Claire P.

Claire P.

Kenzai Member
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Kenzai Sculpt
Day 2
 
Program progress:
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Feeling hot, hot, hot.  
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I admit, I was a day late in completing my final run. My husband (currently redoing KB1) and I had a gala dinner on Saturday and couldn't avoid a glass or two of wine, so knew that I would not be giving it my best if I did it yesterday. That said, today was an unsettling 82% humidity, which can best be described as uncomfortable for such a long run.

I actually found I did quite well over the first 8km, I was able to focus on keeping my target pace at almost 8mins/km and felt good and steady in my run but then the sun really came out in all its glory... I could actually feel the sweat evaporate off me! I definitely slowed down after that, amazing the effect heat has on the body. For the last couple of kilometres, all I could think about was water (will definitely need a water belt next time I do a long run). I also had a small confrontation with an agitated monitor lizard that I could not get past, sometimes living in the tropics is not for the faint hearted!

I did find it surprising just how far I got in my neighbourhood. You truly can't appreciate how far 13km is until you set some landmarks to it. I am very lucky to live in a less dense area of Singapore though, and around such beautiful reservoirs. It certainly helps the run go faster when you have such serene views!

While Kenzai 10k has taught me that being a long distance runner is certainly not out of my reach if I were to continue training (something I would not have believed even 6 weeks ago), I think that I am more of a short distance person. I have enjoyed going out and working on my pace and technique over 5km far more than the more long distance runs that we have had to complete. I think as long as am I living in this eternal summer, I will not be pursuing marathon training just yet. I have a newfound appreciation for all the people that live here that do it and now understand why I see people jogging around the neighbourhood at 10pm and why there are so many night races in Singapore.

I have gained a new perspective on my cardio fitness and what I am capable of and will definitely continue my evening 5km runs at least a couple of times a week. Who knows... maybe there is a Kenzai Run Half Marathon in my future somewhere.


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In the interest of full disclosure, I feel that I should admit that I have not strictly followed the diet part of this program. I have been eating clean and being mindful of portion control and how often I’m eating, but there were no egg whites for dinner or making sure my vegetable portions were just right.

I Guess I’ve found the restrictiveness of the diet a barrier to enrolling in some programs in the past. This time around I followed all the kenzai rules of no processed food, fruit three times a day, and I’ve watched my protein and carb allowances ever since I finished KB1. I’ve kept an eye on the weekly diet to see what I should be thinking about cutting down or upping week by week, but admittedly haven’t followed it religiously. Healthy eating is not the issue, I enjoy eating clean and being more mindful of what I’m feeding my body, I just wanted to ease myself back in to enjoying exercise, learning how to run and not weigh myself down with the extra stress of weighing grams and cutting down dinner, I don’t know why I find it so stressful. I’ve just found that for now an overall healthier approach to food and exercise is setting me up to make better Long term changes.

Now that I’m getting into a better mind space with exercise, I think I’ll try to follow the diet a little more closely when I enrol in kenzai sculpt next week after we’ve graduated 10k.

That said, I’ve made a wonderful discovery this week that will help up my game in preparing kenzai compliant meals. I enjoy cooking and I’m lucky enough to have the time to do it and I’ve Long struggled with coming up with good ideas for vegetable allowances that aren’t just steamed veg or salad which gives both my Husband and I diet fatigue. These two vegetarian cookbooks have some amazing recipes that can be easily adapted to become compliant vegetable meals. I highly recommend them for anyone else who feels the struggle!


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That’s why my calves feel like this week. I’m finding that my legs are really starting to feel the burn, which I can only assume is a good thing! (When I’m ignoring the pain)

I had shin splints when I was a dancer in my teenage years and since then have found my muscles ache more quickly with some exercises than others. For some reason, I can’t run on a treadmill, I find it extremely painful compared to a normal outdoor run. What it means that for this program is that I have to wait until twilight to go out for my run so that I don’t suffer in the extreme heat of the day. This has caused an issue a couple of times when I’ve not found myself enough time to do my run before my evening plans but the couple of times I have gone out during the sunshine hours, I have suffered for it. I just need to find my balance there.

It’s not all bad though, we do get some lovely sunsets here. Although I’ve been warned in our local area that after dusk I should look out for wild boar and pythons! 😱 I have spotted wild otters a couple of times though, which is always a joy to see.


I’m starting to actually enjoy my runs, but am struggling with the heat at the moment. I’ve been trying to go out around dusk to avoid the heat of the sun, but unfortunately it’s very humid in Singapore at this time of year. I’m hoping the payoff is that with all the excess sweating, I might burn an extra few calories!

I’m finding my running is getting better and I can maintain a decent pace for longer now (I am by no means a natural runner and find i often have to resort to a good brisk walk in the middle of my training sessions). I’ve also found that a good music playlist can make a huge difference in how I keep my pace. I’m currently exploring all the running playlists on Spotify.


Starting anew...

This is my third kenzai program that I have started this year and WILL be the first one that I actually finish.

After finishing KB1 at the end of last year I was full of bravado to continue, however I found myself having a few false starts after dealing with some health issues. It is a sweet irony that I’ve since found most of my health issues can be tempered by none other than exercise and improving fitness.

Before staring Run10k, I bought my first Fitbit about 3 months ago thinking that 10,000 steps was a good base minimum of movement for days that I didn’t do any other exercise (I know many people think the 10,000 steps measure is arbitrary, but in my mind anything that gets me more active is worth it I’m not concerned about the science). It was a great motivator and my Husband has since invested as well, and a group of our friends all race to win the most steps challenge of our weekly ‘workweek hustle’. Naturally, this is part of what attracted me to Run10k, the ability to hone in and learn more about good running style and something to encourage me to push further (not to mention win me a few workweek hustles!).

So far, so good. I had a relatively good first week. I am an Australian expat living in Singapore, so I am still (3 years and counting) learning to exercise effectively in the extreme heat and humidity. Our current ‘wet season’ is seeing the humidity rise well over 80% on many days. I’ve found evenings the best and coolest time to exercise so will try to stick to this routine as much as I can. I definitely felt the effort in my leg muscles last week!


Baby steps.

I’m back on the kenzai band wagon after trying and failing to do kb1 and 2 back to back. With other things going on in my life, I think it was a little ambitious to attempt two 90 day programs back to back, which brings me to baby steps... reboot.

While I find it easy to manage my diet off program (sans for the occasional night out, which are par for the course in expat life in Singapore) I have found that I have struggled keeping up my motivation for exercise. I’m hoping that reboot can give me the kick in the behind I so sorely need to get back at it. So far, so good, even the 15 mins of skipping doesn’t seem too hard!

That said, I’m off on holiday this week, so will be interesting to see how I manage. The exercise I can promise, but I’m more worried about the diet side.


I have found myself starting KB2 with far less trepidation than I had when I took on KB1. I Guess there is something in the knowledge that I got through it once and didn’t die, so I can do it again! (Although I have advance warning from my dear Husband Manj that I can expect the exercise to step up, something evidenced by the 10 min skips in week one!)

After what can only described as an indulgent holiday period, we left for a holiday in Japan the day after KB1 finished, and we certainly didn’t miss out on sampling any of the local delights - balanced by our 20k+ steps per day, it feels good to be back in the safety of the diet plan, Manj is on KB3 so we’re still in it together. I think as the exercise ramps up I may start splitting my cardio and exercises so I don’t completely tire myself out, but will wait and see what KB2 has in store for us all first!

It’s also good to see so many of my KB1 alumni in this group as well! I’m Glad I’m not the only one sticking to my new year goals, let do this thing!


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The journey so far... 

Well, I never thought I’d either a) sign up for kenzai or b) actually finish a program, but here we are!

I feel stronger and more enthusiastic than I was at the start of this 90 days ago, but must admit I’m still slightly disappointed with my results. Possibly because I had severely underestimated all that my body has been through in the past 12 months and stupidly assumed that bouncing back from a complicated pregnancy would be as easy as it was two years ago. I haven’t seen much movement in the scale at all which has disappointed me to no end as I am still no where near my pre pregnancy weight (Nor do I feel it’s reflected in the mirror). That said however, I am most definitely fitter, faster and more fastidious about my health than I was before this ‘journey’ began so it was not for naught. So much so that Manj and I are already talking about how to tackle KB2 in January.

Overall, this has been an uplifting experience that has taught me valuable lessons about both the role of health and wellbeing in my life and how easily I can transform my life and improve myself in the transition. Tonight I raise a glass of champagne to Road ahead!


Well, I never thought I’d either a) sign up for kenzai or b) actually finish a program, but here we are!

I feel stronger and more enthusiastic than I was at the start of this 90 days ago, but must admit I’m still slightly disappointed with my results. Possibly because I had severely underestimated all that my body has been through in the past 12 months and stupidly assumed that bouncing back from a complicated pregnancy would be as easy as it was two years ago. I haven’t seen much movement in the scale at all which has disappointed me to no end as I am still no where near my pre pregnancy weight (Nor do I feel it’s reflected in the mirror). That said however, I am most definitely fitter, faster and more fastidious about my health than I was before this ‘journey’ began so it was not for naught. So much so that Manj and I are already talking about how to tackle KB2 in January.

Overall, this has been an uplifting experience that has taught me valuable lessons about both the role of health and wellbeing in my life and how easily I can transform my life and improve myself in the transition. Tonight I raise a glass of champagne to Road ahead!


As the festive season ramps up, so too have the holiday parties. I must confess to have gone off kenzai a little this week and indulged in a few celebratory champagnes. Last night I also missed my normal dinner time and ended up at a Singapore hawker centre late night for food. I still stuck to my protein/veg allotment, but the sheer amount of salt in the food (hawker food is known for its deliciousness, but hardly its health) left me retaining water, I could see it in my ankles and fingers. But, I have still powered on, albeit with a slight headache, with my workouts.

I have found skipping much easier this week, I’m not finding it so draining and still have a lot of energy in my legs when I’m finished. I’ve also actually enjoyed the cycle workouts, it just somehow feels less tedious, even when going to failure.

One more day team! Let’s finish strong.


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With only 10 days to go, the end of kenzai is looming large not least because Manj and I leave to spend Christmas in Japan the day after we finish. I’ve been doing all our holiday prep and so much about Japanese culture (like all good cultures) revolves around food. I think one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned from this program is that in everyday life kenzai is relatively easy to incorporate. Plan ahead, shop right and being healthy is easy, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have our kenzai and eat it too. I’m also thankful that Japan encourages lots of walking so that we can burn off some of our non compliant meals.

This is also probably the longest I’ve ever consistently stuck to an exercise program, so while I’ve certainly had my frustrations, I’m already thinking about what next. I would hate to get this far and not keep going to achieve my health and weight loss goals (I’m probably only half way). I don’t think I can be trusted to go out on my own, so it’s possible that my New Years resolution will involve an annual membership. It may be another first for me... actually sticking to a resolution!

Side note: 80 days down the line and Locutus still enjoys watching me workout at home.


The more I'm starting to feel disappointed with my results. I know I shouldn't be hard on myself, but this has been my toughest week. I thought by this point in the program that I would have at least lost some of the pregnancy weight I'm still carrying, but nothing is reflected on the scale. I know I'm getting stronger/fitter and I should be thankful for that, but I never imagined that it would be this difficult to lose the extra weight, if eating egg white dinners won't do it, what will! My long suffering husband (sorry sweetie) and other friends of ours that have completed KB1 (I'm looking at you Raj) all had such noticeable weight loss and bod differences during the program that I set my expectations on achieving the same. I also found out I have a small abdomen separation that is not helping my belly bounce back either (and possibly been made worse by some of the ab exercises I've been so enthusiastically doing in this program).

I also missed two days of exercise for the first time last weekend. We had a friend in town from Australia that I had to play tour guide for, so we had to pack all Singapore's hot-spots into two days! Thankfully this country is small!

Still, powering through to the finish line. The skipping is starting to get easier and I'm thankful to see that I get some protein back for dinner next week. I do however have a thanksgiving dinner to attend this evening, will be an interesting minefield of calorific treats, I'll try to stay as compliant as I can.


Trip-ups
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Literally. I find that I tend to trip more doing timed skipping. I don’t know if it’s because I concentrate less because I’m not counting, or because I’m skipping faster because I’m not counting! Either way, I don’t let it deter me and get right back to it. I’m finding that the longer skipping isn’t too difficult, but I still have a mindset around trying to put it off. Definitely need to improve on that front and try to look forward to it.

We also had a big weekend in our house with both Manjit and Locutus birthdays, so a second trip-up. We spent Saturday in Indonesia with some friends (although admittedly segregated down gender lines with the men off for a spot of Golf and ladies attending a day spa) which means that there wasn’t much opportunity to stay kenzai compliant. I tried to eat as healthy as I could, but of course there was a glass of wine or two involved. I tried to make up for my missed workout by doing sundays prescribed longer skipping with Saturday’s workout which made me feel marginally better. We also made amends by enjoying our egg white and vegetable dinner on locutus’ birthday while we cooked him a tantalising birthday steak. What can I say... it’s a Dogs life!


I have really felt the ‘kenzai valley’ for the first time this week. Low energy and motivation has been tough. But equally, it’s probably been my biggest week of temptation. There has been a big rugby 7’s Comp on in Singapore this weekend, of which we’ve been corporate guests for three days. That means free flow wine, beer, food. Admittedly, I’ve had some wine, but have tried to stay as kenzai compliant as I can on the food front, including making (pre-preparing) cauliflower pizza for dinner on Friday so that we could cheat a little without going off program.

Overall I feel good, but still feel like I’m not progressing as much as I would have wanted to by this stage. I have never exercised this much in my adult life and am mildly dismayed by my lack of results. But two things... 1. My dear husband tells me that I’m changing shape and 2. Everyone says that, for better or worse, baby weight is the hardest to shift, so I am going to wait and see what the next six weeks bring.


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To mark the halfway point I have celebrated with new shoes. I’d been getting bad foot cramps while skipping which was obviously caused by ill fitting shoes and what can I say, any excuse for new shoes is good enough for me!So I invested in some cross training shoes which actually has made a huge difference! Skipping is still the toughest part of the workout, but I don’t have to stop to ease cramping anymore. I never thought I’d be so excited about training shoes. As someone that is not an avid runner or sport person, I’d never given much thought to what kind of shoes I needed. I always just went with whatever fit or was on sale. I can now see (and feel) what a big difference the right shoe can make.

Bonus points that 20% of profits are donated to the breast cancer foundation for these particular shoes!


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