I’ve hit a bit of a blip recently when it comes to both my health and fitness. I don’t know why. The first thing that slipped was my exercise, and as a result, my eating habits slipped.
I find when I’m working out, I want to eat healthy. I want to fuel my body with the right foods to keep me strong and healthy. But when I stopped exercising, I feel like I hit the sabotage button on my eating habits too.
Once I’d had a week off exercising, it was then easier to not workout. So then another week slipped by, and another, and another. I wish I knew where this lull in motivation came from but truth be told there was nothing stopping me exercising…I just didn’t!
But, it’s time to hit the reboot button and today (Sunday) I’ve eaten well and restarted Liift 4 from Beachbody. Now, to keep it going! I’m really looking forward to some time off work at Christmas as I’ll really be able to knuckle down on the exercise then, the eating…well it is Christmas!
This weekend I was supposed to be partaking in a 6 hour race where you can run as many laps as you like in those 6 hours. However, being under trained and ill in the week leading up to it I decided to give it a miss. I had however signed up to volunteer at parkrun on the Saturday as it was supposed to be the race on the Sunday.
I’d been keeping an eye on the weather and it was supposed to be rainy and windy, luckily on Saturday morning it was actually just grey, a little drizzly and breezy. I wore my waterproof coat just in case though.
I got down to where the volunteers assemble and collected my barcode scanner and hi-viz. I chatted with various people including Anna who this week discovered a picture taken during the very first London Marathon of her Dad running over Tower Bridge. Neither of them had ever seen it before but Runners World shared it on their Instagram. Her Dad ran his Marathon PB in that race of 2hr 31m. Incredible!
I forgot how much I love barcode scanning. I like being able to greet people and have a very brief chat about their run. The amount of people who say it was a bad run is astounding, but to each of them I said “Hey you just ran 5K, now you get to go and relax and enjoy your weekend” No Negative Nellies round here!
One person thanked me “for always being so kind” which absolutely made my day. It’s always nice to feel appreciated.
When I got home and received my email to thank me for volunteering I realised it was my 180th time volunteering for parkrun. That’s made up of a mix of both parkrun and junior parkrun. I wanted to get to 200 by the end of this year but that’s going to be impossible now. I’ll make it a focus in 2020 though.
I was so excited for this weekend just gone. We’d booked a hotel so that we could do Billericay parkrun on the Saturday morning so that I could complete my unofficial Gavin & Stacey parkrun challenge. They really should make that a proper challenge!
However after arriving at the hotel on Friday afternoon I started to feel really queasy and not well. We still went ahead with going out for dinner as we had a booking and my husband still needed to eat. I ordered a bland mushroom risotto. I thought that was the blandest thing on the menu but when it arrived it was packed with garlic and I struggled to eat it without thinking I was going to bring it back. I ate very little and sat shivering and achingly cold in the boiling hot restaurant.
We went back to the hotel as soon as my husband had finished and I crawled in to bed. I watched a little of Children in Need whilst shivering under the duvet with a pounding head and the overwhelming feeling I was going to be sick. Thankfully I wasn’t, being sick is the worst thing!
I slept terribly as through the night I developed a heavy cold and get waking with a horribly dry mouth from having to breath through my mouth from having a blocked nose. I ached all over too. The alarm went off and I made the decision not to go to parkrun. I was devastated. Instead I had a couple of hours extra in bed and then we drove home.
Sunday I was supposed to be going to spectate at the Gosport Half Marathon which practically runs past my front door and which lots of my friends were running in. Sunday I was no better though and again had some extra time in bed.
I know you’re going to hate me for it, but to cheer myself up, I put up my Christmas tree and decorations. It started off badly though as my husband dropped a box of baubles and decorations. We lost about 50% of the box. Putting up the tree only took me an hour but it wiped me out for the rest of the day. It was worth it though!
What a write off of a weekend! Sorry for the moany post but I like to keep it real haha.
My local parkrun was cancelled on 2nd November due to the stormy weather that was battering parts of the UK. I was just about to leave the house that week but was a couple of minutes early so I thought I’d kill time by looking at Facebook. Lucky I did, otherwise I wouldn’t have seen it was cancelled! It was throwing it down with rain and winds of 55mph. I understand why it was cancelled but I’m pretty sure we’ve run in those conditions before!
So I didn’t run at all that week and headed back to parkrun on 9th November where the weather was much calmer. It was a chilly morning but sunny and blue skies with just a slight breeze. I was pleased to be back with Maria who had returned from working away.
We ran and chatted the whole way. We had a couple of walk breaks but not for too long and then I ran the last little section on my own as Maria had to make a pitstop at the bathroom. I’ve really let my running slide recently and it’s definitely starting to feel harder again. I look back at my PB time and really can not even imagine how I did it!
I finished with a time of 39:21 which I was pleasantly surprised about because I was way behind the 40 minute pacer! I try not to look at my watch when I’m running instead using the pacers as a rough guide but sometimes the pacers seem to be quite far off!
Do you ever use a pacer at parkrun?
Have you had to stop mid parkrun to use the bathroom?
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?