Tub on the Run


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Rose tinted glasses? Rejoining the gym

I have a horrible feeling that I am hurtling towards becoming one of the people I used to get really frustrated with – the New Year’s Resolutionist at the gym.  You know, the people who join shortly after New Year, pack out the gym at all times of the day, and you can forget trying to get to your regular class schedule.

Don’t get me wrong, I am all up for improvement (and I do love a Game of Thrones meme).  I’m not one to judge, I know, but I do remember the frustration at not being able to get into my normal classes in times gone by.  However, I know that I am not going to get the chance to do anything in November or December because of other existing commitments, which means that I am going to be one of those people who joins in January.

I’ve got to thinking about the gym a bit lately.  I know that weight loss is more about what you put in compared with what you do, but there are other benefits that I have come to miss.  I miss structured classes with other people.  Kettlebells at home is all well and good, but I miss an instructor kicking my bum to make sure I finish, the peer pressure, the “turn up and follow” mentality.  I miss the silent competition of spinning.  The satisfaction of hardly being able to walk after a hard spinning or kettlebell class, of getting into a pose easier in yoga.  Some reflection time has really shown me that mentally, I was in a better place when I was going to the gym (okay, I was also going to Slimming World at the same time, but I don’t feel I need to go back yet).  My ability to cope with stress was much better without doubt.

I have a feeling I might be looking at this all with rose-tinted glasses, but I’ve tried to be objective.  I even looked back at my post last year on giving up the gym.  The minimum sign up is 6 months.  If I can’t make it stick in 6 months, then I’ll break away again.

So brace yourselves Gym Goers… this New Year’s Resolutionist has plans!

Are you gym lover or gym hater?


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Life, lately

Matt and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary at the beginning of the month.  I feel like say this all the time, but where has that year gone!  We went to London to see a band, along with my Mum and sister.  It was a nice weekend away, good music (in my opinion!), okay food (it was a Marks and Spencer picnic in the hotel), good wine (M&S zinfandel FTW) and great company.  We didn’t get too much time to do a lot on the Saturday, and after nearly 8 hours of travelling, I was very much ready not to burn out before the gig.

On the Sunday, despite the Tube closures on seemingly every line we wanted to use, we did make it to Westminster for Matt to get a few photos with his new camera (not realising that the batteries needed a charge).  It was then a short Tube hop and walk over to the Tower, as we all wanted to see the poppies.  Matt and I had got a couple of photos from when we were in the City in August, but to see the nearly complete field was breathtaking and so sad all in one hit.

I didn’t realise that the poppies were being sold until quite recently, and I am pleased to hear that they all sold really quickly.

In other news, I am the heaviest I have ever been (grump!).  I do feel a bit down about that, but I have more pressing concerns right now which are work related.  I’ve also caught the office lurgy which has moved to my chest and stopped any kind of exercise.  Having considered my weight, my 2 year-old’s-lung-capacity and the distinct lack of training, I have made the decision to pull out of the Weston Christmas Cracker 10k, which I am gutted about.  I don’t want the place to go to waste, so I am offering it out (I don’t want any money for it – if you know anyone who might be interested, please let me know!).  It’s a really great race, but my timing sucks.

Thankfully, I have a couple of things dotted around between now and Christmas to really look forward to, and of course, there is Christmas itself, which is all helping to keep my spirits up.

Did you see the poppies?


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Ultimate Coffee Date – November 2014

I was introduced to the Ultimate Coffee Date by Laura over at Laura: Fat 2 Fit a few months back.

Post shopping cuppa

Ultimate Coffee Date is hosted by Jill Conyers, Grab your kicks, and Fitness Mom Wine Country, and takes place on the first Saturday of each month.  Some of the blogs that I have added into my reader have come courtesy of link ups, and think they’re a great way to get introduced to new people.  The point of the Ultimate Coffee Date is to take 5 minutes once a month for a bit of a catch up.

So…

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that Matt and I are celebrating our first wedding anniversary this weekend.

Coming out of church

I can’t believe that this year has gone by so quickly, but if I am completely honest, I have thoroughly enjoyed not wedding planning this year!  2013 felt like it was all wedding planning and it was all I could talk about, which I have no doubt got incredibly boring for my nearest and dearest.  Having said that I still need to find homes for some of the left over bits and bobs (and get my dress dry cleaned…), and get a momento box thing together.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am loving autumn.  Autumn is probably my favourite season.

SAMSUNG CSC

Autumn means wellies, and I have awesome wellies!  I like the colour changes as the world prepares itself for winter, from red and orange leaves to the high streets preparing for their Christmas lights.  Candles in the evening as entirely acceptable again, and mugs of steaming hot tea become my drink of choice.  Also, it means that I feel more comfortable running again – as the nights draw in, I much prefer the anonymity of running under cover of darkness.

If we were having coffee, you would know how excited I am for this weekend.  One of my favourite bands is playing at Wembley, and it is going to be amazing!  We came across Blackstone Cherry when they supported Nickelback on one of their tours (I can’t remember which it was), and have seen them once since, when they came to Cardiff.

Because I have a cool family, it is a bit of a family outing – me, Matt, my mum and sister.  Dad has to stay at home unfortunately.  We don’t get a huge amount of time to spend in London, which is a shame, but I am hoping to be able to see the progress made with the poppies at the Tower of London.

What’s new with you?  Do you have a favourite season?


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Scoring a B+ this week

Now, I’m not quite “all over it”, but I’ve done pretty well this week I think.  Headline news is that I am 4lbs down on my weigh in last week, which is really great.  It’s not been the strictest of weeks, but it’s a dramatic improvement on the weeks that have gone before.  Anyway, we have a #TransformationTuesday in the making…

Transformation Tuesday in the making

Ignore the lovely face – it was very bright out on our walk today, and I should have remembered my sunglasses.  I am hoping that in a month or so I will be able to post another picture with some noticeable progress.  Every journey starts somewhere right?!

How has this week been different?

Food wise, we haven’t really planned too much.  Luckily there have still been a couple of frozen meals from a batch cooking marathon I did a couple of weeks ago.  A quick nip to Tesco to get some fresh veggies and milk, and we were away!  One day I was incredibly late home, so we ordered takeaway, but other than that, we’ve been sensible.  Breakfast has consisted of porridge, lunch has been soup or leftovers, and teas have been mostly freezer food.  We’re actually beginning to use up some of the stuff in the cupboard that we’ve had for ages.

Favourite food thing this week: Stur squash.  Beki, who blogs over at Miss Wheezy, wrote a post about Stur this week.  They are doing free samples, so I thought I would give it a go, especially as I saw they have a peach iced tea flavour.  My sample arrived really quickly, and it tastes exactly how I expected it to!  Win!

Ooh.. I lied a bit.  I have two favourite things – the second is Christmas pudding Nakd bars!  They’re… well… Christmas puddingy without the calories of a Christmas pud!

Next up – exercise!  I have a plan, and that plan has worked quite nicely this week.  Of the 7 days, I completed 5, which I think is a good start.  For the runs, I haven’t actually run as I don’t want to kill my knees off, so I’ve walked the distances.  Matt joined me for kettlebells at the start of the week, and also came out on my long “run” today.  I don’t think he’ll be joining me for kettlebells again – he doesn’t quite get that feeling of joy that I get from lobbing weights around.  It’s probably not helped by a muscle twinge that he has been having in his shoulder either.

I’ve struggled a bit with yoga too.  My wrist strength is noticeably poorer than it has been in the past, which makes any poses like downward dog, or even cat/cows intense.  I can’t hold the poses for too long.  I always thought that this was a problem only I really experienced (again, I don’t think the weight helps), but it seems I am not alone, and Ekhart Yoga have even posted a video to help build that strength.

I’m hoping that over the coming weeks and months, completing this video regularly will help me to progress more comfortably in my yoga.

Favourite exercise this week:  My walk with Matt today.  It was nice to get out in the fresh air, and he got to play with his camera too.  Win all round!

Sunday walks

Next week, I’m hoping to have eaten a little more into the cupboards and freezer, and then next weekend batch cook a few more meals and also make some soups.  Exercise wise, I plan to start some gentle (read: super slow) running.

How has your week been?

 

 


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Autumn plans

Autumn Background

I have plans!  This is a 100% improvement on my bimble through the summer months, but this time, I have something to aim for – the Weston Christmas Cracker 10k on 7th December 2014.

In honour of being ready to beat my PB that I set last year, I have made my beeline for Hal Higdon’s website, specifically the Novice 10k plan.  It’s an 8 week plan designed to get you from barely runner to 10k competent.  I’ve combined this with a yoga plan and the reintroduction of kettlebells.  Behold… the plan….

The plan!

I really like the three runs per week, the variety, and the rest.  I’m not good with plans that have more than three days of running, I get bored.  However, I’ve synced this to my diary and moved some workouts around as I need to, but I’ve decided that this is an entirely achievable plan.

Yesterday being Week 1 Day 1, I moved the coffee table out of the way in the living room, plugged my ipod into the stereo, donned my Too Fat to Run vest top and started lobbing a kettlebell about.  Matt had said that he wanted to try kettlebells with me, a decision that I think he might be quietly regretting now.  I’m not sure how long we worked out for, but it was long enough for the Med veg to roast.  Anyway, Russian twists and static lunges didn’t kill me off so…

Monday done

Gold star and a smiley face for me!  Shortly followed by tea.

Today’s activity is a two and a half mile run.  I haven’t run for ages, so it’ll be a walk interspersed with some slightly quicker lumbering.  I don’t want to take it too quickly as I have had some knee twinges lately, which I suspect are due to my weight, so I don’t want to risk injury.

Do you work out or run with a plan?

 


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The joy of Timehop

I’ve only recently got on the Timehop wagon, and I’ve found it quite amusing to see what random drivel I have posted to various social media accounts over the last few years.  Actually, some of it is quite terrifying.  I had to smile when this one popped up this morning:

Timehop Commando Challenge

About 6 months before, in roughly March/April 2010, I thought that 10k wasn’t too far.  And I thought that an obstacle course sounded fun.  Combining these, I also thought it would be a great idea to rope my manager and work friend into doing it.  After all, it was for charity.  So we entered the Commando Challenge.  This was a long, long time before I’d heard of Spartan races or Tough Mudders.  The Commando Challenge is made up of approximately 3 miles of the Royal Marine’s commando course, sandwiched between two 1.5 mile runs.

In typical Tub style, I was overenthusiastic to start off with, went hell for leather on a training plan, got bored, wandered back to the sofa and waited for the event to come around, hoping all the while that someone other than me would pull out.  My manager had the sense to do so, but with a steep entry fee and a stubborn work friend, I didn’t get the chance to drop out, and she roped her sister into making our team up to 3 (you needed a minimum number of 3 in a team, and you couldn’t enter on an individual basis).

I was up bright and early, and was welcomed by a cool and bright autumn morning.  Matt and I drove and parked up at Bicton Arena where everything started and finished.  My team mates joined us and we went to pay our sponsorship money in and retrieve our number.  After a brief warm up, we were off.

I couldn’t run very far, and found the hilly terrain hard going.  I know the area well, so I’m not sure why I was surprised at how hard it was.

Learning point: wear proper running shoes (you’ll regret it later if you don’t!).

Then came the obstacle course.  I’d always wondered why marines are so short.  Most that I had ever come across were shorter than me (at 5 ft 8).  As I crawled through the smartie tubes (corrugated metal tubes that are covered with soil), it became very clear why – I struggled getting through them, so anyone taller definitely would have had issues.

Learning point: wear knee pads.

Next up was “Peter’s Pool”.  I have no idea why the pool is named after Peter, or who Peter is, but I could only deduce that maybe he was overly fond of ice baths.  This was a wade through waist deep cold water.  While it was refreshing for a moment, coming out of the other side was just plain mean – frozen legs trying to run up a loose gravel hill.  Peters Pool was followed by the Sheep Dip.  Two marines standing in the water, one of either side of a low concrete bridge – one to push you under, one to pull you through.

Sheep Dip Collage

Learning point: wear trousers that will stay up, or have a strategically placed marine in the event of a photo opportunity. 

Slipping uphill

I remember slipping and sliding up the bog, a couple more tunnels and a mud slide before being released back on to the road for the final 3k slog back to base and over the finish line.  The last kilometre was painful for my knees and even worse in my hips and I did think at one point that I was going to have to call for someone to tow me over the line!

Learning Point: Smile at photographers – don’t bare your teeth…

Home straight

I was so glad to get to the end.  I was last back from our team, coming in at just over 2 and a half hours.  I could almost die when I remember the time it took!  This is why I rarely refer to it as my first 10k, as I don’t think that 2 and a half hours counts as a run.

Finished

I was so relieved to get home!  It took me four long showers to get all the mud and foliage out.  I then proceeded to sleep for the rest of the afternoon!  It was at this point that I decided “never again”.  I no longer get swept up in tales of Tough Mudders or Spartan challenges when I see glowing reviews on blogs or Twitter.  I’m glad I completed it, but I have no desire to do it ever again.

Obstacle races – yay or nay?


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Feeling brighter and breaking tasks down

In my last post, I talked about chunking it all up – one step at a time to achieve the bigger picture.  I’ve had to think about what my goals are again, and it really boils down to achieving a 100lbs weight loss .  That will put me at 162lbs (11 and a half stone in old money).  I don’t actually know if 162lbs is right for me, but I will decided nearer that point where I want to go with it.

One of the things I have started to add in to my little arsenal of inspiration and motivation is the Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Editions.  There is also One Year to Save My Life.  Trashy TV?  Kind of!  Realistically something I could do in those timescales?  Probably not so much.  I couldn’t give up work for 3 months for a start and I doubt that Chris Powell would come and live with me to kick my ass for free.  But, motivational?  Absolutely!  Of the things I am learning is that cardio isn’t king, but that intervals, cardio and weights seem to be a much more effective strategy.

So in honour of chunking exercise down, there is a plan.  The plan isn’t something to be terrified or overwhelmed by, which is how I have viewed it in the past, but something to help me.  There is a plan which spans a long time, and I know that constantly looking at that will result in wide rabbit-in-headlights eyes.  It’s time to crack out the Believe I Am planner that I bought last year.  I’ve got a master spreadsheet (because I am just so cool) which looks at the wider picture, which I have put reward intervals on.

However, we all know that abs aren’t made in the gym (though truth be told, I’m not too worried about seeing my abs).  Meal planning means getting back to the batch cooking and asking myself the “will this help or hinder me?” question on a regular basis.  I will also be reacquainting myself with the “am I hungry or bored” question, and looking for keep-outta-the-kitchen tactics that I can stick with.  No more beating myself up, but also, no more binges.  I must learn my triggers and new, more effective ways of coping.

Does this mean I am going 100% paleo?  Not necessarily.  I think the paleo framework fits me really well, and I have honestly never felt so good as when I completed my Whole 30, but for me it is not a sustainable way of eating in the longer term (I like to eat out every now and then!).  A little of what you like doesn’t do you harm (well… unless you like dangerous things or are allergic!).

Measuring success isn’t just about the scales, but going in 10lb blocks will be helpful to me.  Losing 10lb chunks instead of the overall 100lbs, I think we can all agree, is much less daunting.  Rewards?  Why not!  No idea about what the rewards will be, but we’ll get to that point later.

I feel so much more positive after getting my previous thoughts down and feel genuinely ready to start tackling this all again.

 

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