Category Archives: Fitness

Zumba!

On Sunday Storm Freya was hitting the UK and bringing with her horrendous winds! I wanted to get some exercise in but was a bit unsure about what to do. As I’ve been thinking about trying a local Zumba class, I decided to pull out an old Zumba Fitness DVD.

Now, let me tell you, I have absolutely zero rhythm and co-ordination. I’m not a natural dancer at all. But I thought, how hard can it be? The answer was, quite hard actually! I didn’t have too much of a problem sort of following them on the DVD but I definitely wasn’t doing all the same moves as them! It’s all in the hips for them yet I just couldn’t make my body do the same thing. But it was pretty fun. I enjoyed it and was pretty pleased to see I’d burnt over 600 calories!

On the Wednesday I decided to pull on my big girl pants and go to a local Zumba class on my own. It’s only a 5 minute walk from mine and starts at 7.30 meaning I didn’t have to rush home from work and get changed quite as much as I do when something starts at 7pm. I have to admit though, I did feel a bit nervous, even though I was looking forward to trying it.

When I got there my friend Claire was there from parkrun so that immediately put me at ease. A little later another friend from parkrun arrived so I was in good company at least! The instructor also surprised me by saying that as this was my first class I could have it for free!

The class started and despite wanting to hide at the back I was actually in the centre of the middle row. (There were 3 rows) As the class started it was different from the DVD and felt like a mix of good old aerobics and a few of the moves from the DVD.

The instructor was really upbeat and friendly. Much better than when I tried the Clubbercise class! (You can read about that here) She gave you the heads up on what direction was next, counted etc. She also went wrong a couple of times which definitely helped put me at ease as I went wrong lots of times haha.

After each song there was a quick breather and I had to keep grabbing a drink of water! I finished my drink about 40 minutes in so next time I definitely need to take a bigger bottle!

At the end I was pleasantly surprised to see I’d burnt almost 600 calories. With the walk there and back it probably went to over 600 calories. I left feeling great! Guess that’s those endorphins they talk about. I can’t wait to go back!

Post Zumba Glow

Post Zumba Glow

Have you ever tried a Zumba class?

Do you go to any group exercise classes?

Tagged

What Do You Think About When Running?

On Monday evening when I finished work I spoke to a friend on my way home. She’s having a really hard time of it. She has a few health problems going on, which is affecting her ability to work, which in turn is making her stressed, which is then affecting her mental health, which then makes her health worse and so the cycle goes on.

When I finished speaking to her I went for my evening run. I’d a simple out and back route planned so as I ran I was just able to let my mind drift and not have to worry about taking a left turn here or there etc. My mind was focussed so much on my friend. It makes me wish I had a magic wand and could just magic everything away for her. It seems like a childish and simple wish. It’s so hard though when there’s really not a lot  you can do other than listen and try and say the right things. Her health problems are currently undiagnosed. The doctors are unsure about what it is but are trying to find it with different tests etc. I completely understand the frustrations she’s feeling, especially since she’s been like this since early December. Whilst speaking to her I diplomatically tried to tell her that drinking to forget her problems also won’t help anything.

Selfishly it made me thankful that on the whole I’m pretty healthy (even though I’m now on my 6th cold since Christmas). On the whole I’m a naturally chirpy person, obviously I have down days like anyone does but they’re rare. And I’m thankful that I don’t see alcohol as a medicine. I like a tipple but I barely drink alcohol. It did make me realise though how much of a therapy running can be. I never used to think I ran for “head space” until I couldn’t run last year. Then I realised I probably did. But on Monday evening I realised I definitely did. It gave me the time to think over things and although I’m not able to magic away my friend’s problems I know I’m being as supportive as I can be and she appreciates that.

Obligatory post run selfie. Wishing I was as magic as a unicorn to make problems vanish.

Selfie

Do you run for head space?

Tagged

I Tried A New Exercise Class. It Was Awful!

When it comes to exercise I like trying new things. That’s why I enjoy using the PopSugar Fitness Channel on YouTube. There are so many different types of workouts on there. I follow lots of people who enjoy fitness on social media too and I’m always interested to see results from classes they’ve attended. One that kept popping up was a class called Clubbercise.

According to their website Clubbercise brings a night out to your workout. It’s a “fun, easy to follow dance workout with rave glow sticks and disco lights” Sounds pretty fun right? I thought so too. I convinced a friend to come with me and on Monday we turned up for our first class. We walked in to a darkened hall with disco lights going round the room. We signed the health questionnaire and picked up our glowsticks. I was really looking forward to it. Who doesn’t love dancing around to a bit of cheesy pop?

The instructor turned on the music and began to do the moves on the stage. She was dressed all in black and it was pretty hard to see her properly in the darkened room. As we continued I soon realised the instructor wasn’t speaking. I’ve done a few exercise classes/exercise DVDs in my time and expected her to at least be counting, or saying what the next move was but she was silent. Then half way through each song she would stop and go over to the laptop, I presume to line up the next track. Luckily the woman directly in front of me knew all the moves (and had some serious rhythm) so I was able to carry on by copying her but I’m not sure what those behind did each time.

I mentioned to my friend how strange it all seemed and she agreed. As the class progressed she continually stopped halfway through to use the laptop and even started a song and disappeared off the stage to use the toilet. Then she spoke…and what did she say? “Just copy these guys (gesturing to the front couple of rows) if you want the proper moves. I’m just doing the modifications because I’m lazy”

You’re lazy?! Really glad I gave you £5 for this shambles then! I was clock watching from 20 minutes in because it was so ridiculous. Usually you find time passes quicker than you expected in a class but not this one. There was the offer to do another hour for another £2 as there is no class the week after. We politely declined! I’d barely broken a sweat and I didn’t expect that to change by putting up with another hour!

When we left and got in the car I said to my friend “Well that was a load of rubbish!” To which she replied “Oh thank god, I was expecting you to want to come back so I’ve spent most of the class thinking up excuses of why I couldn’t”

Have you ever been to a rubbish exercise class?

Have you ever tried Clubbercise and had a better experience than the one I had?

Tagged

Barry Island parkrun

A kind of unofficially have set myself the goal of trying to do one tourism parkrun a month. I’ve set it unofficially because you never know what’s going to crop up so I might not always succeed with this goal. However, in January, I nailed it.

I’ve been wanting to do the unofficial Gavin & Stacey parkrun challenge by doing Barry Island parkrun and Billericay parkrun since I read the story about the people of Billericay parkrun travelling to Barry Island when their parkrun was cancelled for Bonfire Night. The news article is HERE if you want to read it.

So on Friday 11th January we drove up to South Wales. I was apprehensive about it all week as I’d been full of cold, luckily it seemed to be subsiding by the Friday so I was pretty confident I could still run it. When we arrived at our hotel we got the friendliest welcome from the two ladies on reception who asked us what had brought us to Wales. When we told them they told us about them filming near one of their houses and how she could never get home as everyone had to wait whilst they finished filming in the street.

After dropping off our bags in the room we walked to Barry Island promenade. Our hotel was ideally placed at only a 10 minute walk away. When we got there I started thinking about where the parkrun course might be. I’d looked at their course page so I knew where it started but that was it. I presumed it was simply along the prom like my local parkrun is but looking from one end to the other I realised it probably wasn’t as it was such a short distance. After having a look around we went back to the hotel and I looked at the course and soon realised it was going to be a hilly run as you go up on to the cliff tops! Oops! I was not expecting hills.

The next morning we got up and headed out to the parkrun. I’d dropped the team an email to ask if there was somewhere I could leave a jacket and they gave us a shoutout in the runners brief which was nice. The run starts under a covered area of prom, however with 208 runners we did spill out of the uncovered area, thankfully it was only raining lightly.

We were soon underway and as I was running on my own (my husband was running his own parkrun) I hoped there would be people around me so I could just follow the person in front! We ran from the covered area of the prom towards Marco’s Café and the square where Gavin meets up with Stacey when she comes back from London. We then turned right and began to climb, we followed a path that takes you up on to a bridge over the prom and then carried on climbing before heading down again, you then ran quite close to the edge of the cliff tops along a flat section before turning and heading up a very steep but short stretch. There was a marshal at the top of there giving out so much encouragement, I’m sure I’d have walked the second time if he’d not have been there. You then ran back along the path before heading back down along the prom to the covered section where you did a U-turn and did the whole thing again. I managed to run the whole thing which I really wasn’t expecting. I was very pleased though!

Elevation

I finished with a time of 38:38, which is only a minute and a half outside of my PB at my local pancake flat course! This actually gave me hope for the hilly Romsey 5 mile race I have coming up in June.

Unfortunately as check out was 12, we didn’t get chance to go to Marco’s Café for a post parkrun breakfast as we still had to get back, showered and packed up.

I added this photo of me to my social media and tagged parkrun. Much to my surprise they used it on all their social media and in the newsletter for the following week! parkrun fame!

Barry Island parkrun

Did you watch Gavin & Stacey?

Tagged , ,

First parkrun of 2019

There was a bit of chatter before this parkrun on the old Facebook. People were moaning about how cold it was meant to be (2c) however this was getting towards my preferred running temperature. I like it when it’s freezing to -2. I actually got tagged online a couple of times with people saying “Your weather is finally here”

Anyway I was finally feeling better after being ill over New Year so it was time to resume exercise and run a parkrun. I ran this parkrun alone. I’m sure I’ve said this before but when I run alone it means I can concentrate on my breathing a bit better. I tend to struggle getting my breathing right more than anything else.

The start of my local parkrun is almost always congested. Even more so with it being the New Year. It takes a good 20 seconds or so before I’m even moving let alone running. As I ran towards the first turn around point I didn’t really focus on much other than dodging benches and people! Sometimes people dash off and then you’re stuck behind them as they start to walk but you can’t get round as the faster runners have started to come the other way. It’s a bit frustrating but sometimes helps me reign it in a bit.

As we turned around at the turn around point the field really starts to stretch out and you have that little bit more space. I looked over the Solent towards the Isle of Wight and thought how lucky we are to have that view to distract us and appreciate. I also thought, somewhere on that island they’re doing parkrun too! I definitely need to get myself over there to run the parkrun there.

Running parkrun

I was soon too hot in my long sleeved running top and regretted wearing it. I rolled up my sleeves to try and cool down a bit but it didn’t really help! As the run progressed I slowly started picking off a few people. There were two women just ahead of me, who every time I approached them, would speed off before resorting to walking again until I caught them up again. At one point they hadn’t noticed me and when I overtook them they both instantly sprinted in to action haha. I hope I helped them achieve a good time!

As I was coming in to finish I had a sneaky look at my watch and thought I might just be able to beat my PB time. I finished in 37:51! I knocked 8 seconds off my Christmas Day PB which I was pleased about, especially after being ill.

post parkrun selfie

I thought I’d compare my times again from the same week in 2018 vs 2019, just to show myself how much I’ve progressed really.

2018 – 45:20

2019 – 37:51

Does your local parkrun have something unique to offer?

 

Tagged , , ,

Last Breakfast Club of 2018

On 30th January 2018 I went to the last Breakfast Club of 2018 with Honor. If you’ve not read a post of mine about the Breakfast Club before it’s basically a group of runners who run 30 minutes out and 30 minutes back at their own pace. Then you eat breakfast afterwards.

I’m not very good with the roads of Gosport, luckily Honor is! We took a meandering route that started along the prom, through the golf course and then off through the streets of Gosport to loop us back to the café where we start. When you look at the map it actually doesn’t look that meandering but half the time I had no clue where we were!

map

We chatted about our Christmases, parkrun and plans for the New Year double. The run started off really well and I was keeping up a good pace. It never feels like an hour of running at Breakfast Club as I’m so busy chatting. As we were on the return leg of the run I was telling Honor about the Davina DVD and not being able to lift my arms above my head. I then started feeling a bit odd. As we finished though I just put it down to running 4.8 miles, my longest run in a long time, and just needing breakfast and coffee. Had I have been feeling ok I’d have been tempted to round that 4.8 miles up to 5!

Breakfast Club

After I got home I still didn’t feel right so went for a hot bath to try and warm up and see if that’s what the problem was, but after not very long I had to get out as despite being in a red hot bath I was so uncomfortably cold and the water felt like it was making it worse!

Remember last year when I wrote my post: How Not To Start 2018 well the next few days panned out in exactly the same way. I don’t know what it was but I seemed to have some sort of virus that made me horribly ill, meaning once again, I missed the parkrun New Years Day double. I was absolutely gutted. I didn’t feel human again until 2nd January, just in time to go back to work on the 3rd! I have no idea what’s going wrong for me over Christmas that makes me ill for New Year! So strange! I’m determined not to get ill next year though. Two New Years ruined by illness is enough for me!

Have you had a special occasion ruined by illness?

Tagged ,

Davina: Power Box & Tone

Firstly I’ll start this post by saying I bought the Davina DVD with my own money. I am certainly not one of these bloggers lucky enough to be sent stuff for free.

Davina DVD

You know what I love about Christmas, knowing the new Davina DVD will shortly follow. I like Davina workout DVDs. I own most of them, so obviously had to buy her new one.

The DVD, like many of Davina’s, is broken down in to sections so you can decide to do one, a few or them all. As I had time I decided to do them all. At the start is a little talk by Davina about how to punch properly when doing the DVD. At first I was a bit like “Pffft whatever” but actually, following her instructions actually felt like I was exercising more.

There’s lots of punching, upper cuts, jabs etc which is to be expected given the name of the DVD. Because I did all of the DVD I did feel like I repeated a lot of the same moves over and over. With this is mind, perhaps just doing a few of the sections is better but if you have more time do all of it? In between the punches there are quick blasts of cardio to keep your heart rate up too which is good and, much to my surprise, I was able to complete these for the allotted time!

The DVD has an ab section which I was apprehensive about. My core is so weak and I know it’s something I should work on but never seem to get round to it. What I liked about Davina’s old DVDs with Jackie and Mark is that Jackie would always show you a modification for those new to exercising. I usually need these on a core section but I managed to get through all of this one so that was a pleasant surprise.

I finished the DVD feeling pretty good. I didn’t feel fatigued by it, instead I felt energized but like I’d done a good workout. My Apple Watch told me I’d burnt 451 active calories and 591 in total. However, how I felt the next day is a whole other story. My abs ached, you know when you can’t laugh without being in pain? That was me. And my arms! I couldn’t lift my arms above my head the next day. It was killer. I attributed this to the little speech about how to punch properly at the beginning of the workout.

All in all this is an excellent DVD, I’ve yet to pluck up the courage to do it again though haha

Apple Health Screenshot

Have you ever done a Davina workout?

Tagged ,

Sunrise Run

I feel like I start every blog with this: I’m so behind on blogging, but it’s true. I am behind. So, this is going back to a run on 27th December.

I headed out for an early morning run as I wanted to do a Christmas Light/Sunrise Run. I quite like running on my own in a morning. I prefer it to running on my own in an evening. My plan was to head out do a 30 minute run. I don’t know why but if I’m just going out for a run I always choose 30 minutes rather than a distance. Perhaps because 30 minutes closes the exercise ring on my Apple watch?

I soon realised when I set off no one seemed to have their Christmas lights on! A bit annoying but I did see a huge inflatable snowman on someone’s shed roof that looked like he was waving in the wind. That kept me amused for a short while.

I weaved through the residential streets near where I live before dropping down on to the promenade. I made sure I ran facing East which was also my way back home so that worked out well. The thing with running on your own is, you can stop to take photographs without annoying anyone. I snapped a couple of shots and carried on towards home. I was on 2.4X by the time I got home so I ran past home to make it up to 2.5 miles. I do this a lot!

sunrise

When do you prefer to run?

Do you end up running past your house to end on a particular distance?

Tagged , ,

6am Run Club

Back to catching up with my posts! On 14th December I was going out with friends for breakfast at 8am. I knew that if I didn’t run before I went out then I’d probably not run at all that day. So I joined the 6am Run Club!

I only wanted to do half an hour which usually equates to about 2 miles. I’ve only run that early once before. I made sure I wore my Hi-Viz and off I went. I ran down the High Street. For some reason I like running down there when all the shops are closed and it’s just me plodding along. Strangely though I saw two people that morning. One was washing the windows of one of the restaurants. I presume he works there. He gave me a friendly “Morning!” and nod. The next person I saw was fiddling with a letter box to one of the flats above the shops. I made them jump as I passed them then they walked away. Odd!

I continued down the High Street and then weaved around a couple of streets before starting to head back home. Quite a few people had their Christmas lights up outside as it was halfway through December so it was nice to look at those as I ran. I keep forgetting I’m a bit quicker now as my 2 miles actually only took me 24 minutes! Mile 1 was an 11:45min/mile! I don’t pull those out of the bag too often but it seems I do at 6am! Anyway I got back home, jumped in the shower and just had time for a cuppa before my friend picked me up at 8am.

Post Run Selfie

The plan was to go to our friend’s house. She’s currently off work on maternity leave so we went and met her beautiful baby, her very excitable dog and had a cuppa before heading to The Tenth Hole for breakfast. On the way there we decided to go and do some Christmas shopping afterwards in Portsmouth. As I’d planned to have an intentional day off WW, for breakfast I had Eggy Bread. On the menu it says it comes with a choice of bacon or banana but I chanced it and asked if I could have both and they said yes! I then had a piece of their banoffee pie which is my favourite from there.

Molly the Dog

Banoffee Pie

Afterwards we headed in to Portsmouth and had a wander round the shops. I bought some Reindeer Christmas bedding and a couple of presents for people. I also treated myself to some new goodies from The Body Shop. I got the Peppermint Candy Cane Body Butter and Hand Cream. Both of which smell absolutely unreal! When we finished we headed back home and I had to rush to the local little Boots store to pick up a click and collect parcel I’d had sent there. I thought they closed at 5pm but actually I needn’t have rushed, they actually closed at 5.30pm! It was a lovely day with friends. I thought I’d only be out an hour or two but actually we were out  all day!

Christmas Tree

Do you ever run super early?

Tagged

My Running Goals for 2019

2019 Running Goals

At the end of 2017 I set my Running Goals for 2018. There were 4 quite clear goals but, as regular readers will know, I failed on the majority of them. It was out of my hands. I got an injury that had the physio puzzled. In the end the advice was just rest and hope it goes away. Thankfully 5 months later it did. So here we are at the end of 2018 where I’ve been able to pick up running again from October. In a weird way I’m thankful my injury was in the summer so I didn’t have to run through the heat wave!

And so my goals, well my goal for 2019, is simple. I want to just run. Run because I can, run for pleasure, run for the joy of running. No time goals, no distance goals, no races entered (apart from one) just me, plodding along and seeing how it goes. It’s always nicer to run faster or run for a greater distance but at the minute I’m happy just doing what I’m doing and having everything stay in working order.

Fingers crossed for me.

Have you thought about your running goals for next year?

Do you set New Years Resolutions? 

Tagged , ,