Tub on the Run


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Getting set for next week

I go back to work next week.  I have to admit, it has been really great to have the time away from work knowing that nothing else is going on at all while I am not there (the factory is on Christmas shutdown).  Today has been largely about getting myself all sorted for our Whole 30, which starts on Monday.  I am also attempting to catch up on the laundry, though that seems like a never ending task.

But first… a bed update!  Sadly I didn’t sleep brilliantly.  I don’t think my body could quite understand the whole lying flat thing instead of having a dip where my bum lived.  Despite that, I managed to oversleep and ended up running late for my Janathon activity.  Getting up on Monday in the dark is going to be a struggle I think!

Janathon Day 2 was brought to you by a beautiful winter morning by the seaside.

Janathon Day 2

Mum, my sister and I went for a walk down the beach.  My sister has been keen to get me back on the Couch to 5k plan.  Unfortunately as a result of eating whatever I want, in the quantity that I want and doing virtually no exercise, I am physically beginning to pay the price.  We compromised with following the Couch to 5k and walking faster in the running bits.  Mum’s pedometer said we had done 3,500 steps.  I’m quite pleased with that, despite coming home a bit sore in my back, hips and ankles.  My sister goes home today, so I’ll be facing Janathon Day 3 on my own.

The rest of the day has involved filling the house with amazing smells as I have batch cooked away like a trooper.  We will have 16 evening meals when everything is done.

Whole 30 Meal Prep

On that thought, I should probably go and rescue the meatloaf!

Are you back at work now, or are you back on Monday?


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Autumn plans

Autumn Background

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

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

The plan!

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

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

Monday done

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

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

Do you work out or run with a plan?

 


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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

Kettlebells

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.

Yoga

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.

20140103_173536_Richtone(HDR)

Food

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?


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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.

Ouch!!

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!)

 


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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.

Sheeps

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! 🙂

 

 


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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.

 


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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.

 


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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?


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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).

Awards

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.

 


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Excuses, excuses.

This is a post I haven’t really wanted to write, and I will warn you now, this is not exactly my cheeriest of posts.

I have pulled out of Silverstone.  I tried to see if I could get a deferral, but unfortunately they don’t allow you to.

Why have I pulled out?

I could definitely blame the weather.  I’d love to blame the weather!  As I type, the winds are swirling around and the rain is beating against the windows, as we brace for the next storm.  No.  The weather hasn’t helped, but that isn’t the reason for my failure.  If only it was just the weather!  I’ve made a silly error with a couple of things really.

Firstly, I completely underestimated how far 13.1 miles is.  I know that sounds a bit daft, but I am used to driving that, not running it, and my concepts of time and distance are shocking.  I haven’t stuck closely enough to the plan to do the distance the justice that it deserves.  I’ve had a bad couple of runs since I twisted my ankle a few weeks back which hasn’t helped my confidence at all.  I get so frustrated that I cannot run solidly for longer than about 8 minutes at a time, and it all turns inwards and becomes a big negative poop storm.

Kind of linked in with that is my second point.  I am my own worst critic and I feel like I have failed at some things, and I am failing at others.  I have overfilled my plate and I desperately need to scale back some of this pressure I have (admittedly, by my own doing) dumped on my plate.  Wah wah… I know “people busier than you are running right now”.  Good for them I say!  I do feel a bit stupid saying this when I have it easy compared to others.  I don’t have children, physical health issues, family problems or anything else like that.  I work a full time job, have two cats, and a loving family.  What I also have is my black dog…

beans and buggle

Though I am not referring to Beany (she is the attempt at an anti-black dog).  When I am doing well, I take on longer term projects thinking that I won’t feel as low as I currently do again.  Inevitably, it always comes as a surprise when I get a bit of a bottle neck of projects all coming together at once and my depression and/or anxiety reappears with gusto, and my little world disintegrates somewhat.

What does this actually mean?

I am not giving up running.  Far from it.  For the most part I am proud of how far I have come, but I haven’t respected the distance I wanted to achieve, or in all honesty, myself.  I am going right back to basics for food and exercise.  All the way back to Couch to 5k.  Three runs a week, increasing in running each week until I can get back to 30 minutes solid running again.  A focus on time over mileage might be a helpful mental aid.  I am travelling in the middle of the week next week, so I will be starting that in week following.  I desperately want to enjoy running again without pressuring myself so hard.  Running helps (when I don’t feel pressured), as does yoga, so I do need to keep it up for my mental health as much as anything.

For food, I am not entirely sure what I want to do with that yet.  I have read a lot of good things about Whole 30 and 21 Day Sugar Detox recently, but I am not sure if my brain can handle getting the hang of the rules of paleo-esque diets right now.  While I am figuring all of this side out, I will just resolve to eat better food and try to get back into a proper routine of eating, which includes reintroducing breakfast into my life.  And sweet potatoes.  I have a real hankering for sweet potatoes.

Sorry it’ s been a bit of a doom and gloomer.  Normal service will resume at some point!