What’s Been Happening Lately

It’s been over a month since my last proper blog post. Since becoming an injured runner it’s been hard for me to blog because I’ve not really had much to blog about.

Last time I wrote I was going for a practice parkrun walk which turned in to a walk with a twist. Since then I’ve been able to go back to the gym and exercise properly, although I’ve yet to return to spin. I’ve been on holiday to Scotland where we did lots of hiking and I’ve been back to parkrun twice.

The first time I did parkrun it took me over an hour. It was pain free but foolishly I wore new Nike trainers that absolutely ripped my feet to shreds. It was really bad, so bad it took two weeks before I could comfortably wear shoes again!

I’m still doing well with Weight Watchers (or WW as it’s now meant to be known) and I’ve nearly lost 1.5 stone. I did put on weight after holiday though! I’m not worried about that at all though as I know I’ll lose it again.

I’m going to keep this short and sweet as that pretty much brings me up to date and now I can start individual posts on runs and workouts etc. I just didn’t want to start blogging again without bringing it all up to date.

The Running Awards

I’ve been nominated for a Running Award in the Personal Blog section. Click the red button to vote for me, you know, if you want to!

 

What My Return to Running Will Look Like

Now that I’m almost pain free I’ve started to think about my return to running. My view on it has really changed.

No more worrying about times:

Previous to my injury I was so determined to improve my time all the time. I was disappointed if I went over a 15 minute mile. I was annoyed if I went over a 45 minute 5k. There’s one thing this injury has taught me and that’s to enjoy running. Run because I can not because I have to.

No more signing up for races:

The main thing I panicked about when I got injured, was the races I’d entered. I had the Gosport Golden Mile, River Ness 10K and the Great South Run. I still went ahead and ran the Gosport Golden Mile which was a huge mistake but hindsight is a wonderful thing! Luckily I’ve managed to get my entry fee back from the Great South Run so that just leaves the River Ness 10K who won’t refund or let me defer. I guess I just have to let that one go. I no longer want that pressure of “I have to be able to run this distance” I want my running to be for me. Although I do really want to do the 5 mile beer and cake race again!

The end goal is not a marathon:

Some runners feel the end goal is to run a marathon. They work their way through the distances and then sign up to a marathon or ultra. I just want to be able to run. I want to complete a parkrun but after 5K anything else will just be a bonus.

Social Running:

One thing I do definitely want to do is return to Breakfast Club. Running with people I know and a nice chatty breakfast afterwards. I think if I do end up going over 5K, this will be it. It’s half an hour out and half an hour back. It’ll be nice to see how I progress through this but I’m not going to think “I want to run 4 miles, or 5 miles or 6 miles” etc. My progression will come naturally the more I run when I can run.

Now I just have to figure out how to get rid of this last little bit of niggly injury!

A Walk With A Twist

I went for a walk on Friday. I’d decided to do a “parkrun practice” I don’t really want to return to parkrun until I’m able to do it in under an hour. Anyway as I made my way down to the beach I thought “I’ll walk the course in reverse” And that I did. I started heading towards the second turnaround point and was thinking “At least this will give me something to blog about” I’ve struggled finding content as my blog is more of a diary but with nothing really happening it makes posting a struggle.

I was walking along enjoying the weather, warm with a breeze to keep me cool, and listening to snippets of people’s conversations as I overtook them or they overtook me. I was just thinking about how I might turn around at the slipway to avoid having to walk over the shingle section at the bottom of the slipway when I overtook an older couple. Then I heard someone fall, and I mean really fall.

I turned around and the lady from the couple was on the floor crying out. I immediately went back to her and asked if she was ok. She was crying out in pain and I think in shock a bit. She had a huge lump coming up on the side of her forehead and her face was cut and bleeding from multiple places. She was holding her knee too. I told her not to move but just have a little assess of how everything felt. She told me she didn’t think she could get up. She felt extremely sick and dizzy and everything hurt and asked me to call an ambulance. I rang 999 and whilst talking to the operator she repeatedly asked her husband if she’d knocked her teeth out. This became a real concern for her so she must have given them a fair old whack.

As I spoke to the operator he told me my call had gone through to the Isle of Wight and he was having trouble finding where we were on the mainland. I tried giving them landmarks but my mind was blank on road names. I asked her husband if he could think of anywhere but I think he went in to shock too as he couldn’t speak.

The operator told us we weren’t to move her at all and asked if one of us would be able to go up from the promenade on to the roadside to flag the ambulance down and take them too her. I told her husband I’d go up on to the roadside as she’d probably feel more comfortable with him there. I went up and looked out. The ambulance took a whole 30 minutes to arrive! It felt like time was standing still! The longest 30 minutes of my life!

Once the paramedics arrived I led them down to her and I was so surprised by the way they spoke to her. The first thing the paramedic said was “Is there any reason you’ve not attempted to get off the floor?” She became flustered and was trying to explain she didn’t think she could get up so I interjected and said we’d been advised by the operator not to move her. She then tried to explain what had happened and he cut her off by saying “We know you tripped, they all saw it” He was so short with her. It made me feel quite sad that he spoke to her like that when she was clearly shocked and a bit panicky.

I said my goodbyes and left them as the paramedic took her to the ambulance. I just went home after that. I’d been out a lot longer than I expected and felt a bit deflated by everything. Up until the point where I’d stopped to help, I’d actually managed to keep up a pretty good pace and was pain free.

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If We Were Having Coffee…

I’ve not had a lot to blog about lately as I’m still injured so still not running. However, there’s been a few things going on so I thought I’d do a chatty post as though we were chatting over a cup of coffee.

Flat White

If we were having coffee…I’d tell you I’m going back to the classroom. Well sort of. Work offered a free course with at home learning. At the end we get a level 2 qualification in Common Childhood Illnesses. I’m half way through 2 out of 3 units and so far I’m enjoying it. It’s informative and giving me another string to my bow. The only down side is, it’s all handwritten! I’m not used to writing for long periods of time anymore!

Common Childhood Illnesses

If we were having coffee…I’d tell you a recently went to a 40th Birthday party. It was in a very cool industrial venue that was so unique. I’d love to have held an event there but sadly it’s been pulled down soon. The party was an 80’s theme so we dressed up and sang the night away. I had to chair dance though as this was a little while ago when my injury was still sore.

80s party

If we were having coffee…I’d tell you I’m still injured but very slowly making a return to exercise. I did 15 minutes on the exercise bike which was pain free. So a couple of days later I did an exercise DVD. I was tentative. I was scared some of the movements might hurt or aggravate my injury but again it was pain free. My injury feels 90% better now and the physio has told me there’s nothing else she can do but it’s knowing how to get rid of the remaining 10% now!

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you how excited I am that the heatwave is over. There’s one good thing about this injury and that’s that I’ve not had to run in this heat! I’m rubbish in heat, let alone trying to run in it. I’m very much an Autumn/Winter person. I don’t care if I’m running in the dark and rain. It does not bother me one bit. Look at these apples growing on my neighbours tree. A sure sign Autumn is on the way.

Autumn Apples

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you that Weight Watchers is working wonders for me. In 5 weeks I’ve lost 12.5lbs and 5% of my body weight. I’m really pleased with how easy I’m finding it.

Weight Watchers 5% Certificate

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you that I went for a coffee with Sarette who runs Woofs with Wilson. We went to The Pump House in Gosport. I’d heard of it, but I’d never been before. It was so lovely. It’s in an old pump house, as the name suggests, and is small but perfectly formed inside with outdoor seating too. As we arrived early, we sat inside and had a lovely natter with Heather the owner. I had a flat white and a slice, well I say a slice, it was more like a slab of coffee and walnut cake. It was delicious and hand made in house!

Coffee Cake

If we were having coffee…I’d tell you that after going for coffee Sarette asked me if I’d like to join her on a walk with Wilson! Honestly, I didn’t need asking twice! It was a big fat yes please. We went for a lovely walk at Stokes Bay and once again I was shown paths I didn’t know existed and how they linked to places I did know. I wish I’d tracked the walk on my watch but I reckon we walked around 1.5-2 miles. We walked on trails and shingle and my injury was absolutely fine!

Woofs with Wilson and I

Woofs With Wilson

Action shot of Wilson jumping for stones

If we were having coffee…I’d tell you I went on a walk with Maria from work. We walked along Stokes Bay up to the Gilkicker fort and back. It was 2.8 miles so almost a parkrun and again was absolutely pain free. It was a chatty pace though so perhaps not quick enough for a parkrun just yet. We had a good old natter and then went for a coffee afterwards.

Apple Watch Walk Stats

That now brings me pretty much up to date with everything that’s been happening. Hopefully as I return to exercise I’ll have a little more to blog about. Fingers crossed I’ll be able to run some time in the future!

 

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The Lost In A Book Tag

I’ve had this post in the making for a long time and actually can’t remember where I found it! I know that’s committing some sort of blogger sin! But anyway, on to the tag.

1. Do you have a specific place at home to read in?
I tend to read in the bath or in bed. Sometimes I’ll go in the bath just to read my book for an hour haha I try to read every night before bed.

2. Where do you like to read?
In the bath.

3. Do you use a bookmark or piece of paper?
If I’m reading an actual physical book (quite rare these days) then I use a bookmark.

4. Can you just stop reading or do you have to get to the end of the chapter?
I prefer to get to the end of a chapter. When reading on my Kindle it tells you in minutes how long a chapter will be. If I don’t think I can stay awake that long, then I won’t bother starting.

5. Do you eat or drink whilst reading?
Not usually

6. E-reader or real book?
Both have their advantages. I like that you can take lots of books anywhere with you on a Kindle. However, there are certain books I think need to be real books e.g. autobiographies with pictures in or large coffee table books

7. Music or television whilst reading?
I’ll have music on whilst I read but it tends to be classical otherwise I end up singing along and not actually reading.

8. One book at a time or several?
One at a time otherwise I’d just get confused.

9. Read at home or everywhere?
I tend to only read at home but I’ll take my Kindle on holiday or on long drives or if I know I might be waiting somewhere a while e.g. doctor’s surgery.

10. Reading aloud or silently?
Silently.

11. Fiction or non-fiction?
I tend to read a lot of fiction. The only non-fiction I tend to read is auto biographies, although I haven’t read one of those in a long time.

12. Do you read ahead or skip pages?
Never!

13. Break the spine or keep the book like new?
I don’t break the spine intentionally but they do end up breaking when you read books, especially thicker books.

14. Do you write in books?
No!

15. What is your favourite book?
Tricky! I really enjoyed The Light of the Fireflies by Paul Pen which I read last summer. The Harry Potter books will always be favourites too.

16. Do you buy books new or second-hand?
I tend to just buy for my Kindle so obviously they’re new but I have bought lots of books from charity shops.

 

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International Cat Day

I always desperately wanted a dog as a child. Probably not the opening line you expected on a blog post about International Cat Day. I never got a dog. I’ve still never owned a dog. I have however owned 4 cats. I guess they were my Mum’s compromise on the whole dog thing.

When I was 3 my Auntie Su moved to Canada. I inherited her cat Minstrel. He was black and white. I’m guessing that’s how he got his name. I don’t have any pictures of him so instead have a picture of my Auntie and I as we waited for her taxi to take her to the airport the day she left for Canada. Minstrel was run over. You’ll soon notice a theme here.

Su and I

After Minstrel I was given my next two cats Meme and Rusty. I named Meme after a cat in a story a teacher told me at school. It was about a black and white cat that rode on a Ferris wheel at a fayre. I was only meant to get one cat but I guess my Dad couldn’t resist the 2nd when he went to get them. I was around 6 or 7 when I got them.

Meme and Rusty

They were both really independent cats and were never lap cats. I grew up with these cats and have so many memories of them. I used to push them around in a pram in the garden for as long as they’d let me. My neighbours poisoned Rusty because she used to go on their garden. Both cats would wait for me at the top of the hill when I came out of school. Meme died first. She was run over by a car. Then Rusty lived until I was around 13 or 14. She too was run over.

It must have only been a year or so later that I got Freddy. He was named after Freddy Boswell on the tv show Bread. A house on my road had a sign in the window saying they had kittens and somehow I managed to convince my Mum to let me have one.

Freddy

Freddy was a nightmare cat. He learnt to open doors, he’d charge at your feet, he’d jump out and surprise you. He was a nightmare and was constantly called “That bloody cat” I only had Freddy for a year or two before he too was run over. I’ve just text my Mum to see if she remembered Freddy and her response was “That bloody cat” haha. It was thanks to Freddy that I was never allowed another cat.

Are you a cat or a dog person?

 

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Happy Yorkshire Day!

Today is Yorkshire Day! As some of you may know I’m originally from Sheffield, the 2nd largest city in Yorkshire. I’m proud to be from Yorkshire. It has so much to offer. I’m celebrating Yorkshire Day and below are some ideas on how you can too.

Yorkshire Day

Food:

Eat a Yorkshire Pudding but if you’re stuck for ideas of what to put it with, why not have a Yorkshire Curry? A Yorkshire Pudding filled with your favourite curry. If memory serves me right, the Yorkshire Curry was invented in Bradford, the Curry Capital of Britain.

For pudding enjoy a slice of Yorkshire parkin. I actually have to ask my Mum to bring this down with her when she comes to visit as I’ve yet to find it in the South. Morrisons sell the best parkin in my opinion. Oh and Morrisons are from Yorkshire too!

Drink:

First and foremost, we all know a good strong cup of Yorkshire Tea is a must on any day never mind Yorkshire Day.  And hey, if it’s good enough for the Brownlee Brothers, then it’s good enough for the rest of us. Just so you know, the Brownlee Brothers are from Yorkshire too. Another unsung hero of Yorkshire is Tetley Tea, which is almost as good as Yorkshire Tea.

If you fancy something a tad stronger then Yorkshire has lots of breweries including Black Sheep, John Smith’s and Kelham Island. Black Sheep actually make a beer called Emmerdale after the TV Soap that’s filmed in Yorkshire.

Music:

There are so many awesome bands from Yorkshire that no matter what your taste in music, you’ll easily find something to listen to. To name a few: The Human League, The Beautiful South, Arctic Monkeys, Def Leppard and Pulp. Fun Fact, I once saw Jarvis Cocker in Sainsbury’s. He was buying Panda Pop.

Movies:

There are so many quality Yorkshire films. The most famous are probably The Calendar Girls, The Full Monty and Brassed Off. Two of my personal favourites are Kes and Rita, Sue and Bob Too.

TV:

If you’ve not got time to watch a whole film then why not stick on an episode of Emmerdale, Heartbeat or Last of the Summer Wine. I’ve watched Emmerdale as long as I can remember.

Clothes:

To really celebrate Yorkshire Day why not don a flat cap. Bonus points if you can find a Whippet to accompany you for the day.

Culture & Leisure:

Yorkshire has a lot to offer in terms of museums, theatres and art. The Yorkshire Sculpture park is a great day out to admire the sculptures whilst breathing in some of the fresh Yorkshire air. Or go and watch a game of football. Did you know, there’s a rumour that Football as we know it today was created in Sheffield!

Speak in a Yorkshire accent:

Yorkshire has a dialect all of it’s own. The Yorkshire accent is highly recognisable but only locals will be able to pinpoint where in Yorkshire you’re from simply by hearing you speak. Time to start practising your Ey Ups and Eeh Bah Gum’s!

Have you ever been to Yorkshire?

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My First Weigh In

This week was my first week following the Weight Watchers Smart Points plan. I’d eaten like a bloody saint! Part of this was because it’s been so damn hot. All I’ve wanted to eat has been salad as it’s been too hot to cook. Anyway I had tracked every morsel of food that had passed my lips between last Thursday and this one.

I’d done a cheeky mid week weigh in only to find on my scales at home I’d lost a bit fat zero pounds! I was horrified and actually could have cried. I’d eaten like a saint and had nothing to show for it. So, when Thursday morning reared it’s head I was nervous. It turned out to be the hottest day of the week so far. I got home incredibly sweaty and feeling very blah and wondering if being stupidly hot would mean I weighed more or less. I’d also tried to just take sips of water after 4pm.

I had a quick shower and got to the class at 7. I waited nervously in the queue and then my turn came. I had a brief chat with my class leader, Claire and then stepped on to the dreaded scales. Amazingly and to my absolute astonishment I’d lost a rather whopping 6lbs! I was blown away and felt quite smug when Claire said “You’ll be getting your half a stone sticker next week”

I then went to browse the shop whilst other people were being weighed in. I bought two books. They’re pocket guides, one for eating out and one called “Shop” that has the points in for lots of branded products.

Afterwards I waited for the class to start. This week there were only 4 of us that stayed behind for the meeting. I’m guessing people don’t want to stay because of the hot weather? I imagine this will increase tenfold come the New Year!

weightloss tracker

I’ve Joined Weight Watchers

Way back when I could run, Alison, who I ran the Gosport Golden Mile with, told me about a special offer Hampshire County Council were offering. If you have a BMI of over 30 they would give you 3 months free Weight Watchers membership.

I’ve contemplated trying Weight Watchers and Slimming World before but the membership prices have always put me off. I always think to myself “I know what to do. I can do it for free” Truth is, I can’t! So I googled Hampshire Council Weight Watchers and was sent straight to the correct page.

I filled in the information and found out my BMI. I know I’m overweight, truth be told I know I’m obese but somehow seeing my BMI was 40 was still a bit of a shock. I don’t know why though, as I don’t know what it was before! Anyway I submitted my information and expected to find something out immediately. However, you have to wait for a letter to arrive with more information on.

A couple of days later I got my letter through telling me I had qualified and that they had booked me in to a class. I was a bit panicked by this as the class wasn’t the closest to me and it was on a Wednesday at 10am, when I’m at work. I gave them a call and was told that I could actually attend any class, so that was a relief. I found a class 0.3 miles away at 7pm on a Thursday. Much more suitable!

I eagerly awaited Thursday, then had to wait a whole other week until the following Thursday as I’d forgotten there was a staff meeting after work. Grr! I got dropped off at the class and felt nervous. I didn’t know what to expect. I got there and everyone was queuing so being British, I joined the queue, not evening knowing what I was queueing for! Turns out we were queuing for the class to open. You join the queue then as you file in, you’re weighed one by one.

One of the people helping there saw me holding my letter from the Council/Weight Watchers and asked me to come forward to fill in a registration form. I was then weighed (I’m sorry I’m not brave enough to post my starting weight yet) and told how many points I was going to be allowed each day and how many extra points I got as spares to be used through the week. I’ve been given 30 points a day and 42 extra points.

I stayed for the meeting after the weigh in which actually felt really awkward. There was only 6 of us there and 3 of the 6 were first timers! The leader, Claire, asked questions and it was like pulling teeth getting answers. It did get easier though the longer we were there, people warmed up and offered more answers. She also gave tips on how to survive summer events e.g. a wedding or a BBQ with friends.

At the end, Claire asked us newbies to stay behind as she’d show us some information videos and tell us about her personal journey. The was a bit surprised by her “weight loss journey” for some reason I expected the leaders to have all being attending Weight Watchers for years and having lost at least 5 stone. Claire joined about 6 months ago and has lost nearly a stone with 5lb still to go.

So how have I been finding it? I’ve been doing it since Thursday and it seems ok so far. I need to take my own lunch to work as eating at the work “salad bar” isn’t going to cut it. Everything is covered in mayo or just not actually healthy or salad!

What I am struggling to get my head round is the point system. Not the counting points, that bit is easy thanks to the app (which is very similar to MyFitnessPal) but the way they work. I always thought overnight oats were a healthy breakfast. They’re 5 points. If I want to add yoghurt to them then that’s free so long as its fat free and flavourless. So I added a muller light fat free vanilla yoghurt which is actually less calories than the fat free plain yoghurt. That takes it up to 8 points. However, I can cook a full English and that’s only 5 points?! So what they’re telling me is sausage, eggs, bacon and beans are healthier than oats and a fat free yoghurt?! Maybe I shouldn’t question it? It’s proven with all the success stories that Weight Watchers works as long as you stick to your points. It’s just a bit baffling when I’m used to counting calories. But maybe calories isn’t what it’s all about anymore? The points in a food are calculated using calories, sugar, saturated fats and protein. Which seems to be a more holistic way of looking at food. I don’t know, but as long as it works!

weight watchers starter pack

Have you ever used a weight loss programme before? Were you successful?

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