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I dance better when I am running!

Well…not actually when I am running, that is complete madness and I should probably reword the title to avoid confusion.

But I am not going to!

What I mean is, running training makes me a better dancer. So…I have yet again restarted running.

If you have been reading this for a while you will know by now that I have an love-hate relationship with running. Actually no, that is not strictly true, it is more like a mild affinity / don’t hate too much / hate relationship to be honest…

But the one thing I can say is that in 2014/15 when I was training to run a half marathon I danced better than I feel like I dance now.

Another thing I can say is that last year when I was still doing more kickboxing and plyometric type training, I danced better than I feel like I do now.

Don’t get me wrong, I am still considerably fitter than I was, but I have been concentrating too much on lifting and neglecting the cardio. I need to do both, I need to have a variety of exercises in my routine otherwise I will not be Fit Enough to Dance in a Mask and that was the point of this whole project!

So, first thing I have done is start running again. I think I mentioned it, but then I mention it a lot so I can’t remember whether it was recently or ages ago…

Yes…I could go back through some posts and have a look…shhh!

anyway…here is some running!

It has been not awful for the most part! I have started using one of the couch to 10k apps of which I have a veritable plethora from all of my different try to run attempts!

I will keep you posted because, as normal the only way for me to keep up doing stuff is to tell you all about it!!

I am going to incorporate some more cardio stuff too, possibly Insanity or Insanity Max 30 but I haven’t decided yet so I will let you know as soon as I do ๐Ÿ˜€

And no…I am not stopping lifting, that would be madness…I am just going to do both!!

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 ๐Ÿ˜


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 ๐Ÿ˜

Mountain bike mayhem

It has been a while since I have told you about a new thing I have been doing, so I am going to do just that now.

OK…technically this isn’t a new thing… it is an old thing that I haven’t done for a while…

By a while I mean about 8 years…

Soย it totally counts as new! ย especially when you take into account the shiny new toys that have had to be purchased to make it happen! In case you hadn’t guessed by the title, I got a new bike. I had a bike but it was too big for me and I was quite scared riding it… I was ok going in a level straight line but any bumps, lumps, hills, corners or other sudden change in direction caused a lot of squeaking and squawking and on one occasion crying and getting off to walk…

Consequently, once I had decided that mountain biking had the potential to be fun, and decided that it would be fun to do mountain biking with Mr Mark without being scared at him and shouting, we thought it was time for a new bike ๐Ÿ˜€

Looky look new bike ๐Ÿ˜€ I love it! It has lovely wide handle bars and is not super massive so I can actually reach the floor…yeay!!

Not all the time…I still have to lean my bike to the side a little to put my foot down when I stop, but that is ok because that no longer makes me feel like i am going to land on the floor in a heap when I do it ๐Ÿ˜€

Since getting my new bike, I am able to go up and down lumpy bits and through muddy bits without feeling like I am taking my life in my hands, so that is an improvement…

I haven’t tried it on a really hilly ride yet so I am not sure how that will be, but on the short hills I have done so far it seems ok if glad that i have a) gears and 2) strong legs from all the lifting ๐Ÿ˜€

We have been on quite ย few rides now, some of them featuring my Brother in law, Sister in law and my awesome (crazy) nephews :-D, some of them featuring cake, some featuring both.

Some of them also featured my awesome comic book superhero leggings and my dubiously coloured 1980s looking mountain biking jacket, which looks odd…but is very comfortable and doesn’t end up around my middle when I am riding ๐Ÿ˜€

I had forgotten how much I like kettlebells!

kettlebells

I love my kettlebells…have I told you that?

If you have read my blog for a long time, you may remember a little while ago I was obsessed with kettlebells! those up there are my own lovely lovely kettlebells.

I confess I have been neglecting them, I have been won over by heavy weight plates and barbell goodness!

Well…this morning with New Matt the new trainer, I did an entire session of kettlebells. I swung everything from a 16kg right up to a 24kg and cleaned and pressed 12kg and 16kg ๐Ÿ˜€ I had forgotten how blooming hard work they are.

It turns out…I still love kettlebells!!

I have every intention of adding them back into my regular routine ๐Ÿ˜€

I might need to invest in a heavier one soonish mind you…

I did spend half of this afternoon trying to figure out why I had bruises on the back of my wrists mind you…this heavy kettlebell buisiness is dangerous! ๐Ÿ˜€

A complexity of complexes

I don’t think there actually is a collective noun for complexes, I feel sure that if there were it wouldn’t be a complexity… maybe a difficulty of complexes or a confusion of complexes…

Complexity would likely be the collective noun for puzzles or some such thing…

Anyway-David-Tennant-Doctor-Who-So-Anyway-GIF

Anyway…

Back to complexes…

A complex, in this context, is a series of lifts or exercises that is done back to back without putting the bar / dumbbell down. For example, 8 reps each of: deadlifts, cleans, OH presses and back squats then rest and repeat

This has the advantage of being super efficient, a combination of lifting and cardio, not super boring and does all that good stuff like boost muscular endurance and metabolism and suchlike!

It has the disadvantage of being super hard and making you want to fall down!

In case you hadn’t guessed where this was going…I have been adding these into my workouts recently…

I was looking for options as I had got into a very samey pattern with lifting, which I still love, I just thought it is good to mix in some more heart-rate-raise-y whole body fun stuff!

I have been doing a mixture of barbell and dumbbell complexes, and a couple of times I have worked them as a superset as I was training with another person so we did one complex each then swapped… this, when it gets right down to it, is pure madness!

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I had to play with the number of reps because I can lift a lot more on a deadlift than I can on a military press… so I upped the reps of the deadlift so I could use the same weight for all of them…switching weights sort of defeats the purpose!

I can highly recommend them ๐Ÿ˜€


 

 

 

Morning bear?

Well…quite frankly no…I am not a morning bear…I am pretty much still this panda..

panda

yes…probably this sort of morning bear!

.only actually if I were a bear I wouldn’t be a panda I would be a moon bear…

I know this is true, because I have a handy bear identification chart, on which the moon bear is quite small with a fuzzy head…and if there is one thing I do have it is a fuzzy head!!

I will prove it shortly…

However… the point of this is…despite my not being a morning bear…I seem to have found my way to the gym in the morning, before work 3-4 times a week for the last few months!

I know…how awesome..and totally out of character…

No, I haven’t developed superhuman will power that allows me to leave my snugly warm bed.

No, I haven’t developed the art of going to bed early so I am actually rested in the morning…

I have developed the art of forcing people to come with me which then guilt trips me into getting out of bed in the morning… If I am meeting someone I have no option! Even better, I only actually have to pay one of them!!

It is a perfect plan…

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look here we are all ย awake looking… not sure how that happened

I train with my friend Sarah on Wednesdays and Fridays, which is excellent as neither of us are morning people, and we are both trained fitness people…thus we can make it up while half a sleep and still come out with a reasonable workout ๐Ÿ˜€ We both want to do almost exclusively lifting and gain strength so it works! The other excellent thing is we seem to have developed the art of decideing on which exercises to do using mainly arm motions and seeming ly vague words ๐Ÿ˜€

You may remember Sarah from the olden days of the blog when she was my body pump teacher and my pilates teacher ๐Ÿ˜€ now she is my friend… and I am attempting to be in her body pump and pilates classes again but time is not my friend!

On a Thursday I train with my friend graham…which is harder on my brain because I have to think of things ahead of time…we do more fat loss / functional based workouts which is good because variety is apparently important. ๐Ÿ˜€ ย  It is quite hard on graham mind you as I am always super tired on a Thursday after dancing on a Wednesday which make me super grumpy…especially when I have to think of things!! I blame early morning caffeine deficiency!

On Tuesday, I have PT with New Matt…which is excellent because it make Tuesdays into bearable days, and I am not required to think that hard first thing!

So… what have I learned… Gym buddies are the key to morning workouts…especially if you can find ones that understand vagueness and can put up with grumping!

I am super pleased I have finally managed this, it seems to be the key to actually getting into the gym as often as I want to ๐Ÿ˜€

not-a-morning-bear-funny-164755814308

yes…that is still pretty much as good as it gets!! Only don’t catch a squirrel…just leave them be!

Yoga…in a class!!

I tried a thing!

I tried a yoga thing!

In a class with other people!

I didn’t hate it!

It was hard work and I am (as we already know) not so flexible in some planes…but I think I enjoyed it… enough to try again at some point any way!

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And…I got to wear my amazing Yoga Grrrl Attitude t shirt ๐Ÿ˜€ always a bonus! (it is of course from the amazing Grrrl Clothing…go and see them…no I am not paid to say that…)

I do still prefer pilates! That is defintiely coming back onto my workout rota! I had fun in yesterdays class though as the it was taken by Matt the trainer :-D.

It was also empty in the studio before hand so I could take a genuine gym selfie which makes me look like i have massive shoulders ๐Ÿ˜€

 

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Dancing shenanigans!

I believe that when I wrote yesterdays post, I promised you dancing…

I don’t think i promised shenanigans, but generally speaking, when there is dancing there is also a degree of shenaniganinity.

(yes, it can be a word if I like!!)

Dancing-wise the may was somewhat quieter than normal, we had the customary Horsham day of dance, a favourite as it is on our own turf as it were (actually not turf…dancing on turf is hard…but we’ll come to that later). IT was an odd day, it was a good day, we had fun, we pretty much always do, but instead of moving around the town as normal, by some quirk of organisation we ended up staying in the same place for three out of four stands…

Here is a look:

 

After a relatively, and unusually quiet May, ย June was a veritable explosion of dancing adventures!

The first of which was Wimbourne Folk festival, the first Mythago away weekend of the year. Wimbourne is always a good weekend, and this year was no exception. We arrived first thing on Saturday morning, set up camp and after a brief foray into sitting and coffee drinking, we dived straight into the dancing!

So much dancing!

As a two day event, Wimbourne is a lot like two days of dance in quick succession, with the addition of a mile walk into and out of town each day, and each evening. Oh yeah and a procession, a long and oddly organised procession!

There was a little bit of a wobble when I did what can only be described as a dance too far!!

As I have been woefully neglecting you, my lovely readers and this blog, you will have no idea that I have had a series of annoying leg (either hamstring or quad) almost injuries. Not actual damage as such, but what I finally worked out was a combination of quad tendinitis and extremely overworked calves and hamstrings… so the dance too far was the one you do when ou know your legs hurt and you know that you can’t really do more…yet you do anyway. It was the second to last dance of the day anyway so not toooo bad!

I have since discovered the cure…it is a combination of rockย tape, sports massage and gin…yes gin…unusually for me I drank a moderate amount of gin in the evening at wimbourne, and woke up with my legs feeling a lot better, and a whole new lease of dancing life!!

Look…me with lots of dancing energy at wimbourne:

me wimbourne

Photo and video: Kotatsu Neko 808 (Flickr)

2016.06.12 Wimborne Video (2)

After Wimbourne, was an excursion that I wasn’t going to go on until 3 days before…It was a weekend at the Bloodstone Boarder Rally on the Isle of Wight. It was a whole weekend away that involved going on an actual ferry! A tiny little 30 min ferry ride, but still…it made the whole thing feel like I was on holiday!!

Strange as it may seem in a country as small as this one, but I had never been to the Isle of Wight and I loved it! The whole weekend was well run, loads of fun and of course involved a lot of dancing…and some gin.

I learned something this weekend…I learned that it is perfectly possible to lose an iPhone 6 plus in your bra…forget completely, get the whole camp looking for it then realise where you put it “for safe keeping…” this *may* have been gin related…

(incidentally…as a disclaimer…I don’t actually drink that often… )

but mainly, we had, as I have said before a lot of fun, doing a lot of dancing ๐Ÿ™‚

And then there was Tewkesbury…

But Tewkesbury is another story!!

A mountainous adventure!

I haven’t come up with a plan yet, so I thought I would tell you about some of the things I actually have been doing over the past couple of months… there will be tales of daring and dancing and shenanigans!

First mountains, and daring…

Not so far in the dim and distant past I went to North Wales, for those of you who don’t know this is one of the more mountainous regions of the UK…we do have those here, they are little ones compared to some countries, but they still feel pretty big and mountain-y when you are walking up them!

SMC One Big Adventure 2014 Cover 196 x 280

even the advertising fits in with my mountainous adventure theme!ย 

We were after an adventure, so we decided that we would go and see mountains with the goal of going for at least one walk every day… no more pressure than that, we didn’t have to climb every mountain (thankfully or there may have been a terrible song involved). We weren’t out to conquer the whole of snowdonia in one hit.

We were just out to have fun and walk and see mountains. I can well and truly say we managed it! I know that is skipping to the end but ย I am telling you any way!

We hired a self catering cottage on the recommendation of Dan and Martin, good friends of ours who you will have seen around this blog before…they look like this…

dan martin

even the advertising fits in with my mountainous adventure theme!

The cottage was lovely, and within walking distance of one of the routes up onto Snowdon its self. So seemed a perfect base for the walking adventure we had planned!

The first mountain walk we tackled was a scramble up the north ridge of Tryfan. Yes, mostly a scramble, not really a walk at all…

Rocky, stereotypically mountainous, steep, unclimbable, beyond my ability, terrifying, certain death in the form of plummeting… these are all things that occurred to me about Tryfan as we drove towards it on a lovely sunny mid morning! There was an outside chance I was being a little irrational about the whole thing… but don’t forget it is 5 years since i climbed a mountain…and on that occasion, the mountain won!

In case you haven’t heard the story, I fell off…and ended up with a broken leg and a trip on a stretcher and in an ambulance… the full story is here:

Day 237: Dizzy new heights

So despite a large amount of self doubt, we set off up the path to the top…it started out as a path at least then became a navigational challenge across many different layers of fallen and piled up rocks…

Tryfan_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1454299

even the advertising fits in with my mountainous adventure theme!

Durign the first 10 minutes of the climb I literally thought I was going to die…I thought it was too hard, and that i wasn’t fit enough and I was without a doubt going to fall to my death, or watch mark fall to his.

the first 10 mins was actually a walk by the way so I may have over reacted a tiny little bit…

another 10 mins after that, i started to enjoy myself!! the walk became a scramble and involved in places hands feet and knees but quite frankly I loved it and would go and do again and again!! I wasn’t incapacitated by fear, I wasn’t too much of a lump to climb, I was actually not bad at making my way up a mountain (not quick either, but not bad!!)

It is unfortunate that due to the peculiar nature of the weather in north wales the rain started to arrive when we were about 3/4 of the way up and we decided to call it and go back down. We decided we didn’t want to be facing the summit of an unknown mountain in the cloud and rain… so we scrambled down again…which is harder than going up, especially if you are short. I am short and many of the big steps from my husband, definitely involved my bum hitting the rocks… but never mind ๐Ÿ˜€ I still loved every minute of it…and remembered on that day that I REALLY love mountains!!!

As you can see, the tops of the mountains all around were starting to disappear!

As the four days progressed we managed to get out for a walk every day, we went half way up Snowdon twice and around some lakes, we also took a small detour after a wrong turning on Snowdon and went half way up the wrong mountain! One day we even took a break from going up things and went the other way…we went down inside a mountain in the guise of a copper mine ๐Ÿ˜€

I am going to leave you with some more pictures of all the fun!!

As ย you can see, we had variable weather, which is why we only made it half way up some mountains…

I also remembered that I have intrepid explorer feet…and I should use them more!! Here they are:

365 take 2 days 18 – 47

Ok…my regular exercise updates have fallen a little by the wayside…my exercise, however, hasn’t!! Today is day 47 of this challenge and I promise you I have done something every day, there has been a fair bit of lifting, there has been yoga, there have been mountains and there has even been running!! I am […]

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