Tub on the Run


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Janathon anyone?

An email landed in my inbox this morning to say that Janathon is 5 years old in 2015.  Janathon being the annual event where you exercise and blog every day.  In January.  Janathon.

I did reasonably well in Janathon last year until the final push, and I actually look back on my new year of 2014 rather fondly, despite the truly atrocious weather that we had.  I got to grips with my yoga, and running was going reasonably well too.

This has got me thinking… Shall I sign up again?  I appear to have better Janathon success over Juneathons (the summer equivalent), and it would tie in nicely with my intended gym return.  Not only would the exercise help, but I haven’t been blogging too much lately.  It isn’t for a lack of things going on either (and I promise I will get to blogging about them soon).  Janathon might be the injection I need into writing AND exercising again.  There is really only one truly difficult bit, and that is keeping momentum.  I also struggle to keep up with my blog reading during this time.  Things are easier now that you can tweet or Facebook about your activities though.  Janathon is still a thought, but quite possible.

One thing I am not signing up for though is Jantastic.  I think it’s a really good idea, especially if you’re running properly (i.e. regularly) now, and I like the idea of a team, but I felt bad letting my team down when I petered out.

Are you a Janathoner or a Jantastic (or both)?


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Ultimate Coffee Date – December

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.

I’ve been a bit slack on the blogging front this month, so I think a catch up is overdue!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that if I had to move out of the country, Belgium is still my top place to move to.  It is such a beautiful country and the people are very friendly.  Mum and I went over for the Christmas markets last weekend.  I will do a full blog post on our trip shortly.  Surprisingly, I didn’t stuff myself full of Belgian chocolate, waffles or crepes, but I did manage to knock one of my #30before30 items off the list.

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am struggling with my work/life balance.  That might have been a bit obvious because of a lack of blog posts, but I am probably struggling the most that I have done in a while.  We’re going through our first major project at work since I took my new role on last year, and I won’t lie, I’m feeling an immense amount of pressure.  Looking back over the last year, I think I have been particularly poor at achieving balance and maintaining my physical and mental health.  I can see that I need to focus on this more.

(Source)

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that me, Matt and my sister went ghost hunting this month.  I am the resident sceptic.  Every Thursday is “Ghosts on Really” (the TV channel) and is a regular fixture of our week.  Matt has been into supernatural type things for a very long time, and I’m open minded about it.  We headed off to Fulford House, met Francis Fulford, and then went off ghost hunting, organised by a small company called Haunted Happenings.  It was an interesting evening, and I won’t say that I am a converted believer, but there are some things that I can’t work out a logical explanation for.

On the thought of scary happenings, if we were having coffee, I would tell you that I had a rather disturbing call from a researcher at Sport England.  The caller themselves weren’t scary, and most of their questions weren’t, but there was a segment that made me think hard.  It started off quite innocuously – age, gender, height, profession, education.  All things I am comfortable with.  What is my weight?  Ha! No.  I declined to answer that one (somehow tell you on the internet is not as bad as tell a complete stranger on the phone!). Next up: how many times in the last week have you walked briskly for more than 10 minutes?  I thought hard.  I was sad and slightly concerned to say “not once”.  In the previous 7 days, I hadn’t walked continuously for 10 minutes at all, let alone briskly.  How bad is that!  There was a question about whether I had cycled.  No.  I don’t really like cycling.  How many portions of fruit had I eaten in the last day?  None.  I like to think though that I redeemed myself on the next question – how many portions of veggies had I eaten in the last day?  I’d obviously had something that was veg heavy and I could answer 7.  I think it was part due to a salad at lunch.

So, because of work commitments, it hasn’t been my most interesting of months.

How about you?  What’s new with you?


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Christmas Tag!

I first saw this on Milk Bubble Tea and thought it looked like a bit of fun, so here you have it – Tub’s Christmas Tag.

1. What is your favourite Christmas Movie/s?

This isn’t getting me off to the best start, as I have to admit, I’m not the greatest person for Christmas movies (I am THAT person who hates Elf.  Actual hate.).  However, my little stone heart is always warmed by Miracle on 34th Street (the newer one).

2. Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?

This depends in part on where we spend Christmas.  Most of the time, we spend Christmas at my parents’ (Matt’s live 60 miles away), so we always open them on Christmas morning.  We have a set routine and specific seating – I sit on the floor near the TV, my sister is on gift finding duty by the tree, Matt sits on the sofa next to her and Mum and Dad share a sofa.  I love this.

3. Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?

Not really, as I really do love all of our Christmases.  One of my favourite ones was probably carrying our dog for part of the Christmas walk as she was getting really tired (well, that and I think she figured we were all soft touches and may have milked it a bit!).  Another is probably watching her go mad at the Scalectrix.  I am sad that we won’t have a Beany to join in with our Christmas this year.  Mum and Dad have got kittens though, so they should help take the edge off it.

4. Favourite festive food?

Christmas pudding and clotted cream!  I have a sweet tooth through and through, and while I enjoy the roast, it’s all about the pud for me.

5. Favourite Christmas gift ?

Oooh… tough question!  Probably a purple bear that my parents gave me when I was quite little.  He is originally named Purpley.

6. Favourite Christmas scent?

The smell of woodburners and cinnamon.

7. Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?

This coming Christmas Eve is probably one of the first ones where I haven’t done a traditional thing.  During my childhood, we used to go to the Christingle service at the church that Matt and I married in last year.  I loved that.  Then, as I got older, I used to go round to one of my best friend’s houses and we’d watch films, chat away, drink and eat cheese puff or Doritos.  We progressed on to the pub as we got older.  Sadly (for me) she emigrated last year, and that put a stop to a long tradition.  Time to make a new one!

8.  What tops your tree?

I *think* is it a star.  We didn’t have a topper for about 3 years because we couldn’t find one that we liked, but I think we might have bought one for last year.  We try to buy a nice bauble for each Christmas that we have been together, though we’re in negative nice baubles at the moment as the cats smashed two last year.

9.  As a kid what was the one (crazy, wild, extravagant) gift you always asked for but never received?

I always wanted a Mr Frosty, but never got one.  I can’t actually remember why I wanted one now, but they seemed amazing at the time (who wouldn’t want to make their own ice lollies in the middle of winter…).

10.  What’s the best part about Christmas for you?

It is, without doubt, spending time with my family.  My sister comes home and Dad has time off from work (being self-employed, he doesn’t get much in the way of holidays).  We all have a good amount of time out from work, and it’s just nice to relax.  On Boxing Day we usually go to see Matt’s family – his mum cooks, and it is always delicious!

What would your answers be?


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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.

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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!

Thanks @misswheezy1 for the introduction to Stur! The peach tea is gorgeous!

A photo posted by Stephanie (@tubontherun) on

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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