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Remember when I said never again…

I did… I said never again.

I said I hated it and I wouldn’t ever do another one.

I wrote about it a lot… here and here

Well… I may have changed my mind.

Its ok…I can do that, I am allowed 🙂 I make my own rules you know 😛

In case you haven’t already guessed, I am talking about running. Specifically running races, and even more specifically running a half marathon.

Yes…that’s right, after several strong hints, you have guessed it! I have signed up to run another half marathon. Brighton half marathon on 25th Feb 2018 to be precise.

brighton half marathon

So, there it is…

I suppose that I have a little bit of explaining to do…

I have been thinking about this for a while, I have actually been putting some serious thought into whether this is a good idea or whether I should just let the whole thing go. This is the first difference between this time and the last time. Last time it was a spur of the moment decision made after a little persuasion from  my friend Rachel who wanted someone to run with her and convince her to train. Don’t get me wrong, I decided to do it of my own free will, but I didn’t have the idea for myself and I never really wanted to do it for the right reasons.

I didn’t do the last one because I wanted to run a half marathon, I did it to help out a friend. Which is all well and good, but it didn’t really set my head off in the right place. I was negative about the whole thing from the outset.

This time it is different. I have thought, a lot…and bored people talking at them about it. I have decided that I want to do another one.

Not “I feel I should”

Not “It would be a good thing to do for charity”

I want to run (or walk/run) a half marathon. I want to do it for the following reasons:

  • I want to run a half marathon to prove to myself that I can.
    I know this seems odd as I have already done one, but the experience of the last one was so bad that I have discounted it in my head)
  • I want to see what I can do with the right training and the right food and basically the right versions of everything I got wrong in the last one.
  • I want to do it to prove to myself I can stick at things and improve, to prove I am not a failure.
    Yes…I do feel like one after the failed walk and the disastrous last half…I know I am not one in general, but sometimes we have to do things to banish the feeling.
  • I want to run a half marathon for me.

So that is it, me running a half marathon because I want to… noone forcing me, noone pressuring me to do it, just me against myself.

I *could* just go out and train for a half marathon and run the distance with no race I suppose…but I want an official tick. I want a deadline and a designated place and time to do it. I like to have something tangible to train for.

Also I like shiny medals…

Not that you are really allowed to go around wearing your medals…not for more than one day any way…

I don’t see why not though…I might do this time…I fully intend to be proud of myself at the end and not just grumpy and broken!

In fact I am going to try not to be grumpy at all during this process…

Ok…no that is a complete lie..I will be grumpy sometimes but I am determined not to be sad and angry throughout the race!

I will, of course, keep you informed about how my training is going! The very first thing I need to do is figure out a training plan…and how to run… and how to eat while running and drink… ok…I’ll take those one at a time…

but for now…

run

Run!!

Reboot Day 2: lulled by deadlifts…

Hello and welcome to day 2…

Have I told you about my not new any more new trainer Matt 2? Well I know I have as i just looked it up, but it was back in May last year (here…just in case you wondered) so I’ll let you off if you have forgotten. Well anyway, I had training this morning with Matt 2 (who will henceforth be know as Matt because that is his name). If you are a regular reader if these ramblings you will not be surprised by this, Tuesday has been my PT day for almost as long as I have been writing this!

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This is a thing apparently…

So this morning I turned up at the gym bright and early (only minutes late) ready and raring to go…

well…ready and resigned to the fact that I was there and someone had planned me a work out so I had better do it… but that’s ok…I was there at least 😀

Todays session started well, after the warm up we headed down to the lifting racks…

Yeay lifting…

Even more yeay we were doing deadlifts (and by we were I mean I was). Deadlifts are my favourite thing (well one of them…) woohoo 5 x 5 deadlifts at 70kg 😀 fun times!! It turns out this was just to lull me into a false sense of security…or as I think it was put, get me back into it gently after my week away from the gym climbing mountains…

This deadlift fun was followed by cardio/kettlebell/trx circuitry!! Which is aeswom because well…kettlebells but also because I asked to incorporate more cardio into my workouts despite hating it… but also awful because rowing sprints…250m rowing sprints…bleuch! Good for me, I know but bleuch because they are hard work!!IMG_0852

The other things were single sided 10 reps per side…which is 20 reps really…which gets Matt a look because everyone knows Sams don’t like high reps… I don’t think he cares though and I do them anyway because I know they are sometimes beneficial!

And that was day 2…well the before work morning part of day 2 anyway…

yes…that does mean there is more!

I am holding tight to my current wave of motivated enthusiasm and attempting to make some things a habit…

Things like running at lunchtime 🙂

It was raining, and thundering, and I had worked out once already so I didn’t technically *have* to go, but I went anyway.

I got changed and ventured out into the rainy but still warm and annoyingly humid outside world and ran around again!

I am doing the 10k trainer programme app thingy that I have used before and starting at the very beginning due to my year long hiatus from running and I am up to week 3 today was week 3 day 1 and involved some 1.5min run intervals and some 3 min run intervals.

Strangely, despite the rain and the fact that I was running, I actually had fun…

Just maybe I don’t hate running any more!

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And that is day 2 done 😀

willow yeay

Yay!!

So, I did the thing…

You know…the thing where I had to walk, in a bra, overnight…

yeah…that thing…

OK…I sort of did the thing…

I am really annoyed and angry to tell you that I failed to finish the thing due to my stupid foot playing up and making it impossible to walk…

The foot that got plantar fasciitis…(I told you about it here) that put me on crutches last year…

Well guess what, it decided that this walk was a good time to return! I managed 13 miles, even though it started hurting in mile 2, I didn’t want to stop but I could hardly put it down 😦 I had a horrible feeling that if I carried on I would end up on crutches again. So I went to see some medics, who agreed with me…

I did wear a wonder woman bra in public, with a cape attached though, so that is a plus…and a huge step forward as I am definitely not in the “shape” I would have once said I needed to be in to wear a wonder woman bra in public!

Things I have learned from this experience:

  1. I have no idea what size bra I wear!
  2. I have finally learned to listen to my body…I am not injured but I would have been if I had carried on!
  3. Capes really do get in the way!
  4. Things wouldn’t be challenges if they were easy!

Body Positivity

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3 years of hard work…

I am not putting up that picture to show off… This is not a look at my weight loss etc post or picture…although to be completely honest it is good to remind myself how far I have come once in a while…

The whole point of this picture is it represents a fundamental change in my attitude!

When the first picture was taken I hated pictures, I wouldn’t look at the camera and I could barely look at the resulting pictures without being miserable for ages.

Now, believe it or not, I am willing to pose for photos, I mostly don’t hate them and I even have more selfies than is sensible on my phone! But this is about more than photos. It is about confidence and attitude. It is about finding the courage to stand up to the judgmental attitudes of today’s society. To stand up to the attitudes that say you have to be a certain size or shape to dress a certain way.

Even at the end of my first 365 I wouldn’t have dreamed of wearing the muscle shirt in the top picture without a second top under it. I still qualified every achievement with disclaimers about needing to lose more weight, or still having lots of things I needed to change. It was almost as if I was not allowing myself to be proud of myself , I couldn’t let anyone thing I was pleased with me the way I was. After all what would happen if they thought I was still fat…I felt I had to acknowledge it before they said something!

Just in case you are new or have forgotten this was the end of my 365 project…

me 365

day 365 😀 

This was me, I was happy because dancing, I was happy because 365 days of exercise is quite a big achievement, I was happy with my progress.

The one thing I couldn’t say I was happy with was my body.

Now the end of 365 me was a differently shaped me to the now me. Partly because I have been a little less dedicated to my eating, and quite a lot because I have been doing a lot of heavy lifting… but this isn’t the point, the point is…

We are allowed to be proud of ourselves. We are allowed to like our bodies and appreciate them for what they can do!

I know what you are thinking…what changed? and when are you going to get to the point and tell me what body positivity is?

Well first things first…what changed?

Well…obviously I did…but what made me change?

The first thing was this person…

whitney-thore

Whitney Way Thore click for more info

This is Whitney Way Thore, star of a show called Whitney Fat Girl Dancing, and a dancer who works to encourage people to accept their body and not body shame others. I don’t watch her show often, but I happened to catch an interview with her and of course she was being quizzed for promoting obesity and such like. and she explained she has PCOS  which made her gain weight and that she was aware that it could be unhealthy to be overweight but then she said “Appreciate your body for what it can do.” and that if it is stopping you doing things you want to it is time for a change. That one line started to change my outlook.

Then I found Grrrl Clothing, an amazing company run by Kortney Olson  I have told you about them before here they are all about body positivity and fitness at all sizes…which quite honestly is rare in a fitness clothing company! The breakthrough really came when I found their FB group Grrrls. This group is full of amazing women who all support each other and all subscribe to the Grrrl philosophy which comes handily written on the clothing tag.

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This is important. No negativity about yourself or others. As soon as you start to do this your outlook starts to change.

How often do you look in a mirror and criticise yourself, or tell yourself that you are stupid, or tell other people that you need to lose weight or are so fat or whatever. As soon as you stop this and start to look for positives, everything changes. Not instantly…it is not magic… you can’t wipe out years/decades of social conditioning in one hit but it starts to happen. You start to appreciate what your body can do whether it is lift heavy things, run a long way, make children (I have heard this can be a good thing but I remain unconvinced :-p), or just move you around through your busy day to day lives. You start to realise that you can be and do anything you want to do at any size and that the dictates of society are quite frankly rubbish…

Society says you have to be skinny to be attractive…well no actually the thing that makes a person most attractive is confidence. Society says women shouldn’t lift weights because they might get all bulky…well, bulky is unlikely in women and anyway…why shouldn’t women be bulky if they want…

Society says working out is for weight loss and for looks…well no, working out is for health and for whatever your own personal goal is!!

Before I go on any more I am going to show you some of the awesome women in the group who have inspired me to walk around with scary bright leggings on and muscle shirts with no vest tops under them…to walk around with confidence!

These are not the only inspirational women in the group by a long way but it just shows, no matter what size, what shape, what background we come from, there is no judgement! 😀

So here’s what body positivity means to me:

Body positivity is about believing in your own self worth, about believing that I am strong and capable and worthy of confidence as I am right now! It is ok to want to work on self improvement, it is ok to still want to lose weight but the difference is I am doing it for me and for health and to be an even better me rather than as a punishment for being a bad me!

I work out because I like it.

I wouldn’t mind losing some more fat, but I am proud of myself for who I am at the moment!

I can spend three days in a row dancing and walking miles and still walk the next day! I can lift 100kg (almost…) I can ride my bike for mile and miles I can swing a kettlebell about like nobody’s business and I can do all of these things right now.

I am fit and I am healthy and I still have chocolate sometimes and that is ok!

I am still mildly terrified of posting this without the caveats I mentioned at the start. I still have the fear of people judging me for being too fat or too weak or, now after writing this, too show-y off-y…

but you know what I am posting it anyway along with these pictures of the me that I am proud of right now!

Image-1

So be who you want to be, be who you are and don’t be ashamed of it! Don’t let “society” dictate whether you wear leggings or shorts or vest tops or giant hats covered in peacock feathers or what ever you like because at the end of the day it is not their business…it is yours 😀

 

A weekend of dance, walking and rain!!

This weekend started so well!!

It was Rochester sweeps festival which involves.. well… Dancing and more dancing and some waking about… all with fantastic people! So that was pretty damn awesome and is exactly what this whole fit enough to dance in a mask project was all about!!

Lovely crazy friends!



Then came Sunday… a day where I was scheduled to walk 20 miles from shoreham to south water on the (infamous) downs link path. This walk was beset with disaster from the get go…

First the path was closed then the detour (as with all good detours) left me in the middle of nowhere then a dog attacked some sheep (not my dog…I don’t have one) then it rained for the next 5 hours!

So miserable was it that I stopped after 14miles… still in the plus side I did 14 miles 🙂

Soggy but still sort of smiling…this wasn’t the end of the walk…I got wetter and less smiley! 

Optimistic and smiley at the start of the walk…

Monday involved more dancing…well a long procession and then a little bit of dancing at Hastings Jack in the Green festival… it would have been fun… but there was so much rain!! Still there was dancing and that is always good!!

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This was the view from the end of the procession…it looks nicer than it should do!

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Mythago, processing…look at the floor…so wet! (photo from Hastings Observer click for source)

Despite the weekends wet drawbacks, it has reminded me of something…I am a damn sight fitter than I used to be…I have turned into a person who can sandwich a 14 mile walk in between two days of dance without crippling myself!! this, my friends is progress!! 😀

Exploring the wilds…

Or an awesome walk in Northern Scotland…

We are currently mis grand ad-van-ture, and a couple of days ago we went in a walk…over some hills in between mountains to a beach which was inaccessible any other way (apart from the really wet way). 

The beach was Sandwood Bay and if you are ever in the area you should go on an expedition!

It was a windy cold not quite raining day in Scotland and it was totally worth it!!! The place was amazing!! 

And not only that it counted as 14km of walking training up and down some hills 😁


The pictures don’t really show the awesomeness of the whole thing… and my head is not 15tines as large as everyone else’s! 

More grand ad-van-ture news to follow 😁

More walking antics…

Well…walks anyway 😀

I managed to fit in a 20.2km walk again along the downs link path…this one went all the way to slinfold as I originally intended 🙂 I also included a detour tonsee the wey and Arun canal which may well bear some further investigation later 😀 

This one felt like hard work, for some reason all the way along, I got it done though which is what matters!


Following this I thought is would get in a faster more sociable walk… 

I headed down to Brighton and met up with my friend D who, coincidentally (ish) will be doing the marathon with me 🙂

Wa marched along the seafront from saltdean and the back to saltdean where a beverage awaited us 🙂

Walking and walking and walking like a hobbit on a mission

So…remember when I said I had signed up for a thing?

you know this thing: Moonwalk 2017

The one where I have to walk a marathon and wear a bra…

Well…I thought it was time I updated you on my training. That’s right, training…I have actually been doing some! Probably not enough, or possibly I have left it a little late as usual but still!!

I have worked out that the best way from me to walk a long way, especially if I am on my own, is for someone to drop me off a way away from home and for me to walk back. That way I don’t spent the first half of the walk thinking about turning back and attempting to make myself go further…I just have to walk until I reach my appointed pick up point 😀

My first one of these was 14.4k  from Bramley in Surrey to Rudgewick in Sussex 🙂

 

The second of these was last sunday and was 18.5 km long from Bramber in Sussex to Southwater also in sussex.

I am doing so much walking at the moment that I am beginning to feel like a hobbit! But it is quite good, these one way long walks where I have a fixed destination feel like adventures! I am even beginning to enjoy it! I suspect this is helped a lot by the lovely sunny spring weather that has been happening while I have been walking 🙂

By the way…if you feel like sponsoring me for this escapade I would be very grateful! this is the place you need to go… https://moonwalklondon2017.everydayhero.com/uk/sam-19

 

Guess what…I signed up for another thing!

Yes…another thing…this time it is a marathon length thing O_O

buffy shock

yeah…thats how I felt…

But… it is a WALKING marathon not a running one…

This is very important!!

I am not running a marathon!

Nope…not now, not ever.

However…I am walkign one and it is overnight and I have to do it wearing a bra.

yes…ok…to be honest I normally walk places wearing a bra…but the point is I have to wear only a bra.

on top…I mean only a bra on top…I get to wear trousers and shoes and stuff…

I feel I could be explaining this better…

There is an event called the Moonwalk which some of you may have heard of. It is an overnight walk around london (or the one I am doing is in London, I belive others are available) in aid of Walk the Walk who work with breast cancer charities to help people with breast cancer! Go and read all about it here: http://walkthewalk.org/challenges/the-moonwalk-london-2017/

So this is my crazy challenge for 2017 which I will undoubtedly tell you more about…

I have done some training already (not enough…i am following my usual pattern of procrastination and last minute panic) here are some pictures of it…

If you are feelign particularly generous… I have a sponsor page and I would be super grateful for any help!!

http://wtwalk.org/moonwalklondon2017/sam-19

I think I might have to restart January…

Well, the January challenges anyway…as I don’t think the universe will let me have a redo for the whole month…

Anyway…my Janathon and my 31 days of yoga fell by the wayside a little… and by a little, I mean a lot… there have been some extenuating circumstances involving some crazy stuff, which I am not going to go into, and I got hit by The Cold!

you know The Cold…the one that is going around that comes with such a bad sore throat that you think you have regrown your tonsils just so you can have tonsillitis…

Yes I know…it sounds like a bucket of excuses…but it isn’t…and I haven’t been idle, I have still gymmed and danced and walked, I just haven’t followed a rigorous  every day plan…

look…here are some things I have done…

Hehe sorry about all the selfies…only I am not really sorry because they are actually good for self esteem and suchlike!

Ok, time for the positive… 3 years ago, even last year probably, not completing this every day challenge would have me worrying about failing, it would have me apologising on here and worrying about losing all the fitness I have built up. However I am not doing any of that.

I have realised that I have come so far in this lifestyle change that a “failure” to do yoga every day or to post on FB in the Janathon group is not going to derail me. I am not going to lose what I have gained just by taking two rest days in a row…especially if they are rest days due to illness!

I am still going to go to the gym and walk and dance and generally be active because it is part of me…it is not what I do it is who I am. I genuinely love it too much to just stop!

I don’t need 30 day challenges to keep me on track, that doesn’t mean I won’t do any ever again because I genuinely think some of them are beneficial… I just don’t rely on them any more 😀

That being said, I am going to restart the Yoga challenge because I really believe yoga will do me good!

Look at me…I developed a grown up attitude O_O when did that happen!!

Oh and in other news…I started a new blog… one full of the adventures of our little red VW van…so apparently i am a travel blogger now too…

Go look and follow me!! (shameless plug…sorry)

https://wordpress.com/stats/day/redvantravels.wordpress.com

 

 

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