An unrecorded run(so did it really happen?)

Wednesday was a lovely day.

I had originally booked some study leave. It was cancelled and for various reasons I ended up working from home. It was lovely and I got quite a lot done, with some uninterrupted P&Q. Wednesday afternoon is supposed to be my half day, so I decided that I would go for a run. It was a balmy 11*C and dry so off I went.

When I went to put on my sports watch, the battery was flat so I left it at home, so no record, did it really happen?  Can you trust me to tell the truth?

On moving into the village, I was given strict orders from the son not to do anything embarrassing like running near his school. Being a considerate mum I took his wishes into account and turned out of the village.  This took me down hill to a bridge over a river then uphill again, along a narrow pavement next to an old stone wall. It reminded me of my old runs in Pleasington. ‘Just like home’ I thought . ‘Oh – this is home now!’

I just ran a loop out to Shire lane and back into the village, probably about 1.5 miles. This is the view from shire lane, which no doubt inspired Tolkien to write about ‘the shire’ in Lord of the Rings.

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Despite my best efforts to preserve my sons dignity I was spotted by one of the mums from school who texted me. She actually used the words ‘out running’ so that’s all the evidence I need ! she may have just been too polite or didn’t have time to type the longer and more accurate phrase ‘ I saw you outdoors dressed in running appropriate clothing’!

Wednesday night I went to yoga. It’s really good, and the class teacher, Jo is brilliant. She has the ability to put into words exactly what she needs you to do in a way that you understand to get you into the correct position. So when we did a plank I’m sure that I was in the right position, whereas if I was doing it at home I’d probably have my bum sticking up in the air  – but I could only hold it for about 5 seconds! We also did some positions and balances that I have never done before so that was interesting to do things that I never thought got that I would be able to do.

I like yoga, because as an un sporty and unfit person, it gives me a better body awareness, something that doesn’t come naturally to me. So by learning good position, like learning exactly what a good plank position feels like, if I ever find myself going back to gym classes I will be in a better place for making progress without injury. And it’s great that it proceeds at a nice slow pace – time to think about what you are doing!

Despite continued forecasts for snow, there are signs of spring being on the way. Here is a pretty picture of some snowdrops.

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Posted in balance, change, fitness, habits, hills, middle aged women, running, slow run, Uncategorized, work life balence, working mum, yoga | 10 Comments

Food

Sometimes I eat badly.

Today

1  buttered toast for breakfast. It was a tiny loaf so I had 4 pieces instead of 2

2 busy clinic so I managed to avoid food until lunchtime. I’d taken a packed lunch – chicken casserole with rice. But I was still hungry. Someone had a leaving lunch last week so in the office there was a pile of bags of crisps and biscuits etc so a Cadbury’s mini roll made its way into my mouth.

3 afternoon clinic. It went on a bit. One of the nurses had brought in some ‘healthy fruit snacks’. Imagine a fig roll but 4x the size? Yup I ate one.

4 back up to the office. I filled myself  a paper cup full of onion rings (the crispy snack). The reason for filling up a paper cup was to stop me eating the family size bag… Then I had a slice of Mr Kipling’s angel cake.

5 drove home. Made diner for hubs and myself – more of the chicken casserole and some quinoa. But I was still hungry so  a glass of wine and a large helping of potato crisps.

And so to bed.

To be honest, it doesn’t look quite so bad written down. But I can see why I’m not losing weight…..!

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More snow!

5EC42E58-9D80-44D5-9EE8-F1545B82311ASeriously what is going on? We live in the warm wet northwest: our weather is rain, rain and more rain. Sun and /or snow is what you go on holiday for! Alas, no holiday today!

The photo was 6:30 am today. The snow caused havoc and yet it was all gone by 2pm.  It hasn’t really affected my exercise schedule as I do so little anyway, so I am pleased to report;

1. A 2mile sunrise run on Tuesday. No pictures because it was raining and I didn’t see any sun! It was surprisingly silent rain. Once I stepped outside and got wet I realised that it was raining- from inside it just looked misty! It was too much trouble to go back inside for a waterproof – it might have finished the run attempt- so I just carried on.

2 Wednesday night yoga. It was a ‘yin’ session which works on connective tissues rather than muscles. Basically you get into a position and hold it for a few minutes. The idea is not to hold the position, but to relax into it and breathe into the discomfort. Oh yes, those positions tend to stretch certain areas!

Today was snowy so hoping for an early night tonight and another early run tomorrow.

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Weather- of course!

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So we’ve had a bit of bad weather in the UK. The people in TV land seem to think that we’ve all been huddling up cosy and warm and need 24 hour weather news and have cancelled usual programming in favour of ‘specials’ devoted to the snow. If you have been out and about in it, you don’t really want to watch a load of TV about it!

When I came out of theatre on Thursday (being in an operating theatre is like being in a time warp, no windows, always the same light and temperature, day or night) much of the snow had melted or been moved, but I was surprised to see icicles! I’ve never seen them in real life before!!! So I took a picture – but it isn’t a patch on Gareth s! Visit his blog on Gareth blue green gold grey to see some spectacular ones!

We have also had snow drifts 6 ft high, again all new to me in my temperate suburban life!

Has it affected my exercise regime? Well I missed my yoga class on Wednesday because I had to drive over the M62. At that point although it was stop start traffic was moving so I got home OK if a little later than expected. I was obviously very tense, because the next day my gluteal muscles and trapezoids were very stiff and sore! I must have been clenching all the way…..!!!

Now I have the weekend off and no major plans. Maybe it’s time to sort out the garage and get the treadmill set up! There is more snow forecast overnight but then rain for the next 4 days.

Lots of people have been asking me about our ground source heat pump. Does it work in these weather conditions? I’m pleased to say – yes it does! Even though it was -5*C last week our house was lovely and warm – warmer than the place we rented or our house before it! Good insulation plays a major part in that. Even so I’m amazed/ thrilled at the marvel of the technology!

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February 2018

Fitbit

I’ve been wearing my fit bit, security tag style for a couple of months now thanks to hubs and his ingenuity.

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There are two kinds of information you get from the Fitbit app. Firstly the raw data and secondly the information it gives to you in the form of ‘insights’.

Raw data

So according to the gizmo, I now know that in an average week I walk 8000 steps per day and burn 2000 calories. I’m in bed for 8 hours per night but it thinks that I’m only properly  asleep for half that time.

I can see that my worst days for steps are when I have an office day at work, my best days are when I’m busy at home. My very best days are those when I go for a walk or run- but there have only been 2 of those since christmas!

Insights

The insights it has shared with me really centre around the sleep issue. It has told be that people of my BMI often get less sleep (because poor sleep leads to weight gain and vice versa) and sends me top tips about doing more exercise, drinking less alcohol and not eating before bed time. (It doesn’t know what my eating and drinking habits are!) To be fair, I can see that more sleep correlates with more activity- but is that because one has more energy for exercise after a good night’s sleep, one sleeps better after exercise, or a bit of both?

Does it help?

Yes, I think that it does help. Honestly I had no idea of how different a day sat at the desk (5000 steps) and a day of housework and shopping (20,000 steps) were. So now I  do feel more motivated to do things to get my step count up! I try to  take the stairs and when I can only get a parking space in the furthest possible point from the office, I just think ‘great I can get some steps in!’.

More recently the sleep has been nudging up and I think that there may be a correlation with exercise.

Yoga

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I’m taking things gently on the exercise front. I’ve signed up for a weekly yoga class which I’m enjoying. It’s surprising how much progress you can make in the space of an hour! At the beginning of the class, if we do say a cobra pose, (above) I can barely lift my chin off the ground, but by the end my back arches comfortably and I can lift my whole chest up. Sometimes I find I’m a bit wobbly trying to hold a pose and the next day I will feel it in my muscles! I don think know if that is ‘good’ because I’m using muscles that I don’t normally and so I’m building strength in them, or ‘bad’ because I’m tensing them instead of ‘relaxing into the pose’. Of course, in the ethos of yoga I dare say there is no good or bad, simply what is and the important thing is to be aware and learn……  I’d be interested to hear what you yoga buffs out there have to say on the subject!

Running.

I’ve managed to go a whole week without a run. Next week I have a busy schedule too so I don’t think that I will be able to get another one in. However, 1 yoga class and 1 run per week is much more than I have done for the last couple of months, so if I can keep that up as the minimum it will be a good base to build on. Mind you, it’s the 10k in 11weeks!

Today I put my trail shoes on and decided to run down to the river. There is a small suspension bridge across the river which has been closed since floods a couple of years ago.  I was disappointed that I couldn’t even get down to the river because someone had blocked off the pathway with wood and barbed wire, so I had to follow my nose and take a cross country route instead. There were signs for the ‘Ribble way’ so I followed those. I eventually found my way back home but was surprised to find that I’d only gone 3.5 miles! It was good running weather, 2*C, bright and dry, the mud was frozen to a nice firm texture underfoot! It was a bit chilly in the wind though. Lots of walking breaks natch.

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That moment where you think, I know that home is out there somewhere…..

Diet/weight.

Weight is steady, no gain, no loss.

Trying to separate carbs and fats in meals is not easy to do – especially if you are trying to avoid processed foods- it takes planning. So an up and down week which included a binge on liquorice allsorts (picture to follow for the non british – I don’t think that Bertie basset is an international traveller). So the remainder of the day includes a plan to make a batch of ratatouille for the freezer.

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Posted in balance, change, fitness, fun, habits, healthy diet, low intensity, middle aged women, Motivation, positive mental attitude, running, slow run, stats geek, Stress, stretching, time management, walking, weight loss, work life balence, working mum, yoga | 12 Comments

No more excuses!

Well actually I wasn’t looking for an excuse. I woke up early, it was a beautiful morning and so I went for a ‘run’, because I wanted to.

 

This has been my first run from our new house and we moved in a month ago. It’s taken this long to get to the stage where 80% of boxes are unpacked and this week we got wifi!!!!! It’s all been too exciting – so much so that I ended up with vertigo for a week and spent last weekend catching up on sleep. We still have a lot to do.

generally though things are good and I’m feeling optimistic.

I went for my eye check up this week- the drops have done their stuff and my pressures have dropped from in the 30’s to 18 and 21, so I have dodged the knife/laser (for now). I celebrated by buying a coloured mascara for my now super long luscious lashes! Black is to too stark and nobody seems to do any sensible grey or light brown so I just jumped in at the deep end with burgundy😂 (What did that poem say, ‘when I am an old woman I shall wear purple ‘ – I don’t know if she meant eyelashes but hey who’s cares?)

I’ve joined a yoga class. As I’m not a gym member I’ve bought a course so I have to commit to a few weeks at a time. It’s a nice little studio with just 6 people in the class and a lovely teacher, so I think that’s going to work really well. Just supporting my own body weight (which is considerable just now) gives me enough exercise to make me feel a bit stiff afterwards, so at this stage I think it’s much better for me that any weights or high intensity stuff. I also like the mindfulness of it, it puts me in touch with my body, which for most of my life I’ve just used to take my brain where it wants to go!

Regarding diet, I decided to re do the harcome diet, which I did successfully a couple of years ago. It starts with a 5 day cleansing phase, which involves no processed food, no wheat no refined sugar, no fruit! Basically 5 days of meat, veg (but not potatoes) decaf fluids and natural yoghurt. She attributes people’s difficulties in controlling food cravings to hypoglycaemia, food intolerances and candida. I’m not sure about the science, but it does seem to help to get over that craving for sugary stuff. After the 5 days you can introduce unrefined carbs, like brown rice or starchy vegetables but the idea is that a meal is either fat based (meat and non starchy veg) or carb based (rice, potatoes, veggies) with 4 hours before switching to carb or fat. This week confirmed for me what I suspected but don’t really like to admit, that if I eat a very low carb diet my mood does sink. As soon as I re introduced the carbs I felt a warm glow of contentment which had slipped away in the first phase. I lost 1 or 2 pounds – really quite insignificant but better than the steady gain of recent weeks. Over the last 6 months I have gained over a stone and it’s all sitting on my belly. When I was young I used to bemoan my pear shape, now I’m definitely an apple and that’s not healthy! Obviously this diet, like any other, works by calorie restriction – a normal meal where I come from consists of meat, veg and carbs: this diet means that essentially you are eating half meals, although there is no restriction on quantities.  Hence in a day one does get a balanced diet and I’m going to try this.

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One of the benifits of being half Chinese by marriage is that you get another new year in February! I don’t think that New Years resolutions are part of Chinese tradition, but in our fusion family we have made them one! Whilst we were out having dim sum hubs and I chatted about my running (or the lack of it). Hubs has been supportive of my running, he seems to think that it makes me less tetchy. .  ( Whaddayamean tetchy?😤😆) We went to Chinatown in Manchester for dim sum and then to the Trafford centre for some shopping. The drive out to the Trafford centre follows the route of the Manchester 10k, which brought back some happy memories. Chatting about it with hubs he encouraged me to enter again, So I decided to put an entry in for May this year! If only I could get the family to do it with me………🤔

Todays walk/run was about 5k and took me 66minutes. Based on that I think that I can say with some certainty that I’m looking forwards to some improvement!  Will I have enough motivation for some sunrise runs? Watch this space!

Posted in balance, change, eyesight!, fitness, habits, healthy diet, middle aged women, Motivation, Nutrition, positive mental attitude, running, slow run, stretching, time management, weight loss, work life balence, working mum, yoga | 13 Comments

Mega fast blog!

FEFBCBC8-BE60-49B4-A3E8-035D842C8FE6Here’s lunch, late afternoon in a well known coffee chain.  There are mushrooms in it but I’m not sure if they count in the ‘5 a day’. I’m not doing so great on the veg with every meal this week but steps are going OK.

suffering from the lack of wi fi at home, we have got someone coming to do ‘tech’ with us, along with curtains, carpets, garden, gates … the list goes on and we are trying to squeeze it in around work so it’s slow progress Half term threatens being swallowed up in more housey activity.

at least the wi fi in the cafe gives me a few minutes to catch up

Crossing the rubicon.

A few weeks ago I made the journey from doctor to patient. My optician referred me for a ‘routine check’ and I was diagnosed with glaucoma. It was a bit of a shock – I wasn’t expecting any problems and even more of a shock when I was advised to have surgery! On a first appointment! Like any normal surgeon at the receiving end of someone else’s knife, (or laser) I blustered and asked if there was a medical option😆😆 so he gave me some drops and some time to think about it. Every cloud has a silver lining though- these are the side effects of the drops

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Longer thicker lashes? What’s not to like😆

But I’ve read up on the surgery now, and prepared myself for a more mature discussion! However the realisation that I now have something that won’t go away or get better on its own, that I will always need drops, that I have something to mention if I ever see a doctor or have a healthcheck is a sobering thought.

welcome to middle age!

at least it won’t stop me running!

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Weekly roundup

It’s a little over a week since my last blog. Yes we have moved house yay! But the wi fi situation is not yet sorted, hence not very good accessibility to t’internet and the blogosphere, apologies.

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Packing up and moving appears to be good for the step count, and I feel like I’ve got ‘yoga butt’ without a single downward dog!

I have however signed up for a yoga class! First one on weds.

I’m doing ok on the fruit and veg front, but gave into alcohol to celebrate the move. Sorry but sparkling elderflower wasn’t going to cut the mustard! Dinner at the local pub with a nice glass of South African Shiraz was called for- and a very nice glass it was too!

I hope that you are all achieving your goals this week!

oh and our new home is fab!😁

 

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Packing up.

Packing I find is quite a good workout. Lots of movement, lots of stairs, lots of lifting. Three days in, three days to go and I’m really feeling it in my glutes!  I’m easily getting my 10,000 steps per day without any extra exercise.

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The highlight of the week was a trip to the recycling centre – I’ve never been to the one in clitheroe before, and guess what I found there?

A muster of peacocks!  (yes, I did need to google the collective noun for peacocks!) Well, I’d expect nothing less in the Ribble Valley!

Dry January is going well. Friday evening is the only time I really notice it- I usually celebrate the beginning of the weekend with a glass of wine! I can’t say that I’ve noticed any weight loss (there hasn’t been any to notice) but I have been sleeping like a log. Actually, falling asleep in the chair after dinner so I’ve had a couple of 8:30pm bedtimes!

My Fitbit tells me that often I’m not sleeping as well as I think. It appear s to be correct, because a ‘restless’ night is often followed by daytime tiredness: last week I thought that I’d had a good, long nights sleep on the Friday, but Saturday I ended up having an afternoon nap! I hadn’t been influenced by the Fitbit  because the ‘sync’ function doesn’t work very well in the app and it can take almost a whole day for the data to come through to my phone, so I only found out the day after that I’d only had 2 hours of deep sleep. Ideally I’d like to look at it in the morning and compare how I think I slept last night, what I did yesterday etc with the data so that I know what to work on, but I guess that I’m just going to have to stick with trial and error.

I’ve also signed up for a yoga class! I’ve found one that fits in with my week. Just a 4week course in the first instance, so let’s see how it goes.

Veg with every meal was going well until yesterday. The kitchen is now closed at our current house and will re open at the new house on weds. Last night was a takeaway (KFC) and I don’t think that ‘corn on the cob’ makes a fantastic contribution to my 5-a-day! However normal service will be resumed soon!

And so life goes on. The packing is taking so long because I’m cleaning and sorting everything, asking if I really need things- especially things that didn’t get unpacked 18months ago!

so bye for now, next weeks blog should be coming from our new home!

Posted in balance, change, fitness, habits, healthy diet, low intensity, middle aged women, Nutrition, running, time management, Uncategorized, walking, weight loss, work life balence, working mum, yoga | 12 Comments

New schedule

 

Some years ago I read a book called ‘run fat bitch run’. I didn’t like it. I lent it to a friend at work, she didn’t like it either. It went to the charity shop.

I didn’t like it because it endorsed having ‘realistic’ and ‘stern’ talks with yourself. Basically talking to yourself in a way you would never talk to someone you cared about,  being unkind and critical. However there was something good that I took away from that book. The recognition that not everyone is fit enough to start a C25k programme with the 2 minute jog etc.

Her strategy was to find a route, preferably about 5k in length and walk it every day. When you can walk it, walk faster, then when you can, add some jogging. I think that this is a very realistic strategy if you are unfit, and especially if you are over weight.

So this is my strategy for when we move house. We went up there today and I walked my circular route to measure it. It was 3.6 miles and it took me 63 minutes at a brisk walk.

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I’m pleased to report that the village we are moving to will have footpaths along the main road, and the country lanes don’t go anywhere much so are unlikely to be busy.  There are lots of footpaths across country to look forwards to for the summer too and hills that aren’t actually mountains. People refer to the area as ‘Tolkien country’ as it is thought to be on a visit here that he was inspired to write lord of the rings.

Otherwise the year has started off well. I have stuck 100% to dry January- although I missed having a glass of wine on Friday night. I’m managing my fruit and veg with every meal at about 95% success. Steps wise I averaged 8,000 steps per day last week, somthat needs a bit more work!

Only a week until we move house. Will I be able to resist an alcoholic celebration? – I hadn’t thought of that when I decided to do dry January!

Posted in balance, change, fitness, fun, habits, healthy diet, hills, low intensity, middle aged women, Nutrition, positive mental attitude, running, slow run, stats geek, time management, training plan, walking, weight loss, work life balence, working mum | 20 Comments