Saturday, July 6

#30DaySquatChallenge - Day 14

I bet you all thought I had forgotten about the #30SquatChallenge I signed myself up for last month. 

Well guess what I haven't!

In fact halfway through I am still going strong. In fact I am blown away at how much stronger my legs feel already, but more on that in a bit.

Before you start thinking I must be some super star totally addicted to exercise fitness junkie and hence why I am doing a squat challenge I assure you I am not. What I am is a stay at home mum who is trying to increase her strength and fitness.

Hopefully by role modelling this healthy lifestyle focus the girls will grow up with it naturally inbuilt into their everyday lives. I don't want them to be obsessive compulsive about it or anything like that but I do want them to value the importance of a healthy body and mind, and actively take steps to ensure they are looking after themselves.

So with that in mind I must admit that the last few days of the challenge have been exactly that. A challenge. More so than what the first couple proved to be as well. Which I find a little strange. Usually getting started is the trickiest part but in this case maintaining it past day 12 has proven the hardest part.

Even though it is a 30 day challenge, with gradual increases every couple of days, there are also a few rest days thrown in there for good measure as well. As anyone who regularly trains for anything will tell you resting is a very important part of any training session. Your body needs a chance to recuperate and heal as the muscles stretch and expand while getting stronger.

Not long before I received my invitation to the challenge I had heard that squats were a recommended way for runners to increase their leg strength which in turn makes them run faster. Which certainly appeals to me. Who wouldn't want to run faster? However I know these things don't happen over night.

When it comes to injury I like to err on the side of caution, which is pretty much my excuse for not pushing my body too hard.  Now before you turn away thinking that is a cop out, hear what I have to say.

I am old. Not overly so but old enough. (Thirty five if you must know) Prior to eighteen months ago when I decided to try this running lark, it was a very very long time since I last did anything remotely active. And by very very long time I mean about twenty years give or take. As such I am cautious about doing too much too soon, hurting myself and losing interest.

This has meant that I have decided to hold off running for the first few days of the #30DaySquatChallenge. A notion that was confirmed for me when I awoke to discover 100 squats done in the space of five to ten minutes left my legs in a much more tender state than what running 12km did.

However, when the second rest day came along and my legs felt somewhat less tender, I saw it as a great time to take my new found muscles out for fun in the form of a quick lap around the block. Actually I ran to my mother's house and around a park for the while. After about 20 minutes I decided that I could go run no further and walked the rest of the 10 minute trip.

Turns out I covered a whole 5km which meant I did a couple of nearly PB times in there. I still can't believe. I mean it felt like a great run, I really could feel the extra spring in my step thanks to the new muscles in my legs. Needless to say I powered through the next few days of the challenge knowing how much difference I was achieving.

Sadly though the day before the next rest day which was about day 11 I think. I just didn't squat. I tired a couple of times, maybe managed 30, I am not sure now. I am trying to not to think about it too much else I will start an internal beating session that I just don't need.

So what if I missed one day? The world will not end. My body needed a two day rest. Plus I have did some pretty awesome bike riding on the rest day. A total of about 5km with a 7 year old and 3 year old being towed in a trailer. Not to mention the extra hard gear I had the bike in. Pedal power to the max I tell you!

I had been hoping to just add my missed 120 into the rest day but I was too buggered. I then thought that I could add it into the next day but 240 in one day was a bit much, even if done is lots of super short sets.

The current daily total is around the 150 mark as we are at the halfway mark of the 300 total. Yesterday they were spread out all through the day in the hope I could have made up for missed day. I didn't. I am thinking I will either just let go of it completely or save it for the next rest day. I have spent more time on the bike, this time longer distances but without towing the 7 year old. She managed to use her own pedal power.

I decided not to take my measurements again until the end. I was going to add them in this post but then decided the risk of demotivating myself was too high if there was no change. I do however have this photo to share
Thanks to Essentially Jess for kindly capturing and sharing this beauty
It is one of the first photos in a long time I haven't cringed when looking at it
The every lovely Jess grabbed this photo of me trying to feed a kite hawk (don't laugh it has worked before) and when I looked at it I found myself thinking how much smaller I looked than last time I saw myself in a photo. A very lovely feeling I must say.

So for now I will be squatting on. How about you?


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