& Crosstitchery Completes First Triathlon!

I completed my first triathlon yesterday, and let me tell you, it was an AMAZING experience! I had been training for about 3-4 weeks doing laps in the pool, 2 ocean swims, and several bike / run sessions, but nothing could’ve prepared me for all the different feelings yesterday.

The distances I did were a 300m ocean swim, a 7km bike ride, and a 3km run. I know this doesn’t sound like a lot, but it was the perfect distance for me in hindsight – enough of a challenge to get my heart pumping, but small enough to not make me swear off  doing another one ever again.

It started with a 4:30am wake up as the venue was about an hour’s drive from our house. Mr A was amazing and woke up with me as he said he wanted to be at the finish line to support me – he’s not a morning person so that was a big ask for him haha! We arrived at about 5:30am, and I waited for a couple of my friends to get there so we could all put our bikes into transition together.

Other women had started to arrive by this stage also, and I realised that my bike was not at all suitable – I had a mountain bike with fat, spiky tyres, and others had slim, lightweight bikes with very thin tyres, but it was too late and I figured what the hell!

IMG_0486A group of ladies from our boot camp all participated, some doing the mini and some doing the long version – it was so lovely to have a group of girlfriends doing this with me!

This is us before we started – we’d all transitioned our bikes and were awaiting our briefing for each of our races.

 

 

 

 

4 of my girlfriends did the same distance as me, and because we registered as a group we all started in the same wave. Luckily the ocean was relatively flat in the morning and before we knew it the horn sounded and we were off on the swim.

I knew the swim was going to be the hardest leg for me going in, and by goly it certainly was. There was about 70 people in our wave start so feet and hands were going everywhere. No one intentionally hit anyone else, but it was impossible not to make contact with others. The swim was in a rectangle, so 125m swim out to a right hand turn at the buoy, then 50m across with a right hand turn at the buoy, and then 125m swim into the shore. The last 125m felt like it too SO long, and I was so thankful to have the shore under my feet by the end. I definitely expelled a lot of energy during the swim trying to find my own space to effectively get into my stroke.

I then moved into the bike transition and had one of my girlfriends just behind me. We were able to find our bikes together, and both had trouble with our shoelaces! I’m not sure if I was just overwhelmed or what, but it took me 3 goes on each foot to try and tie my shoelaces; definitely a bit of time wasted with a 3 and a half minute transition, but that’s what a first time is about I think! I had to pop shorts, sunglasses and my helmet on which was all fine, but I could not for the life of my get my bike off the rack! I had to hang it by the seat and it has a very heavy frame – it took a couple of goes but I finally got there.

I hopped onto my bike after the mount line and straight away could feel it in my quads and hamstrings. There was a slight hill during the course, and on this leg of the triathlon I definitely felt the fact I had completely the wrong bike for the conditions. Everyone whizzed straight past me on their road bikes, whilst I was struggling with all the traction generated from my tyres. If I ever do another triathlon, I will definitely be changing bikes. I used HEAPS of energy during this leg thanks to the type of bike I used. I lost quite a few spots on this section and I really put that down to my bike type.

Once the bike leg was finished I moved into the run transition which was really easy – just put my bike on the rack, took my helmet off and then whizzed through to the run entry. This transition only took about a minute so it was relatively easy.

The run was going to be my second hardest leg I thought, but it actually ended up being the easiest. I think the run portion is all mental stamina – you just tell yourself not to stop and to keep running, and if you zone out you can get into a good pace. There were a lot of people walking at this stage – whether they’d gone flat out in the first 2 legs and were tired, or were just taking short breaks I’m not sure, but I picked up quite a few spots on this leg as I just kept a good pace and would go around people when necessary. Keeping a constant pace is far easier than going fast for a few seconds and then walking a few seconds; I mean that’s basically interval training!

The run felt a lot longer than 3km as it was a very hot day yesterday. Mr A was waiting for me at the finish shoot and gave me a big cheer, along with 2 of my other girls who did the shorter  distance and had finished – it was so so awesome and such a big boost mentally to have people at the end cheering you on.

I ran through the final arch, received a medal, and met with my girlfriend who finished about a minute before me. We waited right at the end for our other 2 girlfriends to finish; we weren’t far apart between finishing at all!

Going in, I had no expectation of time or place or anything, I was honestly just focused on actually finishing for my first one! I was thinking it would take me between 1 hour to 1.25 hours to finish, so I was pleasantly surprised when I turned around and saw 53 mins on the clock!

Once we all finished we grabbed lots of water and some fruit to refuel. One of our girlfriends did the long course, so we all stayed and supported her during her bike and run transition, and cheered her on at the finishing shoot.

It was an amazing day and I’m SO glad I did it – it’s something to tick off my list, and who knows, once I get the correct bike I think I’d like to complete some more!

Here’s some snaps from yesterday.

 

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Kayla Itsines // BBG 2.0, Weeks 13-16

I recently completed the first 4 weeks of Kayla Itsines’ BBG 2.0 guide and thought I’d share my thoughts for any of you that have been following along on my BBG journey :)

I started BBG 2.0 straight after finished my second round of BBG 1.0, as I wanted to keep up the momentum and the routine that I’ve set into place over the last 6 months; exercising is a huge release for me, and the structure and routine that BBG offers is perfect for my lifestyle.

Firstly, BBG 2.0 is awesome! There’s a lot more focus on weights rather than cardio, which I really enjoy. A lot of the exercises now have a weight opted, else an increase in weights to ensure you continue to challenge yourself. These kinds of exercises include weighted toe taps, weighted jump lunges, and weighted stationary lunges. Another change is the introduction of pulses exercises, like double pulse jump lunges, and double pulse jump squats and tricep dips. Those double pulses really intensify the exercise! As if jump lunges weren’t evil enough, the additional double pulse just takes it to a totally different level.

I think one of the biggest, difference inclusions in BB 2.0 is the barbell work – the barbell is used for exercises like close leg squats, bench squats and deadlifts. Using the barbell makes me feel like a total badass haha! I feel like I could kick some serious butt! However, I’ve learnt that my form is allll sorts of wrong for the deadlifts – my lower back was continually hurting throughout the exercise and when I posted a video of my workout on Instagram, lots of lovely people commented and mentioned, ‘errr nope, you need to bend your legs / shrug your shoulders back / keep your neck tucked in etc’

THAT is why I love this community! If I kept going the way I was, I’d do some serious damage to my back. Instead thanks to the advice of some BBG sisters, I’ll be looking at videos online to understand what to do, and practicing in a mirror to make sure I’m engaging the right areas.

So far, I love BBG 2.0, possibly more than BBG 1.0 if I’m honest. The addition of the weights gets my heart rate up still whilst doing exercises like burpees and step ups so I don’t feel like I’ve lost anything there.

In my mind, BBG 1.0 = cardio + increasing fitness, and BBG 2.0 = strength training + toning. I think BBG 1.0 is a fantastic way to gradually increase your strength and fitness levels thanks to the focus on plyometric exercises and cardio. I’m really glad I did x2) rounds of BBG 1.0 before I moved on, as weighted burpees really step everything up a notch in BBG 2.0!


I completed Week 16 about 2 weeks and have put a temporary hold on BBG whilst training for my first triathlon. I was trying to incorporate triathlon training into my BBG / boot camp training schedule, but it was just way too much and I was waking up very sore, lethargic and grumpy for over training.

My triathlon training has included ocean swims, pool swims, bike riding and running, and practicing transitioning between these legs like in the actual triathlon to ensure I’m as ready as I can be. The triathlon is this Sunday (how did it come up so fast?!) and I’m looking forward to giving it a red hot crack :) I’m also verrrry nervous, but I just need to remind myself that I am in competition with absolutely no one else; I will be so darn proud if I can just cross the finish line!

Erin1

Kayla Itsines // BBG Round 2, Weeks 1-8

A number of weeks ago I mentioned I would be restarting Kayla Itsines’ BBG 1.0 program, after completing it for the first time just before we left on our trip to Japan. I decided I wouldn’t post as much as I did during my first round, as I wasn’t sure much would change, but I thought I’d do a recap of the first 8 weeks for anyone who is interested – I’ve currently completed 20 weeks of BBG in total.

Let me start by saying, I can no longer imagine NOT doing BBG. I love the routine it provides me, and I really look forward to the workouts each day. During my first round, I began the weeks by completing my workouts in the afternoon, and in the middle of the round I started doing them in the mornings instead, as this meant I wasn’t prone to skipping, and the weather was getting warmer in the afternoons.

Fast forward 20 weeks, and I’m pleased to say 99% of my BBG workouts are done in the morning now! My body clock is so used to the early mornings, it just naturally wakes up at 4:50a and is ready to go – I never thought I would see that day haha! Working out in the mornings for me means I beat the heat (it’s been 31 degrees at 8a before!!), so I’m less prone to skipping a workout due to it being too hot, and it really kicks start my body. A couple of days ago I had a restless night sleep and thought I’d ‘reward’ myself with a lie in and just do my workout in the afternoon – big mistake! I was like a walking zombie the whole day and I solemnly believe it was because I missed my workout that morning.

For anyone who is thinking of redoing BBG 1.0, I would highly recommend it. My experience so far has been great – the exercises are still challenging, they still get my heart pumping and my body sweating (so. much. sweat!!), and I find I’m able to get through a couple of extra reps or rounds each circuit. This round my focus has really been on my form, particularly my abs, as I want to make sure I engage my core throughout all ab exercises to make sure they really get a workout. It’s been awesome so far; I can really feel my abs working and burning, which I didn’t often feel during my first round. I think this down to all areas of my body being a lot stronger 20 weeks later. I’m really glad I’ve repeated BBG 1.0 before moving to 2.0, as I think it’s given me the opportunity to focus on my form, rather than speed, which I think will be crucial for 2.0.

My progress during these 20 weeks has been more than physical. I can’t stress this enough, but BBG is as much (if not more!) about the mental changes that take place. I love exercise, and I love eating well and feeding my body with good stuff to make it go. I have embraced balance and no longer see something that be considered ‘naughty’ as a ‘treat’ – it’s just all in balance. I no longer judge other women, or secretly put them down, or say nice things to their face but think nasty things behind their backs. I’m ashamed to say this was a common occurrence 20 weeks ago. I would say nice things to other women, but secretly judge or be jealous of them – 20 weeks later, I can honestly say everything that I say to others is with positivity only, there’s no more veiled jealousy or judgement. I believe people work dam hard for where they are, and that everyone must start somewhere, so who the hell are we to judge?

I’m looking forward to these last 4 weeks of BBG, as I know it steps up a lot and focuses on individual areas, rather than combined areas. The last week 4 were gruelling for me during the last round, so I’m excited to see just how much I have progressed!

These photos are 4 weeks late, as I haven’t taken any new ones yet, but I can definitely see the physical progress which just further ignites the fire in my belly to live a healthy, balanced lifestyle. No more bingeing out on crap, and then feeling sorry for myself after – balance is key!!

Kayla Itsines // BBG 1.0 Review

IMG_1601The week before last I finished Kayla Itsines BBG 1.0 for the first time! I cannot describe the elation I felt at finishing; I set myself a goal and smashed it!

I thought I’d provide a small review for anyone interested in starting, because I know when I first started looking into BBG, I wanted to read all the review I could to see if buying the guide was worth it. I’m not going to go into reviews of the exercises or anything like that, but more how I feel and what has changed for me over the last 12 weeks, as I think that is most important.

Let me start by saying that BBG is not a get skinny quick regime, or anything like that. It takes hard work, organisation, commitment and dedication – nothing in life that is worth anything is ever easy!

The guide is definitely worth the money; let’s break down the maths. $79.99 AUD BBG 1.0, x3 workouts a week for 12 weeks = 36 workouts in total. That works out to just over $2 a workout, and that’s just for the resistance workouts! Once you add in LISS and HIIT, you really do get your money’s worth.

IMG_0836In the beginning, I thought it was a huge amount to pay for an e-Book, but 12 weeks later I know it’s true value; I have changed my eating habits, I have learned resilience and stamina that I have never thought possible, and most importantly, I have learnt self love.

As women we are constantly barraged by avenues to think the worst of ourselves – all forms of media provide us with this idea of a perfect women, whether it’s looks, or attitude, or values, and it’s easy to be swept up in this when it is impressed on us from a young age.

My journey over the last 12 weeks to self love is mainly through the BBG community via Instagram for me mainly. There is a huge focus on all body types, on all stages of journeys, and most importantly, never comparing yourself to someone else’s body. It’s hard to explain, but the support, encouragement, motivation and inspiration I have drawn from other strong and healthy women is amazing. I’m not sure you quite understand this movement of empowered, courageous women until you start BBG – they know the sweat and pain that you’re experiencing, and they are there to help you, encourage you, and guide you! Nobody knows the feeling of having the burpees increase from 10 to 15 like your BBG sisters!

Before BBG I had an unhealthy relationship with food, and would often binge eat and then feel guilty for days. I have learnt during BBG that life is all about balance; healthy choices 80% of the time, and enjoying myself 20% of the time is my breakdown now. I don’t feel guilty about eating chocolate – I just pick dark chocolate instead which is better than white or milk chocolate. I snack a lot in order to keep hunger at bay, as I found that when I went longer than 2-3 hours without eating, I would make food decisions that were generally unhealthy.

BBG has taught me all of these things, I think because I’m working out so much. I want to fuel my body with good, healthy food to ensure it’s strong enough to keep working out. Now if I go more than 2 days without a workout, I really miss and crave exercise!

The journey of self-growth that I have experienced in the last 12 weeks is why I would definitely recommend the BBG 1.0 guide. It is what you make it, and the self discovery journey is worth it by itself. I’m sorry this review is a little all over the place; I’ve thought about this post for a few days and I can’t succintly write why I love BBG so much – I feel like it’s hard to adequately explain the emotional journey I’ve been on in the last 12 weeks!

I have restarted BBG 1.0 for a second time, and will be commencing another 12 weeks. I may pop posts up from time to time regarding Round 2, but I likely won’t be posting as much as I did for Round 1. Details of my journey can be found by clicking on Kayla Itsines – BBG  on my blog side bar >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

If you have any specific questions about experiences with BBG, I’d love to hear from you!

Erin x

Some progress pictures of my experience with BBG are below – check out my Instagram for more!

Kayla Itsines // BBG Workouts, Home Equipment

If you’re just starting out in BBG, or you’re interesting in starting, working out at home and completing the BBG program at home is a completely viable option – how awesome is that?! Kayla has designed the guides so they are accessible to everyone – you don’t need a gym membership to be able to do the whole program.

A lot of the equipment is available for purchase at affordable pricing at stores like Kmart or Target. I’ve added links to all the equipment available from Kmart, and you can see it is affordable to purchase all the equipment you need. You could even check out Gumtree or eBay for new / used equipment!


Equipment List

Fitness Mat (Required) – You’ll use this for push ups, ab bikers, burpees, mountain climbers, and stretching. A requirement in my mind, as we spend a lot of time on the floor during BBG, and support and padding for our bums / backs is definitely a good thing!

Dumbells (Required) – You’ll use this for weighted lunges, and weight knee ups. The weight of your dumbells will depend on your fitness level and strength – Kayla has recommendations in her guides for weights. If you’re unable to purchase dumbells, fill up bottles of water instead and use them as your dumbells. Convenient for hydration during your workouts too! :)

Kettlebell  / Medicine Ball (Required) – You could use both, or you could just use one – it is up to you and your budget. I personally don’t have a medicine ball, and just use a kettlebell in place of when the guide has medicine ball squats. Again, the weight of either or both pieces of equipment is dependent on your fitness and strength.

Foam Roller (Required) – Optional to some people, but definitely required in my mind. Aids in recovery, and has so many benefits. Also required to recover from #deathbykayla haha! :) You can either purchase this from a store like Kmart, or purchase from Kayla’s website as you receive her Foam Rolling e-Book for free (usually $14.95 AUD). I purchased from Kayla’s website and found the e-Book really helpful, as I was a foam rolling beginner :)

Bench (Required) – You’ll use this for tricep dips, knee ups, and ab work. Use whatever you have at home, or check out fitness stores if you don’t have anything suitable. The most important part is that whatever you use must be stable and strong – no injuries please! I use our outdoor lounge set for my workouts, and it looks like this.

IMG_0954

Skipping Rope (Optional) – This is optional as you can air skip instead, but I personally think it is required, only because I find I don’t ‘air skip’ very well, so I don’t get much of a workout if I don’t have an actual skipping rope.

Step (Optional) – You’ll use this for split squats and raised tricep dips (depending on your bench height). This is optional in my mind, as you could have an item at home that you could use. I found it quite hard to do my training without one though, so I’d recommend purchasing one.

Bosu Ball (Optional) – You’ll use this for bosu burpees and bosu push ups. I don’t have one of these and do a variation workout instead, so this is optional in my mind. I haven’t looked into pricing yet, but I’m going to look around as I think using a bosu would step up the intensity.

As you can see, buying equipment to start doing BBG at home is an affordable option, and best of all, you don’t have to have all this equimpent at once! If you’re just starting out, I would recommed buying first;

  1. Fitness Mat
  2. Dumbells
  3. Kettlebell
  4. Skipping Rope
  5. Foam Roller
  6. Bench (from home)

You can work your way up to the other equipment as your budget allows, but the above 6 items will give you a great start to working out.

Don’t let not having a gym membership get in the way of starting – the hardest part is taking the first step, but it won’t be long until you’ve made positive, healthy changes in your life, and the sweat will all be worth it!

Erin xx