Tub on the Run


Calm(ish) on the outside, ARGHHHH on the inside

I am a week away from my holiday, and my usual pre-holiday, work related anxiety and panic is beginning to set in.  Add in to that an interesting situation whereby I could apply for a promotion, mix it in with a couple of frank conversations and a couple of realisations, and my nerves are shot to hell and I am beginning to feel overwhelmed.  Oh yeah, add in my wedding dress fitting, and I’m quite amazed that I am functioning at all.  I know they aren’t big problems, but I suffer from anxiety, and the trigger will determine how well I cope.

Normally, I find that running really helps.  I get the chance to be alone with my thoughts and work through things.  I’ve really enjoyed getting back to it this week, and I have had the opportunity to explore a couple of new routes.  I’ve also been chuffed to use my Garmin, and I’ve found the stats quite interesting.  I ran the first run of Week 5, and ran two runs from Week 4.

I ran the third run of Week 4 at parkrun this morning.  I haven’t set any records, and I haven’t set a new PB, but I was pleased with how I went.  I ran for more than Week 4’s podcast, and I’m beginning to feel a little bit more “part of it” (don’t get me wrong, parkrun is very friendly, but people are now beginning to recognise me and know my name).  Also, it was really lovely to see Sharon from Shazruns at the finish line.  It was the first time we’ve had the chance for a chat before, and I’m sure we’ll stop for a coffee in the cafe when the weather turns cooler.  Sadly, I’m not back to parkrun now until nearly the end of the month.

Unfortunately, running hasn’t really helped clear my head.  Well, maybe it has, and in which case, I’d dread to think what I’d feel like if I hadn’t run.

Anyway, one of the issues has been highlighted this week is that I have become increasingly scruffy in my work dress, therefore a shopping trip was in order.  To be honest,  I could have done without the financial expenditure right now, but I guess there would never have been a good time (financially) in the run up to the wedding.  I had a very pleasant afternoon out with my mum, nonetheless, and I now have some new work clothes.

Post shopping cuppa

My post-shopping cup of tea 🙂

I think part of the issue has been that I bought “interim” clothes while I was (am) losing weight, and I haven’t wanted to replace them until I have “deserved” new ones (by going down a size).  Frustratingly, I haven’t gone down a clothes size.  I’m still firmly in a size 20 in shirts.  Three stone, and I still haven’t gone down a dress size really.  I’ve disliked shopping for a long time.  I suspect that I will disliked it for a while longer.

As for the anxiety, I’m just going to have to work like the clappers this week, get everything in order and do a good handover.  Realistically, that is all I can do right now.   I foresee a week of late nights in the office.  Otherwise, it is just a case of dealing with individual issues rather than trying to fire fight them all at once.


Good run and Slimmer of the Week

I was much more successful test driving the Garmin last night than I was on Saturday’s slightly disastrous (in terms of technology anyway) parkrun outing.  As I was getting ready for work, I made sure to nip into the living room to plug the Garmin in.  Result!  By the time I came home, it had roughly 10 hours’ worth of charge, so there was no way it wasn’t going to work.  I’d like to say that the ipod/podcast/user issue had been remembered and sorted (I hadn’t downloaded Week 4 of the Couch to 5k podcast at parkrun), but I completely forgot.  Instead of procrastinating further, I decided to just try my hand at Week 5 Run 1.  I reasoned that I probably ran for at least 5 minutes non-stop (just incredibly slowly) on Saturday, so 5 minutes running, 3 minutes walking, repeated three times probably wouldn’t kill me entirely.  Week 5 separates out into three different runs, culminating in the dreaded 20 minutes non-stop running session.  First time round, I managed it without too much difficulty.  It’ll be interesting to see how I get on this time round.  The 20 minute run will be my last run before jetting off on holiday next week.  I did download Week 4 when I got back home from Slimming World, so I’ll be finishing the next two runs on Week 4.

The run went really well.  While I don’t think I could have gone for much longer, I was really pleased that I wasn’t nearly dead at the end of the run.  I enjoyed it as I’d also gone on a brand new route which incorporated road and trail.  The trail was hard as I found I had to concentrate hard to make sure that I wasn’t likely to break my ankle on a tree root.  I feel buoyed and confident that I won’t have a problem completing Week 4.

Week 5 Run 1 03.09.13

As for the Yurbuds, I was really impressed with them.  I didn’t think that they’d actually stay put, given that they are earphones rather than headphones, but they didn’t budge.  I am chuffed with them – they’re really comfortable, I forgot I was wearing them except when I’d accidentally catch the cord, and even then they didn’t come out.  The only initial thing I’ve found is that they let quite a lot of wind noise in.  To be fair, I don’t know if that’s just because I had the volume level really low (I was running on a single track road and trails, so I wanted to be able to hear well).  The sound quality is good though, and I’m sure the wind noise will be less of an issue when I have the volume up more normally.

Après run, I remembered to pack a clean t-shirt and some body spray (I feel like I am particularly stinky after exercise at the moment – I am sure I nearly killed both myself and M off in the car on the way home from Killerton at the weekend).  The food diary challenge went well, and I took mine in for scrutinising.  I think one thing I really noticed is that I am particularly poor at getting my Health Extra A (which is mostly calcium based foods, for those non-Slimming Worlders).  In the past 7 days, I have only succeeded in eating my “A” choice twice.  I think I need to revisit the book and see what I can have, other than cheese or milk (or which varieties of cheese and milk I can have).

Food Diary Front

Food Diary Back

So, the food diary went well, and this showed on the scales with a 4.5lb loss and made me Slimmer of the Week (woo!).  Not only has it been good for my weight loss efforts, but it’s also been a good reminder from a mental perspective.  I have actually enjoyed the week, being nearly 100% on the wagon (only two days that detract from that are Saturday and Sunday, where I had too many syns, but not by excessive amounts).  I’ve eaten plenty of food, food that has been good for me.  Honestly, if every week was like this, then I’d have lost all the weight ages ago!  The strange thing is that I don’t feel especially motivated.  I feel like this is “normal”, it isn’t a battle, I’m not prowling round the house grumbling that I can’t find any biscuits, crisps, sweet things, etc.  I also don’t feel like I have been chained to the kitchen, which is how I sometimes feel, and I think makes me a bit despondent.  I’m sure the feeling will wear off, and I’ll be ninja like in my attack on unsuspecting food, but I’m enjoying the feeling right now.  What have I done differently?

  1. I have tried new foods.  I have a couple more to try too.  The variety has been nice.
  2. I have put some suitable foods on – quick easy meals for when we’re pushed for time.  I’ve also cracked out the slow cooker again (well, it is nearly autumn!).
  3. I’ve used food as a treat.  Shock… horror!!  My sister sent me this very funny cartoon on Facebook, and I was nearly in tears reading it.  Page 2, and the Bleurgh is so true!  However, if I want to reward my parkrun efforts with a homemade brownie, why shouldn’t I?  Or if I want a fry up (which is a grill up anyway) after a run, why shouldn’t I?  I am reward oriented, but I am also geared more towards immediate gratification, and sometimes, promising myself a DIY pedicure at the weekend for my good efforts just doesn’t cut it.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that every single time I do something, I’ll reward with food (I know I’m not a dog!), but it’s good not to limit the options.  Food is not the enemy, my lack of self-restraint/control is.

All in all, I’m pleased with both the run and the weight loss.


Back to parkrun I went!

The results are in for parkrun this week, and I’ve truly astounded myself with a PW (a personal worst).  To be completely fair, it isn’t a true PW, as I “ran” the Race for Life at Plymouth about 10 minutes slower, but the time I recorded was:

Parkrun 31st August 2013

Despite being a PW for 2013, I am actually quite pleased with how it went.  I ran for longer than I thought I was going to be able to, and I wasn’t completely last.  In fact, I managed to overtake a couple of people (having been at the back for roughly the first kilometre or so).  With that in mind, I am pretty confident that I will be able to make it through Week 4 of the Couch to 5k plan without having to go back even further.

As you may be aware, I got a new Garmin and Yurbuds for my birthday, so I thought I’d take them out for a spin on Saturday.  Well, it was not meant to be.  In my complete ignorance, I didn’t charge my Garmin for long enough, so it stuttered into life long enough for me to sort the settings and locate a satellite before shutting down.  I did wear the HRM strap, which was I expecting to be uncomfortable, but it wasn’t.  So, note to self – remember to charge the Garmin the night before a run.  It was a comfortable watch to wear though.  The second was the Yurbuds.  I haven’t worn headphones to a parkrun before, as I quite like to just take the time out and listen to what’s going on around me.  This time was no different.  While I packed the earphones in my bag, I left my bag with M before taking them out.  D’oh!  When I got the bag back, to be fair, I didn’t have Week 4 of C25K downloaded anyway.

At the end of the run, there was a cake sale (it was for charity!), so I did indulge and buy both myself and M a homemade brownie.  It was delicious!  Obviously, I can’t do that every week, but it was VERY welcome this week.

As for the after effects of parkrun, well, I’m in excruciating agony a bit sore.  My hips started getting tight in the last mile or so, and they’re quite sore now, and going downstairs is a problem for my quads.  Otherwise, I feel pretty much ok.  I think if anything, it’s served as a bit of a lesson about why Tubs don’t stop running for two months.  Yes, it’s been two months since I last went out!  No wonder I don’t feel as fit as I was.

In other news, I have kept my food diary up to date and it’s gone quite well.  The big reveal is tomorrow, but I’ve actually quite enjoyed the challenge.  I’ve tried a couple of new things (scan bran cake, couscous pancakes, quark), and overall, my weekend eating has been much better.  The weekends are usually a really difficult time for me to keep focused and on track, but I made sure to pick some things that we really like (like BBQ pulled pork, a grill up, and snacky things).  While I went over my syns on both Saturday and Sunday, it’s much more in control than, let’s say, the weekend before.

The plan for the week ahead is to restart C25K at Week 4 (3 min run, 1.5 min walk, 5 min run, 2.5 min walk, 3 min run, 1.5 min walk, 5 min run).  I may even go somewhere new!  It may have to incorporate some hills too, as I feel I should get back into hills rather than just running on the flat.  East Devon – watch out!


My successful camping trip

You know those weekends where they’re really good and you collapse into bed exhausted?  Yep?  I’ve had one of them.  I have split this post out, as I can appreciate not everyone will want to read my camping/marshalling ramblings.


For the first time in the four years I have worked where I do, I left for a week off before 9pm.  I get really paranoid that I will have left something huge and it’ll stitch up my team in my absence.  Inevitably, I never do, the company doesn’t cease to trade in my absence, and no commercial incidents happen.  Anyway, M and I left work on Friday (ok, a little bit late) and headed up to Silverstone.  We encountered all manner of weather on our way up, from gale force winds, hail, rain, sunshine, the lot.  As we got closer to Silverstone, the wind didn’t seem to be dying down.  I hate/loathe/despise putting a tent up in the dark and in the wind.  I swear that as soon as we arrived, the wind died.  Putting up the tent was actually easy.  We didn’t do too bad a job of it either.


A weekend of marshalling the British GTs ensued.  I love sports cars.  You can keep your silly F1 cars (though I don’t dislike single seaters as a general rule).  For me, it’s all about the wishlist cars.  I love the sound, the look, the smell (yes, the smell – nothing quite like an early morning pit walk to indulge the petrol sniffer side of me).  I won’t bore you with the details (if you really are that fussed, you can read an excellent report here).

Saturday, I collapsed into bed at 9pm, and slept until 5.30am.  I hadn’t realised quite how sunny it would be, and had neglected to put on sunscreen on Saturday (ouch).  That was soothed though, by a shot of icy cold water, courtesy of the shower that didn’t have an aimable head and spurted out cold water at such velocity as to make me scream (I’m sure the other marshals in the campsite wondered if I was having a When Harry Met Sally moment).  Another day, avec sunscreen and thankfully less wind saw the 3 hour endurance race for the GTs.

At the end of the day, the leader of the post (a “post chief”) had upgraded me, so I have now officially gone from Trainee Marshal to Track Marshal.  That doesn’t actually mean much, except I can now be left to look after Trainees and can apply to do the F1 (which I probably will do, as M wants to do it one day) and Goodwood Revival and Festival of Speed (which I am much more interested in doing).  Otherwise, it will probably be business as usual, with a little bit more responsibility.

Originally, we had planned to camp at Castle Combe on the Sunday night, ready for a day of racing at Combe on the Monday, but we made the decision to stay at the local Travelodge because of a lack of electric hook up at Combe (and therefore, a lack of airbed).  Another great day marshalling.

Food, Exercise and Weigh in

I was quite pleased with myself this weekend, as normally camping is a bad food time for me.  It is definitely much easier to eat complete rubbish when you camp.  However, with a bit of thought and willpower, I made better choices.  M and I found the Tesco at Towcester, so managed a quick trip on Saturday night for supplies on Sunday.  I used my food vouchers at Silverstone for salads.  Now, while the salads weren’t exactly brilliant in their Slimming World values, they were a much better option than others available.

Eating properly last week and over the weekend saw me lose 1.5lbs at Slimming World today.  I had been on track for a better loss, but I’ll definitely accept that.  Especially seeing as my exercise over the weekend was negligible.  I am going to redo last week of my 10k plan, as I didn’t hit the runs at all.  One thing that is bothering me is that I don’t seem to be able to run for 30 minutes like I could at the end of Couch to 5k.  I am sure it’s a mental problem, and I know I have mentioned this problem before.  I definitely seemed to do better with no music on my long run last time out, so I might try podcasts or audiobooks.  I’ve also done a couple of runs on the dreadmill, and I think that’s killing a bit of the joy of running, so I’ll head back outdoors again.

I have the week off, and I am thoroughly looking forward to doing nada (well… kind of nada).


Today’s weigh in and the end of Week 4

Please forgive me, I feel a bit of a moan coming on.

Why?  I lost half a pound.  I am trying very hard to refrain from saying “only” half a pound – they all add up eventually.  Why am I disappointed?  Really, it boils down to the fact that I have been losing pretty good amounts for the last 8 weeks.  Do I have a right to be disappointed with that?  Technically yes, it’s my body.  But at the same time, no I don’t.  By looking at that loss, I trivialise my other losses by looking at each one in isolation, rather than remembering that I am 2st 4.5lbs down from my starting point.  Not only that, but it hardly comes as a shock – I haven’t been the best at keeping an eye on my syns this week, I had lots of pancakes after the last weigh in, plus the doughnut and egg custard tart yesterday.  A mediocre week will result in a mediocre loss.  Thankfully, I am sure the amount of exercise I have done this week has made sure that the half lb off wasn’t actually a gain.

On the thought of exercise, I have completed Week 4, so day off tomorrow and then spinning on Thursday.  I am feeling a bit apprehensive about going into Week 5, as the reading I have been doing around the Couch to 5k has shown that a lot of the struggles come at this week.  I just need to remember that I have made it this far, and I can’t go squandering all my work so far just because I’m apprehensive.

Sorry it’s a whingey post, it’s probably just time to go to bed.

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Two day exercise round up

I’ll start with today.  I am not long back from my Zumba Tone class.  Following the trauma of finding some abs muscles, care of the TBTs class, my friend and I ventured back to ZT.  All is forgiven.  I was actually looking forward to it, and put a lot of effort into my workout.  I know this because my back is a little sore, and my hair is all mingy (yes, I am so dedicated, I am blogging before showering).  The other thing I wanted to “fix” while I was there was to stretch out my hips.  They were really tight after yesterday.

It hasn’t been my best day for sticking to all things healthy eating (d’oh – it is weigh in day tomorrow Tub, what were you thinking!?).  It’s a colleague’s birthday, so I have had an egg custard tart and a doughnut.  Poop.  Though I am not sure why I am justifying the food to myself with”well it’s her birthday” – she wasn’t going to be offended if I abstained.  Never mind – it’s only one day, and you can’t spend live avoiding doughnuts.  The key is moderation (I know I will be annoyed if I put weight on tomorrow, so I will probably have to revisit this post to remind me it’s all MODERATION).  However, I have found a new drink love:

Mmm… Twinings Butter Mint Tea

It’s like drinking a Murray Mint.  I have a very soft spot for Murray Mints, they remind me of my Grandad.  An enduring childhood memory was my Grandad sharing his Wethers Originals or Murray Mints with us.  Fond memories of sunny holidays to our grandparents’ house.

About my run yesterday.  If you are eating, I suggest you come back later, or if you are easily upset, give up now.

It went really well.  I felt absolutely knackered at the end, but I’m really pleased, as I managed to shave a whole minute off my average pace.  I suspect I may have overdone it.  Because then came…

I didn’t know it could come out like that, and I genuinely dread to think what I looked like in the last few metres before I got to my front door.  And good Lord I thought the bottom was falling out of my world.  Now, there’s a good chance that the increase in speed alone wasn’t the sole cause.  I had some beans for tea, in a rice salad.  I think it may have been far too much fibre prior to the run.  So, learning points – stay away from  beans (I have had a similar experience, but many years back), and eat a long time before I go out, not 45 minutes before.

Despite the horrendous experience, I was pleased with myself, and thoroughly enjoyed my Sunday night bath, and a chocolate chip Snack a Jack with some Whole Earth peanut butter spread on it.  Tasted naughty, but was 8 syns (allowed 15 a day) – a good post run snack I believe.

On that delightful note, I shall leave you now. Wish me luck (or light thoughts) for weigh in tomorrow!!