Archive | August 2013

Day 71: Best run yet

Good evening πŸ™‚

Today, despite the complaining in my legs and the insistence of my brain that it was not a day for running, I completed the c25k week 5 day 1. I managed to convince my legs that they wanted to cooperate and took myself off to the Downs Link Path and ran along the same route as my last run. It was a nice day for a run, sunny but not baking hot and despite being the middle of a Saturday the route was not as busy as I thought it might be. This boded well I thought and another good omen was my remembering to stretch before I started. I had a short warm up walk of only a couple of minutes before I started the timer, then stretched then got going.

week 5 day 1 stats

week 5 day 1 stats

All in all I was pretty pleased with the results. Todays intervals were 5 min run 3 min walk, 5 min run, 3 min walk 5 min run, Β all sandwiched in between a 5 min warm up and cool down. I managed to run the whole of the first 5 min run and only stopped twice for 20 steps each in the second, the third was harder because it had the only 3 uphill slopes on the route in it which were short but quite steep up banks so although I ran the uphills I did have to walk a few more steps than in the first one. Still a vast improvement on before as I hadn’t managed to run a while 5 min interval before today! It was the Best distance I have covered yet during the c25k process and I am fairly sure the app didn’t get distracted today πŸ™‚ So I am pretty pleased with myself. I managed to control my breathing pattern most of the time, I just have to remember to think about it until it becomes a habit.

I am undecided again about whether to move on to day 2 of week 5 as the interval pattern changes and goes up to 8 mins, I am not sure whether to repeat day 1 until to get more practice at 5 min intervals before moving on…I will keep you posted (again).

Very pleased with today, Day 71, complete πŸ˜€

Day 70: Dancing in the dark

Good evening πŸ™‚

Yesterday’s extravaganza of exercise and activity was an evening of dancing and beer (for those of us who were not me) and fun and one more steam engine πŸ™‚

Last steam engine for now :-)

Last steam engine for now πŸ™‚

Mythago were invited to dance at the Amberley Working museum for their annual beer festival, and dance we did. Amongst revelers sampling the many many beers and ciders on offer, Mythago wove our dances to the sounds of the excellent musicians.

We danced two stands and I was in all but 3 dances πŸ™‚

The dances included (possibly not in this order):

Our henry, triskele, witch hunt, foul mouth cat, parma ham, avebury ring, spank the monkey, maiden castle, fanny frail

I think that is all…It was enormous fun, we haven’t dances out for weeks so this was a welcome event πŸ™‚ it was a little on the challenging side, as the second set was carried out in the dark. Now dancing in the dark is not beyond the capabilities of the mighty mythago but the darkness was made more challenging by the addition of a flood light which was far enough away to provide a bright, night vision destroying, spot and cast many more shadows on the ground. It was all good fun and served to add extra challenge to the waving of big sticks and the stomping of big boots πŸ™‚

Dancing boots

Dancing boots

This added up to about 45 mins of activity, coupled with a few times running up and down the flights of stairs to distribute drinks tokens to hungry morris dancers. All this adds up to:

Day 70 complete πŸ™‚

Day 68 and 69: walking and walking and steam engines

Good afternoon πŸ™‚

I am combining Wednesday’s and Thursday’s posts into one, because essentially, the same thing happened on both days. And that thing was mainly walking…and some more walking and more walking and some steam engines πŸ™‚

A traction engine

Β  A traction engine

look…here is a picture of a steam engine to illustrate the point πŸ™‚ Ok…I’ll explain…we went to the Great Dorset Steam Fair this week (well Wed and Thurs anyway) this is an enormous steam fair (ok…that is probably obvious), it is where many different varieties of steam engines from all around the country gather to show off their fantastic steam-ness and display their shiny brass bits. There are demonstrations of traditional uses for said steam engines (ploughing, powering giant saws, flattening roads, powering fairground rides and organs etc) there is also a

section of trade stands, junk / randomness sellers and a large auto jumble. all of this is contained in a 600 acre site. I add the size in to give you an idea of distances covered from out campsite, at the edge of the site to the main showground…

on the Wednesday and Thursday, we walked backwards and forwards from the showground to our tent at least 4 times (each day) plus much walking around the showground, most of this was done carrying or dragging large / heavy / unruly objects including, a drum, most of a jungle gym (in flat pack) a large bag of random (useful) junk, a trolley containing bandsaw blades and a cast iron water pump and a 3 m long plastic slide.

steam fair

 

This turned out to be a lot of walking, 7 – 7.5 miles a day as you can see. some of this was slow walking but some was at a purposeful pace and a lot was up and down hills, the steam fair site is anything but flat!. This was more than enough to count as my exercise for Wednesday and Thursday…absolutely without Β doubt.

what is more, a lot of fun was had in the process. Here are some more traction engines just for good measure…

Many traction engines :-)

Many traction engines πŸ™‚

Day 68 and 69 complete πŸ˜€

Day 67: GPS discrepancies aside…

Good evening πŸ™‚

I discovered that there might be a tiny problem with the c25k app on my phone…well…the app works well with regards to telling me when to run and walk and such like but there seems to be a tiny issue with recording distance and suchlike…I have noticed before while using it that it sometimes gets distracted and forgets what it is doing if an unexpected ting happens, like me getting a text message Β or an email, so I have taken to keeping an eye on it…however today I decided to test it by putting my runtastic app on as well to see what it said. They both use the same gps so I didn’t think there would be much difference, but I can only conclude that the c25k app got distracted…again.

w4d3

c25k app log

runtastic log

runtastic log

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Β 

 

 

Ok…I admit that I put the runtastic app on 30 seconds before the c25k app…however, I can’t run 800m in 30 seconds…If I could I think the c25k would be relatively immaterial!

so…I think that I went somewhere closer to 3.7km which I am pleased about and the c25k app forgot what it was doing in the walk sections, after all I walked when it said so I think less than 1/2km walking is unlikely.

Anyway on to my own assessment of todays run:

I decided to go back to the downs link path that I ran on on friday as it is a nice place to run and although it is used by other walkers and cyclists it is not too busy. It was a much nicer day today, the sun was shining and there was a nice breeze so I didn’t overheat.

Downs link path today

Downs link path today

I concentrated on regulating my breathing today, I worked on breathing in for a set number of steps and out for the same number of steps, I kept this up during the walk breaks too to try to keep controlled. I think it helped, I didn’t feel as out of breath today which is a good thing πŸ™‚ It will take a little bit more work before I get the pattern right but I feel it was a step in the right direction.

I tried another new thing today I stopped for a stretch before I did my warm up walk, I walked from the car park to the path then did a set of stretching, I normally only stretch once my legs start to hurt…I am aware this is not the right way to go about it so I thought I would try the proper way today.

Whether it was the breathing, or the stretching or the sunshine or just general improvement I don’t know, but today’s session was definitely better. I didn’t have to walk at all in my 3 min intervals, and only once For about 10s in my first 5 in interval, about 3 times (but only short times) in the last one but still a vast improvement.

I even got chance to viewΒ the local wildlife:

ducks

ducks

Discrepancies aside, day 67 complete πŸ™‚ now all I have to do is decide whether I repeat week 3 until I can run all the runs or go on to week 4 as I am nearly there and work on 5 min intervals in week 4…I will keep you informed πŸ™‚

 

Day 66: Pump up the Jam…

And no matter how many times I have done body pump, they have never used the song Pump Up the Jam by Technotronic for any of the tracks…I think they should.

Good evening πŸ™‚
now the 90s song references are over and done with, we can get on with the discussion of today’s exercise class which was…Body Pump πŸ™‚

20130826-224855.jpg

20130826-224953.jpg
It was just like this…Apart from technically we were not on top of a building in manhattan looking all hypercheerful…other than that…exactly the same πŸ™‚

Well..it was bank holiday Monday, so I was taking advantage of being able to go to classes in the day time so 9:30am body pump was the class of choice. It was as body pump normally is, by turns, too hard, too easy rapidly becoming hard, interesting and boring…normally dictated by choosing the wrong weights. I have done a lot of body pump in my time and it doesn’t really change much but it is a really good work out. As I haven’t been for a while, I am still getting the hang of choosing the right weights to use for each track, which is the main reason why the tracks varied in difficulty.
I did enjoy it generally, I of course spent sometime being annoyed with the other people in the class for no reason at all. No one did anything offensive and no one really paid me any attention at all, but they still managed to make me cross, I think this is actually a distraction technique to stop me thinking the class is hard. It could also be put down to the fact that I a) am generally grumpy in the morning and 2) was having to work out with out having coffee first due to a broken kettle.
Don’t worry…we have a new one πŸ™‚

Day 66 complete πŸ™‚

Day 65: Personal Training…on a Sunday!

Good evening πŸ™‚
Yesterday (as you might be able to tell…) was Sunday, and I for some reason, organised a Personal training session, at 9 am. Sounds enthusiastic…well yes it was, but it was excellent πŸ™‚ personal training is definitely my favourite work out of the week, I enjoy it as much as dancing. It is hard work, and getting harder as I get fitter and more capable, but I really enjoy it πŸ™‚

The session started with a relatively gentle warm up…possibly more gentle than either I mor Matt the trainer anticipated because we decided to try it a new machine…the seated cross trainer. Now… I am aware that you can raise your heart rate sitting down and things like cycling are genuinely hard work, seated cross trainer however, is something I may pass on next time. It seemed a lot like a sit down with some waving your arms and legs about.

This may have been an easy start, but it really wasn’t starting as we meant to go on! We started the session with strength training, pull down exercises using a dedicated machine then moving in to a similar exercise seated at the pulley machine and a pull down exercise with the same pulley machine standing while focusing on the core engagement.
The rest of the session was taken up with:
interval sprints on the cross trainer (all 30 second sprints this time, no building it up slowly today),
viper exercises (walking lunges with an overhead press / woodchops / clean and jerks),
intense rounds of Thai boxing training (all punches, kicks, knees, elbows and defences),
chest press exercises,
trx exercises (sets of muscle ups / rows / straight arm opening out things / press ups forward facing straight arm opening out thingies),
360 degree defence with the Thai pads,
Stability ball exercises (plank / leg extensions / press ups(they were not on the ball))
Core work (bridge, bridge with legs against the wall, one legged bridge while aiming the other leg at my head somehow, a tabletop exercise with the ViPR where I had to move my legs and arms apart while keeping my back flat)

20130826-222056.jpg
THis is a trx.

All this craziness (and it looks much more crazy now I see it written down) was followed by a lot of stretching…well needed stretching I have to say!

I have decided something about training (I thought this was in my head for a while) but I am now convinced, that when we are doing Thai boxing training in the gym with lots of onlookers, the more people heckle and make comments, the faster and harder the training gets, I definitely try harder to be awesome when we get heckled, and I am now more or less Matt the trainer does the same thing. Working really hard and looking good at what we are doing is easier then answering the hecklers! (Ok…this might still be in my head…it might be slightly a coincidence that there are more counters and defence moves and les time between the combinations in these situations…)

Sunday 1.5 hours of PT means day 65 complete πŸ˜€

Day 64: early morning run in the rain

Good evening πŸ™‚
It is Sunday evening and after a busy weekend, I am writing up Saturday and Sunday’s activities. Starting (traditionally) with Saturday.

As I had a busy day planned of learning machine knitting and cooking roast dinners for a houseful of people I decided to head off early for a run to start the day energetically. This wasn’t quite as early as I had hoped due to my not liking to get up on Saturdays any better than any other day. I did get going eventually at 8:30 and decided to drive over to the local village of Southwater and run along the disused railway path that links the South Downs with the north downs. So undeterred by the horrible drizzly morning I set off.

20130825-232643.jpg
A grey and drizzly run started (inadvisably) with an uphill warm up walk. But I got going and week 4 day 3 of the c25k was completed. 8 am still finding the 5min intervals difficult, more difficult than on Fridays run. Possibly because my legs were still achy, mainly though because I still haven’t found a good way of regulating my breathing properly. I am much fitter and finding breathing much easier, but I know I need to find a regular breathing pattern in order to keep going for longer. Here are my run stats:

20130825-234154.jpg
My run pace was down a little and I went slightly less distance, but it was not really that different from Fridays. Strangely enough I found the intervals in the second half of the run easier than the first half. I still don’t know why this is, perhaps my legs just take longer to wake up…
The positives that came out of today’s run are, I am no longer afraid to run in the rain, I managed to run at the weekend for the first time, and I am still enjoying myself, even though it is hard work.

20130825-234928.jpg
I also thought it was very convenient that someone put a mile marker exactly at the half way point of my run πŸ™‚

Day 64 damply complete πŸ™‚

Day 63: a day of realisation

Good afternoon πŸ™‚

I realised a couple of things today…A couple of things that will probably seem really obvious but I am sometimes a little slow when it comes to realising stuff when i concerns myself…

The first thing I realised is that I have developed a healthy attitude to food, exercise and consequent weight loss…cant tell you how long it has taken for me to do that…actually I can…it was 22 years! I am finally putting the health and fitness side of stuff first and everything is working out pretty well πŸ™‚

The second thing I realised is to do with my running. I realised, as I was getting changed from my lunchtime run today, that I was proud of what I am accomplishing. I have tried running in the past and I have always told people about what I was doing in derogatory terms. I would say things like “it is nothing compared to real runners” today I realised that the most important thing is that I am improving on where I started and having fun doing it.

The fact that someone else is better than me takes nothing away from what I am achieving!

To the people who have heard my “everything is not relative” speech / rant, I know it is surprising that I have never realised that is true of my running too!

That brings me on to today’s run…c25k week 4 day 1 It was HARD! today is the first day that the run amount is significantly more than the walk amount!

run stats

run stats

Today’s intervals were run 3 min run, 1.5 walk, 5 min run, 1.5 min walk, 3 min run, 1.5 min walk, 5 min run as well as the 5 min warm up Β and cool down. This felt like a big jump, I found the 5 min runs hard, and the 3 mins runs were not to easy either. I had to walk in the 5 min intervals a few times, and once per 3 min interval but with the reduced rest time I am not too disappointed.

Because of the slight walking that crept into the runs, my run pace was slower than last run but not as slow as the previous weeks…so still predominantly running πŸ™‚

The most striking difference it the run distance, it has doubled and the walk distance significantly lessened since last time πŸ™‚ So with increased over all distance, increased run distance I am pleased, even though it was harder work. I am still enjoying it and I feel sure I will be even better next week πŸ™‚

So with a little more self-awareness than before day 63 complete!

Day 62: Its Thursday, it is random exercise class day

Good evening πŸ™‚

Today’s random exercise class of choice was…..

Body Combat…

Body Combat

Body Combat

what lead me to choose this, well it was a combination of timing, logistics and my having left my gym shoes at home thus needing to collect them first. It is a slightly random way to choose an exercise class, but it does lead to me trying new things. Or in this case trying things I used to do ages ago but haven’t been to for years.

Body combat is another one of the “body xxxx” range of exercise classes put together by Les Mills, it is based on several different martial arts and fighting sports. Lots of punching, kicking, knees and general jumping about, all set to music and broken down into several 3-4 min tracks each designed to target different muscles / exercises etc. It is designed to be fast energetic cardio , well…here’s what they say…

Body Combat details

Body Combat details

Does it do all those things it says? Well…yes it is definitely high intensity cardio, it probably does the other things too…

Did I enjoy it as a class…well yes…sort of! I definitely had a good work out, I could do all the moves and the instructor was very good, she even told people proper punching / kicking form. But (and the but is probably more a problem with me than actually with the class) I really really missed having something to hit! It is far more effective and far more fun to actually do pad work. I think the main problem is thatΒ Β I have never done this class at the same time that I am doing any sort of other fighting training. I end up either not being able to take the class seriously or taking it far too seriously. I switch from looking amused to putting my I want to kill you face on. I tried very hard not to have an I want to kill you face today but I didn’t manage it. I generally spent the whole time over thinking the whole thing and worrying about whether the moves were feasible in a real fight.

all the over thinking aside, I had a really good work out. Will I go again…well I don’t know. I am definitely not ruling it out, I just have to work out how to leave my serious scary face at home πŸ™‚

Day 62 Complete πŸ˜€

Day 61: A dancing record

Good evening πŸ™‚

This is yet another late posting due in part to my not feeling like blogging when i got in last night, and this was compounded by an unexpected lack of electricity all day today. Never mind all that though, on to this dancing record…

You know I am not talking about a real record that dances right? Although…that would be pretty cool and if I had actually encountered one I would probably find a way to shoehorn it in here! What am I waffling on about? well…it was Wednesday yesterday…and what does Wednesday mean?

That’s right…Mythago practice πŸ˜€

and what is this record I am going on about? well…

14 dances…that’s right 14! To my knowledge this is the most dances I have done in one practice session…ever πŸ˜€ I can say that this time last year there is a good chance that I wouldn’t have been able do 14 dances.

Mythago practice

Mythago practice

The picture is technically not yesterday’s practice because I forgot to take one, but it did look very similar to that.

without further ado…the dances I did were:

Our henry, maiden castle (x2) tralee gaol (x2), triskele, raggle taggle gypsy (x2), foul mouth cat, standing stones, star of the county down, broomstick, witch hunt, fanny frail.

this was all in all an excellent practice πŸ™‚ lots of fun as always, and I am definitely feeling fitter which is excellent as being fitter for dancing is the reason I started this whole thing in the first place πŸ˜€

Day 61 complete πŸ™‚

 

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