Archive | September 2013

Day 100: Dancing in a brewery

This was what Sunday’s activity was all about:

corner cast

Photo courtesy of Catherine Kit Cat Johnstone

this is the first dance out we have had in a while, and it was great fun πŸ˜€ One of our local breweries Darkstar brewery was holding a hopfest, and way back in the mists of time (about May) they asked us to perform for them…

last week…we looked at their program and they discovered that we had been forgotten about 😦

Never fear however, the problem was rectified and we were shoehorned into

mythago swing

Photo courtesy of Catherine Kit Cat Johnstone

the program… this didn’t bode well for a fun and successful dance out…but in the end it turned out well πŸ™‚

The first stand was at The Partridge, a pub in the village where the brewery was, we he a fairly confined dance space and we kept nearly knocking over the girl who was bravely trying to bring out people’s lunches past us, but we had an excellent audience and (for once) a nice flat area to dance in πŸ™‚

At this stand I did 4 dances: Maiden castle, Standing Stones, broomstick dance and Fanny frail.

then we walked over to the Brewery for the second half…it was a 15 min walk, so that helped the exercise!

The second stand took place inside the brewery its self, the enclosed space made our music and whooping sound awesome! It all added to an excellent atmosphere!

spank the monkey hopfest

Photo courtesy of Catherine Kit Cat Johnstone

<—– look dancing inside in the brewery! I am in that one, I am the blur of speed on the left hand side, the one you can see a little bit of red on πŸ™‚ I love this photo because it shows the speed and enthusiasm with which we attack each dance, this particular dance being (the now infamous) Spank the Monkey!

at this stand I did (initially) 3 of the dances, Spank the Monkey, foul-mouthed Cat and Fanny Frail and then…for possibly the first time in the history of Morris Dancing…we got an encore!! hehe an encore!! so we danced the most excellent Thor’s Hammer!

All in all it was a very good day of dancing, and you have to remember that throughout all of this intensely energetic activity…we are dressed like this:

spinny close


with a lot of extra material and a mask to cut out oxygen intake, and we are wearing boots that weigh 1.5kg each πŸ™‚ lots of fun πŸ™‚

after we finished, all that remained was to walk the 15 mins back to my car with the cheers of our adoring fans ringing in my ears (well…sort of)

So day 100 spectacularly complete πŸ˜€

PS…100 days! I can’t believe I have worked out every day for 100 days πŸ˜€

PPS…I was driving…so I didn’t undo all my good work by sampling the beer on offer πŸ™‚



Day 99: What am I turning into?

Good morning πŸ™‚

Picture the scene it was Saturday morning, it was time to go for a run, I stepped out of the door only to discover it was raining. Ok, yes, Β could have discovered this by looking out of a window, but for some reason I didn’t so the rain was a surprise to me! The appropriate response to this is: eeeek it is raining, I’ll go and find an inside workout to do. What did I do? I said to myself, sod it…I’ll go anyway, it is only rain!!??!

What am I turning into?

Buoyed by the crazy enthusiasm this new found disregard for rain brought about, I decided to push the boat out and try running in a new place. I headed down to the village 5 mins away which has a newly(ish) developed complex called jubilee fields which has a lake and cricket and football pitches and a “trim trail” which is basically a path with occasional pieces of equipment like bars and such along the way. When I arrived there, I discovered that there were lots of cars in the car park…indicating that there would be many people around, I couldn’t see any in the trim trail area, but I assumed they would be lurking behind trees or enthusiastically doing pull ups on the bar just waiting to ambush me when I ran…

downs link

Downs Link Path

My new found confidence abandoned me and I drove over to Southwater to run on the downs link path where I normally run…where I met lots of people, but it was ok because the route was familiar! I am aware as I write this of how daft that sounds!

I stretched before I went then I set off with my new slightly extended interval program going. I had no time constraints so I thought I would have a go at adding a little bit on to my runs. and allowing myself 1/2 a min more on each recovery. It turned out to be quite successful, I ran the first two run intervals, but had to add in extra (short) walk breaks in the third, but this was ok, I was quite pleased. I was slow mind you…I think my legs were tired, and I was tired which slowed me down, but I don’t mind, I am looking for improvement whether it is in overall run time or distance or speed or in fact motivation!

28 sept

The positives and improvement were continuous run time and motivation…I went when it was raining for goodness sake…this is a definite improvement!!

I went 4.3km…I was happy with this πŸ™‚ my pace was probably a tiny bit faster than it says as I stopped twice (once to stretch my calves and once to take a photo) but even taking that into account, I still wasn’t fast, but never mind, at least I got out there and ran!

And…not only did I get out there and run…I actually quite enjoyed myself! It was hard work, I am still a long way from being able to do anything that could be described as an easy run, but I did enjoy it. People smiled and said hello and I was out ing the fresh air and I had my iPhone with its sarcastic music choice to keep my amused! the most amusing was the choice of Van Halen’s Jump during my cool down walk…where I discovered that when Van Halen says Jump….you have to obey! No matter that there are dog walkers and children on bikes giving you odd looks!

autnum path

Autumn is starting

Other things I discovered on this run:

Autumn is starting…trees are still mainly green, but the leave are starting to go…



My still pink shoe



My shoes are still pink from the colour run…it doesn’t seem to be wearing off!


I get odder looks when stretching after a run that you do while running, I suppose many people wait to stretch until they get home…

On the whole a pretty successful Saturday morning, and over the course of the rest of the Saturday I walked another 4 – 5 km so…

Day 99 Complete πŸ˜€


Day 98: (Part 2) my iPhone’s sense of the appropriate…

Good afternoon πŸ™‚

I made it out for a run this lunchtime πŸ˜€ I wasn’t sure I was going to…it was 2 mins to go time and I was still umming and ahhing about turning it into a lunchtime walk…

27 sept run

slower…but not bad πŸ™‚

ok…I was slower than yesterday and last week, and I went less far, but that is not worrying me today. I altered the intervals slightly so I could fit it in better, I shortened the warm up…which was probably a mistake but you never know until you try!

Despite looking like a worse run there were a lot of positives in this run which makes it add up to a better one πŸ™‚

I went around my normal route, up through the perilous killer squirrel hangout (although there was a suspicious lack of any creatures there today). Towards the end of the path there is a short (about 100m) steepish (relatively) uphill bit. It falls at the end of my first run interval and I have always, had to walk up it in the past…until today!! Today I made it up and continued running at the top when it flattens out…and actually when i looked at it today, it didn’t seem as bad as it had before! πŸ˜€ that was positive number one πŸ˜€

Positive number two was that I ran my first two run intervals and most of my last one…

the problem is…the longer I run for, the slower I seem to be…or it could be that I was tired from my early morning PT… or it could be just because it is Friday…who knows. I am going to keep at it and finding the positive in every run. Β will try these intervals again next time to see how things go and then change things around to keep it varied.

the most amusing thing was my iPhone’s choice of music for today’s outing…it somehow developed a sense of comic timing! Right at the end of the first interval…the one with the hill…my phone chose to play keep on running…which made me smile… then just as I was doing the last 2 mins of my cool down walk…a song whose main lyrics were “it’s almost over now” cam on…this made me smile even more…mind you it has still not played Eye of the Tiger once…I am beginning to doubt that I put it on there…but why would I miss it off!?! anyhow…I digress!

Now Day 98 well and truly complete πŸ™‚


Day 98 (part 1): what? you want me to be more aggressive?

I finally managed to get up and work out in the morning…but it was a prearranged Personal Training session so I really had no choice. But, that said…it was good to get up and get going…even if I did really really want more sleep!

boxing-gloves-01Once I had dragged myself to the gym…I remembered just as I was walking through the door, that I had not brought my boxing gloves. This could only mean one thing…smelly communal gloves borrowed from the gym…with that familiar worn in other people’s sweat aroma…mmmm lovely…that’ll teach me!

Note to self: have boxing kit in the car AT ALL TIMES!!

Anyway…today’s training was excellent πŸ™‚ we focused almost entirely on Thai boxing training with fewer breaks than normal… the first 10 min set was lots of fast combos and defence using focus mitts, we then switched to Thai pads and added kicks in between each combo ergh…lots of kicking…lots of tiring.. lots of fun and only one occasion when Matt forgot to put the pad down and I kicked him…

we had a brief break to play with kettlebells and the trx which was always fun πŸ™‚

then for the third set of boxing, we adjourned to the dance studio where there was more room and fewer people and Matt showed me an exercise designed to make me more aggressive. I did question whether this is wise…he has met me after all and commented in the past about my aggressive fighting style… but we carried on anyway πŸ™‚

basically…I had to cover up (guard up in tight defending my head) and get hit 10 times then respond with 10 uppercuts and 10 hooks as they are close range punches, the aim being, in real life you would be able to fight your way out of that situation rather than just covering up and taking the hits. It was fun, and I managed to wait until he stopped hitting me before I fought back (I was supposed to wait…it wasn’t a knockout the trainer game)

As I said, most of this session was non-stop fast boxing, it was awesome πŸ™‚

Day 98 half complete by 8am πŸ™‚ now for the lunchtime run to finish it off!

Challenge 3: 100 Press-ups in 7 weeks

The first and main question that springs to mind when I read the title of this post…is why on earth do I read people’s blogs late at night when fueled with dance induced enthusiasm? it makes me agree to things that I really should think twice about!

100 press upsNevertheless, inspired by this post by Awesome Ashild (push ups)Β I have decided to take her challenge of getting to 100 press-ups in 7 weeks! No, not a total of 100 press-ups in 7 weeks…I could do that now…that is less than 1 per day that is not a challenge! Apparently, If I follow this plan I will be able to do 100 consecutive press ups by the end of 7 weeks. The plan details are here, but basically, you have to do press ups 3 times a week, you do the number it says each week and you will be able to improve.

Why am I doing this…well…press-ups Β are generally awesome, they are good for chest, shoulders, core strength and all sorts of things…so I thought it has got to be a good thing! Also it nags at the back of my mind that I want to be able to do real press ups well and at the moment I can’t! So this is going to help me with that! I am going to attempt to do these as full press-ups, I may have to modify slightly at first by putting my hands on the bottom step of the stairs but I will let you know once I have done my initial test tonight! I know that by the end I will be doing full press ups.

Will I get to 100? Who knows but I am going to give it a good go! If in 7 weeks time I can do more than 50 press-ups in a row I will be really pleased and if I get to 100 I will be ecstatic!

I will keep you posted πŸ˜€

Day 97: Free running

ok…not that sort of free running…not the Parkour awesomeness type of free running…I am really not that good…at anything to be engaging in that sort of thing…

What I mean is running just for the sake of it to see how you can do. Running with no preset intervals and no preset time for the run or distance to cover. That is what I did this lunchtime…a completely free run. I tracked it but I didn’t follow a plan and I didn’t prescribe set intervals or even set warm up times. It was something of an experiment.

free run

Free run stats

I am pretty pleased with the result, my overall time is faster than my last run. My distance is less, but I am not worried about this because it took less time and as I said, my pace is up from last time which would indicate more running over all and faster running. I looked at the km splits on the pc and I learned that the second km was the quickest, and looking at this on the map it is the one I did the least walking in. the pace was 6.4 min/km which I think probably works out to be my run pace…I am pretty pleased with that for now. I ran more in the first 2/3 of the run and then resorted to shorter intervals for the last 3rd, I didn’t walk for more than 2 mins at any point and I think my longest run was 8 mins…although it is hard to tell.

I enjoyed my run today, there was no pressure to run / walk at specified times, and therefore there was no guilt about stopping for walks although I made a conscious effort to make these walk breaks as short as possible. I think my run intervals, although shorter individually were faster, I was conscious while I was doing it that I was actually running rather than going at a measured trot. The second half was a lot more like the sprint intervals I do in the gym, although I was in no way sprinting…just to make that clear!!

I learned a lot from today’s run and over all I am pleased with the results, however, I think I have reached the conclusion that I will set my intervals next time. I worried when I was going along that I would not get back to work on time, I don’t have a watch so I had to keep checking my phone which meant I kept checking my app which made me dwell on how long I was running / walking for! I thing I generally prefer a bit of structure to my runs at the moment, that way I can stop worrying about time and get on with running. It also allows me to compare stats a bit easier and get a measure of how I am improving.

All in all pretty pleased with today’s efforts, especially as I haven’t run in a week!

Day 97 Complete πŸ˜€


Day 96: Dancing my way to feeling better

Good morning πŸ™‚

what could be better for increasing energy levels and helping recovery than dancing about waving sticks! Nothing…that’s what!! It was of course Wednesday yesterday, and that means Morris Practice, I went along saying all the right things…saying…”I’ll take it easy”, and I’ll not dance too many” but when faced with many dances to be done what could I do but dance them!! (ok…not all of them…I missed out 2 of them! in favour of blowing my tootle pipe (tenor recorder))


Last nights practice

I promise you this picture was taken last night…even though it seems identical to the last set of photos I took…for some reason Judith is always wearing the same blue outfit when I decide to take pictures!

This was in the practice for the dance, foul mouthed cat, which I didn’t dance as it is one of the few that I can play on the recorder!

Anyway, back to dancing… As soon as I got going I felt better, I felt like dancing and more dancing! It was really warm, strangely warm an humid…but I was glad to note that for the first time it wasn’t only me overheating!

there was quite a lot of teaching last night, as we have a few new dancers, but it is good, as it allowed me to try some dances in different places…always a scary thing, but something I have been doing a lot of recently…apparently I am becoming less scared of change :-S

the dances I did yesterday were:

Maiden Castle (dance + walk), Our Henry (dance + walk) Raggle taggle gypsy, Spank the Monkey, Standing Stones, Triskelle (dance + walk), Star of the County Down, Witch Hunt, Broomstick (dance + walk) and Fanny Frail.

I have received so funny looks (and comments) about the dance Spank the Monkey…it is genuinely the name of the dance…it has an elaborate back story which may or may bot be an excuse to say Spank the Monkey often in polite company…but here is a video of the dance, complete with back story:

day 96 enthusiastically complete πŸ˜€

Day 95 fit for fit steps?

Good evening πŸ™‚

Yesterday, the answer to the question fit for fitsteps, was probably not really, but I went anyway πŸ™‚ exercising with a bug is tricky, but I am moderating the amount I do so as not to make it worse.

A while ago I wrote about a taster I did of a class called fit steps (I will put a link in when I remember which post it was :)). According to its own write up this class is:

an easy to learn, fun to do dance/fitness class with a combination of the best known and most popular Latin and Ballroom dances taught in a line dance style so no partners are required.

I quite agree, it is that, and it is fun. It is run at broad brief pudge heath leisure centre by the instructor who not only makes classes fun but also like both my handbag and Dr Who πŸ™‚

The first thing I have to say about this class is it is so much better than Zumba…it was fun and energetic and the people were not taking themselves too seriously! There were two tracks based on the cha cha cha, two on the waltz and two on the jive…it was certainly a good work out! Yesterday, in my slightly under par state, I was very pleased it was a 45 min class!

Not too wordy today, just letting you know that day 95 is complete πŸ˜€

Day 94: possibly ill advised body pump

Good afternoon πŸ™‚

I seem to be switching rapidly between feeling ok and feeling rubbish, I awoke yesterday morning with a head full of wool (and not in a useful can use it for knitting sort of way) throughout a day full of sleeping, I managed to arrive at the evening with no wool, and a lack of energy and a tendency to overheat. Convinced I was on the mend, I headed off to Monday body pump.

As always, the squat track was the worst! Thanks to fantastic advice from Nancy (my year of sweat) I managed to do the track without my shoulders hurting :-D. I did however feel like I was about to pass out half way through the track…however, I often feel like this in the squat track…I think it is because it is first!
I made my way through the rest of the class, not giving up but I did stop to rest one or two times during the particularly hard bits. I couldn’t fight the feeling that I was using slightly more energy than I had.

Contrary to all sense, I actually felt much better after the class…on reflection it could have been a combination of adrenaline and relief. As I am still switching between hot and cold…I may have to concede that I have come down with something!

Day 94 complete πŸ™‚

Day 92 & 93: Write off weekend!

Good morning πŸ™‚

This weekend was beset by an extreme lack of energy. However, I managed to fit in some exercise and hopefully a lower intensity weekend will have allowed me to recoup my energy reserves!

Day 92: Saturday

Saturday turned into something of a craft / Dr who / sleep -athon, due to feeling like I was coming down with something, however before I got caught up in this I managed to get a work out done. I dragged out the mini stepper and got to work, I did 15 mins stepping, and I even managed to turn up the resistance so it felt like it was actually doing something for my legs! After this I did two sets each of (15x) squats, press ups, crunches, hip bridges and Pilates clams followed by a round of stretching. This was not as good as it could have np been…but it was not too bad…and every little helps to quote the supermarket that will remain nameless πŸ˜‰


Day 92 complete

Day 93: Sunday

Sunday …of course…was Pilates day πŸ™‚ it was my hope that this would help restore my energy and stop my aching quite as much. It half worked…I felt stretched out and more aligned when I had finished, but I found it quite tiring for the first time! It was a good class πŸ™‚ the instructor mixes up the exercises each week so we are not doing the same thing every week which is good! Today we extended the workout by adding in some weights. We were instructed to get the smallest weights…but I couldn’t bring myself to use a 1kg weight no matter how tired I feel so I took the 2kg dumbells. It was a good class… I enjoyed it and despite the tiredness…I believe I am actually improving at this Pilates business πŸ™‚ it is nice to have added a balancing exercise class into my normally hectic schedule πŸ™‚

Day 93 complete

Here’s to more energy and a more inspired set of blog posts next week πŸ˜€

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