7. Your number came up on the random number generator and you won a place on the UAR Summer 5K course. Had you been thinking about running before you entered? Did you have any concerns/fears about running before you started?
Thanks again for that one! I had tried Couch to 5K but got stuck on a certain point and just never managed beyond that. I did participate in a 5K event in Race for Life and managed to run most of that and that was one of my proudest moments yet. But I never managed to get running to be a part of my routine.
I have wanted to be able to run since I started changing my lifestyle. It is such an accessible sport and I have serious logistic issues with getting to a gym. But most of all the allure for me lies in the image I have of runners, they are everything I am not – long, lean, lithe, naturally sporty. Whereas weight lifting is my natural sport running feels like a real challenge; and I can't resist a challenge.
8. It’s no exaggeration to say you have become a running MACHINE during the Course. I knew you were one seriously determined woman when your wrote in your Running Diary that you went out for your first run at 4.55AM! What are your impressions of running so far?
When I first started all this lifestyle changing I needed to coax myself to go and do every session. Now I've managed to make it a natural part of my day to the point where I feel uncomfortable if I don´t exercise. It was the realisation that it just didn't matter how I felt before hand, that the rewards would always be worth the work that changed my attitude.
Running is pure joy now. Julia (the coach) has created a course that is going at a pace that I can manage and I can feel my progress every time I go out. I marvel at myself every time I run. I can't believe that I'm actually doing it. And not dying. That this body that used to just be a mountain of flab is now strong enough to propel me at a speed that is nothing to be ashamed of. Or that my lungs are strong enough to give my muscles enough oxygen to continue for extended periods of time. I just let my body take over.
My thoughts vary from day to day. Sometimes the run is difficult and I need to make up stories about winning the lottery, sometimes it feels just perfect and I use the time to just turn off my brain and think of nothing whatsoever. Bliss.
The feeling afterwards is what I exercise for. It has become my drug of choice and I am addicted to it. The feeling of achievement, of elation and happiness is just awesome. And to think that this is how I start most my days! No wonder I'm happy all the time!
9. You mentioned on the Forum that you recently finished your Masters degree. You’ve been juggling full time study with full time work, parenthood and “full time lifestyle changing” as you so nicely put it. Are you a natural born multi-tasker or is this another skill you have taught yourself? How do you stay organised and fit in the things you love/need to do without going bonkers?
I haven't quite finished it yet; I'm finished with all the exams and assignments. I've still got to hand in my thesis. I am insanely organised. I make lists for pretty much everything and tick things off. And then just let the things that don't matter slide. I wake up early and I organise things into priorities. I take time on a Sunday to write a menu for the week and cook as much as I can ready for it. I make ready baked porridge and egg muffins for my breakfast and cook lots of chicken breast and make sure that grabbing lunch and snacks is a quick and easy thing to do.
10. What strikes me from reading your posts is your positive attitude and ability to keep things in perspective when a training session don't go quite as planned. You don't dwell on things too long or give up, you learn a lesson and move on. Now how the heck do you manage to do that? Are you generally a positive person or again is this something that you have learned over time?
Many years ago I mentioned to my friend in a conversation that my "strip light of positivity" wasn't as bright today as normally. She looked at me funny and asked me to explain. "Well," I said, "the light that we've got inside us that makes us feel positive and happy, mine isn't shining today.” She explained to me that this was not a common thing; that not everyone had a strip light of positivity inside them. I was flabbergasted!
But I have held on to my shining light and I use it. I probably sound as mad now as I did to my friend all those years ago but I can't help but thinking that perhaps life would be easier for a lot of people if they could have my light installed and turn it on when things get tough. It makes it easier for me to just move on from things that would maybe stop other people.
11. How long have you lived in the UK? If you could create a SuperCountry with the best bits of the UK and Iceland in one place, what things would you take from each country?
I've lived here since 2003. I would have to say that apart from friends and family I do miss the Icelandic attitude that says that things will work out somehow and I really miss the just going out and getting things done. However it could sometimes be mixed in with the British cautiousness. Icelanders sometimes act without thinking of the consequences. And I would keep the British sense of humour.
12. Finally, could you sum up your Healthy Living “Formula” in ten words or less?
Organisation, planning, consistency, moderation and make it fun!
Thank you Svava!