September Salvation

Motivation comes from the strangest places at times.

I should be motivated by some of the events I've got on the horizon. I've committed to running with Speedy Reidy's team in the Worldwide Festival of Racing on October 9, and I really want to ride the 200k offering (rather than settling for the 110k version) of the Frank Papp Memorial Audax ride on 12 November.

Both of these events are personally meaningful to me, so I'm surprised that I've found my spark to get back into training from something that seems so much more frivolous. A friend posted on Facebook that she was going to exercise every day this month and completely on a whim I commented that I would too.

And then it was done: I committed myself to September Salvation.

This title might seem melodramatic. It's worth declaring that I made up this title for myself, and for that reason, it's not. It's a confession that I need saving.

I weigh five kilograms more than I did when I left Australia to compete in my last Ironman in June last year. Sadly, my current weight is only five kilograms less than my pre-triathlon, couch-potato weight.

Five kilograms isn't that much I guess, but with this perspective, 5kgs is halfway back to frumpy.

So I'm going to train every day this month. What counts as a training session?
  • Cycling for a minimum of an hour. Stationery trainer also counts.
  • Running at least 5kms.
  • Shorter run is OK if followed by specific strength session
  • Walking or water running for recovery sessions. Preferably only one per week.

I'm also going to make an effort to regulate what I eat. What will this mean?
  • No butter
  • Maximum of one alcoholic beverage, on a maximum of five nights per week
  • Eliminate unnecessary calories. As an example, a side salad consists of vegetables - no cheese or dressing.
  • Focus on portion size. Stop eating when I'm full rather than when my plate is empty.

I don't know how this will go. My friend Tyno completed a 30 in 30 challenge earlier this year, and I agreed entirely with the lessons he learned - for him doing 30 sessions "just because" didn't always result in quality sessions. (And as I look at his blog to find this post, I see that he has recently posted a similar confession to mine.)

At this stage, though, I'm willing to take that risk. I'm not training for a time at any of my upcoming events, so I can concentrate on some other things:
  • Running with Speedy Reidy. She lives on the other side of the world now, and we haven't run together for a while.
  • Trying to keep my Facebook friend honest on her goal for the month. No real reason for this, just because.
  • Honouring the life of my friend Frank. Because he believed in my ability to ride 200ks.

Now that I look at it written down like that, maybe my motivations aren't so strange after all.


  1. I like the sound of this, AP. I think it will be very tough at times, but will give you some great satisfaction at then end.

    About the portion sizes, I've learnt from Weight Watchers that I absolutely cannot estimate my portion sizes and that this is a key problem to my weight struggles (the other being my love of wine).

    My recommendation is that you weigh out as much stuff as possible before eating. Don't just rely on feeling full. Know your limits beforehand: it will give you much greater control.

    I don't think I'll be taking on this challenge in September, but I feel I'm on the cusp of making such a commitment soon.

    Good luck and I'm looking forward to our run in October! xx

  2. September challenger4 September 2011 at 22:15

    It is amazing that by putting it in writing how much of a difference it makes. My decision to exercise every day in September was on a whim as well, but I am now really glad I did, and glad that you will hold me accountable!

    4 days down, and so good so far... now just to plan ahead for the week ahead, so I don't drop off the wagon.

    All the best with your challenges ahead for the remainder of the month!