Tub on the Run


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Gallivanting

I tend not to blog when I have nothing to blog about.  I’d say that was definitely true on the weight loss and exercise fronts, but unusually, life has been a bit on the busy side for me lately so I haven’t found much in the way of spare time.

I said in my last blog post that Matt and I had been given notice to move out of our flat in the summer.  We don’t have a definite date yet, but when we were told that we needed to move, we got straight to it with house hunting.  The paperwork is all done for the mortgage now, and we’ve had an offer accepted on a house.  It’s in mid-Devon, much closer to Killerton parkrun, and super convenient for hopping on the motorway to both sets of parents.  We are just waiting for the full survey next week.  We’re hoping to move by mid-August at the latest.  It’s all very exciting, but quite stressful, and also quite scary to see how much junk we’ve acquired in the 5 years we have lived here.

We’ve had a couple of weekends out and about too.

Two weeks ago, Matt and I joined his mum and step-dad to go to London.  Step-dad was running in the London Marathon, so we had said we would like to go and cheer him on.  We joined him for the expo, and wandered around London for a short while.  We made it back to where we were staying and had a lovely dinner at a local pub.  It was a very early start (for a Sunday morning) on race day.  We caught the train to Blackheath and waved him off about 20 minutes before the start, before heading back towards Greenwich to catch the Tube.  We got off at Canary Wharf, intending to get to somewhere around Mile 11.  As it turned out, we found a great little spot between Mile 17 and 18 on the North Colonnade, so decided to stay there.  Unfortunately, I was on a coffee run when the elites and Paula Radcliffe came past (thankfully, Matt snapped a picture or two!).

London Marathon 2015

Father-in-law came through, looking really good and definitely on for the time he was looking for (he completed the Marathon in 2010, in 4:25:21, and wanted to beat that).  After cheering him on, we made our way over to Hyde Park to the finish line.  The finish line area was definitely interesting – broken, but incredibly proud (and some disappointed) people.  It definitely made me rethink any daft notion I had about entering the ballot!  Unfortunately, father-in-law didn’t beat his time.  I think he was just happy to make it around in the end, as he had started to experience some of the niggles that he had picked up during training.  Nevertheless, we were all very proud of him!

Last weekend was the culmination of a lot of planning between my sister and I.  Mum celebrates a significant birthday this year, and we wanted to do something special for her.  It was top secret and Mum was told to keep the first bank holiday weekend in May free.  Matt and I picked both my mum and sister up on Saturday morning, having put together a packing list and arguing about Matt needing a car for the weekend (it was all in hand, Matt would be keeping the car).  We arrived at Exeter airport, and made our way to check in.  We still hadn’t told her where we were going, but when we got to the check in, she scanned through the flight lists – there were three options – Edinburgh, Dublin or Paris.  Mum and P had gone to Edinburgh on a holiday relatively recently, and she has never expressed a desire to go to Dublin, so she guessed (correctly) that we were heading to Paris.  Her reaction was absolutely priceless!  P and I had worked out the itinerary and transport links, and tried to make it as smooth and worry free as we could for Mum.  We checked in our hotel, which was a fab little apartment in Courbevoie, close to La Defense train station.  Sadly the weather wasn’t really in our favour, and we’d had a delay on the train from the airport, but we’d booked a city tour on Big Bus Tours.  We managed to catch the last bus of the day from the Arc de Triomphe and see most of the major sites in Paris.

Paris

I would definitely do this tour again, and make use of the hop on hop off if we had more time.  It was a really nice way to see the city without any hassle, and with a little bit of commentary.  On Sunday, we had booked to go to the Palace of Versailles.  Wow.  It is absolutely breathtakingly splendid.  The queue to get in was massive, but surprisingly orderly for a European queue.  We queued for about an hour to get in to the Palace (definitely getting there early is the best plan), but it was worth it.  I like a good historical building or place, and have been very lucky to go to a lot of castles and houses in the England and Wales, but Versailles was magnificent and in a league of its own.  It’s another place I would love to go back to, as we didn’t get the chance to get into the gardens or any of the other buildings at all.

Versailles

There was just one sting in the tail of an otherwise brilliant weekend – the travelling home.  We had a very early flight home on the Monday morning, which came back via Manchester.  Despite rising at such an ungodly hour, Mum enjoyed the whole weekend, and I am pretty sure that P and I would do it all over again just to see her reaction!

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This weekend was my friend Helen’s hen party.  Her bridesmaids had organised a weekend away in a Georgian mansion in Rockbeare.  It was a perfect setting for a relaxing weekend away in a beautiful house, with probably one of the best bathrooms I have ever seen.

Westcott House

There were rounders, drinking games, vast amounts of food, lots of laughs and a murder mystery.  It was a really lovely weekend, and great to get to know some people before the wedding in a couple of weeks.

We have nothing planned for next weekend, which I am quite glad about!  The washing is piling up, and the house won’t pack itself!

 


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More hobbling and bring plans forward

Monday was a good day for my #MarchForMarch.  I toddled off for a lunchtime walk, and actually walked faster than I thought.  It was a gorgeous day, and it would have been a shame not to get out into the sunshine for a few minutes.

March For March Day 9

Tuesday started off pretty well too.  I didn’t get the chance to go out at lunch, but I did get a couple of walks around the factory running some errands.  In my last walk around, I managed to roll my ankle in a tiny (and I do mean tiny) gap between a drain cover and the concrete floor.  In slow-mo, I felt my ankle roll, my bulk come crashing down, landing on my opposite elbow, and taking a deep breath in and feeling the bruise on my pride start to swell.

Anyway, the floor won.  I am rather renowned for being accident prone at work, and I was long overdue a tumble.  My ankle swelled up quite quickly, and hurt like a [insert various swear words].

On Wednesday morning, it felt worse, so Matt made me go to A&E.  One x-ray and 45 minutes later, it turns out it is just a nasty sprain.  Usual RICE advice given.  The swelling is now beginning to go down, but this whole event has made me realise how much I sit on my feet or cross my legs, and how annoying it is that I cannot sit like I usually do.

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Needless to say, that has kind of limited my walking for March for March, though I am still trying to get a few steps in each day to stop my ankle from stiffening up.  What I am trying to say is, I’m down, but not out!

Matt and I have also had some news.  It’s a bit good and a bit bad.  We live in a rather odd set up, above some offices in a flat with no real front door (we have to come in through the offices).  We’d always assumed that the main business of the offices owned the building, but it seems the building is leased, and the lease is up this summer.  Bad news for us is that the premises they’re moving to doesn’t have a flat above, so we’ve been given notice and will need to find a new place to live during the summer.  The good news is that we had been planning to buy a house this year, around November time anyway.  We’ve been saving for the deposit for our own house since we paid off the wedding, but it hadn’t had too much of a focus until January.  So while it is bad news that we have to move out, and a little quicker than we had intended to, it has been the kick up the bum we’ve needed to really get stuff in order and on the move.

Right now, I feel massively overwhelmed by the task of buying a house, and it is pushing me out of my comfort zone.  In addition to that, we’re having to look at properties outside of our home town (which we have both lived in for over 20 years).  We’ll be looking to move a little further up the road where it is a little more “first time buyer friendly”.

Oh blimey… it seems I have now hit adulthood!


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Hobbling, Hill Walking and Here is Spring

Week 1 of March for March is complete!  It’s been a good week too.  I went for a walk every day except for Friday, and made up for that with two walks on Saturday.  I’m mostly logging via Instagram, but you can join in on Facebook too if that’s more your thing.

Day 1 was a quick out and back with Matt.  We’d had a reasonably busy day around the house (finally caught up with the laundry!), so it was nice to get out into the fresh air for a short walk.  I also decided to take some long overdue front and side shots.  One thing that I regularly see around social media is that progress shouldn’t be judged by the scales along, and progress photos can be more helpful.

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Day 2 saw me go for my (possibly first ever) lunchtime walk.  It will certainly be my first ever lunchtime walk at my current workplace.  I’ve been there for over 5 and a half years, so that isn’t very good!  I used to walk on my lunchtimes at my previous workplace, but then it was an agriculture college and there were plenty of beautiful grounds to walk in.

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Day 3 was an evening walk.  It almost didn’t happen at all, as the pavement literally outside our front door was being taken up and replaced.  Thankfully, Matt and I made it out and back in without incident.  Our walk took us around the marina.  The last time I wandered that way in the evening was around Christmas.  The Christmas lights definitely made it nicer.

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Day 4 saw me running around my workplace.  I have to admit, it was really nice to get out of the office.  At the end of the day, we both had a short evening walk, complete with a new pavement outside our door.  I have definitely come to realise that I am incredibly inactive as a general rule, which is slightly terrifying given that it seems that sitting for too long is bad for you.

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By Day 5, my calf had become quite sore (near my Achilles tendon), and so I hobbled around work, but decided against a proper walk outside.  I still managed to get a good amount of steps in despite not getting outside (the benefits of working in a big factory I guess).

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Day 6 proved to be a bit of a hobbly mess.  I had problems with putting my foot flat on the floor without pain.  I have a feeling it was the shoes I had been walking in that caused the pain, as they’re not really walking trainers, and while they’re comfortable, they really should be confined to meanders around town.

I made up for Friday’s lack of walking with two walks on Saturday.  It was such a lovely day that we decided to head off to Lyme Regis with our cameras, and stopped off at Colyton on the way back.

We parked at the top of town.  If you’ve never been to Lyme Regis, when I say “at the top of town”, I do mean “top”, vertically so.  It’s a beautiful town just over the border into Dorset.  I haven’t been there for years and years, and I had definitely forgotten how steep the hills were.  The hills, of course, were fine on the way down!  No problem at all.  There were some great little photo opportunities on the way down too.

Lyme Regis | #MarchForMarch

When we reached the bottom, we walked around the Cobb.  Thankfully it wasn’t too windy – while I have no doubt that the Cobb in a storm would be spectacular, it would be incredibly treacherous (it was slippery enough yesterday!).

Views from the Cobb | #MarchForMarch

We walked back along the beach and up to the town, negotiating the hills (first gear hills!) before huffing and puffing back to the car.  The water we had in the car had never been so welcome!

Lyme Regis | #MarchForMarch

Once we’d caught our breath, we made our way back towards home.  Matt wanted to show me Colyton on the way.  While we’d gone to primary school together, I went to our local comprehensive for secondary, but Matt had sat the 11 Plus and made it in to Colyton Grammar.  I had to get my head around how far from our home town it was (I walked for 30 minutes to get to school, Matt’s bus took him an hour!).  However, in terms of scenery, his school definitely topped mine!  It’s a gorgeous little village.  The added bonus?  It seems that spring is finally here!

Colyton | #MarchForMarch

By the time we had started to head back towards the car, my calf had tightened up significantly and I was back hobbling again.  Hot water bottle and painkillers it is for me!

Have you walked anywhere nice recently?


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The joy of Timehop

I’ve only recently got on the Timehop wagon, and I’ve found it quite amusing to see what random drivel I have posted to various social media accounts over the last few years.  Actually, some of it is quite terrifying.  I had to smile when this one popped up this morning:

Timehop Commando Challenge

About 6 months before, in roughly March/April 2010, I thought that 10k wasn’t too far.  And I thought that an obstacle course sounded fun.  Combining these, I also thought it would be a great idea to rope my manager and work friend into doing it.  After all, it was for charity.  So we entered the Commando Challenge.  This was a long, long time before I’d heard of Spartan races or Tough Mudders.  The Commando Challenge is made up of approximately 3 miles of the Royal Marine’s commando course, sandwiched between two 1.5 mile runs.

In typical Tub style, I was overenthusiastic to start off with, went hell for leather on a training plan, got bored, wandered back to the sofa and waited for the event to come around, hoping all the while that someone other than me would pull out.  My manager had the sense to do so, but with a steep entry fee and a stubborn work friend, I didn’t get the chance to drop out, and she roped her sister into making our team up to 3 (you needed a minimum number of 3 in a team, and you couldn’t enter on an individual basis).

I was up bright and early, and was welcomed by a cool and bright autumn morning.  Matt and I drove and parked up at Bicton Arena where everything started and finished.  My team mates joined us and we went to pay our sponsorship money in and retrieve our number.  After a brief warm up, we were off.

I couldn’t run very far, and found the hilly terrain hard going.  I know the area well, so I’m not sure why I was surprised at how hard it was.

Learning point: wear proper running shoes (you’ll regret it later if you don’t!).

Then came the obstacle course.  I’d always wondered why marines are so short.  Most that I had ever come across were shorter than me (at 5 ft 8).  As I crawled through the smartie tubes (corrugated metal tubes that are covered with soil), it became very clear why – I struggled getting through them, so anyone taller definitely would have had issues.

Learning point: wear knee pads.

Next up was “Peter’s Pool”.  I have no idea why the pool is named after Peter, or who Peter is, but I could only deduce that maybe he was overly fond of ice baths.  This was a wade through waist deep cold water.  While it was refreshing for a moment, coming out of the other side was just plain mean – frozen legs trying to run up a loose gravel hill.  Peters Pool was followed by the Sheep Dip.  Two marines standing in the water, one of either side of a low concrete bridge – one to push you under, one to pull you through.

Sheep Dip Collage

Learning point: wear trousers that will stay up, or have a strategically placed marine in the event of a photo opportunity. 

Slipping uphill

I remember slipping and sliding up the bog, a couple more tunnels and a mud slide before being released back on to the road for the final 3k slog back to base and over the finish line.  The last kilometre was painful for my knees and even worse in my hips and I did think at one point that I was going to have to call for someone to tow me over the line!

Learning Point: Smile at photographers – don’t bare your teeth…

Home straight

I was so glad to get to the end.  I was last back from our team, coming in at just over 2 and a half hours.  I could almost die when I remember the time it took!  This is why I rarely refer to it as my first 10k, as I don’t think that 2 and a half hours counts as a run.

Finished

I was so relieved to get home!  It took me four long showers to get all the mud and foliage out.  I then proceeded to sleep for the rest of the afternoon!  It was at this point that I decided “never again”.  I no longer get swept up in tales of Tough Mudders or Spartan challenges when I see glowing reviews on blogs or Twitter.  I’m glad I completed it, but I have no desire to do it ever again.

Obstacle races – yay or nay?