Tub on the Run


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So, about Weston Christmas Cracker…

I have been considering not running the Weston Christmas Cracker 10k.  My inner critic reasoned that I wouldn’t be able to run it as only fit people can run it, and besides, what with working my old job and my new job, I haven’t had the mental capacity to add running into the mix (running takes a huge amount of mental effort for me).  All very true.  I haven’t been out, and I failed to follow my Hal Higdon 10k plan.  I’ve managed to get to 4 miles.  Additionally, the inner critic reminded me that I am heavier than I probably should be for my joints, and running is high impact of course.

Then, with some blue sky thinking, I remind myself that regardless of the time I do, it will be a personal best.  It is the only time I’ll be able to do it without failing (unless I fail to finish, but then there will always be another day).  Yeah, I am heavier than recommended, but I have been through my entire “running career”, and the few extra pounds (ok, extra stone), is still one stone less than when I started Couch to 5k in January.  Yes, there is a reasonable chance that I could come last, but someone does have to come last.  If that person is me, then it is me.  I am pretty sure that they don’t shoot the last person back.  Plus, I paid to enter (as is the custom with these kinds of things), and what a waste of money if I don’t do it.  Additionally, I have been severely mince pie deprived so far this year, and this is one of the only acceptable ways that I can have a mince pie (I’m sure it will taste better than all other mince pies by the time I get to the finish line!).  Of course, it’s also “nothing ventured, nothing gained”.

Having done battled with my inner voices (though I do promise I am not entirely mad), I have convinced myself to do it.  There are aspects that I am not looking forward to.  Specifically, I am not looking forward to my mother-in-law cheering on father-in-law (who will make it home sub-45 mins) and then hanging around waiting for me to come back and have a lot of faux praise.  All I want to see at the end is a mince pie the face of my husband, who will have really understood what an accomplishment it will have been for me.

Mince pies for Fetcham Park

Mince pies for Fetcham Park (Photo credit: ayca13)

I’m trying to work out what is best to take with me.  I have my usual running kit, but what should I take in addition?  I am thinking some food, warm clothes, clean socks, knickers and a bra, deodorant, hairbrush.  All tips welcome!

In other news, I weighed in today, and maintained over the two weeks.  Hurrah!  That is quite good.  Friday involved a delicious three course Thai meal for my Mum’s work’s Christmas Party.  I also drank quite a lot (for me).  Perhaps the yoga yesterday helped, or the 2 mile run today.  Who knows.


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New stone zone

Yes, I achieved a new stone zone.  Unfortunately it was of the wrong kind.  Yep, I’ve gone UP into the next stone bracket.

Am I really too worried?  No.  6.5lbs on last week and 1.5lbs on this week is pretty spectacular as a couple of gains, but it hasn’t exactly been a normal couple of weeks, has it?  As our honeymoon ended, I began to crave clean, non-fatty, non-sugary foods.

Craving clean food

I did quite well on the weekend.  I even cracked out the Le Creuset casserole pot to do a pulled pork with veggies (4 syns for each serving, and so filling).  I was quite pleased.  Then I went back to work, and my resolve quickly did a u-turn and headed out the door.  My colleague is leaving this week, so it’s been a complete cake-fest in the office.  I started off quite well, and then ended up nose diving into the bag of cake, barely emerging for breath.  The worst thing is that it is completely mindless eating.  I’m not hungry and I don’t need the sugar.  A Viennese Whirl (Mr Kipling’s variety) is 7 syns a go, and I polished off three in as many minutes.  Then I had various other cakes in addition.  Not an overwhelming success back into the Slimming World way of life I think it is safe to say.

My downfall at the moment is planning (or not as the case may be) and sticking to the plan.  I didn’t know that there were going to be cakes (as she leaves on Wednesday, I knew we’d have cake on Wednesday, but not Monday and Tuesday too).  I should have known, as she has a sweeter tooth than me.  I know that tomorrow, there will be more cakes, and so I must take fruit as an alternative.  I am also going to keep a food diary to hold myself accountable.

Running wise, I must get out and build my miles up, as the Weston Christmas Cracker is in five weeks.  I’m going to take it even slower than usual, given that I currently weigh quite a bit more (nearly 10lbs more) than I did last time I went out.  I don’t want to stress myself out, and on my long runs, I’m more concerned with being able to cover the distance than the speed in which I cover it.

It is back to business as usual now, and while I am a bit peeved to have put on so much weight in such a short space of time, I can’t waste energy on dwelling, but need to use it to move forward and plan and avoid the distractions.


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Getting back into it

As we drove home from work, I uttered the usual words… “I don’t want to go on my run tonight”.  The truth is, I rarely want to go on my runs when I’m about an hour or so away from lacing up and going out.  I am fine in the lead up to the run, but it is that pesky one hour before.  I have twigged that I tend to do this, so I had primed M to make sure he kicked my bum out the door.

By the time we actually got home, I wasn’t feeling too bad about it.  I’d mentally mapped out where my capri pants, t-shirt, sports bra, socks and Garmin were.  I’d also given some thought to where my Slimming World stuff was (it’s been a while since I needed it!).  When I got in, I changed, cleaned the cat litter out, packed my bag for Slimming World (card, book, water, money), and said good bye to Matt.

I had decided last week that my 2 mile run would always be on a Tuesday, and it would be my old stomping ground of a beach circuit.

Hal Higdon - 10k Novice plan

Hal Higdon – 10k Novice plan

I may tweak that run to include some beach running once I’ve got my groove properly back on.

I walked my warm up, breaking into a run as soon as my Garmin locked on to a satellite.  I had my music on, and quickly realised that my pace was quite a bit quicker than a lot of the songs I had on my playlist.  That was quite gratifying.  I lip synced my way through the first mile, trying hard to slow my pace down to the beat.  It helped me concentrate on something other than my increasingly burning lungs and leg muscles.  Just before the end of the first mile, I broke to a walk, and promised myself that I would only walk for that song.

I did exactly that.  My second mile was slower, but I ran it to the end, which I was really pleased about.  I know it’s October and all, but I was surprised how dark it is getting in the evenings (I don’t think you notice it so much when you’re indoors), and I am grateful for the renewed peacefulness along the beach.  Don’t get me wrong, I know how important tourists are for our local economy, but boy am I glad when the summer is over and normality can reign supreme once again.

I picked up my Slimming World bag, and headed off to my group, where the verdict after 4 weeks’ absence was a 4lb gain.  I am pleased with that.  I have come away with a food diary to complete, confident that I am going to have a good 6 days on plan (1 day off for my hen party on Saturday).

After I came home and had eaten tea, I uploaded my run onto Garmin Connect, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that I actually ran my run today at my fastest average pace so far.  I’m not breaking records, but I’ve hit a 12:52 average pace, compared with the next quickest at 14:45.

I’ve now to got to map out my next run.  I’ve decided that I’ll stick to the roads for the 2 miler, then parkrun (or trails if I can’t get to parkrun) for the 3 milers (which will start being the longest runs, and then become the middle runs), and keep on the roads for the longer runs, as I will probably be doing these on a week night.  I think that’s a good plan.


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Weigh in and on to Week 5

I am beginning to notice a bit of a trend with my weigh ins – I have a really good week (like last week), and then I have a less good week, like today.  I put 1lb on this week.  To be honest, with all the upheaval and the (seemingly temporary) reappearance of that black dog, I haven’t really been too focused on my food.  1lb on isn’t going to “break the bank”, and I’m confident that within a couple of weeks, I’ll be down to my new stone zone (well, it’s not technically brand new, but it’ll be new on this side of summer).

In other news, I disappear off out on my run after work this evening, and “explored” another new route.  It isn’t really new, to be honest, as I used to ride the horse around there (she is stabled there still), but I’ve never run it before.  I am pleased with myself actually, because it isn’t the flattest route in the world:

Exe View Lane

See!  Look how steep that is!  Now, don’t get me wrong, I was hardly Mo Farah in terms of speed.  In fact, I may even have been able to walk faster, but importantly, I kept a semblance of running going.  That is now Week 5, Run 1 completed and ticked off my list.  Now, I think I may have to juggle the diary a little bit this week, as I would have planned to parkrun on Saturday morning, but that isn’t possible this week.  Instead, I think I may run on Sunday morning in Cyprus.  Who knows.

On a slight tangent, I was sat in one of our director’s offices this afternoon, and I was looking around his office, I spied a quote on one of his whiteboards that really struck a chord with me, and I shall leave you on that thought:

Don’t be surprised at the results you didn’t get for the work you didn’t do


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Good run and Slimmer of the Week

I was much more successful test driving the Garmin last night than I was on Saturday’s slightly disastrous (in terms of technology anyway) parkrun outing.  As I was getting ready for work, I made sure to nip into the living room to plug the Garmin in.  Result!  By the time I came home, it had roughly 10 hours’ worth of charge, so there was no way it wasn’t going to work.  I’d like to say that the ipod/podcast/user issue had been remembered and sorted (I hadn’t downloaded Week 4 of the Couch to 5k podcast at parkrun), but I completely forgot.  Instead of procrastinating further, I decided to just try my hand at Week 5 Run 1.  I reasoned that I probably ran for at least 5 minutes non-stop (just incredibly slowly) on Saturday, so 5 minutes running, 3 minutes walking, repeated three times probably wouldn’t kill me entirely.  Week 5 separates out into three different runs, culminating in the dreaded 20 minutes non-stop running session.  First time round, I managed it without too much difficulty.  It’ll be interesting to see how I get on this time round.  The 20 minute run will be my last run before jetting off on holiday next week.  I did download Week 4 when I got back home from Slimming World, so I’ll be finishing the next two runs on Week 4.

The run went really well.  While I don’t think I could have gone for much longer, I was really pleased that I wasn’t nearly dead at the end of the run.  I enjoyed it as I’d also gone on a brand new route which incorporated road and trail.  The trail was hard as I found I had to concentrate hard to make sure that I wasn’t likely to break my ankle on a tree root.  I feel buoyed and confident that I won’t have a problem completing Week 4.

Week 5 Run 1 03.09.13

As for the Yurbuds, I was really impressed with them.  I didn’t think that they’d actually stay put, given that they are earphones rather than headphones, but they didn’t budge.  I am chuffed with them – they’re really comfortable, I forgot I was wearing them except when I’d accidentally catch the cord, and even then they didn’t come out.  The only initial thing I’ve found is that they let quite a lot of wind noise in.  To be fair, I don’t know if that’s just because I had the volume level really low (I was running on a single track road and trails, so I wanted to be able to hear well).  The sound quality is good though, and I’m sure the wind noise will be less of an issue when I have the volume up more normally.

Après run, I remembered to pack a clean t-shirt and some body spray (I feel like I am particularly stinky after exercise at the moment – I am sure I nearly killed both myself and M off in the car on the way home from Killerton at the weekend).  The food diary challenge went well, and I took mine in for scrutinising.  I think one thing I really noticed is that I am particularly poor at getting my Health Extra A (which is mostly calcium based foods, for those non-Slimming Worlders).  In the past 7 days, I have only succeeded in eating my “A” choice twice.  I think I need to revisit the book and see what I can have, other than cheese or milk (or which varieties of cheese and milk I can have).

Food Diary Front

Food Diary Back

So, the food diary went well, and this showed on the scales with a 4.5lb loss and made me Slimmer of the Week (woo!).  Not only has it been good for my weight loss efforts, but it’s also been a good reminder from a mental perspective.  I have actually enjoyed the week, being nearly 100% on the wagon (only two days that detract from that are Saturday and Sunday, where I had too many syns, but not by excessive amounts).  I’ve eaten plenty of food, food that has been good for me.  Honestly, if every week was like this, then I’d have lost all the weight ages ago!  The strange thing is that I don’t feel especially motivated.  I feel like this is “normal”, it isn’t a battle, I’m not prowling round the house grumbling that I can’t find any biscuits, crisps, sweet things, etc.  I also don’t feel like I have been chained to the kitchen, which is how I sometimes feel, and I think makes me a bit despondent.  I’m sure the feeling will wear off, and I’ll be ninja like in my attack on unsuspecting food, but I’m enjoying the feeling right now.  What have I done differently?

  1. I have tried new foods.  I have a couple more to try too.  The variety has been nice.
  2. I have put some suitable foods on – quick easy meals for when we’re pushed for time.  I’ve also cracked out the slow cooker again (well, it is nearly autumn!).
  3. I’ve used food as a treat.  Shock… horror!!  My sister sent me this very funny cartoon on Facebook, and I was nearly in tears reading it.  Page 2, and the Bleurgh is so true!  However, if I want to reward my parkrun efforts with a homemade brownie, why shouldn’t I?  Or if I want a fry up (which is a grill up anyway) after a run, why shouldn’t I?  I am reward oriented, but I am also geared more towards immediate gratification, and sometimes, promising myself a DIY pedicure at the weekend for my good efforts just doesn’t cut it.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that every single time I do something, I’ll reward with food (I know I’m not a dog!), but it’s good not to limit the options.  Food is not the enemy, my lack of self-restraint/control is.

All in all, I’m pleased with both the run and the weight loss.


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To continue with the gym or not… that is today’s question

I, for one, am looking forward to a return to normality.  These last two weeks have been quite busy with one thing and another, and I am looking forward to being able to establish a better routine. 

At my Slimming World group this week, I weighed in and miraculously recorded a “no change”.  Ok, the scales may not have shown a change, but I felt blobby and bloated.  I deserved a large gain, and I feel a bit guilty for somehow “cheating” the system.  Our consultant then said that she was going to run a food diary challenge, and that if we would like to complete a food diary to share around with the group, that might be a good way to see what success looks like and get some ideas for different foods.  I immediately looked to H and said the challenge was on!  Wednesday, I managed not to have any syns and yesterday wasn’t much better, with a token Hob Nob just to make sure I registered something.  I have tried couscous pancakes though, and I’m quite impressed by them (they sound wrong, but they’re like little Scotch pancakes).  You’re meant to have between 5 and 15 syns a day, and not having them isn’t ideal.  Must try harder!

Today isn’t looking too bad.  I’m out for tea tonight, and having looked at the menu, there are a couple of salads that I think could fit the bill.  The alternative is pizza, and I’m not feeling pizza right now.

parkrun logo

Tomorrow I am parkrunning.  I have been told I am.  My new Garmin hasn’t seen the light of day yet, so it will make its debut tomorrow.  I realised I haven’t actually been running for a long time (maybe two months), and I need to make an assessment of where I currently am in my running fitness levels.  I have a couple of exciting things coming up in terms of running, and I need to make sure that I can pick up at least some of Couch to 5k soon.  I’m going to pick a run from Week 4 and run it tomorrow.  If I feel ok, then I will plan to progress my next run to Week 5 and assess again. 

I am currently debating whether to cancel my gym membership.  I admit that I haven’t exactly been a regular gym bunny of late, and I don’t really see that changing much.  I’ve fallen completely out of love with the gym itself – I’d rather run outside, do weights or mat work at home.  For classes, I haven’t been spinning in ages and I can’t motivate myself to get back into it.  Honestly?  I don’t care much for the new spin studio.  Our old one used to have windows and a view (admittedly, of a car park, but it was enough to act as a distraction).  The new one is a disused squash court – no windows, no natural ventilation and wet walls from the condensation.  Is that me making an excuse?  Yes it is.  But I don’t feel inspired to go there at the moment.  Plus, it’s a real sweat box in the summer.  Zumba?  Well, I haven’t been for months and months.  The only class I can get to is on a Monday, and it works out more economically viable to pay for the classes individually if I’m only going once a week.  I need to do at least 7 classes a month to make the membership worthwhile.  Some time ago, Mum and I were having a chat about things and she said that I’m very much an “all or nothing” kind of person – I’m either going to the gym all the time, or not at all.  My food is either 100% on plan, or dire.  She’s right (as my mum usually is), and I don’t think that having a running programme plus a huge amount of classes to attend is going to be right – I’ve done it before and I just end up being a little sad that I’m never home.  Then I get bored and despondent and stop all together. Now is the time for some moderation.

I’ve rattled on about the cons of the gym, but what are the pros?  It’s one place that I get to see a couple of friends.  We work hard in the class, but it’s nice to catch up before and natter after.  I should make the effort to see them more outside of the gym though.  It does also mean that I can go to the dreadmill if I really need to, and there is air conditioning.  There is also variety.  If I get bored of, let’s say, Zumba Tone, I can change to Kettlebells with no additional costs.  I could use the pool (for context, the last time I graced the pool was probably when I was about 13 years old).  There is the “what if” factor.  What if I really want to go spinning?  What if I get injured and the only way I can exercise is to swim?  Hmm… I am sure they’d let me rejoin, and I can pay as I go.

Anyway, that’s enough gym talk.  I’m off to mentally prepare myself for parkrun!


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Woman of the Year Nominations

Last week, I had a text from my Slimming World consultant, saying that I had been nominated for Woman of the Year.  What is Woman of the Year?  It is about the people who have provided the most inspiration to the group, voted by the members of the group.  I was voted last year, when I had only (relatively recently) joined my current group.  I was unprepared for it last year, and to be fair, I hadn’t really lost that much weight (given I dithered a lot with my weight loss last year).

I was touched to be nominated again this year, and I felt more positive about the whole experience.  I was also a bit more prepared.  The consultant likes you to bring in things to highlight your weight loss.  Frustratingly, despite being nearly 3 stone lighter, there isn’t too much change in terms of dress size (which partly leads me to believe that I may have crept into a size 24, but squeezed myself into a size 22).  Anyway, what is obvious to me, is that you can see my eyes better, I’m not as pudgy faced.  This is the collage that I took with me:

Woman of the Year

I enjoyed the evening, as it is always nice to hear recaps of other peoples’ stories that can get glossed over week on week.  I find my group to be a really friendly, welcoming and inspiring place to be, and there have been some amazing losses (my friend H has lost over 5 stone, and G has lost 4.5 stone).  H was nominated and won, which was really great – she’s a real inspiration to anyone who doesn’t think they can do it.

I weighed in last night and lost 1.5lbs.  I am a little bit out of sync with it, and I thought I’d put weight on.  I really need to have a look in my booklet to see what I actually weigh.

I had planned to get out for a run this week, but it’s a really busy week again (Monday was shopping, Tuesday was Slimming World, tonight I had my eyebrows done and started packing for the weekend, tomorrow I’m in late for work, and Friday we’re off to Silverstone).  Yes, I could get up early, but I am trying to get into a good bedtime routine before I start messing around with my wake up time.  I am definitely benefitting from attempting a proper routine.  Ultimately, I know that I really do have to make the time to go for a run, and I need to remember that it is just half an hour to 40 minutes.  Next week is looking a lot clearer, so I will definitely be able to get out for a few runs.

Organisation wise, I’m doing well.  I made tonight’s tea last night (in part because I forgot I’d defrosted some chicken and we hadn’t planned on chicken last night).  Meals are planned for the rest of the week, and at the moment, I’m not fighting the constant urge to stray and seek high fat/sugar foods (though I have gone off chocolate a bit).  I feel much more rested and comfortable with where I am at the moment (certainly in comparison to the last few weeks).


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What a way to celebrate my 100th post…

I have debated whether to post this later on today or not, and I’ve decided to post now (surely my 100th post should be about nice things and fluffy bunnies and unicorns.  This is not one of those posts). 

Weigh in will go completely as I expect it to.  By that, I mean that I will have gained weight.  I can feel it without the scales telling me.  I sit here, getting increasingly frustrated at myself, feeling like a failure.  Hmm… failure’s probably not quite the right word.  Fraud is probably closer.  Here I am, on my weight loss and running blog, not really doing either.  What’s worse is that even I am beginning to notice that there is a yoyo tone to the blog, which is very much a reflection of how I feel, and I don’t like it. 

Why am I scratching my head?  Mainly because I seem to be embroiled in a battle between my good and bad weeks.  I have a great week, like last week.  I feel motivated, really focused, on plan, in control, and I just feel like I am winning at this weight loss thing.  Skip forwards a week, and my meals are completely out of whack, high calorie, high fat, high sugar snacks and meals.  My motivation has skipped off to a happy place elsewhere, and I am left here feeling empty and tired. 

Yet, ironically, I am far from empty.  I have overindulged, binged, feasted and stuffed myself.  I have stonking headaches (probably all sugar rush related), I am tired and sluggish and miserable.  Despite my best efforts to fill the void with food, it hasn’t worked.  Something else is missing, but I don’t know what.  I am bored of trying to work out what “it” is. I cannot put a finger on what happened.  On what went wrong.  Anything I come up with just feels like an excuse.

There is much moping to be done, a few frustrated tears to be shed, but something needs to change.  On reflection, I need to emulate some of the good habits I had formed when I was on my 10 week loss streak at the beginning of the year.  Between the throbs of my latest headache, I remember that some of the good habits that I’d held included:

  • Posting on my blog frequently.  I think I am currently averaging one to two posts a week.  During “the streak”, I was posting more like 4 times a week.  I think it helped to maintain my focus.
  • Food diaries.  These are always a bit hit and miss, but I was completing a diary more regularly then than I am now.  I find food diaries to be a bit of a chore sometimes, so I am thinking that perhaps the odd food diary on the blog isn’t too bad an idea – a bit of a thermometer reading of how I’m doing.
  • Running.  I was running, and I was following Couch to 5k.  I had a structure.  There were no real quibbles about what I was going to do or when I was going to go out, or even which route to run.  I was told that I had to go out (by the podcast), so out I went.  I missed the structure after C25K ended, and things all started going a bit, well, unstructured.  Tubs need a structure to work within.  Back to C25K I go (but I will keep parkrun in there).
  • Workouts.  I went to Zumba Tone.  I went spinning.  I enjoyed them both.  I am not doing either currently.  It’s time to stop wasting my gym membership and get my bum back to classes.  Three runs a week, plus one or two classes should keep my nose out of the biscuit tin.
  • Shopping.  We were so much better at shopping, making sure that we went on a certain day.  That day used to be Sunday.  We’re both so tired now, that weekends are for slobbing around.  The occasional slob-end is fine.  But this is every single weekend, and we’re in a rut.  Also, I dread to think of the amount we’ve spent on food lately – takeaways are not meant to be a lifestyle choice.

I am going to find the first couple of weeks frustrating.  I know that.  I know that this is going to be when I am more vulnerable to sliding off the wagon in a gelatinous blob, then there will be a period where it feels like second nature, and then there will be a period where it won’t take much for me to jump from the wagon voluntarily, just for “something different to do”.

 I have a few things coming up over the next few months – a weekend marshalling, my dress fitting, going to Cyprus, then two wedding celebrations one after the other, my hen weekend and a couple of weeks later, my wedding.  All are potential derailments, and things I wouldn’t have needed to consider during “the streak”.  They will be challenges, and I need to plan for them.  They’ll disrupt my exercise plans and my food, but they cannot throw me off kilter.


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A happy panda day!

I am a happy panda today.  I have a couple of reasons to be pleased.

I lost 4lbs at my weigh in last night.  I am pleased with that – that’s nearly all of my last two weeks’ worth of gains gone, and I’m coming back down into my next stone zone.  That is definitely a good thing.  I am feeling positive and happy within myself too, and I’m definitely having less mood swings than I was when I was eating anything and everything.  I didn’t stay to group, but I plan to next week.  Sometimes it just takes too long to go through everyone.

I also received my Nakd cereal bars (all 104 of them!).  I can’t recommend them highly enough – the bars were shipped out quickly, arrived by courier, and I got a couple of freebies thrown in (which I have eaten).  In that parcel, I had a couple of new flavours – caffe mocha (delicious) and gingerbread (not yet broken into that box).  I also had the Berry Delight, which was more tangy than I was expecting (this is a good thing for me – I’m all about tang).

I wrote an email to my Foodie Penpal in German.  This is quite the achievement for me, as I haven’t spoken much German since I left Post-16, when I studied German as an A Level.  It’s reminded me that I quite enjoy flexing the grey matter on things like languages, and I may start looking at picking German back up again (there was a time when I used to read Die Welt to get more exposure, but I stopped that with the end of A Levels).

My blood pressure is spot on (106/68 is good apparently), and my resting heart rate is 66 (which, by resting, we mean following the stress of trying to find somewhere to park at the doctors’ this morning).  I wish I’d taken the stats when I first started losing weight to see if there was a comparison.  Not to worry!

So, a good few days down – roll on the weekend!

 


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Tub’s adventures over the past 5 days

It’s been a funny few days, and this is quite a long post, but I have put pictures in to help break the tedium!

Saturday morning went by extremely quickly (too quickly) and I ended up getting a bit stressed out that I hadn’t sorted everything prior to our departure.  We picked N up, added more stuff in to the car, got fuel and headed on our way – J and N’s sister in the lead car, us in the second.  We made it as far as the next services before the dogs (of J and N) needed letting out.  After a brief stop, we headed to lunch at College Farm in Shrivenham.  That served to make me more annoyed.  I constantly find there that the food is ok (it is great value) but the customer service is absolutely appalling, and this visit was no exception.  I have said to M that we must not eat there again (which is a shame because it is convenient for stopping by on the way home from Silverstone).

After lunch, we continued, only having to go around a roundabout twice once.  On arrival, M and I are like camping ninjas and had our tent up and guyed quicker than you could say Wyton Lakes (where we were staying).  J headed off to pick up his race pack, and we put their tent up.  I have to say, I was really impressed by the camp site – it had everything you could want.  We had deliberately booked a service pitch so we could have the phone chargers running.  The showers were clean and warm, the toilets were good and the owners were friendly.  It is a dog friendly campsite too.  If we’re in the area again, we’d definitely go back.

For tea, we headed into Huntingdon and stopped at the King of the Belgians.  That was a complete contrast in terms of service to our lunchtime meal – service and food were brilliant!

It was an early start in the morning, as J needed to get his bike all set up and sorted, put in transition and then head to the briefing and start line ready for the Nice Tri Duathlon around Grafham Water.  For the first time in weeks, I had to wear my hoodie as it was a bit nippy.  It was perfect for running though.

J on the 10k run, transitioning to bike

J on the 10k run, transitioning to bike

J did really well – he came fourth overall, shaving 13 minutes from his Cambridge time (he used his Cambridge time as the qualifier to join the GB time in Canada).  For some reason, they hadn’t done age categories, but if they had, he’d have won his age group.  He was the second GB competitor through.  We were all chuffed for him – bearing in mind, he’s only been doing this for about 8 months, he is doing really well!  The three guys before him were all quite a bit older and have been competing for a while, so give J a few years, and he’ll be well away!

Top four finishers

Top four finishers

After a little bit of milling around, we headed to Ikea.  That was an experience and involved a lot of rearranging of luggage, but we got there.  We arrived home around 6:00pm and I started the mad dash to get ready for Monday morning.

Early Monday, off I toddled to the airport to go to Manchester for work.  Two days up there nearly wrecked my sanity.  I managed to lose my passport, and I wasn’t carrying my driving licence – thankfully, our PA got it all sorted and I was allowed on the plane to come home.  How she wangled it, I don’t know.  The cost to me?  A bottle of whiskey as a thank you (and a new passport of course!).

As for weigh in – well, let me tell you, that was the real poop cherry on my vommy cupcake – 4lbs on.  I’d like to say “oh well”, but I am annoyed, fed up, tired of bobbing around this weight.  I had an “I don’t want to do this anymore” outburst, at which point, my friend H dragged me to the Nominations for Slimmer of the Year 2012 board and said I needed to look how far I’d come.  She’s right, though I admit, I see a much greater difference in her photo to mine.

Weigh in has made me a sad panda

I’ve dusted myself off, gnoshed two Hifi Lights (the new blueberry cheesecakes – yum!), a bagel with cashew butter (my syns for the day), a jacket spud with cheese and beans, and a melon pot.  Dinner is to be confirmed – it’ll need to be syn free.