Thursday, 31 October 2013

Happy Halloween

Not only have I not been running today, I've also spent the day creating lots of calorific food with my children in our own version of GBBO -

"The Heaton Halloween Bake Off" 

We did this at Easter and it was great fun, apart from the fact that I didn't win that time (yes my memory is long and it istill hurts)

Here's my entry this time.  I'm hoping the little ghosts with their chocolate, popping candy truffle middle will appeal to the judge - aka my husband - who I know has a sweet tooth.

Unfortunately, he also happens to be a daddy and the other entrants are our children so I tend to think I won't win again.  No doubt it will be the child who remembered to put a layer of jaffa cake in the middle of his buns, even if he did then just cover them in slime with no artistic consideration at all!

Ah well, the judge will just be tricked not treated tonight!

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Autumn is definitely here

Not just because it's cold and Autumnwatch started on BBC last night :) - it's the amount of leaves on the ground as I run now, it's like a soggy gold carpet!

I'm now worried I'll slip and make a fool of myself. Maybe I've got my priorities wrong though as I'm sure most people would be worried about falling and actually hurting themselves, not how they look to anyone who happens to see them fall!

I have beaten one bit of self consciousness this week though, I used to stop running if there was someone in front of me too nervous to pass them but instead now I feel the teensiest bit smug when I overtake them :)

Nice milestone on my runtastic app today, I've covered 50 miles since I started out last month. Nearly 17hours racked up and 6,900 calories burnt off.  It might not seem much but I'm stunned that I'm still getting up and going out nearly every day.  I think I mentioned that I'm back doing the NHS couch to 5k plan and I'm finding it so much easier than I ever did before so while I'm never going to be a marathon runner, I am definitely getting fitter which is the only aim I have :)

Monday, 28 October 2013

Let half term commence

I haven't been looking forward to Half Term and I usually do, I love having my kids at home full time  (at least at the start, there might be occasions  towards the end of the school holidays when I wonder what on earth I was thinking!!)

This time I was wondering how I'd be able to keep up my usual lunchtime run while looking after two tweens!

Would they come with me?   Would I be able to leave them on their own?  Should I take a week off?

Well the answer to the first question was No they wouldn't and the looks they gave me made it very clear I was lucky they'd even got dressed this morning!

And I didn't want to take a week off, especially after getting such a buzz after my Friday run last week.

So could I leave them on their own? To put it in to context they are 10 and 12 and the 12 year old has been staying home alone for a good few months now and so far he hasn't burnt down the house or injured himself.  But leaving them alone together is a different ball game.  They love each other very much and the majority of the time they do get on brilliantly but when they do fall out, they FALL OUT - it's not pretty and it can get violent, and that's with parental supervision.

Still it would only be for half an hour, I only run 2 miles in a circuit so if anything did go wrong I could get back to them very quickly.  Decision made - but it still wasn't easy to walk out of the door.

They were fine.  In fact when I got back they couldn't believe I'd even been gone a full half an hour.
They hadn't killed each other, they hadn't broken anything, the cats were still asleep on the sofa - SUCCESS - minecraft is just as good a babysitter as CBeebies used to be when they were tiny :)

They've now been fed to keep the happy mood going and are upstairs playing happily with their Lego. Totally unaware that they've done something momentous today, being left alone is a big step but it seems like it's only a big step for mum!

Friday, 25 October 2013

Good session today

Feel really pleased with myself :)

2 miles (well maybe 6 steps less!) in 33 minutes - 1st mile done in 15.18min and 2nd in 18:46min
I worked out a new route that takes me mostly downhill or flat on the running bits, so the only uphill parts are my warm up and cool down walk.

And you can see from my map opposite I didn't have any really slow bits in between my running bits either.


I've not been actually losing any weight while I've been doing all this extra exercise but I haven't changed my eating habits at all.  I'm still eating too much bread and cheese and having my malteasers at weekends.   I'm not worried about that as I needed to get my head right for this exercising thing and not set myself too many challenges at the start and fail too quickly.

I think I've proved to myself now that I am going to keep the exercising going - I've not missed may days since I started and when I have it's been for a genuine reason such as being too busy with work stuff.  I even found myself bored one evening this week and thinking I could go out for a run (it was dark, rainy and my husband told me not to be silly and I didn't argue) but you see my point.

So next steps is to change my eating habits too.  I'm not going to diet diet, I don't want to start some ridiculous plan (not at this stage anyway, if I can't lose weight just being sensible then I might change my mind) but for now I'm going to use My Fitness Pal to count my calories and keep under 1,200 a day.

So have set myself a challenge - with the support of a friend - and we're going to aim to lose half a stone between now and 29th November.  We've got half term next week and it's always harder to plan work / exercise / healthy eating when the kids are off school so we'll start iproperly the week after.

To be honest I'll be happy if I just lose 1lb a week between now and Christmas, I just want to know I can do it if I try, I don't want it to be hard.  But then I can really buckle down in the New Year!

Thursday, 24 October 2013

The best thing about jogging...

is that moment when you get home and can take your sports bra off!

1.5miles today in 25minutes, not great but after sitting in my home office freezing, it was a surprise to open my front door and get blasted with sunshine.  There were even two young men walking up the street with their tops off (note how that wasn't the best thing about jogging, they really shouldn't have done it)

So yes I am contrary - I complain that I can't run when it's raining but I use the sunshine as an excuse for not running well too.

And now I'm worried that tomorrow will be dry but not sunny which should be by default perfect conditions and I'll be expected to get my best time ever!! Don't worry, I'll find another excuse by then :)

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Yesterday must have been a fluke

As I was back to my usual 16minute mile today.  I did do ten minutes of medicine ball exercises first though so maybe that had an impact or maybe I just had the rush on Monday because I was due to pick the little one up from school :)

Anyway, the whys aren't important.  I still went out and came back redfaced so still a plus and I'll still go out tomorrow (weather permitting).

Off to make a cake for my Nan's birthday tomorrow now which will undo all my calorie loss for the week in one lovely slice !

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Beat my own record

Although I'd clearly stated in yesterdays blog that there was no way I was going out in the rain, by school run time it had calmed down a bit and as I was going out anyway I thought I may as well leave a bit earlier than normal and walk / jog the long way round to get her.

And get this, I did a mile in just over 13minutes.  Yes I know some people do a 4 minute mile but if you've been reading my blog at all you know I'm so far off being that kind of person.  13 minutes is very good for me!

What made me laugh though is how long it took me to do the mile home again once I had the little one in tow, as you can see from the split distance below :)

Monday, 21 October 2013

Definitely soup weather today

It's not just raining outside, it's worse than that - in fact there is a full river running down the road outside my house so I'm not going out today as while I may not melt, I do think I could very easily be washed away :)

Instead I've done half an hour on the wii fit and burnt 200 calories doing step - heart rate up to 158bpm, so not a total cop out.  Then I've made a very healthy low calorie soup to have for dinner this evening.  2 x carrots, 1 x potato, 1 x butternut squash, pinch of chili, cumin and paprika plus rosemary and bay leaves from my garden (and I did get very very wet just picking those!)

Roll on tea time when the kids are home from school and we can tuck in.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Have you ever played the classroom game

Unfortunately.... Fortunately...

That's how my usual lunchtime wander went today!

Unfortunately... I woke up with a very stiff back
Fortunately... it was a bit better by lunchtime so I could go out
Unfortunately... the local comp must have been on a sponsored walk or something as the streets were crawling with teenagers
Fortunately... I knew another way I could go
Unfortunately... this took me past the local chipshop which made me feel hungry
Fortunately... I didn't have any money with me
Unfortunately... this made me want to cry
Fortunately... I am good at lying to myself and told myself that fruit salad would be a much better lunch

Unfortunately... that was a lie and after a mile and a half walk / running I really really wish I had a quid for a chip butty

Still it's Friday and I'm having green fish thai curry tonight so I'll treat myself to an extra chapatti for being good at lunchtime :)

Thursday, 17 October 2013

One or the other

But not both...

Okay so I've figured out I can't do a 20 minute 6kg medicine ball work out and then run - or at least not without wanting to curl into a ball when I've got to the bottom of the street and I'm thinking about the fact that I have to run back up that hill that seemed so easy to come down!

So less than a mile today but all in all the same 35 minutes worth of exercise so not terrible.

I think I need a smaller medicine ball too!!

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Stepping it up

I've done 19 walk / jog sessions over the past 4 weeks and while I'm not getting any faster I can now run for a bit longer than I was at the start, even if those bursts of running are bracketed by longer lengths of slow crawling while I get my breath back.

I was shaving my legs in the shower last night  - as you do - and realised that my calves are definitely more toned - yay me! So I've decided to try and focus on the rest of my body too.  So after my half hour walk / jog today I picked up my 6kg medicine ball and had a go at some of the exercises my husband showed me - OMG, I managed 3minutes and my arms wanted to fall off.  So I laid myself down and did 5 sets of ten tummy crunches and now I feel like I want to throw up too.

Really hoping this pays off as feeling sick and losing sensation in my arms isn't filling me with confidence right now.

So overall statistics 

19 sessions
34.69 miles covered
10hours 44 minutes out in all weather
3866 calories burnt off

Stepping it up now so hopefully in another 4 weeks I'll be able to post an update saying I'm a bit more toned elsewhere too :)

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Lovely day

It does make a change after the horrible weather we've had up her the past few days but it was lovely and sunny on my walk/jog today.

I had a smile on my face and had to stop and take this photo of the sun streaming through the gate at the top of this tree tunnel, it does make it easier to run when it's not grey, gloomy and wet.

And to prove my point, it's one of my better times today too.  34 minutes, 25 seconds.  I'm not shaving much time off (if any if I'm honest) but I'll still out there every day which has to count for something.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Not too bad for a monday

Not very fast today but I went back to doing the NHS couch to 5k plan, starting at week one - again -  and it was easier than it's been before.  I even managed to do some extra running bits after the plan had finished as I wasn't quite back home yet.

I do wish I didn't live near so many hills though, I reckon I could do so much better if I could just run downhil all the time and magically portal back home maybe??

The plan is meant to be followed 3 times a week so I'm thinking I'll do Monday, Wednesday then either Friday or Saturday but still go out Tuesday and Thursday anyway.  I might change my mind tomorrow though, who knows!

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Pat on the back

So it's saturday, it's pouring with rain and I still got my gear on and went out - I seriously didn't want to but I didn't want to not go more :)

It wasn't awful either, for a change of pace I'd downloaded my music from my son's phone to mine and it's surprising how a bit of PSY and The Wanted can spur  you on - jogging up the hill with a bright red face, dripping wet hair and singing to Sexy Lady did make the whole exercise a lot more fun :)

Annoying thing is that the GPS on my app didn't pick up until I was half way round my route so it looks like I didn't actually go far but as the starting point isn't anywhere near my house I hope you'll all believe me.


Thursday, 10 October 2013

Bad start, good ending

Really wasn't up for it today.  The day started bad by me skipping out on my daughter's harvest festival - it was just too cold to sit in church for an hour and I had way to much work nagging at the back of my head to make me feel comfortable about starting so late - though I must say my lovely boss didn't mind at all.

I have had the guilt trip from said daughter when she got home, especially as she ended up doing a reading and I wasn't there to see her.  Can I also just point out that her dad didn't go either and he was worse than me because at least I went home and worked - he went home and went to bed, but only I got the "it was my last ever harvest festival" sniffles from her.

I absolutely love my job but this week has been so hard, nothing had been straightfoward and having to deal with a mare of a member today was the icing on the cake, if icing was a horrid thing that I never wanted to eat EVER.

So the plan was for me to run off my frustration but a few things went wrong

1.  I couldn't make my brain switch off from work
2.  I forgot my water bottle
3.  It was cold - really cold with a horrid wind and it hurt my chest.

So I gave it up as a bad job and came home after just under 1 mile.

Plus side, I booked Stewart Lee tickets for husband and myself for February next year.  A day can't be too bad when you know you're going to see the 41st best stand up comic ever again :)

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Inspired but unfortunately not for running

I was getting a bit bored with my usual route so I went off in a completely different direction this afternoon and found a lovely public footpath.  The problem was it didn't inspire me to run, instead I wanted to slow down - meander, saunter, stroll - and none of those words equal speed!

This photo doesn't do it justice but the sun was shining through the trees, there were birds singing and no traffic sounds, I wanted to take my time, whistle and have a picnic (I don't actually take anything but a water bottle out with my though so that wasn't going to happen).  It was just lovely and after such a busy couple of days  - yesterday I didn't even have time to update my blog - it was really good to be out and find something to turn my brain off work for 10 minutes.

Unfortunately it didn't last long as I got so far down this lovely path and it was so boggy I had to turn right back round again and head back to reality - grey pavements and exhaust fumes (and a pretense at speed).

Yesterday's route
(Just to prove that I did still go out,
I didn't hide indoors and just not blog )

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Short Walk - Huge Conker Haul

I spent the morning walking round Meadowhall as my daughter had kindly outgrown all her clothes (and I do mean all!).  I find Meadowhall exhausting, the busyness and the noise usually wears me out completely so I was surprised that when I came home I actually did want to go out for a run.

Maybe I just wanted to try out my snazzy new running top though - with it's pink go faster stripes :)

I made the mistake of taking my daughter with me - I wanted to run, she wanted to go conker picking.  I thought maybe we could do both - sounds easy enough.  I wasn't prepared though for the huge amount of conkers she actually collected and we had a very heavy bag to carry home with us!

Here's just a few of the conkers we collected!

And just for the record - here's the route we followed. But we're not telling you where our amazing conker stash came from as we are keeping that a secret for next year!


Friday, 4 October 2013

Todays' blog is brought to you with the words

Squelch and Blind....

It's one thing to set off while it's raining and be prepared to get wet, it's another thing completely to set off in okay weather and then have the heavens open half way round your route.

It rained so hard I seriously couldn't see - note to self: wear contact lenses next time!
It rained so hard that I had to take off my clothes as soon as got through my door and then streak past the open windows to get to the shower.  (An image I'm sure none of you wanted in your head this afternoon)
It rained so hard that my clothes had formed an actual puddle in the hall when I got back to them.

So a bit slower today but I think not being able to see lets me off a bit!

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Starting to enjoy myself

Over 2miles today and fastest pace yet.  I'm really beginning to like this :)

This was my tenth walk/run and I've clocked up over 20 miles in just over 6hours.  Not bad to say this time last month I was mostly slothlike¬

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Sporting the drowned rat look

It was absolutely throwing it down this morning when I woke up but I was determined to go out even though it would mean getting soaked and go out and get wet I did.  The powerful thoughts of the lovely warm shower awaiting me when I got back kept me going.

And I was faster today than ever before - I did my usual route backwards (ish) which meant that most of the first mile was either level or downhill and that made such a difference.

Screengrabs from my phone today as for some reason I can't get my map on the desktop version.

Feeling good :)