Tub on the Run


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Rose tinted glasses? Rejoining the gym

I have a horrible feeling that I am hurtling towards becoming one of the people I used to get really frustrated with – the New Year’s Resolutionist at the gym.  You know, the people who join shortly after New Year, pack out the gym at all times of the day, and you can forget trying to get to your regular class schedule.

Don’t get me wrong, I am all up for improvement (and I do love a Game of Thrones meme).  I’m not one to judge, I know, but I do remember the frustration at not being able to get into my normal classes in times gone by.  However, I know that I am not going to get the chance to do anything in November or December because of other existing commitments, which means that I am going to be one of those people who joins in January.

I’ve got to thinking about the gym a bit lately.  I know that weight loss is more about what you put in compared with what you do, but there are other benefits that I have come to miss.  I miss structured classes with other people.  Kettlebells at home is all well and good, but I miss an instructor kicking my bum to make sure I finish, the peer pressure, the “turn up and follow” mentality.  I miss the silent competition of spinning.  The satisfaction of hardly being able to walk after a hard spinning or kettlebell class, of getting into a pose easier in yoga.  Some reflection time has really shown me that mentally, I was in a better place when I was going to the gym (okay, I was also going to Slimming World at the same time, but I don’t feel I need to go back yet).  My ability to cope with stress was much better without doubt.

I have a feeling I might be looking at this all with rose-tinted glasses, but I’ve tried to be objective.  I even looked back at my post last year on giving up the gym.  The minimum sign up is 6 months.  If I can’t make it stick in 6 months, then I’ll break away again.

So brace yourselves Gym Goers… this New Year’s Resolutionist has plans!

Are you gym lover or gym hater?


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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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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.


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Tub’s 1st Foodie Penpals – April Reveal

So my first month of Foodie Penpals has been and gone.  It was a really great experience, but I struggled a little bit with what to put in my parcel, so I think I need to tweak my email a bit more to get the best of the information so I feel more confident with what I send.  It was a good experience though, and I did enjoy it.  It has made me think that I need to plan it all a bit better.

My parcel went overseas to a lady called Nathalie.  I shopped locally, and sent some shortbread (who doesn’t love shortbread!), a jar of handmade chutney, chilli crisps/rice puffs, and some chilli chocolate from the South Devon Chilli Farm.  It was surprisingly difficult to stay within the £10 budget.  I should have taken some pictures too, as Nathalie doesn’t have a blog, but never mind!  I know for next time.

So, onto the very exciting bit…  I had been like a child waiting for Christmas to arrive for days.  M always gets to the top of the stairs before I do, and I had been asking for the last couple of days “anything for me?”.   A parking ticket letter, yes.  Foodie Penpals package, no.  But then, the day came and it was carted off to the living room, scissors in hand to break into my box of foodie goodness (it was incredibly well packaged and taped!).  Inside was a beautiful card (I’d been interviewing designers all day, so I probably paid even more attention to the patterns on the card than on a normal day – though I do love good stationary, and could spend a fortune in Paperchase) with a lovely handwritten note from Kit at What a Peach, explaining the contents of the box and some serving suggestions.  Then, into the box…

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I swear Kit is a kindred spirit of shopping trolleys!  I am a fan of Japanese food, and can’t wait to use the black soba noodles in yasai yaki soba (my favourite Wagamama dish – recipe book courtesy of my sister a couple of years ago).  I’ll be topping it with the Japanese sea salad too.  All this new food to try – so exciting!

I had to try one of the Nakd banana bread bars immediately, and it was love at first bite.  How have these beauties escaped my notice until now?!  I have a real soft spot for banana based products – banana cakes, breads, chips, milkshakes, bananas themselves…  You name it, there’s a good chance I’ll love it.  After snaffling the first one, a second one started staring at me, calling my name.  I reasoned (perhaps unreasonably) that it was fine to have a second one (about 10 minutes after the first), as I hadn’t had lunch because work was so crazy, and I had spinning in half an hour.  So I sat down, and slowly ate the second one.  Wow!  So tasty!  I am not sure how I would keep them in the house, so when I buy some I may ask M to hide them from me and allow me one when I’ve had a low-syn day.  Of course, there’s a reason I love them – they’re 10.5 syns!  Oops.  There are lower syn bars though, so I think I could definitely work my way through the range in time (whilst practising that pesky “moderation”).  Can you tell I am totally taken with these?!

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The dark chocolate will be reserved for a sweet treat with a cuppa.  It’s the only way really.  I could grate it into a yogurt or something, but I doubt it’ll make it to that point.

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The two jars were a local honey – so handy, as I have just about run out of honey for my porridge (and I have to have honey or peanut butter in my porridge).  Strangely, I only like honey with meat, or in salad dressings or porridge.  As a child, I always remember the rest of my family having honey sandwiches for Friday tea, and I had jam as I didn’t like honey.  I won’t actually lick it off the spoon either.  Weirdo.  The peanut butter is smoooooooth.  I usually buy crunchy, and have a pot of Whole Earth crunchy on the go, but will definitely be using the smooth in stir fries (and Kit has inspired me to hunt down a gado gado recipe to try).

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Last but not least – some lovely L’Occitane soap and a Pukka tea.  I’m on a real fruit/herbal tea kick at the moment (though to my dismay had bought raspberry leaf tea, which I didn’t know was meant to bring on labour at the end stages of pregnancy – hope no one thinks I’m pregnant!).  The soap and tea will be my Sunday bath treat after my run.

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So, a huge thank you to Kit – I’m so pleased with what I received, and love that I get to try new stuff that I would just never think to pick up.  You’ve picked some really great things, and I just can’t wait to try it all!

Thank you also to Carol Anne at This is Rock Salt for coordinating the UK & European contingent.  I can’t wait for next month’s instalment!

If you’d like to see what Kit received from her Foodie Penpal, head on over to her post here.

I have also made a mental note to research taking good pictures, so hopefully May’s Foodie Penpals will have some better quality pictures.


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A Reminiscent Soggy Tub

It is blowing a gale again, and absolutely hammering down with rain.  On to Week 8 I trekked.  That’s a 28 minute run, and it’s surprising how much difference 3 minutes make.  I started off my run with my Garmin actually syncing pretty quickly for a change.  Lately it’s been ridiculously slow, and I can’t work out why.  The run, aside from being freezing cold and very wet, went quite well, and I felt reasonable for the majority of it.  I remember, 8 weeks ago, on a freezing Friday night, where it was raining harder than it is tonight, I decided to be a bit brave and head out into the night.  I enjoyed my first run, and now like looking back at the times since then – I’m now running, unbroken for 28 minutes, covering more than a kilometer more, and have shaved 2 minutes off the average pace.

The final three minutes I struggled with though.  I had to get the mental strategies out.  I didn’t dust off The Dory (by that point, my pace was so slow, it wouldn’t have worked, speaking Whale would have been more appropriate), but I did have to work lamp post to lamp post.

The end result was 4.66k in 39:56 mins, so an average pace of 8:34 minute ks.  I’m pretty pleased with that.  5k is a reachable target (though I suspect I am looking at a time of 43 minutes currently).

Steady on Tub, there is a good chance that you might actually finish a running plan at this rate!  What should I do to celebrate?

In other news, I am looking at becoming a Foodie Penpal.  I saw the badge on 111lbs’ blog, and then saw that there is a UK version at Rock Salt.  I love the idea of this, and I’m hoping that I’ll be in for April.  I’m just waiting to hear back.

Finally, M and I have been invited to his cousin’s wedding.  I have a dress in mind, but I don’t know if it fits.  I am hoping that if it doesn’t, it will shortly.  I do feel a new shoes occasion coming on though!


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Boring Update Alert

It’s been a funny ol’ week this week.  Time has flown by, but not a lot has occurred (cue: pointless, boring blog post).

After completing Week 5, Run 3, I had Wednesday off.  I did absolutely no exercise on Wednesday, and it was great to just chill out and revel in my 20 minute run success.  That is the furthest I have ever run, and I am (even now) still chuffed.  Thursday came round, and I had booked to go spinning.  I met my friend there, and got ready.  During this part, I asked said friend if she’d like to be a bridesmaid.  She’s been super supportive, and is kicking my ass into getting wedding dress fit, but is also interested in what we’re doing (generally, and for the wedding).  She said yes, and we’re both happy bunnies.

M had gone out for the evening with friends, so I enjoyed my feta pasta salad on my own, catching up on some One Born Every Minute (I find it horrifying and fascinating in equal measure).

Today, I appear to have two bruises on my forearms from where I struggled to keep myself upright on the spin bike yesterday – ouch.  That workout was HARD though, and I haven’t sweated so much for ages.  Lovely. 

Tonight, I’m off out with a couple of friends for a meal and a drink.  I am planning to head out for a run after this – I don’t think it’s going to be a late one.  Bring on Week 6!  (And Mad Abs March)


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Post Spin Ramble

I don’t know what is wrong today, but I have spent the entire day struggling to concentrate for longer than about 5 minutes.  I have been sleeping really badly all week too.  I do suffer from anxiety and depression, though lately I’ve been doing really well and haven’t been too affected.  I am wondering if I’m anxious about something, which is causing the sleep deprivation and inability to concentrate.  Unfortunately, it’s not something obvious, so I shall probably have to do some midrift contemplation (though actually, running seems quite good for this too).

My milk intolerance is rearing its head rather spectacularly at the moment (I only had a bit in my tea!), so I’m back to dairy free for a bit longer.  Food wise, I haven’t been meticulous in counting my syns, but I do know that I haven’t been too bad.  I will probably need to complete a food diary next week though, just to make sure I’m not fooling myself.

It was spinning class today.  I have to admit that I was dreading it.  It was my 45 minutes of hell that I would have to endure before dinner.  As usual, I made it out to be far worse in my head than it actually was.  I won’t go so far as to say I had a good time, but it was enjoyable (in so far as the aching leg muscles was quite pleasant).  I know, I’m odd.

Meanwhile, I am thoroughly looking forward to Season 3 of Game of Thrones, and found this trailer for you…


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Sunday musings

Have I had an exciting day?  No, not really.  What I have done though is retrieved a little bit of my wedding planning mojo.  I’ve been feeling pretty down on the whole thing lately, and a lot of it stems from jealousy – I’m jealous that friends who got engaged at Christmas are getting married two months before us.  On a totally selfish, and somewhat bridezilla-esque note, it mucks up my whole hen weekend thing – when I’m planning mine, my friend will be getting married, and therefore people will be too skint to do much for my hen.  Spoilt brat?  Yes, undoubtedly.  Pah.  Anyway, there has been a wedding fair on today that M and I went to.  I’ve come away from it remembering that it’s about us getting married, not the piss up or the hen/stag nights.  It’s about the marriage, not the wedding.  I have also tried to put my lack of mojo into context – we have sorted all the big stuff really – the church is booked, as is the reception venue (including food etc), the photographers are booked and mine and my sister’s dresses are bought, as are the wedding rings.  We have 10 months and counting!

 

In other news, we have braved the food shopping and crammed the loot into the fridge.  I’m making Thai fishcakes this week, in the quest of finding new things to eat (despite being seaside born and bred, M and I aren’t the greatest seafood lovers).  We also watched some of the runners go past our flat, running the Fulfords 5.  I noticed how many different running styles people adopt too.  I’d never really paid much attention to it before.  Usually when I see another runner, I am trying to not huff and puff horrendously past them in a bid to appear a little fitter than I am, and barely have the capacity to look beyond the immediate path.  Maybe next year I’ll enter the Fulfords 5 (miles).

 

On the thought of running, I have just completed Week 2, Run 2.  It was easier than the first run of Week 2, so there is some small piece of hope that eventually, I may find this all ok (I’ll probably never find it easy).  Frustratingly, during one of my walking patches, a man appeared from a side road with his dog just in front of me.  He then proceeded to keep the same pace as me.  As my next shuffle approached, I decided it would appear slightly stalkerish at worst, weird at best, if this fat lady came pounding up behind him.  I decided, therefore, to cross the road at the next T junction (which did through my run out by 10 seconds, but I added them on to the end of that run – get me for dedication!).  Anyway, that was pretty much it.  I’m already hitting 3.52km so I would like to think that my 30 minutes of running will be longer than 5k (and therefore I am couch to 5k+).  My min/km iscurrently 9:31, which is a bit worse than last time out, which was 9:25, but wholly better than my very first of 10:11.  Not that I am hung up on times/speeds particularly.  I just like stats.

 

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I am off to have my Sunday evening soak (easily the best bit of running, even if it is an ‘after the event’, and so far, only on Sundays).  Right now, this is the best reward I can have.

 


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Out again – in better weather this time!

So week 1 run 2 happened last night.  I clearly benefited from the freezing (/numbing) weather conditions on my first time out, as I found this run much harder.  I don’t know whether it was because I was running into the wind, or that I was too hot (two tops and a coat – I could probably have left the second top, but you live and learn).  Before I go any further though, I would like to apologise sincerely to the poor people out for a leisurely Sunday evening walk – sadly I am unable to pay for the counselling required to ease the mental trauma I may have inflicted upon you as I wheezed, puffed, wobbled and jiggled past, turning a colour that even a beetroot would be proud of.

Do I feel good?  Hmm… Yes, because I got out and made myself work again, despite Inner Tub’s protestations and the burning lungs.  I had been pretty miffed to find out water company digging up the road to fix a leak, which had resulted in the water being turned off.  Inner Tub was strongly of the opinion that we couldn’t possibly exercise if there was no hope of a shower at the end.  Much to Inner Tub’s chagrin, the water was turned back on within half an hour.  Now, what did feel good was the bath that I soaked in when I got in.  Complete with a bathbomb from my Christmas gifts.  That was my treat. So yes, despite being a little achey, I feel pretty pleased.

I even remembered to do some stretches when I got in (something I forgot and regretted on Saturday morning after the first outing on Friday).

For my inner statistician, this run was 31:55, for 3.31km with an average pace of 09:38/km. Not quite on par with our local running superstar Jo Pavey. Ah well! Maybe next time!


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We have lift off!

Tub – “Let’s go out tonight.”

Inner Tub – “Naaaahhh… It’s too cold, unless we’re going to the pub of course.”

Tub – “Well, no, I wasn’t thinking of the pub, I was thinking about going out for our first C25K run.”

Inner Tub (stares, wide-eyed and completely confused) – “You?  Run?  Pfft, yeah, you gotta be kidding.  We’re only reading blogs and magazines for fun y’know, there’s no hidden agenda to it.”

Tub – “No, seriously!  How are we going to keep going on with the losses each week if we don’t do some exercise.  I thought we could go out straight from when we get home”.

Inner Tub – “No way!  It’s cold.  I mean, it’s like FOUR DEGREES CELSIUS outside.  And straight after work?!  No, nah-ah, no.  We won’t even have eaten by then.  How can you expect us to run on empty?!” (strop strop strop)

Tub – “It’s hardly empty is it!  And it’s only half an hour.  We could be back by 7.  We’re even going to leave work on time to help the cause, plus the stew is already cooked – I cooked it last night.  So we can come back and fall face first into the stew”.

Inner Tub – “You put wine in the stew.  And we like leaving on time.  Yeah, stew.  Stew could be good.  Mmm…  Stew.”

 

So it didn’t quite happen like that.  What actually happened was, we did leave work on time (for the first time in about 3 weeks), and made it through the door and home to the hard-done-by cats.  After sorting them out (and trying to keep the big fat one from eating the little skinny one’s food), M and I cooked our tea after he reminded me that he was going out this evening to play skittles.  Anyway, the meal was not stew, but chicken with couscous and a homemade ragu (Syn free too – all of it!).  M headed off, and Inner Tub started chirping up again about how it was a stupid idea to go out and blah blah blah.  Quietening the silly Tub, I started searching the flat to find a suitable coat, my sports bra, my earphones, and my old Garmin.  If I was about 7 stone lighter, I totally looked the part!  With a reasonable route in mind, I headed out…

 

Slightly wobbly, but just an idea of how wet and windy it is!

Slightly wobbly, but just an idea of how wet and windy it is!

… Into the torrential rain.  It was absolutely horrendous!  Horizontal rain, wind, and a shocking wind chill factor – needless to say, I was the only pedestrian/jogger type person out and about.  I believe part of the reason I didn’t find the whole thing too horrendous was probably because after five minutes, I couldn’t actually feel my extremities.  That was probably a good thing.  So I started out on my “warm up” (warm is probably too strong a word), and got soaked by a speeding car driving through a puddle.  Good start.  Then it was to the first run.  Remembering the information from Run Fat B!tch Run, I started at a reasonable pace, then slowed it down so as not to peak on the first 60 seconds as I have done before.  Through the driving rain, I kept an ok pace.  Then there was the mandatory horde of idiots being transported around in a cheap and nastily modified boy racer-mobile.  Honestly, why you would slow down to poke fun at a fat person running when you clearly have no sense of taste or decency, as clearly exhibited by your wreck of a car (which is most likely their pride and joy), I don’t think I’ll ever understand.  Seriously – don’t keep drawing attention to the wreckage.

Despite the ridiculous behaviour of the boys in the monstrosity, I actually felt ok.  I definitely feel like I could go out again (not right now) and improve, in fact, I feel rather buoyed by the experience.  Unfortunately my tummy wasn’t so keen on the whole experience, and made its grievance known when I got back in.  Oh well!   It’ll get used to it.  The best thing?  The hot shower when I got in!

So stats fiends, what did I do?  I was out for 31:44, “ran” 3.12km with an average pace of 10:10/km.

Inner Tub is sulking in a corner now, and I am thawing out in front of the fire.  We’ll be going out again on Sunday.