Tub on the Run


Tub on the parkrun

The week seems to have run away from me.  Thursday, I went to my first spinning class in a very long time.  It was brutal and my ribs hurt from too much breathing heavily.  I went with N, and we went to her’s for tea afterwards.  She very kindly cooked me a Slimming World meal.  We spent the rest of the evening talking wedding, and colours in particular.  We’ve settled on colours, which are in keeping with the original autumnal theme.  It was midnight before I crawled into bed.

Friday was exercise free.  It was Supper Club though.  This time, we decided to go to Olive in Newton Abbot.  Olive is a tapas restaurant.  We went to Olive about 2 years ago, and didn’t much care for the service.  The first time around, the woman was surly and lacked any real customer service skills.  The food was nice though.  This time, the food was ok and the service much improved.  I’m not sure we’ll be back in a hurry (I personally found the food a little too oily to want to go there regularly, but that’s my personal preference), but we will be back.

When I got home last night, I decided to set my alarm for a decent time this morning, vowing to do my local parkrun.  The alarm went off, and to my joy, there were clouds and drizzle (I’m not being sarcastic – this is perfect for Tub Running).  M very kindly came with me (well, I needed back up/someone to hold my bag/next of kin).  He was also chief photographer (for me, not the parkrun).  While he missed my graceful jaunt over the finish line, I think you’ll agree that he got some nice pictures anyway.

How was it?  It was great!  I really enjoyed it.


As we walked up the hill towards the startline, the Race Director (Run Director?) asked if there were any newbies, so I stuck my hand up and shuffled through to the front for an additional briefing.  After the general briefing, the horn went, and off I toddled.  I probably ran about 20 steps then had to stop to tie my pants, as they kept falling down.  Sadly, I was the last person already (and not something that got much better), but I was kept company by Tim, the sweep.  A couple of things I learned (fairly early on):

  1. I was incredibly glad it wasn’t too warm or sunny.
  2. Trails are HARD.  Like really hard.  I’ve only really ever run on tarmac.  I went from being quite pleased with myself for being able to run, to being a little bit miserable for not being able to run better.
  3. I can (just about) talk and run and breathe at the same time.


Tim was really nice, and very interesting to talk to.  He told me about how he got into running (cheering people on at the London Marathon, then vowing to do it himself – which he has done, multiple times), and is now, this year, running 13 half marathons (number 8 is tomorrow).  He was telling me about the charity he runs for and his time at parkrun.

So, good company and beautiful scenery took the sting out of being at the back for the majority of the run.

IMAG0180 IMAG0181 IMAG0188

Unfortunately, M didn’t get a photo of me actually running, so you’ll have to make do with my time instead:

Parkrun 22.6.13

Yep, I was last, but I had fun.  I hope to do it all again next week (to beat the 40 minute mark), and try hard not to be beaten by a power walker (though he was amazingly consistent in his speed) and a child who had suffered an ankle problem.  I will also try to remember to bring a little bit of loose change with me too so that M and I can have a coffee (or hot choc) in the tearooms next time.


New Stone Zone

I completed the Tuesday of my Hal Higdon 10k plan.  Well.  Sort of.  I was meant to run for 2.5 miles, but I managed 2.34 miles.  I was out for just longer than 2.5 miles, but I had to take a couple of walk breaks and stopped the Garmin accordingly.  This was the wrong day to introduce hills.  I struggled quite a bit with the hills, managing to run up them roughly halfway, before my heart threatened to break my ribs from pounding too hard.  Don’t get me wrong, I hardly live in the midst of some hilly place like Wales, but nearly all of my running so far has been done on the flat.  However, I’m bored of the flat (as well as the pesky people who think it’s great to be moving obstacles).  I did enjoy the run though, especially the downhill bits!  It has made me realise that my first few “long” runs will need to be on the flat, maybe a couple of laps of the old route.

Steph Loop

My “hilly” run
(Sorry about the rubbish pic)

Today is a run and strength day.  I’m not entirely sure what I will a) be using for the strength or b) what exercises I should be doing.  I don’t have free weights at home.  M has some, but they’re at his nan’s house.  Maybe I should look to bring them down at some point.  I suspect using one of the cats as a kettlebell (despite the bigger one weighing more than my normal kettlebell) is unacceptable, and I don’t think we have many tins of food.  Hmm… I shall have to think.  Route-wise, I am going to be mixing it up and trying an out and back route, rather than my usual loops.

Last night’s weigh in was a roaring success.  I have broken into the next stone bracket down.  WOO!!!  There is nothing better than seeing a new front number.  I am really pleased with that.  It was a 2.5lb loss, which is great.  I will be taking my measurements at the weekend for my monthly round up at the weekend.  I don’t know how much will have changed on the inches front, but it was a better month weight loss wise.  Oh yeah, and I should take a progress picture (groan…).


A Reminiscent Soggy Tub

It is blowing a gale again, and absolutely hammering down with rain.  On to Week 8 I trekked.  That’s a 28 minute run, and it’s surprising how much difference 3 minutes make.  I started off my run with my Garmin actually syncing pretty quickly for a change.  Lately it’s been ridiculously slow, and I can’t work out why.  The run, aside from being freezing cold and very wet, went quite well, and I felt reasonable for the majority of it.  I remember, 8 weeks ago, on a freezing Friday night, where it was raining harder than it is tonight, I decided to be a bit brave and head out into the night.  I enjoyed my first run, and now like looking back at the times since then – I’m now running, unbroken for 28 minutes, covering more than a kilometer more, and have shaved 2 minutes off the average pace.

The final three minutes I struggled with though.  I had to get the mental strategies out.  I didn’t dust off The Dory (by that point, my pace was so slow, it wouldn’t have worked, speaking Whale would have been more appropriate), but I did have to work lamp post to lamp post.

The end result was 4.66k in 39:56 mins, so an average pace of 8:34 minute ks.  I’m pretty pleased with that.  5k is a reachable target (though I suspect I am looking at a time of 43 minutes currently).

Steady on Tub, there is a good chance that you might actually finish a running plan at this rate!  What should I do to celebrate?

In other news, I am looking at becoming a Foodie Penpal.  I saw the badge on 111lbs’ blog, and then saw that there is a UK version at Rock Salt.  I love the idea of this, and I’m hoping that I’ll be in for April.  I’m just waiting to hear back.

Finally, M and I have been invited to his cousin’s wedding.  I have a dress in mind, but I don’t know if it fits.  I am hoping that if it doesn’t, it will shortly.  I do feel a new shoes occasion coming on though!


We have lift off!

Tub – “Let’s go out tonight.”

Inner Tub – “Naaaahhh… It’s too cold, unless we’re going to the pub of course.”

Tub – “Well, no, I wasn’t thinking of the pub, I was thinking about going out for our first C25K run.”

Inner Tub (stares, wide-eyed and completely confused) – “You?  Run?  Pfft, yeah, you gotta be kidding.  We’re only reading blogs and magazines for fun y’know, there’s no hidden agenda to it.”

Tub – “No, seriously!  How are we going to keep going on with the losses each week if we don’t do some exercise.  I thought we could go out straight from when we get home”.

Inner Tub – “No way!  It’s cold.  I mean, it’s like FOUR DEGREES CELSIUS outside.  And straight after work?!  No, nah-ah, no.  We won’t even have eaten by then.  How can you expect us to run on empty?!” (strop strop strop)

Tub – “It’s hardly empty is it!  And it’s only half an hour.  We could be back by 7.  We’re even going to leave work on time to help the cause, plus the stew is already cooked – I cooked it last night.  So we can come back and fall face first into the stew”.

Inner Tub – “You put wine in the stew.  And we like leaving on time.  Yeah, stew.  Stew could be good.  Mmm…  Stew.”


So it didn’t quite happen like that.  What actually happened was, we did leave work on time (for the first time in about 3 weeks), and made it through the door and home to the hard-done-by cats.  After sorting them out (and trying to keep the big fat one from eating the little skinny one’s food), M and I cooked our tea after he reminded me that he was going out this evening to play skittles.  Anyway, the meal was not stew, but chicken with couscous and a homemade ragu (Syn free too – all of it!).  M headed off, and Inner Tub started chirping up again about how it was a stupid idea to go out and blah blah blah.  Quietening the silly Tub, I started searching the flat to find a suitable coat, my sports bra, my earphones, and my old Garmin.  If I was about 7 stone lighter, I totally looked the part!  With a reasonable route in mind, I headed out…


Slightly wobbly, but just an idea of how wet and windy it is!

Slightly wobbly, but just an idea of how wet and windy it is!

… Into the torrential rain.  It was absolutely horrendous!  Horizontal rain, wind, and a shocking wind chill factor – needless to say, I was the only pedestrian/jogger type person out and about.  I believe part of the reason I didn’t find the whole thing too horrendous was probably because after five minutes, I couldn’t actually feel my extremities.  That was probably a good thing.  So I started out on my “warm up” (warm is probably too strong a word), and got soaked by a speeding car driving through a puddle.  Good start.  Then it was to the first run.  Remembering the information from Run Fat B!tch Run, I started at a reasonable pace, then slowed it down so as not to peak on the first 60 seconds as I have done before.  Through the driving rain, I kept an ok pace.  Then there was the mandatory horde of idiots being transported around in a cheap and nastily modified boy racer-mobile.  Honestly, why you would slow down to poke fun at a fat person running when you clearly have no sense of taste or decency, as clearly exhibited by your wreck of a car (which is most likely their pride and joy), I don’t think I’ll ever understand.  Seriously – don’t keep drawing attention to the wreckage.

Despite the ridiculous behaviour of the boys in the monstrosity, I actually felt ok.  I definitely feel like I could go out again (not right now) and improve, in fact, I feel rather buoyed by the experience.  Unfortunately my tummy wasn’t so keen on the whole experience, and made its grievance known when I got back in.  Oh well!   It’ll get used to it.  The best thing?  The hot shower when I got in!

So stats fiends, what did I do?  I was out for 31:44, “ran” 3.12km with an average pace of 10:10/km.

Inner Tub is sulking in a corner now, and I am thawing out in front of the fire.  We’ll be going out again on Sunday.