As I mentioned in >this< post, I’ve started a new Beachbody program called Liift 4 which combines weight lifting and HIIT training.
Week 1 consisted of:
The first two were absolutely fine. I managed the workouts and tweaked my weights throughout to make sure I was lifting heavy enough, without overdoing it.
Shoulders was killer. It’s safe to say my shoulders are weak. I end up using smaller weights as the workout went on as I couldn’t complete all of the sets! I always knew my upper body was pretty weak and this just confirmed it.
Leg day was BRUTAL! I have the worst DOMS from it! It was really hard work and by the end of the workout I was absolutely spent! Much more so than any of the other workouts.
I keep being told Liift 4 will improve my running and I guess time will tell!
There’s something about parkrun days and the weather! parkrun on 26th October was a Halloween themed parkrun and was joined by 30mph winds! Thankfully the rain held off though.
I met up with Rachel and Penny who I was running with this week. Penny forgot to dress up but Rachel and I were wearing our Halloween outfits.
As we ran, Penny told us all about her half IronMan she’d completed in Weymouth. I can’t even imagine completing a half IronMan but Penny has decided she’ll now complete a full one! I love hearing others stories about races and this was no exception, although it was sometimes hard to hear with the wind howling around my ears!
I found the run really tough. I’ve been a bit lazy and haven’t exercised all week and the day before I’d pushed the new 6 seater pushchairs at work around a 3 mile walk. I’ve also been suffering with a spot of insomnia, added together along with the winds it made a pretty tough run. Rachel and Penny were great, checking if I was ok and encouraging me round.
My first two miles were pretty even at 12:18 and 12:11 but my 3rd mile was 13:22! I finished in 39:11. When I think now to my PB of 34:41 I can’t imagine how I did it! I seem so far off it now! Maybe over the Winter I can squeeze in more running as the weather will be much more to my liking.
I’m actually wearing Halloween leggings in the picture that I picked up in America. I’d never have dared wear patterned leggings like that before losing weight!
Following on from my last post, here’s how we spent our time in Seattle, Washington. As we drove from Calgary over the US border and on to Washington the temperature changed from -4celcius to 17c! We had perfect weather in Washington.
Our hotel was right by a park with a beach to Lake Washington in it. We had a view overlooking the lake and the park was perfect for evening walks.
One of the paths in the park was lined with these Autumnal trees
Whilst we were in Seattle we also did Renton parkrun which was only a 10 minute drive from the hotel. There’s a post about it >here<
We went to Downtown Seattle too and explored the Pike Place Market. One of my favourite films (after You’ve Got Mail) is Sleepless in Seattle and in the movie you see Pike Place Market so I was really looking forward to it. It’s a standard market at street level with fish, fruit and vegetable and flower vendors but downstairs there were loads of independent little shops. I loved looking round them all.
We also went to see the infamous Market Theatre Gum Wall which is a wall…covered in gum!
I just read this is one of the top 5 germiest tourist attractions!
Whilst in Downtown Seattle we also went on the Seattle Great Wheel and saw the first ever Starbucks. The line went right down the street and then some though so I opted out of waiting.
We also went up the Space Needle which has a glass rotating floor! I don’t normally have a problem with heights at all but this definitely made my head and stomach feel a bit funny!
After the Space Needle we went in to the Chihuly Garden and Glass which is right next door. It was absolutely incredible and I just don’t think the pictures do it justice.
If you want to see a piece of his work without travelling to Seattle, there’s a large chandelier in the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.
On our last day in Seattle we went to the Japanese Garden which I’d seen on a list of must visit places. When we went we realised it was actually a very tiny part of a huge amazing park called the Washington Park Arboretum. I wish we’d had more time to explore this! The Japanese Garden was so lovely.
We really enjoyed Seattle and the weather being a bit warmer certainly helped! After our time there we drove back to Canada to fly home. We had such a good holiday and 3 weeks absolutely flew by!
At the end of September we went for our holiday to Canada and the US. I’ve decided to split the posts in two. One focussing on Canada and the other focussing on the US.
We flew out from Heathrow to Vancouver and arrived to pouring rain! This was very much the weather the whole time we were in Vancouver and it wasn’t even drizzle on and off, it was that sort of big fat rain that soaks you to the skin. We ended up drenched on several occasions.
I love how Halloween is really celebrated in Canada and America
We did get one dry day though and decided to visit Whistler. Whistler is a skiing area and has been used for the Winter Olympics.
In Whistler Village
Throughout our time in Vancouver I still did some of my workouts which I was really pleased about. After Vancouver, we made the long drive to Calgary.
We arrived in Calgary to warnings of a snow storm coming! And it did arrive on the Saturday ready for parkrun. I’ve done a post about Nose Hill parkrun >here<
The snow really came down and there was around a foot of snow in the end. We did end up losing a couple of days to this. We’d really wanted to go out to Banff National Park a lot more than we did but because parts of it were so high, we didn’t want to risk it. However we just switched around what we did and did some shopping and visited Downtown Calgary. Banff was so pretty and scenic but I was rather disappointed not to spot a bear or moose! The only wildlife we saw was a rabbit, chipmunk and a deer. We visited the town of Banff, which was very similar to Whistler, as well as the Canada Olympic Park where I sat in the actual bobsleigh from the movie Cool Runnings! As a child, I loved this movie, and still adore it now.
We finally got a good few days in Banff too where, obviously, we admired the scenery and went on a couple of hikes.
And finally, just to give you an idea of how cold it was in Canada…
I could post so many more pictures of the beautiful scenery in Canada but I won’t flood the post with them.
On September 1st I signed up to Beachbody on Demand, which is kind of like a Netflix of fitness. I’ve done a couple of posts already about Beachbody and the program I chose to do first, Transform:20, which I’ll link below in case you want to catch up.
I really enjoyed the program. I liked that it was a library of workouts and not just like doing the same workout DVD over and over. Every single workout was individual. I also liked that their was a modifier track where on a split screen there were alternative exercises to do. I needed some of these but not all and as I progressed through the program I used the modifier less and less. I definitely feel stronger as a result and I can even do press ups now when I couldn’t do one before! I have made improvements in my upper body and core but I still feel pretty weak in these areas. Even some of the modifier exercises were still too hard and although I did them, I had to take breaks and couldn’t do them for the duration. There were lots of burpee and plank type exercises and I definitely struggled with these and still do, although I feel better at them now than I did at the beginning. So what’s next?
To help with my weak upper body, the next program I’ve chosen is called Liift 4. The blurb says
“LIIFT4 combines heavy lifting and intense cardio to transform your body in 4 days a week. And with 32 unique, real-time workouts, you’ll never get bored, because you’ll never do the same one twice”
I have always avoided weights because I just don’t know what to do with them. I only ever do them when copying a fitness DVD so this will be good for me as it’ll be showing me different things to do in each workout. I’m also hoping by building my strength up, it’ll make me a stronger runner. Now that it’s winter, I want to try and do more running. At the moment I’m just doing a parkrun a week so I want to at least run twice a week!
Do you incorporate weights in to your fitness regime?
During our holiday to Canada, we spent some days in the USA. Obviously I planned that the days coincided with a parkrun so I could get another country ticked off! parkrun is going to become an expensive hobby if I tick off many more countries!
We decided on Renton parkrun in Renton, near Seattle. It was only 10 minutes from the hotel so was perfectly located. The parkrun was held in Riverview Park, along the Cedar River Trail. It was very similar to my home parkrun in that you run to one turn around point then come back on yourself, past the start and then out to another turn around point, and then head back on yourself again to go through the finish funnel.
When we got there, there weren’t many people at all. Soon a small crowd started to gather and we listened to the run brief. There were quite a few tourists there from England and Wales and the tail walker was touristing from Germany!
The weather was far better than it was when I did a Canadian parkrun! It was cool with a bit of sun on and off. We set off along the path. The whole course was on tarmac paths and the course was flat. Had I of been in PB shape, it would have been a really good course to try and get a new PB.
I ran the whole course and finished in 27th place! My highest finish position of all time. I was also 3rd in my age category! Something that will probably never happen again. I finished in a time of 37:41. A whole 5 minutes quicker than the parkrun in the snow in Calgary!
Afterwards we had a chat with the core team and a couple of regulars. They were really friendly and were telling us different things to go and see whilst we were in the area. We’d already got a lot of them down so at least we knew we were going to the right places. It was a lovely friendly course and if we were in the area again I’d definitely go back to visit them again.
Have you ever done an American parkrun?
Have you ever placed in the top 3 of your age category?
I’ve just returned from 3 weeks away in Canada and America. It can be difficult to keep up with your exercise regime whilst you’re away with your days being busy sightseeing etc. Or you might not want to exercise whilst you’re away.
As you’re probably aware if you’ve read this post I signed up to Beachbody recently, which is a bit like a Netflix for fitness. I started the Transform:20 programme which is a 20 minute workout 6 times a week before going away. The great thing about Beachbody is that it’s on demand, meaning I could access it whilst I was away.
I didn’t do every single workout I could have done whilst away but I did just shy of two weeks worth. I lost a few days to flying and then travelling whilst we were away but I think I did well. Here’s how I did it:
I did pretty much every workout as soon as I got up whilst my husband was showering this way I was wasting time but still making sure I got it done.
Of course there were times when I just wanted to be lazy. I said to myself “But I’m on holiday, I’m meant to be relaxing” but as the old saying goes, you never regret a workout, and I certainly didn’t.
Scoping Out The Gym:
Before we went away I wasn’t sure what kind of space I’d have to workout in so we made sure every hotel we went to had a gym. In the end, I didn’t need to as we had booked suites in all of the hotels and I had plenty of space to workout in. However, if I hadn’t of had space I could have used the gyms and the same applies if I hadn’t of had Beachbody.
I’m currently being accountable with a friend of mine. We both post our workouts online and tag each other in them. On days where we post late, we check in with each other and see how the other is getting on. It’s really helped keep me motivated not just whilst on holiday, but since we started on 1st September.
Do you exercise whilst you’re on holiday?
How do you keep motivated to workout whilst you’re away?
I’ve just returned from a lovely holiday to Canada and America. Whilst there, naturally, I had a couple of parkruns lined up and the first was Nose Hill parkrun in Calgary.
In the weeks leading up to the holiday the weather in all three destinations we were visiting was supposed to be pretty similar to the UK with temperatures between 12 and 20c. A couple of days before we left, Calgary started predicting snow so I took some long running items just in case. That turned out to be good decision. I emailed ahead to ask if they still put the event on in the snow, assuming that they probably would because it snows a lot in Canada. They told me they only cancel when it is too cold for the volunteers…-20c!!
We arrived at a snowy Nose Hill park and could already see the volunteers out setting up the course. We went and talked to the team and other runners. It turns out the Event Director is an ex pat and belonged to a very local running club! She’s also run my local parkrun. What a small world!! On this particular day there were actually more tourists than locals running!
It was a two lap course with the 2nd lap having a slightly different route to send you through the finish funnel. We set off and I felt quite sure footed. The snow was thick but still fluffy, however on lap 2, as everyone else had run round and the snow continued to fall heavily it became far slippier. There was a downhill section that I actually walked down for fear of falling over by slipping. I didn’t want to break a limb with over 2 weeks of holiday left!
The course was certainly undulating but never too steep or for too long thankfully, except for the very end where you go up a long, very steep hill. I was dead by the top of it, thankfully the finish funnel was just around the corner from it!
We had another chat with everyone at the end before heading off to warm up! I felt so lucky to get to experience parkrun in another country. I’m amazed that what started off as a group of friends running together is now a worldwide phenomenon that you can join in with pretty much where ever you are!
Something to note as well, -9 obviously suits me as I ran the whole thing with a hat and gloves and didn’t overheat at all! Perfect!
Today is World Mental Health Day. I am so lucky that I don’t suffer too terribly with my own Mental Health, however, I have close friends who really do.
I have days where I might feel a bit down or fed up but on the whole I’m naturally quite a bubbly happy person. I feel like because I’m naturally quite bubbly, I find it quite easy to see when I’m feeling down and that then in turn makes it easier for me to put a stop to it.
Being outside really helps me. If I’m feeling a bit low then going for a walk or run helps me feel better. It gives me a chance to think things through but also provides a good level of distraction too. I always recommend to my friends who struggle to try getting out and just see if it helps, because it helps me so much.
Music also really helps me. Listening to one of my favourite songs and having a little bop around the living room can really lift my spirits. Music means a lot to me and I find songs remind me of people and memories so having songs that link to happy memories also really helps.
I’m now at the halfway point of the Transform:20 program on Beachbody on Demand so I thought I’d do a little update of how I’m finding it.
Finding 20 minutes a day has been pretty easy. I’ve been getting up at 5am, doing my workout and then getting ready for work. This way my workout is complete before the working day and I’m not having to come home after an 11 hour day at work to do it.
I’ve also enjoyed adding in some of the extra workouts that come with the program. There is a list of the standard workouts and then there are bonus workouts that I try to add in when I have more time e.g. Fridays when I don’t work and Sundays.
I feel like I’m getting stronger. I can now perform a pushup, whereas before I could barely even complete one. I still do them from my knees though as I’m not strong in a plank position to start. I think my wrist and shoulder strength has improved a little but it’s still difficult holding the plank position.
The workouts are getting progressively harder but I feel like my cardio level is good. I get out of breath but I feel as the workouts get harder, my cardio fitness is improving at the same time.
All in all I’m enjoying it and I’m definitely pleased I signed up to Beachbody.