cell) and lipoprotein lipase (enzyme that breaks down triglycerides to free fatty acids to fuel muscle cells).IMG_1726

This is also “sitting”!

This will ultimately lead to MORE glucose AND triglycerides in the blood which are well established risk factors for developing heart diseases and Type 2 diabetes!


If you think you are active, THINK AGAIN!IMG_1647

How many hours do YOU spend sitting?

This is also your cue to GET UP and MOVE!

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Online Shopping with ShopBack (and getting your CASH back!)

WOOHOO! DONE with the first semester of my Masters in Nutrition and Dietetics. Bring on the holidays! I have no idea what to do with all of this FREEDOM. Ok, jokes. I have many things planned! Can’t wait!


Ok, so I’ve been doing quite a bit of online shopping (as always!). When am I NOT shopping?!

…and I stumbled upon ShopBack.

 What is ShopBack?

ShopBack is basically a cashback website where you LITERALLY get cash back when you click through to their partner merchants from their website. Arrghhhh! I wish I knew about ShopBack earlier because I have spent quite a bit from their partner merchants like Lazada Malaysia. My current phone cases are from there!

Of course, I had to test if ShopBack was legit. Timing was perfect because I needed a laptop case for my new baby Mac. Even if I didn’t get my money back, it wouldn’t be a loss at my end.


Here’s what I did:

Step 1: Go to https://www.shopback.my

Step 2: Click on their merchants (TaoBao, Groupon, Foodpanda etc). In my case, it was Lazada Malaysia. You can also get cash rebates when you book your next overseas trip through AirAsiaGo, Agoda, Expedia etc. But I have yet to do that!

Step 3: BUY ERRRRRTHING!

Step 4: After making your payment, the cashback is credited to your ShopBack account. You can then cash it out into your bank account. Oh yes, real cash!

Step 5: SPEND your cashbacks… jokes. You can do whatever you want with the “extra” money. You’ll also have access to discount and voucher codes (Lazada). , and the BEST DEALS!

SHOPBACKSorry, this photo does not do this product justice! ><

If you’re wondering, I did get my cashback. 😉

All the best deals are here!

You can thank me later. 😉

 

 

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Officially OFF Running

Since my last post on injury……

I have NOT stopped running.

I said that I would cut down on mileage. And I did! Although I did not mention anything about cutting down on intensity (teehee!).

Low mileage + more rest = more ENERGY

I tend to go a bit harder than usual when I do get to run. I even managed to clock my best 5K on grass (HAHA!). Oh, if only I was injury free! T_T


So, since my first sign of injury in early March, I have been doing a mixture of tempo runs, easy runs, grass runs, recovery runs, long runs and strength training (once/twice a week).

FullSizeRender 3Because resting did not take the pain away (and sometimes, it made it WORSE!), I decided to just run along with the pain. The usual routine would be resting for 2-3 days, and then smashing out a harder run before being immobilised again for the next few days. And the cycle continues.

Well, your body can only do SO MUCH before it decides to go against you.

Psssst, you cannot fight nature! 😛


One fine day…

I was feeling great after taking 4 days off running! Mid way through my run, I decided to push it! I managed to do my 10K race pace and it felt GREAT! But what came after was not THAT GREAT!

I. Could. Not. WALK. The. Next. Day.

Every step I took was unbearable. Sharp, intense, stabbing pains shot up from my foot to my hamstring. I REALLY messed it up this time. Probably tore something. I have a relatively high tolerance when it comes to pain (and that’s how I was able to run through pain) but this was not something that I could handle anymore.


I spoke to a friend about this. My friend looked at my foot and said “Poor little foot, your owner does not LOVE you”.

And THAT REALLY hit me…hard. Like, WHOAAAAAAA!FullSizeRender_3

Writing about this feels pretty stupid. Heh, if I were to look at someone who was in my shoes, I’d think that that person was INSANE! But I can bet every crazy runner out there would have continued to run through pain (HAHHAHHAHA! I KNOW WHO YOU ARE! DON’T DENY IT! :P). I guess only insane obsessive runners would completely understand what I did?! (Guys, back me up here. :P)


But really, as I was sitting there, staring into space and contemplating on what my friend had said…FullSizeRender

My heart ached, PHYSICALLY!

What am I doing? Why am I destroying the very foundation of my body? Why am I fighting the signs of pain and warning that something is not right? Why am I going against what my body is telling me to do? What am I trying to prove?IMG_4132

God has blessed me with everything that I need and so much MORE.  But I was throwing it all away… and for what?


I finally came to my senses. I have decided to HANG my shoes up (OH YES, you read it right) for as long as it would take for my foot to be completely healed. No easy runs, no recovery runs, NOTHING!FullSizeRender_2

I am on DAY 15 of 0 mileage. Feeling pretty accomplished!

I am mentally at peace with this decision. The physical pain built up over time has made me fear running. I am scared. Whenever I see/read about running on social media, I CRINGE. It hurts physically to even THINK about it.


This is where I am at! But I know that time will heal everything. Woohoo! In the meantime, I might need to change my domain name. Processed with VSCO with f2 presetBahahhaha. Any IDEAS?! www.adelenolongerruns.com?


Take it from me, DO NOT ignore the warning signs from your body. It is telling you that something is wrong. All your body ever wants to do is to keep you ALIVE.FullSizeRender_1

God gave you one body. LOVE it with all your HEART!

Sneak peek of what I have been up to! More on that in my next post. 😉Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

Take care <3