Fra’s Blog

Today I help Fra start his blog.


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Days 7 and 8

Sometimes you have difficulty finding the time to run, and sometimes you just squeeze it in. Last night I went running 11:30pm, doing a lazy 3km in 20 minutes. Had been up early, worked in the garden, seen a fashion show, cafed, nicked sand from the beach, built a pizza oven, and then gone over to Dad’s place and put baby to sleep before watching the Welsh get pipped by the French in the Rugby World Cup semi-Final. Pretty knackered by the end of the day, but still managed to get out the door and run. Felt good by the end of it, and stretched before showering and crashing out. Proud of myself for getting out the door, but a bit staggered by the challenge of trying to live family life and also run daily.

Today, just shattered. Have decided my body isn’t ready for daily running yet. Will modify the challenge to 30 days running, with a rest day once a week, as I’m starting to get ill now and I can’t afford to lose time off work sick from overtraining and a lack of sleep.

So on the seventh day, he rested.

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Day 6

Good day, managed to hit the gym and knock off another workout. Body feeling pretty good. Thought I’d share my gym workout with you, as Chiharu was asking me about it and seemed quite interested in what I’ve put together. It’s a mash-up of physio exercises and my own ideas, which I had checked over by a gym personal trainer for balance.

My Gym Workout

Warm-up – about 10 mins

Skipping, slugging a boxing bag, and burpee stretches, in three sets of one-minute rounds, gets me warmed-up quickly. Always look forward to starting the gym sessions, love hitting the bag. Active stretches get everything working and smooth out the kinks before training hard.

Strength work –

Front squats at 30kg, or 40kg if I’m feeling strong. Good to start with a full-body workout.

Leg presses at 50kg – 70kg, light because it’s one-legged presses, with the board unscrewed to make it wobble and work your core. Takes some serious focus to complete with good form.

Assisted tricep dips – to think that I used to do these without weights to assist me … age and time are the ruin of us all.

Dumbell bench presses, while horizontal on a swiss ball – works the core, and gives better balanced muscle development using dumbells than a barbell.

Recovery Work –

I have a crook back (like half the world it seems) although mine is upper-back and was quite serious. Damn thing has plagued me for years, but it’s finally starting to come right, although I’m still weak as hell in the interior muscle between the shoulder blades. My main reason for training at the gym, and for running, is not vanity, it’s to sort out this weakness so I can get on with life fully at last. Over the years of trying to tackle it and beat it, I’ve come to enjoy exercise, but I wouldn’t say daily running or weekly gym sessions are a ‘way of life’ that comes naturally to me. Prefer books, movies, cooking and

All these exercises are for building strength between the shoulder blades in the lower trapezius, rhobiods major and minor, and to some extent in the infraspinatus and teres minor.

Bent forward one-arm rows with 17.5kg dumbell, 12 x 3 sets. Nice workout.

Lying flat on bench face-down, 1kg weights, lift arms out to sides until horizontal and then lower back to floor in 5 second lifts, 5 second holds, and 5 second lowers x 10 each set for three sets. Mentally demanding.

Lying flat on bench face-down, lift arms straight out to horizontal, thumbs pointing up, arms out from head in slightly V-shape. 5 second lift, 5 second hold, 5 second lower x 10 each for three sets. Killer.

Cardio –

Finish with 15 minutes on running machine. 2mins at 10kph, then interval training in 1min jog, 1min pace and 30s burst speeds, 2 min warm-down. Good quick workout, average speed 13.5kph.

So my run today was 15minutes at 13.5kph, after 45minutes of weight training. Run to sleep now!

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Day 5

Short hill run today, just 25 minutes up to Abraham Heights and back down, with Jubair in Baby Jogger 9000. Downhill with the pram was harder than the uphill.

Body is holding up better than expected, although I did have a short nap before heading out this evening.

Have only run 14km so far this week in total, but it’s a good beginning. Looking forward to going for a long run this weekend. Think I will do a good 10km run to Wakapuaka.

Saw an amazing article about a woman who ran a marathon, then gave birth the same day!

Woman gives birth after running Chicago Marathon

BY DAN ROZEK Staff Reporter/ October 10, 2011 12:12PM

Story ImageMarathon runner Amber Miller of Westchester gave birth to daughter June Audra Miller after completing the Chicago Marathon Sunday. | Dan Rozek~Sun-Times Media

Updated: October 11, 2011 10:54AM

Amber Miller will take running a marathon over labor pains any day — but on Sunday, she mastered both.

Despite being almost 39 weeks pregnant when she hit the starting line of the Chicago Marathon, Miller ran through labor contractions and the unusually warm 77-degree day to finish the race.

She delivered a healthy daughter about 7 1/2 hours later.

“The race was definitely easier than the labor,” Miller said Monday as she cradled her 7-pound, 13-ounce newborn, June Audra Miller.

Miller, 27, a veteran marathon runner, decided to take part after getting the OK from her doctor — and because she and her husband already had signed up for the race before learning of her pregnancy.

She ran regularly through her pregnancy without any problems, but opted to play it safe Sunday by running only half the 26.2-mile course and walking the other half. Her 32-year-old husband, Joe, stayed with her to keep a close eye on her.

“I really don’t take risks. The baby comes first,” said Miller, who has completed eight marathons. “I know what I can handle.”

In fact, Sunday’s race wasn’t even her young daughter’s first marathon — Miller was 17 weeks pregnant in May when she finished the Wisconsin Marathon.

The Westchester resident competed in another marathon when she was about 17 weeks pregnant with her son, Caleb, now 19 months old.

Medical guidelines generally say that if a woman was a runner and healthy before becoming pregnant, continuing during her pregnancy is fine.

“We don’t recommend that women routinely run marathons, but obviously mom is a very experienced runner and in excellent shape,” said Dr. Jeffrey Loughead, a neonatologist at Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield, where Miller delivered her baby.

The level of exercise seldom becomes an issue during pregnancy, some experts said.

“It’s probably the rare woman who is in good enough shape to run a marathon while pregnant,” said Dr. Priya Rajan, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

Some obstetricians, though, say pregnant women simply shouldn’t run marathons because they could push themselves too hard.

“Even if you were to run the race slowly, you’d still be exerting yourself for several hours,” Dr. Douglas Hall said in the book, “Runner’s World Complete Book of Women’s Running.”

Miller said she didn’t feel any ill effects from her 6-hour and 25-minute effort during the marathon, except sore feet and a few blisters. She set an easy pace, running two miles, then walking the next two — finishing three hours off her personal best for a marathon.

“I don’t feel anything from the marathon, but I do feel what’d you expect after giving birth,” she said during a Monday press conference.

She said some other racers did double takes when they noticed the visibly pregnant runner in the white T-shirt jogging along, but many offered encouraging comments.

Medical workers and race volunteers along the course seemed startled to see her.

“They were all watching me, I did notice that,” said Miller.

While she experienced some contractions during the race, she’s not sure she actually was in labor because she typically feels some contractions when she runs while pregnant.

“I don’t know if I actually was in labor during the race,” said Miller.

She figures her labor really started about 3 p.m. just after she finished the race, but she still felt well enough to grab a sandwich for lunch before driving with her husband to the hospital to deliver their baby.

“I thought I should probably get some food first,” she said.

Their daughter was born about 10:30 p.m. Sunday. She was in “excellent” health on Monday, Loughead said.

Miller, for her part, said she feels good and is looking forward to going home Tuesday with her new daughter.

“I don’t feel tired,” she said, smiling as she held the sleeping baby.

But the race and delivery really took a toll on her 32-year-old husband. He didn’t train hard, expecting his wife to miss the race because their daughter would be born first.

“I was completely exhausted,” Joe Miller said. “I was placing my bet on June being here already.”

Contributing: Associated Press

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Day 4

Long day at work made the running challenge a challenge to fit in today. Went to work at 7am, and didn’t take a breather until about 5pm. Left work at 5:30pm, after a very complicated day out and about.

Home, look after Jubair and catch up with Chiharu, then bath and bed for little one, quick dinner and off to meet Aunt Gilda and her partner Deb to see Joe Bennett blather on, live on stage, about himself and everything else. Kind of like watching a cynical old Baptist preacher who has opinions on everything, but only really believes in his dog. Piki Mai projection bombing on the Cathedral was waaaay better.

Where do I fit in the run after a 10 hour day at work? Did a super short loop in the 10minutes between rushed dinner and leaving to pick up aunties. Glad to have pushed myself out the door, despite having already bathed, just eaten dinner and had a beer, and having only 15minutes before I had to be somewhere.

Running is becoming more fun, something to look forward to each day. Today’s run reminded me of how difficult it was when I first started running, when just 12 minutes running was a strain, when I used to get bored after 5 minutes on the road. Now I just feel like I’m warming up after 15 minutes.

Had trouble sleeping last night. Starting to feel the knock on effects of the running physically, in both good and bad ways. More alert, better posture, less back and lumbar pain. Hard to settle to sleep, slight anxiety, some lethargy midday, gnawing hunger at times. I’m sure all this will pass and my system will adapt to the running. More than anything, proud of myself for sticking with it. They say if you can do anything new, or give up anything you do, for three days, then you can do it forever. We’ll have to wait and see about forever, but I can definitely keep going at this for a while at least.

Right, to bed! Goodnight to anyone reading this. Please follow or post a comment if you are, just to let me know someone is interested in what I’m writing. Thanks!



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Day 3

The rain abated and so did the pain, and I rallied and sallied forth with my new trusty steed, Baby Jogger 9000, and little Jubair, and set out to jog upon the world at the close of the day. 

Had a great time running with baby. New pram is so quick I couldn’t keep up with it, it’s as quick as a bike, hence the new name I’ve coined for it – Baby Jogger 9000. It’s an original American model jogging pram that I picked up off Trademe last weekend, and it’s brilliant!

Did a medium-paced run over Bishopdale, about 50 minutes loop, felt great by the end of it. Have discovered that a good run can cure a case of sore legs from running too much, as legs were tight and sore at the start of the jog, but by the end I was flying along and now I have almost no pain at all.

Jean-Jubair loved it too!

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Day 2

Sore. Sore legs, quads, shins, calves, gluets, even sore bloody toes. I’m more unfit than I realised. That photo I stuck up was from three years ago, when I was still single and had time to run and gym regularly. I’ve attached a more recent, more truthful photos below, from our August visit to Shirai no taki (White Boar Waterfall) in the mountains of Matsuyama, Ehime, Japan.

Yes, I know my hair looks rather ridiculous, matched only by my Thai fishermen’s pants. That’s what happens to your sense of fashion when a) you’re on holiday, b) you’re married, and c) you’re married to a hairdresser who likes testing new colours on your crown.

Back to running. Today I ran for five minutes. Yep, just five damn minutes. I went to the gym, for the first time in an eon, at 7:30am and warmed up with punching the boxing bag and skipping and huffing and puffing in three minute rounds. Then I jumped on the eliptical jogger and spent 5 minutes trying to get the damn thing moving faster than a slow walk. Got going on a cardio workout, but every minute it would slow down to 4kph pace and beep at me to share my pulse with it. Strong impulse to share by boot with the machine. Instead  just kept pushing Speed Up until it ran at 10kph, until the next minute, then repeated every 60 seconds. After 5 minutes got fed up, planned to reset it, and couldn’t be bothered with the hassle. 5minutes still counts as a run for today (but only just!) and as it was with a 60 minute gym session, I’m glad I moved on and didn’t run myself late for work.

Not so glad about the effects of just two days exercise on my flabby middle-aged old body, but stoked to be getting back into it. Had the ravenous hunger of the active this afternoon, and enjoyed going to work with a clear head, feeling the pump. Will sleep well tonight too.

Rain is bucketing down now – I think tomorrow will have to be aqua-jogging day. Bit earlier in the plan than I had expected, but it still counts as a run even if it’s in the water, doesn’t it?


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