Tub on the Run



After a bit of a rocky start with My Fitness Pal, where my tracking didn’t really happen one week, I managed to put on weight before I lost it (genius!).  I am now pleased to report that I am at a net loss.  Hurrah!  It has been an “okay” kind of week with food.  I have tried to eat more mindfully, as I am horrendous for just wolfing down my meals without really chewing or tasting them.  The queen of mindless eating if you will!

I’ve really been struggling for things to write about on my blog lately.  “Tub” is still tubby, and “on the run” is more “sat on my bum”, so it’s quite hard to think of relevant things to write about.  However, as a brief post, I thought I’d share a couple of things that are inspiring me right now:

  • My sister – She took up running after me, but has beaten me at all running related things.  She’s got a 30 minute 5k under her belt, a few new knee scars from a fall (thankfully, otherwise, mostly injury free), and has now signed up for her first ever 10k in May.  She’s running for Parkinson’s UK at Highclere on 11th May 2014.  I can’t wait to hear how she does!
  • James – Matt’s best man at our wedding is competing in the EC Powerman Duathlon in Holland today.
  • The London Marathon.  I am always amazed by peoples’ ability to run for 26.2 miles, especially as I would struggle to run a full 2.62 miles right now.  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading other bloggers’  recaps on the Brighton and Paris marathons, and can’t wait for the London reviews to come up in the next few days.

Oh… and happy birthday to my running shoes.  It has been a year since I bought them.

They don't look quite as clean these days

They don’t look quite as clean these days



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!


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.


So far, so good

After my weigh in on Tuesday night, I made the decision to stop.  Take a breath.  Look at what I was doing.  I did just that, and I made the decision to get back on plan.  I’m two days back to it, and so far, so good.  Actually, it’s a bit more than that.  It’s hard to kick a sugary habit, and sometimes it can be really hard to say “no”.  As I mentioned in my last post, it was my colleague’s last day and even more cake was wheeled in for the occasion.

The depleted cake cupboard

The depleted cake cupboard

On the shelves of the cake cupboard are:

  • Cadbury Flake Cake (14.5 syns per portion)
  • Flapjack bites (3.5 syns per bite for the Tesco ones, 4 syns for the Sainsbury ones – we have both)
  • Ring doughnuts (approximately 11 syns each)
  • Mini brownie bites (2.5 syns for the Tesco ones)

We have also had Viennese Whirls, Cadbury Cake Bars, Mr Kipling Cake Slices and probably some more that I forgot.

Have I touched any of them? Nope.  Not in the last two days.  It was quite hard yesterday, though I made sure I had plenty of fruit to snack on.  Today hasn’t been quite as bad as I haven’t been feeling brilliant.  It started when I was out for the goodbye drinks and meal last night (I chose a ploughmans, ate the salad, pickled onion and cheddar, and donated the stilton and bread to other people).  I went straight to bed when I got home.

When I woke up this morning, I still didn’t feel brilliant, and by 9:30am, I had lost my voice.  I haven’t much felt like eating really as my throat and ears have been very sore.  Thankfully I have now regained my voice following a good coughing fit.

We cracked a couple more of the wedding presents out this evening, and made chicken in a smoky tomato sauce with broccoli and rice.  It filled a hole and I was quite pleased with it, given it was a throw together.  I polished it off with a couple of truffles that we had as a gift from work.


I plan to continue in the same vein, as much as anything, just to get some good vitamins in me to try and fight off this lurgy.


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!


Marshalling at parkrun

Don’t worry, it hasn’t escaped my notice that lately that Tub on the Run is very much still a Tub, but not so much on the run.  “Tub not on the Run” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it though.

Anyway, I’d signed up to marshal yesterday’s parkrun at Killerton (being close to other runners must count for something, surely?!).  I’ve not marshalled parkrun before, and I was a bit nervous about what to expect.

I didn’t need to be too nervous though.  I had been changed from being Marshal 5 to Marshal 4 – one of the furthest points away for marshalling.  While the place where I stood wasn’t too far away, the post started about a mile and a quarter from the finish line.  I realised, quite early on, why marshals choose to wear their running stuff.  I wore jeans and my normal (i.e. my non-running) trainers.  No sports bra.  I don’t care what anyone says, more important (for me) than the right shoes is a sports bra.  I got a bit paranoid about the time, as it was getting on for 8:55am when I had just tied the gate at the furthest point back, so I made a run for it.  With a handbag on one shoulder, the marshal pack in one hand, and boobs in the other, I made an awkward dash for it.  I dread to think what I may have looked like to anyone who may have been there to witness this half crazed, out of puff runner, in the most un-runnerish attire whilst appearing to be groping herself…  It turned out that I needn’t have worried so much.   There was no one around, and the first runners didn’t come through for another 20 minutes (it seems they must have started quite late).

The runners come towards you from here

The runners come towards you from here


And continue running past you, up here

And continue running past you, up here

I really enjoyed it.  For a start, it was nice to see the runners who I never see past the start line (and even then, they’re a blur in the distance), and I was actually quite touched by the amount of people who said thank you, smiled, nodded, or said good morning.  I always try to say thank you, but having close to 237 people saying thank you (just for standing there and marvelling at their speed really) was quite heartwarming.

In amongst the quicker runners was Sharon from Shazruns.  We’ve been commenting on each others’ blogs for some time.  I missed her at my second parkrun where she was on the finishing tokens, and I definitely never see her on the course, as I’m a good 14 minutes slower, but yesterday, I was spotted.  Impressively, not only did she manage to detour slightly to say hi and shake my hand, but she also PBd!  Well done Sharon!!

Next week, Sharon’s volunteering, so I will have some company at the back!

As the last people came past me, I walked along with them, chatting away to a (newly) 7 year old, who told me all about her dog, and how she was pleased to be walking this marathon.  She was very sweet, and her mum was a hoot too.  When I arrived back at the finish tent, I helped take the tent down and some other bits and bobs before heading home.

I’ll look to marshal again in September or October, depending on the diary.  My weekends are getting increasingly fuller as the wedding approaches (less than three months now).  I may start getting a mild panic on about having too much back fat spilling over my wedding dress soon.


My line in the sand

This week is flying by!  I had a reasonable weigh in – it was a line in the sand for me.  I weighed in at 16st 3lbs.  It was a 3lb gain.

Today, I weigh exactly the same as I did in the summer of 2008.  A real turning point for me was my little sister’s 21st birthday party.

tubontherun.wordpress.com 2008 16.3

I don’t remember now what exactly made me feel that I had to change, but there had been a few photos that I really began to notice how much weight I’d piled on.  The top that I was wearing in the picture didn’t fit nicely when it once had, but I couldn’t face going to buy a new top.  I probably knew I wouldn’t be able to find many nice clothes in a size it fit me.

It was at a time when I wasn’t too happy either.  I’d split up from my first proper boyfriend the year before, and had piled the weight on throughout 2007 – comfort food fed the emotion and did its best to mask how empty, worthless and lonely I felt.  I was living up north, with hardly any friends (most of my uni friends moved back home or went travelling), and I had cripplingly poor, exceptionally low self esteem.  I did have a job I loved though.  So, in June 2008, I vowed to make a concerted effort to blitz the blub.

The thought of going to a weight loss group did not inspire me (though ironically, it probably would have done me the world of good).  Instead, I researched Tesco Diets – their GI plan specifically.  I loved it – the food was great, I felt like I was always eating, I didn’t have the spikes and troughs in my energy levels, and my mood improved a lot.  The pounds also started to melt away.  To start off with, it was really easy.  I lived on my own, Tesco Diets provided a shopping list, I had no social life so I could spend my evenings cooking a huge variety of food.  When the company I worked for sadly went into administration, my job sank with it and I made the move back to my home – Devon.  Back in with my parents I moved, and within the month I had a new job to go to.  I got more active and started horse riding again.  I kept up with the diet and hit Christmas 2008 at 13 stone dead.  I’d lost 3 stone 3lbs.  I really began to feel attractive again.

Bruges 13 stone

I hated my job, but everything else was going really well.  I was enjoying being back home – somewhere where I was loved.  However, over the next 4 years, I added over a stone on to each year.  In those years, M and I got together (and I was welcomed into an additional family of perpetual fat fighters), I changed my role, I hit rock bottom in my job and mental state, I moved out of my parent’s house into our first flat (which was, and still is horrid), I lost my confidence with horse riding following a couple of bad incidents, and all manner of other things changed and I reverted back to being a binging comfort eater.

Two weeks before M proposed in March last year, I joined Slimming World.  I joined at 19st 1.5lbs.  My size 22 trousers were getting too tight, and I didn’t feel right in my own skin.  I felt and looked hideous, and my weight had started to affect all that I tried to do.  When my weight blinked on the screen,  I could have fallen off the scales (but for the fear of damaging myself and/or someone or something else).  My journey with Slimming World started off ok.  Then spent the next 9 months bimbling around and not really losing the weight.  I started 2013 on a high, with 10 consecutive weeks of losses.  Then I started bimbling again.

This is my line in the sand.  I can do the next three stone.  I did it before, and I can do it again.

From fatter to thinner

I’m in a much better place than I was then, so… Where did I put my running plan and food diary?!

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To parkrun or not to parkrun, that was the question

And the answer was yes.

When the alarm went off, I debated whether to get up, get my running gear on, knowing that it was going to be a hot one.  As I started getting too hot in bed, the decision was made for me and I got up (I have a feeling that getting up for parkrun in the winter will be a much more difficult struggle leaving a warm bed).

The weather today has been beautiful.  As suspected, it was a bit warm for running, but I was really pleased with how I went.  I managed to run nearly all of the shady parts (roughly half of the route), breaking in to walk a couple of times – once when I rolled my ankle, and the second was to catch my breath at the top of one of the hills.  When it got to the more exposed part of the course, I felt baked.  It wasn’t that bad, but I did wish I’d taken a bottle of water around with me.

Given the result from last week, where I thought I’d gone quicker, but had actually gone slower, I wasn’t expecting to be much different from last week.  Well, I’m pleased to confirm that I got a PB today!  I broke 40 minutes!

6th july parkrun resultsI was surprised to see the result given the heat.  I’m not going to place too much pressure on myself in terms of beating that, as I feel I have made some progress this week with regards to getting back on an even keel.

While I parkrunned (parkran?), M snapped some more pictures, and I thought I’d include my concession to summer.  I think this might be the first time this year that I’ve painted my toes.

parkrun 6th july

So now, M and I are just about to settle down to watch J. Edgar on DVD.

Happy Saturday all!




A good weigh in

I am really pleased to report a good loss of 3.5lbs this week.  I even updated my photos page.  I am now the lightest I have been for probably over three and a half years.

I think what really helped was having a good variety to my meals.  It was getting all a bit samey – chilli con carne, lasagne, carbonara etc, and it made a nice change to have a lot of salads and some new meals (and some variations on a theme).  When I feel myself getting into a rut, I think it will do me some good to follow a 7 day plan from the magazine.  The only thing I would say is that having such a variety in my diet does make for an expensive shopping trip.  However, if it kick starts my weight loss again, then it is worth it.

I have found it easier to resist the office snacks too, which I think has been down to the more grazing approach which the 7 day plan seemed to encourage.  I’m not saying I have been 100% saintly (there was that trifle sundae on Sunday after all), but I’ve been trying to pay more attention to how I feel.  Also, I am a scan bran convert – it takes me nearly all morning to eat the prescribed 5 for my Healthy Extra B with cottage cheese.

I’m pleased with how things are shaping up, literally, too:

January 2013 253.5lbs

January 2013 253.5lbs

So January 2013, I felt and looked like a blob.  My face was all podgy and I just didn’t feel good in my own skin.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not exactly wasting away now, but I can see a difference, and I can definitely feel a difference.

June 2013 - 221lbs

June 2013 – 221lbs

It’s only about a dress size worth of difference so far, but it is pleasing (for me) to know that I am slimming, as there are times when I just don’t feel like I am.

It’s another 3lbs to my next half stone award, and I am hoping that with some sensible eating, taking away some of the learning points from last week, and keeping up a food diary for this week, I will be close to achieving (or actually achieving) this next milestone in my weight loss.

Exercise wise, I haven’t really been doing anything.  While my foot is on the mend, I wore my running shoes around the house, and my feet weren’t happy, so I have postponed running by another week.  As it turns out, I don’t have the opportunity to go to spinning tomorrow night, as I am meeting my dad for tea as we need a catch up.  I have decided that, when I am getting back into running, I will do a week of 1 milers so that I don’t aggravate my foot too much.  From there, I will get back to my Hal Higdon 10k plan, starting at Week 1 again.


Regaining my wedding planning mojo

My foot is finally on the mend.  I have managed to go all day without a tubigrip, though heels were out of the question, which was a little disappointing given what I’ve spent the day doing.

Accompanied by trusty sidekicks (Mum and one of my bridesmaids, N), we headed into Exeter for a wedding dress appointment at Se Marier.  It was a shame my sister couldn’t come with us, but it sounds like she had a fantastic (read: drunken) night out with her best friends to celebrate her birthday.  When we arrived in Se Marier, we were welcomed by the team of lovely ladies and I was given tokens to put on the dresses I liked.  I didn’t have too much of a strong idea on what I wanted, so anything that looked like it might fit was a prospect.  I’ll confess now that I had been dreading this a little bit – I didn’t think there would be sample dresses big enough to cater for me.  In fairness, the dresses were quite small on me, but the ladies were truly brilliant and didn’t make me feel awful for picking out dresses that were too small.  The last one I tried on was a Sophia Tolli dress that made me feel beautiful.  I never feel beautiful, so this was quite a moment for me, and when they plonked a floor length veil on me, I really did feel amazing.  Mum wasn’t so keen, with the practicalities mainly – the train was rather impressive and a pretty lace (and therefore very ruinable).  I thought no other dress would compare.  To be fair, we didn’t find a good comparator in Exeter, but tried another shop and came across the dress.  Mum took a couple of photos, and it really is the winner.  Even Dad likes it.

So it’s be a pretty successful day all told.  It has given me the kick I needed too to start cracking on with the exercise too, and N has promised to kick my fat bits from here to oblivion for the wedding.  Spinning and kettlebells, here we come!

The plans for tomorrow?  We’re off to Weston-Super-Mare to see my sister and celebrate her birthday.  All being well, I may even go out for a short trot and see how my foot takes to running.

147 days to the day.