Tub on the Run


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Settling in to 2018

Hello hello! Yes, I know – I’ve managed to blog twice within 10 days, which is already a vast improvement on my 2017 attempts!  Hurrah!  I’ve been thinking about what it is that I enjoy, and I remain firmly in the enjoying blogging and reading blogs camp, so clearly need to do more of it.

So looking at the last week, I think I’m building the foundations of a good year.  New Year’s Day was spent with my mum and sister, and involved a walk down the beach. It was nice – cold, but nice to blow out the cobwebs (and try and reduce the impact that my Mini Cheddar consumption may have had). After the beach, Matt and I headed home to start thinking about getting ready for work on Tuesday.  Matt wasn’t actually back at work until Thursday, but for my sins, I was back on Tuesday.

I did not sleep well on Monday night, and zombied my way through Tuesday. It wasn’t quite the start of the year I was hoping for, but I did have a good day for the most part. I even tried to sneak in my actual lunch break (I’m terrible at taking a proper lunch break). The rest of the week passed by uneventfully, and ended with me attending a yoga course on Friday.

While I’ve not made any New Year’s resolutions (I think impending job change and the required reining in of spending covers a couple of bases), I do need to look at reducing my weight. Still. I thought about doing another Whole 30, but I decided to take the pressure off the start of the year.  I have also given some thought about what I want from a weight-loss group.  I’ve been to this yoga studio a few times for their yoga nidra classes, which I love, and when I found out that there was a weight loss course being run by the same lady, I signed up. I’ll perhaps do a blog on this another day and go into a bit more detail, but safe to say, I really enjoyed it, and think the group is going to be wonderfully supportive.

Ahead of the weekend, Matt and I agreed that it would be good to have a quiet weekend, one where we could regroup and not put pressure on doing anything and everything. On Saturday, I needed to pop out to get some more yarn for my temperature blanket.  Matt came with me, and we made a walk of it, coming the scenic way home.

When we came home, I settled down and started working on my project, only to be joined by Timo. He isn’t the most helpful of “supervisors” when you’re trying to join a long line of squares.

Knowing that fresh air is good for my mental health, we went for a walk around Killerton today. A long lie in, some faffing and a couple of episodes of The West Wing later, and we made it out in time for a late lunch.  Bellies full of leek and potato soup, and a cake for good measure, and we headed out for a wander around the Acland Walk.

It was nice to get out with the camera and take some pictures as the sun set. What I hadn’t accounted for was how cold it was! I feel like my ears will fall off and my legs will never be warm again. Time for a cup of tea!

How was your first week back? What’s the weather like in your part of the world?

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It’s been a while (again)

So I am currently sat in a hospitality tent at Brands Hatch (tent isn’t really a fancy enough word. Is marquee a posher tent?), and for the first time in ages I actually have some capacity to write! I apologise if it comes out a but skew whiff as I am writing on my phone.

Yeah sure, I could be outside, walking about with Matt who is currently off photographing the Porsche 919 Hybrid which is making some sort of track debut, but I’m parked at a cafe style part of the tent/marquee with a diet coke, pick n mix and a water. And it’s quite lovely. 
These last few months have been really trying. Mostly it is work related. I’ve debated about what to post about all of this but I think it is just safest to say that it isn’t the team that I used to love working in any more. It’s changed and for me, has really taken its toll on my mental health. I have ended up in a really dark place but now feel like I am coming out the other side. 
The point of my ramblings? As much as anything, I just wanted to check in. I miss writing but my head hasn’t been in a place to write at all. I also wanted to share a couple of the things that I have been trying to practice over the last few months to get out of my funk: 

  1. Realising that my self-worth is not intrinsically linked to my job. This has been a tough one and one that I haven’t really mastered yet. Doing well in my job has always been a validation of how good I am. I don’t have the highest self-esteem at the best of times and doing well at work has always been a crutch. So what if I don’t have a social life? I am kicking ass at work. Dont feel like I’m a good person? That’s ok because work thinks I’m pretty great. Then, work isn’t going as well, I am not top of the class and suddenly I have no other validation. But that doesn’t make me a bad person. It doesn’t make me unworthy of anything. It’s tough to remember that sometimes though. 
  2. Focus on the good people. I have a wonderful family, who have supported me so much through all of this, whether it has been just letting me talk about the same old crap, time and time again, or corralling me out into the fresh air, or just giving me space when I have needed it, they have been the rocks of my world. Conversley, this time has definitely showed up a couple of false friends during this time, which has been painful and tough. 
  3. Wallow, but not for too long. I have wallowed. Good God have I wallowed. And sometimes I have really needed to do that, and not just shove things down and carry on. But at some point, I had to realise that in constantly wallowing, I am always the victim of my story. It has taken me a while to commit to a course of action, but I have. 
  4. Get outside. I feel better when I have moved from my sofa, got dressed and made it out of the house. Even if it is just walking the 10 minutes to Tesco and back. As it turns out, I have discovered a new part of Killerton with my mum, sister and Matt and had fun doing it. Matt and I had a lovely wander around Knightshayes garden. I’ve enjoyed a lovely lunch out with my parents-in-law, and Gatcombe was soggy but enjoyable. I’ve been to a few home games for Exeter Chiefs and thoroughly enjoyed myself (and they’re doing pretty well!).

I really do hope to post things that are a little more upbeat soon, and also get back into some sort of regular posting schedule. 
Enough of my blathering, what’s new with you? 


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A lot of love for the bank holiday

Despite the onset of some grumpiness, courtesy of my Whole 100, I’ve had a lovely weekend. It’s been a good mix of relaxed and active!

Saturday

I needed to get some bits and bobs from Exeter, which turned into a hunt for new jeans, handbag and some stationery. I’d hoped that Exeter was going to be really quiet with the Radio 1 Big Weekend being held at Powderham nearby, but it was heaving! We have a new person joining our team this week, so I needed to pop into WH Smith’s and Paperchase to get a couple of things. I also returned the work trousers that I didn’t like, and Matt and I stopped off at Byron Burger for some lunch.

Byron Burger Cheeseburger

I had a bit of food envy while we were here. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed my chicken, but it wasn’t the same. Matt had a burger of some sort with an Oreo milkshake, which just brought back memories of the amazing Reese’s peanut butter milkshake I’d had there last time we visited. So good! Apple juice just isn’t the same!

Byron Burger Reeses Peanut Butter Milkshake

In the afternoon, we put the rugby on for the Exeter Chiefs v Saracens final. We would love to have gone, but to be honest, that amount of travelling this weekend didn’t float my boat! The rest of the day was spent chilling out.

Sunday

I had my full attack of the grumps today, for literally no reason. After getting my grumpy bum in the car, we actually had a very pleasant day wandering around the track and enjoying the sunshine. Matt got to play with his camera, though mine had to stay in the car as I’d forgot to charge the battery (so annoying!).

Castle Combe Winners

It was a great day of racing, and it was nice to get out and about. We stopped at Matt’s nan’s on the way home as she has very kindly given us some of her old gardening things that she no longer needs. We’re pretty well kitted out for the garden now in terms of equipment. After arriving home, we collapsed onto the sofas. Who knew so much sunshine could wear you out!

Castle Combe - Quarry

Monday

I’d hoped to get up early today. I felt like I had 101 things to do and needed to get done. I ended up dragging my weary carcass out of bed at 9:30am, which was about two hours later than I had wanted to get up. Oh well! After making some breakfast, I headed down to Home Bargains (love that place! So much stuff you never knew you might need!) for some extra tupperware tub things and clothes pegs. Mission accomplished, I came home to find Matt had made a start on the garden and was cutting down the grass that was coming over from our neighbours’ garden. I strimmed the worst of the height of the grass, and then mowed it. I am not sure how many poor snails were lost in my efforts (the little buggers always seemed to be where I wanted to stand), though once the grass was cut back, I definitely saved a fair few.

Several loads of washing and hanging out on the line later, it was time to start batch cooking. I cannot tell you how little I was looking forward to doing this. It worked out okay though, as three of the meals I want to make need to be marinated for a day, and the others I don’t have all the ingredients for. Matt was happy, as I’d made him a lasagne (the old Slimming World one we used to do).

Did you have a nice weekend? What were your highlights?


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A good weekend

Back in October, I had a week off. It was lovely. I got the chance to catch up on a load of things, but importantly, it was also the week that the rugby unions released their Six Nations tickets. I tried to join two online queues – the English queue, and the Welsh queue, trying to get tickets for either Wales v Scotland at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, or England v Wales in at Twickenham. I wanted a Welsh match, as Matt is a staunch Welsh supporter, having decided that he was an adopted Welshman when he studied at Cardiff University. I, on the otherhand, am happy to support any and everyone.

An hour and a half later, I had successfully bought two Wales v Scotland tickets. I tried to book up a hotel at the same time, but that was where my luck ran out. Not a massive problem, we decided, as we would just catch the train in.

Yesterday, we set off at just gone 8am, drove to Worle, and caught the bus replacement to Bristol Temple Meads to head to Cardiff. I honestly don’t think I have seen so many kilts in one place before. The platform started to get quite crowded with a mix of scarlet and tartan, all very good natured and friendly. The trains were absolutely rammed, but we’d managed to find a relatively quiet carriage and settled in for the ride.

Arriving at Cardiff, the atmosphere ramped up tenfold. We’d been in the city on a match day before, but this was something else entirely. When I lived in Sheffield and Chesterfield, I ended up out and about when the local derbies were on, and it felt intimidating. I freely admit, I don’t get the lure of football at all, never have. I don’t really like catching the train back from Exeter when there is something on at St James’ Park, as again, it just doesn’t feel as good natured. Cardiff was completely different. Scottish and Welsh (or supporters thereof) walked hand in hand or side by side down the main streets, and there was a real buzz.

Cardiff Streets

As Matt and I had arrived so early (kick off wasn’t until 4:50pm), we headed to the WRU shop so Matt could pick up a new shirt. Shirt bought, it was time for lunch. Last time we were in Cardiff, we saw loads of places that we wanted to stop at, one of which was Red Hot World Buffet (Matt’s choice, mine would have been one of the steak houses). It was a good idea – our non-paleo meal of the week could be literally any cuisine we fancied. It was an interesting lunch. I decided to start with some salad stuff and sushi, which was pretty good. For mains, I visited Tex Mex, Indian and Chinese. It was okay. Nothing to blow you away. I had a pudding course too, which was fruit and some small (bite sized) pieces of tiramisu, chocolate peanut cheesecake thing and a mango-y cake-y thing. The whole thing was just “okay”. There was nothing wrong with it, I just didn’t really enjoy it. I ate a bit too much (which is silly, as it was probably less than half of what I would previously have eaten, and I wouldn’t have touched the salad). I was definitely glad to get out and walk shortly after lunch. Matt felt similarly, though didn’t have the salad and went for two rounds of different cuisines.

After lunch, I bought a back up SD card, having left mine at home in my laptop (plonker!), and then we headed back towards the stadium to check where our gate was. We still had a couple of hours to kill, so took a walk in Bute Park.

Bute Park Collage

There were quite a lot of dogs being walked, and I decided that humans could definitely learn a thing or two from spaniels. Now, from experience, I know spaniels are the craziest. Blue smartie crazy. So it came as no surprise that this cocker spaniel raced around at a million miles an hour, checking everything out. He looked so happy to just “be”. Puddles? Great! Mud? Brilliant! Humans? Epic! Squirrels? Totally! Life? Amazing! Despite appearing completely scatterbrained, he was also trained (I’m a strong believer that you should invest the time to train a dog well if you’re going to make the commitment to have one). The quietest of calls from his owner, and he was at heel. When asked to sit, it was immediate.

Spaniel

Eventually they headed off in a different direction to us and we carried on up past the fitness trail. It was a really nice walk, despite the chill. I can’t remember when, by my UP3 buzzed to say I had hit my steps target, and by the end of the walk I had clocked up around 13,500 steps. I was pleased about that, as I had decided not to do my Fitness Blender workout on Friday. I was also pleased I’d managed so far, as I had bought some new boots on Friday. My trusty Merrells had started to get a hole in the back of them and I would have cut my heel up something awful if I had worn them. I was in two minds as to whether to try and break in new boots for so long – I like to live dangerously…

We started to head back and got to our gate at about 3:05pm, then waited for the gate to open at 3:20pm. After a bag search and a small queue, we were in just after 3:20pm. Our seats were up in the gods. I don’t think my legs were quite ready for the number of steps we had to climb. It was definitely worth it though – the view was great!

Principality Stadium

The pre-match entertainment got underway, the roof closed (thankfully – it was freezing!) then the anthems were sung, and the match started. I really enjoyed it and sang and chanted my way through with both the Welsh and Scottish supporters. I’ve had Bread of Heaven and Flower of Scotland stuck in my head ever since.

After the match, we headed back to the station via a long (voluntary) detour and hopped on the train back to Bristol. The replacement bus service was still in effect. This was definitely the longest bit of the day. Anyway, we arrived back home at 11pm and hotfooted it to bed. My last look at my UP3 step count was 20,882, which I think is my record since wearing the UP.

UP3 Steps 13 Feb

Today has been mostly about recovering from yesterday with some pottering around the house. I ended up with a blister on my toe, so I haven’t wanted to put shoes on today. It has been a really great weekend though – I haven’t had such fun in a long time. October will see me sat at the computer waiting in a virtual queue for Wales v England or Wales v Ireland tickets next year. In the meantime, we’ll be back at Millennium Stadium for Judgement Day in April.

Have you had a good weekend? Do you watch the rugby?


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Hobbling, Hill Walking and Here is Spring

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lyme Regis | #MarchForMarch

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

Views from the Cobb | #MarchForMarch

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

Lyme Regis | #MarchForMarch

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

Colyton | #MarchForMarch

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

Have you walked anywhere nice recently?


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I’m a good little bleeder

I have had a really nice start to the week this week.  Monday was its usual manic self, and life just didn’t go much according to plan, but yesterday I had a good day at work, and a lovely walk with my sister in the evening.  I took the camera out and got a few pictures.  It was a beautiful evening, a bit of a chill in the air, but gorgeous nonetheless.

Exmouth Waterwheel

I waited for my sister by the Withycombe waterwheel.  I could hear her coming, saying “pretty weeds”.  We chatted our way towards the beach, and this little guy stopped near us, rummaged for a peanut, and found his bounty.

SAMSUNG CSC

The wind really picked up as we got to the beach.  There were plenty of runners, cyclists and families out.  It was definitely gloves weather for the runners, though it was nice enough to be in a t-shirt.  The life boat was out for a bit too.  I don’t often see it out except at Christmas.

SAMSUNG CSC

P and I chatted about everything and nothing for the whole 3 miles wander, and I loved it.  I don’t get to spend that much time with her sadly, as she doesn’t live in Devon, but when she does come down, it’s so nice just to natter and spend time.

Then, for my really exciting news – I’m a little bleeder!  A successful one!  I gave blood for the first time in 5 years tonight.  I started trying to donate in 2003, and managed to give 3 whole pints over 3 years, but with a load of anaemic tests, I turned into a floater (where my blood floats in the liquid in the finger prick test, when it should sink if you have enough iron).  Well, I am back to being a sinker!

I am so pleased.  My mum and sister have both give large amounts of blood over the years, and it is something I think is so important (so much gain for such little pain), so I was so disappointed not to be able to donate for a long time.  The website has come on so much and booking an appointment is so easy now.  I will be trying very hard to drag Matt along at some point soon.

Hurrah!

Are you a successful bleeder too?

 


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Juneathon – Day 1

The most original title to date!  I had a look at Juneathon after Never2late4 mentioned it, and I decided that I could probably do this.  Now, I am flexing the “rules” a little bit, in that I won’t be running every day.  I don’t think I could to be honest, and I definitely wouldn’t want to – forcing the issue will suck the joy out of running.  I will exercise every day though, and the majority of it will be running.

Today, M suggested that we go for a walk along the coastal path of the Jurassic Coast.  After a spot of lunch, off we headed to Orcombe Point to pick up the path.  I haven’t been along that path for many years.  I forget how pretty it is (especially on a day like today).

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Now, originally, M had mentioned that he’d like to go to Otterton.  He has absolutely no idea of how far that would have been.  It was really nice to be outside, chattering on, panting and nearly dying up the cliffs, but rewarded with some beautiful sights.

In the distance, where we were heading - Budleigh Salterton

In the distance, where we were heading – Budleigh Salterton

Along the route, we kept seeing signs for how far away the villages or towns were.  Having now mapped the route on mapometer, it would appear that the signs were in fact measured in country or Welsh miles.  Upon arrival into Budleigh, it was time for a drink, so we nipped into the Spar to get some water, before continuing our journey home.

Rather than go back the way we came, we decided to go along the old railway line, which meant trekking out of Budleigh and picking up a woodland path, crossing a field, and then walking down the old railway line.  As we arrived back into town, we decided tea would be salad and cold meats.

My feet hurt now.  I can’t remember the last time I walked so far.  Given the country mile markers, I really wasn’t sure how far we’d walked.  Mapometer says 10.27 miles.

Walk 1st June

It is now time to put my feet up, mentally prepare myself for getting up and going to the park tomorrow with my friend to do our urban gym thang.