Archive | March 2014

Days 282 & 283 unconventional rest days…

After losing the plot, and running on lead legs I decided that this weekend should be slightly less crazy, exercise wise at least.

(still crazy busy but mostly making cake decorations…)

anyway…exercise wise I decided not to break myself completely…

Day 282 (Saturday)

Saturday was very busy, with shopping and cake dealing with and studying, I needed something that was hard work enough to make it worthwhile and quick enough to not use up vast amounts of my weekend…


6 week 6 pack level 2

Jillian Michaels DVD it is then.

It seems, that all the ones I have are variations on a theme, high intensity circuits with strength and core mixed in, just depending on which DVD you choose you get slightly more bias towards different areas.

The 6 week 6 pack DVD has a lot of core work in (obviously) but a lot of cardio based core and core that also engages most other muscle groups so for my purposes I just pick one of the DVDs more or less at random!

Day 283 (Sunday)

Awesome Sunday Pilates!! I haven’t been able to get to the class for the last two weeks and I really have been missing it!!


I have often referred to Pilates as my Sunday reset, and it really is, I walk out of it feeling stretched and lengthened and often much better than when I walk in.

Boy did I need that this week!

I feel the need to reassure you mind you that although all of the above is true, Pilates is not by any means the easy option! Slow, controlled movements are really hard…but good hard! I am sure that the past 8 months of doing pilates have played a huge part in my considerably stronger core!

This week was particularly awesome, firstly because I had been missing it, and secondly because Sarah had added in new ways of making the exercises more challenging since I had been away πŸ™‚

In a lot of the exercises, I have progressed to the advanced level in part due to improvement and practice and in part due to stubbornness! I found it excellent to try the new extension exercises, and enjoyed the work we did with the resistance bands which definitely made the class harder πŸ˜€

All in all, it was a quite weekend, exercise wise, but this, and some judicious use of my foam roller, started to make my legs feel like they are made of flesh rather than lead! THis is a definite improvement if you ask me πŸ˜€

Day 282 &283 Complete πŸ˜€


Day 281: Running with lead legs is hard!

Friday evening after work heralded Week 4 Day 3 of the 10k training.

It was 1 x 5 min run interval, followed by 3 x 10 min runs separated by 1 min walks…

IMG_3439[1]The first 5 min interval was ok…I am used to those now, the first 10 min seemed like t was going to be ok, I had to walk a few steps about 6 mins in, but carried on after a very short time. I felt slow but I was hoping things would improve after this as they seem to do during the second half of my runs…

sadly this was not to be the case!

I started to feel like I was running through treacle…either that or someone had swapped my legs for Lead ones. They just felt heavier and heavier as time went on! I couldn’t really find my stride, I couldn’t really get my breathing right, it was all in all an unimpressive run!

However, I did manage to keep going, I had to walk more often than I wanted in the last two 10 min intervals, but never for more than about 30s before I kept going…

maybe my legs were tired from the rest of the week, who knows…however, this is a bad run, everyone has them occasionally, next one will be better πŸ˜€




The good things to consider are:
I didn’t find it as impossible as I would have don this time last year!

I still went 5km even if it was slow.

I got to run in the light so I took some pictures to show you πŸ˜€ (not that that did my overall pace any good but shhh)

Here’s to a better run next time πŸ™‚

Day 281 complete πŸ˜€

Day 280: How many gym stereotypes can you fit in to one gym?

I have to say…quite a few!

There were the people who worked biceps…only biceps for the whole time I was in the gym…(I know they could be as dedicated to other body parts on different days but still over an hour of bicep curls?).

There were the groups of (attempting to be) pumped up looking boys clustered around the freeweights equipment lounging and chatting while their mate did one set, waiting for their turn.

There were people using the bench press bench to put their feet on doing lunges, people doing pullups and dips in the squat rack, people spending an hour nearly doing their bench press sets.


these are clips…check them before waving a loaded bar about!

There was the person show failed to check the clips were on the loaded bar before picking it up, tipping it and depositing 2 10kg plates about 10cm from my foot. (ok..not actually a stereotype but shhh)

There were also quite a few (hundred) people who were just attempting to get on with their work outs…me included!

Suffice to say Thursday evening at 6pm is not the Β time to go to my gym if you want to get your work out done as planned and efficiently!

Although I do feel slightly guilty for judging / complainingΒ about all these people as I really know nothing about them…I am leaving all that in because I was annoyed and nearly had 10kg plates dropped on my feet!

Ok…so far I have told you that I am intolerant of other humans and the gym was busy…

I suppose I should tell you some details of what I did there, apart from walk over to the freeweights area, look cross and go and do something else for a while…

firstly I got on a treadmill!

yes, you heard me I voluntarily got on a treadmill!


look…proof…there are my feet…on a treadmill!

I tried to run on it, I tried…

I managed 6 mins mostly walking with two approximately 1 min bursts of running(ish)

and then the whole thing got too scary and I considered myself warmed up and went and surveyed the freeweights area in vain for a minute or two until it became clear that it was pointless and went to the trx.
Here I did:
10 per leg 1 legged squats, 10 per leg slow mountain climbers, 5 pikes and 5 narrow press ups.


Fixed barbells…exactly like this…

at this point I spied some space near the fixed weight barbells and went and grabbed it! and did:
Rows 1 x 5 @ 40kg, 3 x 5 @35kg
Deadlifts 1 x 5 @ 40kg, 3 x 5 @35kg
Clean and Press 1 x 5 @25kg, 3 x 5 @20kg
squats 4 x 5@25kg

at this point the bench press was still being used so I grabbed the lat pull down machine and did
4 x 5 @35kg

then finally…bench presses 2 x 5 @32.5kg, 3 x 5 @30kg
woohoo done πŸ™‚

It took far longer than it should have done but at least I did it πŸ™‚

I also remembered how much I like this sort of strength training, and that I need to do more of it…

Day 280 complete πŸ˜€

Day 279: Did someone have the plot…I seem to have lost mine!

Wednesday morning started off in an awesome if early and slightly confusing way…

IT started with PT at 7am, and this weeks bizarre warm up of choice included these things:
agility warm upThe hexagons were for running through, in various footwork patterns, and the hurdle-y whatsits were for jumping over. I felt a tiny bit like i was on a dog agility course…but there were no wiggle posts so that was ok.

ok…actually is was fun, and I can see the benefit in terms of footwork speed and balance and such like πŸ™‚ I did ask if normal people got to to this sort of thing in their training…apparently not…apparently it is just me! This pleases me!

Following this we moved on to lifting stuff up and putting it down again.
Starting with Bench presses, 1 set of 8 @ 20kg as a warm up followed by 2 x 3@40kg
woohoo 40kg bench press! that is a record! (even though only 3 of them were unassisted, it was still a record) πŸ˜€

After this, we moved on to snatches, where I did 5 with the 10 kg bar un weighted, 5 @ 15 kg on the small bar and 5 with the 20kg olympic bar πŸ˜€ woohoo so much better than last week! and I didn’t fall over backwards at all!
Then 1 armed rows, 3 @ 22 kg and 3 @ 20kg per arm with overhead squats with the stick in between!
the rows were another PB πŸ˜€ the overhead squats are still tricky mind you, I still have less than ideal hip mobility due to sitting down all day. It is improving but it is not there yet, so I have trouble squatting and keeping my arms overhead enough.

Following that lot, we did TRX work (no PT session would be complete without TRX after all)
I had to do narrow armed press ups with external wrist rotation on the up phase , 1/2 pull ups from squat on my toes, and pikes and pikes with hip abduction.
In the middle of that lot, while Matt was sorting out the trx, I had to do tabletop holds down to dips…
then candle sticks for core strength… which are things where you start in a hollow body hold then raise your legs up so your bum comes off the ground and lower back down again…all with your arms above your head.

why is (nearly) everything harder with your arms above your head??

then boxing…without my arms above my head. Boxing with your arms above your head would be impossible!

We did short combos and defence and practiced moving around…or rather I had to move around and go backwards and not relentlessly come forwards like I have a tendency to do…backing off is hard!!

Then there was chatting…I mean stretching, not chatting stretching…

IMG_3369[1]and then there was a day, which blurred into boredom punctuated by a walk in which a squirrel tried to make me play hide and seek! tricksy things squirrels…it won easily!

I think it cheated by using super squirrely abilities to leap from tree to tree!

Then there was dancing πŸ˜€ lots and lots of dancing πŸ˜€ which was fun…apart from the brief moment when I lost the plot a little bit by suddenly crying because I got a bit in a dance wrong…
which was actually pretty silly because people get bits in the dances wrong all the time (including me) and tears are rarely the result…I wasn’t even that upset. I can only conclude I am over tired and suffering from preemptive cake stress, which is the result of having to make and decorate a wedding cake…it always happens. always when I have to make cakes…which I love doing but it also makes me worry and unexpectedly cry.


there I am in the red…

anyway, the rest of the dancing made up for it!

We did Maiden Castle (x2), Star of the county Down, Our Henry, Standing Stones, Broomstick, Poison Pie, Earth Mother, Triskele, Fanny frail.

Lots of fun, and I have regained the plot!

Day 279 complete! πŸ˜€

Day 278: Insert running reference here

Ok…I was out of title inspiration so just pretend I called this post something awesome and witty!

I’ll admit it…the walk only day on Monday did me good! I awoke on Tuesday feeling like a human person…

(shhh…yes…I know that is highly unlikely even with rest!)

I managed a 2.7km walk at lunchtime even though it was raining…it was (as usual) just nice to get out of the office and away from the endless sitting πŸ™‚

The main achievement of the day, however, came along in my after work run!



In case the picture wasn’t enough of a give away, it was week 4 day 2 of the 10k trainer! After my experimentation with running slower and more constantly on sunday, I reverted completely to type and followed the intervals with faster (ish) running with recovery walking intervals… It worked…I was quicker over all, and especially in the one interval where a stupid man was walking just in front of me as I got to a walk interval, then when I came to run again he kept speeding up so I couldn’t get past sensibly, he was almost speed walking! I do not know if this is his normal style or whether he was being an idiot but it was annoying so I ended up running much faster than


T1000…it was just like this!

I find comfortable for a couple of minutes until I had to walk sooner than I wanted to at which point he started gaining on me again so I had to go again…it was quite creepy and probably not only because I had zombie story playing in my ears…It reminded me of the relentless T1000 in Terminator 2

Anyhow, that was in the second to last 5 min interval and he did turn off in the end so I could get back to pacing myself and going as planned.


The thing that pleased me most (apart from escaping from the creepy power walking T1000 man zombie with my life) was the fact that despite walking in the middle two 5 min intervals (only for a bout 10 steps) I managed to keep running for virtually the whole 10 min run! at about 8 mins walked a couple of steps by accident to stop myself falling over while I put my phone back in my pocket, but I even carried on running into the cool down at the end to make up for it :-D.

The most noticeable thing about this is km 5 which you can see up there is the last blue bar, and it is much shorter than all the rest, that km is the one that was entirely in the 10 min interval…so this proves to me that I would be quicker if I could find a way to sustain the running.

It is probably just practice!

woohoo for running and improving and not getting kidnapped by a terminator!

Day 278 complete πŸ™‚

Extra: Mordor Update

Good morning πŸ™‚

I thought it was about time for a ‘Walking to Mordor’ challenge update πŸ™‚

There is good news! I have made it to Rivendell and 50Β miles beyond! (it is 458 miles to Rivendell…those hobbits really did go some!)

The last homely house

The last homely house

all in all I have now, walked, run, danced, 505 ish miles!

It is definitely incentive to move more during the day and put in as much extra movement as possible…

I am currently second in the group playing this game, Rachel’s Dad (TOny is way way out in front) But that is ok…he can warn us of any nazgul and get the drinks in at the rest stops!

mordor update

The other good thing that has happened now we have passed Rivendell is we have picked up the rest of our fellowship…



I am hoping to get axe wielding lessons from Gimli along the way πŸ™‚

That is all for todays fact/fiction line blurring! I feel the need for a sneaky walk πŸ™‚

Day 277: There are days when a walk has to do

For the second time in this project, I decided that a 45 min walk would have to count for my activity for the day.
After a hectic past couple of weeks, I needed a breakette. So a walk was what I needed.


Walking in my boots!

I went out at lunchtime, and ended up going for a full 45 mins (my whole lunchtime)

It was a nice sunny day and I had a story to listen to on my iPod πŸ˜€ Β Ideal conditions for walking really…Work were lucky I made it back at all…it was very tempting just to keep going and see how far I could go…

I didn’t do this by the way, I do need my job πŸ™‚

I ended up going Β 2.7km in 45 mins, not the fastest route march in the world but pretty and out in the fresh air, and a robin came to see me which always makes me smile!



There should be owls…and castles!

The other thing that made me smile was the name of a street I passed, Owlcastle close.

It brought to mund castles full of owls going about their owly business in grand and regal sorts of ways, with possibly King owls and Knight owls (hehe night owls!)

OK…I am easily amused shhh!

It was a nice walk, and although I had a hard time convincing myself of this come the evening, it does count as my daily activity.

I can tell you something else, from the perspective of the next day, after an early night in which I got over 8 hrs sleep, I am glad I had a rest, albeit an active one πŸ™‚

Day 277 complete

Day 276: Sport relief 3 miles

On Sunday, in Horsham Park, this happened:

Running around for charity

Running around for charity

In case the giant red spot doesn’t give you a clue, it was Sport relief all around the UK this weekend. There were runs and swims and all manner of crazy sports events going on to raise money to help people both in the UK and around the world.

Part of this was the Sport Relief Mile, a short distance that people could run and be sponsored to do. At more or less the same time there were also 3 mile and 6 mile races going on. I chose to run the 3 mile which is 4.8km so doable I thought!

I bullied some people into running with me and we looked like this:


The three amigos!

It was basically 3 laps of the park, which is a route I run fairly often so I knew what to expect. But this did encompass a few firsts for me…

1) it was the first time I was running with other people and no music at all!! not eve in one ear!!

2) It was the first time I had run with a HR monitor for a few years, and the first time I had paid attention to the HR monitor while I was running, this represented a new running strategy for me
(I am not 100% sure you should try new running strategies in races…but it wasn’t really a race, it wasn’t timed or particularly well organised!)

3) it was the first time ever I have managed to run and have conversations at the same time! This surprised me!

The heart rate strategy was sally’s theory that if I keep my heart rate below 150 bpm I can run the whole thing without having to walk. Now, I found this pretty tricky. I am used to running much faster for a shorter period then walking, basically I am incredibly conditioned to run intervals!


proof I was running…actually running

However I did run most of it. I did not run all of it, I did have to walk a few times mostly on the last lap. But…there was much less walking than previous 5kms I was past the first 1.5 km possibly 2 km before I had to walk at all which for me is a real first! and the main reason I had to stop running was my calves (as blooming normal) they hurt and I had to stop to stretch them a couple of times!

All in all however it was lots and lots of fun πŸ™‚ I had Sally who was running at my pace (even though she could completely out run me!) and Lisa running in front, often backwards and round in circles generally acting as a cheerleader…I even threatened her with pompoms!

It wasn’t the fastest run ever, about 39 mins (discounting the calf stretches) but the main thing was we Β raised Β£258 between us for Sport Relief!


This was an accident…and noone told me!

<—–The other thing that happened was this.

I pulled up one of my socks before the start of the race, possibly to show someone, then forgot I had done it and ended up running the whole race with one sock up and one down. What is more, everyone else thought I knew and had done it on purpose therefore didn’t tell me!


Day 276 complete πŸ˜€

PS…sponsorship is still open if you want to donate, then click on any of the pitcures and it will take you to the site πŸ˜€

Day 275: Lots of walking and some Jillian Michaels

I did a lot of walking on Saturday.

Well…I did some walking on Saturday…not a route march or anything…but I ended up doing 4.7 miles (7.5km) which is not too bad

Rachel...looking all 1940s in Winchester

Rachel…looking all 1940s in Winchester

All this was in the process of investigating the venue for a wedding that my friend Rachel and I are doing the photos for in August. we then went and had a bit of a jaunt around Winchester because I have never been and Rachel went to uni there…it also meant I got to take some pictures, one of which was of Rachel.

<— there it is!

she doesn’t have horns..that is a 1940s victory roll hairstyle! I am aware of hairstyles in other people…it is not really something that happens to me…I just get extreme curls!

Extreme curls and laziness when it comes to hair styling…

Anyhow, after a pleasant morning walking around Winchester (and learning stuff like Winchester was once the capital of England…apparently people know things like that…I have a blotchy grasp of history…) I made my way home to the tune of an internal debate about whether I should go for a run considering I ran on Friday and had a charity run coming up on Sunday . Β Eventually I remembered the advice I gave myself a couple of weeks ago about not running too many days in a row and decided to do something else instead.

(I decided…and also slightly fell asleep and ran out of time…shhh)

The something else I chose was level 3 30 day shred

while this might look like a normal is actually part of a jumping lunge!

while this might look like a normal lunge…it is actually part of a jumping lunge!

It was still hard! It contains such things as mountain climbers and jumping lunges and plank rows with leg raises.

Plank rows with leg raises…there is something I am fairly sure I couldn’t have done 6 months ago! If you had told me then I had to do a plank and lift first my arm of the floor then my leg (after putting my arm back down…obviously) I would just have looked at you and fallen on my face…maybe due to the effort, and maybe just in shock!

Day 275 Complete πŸ˜€

Day 274: Running around a traffic warden

Ok..not a traffic warden, a parking services attendant…


yes, it was another silly socks day

either way it was a person who was going to give me a parking fine if they got to my car and noticed that I had not paid for parking as I should have done…

(note, I do normally pay for parking, but I have a slight objection for paying to park in this car park, I think, if you park there and use the gym rather than walk in to town from there, it should be free…however this is not a view shared by the council…and I was not technically using the gym but shhh)

anyway, just before half way around my run, I met a parking services man going towards the car park, so I looped around, behind him and doubled back to my car, then dithered about for about a minute trying to decide whether to go and pay for the parking or whether to just accept the fine…common sense prevailed and I wend and paid for the parking…this did have a tiny effect on my run times…

Traffic warden avoidance run

Traffic warden avoidance run

The reason km 3 took longer than the others was the dithering!

so apart from that excitement, the run was pretty good πŸ™‚ It was week 4 day 1 of the 10k trainer which was 5 min intervals with 1 min walks. For the most part I managed the 5 min intervals πŸ˜€ this surprised me! In the middle couple I had to walk for a few paces extra, but all in all not as much as I thought I would have to!

I was slower over all however than the last run, I think I was attempting to pace myself, and there was a little bit of stopping to get money out of the car to take into consideration!

All in all dithering aside, it was a good run πŸ˜€

Day 274 complete with silly socks! πŸ˜€

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