Monthly Archives: September 2019

A Jolly Lovely Friday

Most of my blog posts are about my workouts or runs. My blog is almost a diary of them, however, I wanted to document a lovely day I had, just for the memories really.

I don’t work Fridays so I got up early and completed two of the Transform:20 workouts from the Beachbody subscription I have. If you’ve not heard of Beachbody, I did a post about it HERE

Afterwards I went and got ready because I was going out for breakfast with Nicky, a friend from work and her partner Kieran. It was Nicky’s Birthday the following day so I took along her present with me. She’s a big Panda bear fan so I bought her a soft and cosy blanket covered in Pandas!

We went for breakfast at The Tenth Hole, which is a tea room in Southsea. Despite weighing up the options for breakfast, we all decided to order the Billy’s Breakfast Burger.

Breakfast

Afterwards I had a slice of the Mint Aero cheesecake…but actually forgot to take a picture! Oops! I also took home a slice of Red Velvet Rocky Road for the Husband and I to have that evening. It was lovely just being in good company and having a natter about anything and everything.

After the dropped me off home I met up with Maria and we went and grabbed a coffee at Leon’s on the seafront. However, there was a plague of Cabbage Flea Beetles. They were everywhere jumping all over the table and us so we decided to move on and go for a walk. The bugs weren’t as bad walking along at least but they were definitely still a pain. We actually ended up walking about 4 miles as we chatted and caught up on life.

I got back home around 5pm, still full from breakfast and worn out! It was a really lovely day though with incredible company.

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BigMugOfTea Reads – Little Duck Pond Cafe Series

Bigmugoftea reads

Since reading The Cornish Cream Tea Bus I’ve now moved on to a new series of books called The Little Duck Pond Café. There are currently 7 books in the series with another due out in December. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the series.

The Little Duck Pond Cafe

The series starts with Spring at the Little Duck Pond Café where Ellie discovers and eventually becomes the owner of The Little Duck Pond Cafe. The series is based around the café in the village of Sunnybrook. Ellie meets new friends when she arrives in Sunnybrook and in turn, as the series progresses, her friends are the focus of each book. They’ve been a really light and easy read and I’ve whizzed through them. I didn’t even care that I was reading the Winter and Christmas books in Summer. The characters in the books are all really relatable and likeable, of course they all come with their turmoil which is always solved by the end of the book.

The series is definitely worth a read if you enjoy your books light and easy to follow. If you’re a member of Kindle Unlimited like I am, then these books are free.

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Completing Chapter 1 of Transform:20

I’m now 2 weeks into the Transform:20 workout program on Beachbody. If you’ve never heard of Beachbody, its kind of like a Netflix of workouts!

The Transform:20 program is 6 days a week for 6 weeks. It’s split in to 3 chapters: Commit, Climb, Conquer. I’ve just completed the first chapter Commit. It’s only 20 minutes a day and so far I’ve found this to be really manageable. Everyone has 20 minutes in their day to spare. The website says:

“After five minutes, you’ll be breathing hard. At 10 minutes, you’ll be sweating and your muscles will be burning. At 15 minutes, you’ll be watching the clock. And by minute 20, you’ll be done, exhausted, and proud of yourself”

This is very true. I’ve been amazed how knackered I am and how much sweat is pouring from me after just 20 minutes!

The program is step based. I have a Reebok step and I used it for the first couple of workouts but I’ve now come off of it as it was too hard with the step and I was worried about losing form and injuring myself. The steps they use on the workouts are ones designed for the workout and they’re much lower than mine is even on its lowest setting. However, even without the step I am still working hard and burning calories!

I’m burning around 200-250 calories in the 20 minute workouts. With the step it was around 300 calories but I just felt it was too risky so I’m happy with the decision I’ve made. I’m not willing to risk another injury.

Thankfully on the workouts you can have a split screen with someone doing modified versions of the exercises to make them a little easier. I have the split screen on during all my workouts and use the modifier if I need it. I’m surprised by how little I have been needing it though.

The workout is very leg based and my legs ached every day at first but I seem to be past that now. There are lots of burpee and plank style exercises too and these are the ones I struggle with the most. My shoulders, wrists and core are so weak, so as you can imagine, this makes these exercises difficult. However, after the two weeks I have seen a very slight improvement so hopefully this will continue as I progress through the rest of the program.

I’m pleased I’ve accomplished working out every day for 2 weeks and more importantly, I’m pleased that I’m still enjoying it. With each workout being a completely different workout it keeps it fresh.

So far, so good!

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Finally a parkRUN!

On Saturday 7th September I’d arranged to run at parkrun with Rachel. After meeting with Rachel the other day (In this post) We both signed up to Beachbody and agreed to do 100 days of Happiness with each other, documenting our progress on Instagram. Saturday was our first day to get together to have a bit of a chat about how it’s been.

We started off chatting to various people. Rachel and I know so many people at parkrun now. Once we set off we were chatting about the programmes we are following. I’m following the Transform: 20 program and Rachel is doing one called Liift 4.

Because we were chatting the time passed by really easily. I was finally able to run the whole thing again after my injury. It really helped having someone to talk to the whole way, my mind being focussed on something else and luckily the weather was cooler too.

I felt so accomplished by the end and wondered if my daily workouts that I’m following had anything to do with it too? I don’t know if a week is enough to make a difference but hopefully it will over time.

Do you cross train to compliment your running?

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Beachbody’s Transform:20 Day 1

Beachbody Logo

Don’t worry, I’m not going to do these updates daily! I’ll probably just update every now and then. But on 1st September, I completed day 1.

Guys, I’m not being dramatic here, but honest to god I felt like I was going to die! It was so hard and fast and intense!

It’s all step based but isn’t like the old step aerobics classes you used to see. I have a step at home but it’s higher than the one they use on the video, that’s possibly one of the reasons it felt so hard. Honestly, usually I think I’m a pretty fit person but this made me feel really unfit! I hope I get used to the pace over time. After 15 minutes I’d had enough but figured since there was only another 5 minutes left I’d keep going.

I felt amazing after I’d completed it and caught my breath but lord it was hard work! I’m looking forward to making progress with this though, if I can handle it haha.

Have you ever done a beachbody workout?

Have you ever done a step workout?

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More Running Than Walking

The last day of August was a Saturday, which can only mean one thing, parkrun day!

I’d seen on the Facebook page of my running club that they were encouraging everyone to wear their club tops to run in on Saturday. Not for any particular reason, but just because, naturally I obliged.

I’m a bit all over with my running. I’ve done a continuous 2 mile run and a variety of run/walks but I wasn’t sure what to do on the day so decided to wing it. I’d run as much as I could and walk when I needed to.

I set off and run a little bit with Gavin from my running club. He’d got penned in with his buggy at the back so was waiting for the crowd to thin out a little before making a break for it. After he left me Pete caught up with me and we ran for a short while together. He was sandwiching his parkrun in the middle of a long run. He’s training for Ironman Wales so his tapering run that he was doing was still a whopping 10 miles!

After he too had left me I took my first walk break. I was just over a mile in. I only walked for a minute and then continued. As I continued I only took a couple more walk breaks which I was pleased about. After we hit the turnaround point, there’s over a mile to the next turnaround point, and there was a glorious cool breeze that allowed me to run quite comfortably without overheating which pleased me enormously.

For the duration of the run I could see the 40 minute pacer ahead of me. At some points he was closer to me and at other points he seemed much further away. I try not to look at my watch whilst I’m running but gauged my finish time to be around 43-45 minutes given the distance between us at the end. As I was on the final section the pacer was cheering people in to the funnel and I figured he must have finished and come back round to cheer others on so as I entered the funnel and stopped my watch I was surprised to see a 39 at the beginning. Turns out the pacer had gone too fast and then walked through the funnel when he hit the 40 minute mark!

My official time came through and I finished in 39:20. I looked at my watch at the start and saw it had taken me 22 seconds to cross the start line so actually it should have had 38 at the beginning.

Does it take you long to get over the start line at your local parkrun?

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I’ve Signed Up To Beachbody

Beachbody Logo

I’ve been thinking for a while now that I need more structure to my workouts. At the minute I pick a random one from YouTube or do a random DVD with no real continuity or structure.

Someone I follow on Instagram is a Beachbody ambassador and the other day she posted a Transformation Tuesday picture and it was amazing. She has really toned up between the two pictures.

I started looking in to it and some of the workouts. I’d actually heard of a couple of them and not realised they were part of Beachbody. When I was looking I couldn’t help but wonder “Yeah this looks great but how much does it set you back?” I was pleasantly surprised to see it was £99 for the year and there are over 1100 workouts. It works out at £8.25 which is less than most gym memberships!

I’ve signed up and decided the first program I want to complete is Transform: 20. All of the workouts are 20 minutes long and you do them 6 days a week for 6 weeks. The website says:

“After five minutes, you’ll be breathing hard. At 10 minutes, you’ll be sweating and your muscles will be burning. At 15 minutes, you’ll be watching the clock. And by minute 20, you’ll be done, exhausted, and proud of yourself”

Let’s see if it turns out to be true!

 

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A Stomping Good Walk

On the last Friday in August I went for a walk for my exercise. I got up in the morning and weighed. I was angry and upset. I’ve put weight on. Not a huge amount but enough to make me realise I’ve undone some of the hard work I’ve put in.

I set off from home for my walk without really having a plan. I just needed to get out, clear my head and when I’d stomped off the anger, have a good think about what I was going to do.

I took the long way to the beach and walked down the beach path towards the Browndown military area. I was fast walking to try and stomp away the frustration I was feeling. I got to the gate on the beach path where the Browndown area begins. As it’s a military area, you can’t go in if the red flag is flying. As the flag wasn’t up I thought I’d go in. My plan was to sit on the beach there as I figured it’d be quiet but actually I ended up discovering a path not covered in shingle meaning I could continue to walk fairly easily (Have you ever tried walking on deep shingle? Absolute nightmare)

The path was quite secluded and I know it sounds a bit dramatic but I had a little cry. I was just angry that I’d let myself put on weight after all my hard work over the past year. I also thought how much I want to run that path too one day. I love discovering new places to run. I’ve looked on google maps and that path would take me right through to Stokes Bay.

I turned around after walking 1.5 miles so walking home rounded it up to a nice 3 miler. I actually felt a lot better for getting out, further proof that being outdoors and active is good for my mental heath.

I snapped a couple of pictures whilst I was out. I’m sure these flowers are weeds or some kind of wildflower maybe but they were pretty and much more vibrant than they look in the picture.

flowers

And of course I had to snap a selfie

By the time I got home, I thankfully, felt a lot better and had done a lot of thinking.

That afternoon I went and met Rachel for a coffee. Rachel is one of the first people I met when I moved to the South Coast. She was instrumental in the setting up of my local parkrun. She’s one of my longest standing friends. We had a good natter. What I love about Rachel is she just gets it and gets me. We chatted about our health, our fitness, friendships and social media. It was a really lovely couple of hours.

Do you find being outdoors helps you?

 

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Earning the National Parks Award

I track my workouts using my Apple Watch. Occasionally it will pop up with an award to earn. These are usually related to a National day e.g. International Yoga Day

Saturday 25th August was National Parks Day. I’d already decided to give parkrun a miss. I’ve been feeling a bit run down lately. Despite getting my 8 hours (at least) a night, I’m waking up exhausted so with the long weekend upon us, I decided to opt for a few extra hours in bed.

I then did a treadmill run. To earn the award you had to complete 3 miles so that set my target nicely. As it was warm I decided to run/walk on the treadmill rather than just run. I opted for a 3 minute run followed by a 1 minute walk.

When I got going it soon warmed up in the garage where my treadmill is. My exercise bike (also in the garage) tells you the temperature and it was a rather warm 25c in there with absolutely no breeze. I got really hot! I managed 2 miles then had to put my running time down to 2 minutes and then eventually 1 minute.

When I’d finished, despite feeling ok on the treadmill I felt a bit unwell. I think it was just due to the heat because when I went and laid down under the fan in the living room and cooled off I soon felt fine again. Definitely confirmed (again) for me how much I’m not made for heat!

National Park Award

The National Park Award

Do you like treadmill running?

Which is your favourite National Park?

 

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I Discovered A New YouTube Workout Channel

Recently whilst wasting time on Instagram (please say it’s not just me) I came across an Instagram feed showing different workouts. They’re mainly bodyweight/no equipment workouts. These are the ones I’m terrible at. I am not strong when it comes to these types of exercises. After a bit of looking and watching I saw they had a YouTube channel so thought I’d give one of their workouts a go.

The YouTube channel is called Mr and Mrs Muscle. I opted for the Low Impact HIIT workout. I did Day 1, 2 and 3 as they were only 15 minutes each. The moves were simple and easy to follow. I kind of liked that on the videos there is no talking, just music. This means you’re not listening to the same narrative over and over if you repeat them. It’s always a bit of an eye roll moment when you can quote the workout DVD you’re following.

I completed the 3 workouts and felt ah-may-zing! I felt really energised and strong afterwards. Which is great, and I need to remember that feeling as for the next 4 days I had the worst doms! Now I know why it’s split in to days! You’re not meant to do 3 days worth all at once! The moves were really simple to follow though (It does include modifications if you need them) but clearly effective with how much my muscles ached after! There’s 30 days worth of workouts so I’ll try and work my way through them all.

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