Tub on the Run


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?



Plans for the autumn

Standing on the brink of autumn, waiting for the weather to return to more Tub-friendly conditions (i.e. cooler nights), I’ve started to reflect a little on the summer and what I need to put in place for the autumn.  It hasn’t escaped my notice that I have been more “Tub”, and again, less “on the run” lately.

Summer hasn’t really seen a massive amount of progress, aside from my Whole 30 experience.  I’ve done virtually no exercise, and I feel a bit sad that I haven’t been to a parkrun and made the most of the outdoors.  I also feel a bit sad that I can vividly remember saying in my Slimming World group at my birthday weigh in last year, that I was not going to be as heavy for my 2014 weigh in as I was for my 2013 weigh in.  Instead, I’m about 2 stone heavier than this time last year.  However, not to be all doom and gloom about it (let’s face it – that doesn’t get you anywhere!), one big thing that I took away from Whole 30 was that if I want to do it (whatever task “it” is), I can do it.  There have been so many times that I have started off with the best of intentions, sticking rigidly to whatever plan it is, only to stop half way through, but I didn’t do that with Whole 30 at all, and I am actually relieved that I can complete something.  I now need to apply that elsewhere, to my autumn plans.

Also, my Garmin is a year old.  Out of interest, I looked to see how many miles I managed to clock up since I got it, and I have clocked a rather pathetic 59.5 miles, with my best month being January (ah Janathon, you did me proud!).

So this leads me on to consider what I need to change to really live up to my promise to myself that this is my last fat summer.

Christmas Cracker 10k

I am all signed up for the Weston Athletics Club’s Christmas Cracker 10k which takes place on 7th December 2014.  I loved this last year, and I knew that I was going to sign up again this year.  This year though, I now have a time to beat.  In order for me to beat this time, I actually need to do some work, which includes getting right back on to Couch to 5k.  Enduring the music, but keeping my eye on the prize of actually getting back to running and beating my PB.

I am third in from the right

I am third in from the right


While I may not have actually been doing much in the way of exercise, I have been reading quite a bit about it.  I also follow a lot of inspirational people on Instagram and Twitter, and one theme that is beginning to stand out, and make a lot of sense to me, is that cardio is no longer king.  It seems that one of the most effective ways to shift weight by exercise is actually to include weight training.  I would love to try my hand at Cross Fit, and while there is a box close to me, I don’t have the money for it at the moment (it is incredibly expensive, and more than double my previous gym membership).  Casting my mind back to when I used to belong to the gym, I used to enjoy my kettlebell classes, and I snagged a bargain some time ago in getting a set.


As work is usually my number one excuse for not exercising, I need to make a commitment to something that helps me to cope.  Yoga is that thing for me.

In terms of frequency, I plan to run three times a week, and do a kettlebell workout twice a week.  I will tag yoga on to the end of other workouts, but take a bit more of a relaxed approach.



I had planned to do another Whole 30 in September, but I don’t have a clear diary to facilitate that.  I am away for work in early September, plus a couple of social events that include eating.  Instead, Matt and I have decided to stick to a paleo approach about 90% of the time, which will allow us the flexibility to a) get rid of non-paleo food in the house (I’m not throwing it out!), and b) maintain a semblance of a social life.  That doesn’t mean that every week we can have 10% off plan regardless, it means that we can take a view and get a balance.  I would definitely like to do a full Whole 30 again in the future, it’s just a case of finding the right time that will lend itself to the best success.

Whole30 Cottage Pie Ingredients


How was your summer?  Do you have any plans for the autumn?


Sibling Pride

I have wanted to whoop and squee in the run up to this, but I am SO proud of my little sister!  She rocks!

Why does she rock?

Not long after I started Couch to 5k, so did P.  She successfully completed it, and, unlike me, stuck with it.  She then ran a sub-30 minute 5k not too long after completing c25K.  I won’t lie – I am completely envious of her speed.

After a bit of an injury where a trail run somewhat damaged her knees (but not her running spirit), once the scabs had healed, she headed back out again.


Then came a suggested post on facebook for Run Highclere in aid of Parkinsons UK.  Highclere Castle, for those (like myself) that don’t know, is where Downton Abbey is filmed.  She had just finished a challenge of doing a month of no snacking, and wanted a new challenge, so she signed up, set up her Just Giving page and got training.

Today was scheduled to be the day, but sadly P was informed that because of the adverse weather conditions, the ground was not suitable to run on.  Very disappointing, but it can’t be helped.  Not to be put off, and not to let down the people who had kindly donated, P went out for her 10k run as planned today, and recorded an amazing 1 hour 11 minute début!  I am so chuffed for her, not only for her time, but also for raising the money that she has (over £100)!  She’s also said that if and when Run Highclere is rescheduled, she’s going to run it and try to beat her time for today!  Fantastic!

So I’m all “beam, beam, beam, proud, proud, proud”!

Now P… PLEASE go and buy some proper running shoes!! 🙂

(And apologies – this feeble post really doesn’t get across just how proud I am!)



3 runs of Couch to 5k done

I ran my third run of Week 1 of the Couch to 5k programme tonight.  Again, there were no internal arguments about going out.  I knew I felt better for going out for a run after my rubbish day on Tuesday, and today was on par with then to be honest, so I applied the same logic.  It is so nice to be out and clear my mind.  Okay, it isn’t an entirely clear mind – I fill it with “has it been a minute yet?  I’m sure that Laura said it was only a minute I had to do.  I must be nearly there.  Oooh…. bunnies!”.   By the third run segment, I feel like I am settling in to my groove a bit more.  It was another out and back run, complete with photo from the turning point.

Cycle Path

I’ve really enjoyed this route.  I think I may have overkilled the beach somewhat with my previous attempts at Couch to 5k.  It is reassuring doing the same route but it gets very dull very quickly.  I need to work out another route so I don’t suffer the same with this one.  I’m not sure I’ll get bored of seeing the wildlife though.


I thought I’d mix it up for the sheep – I walked past them on the way out, then lumbered past at a run on the way back.  I tried to sneak up on the distraction bunnies to get a good shot, but they’re wily little things and knew I was there (I suppose it’s quite hard to hide a 5ft 8, 18 stone beetroot).  I did get a couple of photos of them, but they aren’t the best quality.

Distraction bunnies

I’ve noticed that the ankle that I twisted the other month in my car park gymnastics is quite sore to run on.  It’s not unbearable and it isn’t causing me to limp, but I am conscious that I don’t want to roll it again.  I remember having to do wobble board exercises at physio when I was younger.  I’m wondering if there is something else I can do.  Yoga does seem to help I think, so I am hoping to roll the mat back out next week.  I was hoping to having done so this week, but it turned into a busier week than I thought it was going to.

I’ve also thought about whether to move to Week 2 on the plan, but I think I am going to do Week 1 again.  It isn’t like I’m in a rush after all.

Not a bad start to May! 🙂




Beautiful evening for a run

It has definitely been one of those days today!  I have to admit I was glad to escape the office at the end of the day.

I was due to go out for a run this evening.  It took me a lot longer to recover than I would have done 4 months ago, and I had hoped to get out at the weekend, but I was just too sore.  Normally I would have griped and whined about going out for a run tonight, but I didn’t give myself the option.  Plus I was looking forward to my tea, which motivated me to get out and back as soon as I could.

There were a couple of distraction bunnies that were very welcome, plus some sheep which gave me a passing glance as I lumbered past.  It was a gorgeous evening out, and I was glad I went.

Railway Line

The only thing I wasn’t too keen on having to do was quickly diverting into the railway station’s toilets.  I am hoping my stomach also remembers what running means sooner rather than later too.

I took a slight diversion back, along a tiny trail next to the train line on the estuary side.  My ankle was glad of the softer ground, as it had started griping a bit.  I think that is the call to start my yoga practice again (oh the joys of regained inflexibility!).

So having come home in a bit of a grump, having had a headache all day and stomach ache for the majority of the afternoon, I returned from my run with a little bit less weight on my shoulders and a cheerier outlook.



Stop the press!

After months and months of procrastinating, not running, but plenty of belly button gazing, I actually went out for a run yesterday.

Oh.  Em.  Gee.

It was painful.  The bunnies that were out for their evening meal made me smile though, and provided momentary distraction.  I am starting right back from scratch at Week 1 of Couch to 5k.  I did get a bit wrapped up in myself and ended up going further than I meant to by the half way point.  It was quite nice though – the fresh air did me the world of good.

What surprised me was that my ankles and feet are sore.  I wasn’t expecting that.  I know it shouldn’t be surprising really, as I haven’t done any significant load bearing activity for a long time and my ankles and feet have lost their running memory temporarily.  I don’t remember feeling like this on my first round last year.  I’m not sure what weight I was back then – I’ll have to go and find out.

My next outing will be on Friday.  I hope the distraction bunnies are out again.



One of those light bulb moments

A few weeks ago, Matt brought home a magbook by Runner’s World.  I have to admit I was a bit surprised as Matt will generally be happy to follow my lead when it comes to weight loss methods and he has had absolutely zero interest in running after I dragged him out of the house last spring as I was getting towards the end of Couch to 5k.  The book is “Run Your Belly Off” (or RYBO from this point on).

My current reading pile

My current reading pile

He read a few chapters himself and liked the sound of it.  A few days later, I picked it up and started leafing through it.  It was at this point I had a bit of a light bulb moment.  I know this won’t come as a shock to many people, and if I am honest, I suppose I’ve known this all along…

Weight loss is simple maths.  Calories in versus calories out.  There must be a deficit.  Everything else is just advice or diet industry spiel.

Deep down, I know all of this.

I know this is probably a bit “durr” to some people, but for years I almost feel like I have sought for the magical solution to it all.  Slimming World gloss over the simple fact that it’s maths by introducing “syns” (though there is logic in restricting some fats and sugars etc), and Weight Watchers have their points system.  Distractions? Maybe.  I guess it depends on your mindset, and clearly some people do really well following these kinds of plans and I am in no way knocking it.  For me, I’ve used it as a crutch, going to the classes and feeling as if that alone, that small commitment in itself should be enough to yield spectacular losses on a weekly basis.  Sustainable?  Not for me at this moment in time.  That much is evident by my own journey so far.  Meal plans, syns, points have all meant that I have become lazy and reliant on just doing what I’m told and not really thinking for myself, eventually “rebelling” and ordering Domino’s, Chinese, Indian etc.

This really shouldn’t be surprising news to me.  My sister lost a large amount of weight a few years back just by being more mindful.  There was no cutting food groups out, no deprivation, but tweaks like more veggies, better meat, more fish, less processed food.

Can I calorie count?  Yes, of course.  There are plenty of apps and websites out there to help you do just that.  Will I calorie count?  I would be interested to see what I am shovelling in every day or week, definitely.  Longer term?  I won’t rule it out, but I suspect that after a period of re-educating myself on labels and portion sizes, I will have it as a fall back tool.  It is not something I see myself doing on a daily basis in the long term.  How many calories do I need?

I did the maths…

Right now, my basal metabolic rate (BMR) is 2,021 calories.  That is what I use per day.  Without doubt I eat more than that as I have gained weight since January (5lbs up – whoops!).  The book then goes on to say that in order for a person to lose 1lb of fat per week, there needs to be a weekly 3,500 calorie deficit.  The deficit can come from exercise and/or cutting down on the calories.

There is a running plan in the book too.  It takes 12 weeks to complete, at the end of which you’ll be running for 30 minutes.  The first week is all about walking.  I have to admit I was surprised that it is 3 weeks longer than Couch to 5k, but I’ll be seeing how it goes.  It is time to build my confidence back up and get back to running for 30 minutes in one hit.  I have things that I want to do at the end of the year which mean I need to stick at this (I WILL be beating my 10k time set at the Weston Christmas Cracker, and I am literally counting down the days to the day that they accept entries).

Pleasantly surprising is that Matt also wants to start running with me.  As I mentioned before, he doesn’t like running.  Despite this, I think he had a nasty shock courtesy of the scales.  Also having had a conversation with his friend J recently, where J is now studying to become a personal trainer and needs a victim guinea pig person to practice on, Matt has volunteered to be just that.  However, rather than be completely unfit, he wants to build a base level of fitness in preparation for his PT sessions.  Woo – I have a running buddy!

Watch this space!

Now I must go and plan some meals!  What are you having for tea tonight?


New Start Eve

I’ve been running around a lot this week and have covered over 1,000 miles, driven in some truly scary conditions and received a couple more awards!  It’s quite a long catch up post, and I am hoping to have the world back to rights next week.

Monday last week saw me gearing up for a pretty full on week ahead. Thankfully, it was smooth running and I have passed over another part of my old role to the person who replaced me which is great!  Tuesday was a very late night.  I was picked up in the midst of a sleet flurry from Exeter and drove to Chippenham with a marshalling friend.  I am part of a marshalling club (well, I’m actually a member of two), and there are regional committees, and I was elected in to the South West region.  I also picked up two more awards (technically, they’re the same award, but one I get to keep, and one is in my custody for the next year).


I really can’t wait until the season starts again.  Matt and I didn’t do much last year because our holiday was chewed up with weddings and the like, and we’ve both learnt that we need a Monday off if we are marshalling endurance races over the weekend.  What I really like about marshalling is the escapism it provides.  I make no secret of the fact that I find my work stressful and will spend a lot of time thinking about it even when I am not there, which can burn me out.  Marshalling motorsport means that I can’t think of anything else other than what is on track – it is too safety critical.  Yes, of course, there is a love of cars and racing there too, and the camaraderie makes or breaks the weekend (thankfully more often makes than breaks!).

Wednesday was a trip up north to our offices in Huddersfield.  I have never driven in conditions like it, and I was extremely grateful to be driving a hired Insignia – it was like a tank and stayed planted the whole way up.  It meant an overnight stay and a much more peaceful journey back on the Thursday night.

Friday was a normal day at work, catching up on our day and a half out of the office.  It was blowing a proper gale when Matt and I got home, and after listening to it howling around our flat, we decided that a 9:30pm walk to the beach was in order.  Never before have I been able to lean backwards into the wind and for it to keep me upright.  I was glad the tide was on its way out when we were down there though, otherwise we would have been incredibly soggy.

Friday night walk

Yesterday we headed in to Exeter for a bit of a mooch, and to get the stuff together for my Foodie Penpal this month and also buy a new face cream as mine ran out.  I had been using Dermologica, but it stopped working as well over winter.  I now have Lush’s Imperialis which feels great so far, and I’ve been feeding the super dry patches on my cheek with Ultrabalm.  Much much better!  We also picked up father-in-law’s birthday present, despite his birthday being a month away.  I am quite pleased with myself.

Today, I caught up on some reading – 160 blog posts to read through!  It prompted my thoughts to turn back towards running.  I have had two weeks completely off of running.  I’m in two minds as to whether I miss it or not.  I miss the fresh air.  I miss getting out and feeling like I have done something good, but I have also enjoyed the time indoors (not least because we’ve been battered by storms for what feels like months!).

Back to Couch to 5k.  I toyed with the idea of going in a little bit further along in the weeks, but I realised that I have nothing to lose by going right back to Week 1.  Three runs a week, all less than 30 minutes should be enough for me to deal with.  I have also thought to add in some weights.  I don’t have the capacity, financially or spatially, to have my own home gym, but I figured a couple of kettlebells and youtube, and I’m away!  I won’t be adding that in quite yet though.

Run days will be Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays I think.  Routes might be a bit more tricky to work out as I remember from last time that running the same route is dull.  However, the nights will be getting much lighter by the end of Couch to 5k, and I’ll be able to vary it with some trail runs.  Bring on the lighter evenings!  Week one, day one tomorrow – wish me luck!

With food, I don’t have a real plan, and I have no idea what I currently weigh.  I also have no intention of stepping on to the scales until at least the end of the month.  I haven’t really missed Slimming World so far, in fact, not going has allowed me a bit more time on a Tuesday evening.  What I am lacking though is structure.  That’ll be the next phase – structuring food.



Happy New Year’s Eve! Tub’s 2013 Round Up

Good bye 2013!

Happy New Year’s Eve!

Tub on the Run is nearly a year old, so first up – thank you for dropping by, whether regularly or as a one off – I didn’t think anyone would read my ramblings!  2013 has been probably one of the most stressful but most rewarding years of my living memory, and thankfully, is one that is filled with many good memories.

January 2013 also saw me start Couch to 5k, which I later completed in the Spring.  Those first few runs were tough, but I enjoyed seeing the progress I made.

My first ever run on Couch to 5k - just an idea of how wet and windy it was!

My first ever run on Couch to 5k – just an idea of how wet and windy it was!

May saw me go for my first parkrun at Killerton – a beautiful setting for a 5k run on a Saturday morning.  While I have done less than I would like, I have enjoyed each run and getting to meet Sharon from Shazruns in real life has been great (though admittedly, 2013 has not seen us actually manage to grab a cuppa together!).  I was slow, and I am still slow, but I enjoy the fresh air in the morning, and I have had the chance to meet some lovely people that I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise.

Out on my first parkrun

Out on my first parkrun

September gave me the opportunity to run in a different country.  M and I joined his mother and stepfather for their wedding in Cyprus.  The weather was beautiful, but it was definitely early morning runs only.  I only managed the one run, but I enjoyed the experience nonetheless.  After all, it isn’t every day that you encounter mountain goats on your run!

Our Cypriot holiday

Our Cypriot holiday

October was marked by my hen do.  I still cannot thank my sister enough for organising such an amazing day.  It was absolutely perfect, and not a penis straw in sight!

Segway - I don't think I was being told off, but it looks like it!

Segway – I don’t think I was being told off, but it looks like it!

November was huge.  Like massive.  I married the love of my life and had the most beautiful day with our nearest and dearest.  We enjoyed a week off after the wedding, and headed to Sheffield and Cardiff to get away for a couple of days.  I returned to a promotion, which has been deeply rewarding and challenging all at the same time.

Walking up the aisle

December has continued to be challenging in terms of work, but I had a great achievement in terms of completing my first ever 10k race.


Weight loss wise, I have not lost as much as I would have liked, but I have lost what I deserved to lose – the amount of effort I have put in has yielded the result I have got.  While I am still at a net loss, and my first 10 weeks of the year showed weekly losses, getting to 15st 11.5lbs, my lack of consistency has seen a gain.

In terms of marshalling (motorsport), it has been a quiet year for us, which has been nice on one hand (we’re not gallivanting off to different counties every other weekend), but I have missed it.

Disclaimer - no dummies were hurt in this scenario exercise From the "spectator's"  point of view

Disclaimer – no dummies were hurt in this scenario exercise
From the “spectator’s” point of view

Overall, 2013 has been a good year, and I am looking forward to seeing what 2014 brings.


A goal

When I started running this year, right at the fore of my mind was my three or four failed attempts at trying to get in to running.  In the past, I would start running, pick a race (typically a Race for Life or Exeter’s Santa Run), and pressure myself to get to a magical milestone in time for the race.  I never stuck with it.  I don’t know whether it was the pressure I put myself under, eventually giving in to crippling self-doubt, or whether I just didn’t suit the plan I was using.  I suspect it was a combination of both.  For a long time, before I’d heard of Couch to 5k, I used Running Made Easy‘s “60 Second Secret Plan”.


This is pretty much the same as C25K, but the big difference for me, and what I think I struggled with, was having to keep track of the time myself.  I would constantly be looking at my watch instead of focusing on running, willing the seconds to pass quicker.  C25K, of course, being a podcast, tells you when to start and stop so you don’t have to worry about the timing.  Yeah the music is a bit odd, but I’d rather that than have to work it out myself.

Armed with Couch to 5k, my kit and some enthusiasm, I headed out at the end of January.  I ignored the conventional wisdom pumped out by the running magazines – sign up for your first race so that you have a goal.  I didn’t want to.  I wanted my running to be more of a regular thing than I had managed in the past, and I thought that would be counter-productive.  I focused on being able to get to Week 9 of C25K.  I then started a 10k plan.  I fell off the wagon, attempted to climb back on, and then slipped off again.

A shift happened, and I started looking around for 10k races.  I feel that I am ready to take on that kind of challenge now.  I know I can do 5k (ok, not quickly, but I can), and I’ve really enjoyed my parkruns, but I want to look at the next stage.

Where am I now, in terms of my running and fitness?  I’m not in my best place.  I’m heavier than I’d like to be still, and I have struggled with Slimming World lately.  I’ve missed 2 weeks, and had booked holiday for one, so it’ll have been 4 weeks this week since I last showed my face.  I haven’t progressed with C25K after coming back from Cyprus.  I would roll out my list of excuses, but I need to be more proactive – running is good for my body and my mental state, and I am going to need to take better care of both, especially over the next few weeks.  Work is ramping up quickly, and I feel like time is quickly trickling away before the wedding now.  Running will help me deal with this.

With all of this in mind, I looked for winter 10ks.  I settled on Weston Athletics Club’s Christmas Cracker 10k.  I’d read good things about it on the Runners World event review (back in the day, when I was a subscriber), and it is conveniently in Weston-Super-Mare, where I can kill two birds with one stone – run, and drop off Christmas presents for the in-laws (maybe even get fed with mother-in-law’s amazing moussaka after the run).  Sunday 15th December will see me huffing and puffing my way along the beach (I’ll need to get some sand running in on a couple of runs) and back along the tarmac, all for a t-shirt and mince pie.  Father-in-law is also running it, but I don’t think we’ll be running together, given he’s an 8 minute miler, and I’m 14 at the moment.

My plan?  Back to Hal Higdon’s 10k plan.  I made it up to 4 miles on the plan earlier in the summer, and I enjoyed the shift in focus on to distance rather than time.  I’ve popped the runs in my diary, having tweaked it around a bit so that I can get parkruns on Saturday in and make it to Slimming World.  I’m starting the plan a little bit before (it’s an 8 week plan, and I’m starting at 9 weeks before), so I plan to break myself in on Week 1 this coming week, and repeat it the week after.

Now, one thing is that fancy dress is optional, tinsel is mandatory.  Any dress-up ideas (which was free or cheap – it is nearly Christmas!) would be most appreciated!

Tub on the Run, disguised as Father Christmas :D

Tub on the Run, disguised as Father Christmas 😀

I won’t wear a beard though.  I wore a beard for the Santa run, and ended up breathing a lot of it in.  I guess that’s why you don’t see too many beardy runners…