Tub on the Run


Autumn plans

Autumn Background

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

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

The plan!

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

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

Monday done

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

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

Do you work out or run with a plan?



Plans for the autumn

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

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

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

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

Christmas Cracker 10k

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

I am third in from the right

I am third in from the right


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


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

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



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

Whole30 Cottage Pie Ingredients


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


No PB, but a good weekend with added Gromits

After my monster workout on Thursday, I was suffering already on Friday.  My back hurt the most, but as the day progressed, my shoulders and arms started aching too.  As I crawled into bed on Friday night, I wondered whether I’d actually be able to go to parkrun on Saturday morning.  I hurt.  I wasn’t just sore, I was hurting (yeah yeah, overdramatic I know).

I confess, I didn’t exactly spring out of bed on Saturday morning, but I did make it to Killerton.  I started off much better than the week before, and I felt good.  I thought I was running for more than I was walking (side note: Gah!  Why can’t I run continuously any more?!), and I felt my pace was more consistent as a result.  Not only that, but I wasn’t at the back.  M actually caught a couple of pictures of me:

parkrun 29.6.13

I felt good, better in fact that last week, despite my sore muscles.  The result?  4 seconds slower.  Oh well!  I wasn’t last though.  I am wondering what the result will be next week.  Apologies too for the selfie – but it had a purpose.  I decided, having spoken to one of the guys at work about muscle soreness to try a protein shake (hence the picture).  I spent quite a lot of time of Friday night researching whether protein shakes should be avoided by those trying to lose weight (general consensus: research the protein v carb content, and factor it in to your calorie allowance).  After my run, we stopped by our local smoothie bar, and I ordered a protein shake.  It was quite tasty.  I will, however, see if I can find a couple of sample powders to try and make my own at home, as buying shakes could prove to be expensive.

I don’t know whether it was the shake itself, or maybe a placebo effect, but I am not feeling anywhere near as sore as I think I probably would have been.  I’ve decided, therefore, that when I double up spinning and kettlebells, my tea will be a shake when I get in (I don’t want to eat that late in the evening, but I can’t deal with the muscle soreness).

The rest of the day was spent with M’s family.  Mother-in-law is getting married again in September, and a shopping trip had been planned so that M and I could be kitted out in appropriate wedding attire.  A trip to Bristol it was.  All over Bristol were lots of Gromits (from Wallace and Gromit, not grommets for ear problems).  It is part of Gromit Unleashed, an art exhibition of 80 5ft Gromits and is in Bristol for 10 weeks from 1st July, raising money for The Grand Appeal (Bristol’s Children’s Hospital).  I snapped this one is Cabot Circus.

Gromit - Simons Cat

We did see a couple more, but annoyingly I didn’t have my camera on me, and my phone camera is very poor (stupid Blackberry!).  That said, for my phone, this came out rather well.  I sent this to my sister tout suite, because it’s a Simon’s Cat Gromit (she got me in to Simon’s Cat a couple of years ago).  Simon Torfield, creator of Simon’s Cat, makes sketches and video clips of cat behaviour that will resonate deeply with cat owners.  A favourite of mine being:

I really want to go back to Bristol and go on a Gromit Hunt.  We have quite a quiet month in August, so I may pester M into having a weekend there to track them down.

Notwithstanding Gromit spotting, we had a really nice afternoon out and about, and I came away with a gorgeous purple maxi dress from Hobbs (in the sale too – what’s not to love!) and M got a new suit.  Frustratingly, my foot has started playing up again.  It is sore in exactly the same area as it was when I injured it last time.  I’ve decided to try and take it easy today to help it heal, and I may decide to back off the running (not that I have actually done any between parkruns… Oops) if a day with it resting doesn’t help.

Hope everyone’s had a great weekend too!


Sometimes, Tubs are hardcore

It is a lesser known fact that on occasion, Tubs can be hardcore.  By hardcore, clearly I mean as in a Dime bar kind of hard core…

Yep, I’m soft on the outside.

Why are Tubs hardcore?  Let’s rewind one week to the end of last Thursday’s spinning session.  N and I stopped to chat to Steph, our spin instructor, and we mentioned that we had plans to alternate spinning and kettlebells.  Steph said there was a kettlebells session right after her spin class.  Well that was it.  A seed had been planted.  From the time it took to get from the spin studio to the crossing outside of the gym, our endorphin addled brains thought that was a marvellous idea.  N booked up fairly quickly, but I got to yesterday and realised I hadn’t booked up.

After much gnashing of teeth and snarling at google (which was being rubbish and wouldn’t find me the information immediately… what did we do before google?!), I found the phone number for the gym and booked in.  The man who booked me in even sounded a little… well… “you really want to do that?”, though he didn’t actually say it.

I’d saved part of my breakfast to have later in the afternoon – scan bran and cottage cheese (scan bran being the Slimming World cardboard of choice, made palatable solely by adding something to it).  I even threw a banana down the hatch for good luck.  As M settled down in front of the telly, I made my way over to the gym (also, typically, it is good Tub running weather today – raining and cool – though a run AND spinning AND kettlebells I’m sure is the rotund’s equivalent of hari-kari).

As I set up my bike, I chatted to N, and we agreed to go easy in spin, given we had never done anything so outlandish as combine TWO classes before (yeah, we know how to live!).  In amongst this, with the high octane lifestyles we lead, she invited M and I camping to Cambridgeshire to watch J (N’s husband, M’s best man) compete in a triathlon (though it might be a duathlon).  Actually, it’ll be fun and it’ll be great to support J.  Anyway, I digress.  Someone had left the gears on 14 from the previous session, and I wasn’t finding that too bad, so I told myself that was the lowest I could go in the session.  I think that was where it all got a bit daft.  Throwing caution to the wind (wind generate by the huge fan, caution being my common sense), I started competing with myself.  As a result, spinning was not “easy”, but I PBd in terms of calories (487 in the session, according to the bike, normally I’m around 350) with my average watts hitting 189 (usually in the 150s).  The very definition of not taking it easy.

I felt good.  Tired, sweaty, red faced, but good.  The high lasted until I got to the kettlebells class and realised there were no light weights (2kg I think I usually go with – my upper body strength is dire).  I ended up with a 5kg instead.  As my endorphins made a swift retreat and sweated out, I was left feeling a bit ill in parts, taking a couple more breaks than normal.

I got home and stuffed a cereal bar down my face, as I had started getting shaky hands.  Whether than was weight related (as in kettlebell weight) or low blood sugar, I couldn’t tell you.

So, I’ll be amazed if I can move in the morning, although I’ll probably be worse on Saturday (hmm… parkrun PB is looking questionable possibly).

And that, my friends, is how Tubs are sometimes hardcore.


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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Just call me Garfield

*stands up* Hi everyone, my name is Tub, and I think I have a problem.  I think I may be addicted to lasagne.  I think this is probably the fourth time I have blogged that I have eaten lasagne (and eaten it a couple of times that I haven’t blogged about too) and get the distinct feeling that I may need to change my blog name to Garfield On The Run instead.

 garfield lasagna photo: Garfield Lasagna garfield.gif

The thing I love about our lasagne is that it is Slimming World friendly and the portions are incredibly generous.  I needed a generous portion after my beasting courtesy of kettlebells.

For a change, I got to the class quite early, and overheard two other people having a conversation that the lady who usually takes the class was not here, and that it was likely to this muscle bound, long haired man who didn’t believe in breaks after sets.  Prior to this information, I had picked a slightly heavier weight than my normal one.  Upon hearing this information, I decided to wimp out and go back to my normal baby weight (a whopping 2kg).  Decision well made I feel.  True to the conversation, this young man with the most divine arm muscles came in and started getting the class set up (yes, I have a thing for nice arms on men).  If it hadn’t have been for his rather lovely arm muscles, I may have been tempted to lob the weight in his direction as the class was that hard (clearly I also lacked the strength to throw the weight anyway). 

I have come to the conclusion that I don’t appear to have any shoulder strength or abdominal muscles.  Having said that, I’m sure I’ll be suffering even more than I am right now, come Saturday, and I’m definitely looking likely to be reduced to a hobbling wreck by the end of my day today, which may hamper my plan to run.

Yesterday, I finished another day completely on plan, and I’m feeling really good for it.  My food has been clean, and I’m not shovelling copious amounts of sugar down my neck to try and feel better.  My sweet cravings haven’t really subsided all that well, but I have been asking myself whether I am really hungry when someone offers me something (no is usually the answer), and I have been eating yogurt and fruit to try and get a sweet fix.  It’s working so far.

In other news, I am told that my sister has completed her 25 minute run on Couch to 5k, so WOO!  Go Tub’s sister!  I’m very pleased for her.  I am hoping to get out for a run tonight, and praying that the wind is much less gusty and strong than it was yesterday.


Woo! New Shoes!

Pay Day

That’s the story of my life!  Too much month in my money.

Anyway, as a treat for completing the Couch to 5k, I decided to reward myself with some new kit.  This kit included new shoes, as I have started wearing a hole in the toe box of my current pair.  As a small aside, is it wrong to love a pair of trainers because they hold some significance for you?  I love my old pair, and I’m loathe to throw them out – I started running in them!  `I decided it isn’t silly, and they’re now my “any other workout” trainers.  Anyway.  Last month, I realised that the little independent shop I used last time doesn’t actually do gait analysis.  As my knees aren’t in the world’s best condition, I am obviously quite keen to look after them.  After a quick google, I found a Runners Need shop, not too far from where I live.  Ok, it wasn’t really “found” as I knew it was there, but I forgot about it.  Following a quick look around their website, it appears they do gait analysis for free.  Being new to this whole thing, I emailed and asked if you needed to book – no, just turn up with your old shoes and in something you can run in (work trousers are out for me).  I admit, I was sceptical about going in.  I’m still fat and don’t obviously look like a runner type.  I was sure they’d think that I’d accidentally stumbled into their shop having missed the turning for McD’s.

The Runners Need in Exeter isn’t that big – it takes up a small corner of the Snow & Rock store.  After a few minutes, the lady came over and asked if we were ok (M came with me).  After bumbling about how I have just started running, and completed couch to 5k, I asked her about new shoes.  I was asked to run on a treadmill for a minute in some different trainers while I was filmed.  After a minute or so of running, I got off the treadmill and looked at my slow motion film.  It’s strange seeing yourself run.  The lady was really good, and explained it all to me, then picked me out some shoes.  I am an overpronator it appears.  I looked at Saucony Omni 11s, and Asics GT-2000s.   I then had to run in both pairs for another minute.  Both pairs were really comfortable, and I struggled to choose between the two.  In the end, I picked the Asics, just because of the colour really.  I will keep my eyes peeled for a cheap pair of Omni 11s though, as they were great too.


Overall, I liked the experience, though do think that the prices were quite high, so I’ll shop around more for the next pair.

In other news, I went to a kettlebells class for the first time last night.  I am dying today.  Actually dying.  My muscles are screaming at me to stop, don’t do anything, just sit down (yes, the treadmill was hard work for the gait analysis).  I would do it again though, which is probably a good job, as I am booked in to do it alternate weeks to spinning.

I can’t stop eating at the moment.  It’s ridiculous – I feel like I have lost all control.  I’d like to blame the hot cross buns.  It’s me though.  Just me.  I shall bury my nose in weight loss blogs and my latest Slimming World magazine to see if that helps.  I suspect it is because I am tired, sore, a bit low, and just struggling to work out whether it’s emotional food or genuine food cravings.  It’s unlikely to be genuine I’d have thought.  If my neck muscles weren’t so sore, then I would navel gaze a bit further.