Irish gal living the American dream in Austin, Texas y'all!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

That time I decided to get fit

.. otherwise known as that time I nearly died on the Inca Trail.

In 2008, my friend CiarĂ¡n and I booked a 3 week holiday to Peru; 3 weeks jam-packed with adventures. We planned to visit the Amazonian jungle, the Inca Trail & Machu Picchu and throw in some white water rafting for good measure. While I was fairly certain that I needed to be fit (and get fit), I also knew that people in their 70's regularly hiked the trail, so I said 'how bad could it be?' and 'i'll be grand'. Famous last words.

We first visited the jungle surrounding Iquitos and besides acquiring food poisoning, or 'runny bowel syndrome', this was by far my favorite part of the holiday.

Oi, come back with my sunglasses!

SEE, it didn't take me long to mention bowels again, did it? To save you time in future from reading all the boring parts, I think I will highlight the bowel mentions in green so you can just scan it and fit the best parts right away.. you're welcome ;) Anywho, I had more bathroom trips than were appreciated by my companion or the lodge staff. FYI: experiencing food poisoning with someone should be the gold standard for any enduring friendship/ relationship.. it ain't purty!

A few days later we landed in Cusco to acclimatise for the Inca Trail, at which point I found comfort in peanut M & M's and McFlurry's (very cultural I know)

We set off on the trail super excited for the adventure..

Haha.. I just found this on my Facebook..the caption reads ''if only we had know what we were letting ourselves in for''

Two hours later.. I had an 'uh oh' moment (no, I hadn't pooped my pants); I was totally unprepared and unfit. By the second afternoon, I was at the back of the pack, thinking 'if there was any way I could turn back I would!'. Seriously, this was one of the most beautiful places I had ever seen and I all could think about was the relief of when it would be over!

So my point in all of this is.. how pathetic is that? For someone like me who loves animals, nature, outdoors and the possibility of seeing the most pretty places in the world. The thought of letting a lack of fitness hold me back from enjoying them was a game changer. I vowed to get fit when I got home.. I also lost about 10 pounds on that trip so I was off to a head start and I kept rolling from there.

I was definitely not a fit teenager and rebelled against encouragement to exercise so if you're like me and were a later starter for fitness, then I think it's worth remembering your turning point ..thinking of the reward of a gorgeous view from the top of of a mountain, for example, will help get you through the times when you really want to give up.

I now love exercise (as you may have gathered) and I often still need to push myself to do it, but when you've got a half marathon to train for (or any goal for that matter) then putting in the legwork will make the race as fun as possible.. I can't go to Napa, running through vineyards and rolling hills and willing it to be over! Not gonna make my Inca mistake again.

Without further adieu.. I present to you my workouts, which includes running.. whoop whoop! Before I get started, you gotta sing this one with me.. Paolo said it right ''Hey, I got my new shoes on and suddenly everything's (nearly) right''. It's a toe-tapper.

Working out (hope this isn't snooze-worthy  for y'all at this stage):
Mueller Park

Mon: 30 min elliptical, abs
Tues: 1 hr on the bike.. 15 icky miles
Wed: Gillian Michael's DVD week 4 (major ouch on the arms)
Thurs: Run to Mueller Park (4 ish miles); love this place; threw in an ab burner for good measure
Fri: 35 min elliptical, abs (nope, no abs of steel yet)
Sat: Off... or does Beer Olympics count??
Sun: Run to Mueller, 2 laps of lake (4.5 ish miles); 2 rounds of booty burner, abs

To sum up that week, I was easing back in to running nicely and my new shoes were the star of the show. Check out these babies. Thanks to Daniel at Texas Running Company for helping me find the right ones.

plenty cushioning

The past week: 
Mon: 1 hr elliptical
Tues: 25 min 'sexy arse' treadmill walking workout (keep your sniggering to yourself, thank ya!), Nike Training Club arm definer
Wed: 4 mile run with Austin Runner's Meetup Group
Thurs: Nike Training Club app 45 min 'Gladiator' workout (entered beast-mode to finish this one)
Fri: Off
Sat: 7 mile run with my Team Challenge Teammates

I was super excited for Wednesday's run with Austin Runner's Meetup Group.. about 18 of us met in a hilly area of Austin (Far West Blvd) for an out-and-back run. In keeping with my trend for TMI (too much information) I gotta tells ya that my bowels were even more excited about the run than I was. It's hard to say which muscles worked out the hardest during this workout.. but my money is on Mr Sphincter; I was in a lot of discomfort during the run and I had good reason for a swift pace (pretty eloquently put if I do say so myself).

OK, I know I'm disgusting but I'm trying to set an example about being open and honest about these things and issues such as these are common among runners and especially among Crohn's and Colitis Sufferers (I'm only blushing mildly while writing this). I still am amazed by how many of those with Crohn's disease are runners.. seriously, hats off to them.

Speaking of which, I'm still trying my bestest to raise money to help those people... and many of you are too! Thank you to those who recently donated: Mary T(-shirt) O'Connor, Edel O'Connor, Lizette O'Connor, Uncle Tim O'Connor, Adarrel Fisher and Rajashree Deshpande.. I am now up to 53% of my target!! I only have a few weeks left to reach my target so if you can donate please do so soon and right here at my fundraising page.

Remember: I will be sending you a pair of earrings or barbecue rub for donations over $20 (covering costs myself) and for over $100 I will (temporarily) tattoo your name on my arm and dedicate a mile of the race to ya; I've got 6 miles left to cover! If you want to see what kind of earrings I make please check out previous posts; I can custom-make too so just tell me what you like!

For events, I have one trick left up my sleeve.. a kickball/ barbecue party! Check out my poster!

.. and Hailey has even offered to bring her massage chair to give 5-10 min massages for donations! I'm sure it'll be a lot of work organising it next week but I'm really looking forward to it.

Over and out for now my friends!
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