Tub on the Run


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Merry Tubmas

Matt made me call this post “Merry Tubmas”.  I was going to go with “Happy Birthday Tub!”.  The sentiment is still the same though – Tub on the Run is one year old today!

Happy birthday Tub

I have thoroughly enjoyed getting back into blogging.  I used to have a blog a long time ago, but I didn’t really understand anything about blogging then (and I’m not always sure I know now!), and after a couple of months I eventually stopped and deleted the old one.  I can’t even remember what it was called now.  I didn’t read blogs at the time. either  Nowadays, I have roughly 60 blogs on my reading list which I try to read regularly, and I have “met” some really nice people along the way (and met one of the bloggers, Sharon, in real life!).

What genuinely surprises me on a daily basis is that people (other than my mum and sister) read this, and some even comment and/or follow me.  I don’t know what it is that brings people this way, but thank you – whether you are a regular reader or not!

I won’t lie, I had hoped that Tub would be less tubby by now, and that “on the run” had been a bit more consistent (and faster, and over longer distances), but importantly, one year on, I am still fighting both battles, and I would never have thought I would have been able to a) complete Couch to 5k, b) run a 10k, or c) be training (quite seriously) for a half marathon.  Yeah, the times are (or are going to be) slow, but that is ok.  I can work on that after Silverstone.

I don’t obsess over page views or the like, but I do like to see what goes on in the WordPress Stats, and here are some of them:

Top post (Food) – Slimming World Friendly Lasagne

Top post (Running) – Janathon Day 5: 0 dry runs this year

Countries – People from 45 different countries have visited Tub on the Run, with the highest coming from the UK, USA, Canada and Australia

And now, for some of my favourite search terms (I hope you found what you were looking for people, though I suspect you may not have found it here!):

  1. “shoe woo in little rock”
  2. “can i use catnip spray on my skin”
  3. “alpaca tub”
  4. “i am the greatest sister”
  5. “i had deodrant on when i had my spray tan now my armpits are green”

Anyway, thank you for your support and guidance over the last year, and I’m looking forward to seeing what Tub’s second birthday looks like!


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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.

IMAG0471

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.


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It is easier to keep going

I’ve had a lovely chilled out day today.  I didn’t get out of bed until mid morning, and slept straight through, so I figured I needed it.  When I finally dragged myself out of bed, I started looking at the 10k plan, where I am meant to be on Week 5, and I am meant to have increased my mileage, week on week, at a steady pace.  With the wedding and all, I grossly overestimated how busy (and tired) I would be, and it is safe to say that I am quite a few weeks behind.  Having already completed Week 4 in a previous attempt (before the summer hit), I thought the scheduled 4.5 miles of Week 5 might be doable.

It turned out to be a bittersweet run.  I was really pleased with myself, I managed to keep on the motion of running for approximately 2.8 miles.  That is substantially further than I have run continuously for some time.  That was a win, a real confidence boost.  In addition, when I first started running, I’d lurk on the Runners World forum for beginners, and the more experienced runners would say that you’d feel better after the first 10 minutes, or the first mile.  I never believed it before, but today, after probably 13 minutes (that’s just under a mile for me), I felt myself settle into a rhythm.  The rhythm isn’t exactly mirrored by the Garmin download, but that will come in time I guess.

Week 5 Run

The need to stop didn’t really materialise.  Well, that was until I was forced to stop.  As I got to a set of traffic lights, I wasn’t quite quick enough to catch the green man, so I had to wait my turn.  I’d stopped.  I tried to restart, quite unsuccessfully.  I just couldn’t find my “spot” again.  It had stopped feeling ok.  My foot had started to hurt, and a little further along, I had a really sore chest pain that felt like stitch, but was too high to have been stitch.  That was at 3.2 miles.  I am annoyed that I didn’t make it to at least 4 miles, but with my reasonable head on, I acknowledge that I haven’t run properly for a long time, 4 miles is a long distance for me, I’m also a stone heavier than some of my more recent performances and I have a disgusting cold at the moment.  My sore foot owed to a blister from rubbishy Marks and Spencers sports socks.  I’ll need to find my Nikes again for my next run.

Anyway, the point of this post is that it occurred to me, as I was struggling to get going after the traffic lights, that it is much easier to just keep going.  I’ve spent a period of time this year building a very small platform of basic fitness, which has allowed me to run nearly three miles without stopping, to the point where it was easier to keep going than to stop.  If I hadn’t been forced to stop at the lights, I like to think that I would have achieved 4 miles.

I expanded that thought further – each time I stop running, I find it harder to start again.  I find it hard to write about restarting on here.  With my diet, it is so much easier to keep on the wagon than fall off, dust myself off and sort myself out.  I’m quite sure it can’t be doing my body any good, and it certainly isn’t good for me mentally.

I need to keep going.  The alternative is too hard.

I need to remember this.


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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”.

20131006_123919

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…


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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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Calm(ish) on the outside, ARGHHHH on the inside

I am a week away from my holiday, and my usual pre-holiday, work related anxiety and panic is beginning to set in.  Add in to that an interesting situation whereby I could apply for a promotion, mix it in with a couple of frank conversations and a couple of realisations, and my nerves are shot to hell and I am beginning to feel overwhelmed.  Oh yeah, add in my wedding dress fitting, and I’m quite amazed that I am functioning at all.  I know they aren’t big problems, but I suffer from anxiety, and the trigger will determine how well I cope.

Normally, I find that running really helps.  I get the chance to be alone with my thoughts and work through things.  I’ve really enjoyed getting back to it this week, and I have had the opportunity to explore a couple of new routes.  I’ve also been chuffed to use my Garmin, and I’ve found the stats quite interesting.  I ran the first run of Week 5, and ran two runs from Week 4.

I ran the third run of Week 4 at parkrun this morning.  I haven’t set any records, and I haven’t set a new PB, but I was pleased with how I went.  I ran for more than Week 4’s podcast, and I’m beginning to feel a little bit more “part of it” (don’t get me wrong, parkrun is very friendly, but people are now beginning to recognise me and know my name).  Also, it was really lovely to see Sharon from Shazruns at the finish line.  It was the first time we’ve had the chance for a chat before, and I’m sure we’ll stop for a coffee in the cafe when the weather turns cooler.  Sadly, I’m not back to parkrun now until nearly the end of the month.

Unfortunately, running hasn’t really helped clear my head.  Well, maybe it has, and in which case, I’d dread to think what I’d feel like if I hadn’t run.

Anyway, one of the issues has been highlighted this week is that I have become increasingly scruffy in my work dress, therefore a shopping trip was in order.  To be honest,  I could have done without the financial expenditure right now, but I guess there would never have been a good time (financially) in the run up to the wedding.  I had a very pleasant afternoon out with my mum, nonetheless, and I now have some new work clothes.

Post shopping cuppa

My post-shopping cup of tea 🙂

I think part of the issue has been that I bought “interim” clothes while I was (am) losing weight, and I haven’t wanted to replace them until I have “deserved” new ones (by going down a size).  Frustratingly, I haven’t gone down a clothes size.  I’m still firmly in a size 20 in shirts.  Three stone, and I still haven’t gone down a dress size really.  I’ve disliked shopping for a long time.  I suspect that I will disliked it for a while longer.

As for the anxiety, I’m just going to have to work like the clappers this week, get everything in order and do a good handover.  Realistically, that is all I can do right now.   I foresee a week of late nights in the office.  Otherwise, it is just a case of dealing with individual issues rather than trying to fire fight them all at once.


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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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Back to parkrun I went!

The results are in for parkrun this week, and I’ve truly astounded myself with a PW (a personal worst).  To be completely fair, it isn’t a true PW, as I “ran” the Race for Life at Plymouth about 10 minutes slower, but the time I recorded was:

Parkrun 31st August 2013

Despite being a PW for 2013, I am actually quite pleased with how it went.  I ran for longer than I thought I was going to be able to, and I wasn’t completely last.  In fact, I managed to overtake a couple of people (having been at the back for roughly the first kilometre or so).  With that in mind, I am pretty confident that I will be able to make it through Week 4 of the Couch to 5k plan without having to go back even further.

As you may be aware, I got a new Garmin and Yurbuds for my birthday, so I thought I’d take them out for a spin on Saturday.  Well, it was not meant to be.  In my complete ignorance, I didn’t charge my Garmin for long enough, so it stuttered into life long enough for me to sort the settings and locate a satellite before shutting down.  I did wear the HRM strap, which was I expecting to be uncomfortable, but it wasn’t.  So, note to self – remember to charge the Garmin the night before a run.  It was a comfortable watch to wear though.  The second was the Yurbuds.  I haven’t worn headphones to a parkrun before, as I quite like to just take the time out and listen to what’s going on around me.  This time was no different.  While I packed the earphones in my bag, I left my bag with M before taking them out.  D’oh!  When I got the bag back, to be fair, I didn’t have Week 4 of C25K downloaded anyway.

At the end of the run, there was a cake sale (it was for charity!), so I did indulge and buy both myself and M a homemade brownie.  It was delicious!  Obviously, I can’t do that every week, but it was VERY welcome this week.

As for the after effects of parkrun, well, I’m in excruciating agony a bit sore.  My hips started getting tight in the last mile or so, and they’re quite sore now, and going downstairs is a problem for my quads.  Otherwise, I feel pretty much ok.  I think if anything, it’s served as a bit of a lesson about why Tubs don’t stop running for two months.  Yes, it’s been two months since I last went out!  No wonder I don’t feel as fit as I was.

In other news, I have kept my food diary up to date and it’s gone quite well.  The big reveal is tomorrow, but I’ve actually quite enjoyed the challenge.  I’ve tried a couple of new things (scan bran cake, couscous pancakes, quark), and overall, my weekend eating has been much better.  The weekends are usually a really difficult time for me to keep focused and on track, but I made sure to pick some things that we really like (like BBQ pulled pork, a grill up, and snacky things).  While I went over my syns on both Saturday and Sunday, it’s much more in control than, let’s say, the weekend before.

The plan for the week ahead is to restart C25K at Week 4 (3 min run, 1.5 min walk, 5 min run, 2.5 min walk, 3 min run, 1.5 min walk, 5 min run).  I may even go somewhere new!  It may have to incorporate some hills too, as I feel I should get back into hills rather than just running on the flat.  East Devon – watch out!


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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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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.