My First Half Marathon

On Sunday I ran my very first half marathon.  It was long overdue!  I had promised myself that sometime in 2017 I would make it happen and thankfully it happened just before the year ended otherwise it was going to be one goal that never materialised.  I trained for my half marathon for nearly 12 weeks then stopped at some point because I genuinely lost interest.  The thought of running a whole 21K scared me and I told myself I wasn’t built for it and that was perfectly okay.

My First 21K Marathon Fitness Bae.jpg

After running my first half marathon

However, because of the current December Challenge that team Fitness In The Park is hosting I was 5 days behind on the challenge and chose to up the amp by running a long distance; it’s a no brainer that I chose 21K to climb up the leader board.

The night before my run I dreamt that I had woken up at the time I had set my alarm and it was broad daylight.  I was annoyed and cancelled my run because I’m not the best runner when the sun is out.  I woke up to my alarm ringing and laughed out loud because this run was clearly taking over my entire life!

Soon as I got up I emptied my bladder nearly 5 times because I didn’t want to have to stop along the way for a pee break.  I also think it was the nerves kicking in because I knew that this run was going to be taxing on my entire body!

One thing happened to me during my run that I think every first half marathon runner should be wary of.  I FELT SO HUNGRY around 11K mark but I had to keep going, where was I going to get food from at 4:30am in the middle of nowhere?

Everyone has been asking me how I managed to run for 2 hours and 26 minutes none stop. I have no magic formula for this, the honest truth was that I told myself that I can slow down but I won’t stop and that ladies and gentleman is how I broke the mental barrier and smashed my first half marathon!  Oh, not forgetting the after run selfie and the NRC achievements!

Half Marathon #RunWithFitnessBae.jpg

A few highlights of my run:

  • I started my run at 3:40am
  • I ran 10K #JustDoItSunday with the Nike Run Club community.
  • I ran non stop for 2 hours 26 minutes and 18 whole seconds!
  • I wasn’t listening to any music, it was just me and my thoughts that went from yay I’m so happy to be doing this to you know what, it’s really not too late to turn back and go home.
  • I used a sock to hold my phone.  Believe it or not but it’s way better than those phone arm bands that they sell.  You can make your own, YouTube is your friend!
  • My body felt like it didn’t belong to me after the run.  My legs felt like jelly and I was convinced I was going to collapse and die right there and then.  However, nothing felt as good as knowing that waking up at such an ungodly hour was worth it after all because…did I mention, I ran my first half marathon!
  • My toes were and still are painful but the rest of my body has completely healed, I even ran 10K yesterday and plan on running two more 10K runs this week.
  • Next stop Victoria Falls Marathon in 2018!!!

I’m currently suffering from fruit cravings and I’ve been having them in abundance.  Oh, and I’m hungry all the time!

How was your first half marathon?  What are some of your highlights and regrets?

For some first time half marathon runners here are a few tips: 21K Training Tips

Fitness Bae®

 

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Banting While Pregnant

I’m pregnant and I’ve been living the Banting or LCHF (low carbohydrate high fat) lifestyle for almost 3 years.  I’ve been able to keep my weight under check during the entire time. Before then I was a runner who struggled with weight gain, the more I ran the more I gained – it just did not make sense until I discovered Banting. I lost a total of 9.5kgs in 3 months and I’ve not looked back since then!

Banting while pregnant.jpg

Nyasha

My first 2 years as a Banter were full of stops and starts due to uncertainty over the safety of Banting during a pregnancy and discovering that I couldn’t live the LCHF life while breastfeeding. Banting was still too new. This time around, yes, number two is on the way, and I have doubts that Banting is safe, if not the best, during pregnancy because:

  • It provides your growing baby with all the healthy fat need for brain building.
  • It keeps ailments like gestational diabetes at bay
  • It also means you will not have a tough time losing bump fat after you give birth.

I just have to be careful about increasing my carbohydrate intake once the baby arrives as the consumption of carbs is a key building block of milk production.

Back to Banting for those that are NOT pregnant!

While exercise is not necessary to achieve weight-loss when Banting, it is necessary for general fitness and health which is why I do it.  My preferred workouts are brisk walking in proper form and running distances between 2K and 5K. My sweet spot lies within these distances because 2K is short enough to make me run again the next day and 5K is long enough to keep me asking: “Can I shave another 7 seconds off my last run this week?” I’ve recently got more involved in dance based workouts because of the rains and I love them!

My favourite snack for movie night is:

  1. Chicken Skin Crisps, provided they survive till the movie starts! You can season them with whatever you like, my favourite is salted dipped in a Banting-friendly sweet chili sauce!
  2. Salami roll-ups are what I make if I need to rock up somewhere with a plate of eats. I make these from strips of salami, “buttered” with cream cheese and half a pimiento-stuffed olive for each roll up. They look classy and are lovely with a glass of chilled Chardonnay.
  3. When I have more time on my hands, it’s low carb pizza made with a cauliflower, yep, cauliflower, base. If people can’t tell the difference between a Banting pizza and a flour-based pizza, then you’ve made it right!

Eating out can be tricky when you’re living a low-carb life because you don’t know whether your pan-fried fish has really been cooked with butter or regular cooking oil. More and more restaurants are offering Banting-Friendly options on their menus. Delicious Fine Food Emporium at Borrowdale Village has a really comprehensive Banting Menu that I can’t get enough of! I only wish I didn’t live so far away. If it’s a hearty breakfast I’m after, then it’s without a doubt, “The Banter Breakfast” from Brento’s in Greendale. It’s made up of bacon or salmon (for an extra charge), mushroom, tomato and haloumi cheese (all grilled), avocado and 2 eggs of your choice. Eish, I’m actually getting hungry as I write this!! Cappuccinos with full fat milk and no sugar are welcome any day!

The Banter Breakfast from Brentos.jpg

Banter Breakfast from Brentos

I plan what I’m going to eat before I go out.  You can ask for rolls or bread sticks to be removed from your table so that you’re not tempted to dig in! Safe meal choices include grilled meats, steamed veggies and salads. Ask for a blob of butter to add to your veggies and a bit of lemon juice and olive oil instead of dressing for your salad. That way you can still track your carbs and fat intake.

One real problems is drinks and desserts! To low-carbers, alcohol is a toxin, consume it at your own risk. But if you must, go for white wines and champagne that have a lower carbohydrate content than red wines and cocktails. Spirits served with soft drinks are a no-no and beer is literally liquidized carbs! If you don’t eat out very often you can indulge in dessert once in a while but always remind yourself that sugar is as addictive as many hardcore drugs.

Banting Menu from Delicious Restaurant.jpg

What do I love about Banting? BACON – the streaky kind!  The results of banting which are usually visible within weeks of starting out are the second thing I love about banting.

A big thank you to Nyasha for the well written and informative post.  Congratulations on your pregnancy; many new discoveries await.

You can follow her Banting journey on Facebook and stay up to date with what’s hip and happening in the Banting world.

Are you a banter, how has been your experience so far?

Fitness Bae®

 

December Challenge

HELLO DECEMBER💃💃💃

The December Challenge looks like this:

Lite : Run 80K
Intermediate: Run 120K
Advanced: 160K

Make sure to check in on the distance you would have covered every Monday so that we know its real.

I advise you to run at your own pace but the end goal for December is to complete any of the distances above, pick your poison and have fun. We will still be doing various workouts which I will drop a day before each workout.

December 2017 Challenge Fitness Bae.jpg

Monday Run

Have fun and come run with us!

P.S. Don’t forget to use the hash tag #RunWithFitnessBae so that I can track your runs.

Fitness Bae®

How To Plank

Standard Plank, rocking plank, knee plank, side plank, forearm plank and reverse plank.  There are more planks from where that list came from but I don’t want to exhaust you so early in the morning.  This month I have been paying extra attention to my arms because I’ve just about had enough of having to mask the flab through wearing clothes that cover them up.  I need to show them off on New Year’s eve and I’m really doing the work!

Below are my personal favourite planks.

  1. Forearm Plank
Forearm Plank

Image from Pinterest

2. Reverse Plank (with leg raises)

reverse plank

Image from Pinterest

3. Plank Row and kick back

plank row and kick back.jpg

Image from Pinterest

One thing I absolutely love about planks is that they firm up my entire body.  Yes, my arms are feeling and looking more toned but the rest of my body is feeling the positive effects of planks as well.

Whatever you do, please make sure you do your planks in proper form and take your time to do them correctly.  There is no rush, the time you set aside for exercising is for you and you alone so rushing through it won’t give you any results.  Keep your exercise focused, intense and deliberate.

My challenge for you today is to try out at least one of the planks I mentioned above and once you find the one you enjoy, add it to your routine.

Don’t forget to smile, smiling burns calories too 🙂

Fitness Bae®

 

 

 

 

Say Goodbye To Flabby Arms!

Flabby arms are one sure enemy of progress when it comes to fitness.  I’ll be the first to admit that I neglected working on them for the first year of my fitness journey because I honestly didn’t pay attention to them.  It was only after taking a few selfies wearing short sleeved dresses and tops that I realised that I still had a lot of work to do on my arms even though I had lost the weight.  I was certainly looking like I borrowed someone else’s arms!

Before Weight Loss and After Weight Loss

As you can see on the image above, there was still some flabby arms to work on.  Society doesn’t make life any easier by the way.  There are a number of nick names given to your flabby arms which include and are not limited to; bye bye – meaning when you are waving at someone the flab on your arms waves as well, mukadzi weparty (woman involved in a political party) – some of the women are on the overweight side and flabby arms is one of their distinctive features and lastly monya(a strong person) – unfortunately the strong in this case is used in a sarcastic manner.  With people using words like that on your not so great features at some point you will decide to do something about it.

I’m all for home fitness and I did a lot of homework on the subject and decided the first thing I would need to try and do was incorporate planks to my fitness programme.  Anything that doesn’t need me to pump out money is a plus for me because I believe my body can work some wonders without weights!  I got in tune with planks and thankfully there are different variations to them and so far I can safely say they have helped sculpt my arms but it’s still work in progress.  Planks have worked some wonders for me and you can check out how to do them in the video below.

Some of the benefits of doing planks include:

  • Planks are an equipment free arm and upper body workout that will tone and strengthen your shoulders, back, chest, biceps and triceps.
  • Better movement and coordination.
  • Say hello to better posture.

That said,it’s of great importance that you do your plank in proper form, you don’t want to experience any injuries.  Make sure you breathe and smile, smiling burns calories too.

For best results add them on to your existing exercise programme.  You won’t get toned arms from simply doing planks a few minutes a day, there aren’t such miracles in the fitness world.

Do you have flabby arms?  What are you doing to fight the flab!  Let’s talk.

Fitness Bae®

 

This Is Why You Are Gaining Weight

Ask anyone trying to lose weight and they will tell you how easily you can gain weight if you stop paying attention to your healthy habits.  It took me an entire year to lose 10kgs but if I’m reckless it takes me just one week to gain 1kg back!  The universe has some mad jokes I tell you.  It has been 3 years on this journey and I now know what makes my body tick or not.  Today I will share habits that easily contribute to my weight gain, I’m sure you will read some of them and notice that they probably have the same effect on you.

1. Poor Sleep

I’m a runner and this form of exercise requires that I get as much rest as I can to perform at my best.  However, on days I don’t sleep properly I don’t have the energy to get up and do one of the few things I love the most.  No energy means no runs means zero progress on that day.  Which translates to me feeling guilty all day long and probably missing a meal which by the way is a bad thing because starving yourself means your body goes into starvation mode which leads to weight gain, my word, the cycle!

2. Clothes

Fashion keeps doing the most.  One time our jeans are all the way up to our boobs next thing they are low cut and at some point they had elastic bands around the waist.  I remember the elastic band phase, I had a pair or two of those.  Now that’s the worst pair you want to invest in if you are trying to lose weight.  The elastic just keeps stretching and you don’t even realise you have gained weight until you wear something else.  Stay away from elastic band jeans, they give you false sense of security!

3. Alcohol

I love me some white wine, on a good weekend I will go through a whole 1litre of white wine and not even feel bad about it.  I run so that I can drink and drink so that I can run; that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!!!  I’m pretty good when it comes to watching what I eat and very consistent when it comes to exercise but I promise you, alcohol will be the death of me!  My six pack comes and goes and I know alcohol is the reason why it won’t let it thrive.  Alcohol contains a lot of calories so unfortunately for me, I drink my calories…Just so you know, it’s not just alcohol that contains calories, soft drinks and fruit juices are also an enemy of progress.

White wine has 83 calories in 100g glass

Coca-Cola has 210 calories in a 500ml bottle

Fruit juice has 54 calories in a 100g glass

My advice is drink water, it has zero calories.  If you can’t at least cut down because those clearly these drinks do more harm than good.

4. Stress

My stress comes from my Body Fat Scale.  I used to have a habit where I would weigh myself everyday.  That didn’t end very well and I since stopped the habit and I don’t encourage it either.  Now I weigh myself once a week, same place and same time.  According to researchers stress is connected to weight gain, because a high level of the stress hormone cortisol has been shown to up appetite, drive cravings for junk food, and make it oh so much easier to accumulate belly fat.

5. Pre-Menstrual Syndrome(PMS)

This is the worst time of the month for me.  I hate PMSng, it drives me up the wall with it’s cravings and mood swings.  I crave the strangest things.  Last month I had doughnuts, a whole litre of coke, chocolate, lots of greasy take out and biscuits.  Gosh!  All that bad food in a week.  I don’t know if it’s just me but my stomach has this small bulge of sort when I’m PMSng.  This is one of the worst times of the month for me because I know the moment I hop onto the scale I will be very disappointed!  I promise you the cravings leave me thinking I’m pregnant…but I know better.

*BONUS POINT*

You are all talk and no action.  I see you!

I believe you know what contributes to your weight gain.  You just have to pay extra attention to yourself.  At the same time weight gain is not entirely a bad thing, especially if it’s going to the right places.

My advice is make small deliberate changes in your life and the weight loss will happen.

Let’s talk, what’s adding the weight on your scale?

Fitness Bae®

ParkRun Harare : October

Come and run with us this weekend at the ONLY park run in Harare.

Place: Greenwood Park

Date: 14 and 28 October 2017

Time 5:30am for 6:am

Join us for a fitness filled morning at the park hosted by Fitness Bae in partnership with Steward Health.

  • 5K Run
  • Body Weight Training
  • Stretching

Bring your towel and bottle of water.  Remember to wear something pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

*Please be early, run starts at 6am sharp!*

Admission is Free!

28 October 2017

28 October 2017

Fitness Bae®