Tub on the Run


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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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Time out

I’ve taken some unintended time out recently.  I haven’t had much in the way of positive things to write about and I have wondered whether September just needs writing off altogether.  Better things are planned for October, that is for sure!

I’ve done a reasonable amount of wallowing, and true to form, my old habits and coping mechanisms have crept back in, stealth-like.  My diet in September has been pretty poor, but I have managed to get a little bit of exercise in.  It hasn’t been consistent, but it was there and I’ll take that little bit of good.  Kettlebells are actually quite therapeutic even though I walk like I’ve lost my horse for the following three days!  I’ve snuck a bit of yoga in too.

What I have spent more time doing recently is rebuilding my bank of inspiring people, including following new people on Twitter and Instagram, reading more and trying to consolidate where I am and where I need to go, and how I get there.  Having stalked followed many of these people over the last couple of weeks, I’ve realised that I’ve become so overwhelmed by the enormity of losing the weight or getting back in to exercise that I’ve lost sight of how to get there, and stopped taking it one step at a time.  Will doing or not doing something make my situation better in the longer term?  This is the question I have allowed to get lost in the fluff of overthought.  I’ve focused on the all-consuming goal rather than breaking stuff down in to manageable chunks.

So now it is time to chunk it up!

P.S – in other news, I have written my first ever guest post over on Paleo Demystified.  I was all silly excited when they asked me if I would like to put something together, and it’s even more exciting to see it up!


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My #Whole30 results

Day 30 came and went without too much notice.  I had started to feel a bit anxious about what I was going to eat when the Whole30 was over, and partly for good reason.  Matt and I were due to go to the Silverstone Classic on Thursday 24th July.  We made it there in good time, but hadn’t really catered for a camping trip for the Thursday (our Day 30).  We’d already planned to eat whatever we could rather than try to find compliant food when we were out and about, and I had deliberately started the Whole30 when we did so that camping wouldn’t be a problem.

Thursday morning was a bit of a rush, taking photos and measurements before work, but we got it done, and I am certainly pleased with the results, and I know Matt is pretty chuffed with his too.  At the beginning, in my elevator pitch of Whole30, I wrote about what I wanted out of the 30 days:

  • Making significant inroads into breaking my problem with sugar

  • Learning more about what I truly benefit from and what does me harm

  • I won’t lie, some weight loss would be nice!

  • I’d also like to see if some of the skin problems I have are linked to my diet.  I imagine that they probably are

Looking at it in a bit of detail, I think it was a worthwhile exercise.

Energy

I didn’t think I was really one to suffer with mid-afternoon slumps, but one thing that has really made itself known since we came off of Whole30 is that I do.  My concentration is poor and I don’t feel like I am firing on all cylinders for a sustained period of time.  On Whole30, I felt great.  The world was my lobster and I felt ready to take on the challenges.

Sleep

I’ve never been a bad sleeper.  I’m a fidget and nuisance as I have restless legs and sleep walk and talk sometimes, but it rarely wakes me up.  Poor Matt, on the other hand, can often be the victim of a randomly flung leg or arm.  I wouldn’t feel like I would wake up refreshed and raring though.  Whole30 didn’t change this for me much.  I continued to sleep well, but I woke feeling a little brighter.

Sugar Addiction

This, for me, has to be one of the greatest successes.  I’m not “cured”, but these 30 days have helped me to sit out a craving, or find something else.  It’s proved to me that I don’t need the sugar and that I work better as a human being with less sugar.  I am still getting cravings every now and then, and although we’re not really following paleo or Whole30 right now, I haven’t slipped back in to my old ways of reaching for the first sweet thing I can find.  I feel like I have made a significant inroad on this particular aspect, and one that I am very keen to continue.

 (source)

Skin

My skin has never been great.  Ever since I hit puberty, the dermatology gods decided that I was destined to be plagued with breakouts and problem skin.  This has continued into my late 20s, though thankfully it isn’t as bad as it used to be.  That said, I am still unhappy with it and I find it to be a source of self-consciousness.  The Whole30 website says that improved skin can be one of the benefits of the 30 days, but I didn’t really find this to be the case.  I must make a point of saying that I have stress related breakouts and July was a stressful month, so Whole30 might have saved me a couple of nasty spots, but I’ll never know.

Weight

I don’t think there is a huge difference between the photos, but there is a good difference on the scales.  I started the Whole30 at 18 stone 9.5lbs and weighed in on Day 30 at 17 stone 7.5lbs, losing 16lbs and 8 inches.  Is it water weight?  Maybe.  I don’t really know.  I have really tried to make this more than just about losing the weight, but this is one of the best indicators for me. Something you can actually see.

Tub on the Run Side Comparison Whole 30

Tub on the Run Front Comparison Whole 30

Life after Whole30

Since finishing the 30 days, I have not stuck to any semblance of the principles of Whole 30.  This has seen my moods go up and down, my ability to cope with stress is compromised, I’m not feeling as efficient and I’m bloating.  I don’t feel great.  I actually feel sad.

Matt has seen a return to bloating too.

We’ve discussed what our next plans are in terms of diet.  We’ll be returning to a paleo/primal kind of eating soon, working on a 90% rule.  We’ve loved most of the meals that we’ve eaten and definitely want to keep them in the meal plans going forwards.  The issue is that August tends to be quite a social month for us, and eating out on paleo seems quite difficult, though not impossible.  With that in mind, we’ve discussed doing another Whole 30 in September.

I’ve got a few more thoughts on Whole 30 that I will write down at some point soon, but I thought this post was long enough, without getting in to the rest of it.


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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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Janathon Day 14: Are we nearly there yet?

As I started on the downhill slope to home time, the usual demons started up…

“you don’t want to go out for a run… It’s dark, cold and wet”

I will freely admit that I agreed with my little demon.  It is dark, cold and wet.  I won’t lie – I considered not going out.  Then some synapse fired and reminded me that it is less than 7 weeks to Silverstone Half Marathon, and every little piece of training helps.

I’d considered nipping in to the gym.  It was only meant to be two miles, which is just about bearable on the treadmill.  But no.  I decided to go around the marina, which isn’t a route I usually do.  I thought perhaps the change of scenery would be helpful.

Out of the house I ventured.  Into drizzle, wind and cold I stepped, and of course, my Garmin took a little longer to lock.  Not my best start.  Once the planets had aligned and the Garmin locked on, I started off.  Or rather, I attempted to get the two lumps of concrete attached to my hips moving.  It was unsuccessful.  Ok… Maybe I’ll feel better when I get into it.  After all, I have been harbouring intentions towards trying my hand at lamppost intervals.  I tried a couple of lamppost intervals.  Nope.  Not working.  Ok… Maybe back to familiar territory?  I headed back towards the trainline.  Still nothing.

I never regret going out for a run, despite all my whinging about it beforehand, but I came very close to regretting today’s attempt.

14th Jan Run

I aborted the run as I was becoming progressively more miserable.

Tuesday nights are Slimming World weigh in nights, and I pootled off, convinced that I would have put weight on.  Upon arrival, I took my jacket off, and H (who helps out at Slimming World), pointed out that I had a rather unfortunate wet patch across my chest.  Yep, it looked like I had some pretty spectacular boob sweat going on.  Delightful.  It would appear that my waterproof jacket that I wear for running is not as waterproof as I give it credit for.  Fortunately, I maintained my weight this week, so I didn’t quite put the cherry of a weight gain on what was turning into a rubbish evening.

I got to thinking why my run was so awful today, and I suspect it could be one or a combination of the following:

  • I need to buy a new sports bra.  I had bounce, and bounce is not good.  I need strapping in, and firmly.
  • I haven’t had that much in the way of protein.  I didn’t have much after my long run and I have been sore.  I know that if I eat more protein, I am generally a happier (and less stiff) bunny.
  • I am tired.  A lot of things feel like a chore at the moment, and those things are less physically demanding than running.
  • My legs are physically tired.  Yes, probably they are.  My shins are a bit sore, right ankle isn’t happy and my left knee is joining in the chorus of niggles.
  • Not eating close enough to a run.  I hadn’t eaten anything for nearly 6 hours before I went out (and even then, it was hardly a nutritious meal – a stuffing baguette and Diet Coke).

Four miles are on the card tomorrow.  My plan?  Wear my other bra, bed early tonight, eat something at about 4:30pm and start feeding myself with proper food instead of rubbish.

Let’s see what tomorrow brings!


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New stone zone

Yes, I achieved a new stone zone.  Unfortunately it was of the wrong kind.  Yep, I’ve gone UP into the next stone bracket.

Am I really too worried?  No.  6.5lbs on last week and 1.5lbs on this week is pretty spectacular as a couple of gains, but it hasn’t exactly been a normal couple of weeks, has it?  As our honeymoon ended, I began to crave clean, non-fatty, non-sugary foods.

Craving clean food

I did quite well on the weekend.  I even cracked out the Le Creuset casserole pot to do a pulled pork with veggies (4 syns for each serving, and so filling).  I was quite pleased.  Then I went back to work, and my resolve quickly did a u-turn and headed out the door.  My colleague is leaving this week, so it’s been a complete cake-fest in the office.  I started off quite well, and then ended up nose diving into the bag of cake, barely emerging for breath.  The worst thing is that it is completely mindless eating.  I’m not hungry and I don’t need the sugar.  A Viennese Whirl (Mr Kipling’s variety) is 7 syns a go, and I polished off three in as many minutes.  Then I had various other cakes in addition.  Not an overwhelming success back into the Slimming World way of life I think it is safe to say.

My downfall at the moment is planning (or not as the case may be) and sticking to the plan.  I didn’t know that there were going to be cakes (as she leaves on Wednesday, I knew we’d have cake on Wednesday, but not Monday and Tuesday too).  I should have known, as she has a sweeter tooth than me.  I know that tomorrow, there will be more cakes, and so I must take fruit as an alternative.  I am also going to keep a food diary to hold myself accountable.

Running wise, I must get out and build my miles up, as the Weston Christmas Cracker is in five weeks.  I’m going to take it even slower than usual, given that I currently weigh quite a bit more (nearly 10lbs more) than I did last time I went out.  I don’t want to stress myself out, and on my long runs, I’m more concerned with being able to cover the distance than the speed in which I cover it.

It is back to business as usual now, and while I am a bit peeved to have put on so much weight in such a short space of time, I can’t waste energy on dwelling, but need to use it to move forward and plan and avoid the distractions.


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Reflections

As clichéd as it sounds, I can’t believe where this year is going.  It’s June.  How did June sneak around so quickly?!

In part, prompted by Lucy’s recent post, I have decided to reflect a little on where I am right now.  I started with my (now removed) Tub’s 13 in 2013 page.

My 13 list

My 13 list

I don’t think that some of the things in there are realistically achievable, given what’s happened so far this year.  Pretty much anything that requires financial commitment is out.  The important thing happening this year is marrying M.  All financial resource is being ploughed into that right now.  Some of the things of that list don’t interest me any more either, so I’ve decided to scrap the 13 goals, and focus on getting fitter, slimmer and not feeling like an oversized troll in a white dress.

So, a quick check in, a la Lucy:

Physically

I am ironically probably been in the best shape I have ever been in, in terms of fitness, just sadly not in terms of weight.  I have ticked off a fair few non-scale victories as well as being able to say I can run for longer than I had ever managed before.

“Me”

I have been suffering with stress quite a bit lately, and it isn’t getting much better.  I have had the week off, and in all honesty, I think I left it too long to have some time out from work, as I haven’t recharged very much.  It is work that is probably my major stressor, and the exercise helps to keep a balance and stop me from going bonkers.  I have some things that I need to put in place to make sure I achieve a better mental/emotional health and deal with the issues.  Sadly, it’s 14 weeks until my next holiday.

Stuff I am enjoying:

  • Exercise, and strangely I feel markedly more irritable when I can’t get out, or don’t get out.
  • New friends – I’ve really started to click with some people in my Slimming World group and hope to grow those friendships more.
  • Foodie Penpals – I love receiving parcels, and it’s even better knowing it’s a (nice) surprise inside.
  • Time with my family – I’ve really enjoyed spending time with my mum and sister lately (County Show with Mum, and Dartmoor with P)

Some areas to work on:

  • Budgeting – enough said!
  • Completing my psychometric qualification (I have two assignments outstanding, and have been procrastinating quite spectacularly)
  • Tidy house, tidy mind?


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Weekend Prep

You’ll be pleased to hear that I feel like I am on the way out from the stupid black hole I ended up in earlier in the week.  I have tried to get some perspective on the issues, and while I will confess to having wedding wobbles (not about getting married to M, but about the event itself), weight wobbles (and the wobbly bits of weight), along with work stresses, ultimately, they are piddling problems in the grand scheme, and perfectly manageable without the use of chocolate.

My morning weight is back down again, properly down.  I know, I am going against the Slimming World/general dieting advice of “don’t weigh every day”, but it works for me sometimes.  It’s working right now, and that’s the most important thing.

I haven’t managed to get a proper run in this week, which is frustrating, as I now have pink splodges on my otherwise green training plan.  Yes, I like to colour in.

training plan

I remember having a couple of off weeks on Couch to 5k, so I’m not too worried, but worried enough to make sure I get my proper long run in at the weekend. 

The weekend is nearly upon us.  This is a good thing, definitely.  M and I are off camping again, and while I am looking forward to a weekend of motorsport (British GTs to be specific), I am not looking forward to the camping conundrum that is food.  I have planned to take Tesco’s Irish Stew, but I am stumped for other foods.  I think I may resort to couscous packets and rice packets that you can just add water too, and take a couple of bags of apples or something.  I don’t mind the idea of eating out on Sunday night, as we won’t be eating too late, and there are plenty of places around to eat at.  It’s an unusual weekend, as we leave Silverstone and come back via Castle Combe for the day, getting home on Monday night. 

I’ve got a busy evening ahead – I need to get the bags packed and start loading the car, as well as go to kettlebells, then make sure that the flat is visitor welcome for when my mum comes to cat sit.  It’s going to be a stressful evening, and probably a late one.

On that note, I will almost definitely not be around to blog until Tuesday now, but it will give me plenty to catch up with when I get back in terms of reading.

Have a wonderful weekend, whatever you’re up to!


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New Stone Zone

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

Steph Loop

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

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

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


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Celebrating 3 stone gone

After a tough day at work, M and I headed out for a run before Slimming World.  M decided to do week 1 of Couch to 5k again.  I decided not to run with him, but just try to get a 20 minute run in.  I failed.  Frustratingly, I don’t know why I seem to be unable to maintain a good running pace and breathe when I go out with M.  I’m not blaming him, as it isn’t anything to do with him really.  I think it is more that there is a larger amount of pavement traffic around when we go out together.  Instead of being able to focus on the actual act of running, I’m busy dodging people, checking that I can dodge people without inadvertently knocking a cyclist down by trespassing on their cycle lane, and attempting not to sound like a horrendous wheezy steam train on my way past.  I am going to find a different route to try instead of getting all blah about it.

On to the good news…  Post-run, I headed to my Slimming World group for my weigh in.  I hit my 3 stone award exactly.  I am really pleased, and just wanted to take some time to have a quick reflection on where I am and how I feel:

  • I can walk places and hold a conversation very easily, walking at a decent pace too.
  • I can run.  I never thought I’d be able to say that.
  • I have met some lovely people and made new friends through my Slimming World group.
  • I eat plenty of food.  Nothing is banned, and I’m still learning about moderation.
  • My clothes are getting too big.
  • My mood is pretty good most of the time, and my depression seems to be lying low a lot of the time.
  • I’m probably the fittest I have ever been (in terms of cardiovascular fitness).

Another 3 stone, and I’ll be back to the weight I was when I first started going out with M back in late 2008.  Here’s hoping the next 3 stone disappear quickly (but not too quickly).

In other news, I tried to give blood today, but got turned away as they were running behind, so I will make a proper appointment for the next session.