Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Moving Home

Hey guys,  I'm moving.  Moving blog that is. 

For 3 years, this has been home to my ramblings about losing weight, and I think I've sort of outgrown it a bit.  It's much more than the weight now.

At the same time, I recently found out that this blog has been found by a few people in my "real" life.  I don't think I realised how much I valued my semi-anonimity until I lost it (sorry guys in real life). 

I don't want to give up blogging though, as I value the outlet for my thoughts and somewhere to write down all my stuff and my perspectives on it (and sometimes hear yours), so I'm moving to a new home. 

If you're desperate to follow me, maybe shoot me an email and I'll see what I can do ;o)

Otherwise - happy adventures everyone!

Time to stop losing and start living.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Dinner Party Disaster Avoidance

I'm feeling at least a little proud of myself today, as I managed to maintain a small amount of discipline last night at the dinner party, and so don't feel too guilty at all for a change.

I didn't drink, I maintained a stoic distance from the baked camembert and French stick that was the stand-up starter which meant that I only had two pieces of bread instead of many, and I didn't have seconds of the main which was gumbo with rice and salad (delicious - must look into how you make that!).  I do confess to having a small second helping of the dessert which was Mississippi Mud Pie, but don't feel too shameful about that since the first helping wasn't big, and the second was smaller.  Wooooot!  Go me!

On the downside, I did miss my spin class yesterday and today.  I'm trying to get hold of a dress I want for the wedding this weekend, and one of work colleagues is able to get me a 25% discount in John Lewis on it, which is significant given the price of the dress.  I thought we were going to get it yesterday lunchtime, but that turned into today - can't really complain as she's doing me a massive favour, but means I need to do a bit of a re-jig of my exercise schedule this week, if I want to fit all my sessions in.  Unfortunately, we went to the store this lunchtime to collect it, and my colleague was told that her discount card wasn't valid because it was in her son's name not hers, so she's going back after work with her son as she refuses to be defeated!  Bless her!  Although it currently leaves me with no spin class and no dress either - doh!

Tonight's drinks / dinner have just been cancelled so I now have an evening off to relax and catch up on my Cinderella duties at home, which I'm oddly relieved about as it means I don't have to worry about squeezing another dinner out and alcohol into this week's plan!  Always time for that next week!

Monday, 16 April 2012

Weekend Win

Without wanting to feel too smug, I have to admit to feeling a little proud of myself for my behaviour over the weekend.  Weekend's have always been a danger zone for me, and the last couple of  months they've been truly abysmal.  I usually trash my progress over the weekend and then spend the rest of the week scrabbling desperately to catch up with myself.  No wonder then, that my progress on the scales has been stalled or creeping up recently.

But for the first time in a good long while, I feel like I maintained a bit of discipline this weekend and made some better and conscientious choises.  Sure, I used up quite a few of my weekly allowance on Friday night, but then I did at least stop to think about things a bit more on Saturday and Sunday.  And the evidence is in the scales - up just 1lb from Friday's weigh in, instead of the usual 3 or 4lbs I've been seeing recently.

I enjoy feeling like I've done well with my eating and exercise - who doesn't? - but now I need to maintain my concentration, instead of doing what has happened all too often recently and veering of course again.  It'll be an interesting week for me to stay focused on, as we've got dinner with friends tomorrow, that I suspect will be more mini-dinner party than casual, and I'm meeting a friend of drinks / dinner on Wednesday night, and then Friday I'm off back up home for a wedding.

The aims for the week are therefore as follows: 
  • eat sensibly during the days in the office.
  • don't have seconds tomorrow night (since I can't control what I eat, but can control how much).
  • drive tomorrow night so I can stay off the booze.
  • keep up last week's exercise schedule - 1 Body Balance, 1 spin, 1 run, 1 circuits class.

Let's keep this 'ere wagon rolling!

Friday, 13 April 2012


Somehow, in the midst of work craziness, I seem to have pulled a little sanity from the mess.

I've managed to get 2 good days of eating in now, with today looking like number 3. And I managed to go back to spin on Tuesday, and a short speed session run yesterday and I'm forcing myself to go to circuits today. Right now in fact.

Because I remind myself that I feel better when I exercise, and my sheer exhaustion and lethargy at the moment from a full-on weekend followed by a tough week at work will not be helped by dodging the gym and feeling guilty about it.

Scales put me back at 12st 1.8lb (ish - they were being a little crazy) and I can work with that.

Time to take my weary legs to the gym now. Xx

- Posted from my iPhone

Wednesday, 11 April 2012


I need to figure out what is going on with my eating habits at the moment, as I can't understand why I keep sabotaging myself like this.

I had a good day today - even making it through my 4.5 hours of overtime unscathed by thinking ahead and going and getting a sandwich from Tescos as soon as it looked like I'd be staying late. Hell, I even made it to spin at lunchtime for the first time in 4 months, which felt great!!

So please explain to me, why when I got home from work at just after 10pm, I then devoured 2 slices of bread with potted crab, and an entire Easter egg. Why? I'm not, and wasn't, particularly hungry. Yet I've single-handedly written off today's efforts.

What a pointless, pointless waste.

I'm sick of doing this to myself - I seem to be locked in an upward spiral on the scales at the moment, and it certainly doesn't make me feel any better.

I have really got to get a grip. Try and focus on how I feel when it's right rather than the self-recriminations when it's not.

I certainly cannot keep going like this unless I'm prepared to see a major back-track happen.

I have to find some control and balance.

- Posted from my iPhone


I need to figure out what is going on with my eating habits at the moment, as I can't understand why I keep sabotaging myself like this.

I had a good day today - even making it through my 4.5 hours of overtime unscathed by thinking ahead and going and getting a sandwich from Tescos as soon as it looked like I'd be staying late. Hell, I even made it to spin at lunchtime for the first time in 4 months, which felt great!!

So please explain to me, why when I got home from work at just after 10pm, I then devoured 2 slices of bread with potted crab, and an entire Easter egg. Why? I'm not, and wasn't, particularly hungry. Yet I've single-handedly written off today's efforts.

What a pointless, pointless waste.

I'm sick of doing this to myself - I seem to be locked in an upward spiral on the scales at the moment, and it certainly doesn't make me feel any better.

I have really got to get a grip. Try and focus on how I feel when it's right rather than the self-recriminations when it's not.

I certainly cannot keep going like this unless I'm prepared to see a major back-track happen.

I have to find some control and balance.

- Posted from my iPhone

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Fair To Middling

That's pretty much how I'd describe this last week - fair to middling. I don't feel like I've eaten the best, and I know there are places where I could have denied myself to stick rigidly to the plan, but at the same time I've tracked honestly, eaten thoughtfully, and I've definitely seen worse weeks on my tracker.

There's been a bit too much chocolate this week, courtesy of the run-up to Easter and since I'm in a hormonally-weakened state I caved to that pressure. There's also been less exercise than I'd like as I seem to be in a bit of a lazy, lethargic slump this week, but I'm hoping that this weekend will help jerk me out of that.

I'm not sure what the scales will bring tomorrow due to said hormonal-ness, but this weekend certainly brings lots of fresh air and potential exercise, as I'm off camping and surfing in Cornwall.

Of course, this also brings the potential for dietary misbehaviour, but I'm looking on the positive side. We're camping, and since it's a super big group of us (40 folks from the surf club) we're all keeping our catering separate, so I'm in control of what I take for most breakfasts and dinners. There is one meal out planned for tomorrow night at a local pub, but I can cope with that. The plan is to surf, if the conditions play ball, so that's 3 potential surfs, and if they don't to walk or hire bikes and cycle. There shouldn't be any shortage of walking.

The danger point will be booze, as I suspect 40 people have the capacity to drink a lot, but here again, I'm in control of what I take and choose to drink and how much. It's also going to be blinkin' cold so maybe I'll burn a few extra calories from that!!

Hoping for a fun, outdoorsy weekend to blow the cobwebs out!!

Happy Easter folks!!

- Posted from my iPhone

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

We Will Not Quit

Good Thing: I actually made a bit of an effort over the weekend, and although I enjoyed a few nice things, I didn't think I did to badly. I tracked it all and remained accountable.

Bad Thing: the scales did not register that effort. in fact, they very unhappily said 12st 5lb on Monday morning. Another new high. However, that might not all be due to the weekend: on Sunday morning I noticed that there was a load of fluff stuck to one of the footpads of the scales, which I peeled off (ick!), so I'm wondering I've been having false readings for a while since the scales wouldn't have sat flat on the floor.

Good Thing: I'm not going to let that put me off.

I sat and pondered yesterday what my weaknesses are with regard to my weight - my bad habits and the corners I cut. Then I wrote down clear strategies to deal with them. I wrote 3 A4 sides of notes to myself.

I've been eating out too much. Drinking too much. I've got no food in the house and I haven't planned my food so I snack on the wrong things. Sometimes I get it right, but overall, it's no wonder I've found it hard.

I put it into practice yesterday - I was out last night (on a date! It went well thanks!) and I behaved much better. Sticking to spirits, alternating my non-alcoholic drinks. Eating more moderately.

I will not give up. I won't be put off or distracted by the scales. I will keep trying to get this right. I still want to reach my goals.

I will. Not. Quit.

- Posted from my iPhone

Friday, 30 March 2012

Calmness and Crossfit

I'm glad to say, that the last 4 days have largely consisted of sensible eating.  Not perfect, because I've not been that tough on myself - I generally find I can't keep that up for too long, and right now I just want to find something consistent for a while - but considered, none-the-less. 

The result is that this Friday's weigh in sees me a sliver down on last week, despite the gastronomic and alcoholic debauchery of last Saturday and Sunday.  It also means, and I do so like it when it does this, that I can report a loss two weeks in a row.  Ooooh - a trend.  How nice.

Blissfully, this weekend, I have ...... drumroll please!!! ..... absolutely nothing planned.  Pure, unadulterated heaven.  I'm so glad now that I made a resolution to selfishly keep one weekend a month open for whatever I fancied, or nothing at all, because it's like manna from heaven for this tired girl.  I'm pretty much planning on sleeping this weekend.  Maybe watching a bit of tv.  Definitely no big nights out or excessive drinking.  It's positively lovely, in fact, to be looking down the barrel of a weekend where I'm in control of what I consume and where I sleep.

I'm very slowly (not that that's intentional) trying to amp up the amount of exercise in my routine as well.  I'm feeling a wee bit slothful currently, and know I could be doing a lot more.  There was obviously nothing in the way of exercise last weekend (I don't think drunken dancing counts after all), but I did make it to Body Balance on Monday, and I attempted to try the new Streetdance class at the gym on Wednesday night.  Unfortunately, that didn't work so well, as it's still a new class and it was cancelled due to low numbers this week (i.e. just me), but since I'd waited behind after work to do the class, I decided to stay and hit the gym anywhere.

Christ on a bike, but I feel unfit at the moment!  5 min warm-up on the cross-trainer (as I was waiting for the class to start), then I decided to hit the treadmill and try some speed work.  My recent running has probably been at around the 8-8.5 kph speed, so I whacked it up to 10 kph - depressingly, I only lasted 12 mins at that speed .... depressing because that used to be my normal running speed.  My 10ks last year were done at that speed, but now it's a push - all the distance training has definitely slowed me down.  Oh well.  I rounded it out to 15 mins at a reduced pace, and did a few weights (chest, legs and abs) and some rowing, and after that I was sweating buckets.  On the other hand, I'm beginning to see why they say you get a lot more flexible in Bikram yoga than any other type - it was boiling in the gym, and when I went to stretch off at the end, I was super-flexible.  I was doing a swan pose from yoga to stretch my hips and glutes, and my head was on the floor easy ..... which was quite funny when there were some guys doing the same stretch near me (it's obviously popular with the fitness coaches at the moment) and they could barely get their feet on the diagonal angle, never mind lean forwards - baaahahahahaha.

I also talked myself into circuits today, even though I woke up just not even vaguely feeling it today.  I know that I feel better about starting the weekend when I've done circuits, and I know that circuits only gets less beastly with regular committment to it, but man alive, it's still hard.  Today's torture form of choice was Crossfit.  I've only seen videos of bonkers Americans doing this before, and I suppose it's really just a different circuits formats, but it's pretty tough.  7 stations, 3 mins on each, 2 exercises to a station.  3 reps of each exercise, then 5, then 7, then straight back to 3 and rinse and repeat.  Keep it going for 3 mins solid (by which time sweat will be flinging itself from your brow).  1 min rest and  move to the next station.  Apparently, that's the gentle version, as the full format is 7 mins a station (oh good God!) and their rep counts just go up and up instead of cycling back down to 3 (kill me now!), but Emma decided to be nice to us today.  Or at least as nice as anything involving cork-screw burpees, box jumps and suicide press-ups could possibly be.

So, I'm off to enjoy a nice relaxed weekend, and another steady week of eating, exercising and generally looking after me, and I'm confident I can produce something good this week.

Enjoy your weekends, lovelies!

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

All Is Not Lost

As expected, the weekend wasn't too good on the old eating and drinking front. But boy, was it a lot of fun.

I maintained a little bit of discipline on Friday and ate sensibly all day, avoiding too many snacks, knowing I'd be eating out in the evening. Good girl. I even made it to Circuits, despite last week's extreme beasting. This week's felt much stronger for me - possibly because of the different training format (straight 60 second stations before moving on, with 20 seconds on the second circuit, rather than the Tabata of last week), or possibly because this week was more cardio-focused.

After that, it was a frantic scramble to finish my work and a quick dash down to London. We stayed with Jo on Friday night, enjoying a quiet meal at her rather nice local pub with a nice bottle of wine. I did at least manage to track all my food for Friday, but after that it went a little off-piste.

On Saturday, which was gloriously sunny, Hannah and I made our way on into central London to meet up with the rest of the hen party. Dresses on at our hostel (surprisingly nice - we stayed at the YHA on Bolsover Street) and we moved on to The Chesterfield Hotel in Mayfair for full on decadence and traditional English afternoon tea.

I don't think I've ever been inside a hotel with a proper frock-coated doorman out front before, but it was gorgeous, and they were delightfully attentive without being snooty. They even pulled a gluten-free afternoon tea out of thin air for my friend with no warning - most impressive.

Now, when you're enjoying something that you definitely don't get to do everyday, it's worth savouring it - the perfect finger sandwiches (and yes - there totally was cucumber with the crusts cut off - with just a touch of cream cheese too - delicious!), the teeny cakes (chocolate eclairs with chocolate cream - the rapture!) and the perfectly formed fluffy scones with jam and cream. The champagne. The artisan teas. And the surroundings of the library, which our party had to itself with our own dedicated waiter. Delightful. The food kept coming and the tea kept flowing, although I did stop at one glass of champagne .... at £11 a pop I couldn't afford too many of those!

Several hours later, we emerged replete into the balmy sunshine and I hit the shops for a few hours looking for a dress for the wedding in a couple of weeks time. Note to self - Mayfair to Regents Street and 4 hours of shopping on 5 inch wedge heels is not comfortable!

In the evening, it was all about dinner at Côte in Soho (rather lovely French food) and then hitting the cheesy bars. Suffice it to say that, after an evening that ended at 5am new time and included sambuca and jäger-bombs, I wasn't feeling too shiny the next morning.

After a very late breakfast (which was really lunch), and a restorative hour sat in the sun in Regent's Park, we made it to the theatre to watch the new production of The Wizard of Oz, which was wonderful. Food on Sunday, wasn't plentiful, but wasn't especially good either - poached eggs and bacon on toast for brunch, a large bag of Maltesers at the theatre and (whisper it) Burger King on the way home. Ahem.

Good things - the scales weren't too bad yesterday - there was little snacking over the weekend and the badness was contained to a 36 hour period and then stopped. And I got straight back on it yesterday.

Today, I'm heading back to London for work, which makes exercise tricky, and eating well potentially trickier. I grabbed a croissant and a skinny latte at the station this morning, as well as a load of fruit. Lunch is out with our Group Finance guys, and I intend dinner tonight to be light. I had to taxi to the station this morning, because of the earliness of the train, but am hoping I can walk home tonight for a couple of miles in the bank.

Back on it, and enjoying that the next couple of weeks see me firmly staying in town, relaxing or working, or away camping where I can control my food and drink - lets DO this!!

- Posted from my iPhone

Friday, 23 March 2012

Slow And Methodical

I've slowly, methodically plodding through this week - slowly and methodically battling (in a very gentle fashion) with my eating.

In actual fact, contrary to that statement, the week has positively flown by (really?  Is it Friday already?), as it's been very busy at work and I've been running around lots, but eating wise ... yeah, it's a plod.

Very slowly, I feel like I'm taking back a little, tiny bit of the control I've been seriously lacking these last weeks (and months).  Last night, I debated dinner, and managed to just put half the pack of ravioli in the pan.  Technically speaking, I put the whole pan in, looked at it for a moment, had an internal dialogue and put half back, but I take that as a victory.  I seriously debated having the rest when I'd finished, but put it in the fridge.  Even, the small silly things feel like hard work at the moment.

Similarly, this morning I stood in the canteen at work debating my breakfast - I'd gone for a bit of a cooked breakfast (a rasher of bacon, one sausage, some beans, mushroooms and a hash brown though) but was wanting toast as well, and there was a whole backwards / forwards wobbling moment of indecision before I walked to the till to pay without toast. 

It shouldn't be so hard really, should it?  Still, I've started feeling more full and satisfied in the last couple of days, and less prone to the random cravings for snacks, so I will honestly take my victories where I find them.

Official weigh in says I've lost 2lbs this week - but since I've been yo-yoing around all over the place recently, I won't celebrate that until I see some positive movement several weeks in a row. 

After the loveliness of last weekend's surfing-then-schoolfriends mini-break, this weekend sees me bombing off to London again.  I guess this is the time to be careful, as weekends are definitely my downfall.  Hannah and I are driving down tonight to stay with my friend Jo, which means a late dinner at the pub and most likely wine.  Then tomorrow Hannah and I are meeting up with the rest of the hen-party for afternoon tea at The Chesterfield Hotel - sandwiches and cakes galore in elegant surroundings.  That will be followed later on by dinner in SoHo and a night out - more food and drinking.  Sunday morning is unplanned but then we're hitting the theatre in the afternoon for the new musical production of The Wizard of Oz - exciting!!

I am looking forwad to this weekend, but can see many potential pitfalls on the dieting front.

Other than that, the dresses and skirts are packed (we've been issued rules that this weekend is a girly-dress-up zone!) - floral tea-dress and sandals for The Chesterfield, sequin skirt and assymetric silk top for the evening with heels - which is terribly organised for me!  Just need to do my bit for the hen-party games and put the finishing touches to the packing.

Exercise-wise, I've been rather quiet this week.  After circuits last Friday, and then surfing on Saturday, my legs were ruined.  Even Body Balance on Monday didn't do much to help them - just gave me sore shoulderes to add to the mix.  I was starting to worry I'd done my quads some serious damage as they still had residual soreness yesterday!  I therefore have been a bit half-hearted about too much activity this week, but have decided to risk the perils of circuits again today because there's only one way to improve and that's to keep at it ...... here's hoping I'll still be able to walk this weekend afterwards!

That's really all there is to report around here at the moment - hope you all enjoy the sunshine this weekend! x

Friday, 16 March 2012

Stop It!

That is pretty much what I'm mentally shouting at myself most days at the moment.

"Stop it!"

"Stop it right NOW!"

"What are you doing?"

It's an ongoing, and very depressing, inner dialogue, because I just can't seem to get a handle on my eating at the moment.  Just a very easy handle on the food it seems.  Mostly going in the direction of my mouth.

I've been getting increasingly frustrated with myself, and what I see as my ongoing abuse of myself.  My weight seems to just gradually (oh so very gradually) trickle up.  Tiny increments here and there, but just enough that I keep seeing depressing new highs, that I thought I'd passed forever on the way down.  This morning, it was 13st 4lbs. 

Now, in all fairness, I can't possibly have put on 3lbs since yesterday, or not of fat at least, but the point is that I did weigh that much this morning.

A slump indeed.  And it's all very well me planning out my evening meals in advance, but that won't cut it if I keep eating a cake here, a Mars bar there and an entire bag of Haribo elsewhere.

Something is triggering me to eat at the moment, and I'm not entirely sure what.  I've just run a half-marathon for cripe's sake, and should be feeling the fittest I've even been.  Instead I feel wobbly and big (relatively speaking), and I looked at the race photos with depression on Monday (glossing over the fact that I was also wearing a not-terribly-flattering charity race vest, and had my base-layer tied round my waist which added bulk).

It occurs to me that I can't very well pull myself out of a slump if I don't know what's put me in it in the first place.  By all accounts, I should be feeling pretty good right now - I've successfully completed my current fitness goal, I've managed to sort my financial situation out to something much healthier (and got told yesterday that I'm even getting a bonus and a payrise this year), my house is comfortable and I have flat-mates I get on well with.  It's also spring time which is a season I love, and I have a whole summer of surfing and play to look forward to.  The only minor cloud on the horizon is that I'm starting to wonder what I'm doing with my career and if I'm in completely the wrong one.  But really, I'm not unhappy in my job - just pondering the long-term possibilities I think.

So what's with the eating, which is surely a displacement for something else?

Jo says she's similarly having trouble committing to The Challenge, so at least I'm not the only one, but I don't want to back-slide too far before I start going forward again.  I'm meeting up with Jo this weekend, so hopefully we can find some time to sit down and try and work out what we're doing.

I also need to sit down with myself and figure out a few things.  Perhaps remind myself why I'm doing this at all and what there is to be won and lost.  Finish re-decorating my goals board!

In the meantime, it's business as usual - treat every morning as a fresh start, and try not to be too hard on myself for my screw-ups, whilst also not throwing in the towel when I make a bad choice.

I'm off for an early-bird surf tomorrow in North Devon, which might clear my head a bit, before barrelling back the other way up the M5 to meet up with a load of my oldest school-mates for a bit of a reunion get together tomorrow night.  Tonight, I'm going to cook tasty risotto for Hannah and maybe enjoy a glass of (carefully tracked and acknowledged) wine and some chat.

Wishing everyone a positive weekend! xx

Wednesday, 14 March 2012


It feels like I suddenly have no focus this week.

For 3 months solidly, I was training for the half-marathon, and that was my goal - I was very fixated on the date of 11 March, and very blurry about what would happen after that.

Somebody asked me recently what I'd be doing after the half, and I answered "having a summer of surfing and fun". I'm not training for anything else currently (and have no intention of doing so - I get very grumpy when I train because I start to hate being told what I have to do and when), but after just 2 days it all feels fuzzy as to what I should be doing.

For the last 12 weeks it's been all about running. I've literally done nothing, fitness-wise, but run. My weeks have consisted of 2-3 runs a week and a Body Balance class when I could fit it in. I haven't been to a spin class or circuits in 3 months! Nothing! In fact, my gym has barely seen me since December.

72 hours after the half-marathon, I now feel completely normal again. All the aches and pains have gone (with the exception of my poor scabby ribs which will probably take a couple of weeks to heal completely, but are at least not so sore now), and I'm starting to feel a little fidgety already. That lead me to pondering what my routine should be now.

I have to confess that my eating hasn't been the best the last 2 days either. This is mostly due to the amount of cake still left around the flat. I seem to have done a fairly good job of demolishing that single-handed, and although a couple of days of being fairly relaxed post-half is probably fine, it's not in line with my Challenge plans with Jo.

So there needs to be a shake-up. Fresh thinking and attitudes. I meant what I said about having a summer dedicated to getting outdoors and having fun. I intend to surf when I can this summer, as I love it, and generally have lots of outdoor adventures. I don't have anymore races booked until September, so I don't have any training I need to do right now. But I do feel a bit noodly and soft, so I think it's time to get back in the gym a bit. And I miss spin.

I think the new (old) routine will therefore look like this:

• Body Balance (Monday)
• Spin
• Circuits (probably Friday?)
• Climbing club!

The last one costs money, so might not happen every week, but I haven't been climbing since I did my course a couple of weeks ago and I'd like to. You might also notice the return of my old nemesis (Death) Circuits - I have such a love / hate relationship with this class, but the truth is it kicks my ass and makes me feel stronger. I'll probably also put in the occasional run on quiet weeks just to keep my hand in too.

Eating-wise, I could do with some planning and structure in my week. I've got lazy. I was mostly cooked for at Hannah's for 2 and a bit months, and I've got out the habit of looking after myself. I'm slowly getting back to cooking, but it would probably help me to plan my weeks out a bit for the next month or so. Think of some basic meals, so then I can plan the rest of my day and my snacks.

This is how we deal with slumps, by planning and having stuff to look forward to :-)

- Posted from my iPhone

Monday, 12 March 2012

Facing The Fear ..... And Doing It Anyway

Well, 24 hours later the whole thing is starting to fade a little in my memory already.  My legs feel more normal hour by hour, and my only real reminder that it happened (other than my medal of course!) is the 3 inch line of rubbed skin on my ribs, courtesy of my heart rate monitor!

Directly after the race yesterday, I swore blind that I'd never do another one, but as the memory of the pain blurs a little, I can see how some people might decide to do it all again.  I don't think I'm that silly though .... at least not for a good long time!

I didn't sleep well on Saturday night at all - a mixture of nerves and drunken students singing in the road outside (thanks very much for waking me up at mignight, 3.40am, 6am and 6.45am respectively!).  I did spend Saturday resting up, and trying to eat relatively sensibly - small portion of pasta and lots of kale for lunch, small portion of pasta in the evening, and possibly a gloriously decadent milkshake from Rocatillos on Saturday afternoon.  It felt odd deliberately taking it easy when I wasn't ill, and I started getting fidgety towards the end of the day, but watched a film and caught an early night anyway.

Sunday dawned with thick, thick fog which was expected from our scouring of the weather forecasts last week.  Having other runners in the house, including one who'd done the Bath Half several times before, was a blessing as we were all up early to eat breakfast and prepare, and we could travel together too. 

This time I managed to get breakfast right - 4 slices of granary toast with jam and a banana to follow, and left feeling relatively full of energy (albeit mixed with nerves), rather than the leaden porridge disaster of the duathlon last year.  We all scrambled our kit together and were just about ready for our taxi at half 8 to take us to the station.  In fact, everything went remarkably smoothly getting there - we picked up friends en route in the taxi (another runner and her supporter), met Hannah at the station (who was supporting me and kindly carrying whatever I didn't want to put in the baggage claim), and all to soon we were off the train and following the masses to the runners' village.  It was absolutely heaving in there, and it didn't take long for Hannah and I had to lose all the others as we all made our last minute preparations.  Not that it would have mattered anyway as we were all starting from different coloured starting pens. 

I had to do a last minute stop at my charity tent to pick up my race top, as the original pack had somehow got lost in the post and never arrived.  I was a bit gutted about that, as I'd really wanted my name to be on my shirt - I saw how much support runners with names got when I was spectating the Bristol Half last year - but there was nothing to be done.  Whilst we were still in the runners' village, the sun suddenly came out and the temperature rocketed.  Apparently the weather forecast had changed at the without us noticing and we were all set for glorious sunshine.  Luckily, I'd shoved my running shades in my bag at the last moment that morning.  Unluckily, I was wearing a long-sleeved merino base-layer in black under my charity vest.

Before I'd really had time to get too nervous, the tannoy was calling for all remaining runners to make their way to the start.  Hannah wished me one last good luck, told me I'd be fine, and I made my way off to follow the coloured markers to the start.  I'm not kidding - the crush of people making their way to the slower two pens was immense - it literally took me 30 mins to get through to the start from the village!  This actually worked in my favour though, as it meant I was busy worrying about getting there rather than having time to worry about what lay ahead.

We heard the countdown to the start, and at 11.04 I crossed the start line myself - thankfully remembering to start my own watch at the same time. 

I deliberately took it really easy to start with.  Last week's run on Thursday was the first run that had felt even vaguely together since my chest infection, and I really didn't want to push myself too hard.  Besides that though, there was so much atmosphere to soak up!  Down the opening straight (which would also be the closing straight) the crowds lined the route in numbers, and there was a big screen set up at the first bend, showing the live view of the runners streaming through.  Turning the corner, the road swooped down and the field of runners ahead stretched as far as the eye could see.  Luckily, I didn't think at the time, that I'd have to come back up that at the end.

I tried to settle myself into an easy pace, and not get pulled along by the inevitably faster people streaming past me.  It's hard not to though, not to feel like you're running in treacle and to try and speed up, but I reminded myself that those same people would likely struggle later.  I don't remember much else about the first mile or so, apart from hoping I'd find my pace and being grateful when I saw the first mile marker go past and thinking that that was one down. 

The route loops around Queens Sqaure twice, around mile 2 and mile 7ish, and I'd been told that the atmosphere there is amazing as the runners stream round 3 sides of the square.  In actual fact, I nearly burst into tears going round for the first time, as I realised that I was really running this.  There was a fantastic samba drum band in the square, which continued to play until everyone was through on there second lap of the course, and hundreds of people cheering in a relatively enclosed space, and my adrenaline must have spiked as I suddenly had the biggest lump in my throat.  Have you ever tried running like that?  It's pretty hard to breathe!  Hannah told me later that I just looked fed-up, and she was scared I was regretting doing it, where in reality I was holding back tears.

Out of the square and there was a long downhill away from town.  Down there I started to settle into a bit of a rhythm, and enjoyed seeing how many houses had set up little parties in their front gardens with speaker systems bought out and blaring music.  Those actually really helped.  Although I'd taken my iPod Shuffle, I didn't listen to it much in the end, preferring to hear what was going on around me.  I took advantage of a house that had jelly baby trays out front somewhere around mile 3, but otherwise started to feel more comfortable with my running.  The only problem was, I was starting to get really hot. 

It had turned out to be a largely cloudless day, and the sun was beating down.  Lovely for the spectaters, not so lovely for the sweating runners.  I fairly quickly came to the conclusion that I was going to need to lose my base-layer at some point.  That would mean stripping down to my bra and then getting my vest back on.  There were still a lot of spectators out along the road, so nowhere obvious to stop.  I looked thoughtfully at a few of the St John's tents, wondering if they'd let me take shelter.  We were running out of town into the countryside by then, so I started looking at field gateways.  Eventually, around mile 4, I just got fed up and stopped.  In a gateway.  Right next to a man and his small children.  And I didn't care.  I did think to turn my vest the right way out before taking off my base-layer, but ultimately I thought "tough luck to anyone watching".  It was such a relief to get out of my sleeves!

Minutes later, we turned the corner and started heading back into town again.  I had to stop for quick walk break on the return leg, but otherwise was running fairly comfortably.  I'd decided to go without my normal running bottle for a change and just use the designated water stations, so picked up a fresh Lucozade from a station along the way.

I thought I'd crossed the 10k marker at around 1hr 12mins, but the official time says 1hr 23mins.  That's interesting because it means I actually ran the second lap faster than the first, which I wouldn't have expected.  Back into town, back around Queens Square and back out to the countryside.  I remember noticing the 7 mile marker, because I was running strongly around there, and I remember seeing the one for 8 miles, and thinking "this is it, I'll shortly be running further than I ever have before".  And I remember 9.  In fact, I felt pretty good all along there, and found a short but faster stride that kept me going.  My energy felt good, although I'd switched to water as I couldn't stomach anymore Lucozade.  My legs didn't feel bad, and although my foot threatend to get sore, it never really happened apart from strongish twinge once.  Coming back up to where I'd got changed, probably around mile 9 1/2, I saw the first ambulance.  I was to see a lot more of those, as it seems a lot of people had either under-trained, over-cooked it or not hydrated enough in the heat.

A man shouted at us that the 10 mile marker was just around the corner, and I felt elation.  However, his idea of just around the corner and mine differ, as it felt like it was a good half a mile further.  When I finally got there, I felt excitement as, in my head, 10 miles meant I was nearly done.  I thought "but that's just an easy run around the harbour left to do".  I forgot my legs had already run 10 miles, further that I'd ever run before.  I'd just been taking occasional walking breaks so far on the second lap, probably only 1 every mile or so - just 10 seconds here or there.  Suddenly, the miles seemed to double in length, and I started to feel every mile I'd run. 

My right hip started to ache, and there was soreness under my knee-caps.  Although I still felt like I had some energy, it was getting harder and harder to run.  My walking breaks became more frequent, perhaps every half mile or so, although I was still keeping pace with people around me.  My breathing was starting to become short and choppy. Where I'd been chatty and happy around mile 9, now I slumped. 

Before the race, I had a phone call with Jo, where I admitted how nervous I was of not being able to finish the course.  She told me that of course I would, because I was too damn stubborn and competitive not to.  Thankfully, she proved right, as I kept stumbling forward at what felt like a snail's pace.  As everything started to tighten up, it was harder and harder not to limp as I walked on my breaks.  The only thing that really kept me pushing myself to run when I could was the thought that the more I ran, the sooner I'd be finished.  I was also surprised to look at my watch and see that I wasn't far off my original projected finish time of 2:30 that I put on my race application.  I wouldn't quite get it, but I could probably get close. 

Slowly, mile 11 ticked by, and finally mile 12.  I actually thought I must have missed the marker for 12 as it seemed so long coming.  Occasionally, we had to move over to let ambulances past, and I saw too many people being tended to on the side of the road, covered in grit where they'd obviously gone down hard, and I do remember thinking that at least that wasn't me.  I was in quite a lot of pain though - my hip and knees a dull ache, and my breathing actually rasping and squeaking. 

I think the saving grace came from a man who was yelling at the runners "see that hill?  Just run up there, round to the left, and the finish is there".  I couldn't recognise where I was, coming at it in reverse, but I did my best to keep going.  Up a bit, around a roundabout (and I freely admit I thought he was lying at that point), and then I saw the big screen up ahead.  On it, runners were just finishing and hugging each other and crying.  That got me up to the corner, and I turned left (also feeling a little sad I was running alone and wouldn't have anyone to hug). 

For a minute I didn't clock the finish line - it somehow looked smaller than I expected or remembered - but then I realised what I was looking at, and from somewhere there was a final burst of energy.  I sped up, suddenly feeling fresh again, and just wanting to be done.  I overtook people in front of me, and I crossed the line.  2:41:32 was my official time.

For once, I didn't feel sick crossing the line.  Just absolutely exhausted.

The one blessing of finishing nearer the back of the field, is that the finish area is much quieter.  Not for me the sudden halt in a crush of people, or having to queue to get de-chipped and get fluids, medal and race-pack.  Instead a leisurely stroll through.  I had to stop and take my own chip off, as I'd done it on my laces, rather than with twist ties like they suggest (they have a whole team of people snipping them off for you!), and my legs were shaking as I reached to do that.  I went to look for Hannah, but she wasn't there yet, so I got my bag back, and thought about stretching when I saw her and she ran up to hug me, sweaty and salt-rinded as I was.  Good friends are like that!

After the race, we made our way back to the station, me walking rather gingerly.  My lovely (non-running) flatmate was acting as taxi service and very kindly came to pick us up from the station, despite already having collected Sam (who finished in an amazing 1:58!).  What a star!  She'd also put up congratulations banners in the kitchen, blown up balloons, got some bubbly and put out cakes for us!

I very slowly and carefully climbed in the shower, and was surprised when the water really stung my ribs.  I'd had to re-position my chest band from my heart rate monitor a couple of times while I was running, as it didn't seem to be sitting right, and I took it off as soon as I was done, but when I looked down, there was a whole line of raw skin that it must have rubbed off - I've got a 3 inch scab across the front, just below my bra band today!  Ouch!

Other than that, I seem to have escaped reltively unscathed.  My leg muscles, although tight, aren't terrible, and the aches in my hips and knees seemed to have died down.  My shoulders feel inexplicably tight, and I had very rosy cheeks last night from the sun.  I also had a stubborn headache last night, and after Sunday lunch / dinner at a nearby pub, I was home by half 8 and in bed!

And so, The Great 2012 Half Marathon Adventure comes to an end. 

Thank god for that! :o)

Sunday, 11 March 2012

A New Addition to the Collection


More later when I'm less hungry and tired.

- Posted from my iPhone

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Ongoing Challenges

I've been eating properly on the challenge for 2 days now.  I've eaten conscientiously, and my decision to cut out cake, sweets, chocolate and biscuits for the week has forced me to think about what, or whether, I really want to eat.

Initially, I was quite hungry between meals, but I've come to the conclusion that my blood sugar levels must have been swooping up and down from all the sugar I've been eating, as it seems to be lessening a bit now.  I even managed to make some good choices at dinner at Giraffe last night (and can I just recommend the bean and aubergine mossake whilst I'm at it - very tasty). 

Today, I'm struggling a bit though, because there is a massive birthday cake from Costco sat at the end of my desk for us to help ourselves too.  It's my favourite sort of cake too - proper victoria sponge with royal icing.  Sob.  I've not had any so far, but I've just caught myself looking at my daily tracker, thinking I could easily accomodate it in my points for today, except that that's not the point.  No cake this week.

Emotionally speaking, I'm a bit of a wreck this week.  Hormones all over the shop, and everything either seems too much effort or makes me want to snap or cry.  I've managed not to do either (well, not too much snapping anyway).

It's not just my eating I'm having to keep an eye on this week either.  So far this year, I've been pretty damn good with my spending, as promised, however, I do seem to have taken my eye somewhat off the ball the last couple of weeks, with the result that I'm going to have to be very careful for the next fortnight until pay day.  Extra careful, in fact, as I absolutely don't want to either put anything on the credit card or "steal" money from my bills account or credit card overpayments, unless absolutely unavoidable.  It really should be unavoidable - just means I'm going to have to cut a few luxuries over the next couple of weeks such as the cinema and going out.  Time I learned out to do it anyway!

On the psychological warfare front, I've now firmly (and resignedly) told myself that I will get round the half on Sunday, even if I run a mile and have to walk the rest.  It might be awful, but I can do it, and have to because so many people have sponsored me.  As Jo put it last night "you're far too competitive with yourself to not do it".  I prefer stubborn, but either way, if it's mind over matter, so be it.

Keep fighting everybody!

Tuesday, 6 March 2012


Just a quick post because I'm knackered and need some sleep.

My friend Caroline came over to visit this weekend from Brussels. It was so nice to see her again, but the weekend did deteriorate into a bit of a restaurant frenzy. Actually, looking back, I made quite a few good choices, but it was still a lot of food.

A Sunday night catch-up call with Jo prompted me to moan about how I wasn't happy with my eating or the way my clothes fit at the moment, and the said the same ..... so rather than moan, we've decided to declare it open season once more on The Challenge.

This is what helped us lose so much weight in 2009 when this whole thing started for me. A real sense of accountability, a small element of competition and a lot of support. In fact, I just rang her up to tell her to put the chocolate down after she texted me to say she was wavering.

I've laid my ground rules - this week there's going to be no booze, no chocolate, no biscuits, no cake and no sweets. They've all been too frequent recently, and I need some control. That still leaves me some options for snacks, but I have to think a bit more when I want something. So far so good.

I'm also being quite strict with my tracking this week - everything's going in.

Another challenge this week is my half-marathon. Which is this Sunday. Oh crap.

I've really got the fear now as none of my recent runs have been good. This chest infection seems to have really knocked me for six, and now I'm seriously scared about how I'm going to get round on Sunday. I feel low on energy, my breathing's constantly feels just a tiny bit short when I run and my legs are lead. But I'll do it, because I've raised quite a lot of money now, and I have to.

I've abandoned all goal times, in favour of thinking strategies that will just get me round. Even if it takes 3 hours or so and I end ip having to walk a load of it. Actually, even typing that makes me scared, but I'll suck it up and battle through.

And then I'll most definitely be having cake and booze afterwards to celebrate. At least for that one day.

Just one day at a time.

- Posted from my iPhone

Friday, 2 March 2012


Well, it’s definitely a relief to get to Friday I can tell you!  This week has absolutely flown by, and I am shattered.  Even though my chest infection has mostly shifted now, I still find myself unexpectedly breathless when I least expect it, and I can’t wait for it to just bugger off now.  Here’s the positives to the week though:

  1. After last week’s blip, the scales have put me back down a bit – still not quite back under 13 st, but heading back in the right direction at 13 st 1lb, and that’s in spite of pizza for tea last night.  My eating still feels a bit off, but I’m plodding back there, and the fact that I walk around 3 miles a day which doesn’t go in my tracker definitely helps that.  I’ve also started to notice the return of my “I’m full” indicator, which is something I willfully ignore when I’m off track.  More plodding and less blips, please!
  2. I did something I haven’t done for a while yesterday, and went for a run at lunchtime.  This week’s been hectic, and I have to admit that the awfulness of Sunday’s run did kind of put me off.  So I sucked it up and went for a short run round the harbour yesterday – and it still wasn’t great.  I was huffing and puffing and couldn’t run more than 15 mins continuously – I had to walk twice in my short 30 min run.  I was horrified because I felt like all my hard-won running fitness that I’ve been so carefully building up since before Christmas had just disappeared …. 10 days before my half-marathon.  I persevered and finished it, and then checked my watch.  Surprisingly, I was back in a really good time for that route, and when I logged my run in my tracker, I saw that my pace was actually a 15 seconds / mile quicker than any other training run I’ve done for the half.  No wonder it sucked!  Sunday saw me slogging round at 13 min miles and not happy.  Yesterday was 11.15 min miles, so I feel slightly better.  The plan now is just to do several more short runs, and maybe slot in a slightly longer 50 min run and just try and reacquaint my muscles and mind with running (and pacing!) myself.
  3. The working week is over!!  Whoooop!  Which means my old uni-housemate Caroline is visiting from Brussells …… yaaaaaaaaaaay!  Super-excited!  I don’t get to see Caroline often, but I love it because we slide straight back into uni days and chat constantly when we do – it’s going to be lovely to show her my Bristol.
  4. I did my sponsership email to work for my half-marathon yesterday.  I hit send, just as I went for my run, and when I got back I’d already shot past my fund-raising target!  I think I’m going to need to raise it!  That’s a huge weight off my mind though, especially as I can double it with matched giving at work.  Just got to run it now!

I’m sure there was something else too, but I can’t think what it was right now, so I shall simply say “have a lovely weekend”! xx

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Grinding Forwards

Blimey - how time flies.  As usual, I suddenly looked at this little blog and realised that a longer time that I'd meant to had passed since I last posted.  Stupid life.  Or actually, stupid lack of internet at home - it makes it harder to find time to write, since it's hard work doing posts from the ol' Pie-phone.

Um, yeah, life has been a little crazy the last 10 or so days.  I had a chest infection that knocked me flat on my back - I literally didn't get out of my pjyamas from Friday night til Sunday evening that weekend, and the only reason I did then was to stagger to the local cinema to watch The Artist, before staggering home and straight back to bed.

That in turn meant no exercise.  I didn't take any time off work, but the walking to and from the office was hard enough work to deter me from wanting to do anything more.  My chest felt tight still and my cough positively rattled.  Marvellous.  That in turn affected my eating.  After several weeks of being on it, and breaking back into the 12's I got distracted and mopey and let it slide a bit.  Pancake day passed with homemade pancakes and hot chocolate sauce (one of the few sauces I'm any good at making!).  Ice-cream soothed my throat.  Actually, lets be honest - ice-cream soothed my feelings.  It wasn't paticularly pretty - just off-kilter each and every day, and the scales showed it on Friday - 1 step forward and several back.

As always with life, just as you get one thing sorted, another area comes crashing down, so I guess I shouldn't be too surprised that having sorted out the house, and by extension my budget, the thing with Chris came grinding to a halt last week.  I'm still not entirely sure how I feel about it - especially as he seems to have gone AWOL rather than actually break up with me (but I think we can all be adult and read that for what it is).  The clues have been there for the last couple of weeks as he seems to have got increasingly distant, so I guess it didn't come as a huge surprise, but whether it's due to him losing interest or freaking out, who knows.  What I do know is that I can't make him change his mind, so I have to deal with it as best I can.  We have a lot of mutual friends and I'll be seeing him at a wedding in April, so I have to take the best tack to make things easy on everybody - that seems to be just letting it go and not pushing the issue so that it's less awkward when we have to see each other.  I'm sad about it, as I obviously liked the guy, but I also have my pride, and know that I deserve more than that, so I'm not wallowing too much.  Positive attitude and all.

I had an action-packed weekend to take my mind off it instead.  On Saturday, I went surfing with some of the girls at Saunton, on a gloriously beautiful day.  The conditions were great, the company was fun and a great time was had.  Saturday night I went out with a load of the surf club guys and enjoyed a dance and letting my hair down.  I didn't actually think I'd drunk that much, but my head told me otherwise on Sunday!

Aaaaah - Sunday.  Day of the worst run I've ever done!  In my stubborness, I decided that having had 10 days off from training (and any activity at all) I'd just jump straight back into my training plan with the long run I missed the weekend before, which also happened to be the longest run of the training plan.  1hr 50mins of running.  In retrospect, that wasn't such a great idea, but I decided to do it anyway and that I'd just take it slow and walk as needed if it was hard.  I totally underestimated how hard it would be.

I remembered how well my 90min run went 2 weeks ago, and thought it would be fine.  I didn't factor in 10 days off from any running, a hangover, the wrong food, big hills, aching muscles from 2 hours surfing the day before and the remainder of a chest full of phlegm.  Brilliant.

I waited to run until about 1pm, and had a big bowl of porridge for breakfast at about 11.30.  It turns out that, for me at least, porridge is completely the wrong fuel to run on.  I don't get any energy from it.  This happened once before, when I did the duathlon last June, and I just felt like I was running on empty, but I hadn't twigged exactly what it was at the time.  Now I know.  So I set off feeling like the fuel tank was pretty empty.  My legs felt tired, with no bounce at all and I generally felt heavy, and the Lucozade didn't seem to do much to lift the gloom.  I ran up to the Downs and decided to go for it anyway, and set off down (and I mean doooooooooooooown) the long hill at the back which would take me out on my loop.  One big loop with no shortcut back.  My hips started to hurt after the first mile of pounding down the steep hill, but I kept going.  Down and down.  And then up.  I hadn't expected there to be an up, as I'd assumed from the map that it would be down and out, and back and up.  Not so much.

The road seemed to go on forever, and I started to panic that I'd missed my turn somewhere.  I was supposed to be heading back to the Portway to run back into town by the river, but couldn't even see it.  I thought I'd found it, but obviously picked the wrong cross road, as instead of reaching a road junction, I had to run up slippery steps to come back on to it at a viaduct.  I was now an hour out on my run, and as far away as I'd get from home and at the bottom of the hill to boot, and my energy totally failed.  Just tottering along for short sections seemed too much.  My feet were starting to hurt and if I'd seen a taxi, I'd have hailed it.  I just didn't see how I was going to make it home.  In my mind, I'd thought that reaching the Portway would mean I was "nearly done".  But it just kept unrolling, and I remembered then from plotting it on the map, that it's actually 2 or 3 miles before you even get back to the Suspension Bridge.  And then you can start back up the hill.  Bad times.  Somehow I kept tottering along, on the basis that something is better than nothing.  Run a bit.  Slowly.  Walk a bit.  Force myself to run a bit more.  Other runners were passing me easily, but there was nothing to do but keep going.

Eventually, I reached the bridge, and revised my plan.  I felt so bad, that I thought it would be better to take the nearly vertical steps back up the gorge and then "run" back across the flat through Clifton Village to get home, than continuing to run along the gorge and come up a gentler hill further along.  Climbing steps actually felt like a break.  Somehow I kept it together until I got back to my local Sainsbury's where, at 1hr 45mins, I stopped.  I was done.

The funny thing with the run was this - at some points I actually thought to myself that this long-distance running thing is quite nice.  Peaceful and easy.  And just 10 mins later I'd be wondering how I'd keep going any further.  My mind seemed to fluctuate between the two states, and looking back I'm glad I just kept grinding the steps out to take me home.

In an odd way, I'm glad it was so evil, as I know that no other run of my training, and even the half itself, will probably be as bad as that one, and I still survived it.  I proved to myself that my mental strength was enough to keep me going when times were bad.  It wasn't a fast run, in fact it was one of my slowest, but it was another new longest distance for me, at just over 8 miles.  13 min miles.  On the day of the half-marathon, I won't have a hangover, and I won't have a chest infection and a 10 day break before.  There won't be hills, and I'll have eaten a better breakfast.  I won't have surfed the day before.  And there'll be a huge crowd of supporters and other runners to carry me along.

(I'm running for Alzheimer's Society in memory of my mum - you could, if you wanted to, add a £ or two of sponsorship here )

And so we enter this week.  My muscles are sure sore (and in fact, I conked out for 9 horus of solid sleep after the run on Sunday night), but I'm back on track.  My eating needs taking in hand again, and now my chest is clearing a bit I'm back to moving.  I did yoga yesterday, and I'm back to following the training plan, as I start to taper for the race in just under 2 weeks (eeeek!).  I'm here and still kicking and screaming my way through life.  Looking at it positively, it might be over with Chris, but in a small way I feel relieved that I don't have to feel guilty about how busy my weekends are for the next few months.  There will always be challenges, and I'll continue to meet them head on.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Sick Day

My run didn't happen today, and I have to admit, I'm feeling a little guilty about it. I took the executive decision though that I wasn't in a fit state to run. I did the sponsored swim last night and I didn't feel great. My breath was catching again on the walk home last night, and in the pool was chest felt like it had a band across it. I did my hour with everyone else, but I'll admit I struggled a bit, and I felt pretty drained afterwards. I slept in til about 11.30 this morning and still didn't feel great when I got up. My cough seems to have graduated from sharp and dry to properly chesty and I felt light-headed when I blew my nose. Added to that the rain was coming down fast and steady outside and I decided that nearly 2 hours running in it was probably not going to help me. Instead, it's nearly 5 in the afternoon and I'm still in my pyjamas and feeling pretty fed up. I've texted Chris to say I probably shouldn't be biking tomorrow either which means I may not get to see him this weekend now (and I don't want to infect him with whatever I've got) so all in all, I'm a grumpy girly. ATCHOOOO!!!! Bless me. - Posted from my iPhone

Friday, 17 February 2012

The Inadvertent Triathlon

I'm not quite sure how it happened, but somehow, my weekend plans now resemble a triathlon in the making. Tonight I have been nudged into taking part in a sponsored swim for the RNLI, held by the surf club. The aim is for us to collectively try and swim 50 miles in an hour. Since I can't remember the last time I swam laps in the pool, this could prove somewhat interesting. Then tomorrow, I need to fit in my long training run for the week. I'm now on the hardest week of my training, before it starts to taper towards race day (already?), so the training schedule prescribes an hour and 50 min run tomorrow. The only word I can use to describe that is "terrifying". And then Sunday is looking like my one chance to catch up with Chris, and he's suggested a bike ride (for which I'll actually need to fix my bike first!). It's been a while since I was on my bike at all, and I suspect Chris is a lot fitter than me, so it might prove a challenge. In between all that, I have to find time to finish unpacking (which is still not done), face the heaving masses at Ikea to get some more storage boxes, oh, and try not to be ill. Yeah - ill. So far this week, one of my colleagues is off work with flu and one of my housemates has been off work most of the week with some kind of virus. I'm a little worried that I'm starting to go down with something similar which I JUST DON'T HAVE TIME FOR!!!!! I went for a run on Wednesday night, and it felt quite tough, which I put down to there being more hills than I've been used to for a while. Afterwards, the back of my throat felt tight and constricted, as it sometimes does after hard cardio, but it lasted all yesterday too. Walking up the hill on the way home from work, I was almost choking and coughing as my deeper breathing caught the back of my throat. By last night that had developed into a nice chesty little number and, this morning, I sounded like I'd hit second puberty as my voice dropped and broke. Body - I'm telling you now - I do not have time for this shit! Buck your ideas up, and do it pronto please! Good news now - I lost 1.8 lbs this week, which has taken me back under 13st. It looks like a generally more active life (I seem to be doing a lot more walking and general activity these days, even though there's less in the gym), and at least a little honesty with my eating and tracking (whilst definitely not being perfect) is enough to keep me stumbling in the right direction. To come next week (maybe): tales of surviving the run, more climbing, bikram yoga and talks with The Boy. Or not, if I chicken out of any or all of the above. - Posted from my iPhone

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Settling In

It's been a week now in my new home, and we'll gloss over the number of boxes still to be unpacked.  Other than that, it seems to be going well, and is starting to feel like normal now.

It was a pretty jam-packed weekend, as it was my friend Bec's 30th.  That meant navigating lunch at Pieminster on Saturday, followed by the pub to watch the rugby and dinner at a very nice restaurant, as well as me having drinks out on Friday night and dinner at Wagamamas.  Ouch!

Surprisingly, I don't think I did too badly at all! I shared a bottle of wine with my friend on Friday evening, but didn't have anything else to drink.  Once at Wagamama's we had a couple of starters to share and I had a noodle main, but I ended up realising I was full about 2/3 of the way through my main and stopped.  Yes - actually stopped. 

On Saturday I had a plan of action - since I was awake at 9.30, I dragged myself out for a 30 min morning run per my training timetable.  I grabbed some cereal after (people - please remind me to eat before my run next time - I'm hideous before I've eaten), and then ran off to meet friends.  I was too worried about running late at that point to walk down to my friend's place, so took the car, but was then able to use that as a viable excuse not to drink all day or stay out too late.  We had lunch at the notorious Pieminster, which was flipping glorious, and I have to confess I had the whole works as it would be kind of rude not too - a Chicken of Aragon pie (chicken breast, bacon and tarragon), mash, minty mushy peas, grated cheese, crispy shallots and gravy (or "groovy" as they call it).  However, between the run and the next activity on the agenda - ice-skating - I felt like I had a bit of leeway.

The ice-skating was loads of fun, as I haven't been in years.  Of course I got over-cocky and went flying twice - where's the fun if you don't push yourself a bit, and the boots ripped my feet to shreds as they always do (damn me for not remember that you need at least three pairs of thick socks), but it was a great giggle.  Afterwards we found a nice pub to watch the rugby in, and I ignored the temptations of mulled cider in favour of Diet Coke - good job I love the stuff. 

I think my greatest victory was dinner though - the restaurant was described as "gourmet pizza, rotisserie and California grill", and was really rather nice (The Firehouse if you're ever in Bristol).  I've also been running low on funds this week due to it being the end of the month and a rather large bill being extracted from my bank account that shouldn't have been.  So I approached dinner with a rather ruthless attitude.  I wanted to keep cheap and relatively healthy.  The stuff from the grill looked lovely, but rather pricey, and I also find it difficult to estimate points on that kind of stuff, so I looked to the pizza menu.  I've eaten out in enough pizzerias to know where I am with those, and I picked a BBQ chicken one.  It was totally delicious, but by the time I was half-way through I knew I was full.  

So, Dear Reader, I stopped.  Yep.  Stopped.  Again.  And sent the plate up the table to the bunch of gannets at the other end to deal with.  Done, dusted and dealt with.  An all-round victory if you ask me.  I didn't bother drinking at all with dinner as it was just unneccesary expense and calories.

Sunday was a total day of sloth as I pretty much slept in til 1pm.  I got up for breakfast, read for an hour in bed, and went back to sleep - heaven!  The rest of the day was spent unpacking various boxes, moving bits of furniture and setting up the tv, including an intricate operation taping the tv aerial cord to the wall in the optimum position to actually receive a signal (the face of the socket is knackered and needs replacing).  Food-wise it wasn't optimum, but it wasn't terrible either.  I'm slowly learning that it's ok to eat unconventionally if that's what you want - I was craving toast and ended up eating it at every meal of the day - plain buttered toast for breakfast, humous, toast and olives for lunch and a poached egg with mushrooms on toast for tea.  Well, why not?

I've been struggling a bit with my appetite that last couple of days as my hormones do their routine monthly dance, but generally speaking I don't think I'm doing too badly.  Especially now I've worked out why I'm ravenous.  I'm still tracking though, and due to lots of walking, I reckon I have a bit of leeway.  I reckon I clocked up around 5 miles of walking yesterday between my work commute and meeting a friend for drinks last night, and I had an amazing yoga class yesterday lunch ....... God, I love my stretches!

No idea what the scales will do this week, but I'll just try and eat well(ish) and keep moving.  Even if I could just get another little tiny dip that would be fine.

(Also - mini-freakout - less than a month til Half-Marathon-Dooms-Day now ...... eeeeeeeeeeek!)

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Day 10: Childhood Memory

One of the reasons that the photo challenge went on hiatus was that I really wanted to do this as my childhood memory and I had to wait until I could unpack it after moving. One of my strongest, and happiest, memories of childhood was putting up the Christmas tree each year with my mother. It was something we always did together, along with making the Christmas cakes, and there are several years' worth of photos in my albums of me excitedly admiring our handiwork. The best bit was always lighting the real candle we had on the tree each year. Happy times.

- Posted from my iPhone

Friday, 10 February 2012

Real Life

Hey kids,

Sorry for the radio silence - real life kicked in this week as I finally moved into my new flat!!!!  Yes - please join me in celebrating The End of My Pseudo-Homelessness :o)

So it's been a kind of crazy week, as I've been in work Monday, Wednesday and today, and then off at home running around and moving boxes like a crazy fiend Tuesday and yesterday.  Anyhoo - I am now in the flat and sort-of-settled, albeit living in a room that is mostly full of unpacked cardboard boxes right now.

Despite the craziness of the week, and a weekend away at home last weekend, I'm pleased to report that my Weightwatchers tracker had a few (a very few, but a few none-the-less) surplus activity points uneaten this week, which is rather pleasing.  Extra pleasing when you consider that other than my long run last Friday, this week has been a light training week (eeeeeek - how did I get to "light" week 8 of my 12 week's training already???), so actually I must have eaten relatively sensibly!

It's been a combination of less snacking / more purposeful planning of meals and eating, and more general activity in my life than just the gym.  Whilst home over the weekend, we strolled up the Worcestershire Beacon on Sunday in search of sledging (it turned out there was no snow, but a rather lovely cloud inversion to see instead), and on Tuesday I finished the second part of my beginner's climbing course and got signed off as an official member of the climbing centre (I can tie my own knots and everything like a big girl now!).  Add to that a good hour of solid running up and down two flights of stairs with big boxes yesterday and you have the size of the week.

The scales are still teasing me and are slow to move - a mere 0.2lb this week .... but I can't control that, and knowing I've stayed on track this week is good enough.  I'm in no rush, and it's in the right direction at least.

I'm off ice-skating tomorrow with my friends from Malvern, before off out for lunch and dinner out - but I survived last weekend and I'll survive this one too with wise choices.  I haven't been ice-skating in years so I'm super-excited about that, and will no doubt burn extra calories with all the laughing I'll do.  Sunday, I'm thinking about taking my beloved mountain bike out for a spin, since she's now back from storage.  I've got a flat to change first (and need to find the persistent bugger of a thorn that's causing it as I fixed it once already, but clearly didn't get whatever was causing it the first time), but I'm happy to have my bike back as I've missed having that option, and now have a nice route direct to the singletrack at Ashton Court straight over the suspension bridge - pretty!

Other than that, I have a heck of a lot of boxes to unpack still.  I can't wait to make my room look really like mine again, and we (the girls of the flat) have lots of plans to make our living room (and the rest of the flat) look all pretty and homely too.  And excellent news because my flatmate Sam is keen to get a veg box from the local farm to share each week ...... we're going to join the veg box revolution!!!  Excitement indeed!

I have lots of photos to share, but no internet connection at home at the moment, so they might have to wait til the end of the month.  I've also missed a few days of the photo challenge due to craziness, but plan to pick up where I left off and continue since I'm quite enjoying it!

Muchos love, amigos, and have a great weekend. xx

Monday, 6 February 2012

Day 9: Someone You Love

A little unconventional, I suppose, as I could have easily shown you a photo of my dad, or one of my best friends. But I didn't choose that - because you know I love them. I wanted to confess my love for someone else instead. Me. Damn right. I didn't for the longest time, but these days I do love myself and I love the life I live and the things I do. So here it is - me. Going out for a run.

- Posted from my iPhone

Day 8: A Bad Habit

Two for one here: chocolate and my credit cards. I'm trying very hard to break the credit card habit, and of course I'm always working on the eating, but always a work in progress.

- Posted from my iPhone

Friday, 3 February 2012

Day 7: Fruit

My saviour - just what you want after a long run. There was another one that was super-tasty in my porridge this morning too, with cinnamon sugar and maple syrup. I loves bananas :-)

- Posted from my iPhone

January Recap

I like the idea of doing a bit of recap of each month this year, so I can see how things are shaping up in my life. January has mostly been dominated by work, as it's always is for a humble bean-counter (accountant) such as myself. I looked in my overtime log on Thursday night and saw that I've only left the office on time twice this year so far! January was also started as month when I did t quite have my finger on the pulse of my eating, which was something that caused the scales to move up instead of down - whoops. But despite all the tiredness and grumpiness, there's been some good times to. Highlights were: • finally getting back to tracking properly on Weightwatchers. I'm not sure I actually lost any weight in January, but I certainly exited the month feeling more in control than I started it. • cracking on with half-marathon training, and surprisingly, not finding it too terrible. I definitely feel more in the love part of my love/hate relationship with it right now. • buying my first surf-board and taking it out - I (sort of) feel like a bona-fide surf-chick now, and can't wait til it starts to get a bit warmer, for longer days in the water or weekends away. • starting my beginner's climbing course. Something new to challenge both my strength and fitness and my mind and fears. • finding my feet with my new budget and managing a second month in a row of actually reducing my credit card debt. Not a bad month really!! February looks set to bring new all-time long runs for me, more climbing (and hopefully passing my course), and more conscientious eating. One goal for Feb should be for me to finish that Mindless Eating book I started before Christmas - I'm about half-way through, but keep forgetting to read any more! I'd also like to attempt to track properly for the whole month, because I feel good right now. Finally, I want to manage another month of staying on budget - it's good to see those number starting to drop slowly. Here's to February!

A Little Underwhelming

Ok, so my first full week back at tracking properly and eating conscientiously didn't produce a resounding success at the scales, but instead a rather understated 0.6lbs off. 

However (after I'd had a slight grumpy moment to get it off my chest), we shall not be disheartened. 
  1. I mentioned yesterday that previous crawls back onto the wagon of healthy eating have taught me that I usually have a delay of anywhere between a week and 10 days before any spectacular (or even noticable) loss inflicts itself on the scales.
  2. The scales were lower during the week, but I was late home from work last night, and chose to stop and make proper soup instead of eat crap, and therefore ended up eating a large bowl of soup and a couple of slices of toast late in the evening, which I suspect has influenced this morning's number.
  3. I cannot control the scales.  Only myself - my eating, my exercising, my attitude.  The rest is out of my hands.
So, on that note, I shall simply say on y va - there's another week ahead and more healthy eating to do.

I loved seeing people's comments yesterday - interesting that I'm not the only one with the Fear of Hungry.  It's something I'm constantly trying to school myself out of, along with the notion that it's ok to not have a meal if I'm not hungry, or to eat something unconventional to the mealtime if that's what I fancy.  Let's just say it's a major work in progress and leave it at that.

I absolutely agree with you though, Hetty, I would much prefer to have Chris stupidly healthy than a sloth.  I love that we do active stuff together, and that I've got someone I can surf and bike with.  It works out quite well because I'm ludicrously chatty and he's quite quiet on the whole, so doing some kind of activity balances that out for us.  I actually find him very restful to be around, because when we do talk, we talk quite honestly about whatever's on our minds - I just need to learn to relax and let the silence be comfortable in between - I'm still a bit stuck in the "must impress" mode at the moment. 

Mind you, for all his super-healthy eating, he does relax when the occasion calls for it, and we do eat well - we had gorgeous roast lamb with loads of root veg and cheesy leeks last weekend, followed by little Gu desserts, but he balances me, because we then ate normally the next day.  That's what I'm missing I think.

I think therefore that my issue niggle disappointment I-don't-even-know-what-my-feeling-is with his stone in a month, is not with him, but with me, for lacking the ability to commit and focus at the moment, and for lagging behind on the weight-loss sucess front.  I'm proud of him for deciding to do something and doing it - I think it's just the kind of person he is.  Time for me to do the same! 

Day 6: From A Low Angle

Gaaaah - I so nearly forgot!! Another long day in the office, and my brain goes to bits. This shot was pure fluke - I had no idea I'd get the strange soft halo effect that I did. Believe it or not - this is our light fitting taken from below - in a fully lit room. I was casting around the house for ideas, playing with a few but nothing really working and then this happened. I liked it, even though it's a bit abstract so I'm going with it.

- Posted from my iPhone

Thursday, 2 February 2012


Two things I wanted to talk about today:

  1. Hetty's comment on this post on wanting to try climbing but not being sure whether to wait til "smaller" or try it now.
  2. Love Cat's post yesterday on (annoying) boyfriends who lose weight stupidly easily. 
So first up:  Hetty - ABSOLUTELY GO TRY CLIMBING. 

One of my biggest regrets in life is putting so much stuff on hold for that golden day when I would be thin.  There is a saying, one that I truly believe in, that you never regret the things you do, only the things you don't do.  It's a principle I really try to live my life by now.  But I didn't always.

For one thing, I doubt there will ever be a golden day when I am "thin".  Thin will not make everything in my life better.  And even if it did, why should I wait for some mythical day that might never arrive to experience all that life has to offer.

Having said that, I absolutely understand the other side of the fence - I lived over there for the longest time, and then I spent a long time teetering on top before diving off to where I am now.  The unknown is scary, and so is (or at least it was for me) the imaginary fear of humiliating myself. 

Mostly, I worried that I flat-out wouldn't be able to do something I attempted.  Back in the day, at my biggest, I also worried whether I'd even be able to fit in the climbing harness or whether someone would be able to belay me (or whatever other sport it was).  I think perhaps the point I missed was that it's harder to find the motivation to get smaller and be "able" to do these things, than it is to try them, find what you love, and want to improve yourself so you can get better.  It's a subtle distinction, but having a physical experience to motivate you into doing something works a treat. 

I think, in a convoluted way, what I'm trying to say is that we really should just go for things.  Try stuff out, see what's fun.  Most importanly, enjoy life now, rather than in 5 years time.  Climbing was hard, but only in as much as I got tired quickly.  Actually getting up the wall was fine, and we weren't even doing the easiest routes.  The trick is to do as much as you can, and enjoy it.  You know the saying "dance like nobody's watching"?  Yeah, climb like it too.  Nobody else there cares what route you do or how many times - they're not judging - in fact they're probably enjoying seeing somebody else have fun at their sport.

Now, Love Cat's post.  She made an interesting point the other day, about how her boyfriend TB was now eating the heatlhy meals she cooks for herself, and had decided to start exercising a bit more, and so would probably, annoyingly, lose weight more quickly than her.  This is definitely a trial I understand well at the moment.  Chris decided at New Year that he wanted to lose a bit of weight and feel a bit healthier.  So, just like that, he cut out alcohol and carbs, started eating 4 smaller meals a day and lost a frigging stone in a month.

Frustrating much?

This is clearly a man who does not have issues with food!  Even more irritating, is that he doesn't really have much to lose - he's tall and broad, but not big.  He just decided that he'd been eating a bit too much before Christmas, so he'd just eat less now.  Just like that.  No agonising, or craving, or .... well, whatever I struggle with.  His only comment on it was that for the first couple of days he missed his bigger portions, and then it was fine.

So now I'm dating someone who's eating ridiculously healthily, and is in good (even better?) shape, and I tell you what, if that's not motivation for me to pull my socks up and get my head sorted, I don't know what is! 

It does at least make hanging out with him easier, as he tends to eat healthy around me too, although he has a tendency to forget, or not bother, to eat sometimes (I'm not sure which), which can mean I find myself doing activity on an empty stomach which I'm not used to.  Maybe I should be, as it hasn't killed me so far?  Example - on Sunday, after a lie-in, we had a bit of late breakfast (cereal with chopped banana for me, and porridge for him) and then he jumped out on his road-bike for a quick hour.  When he got back, we went for a walk in the afternoon - about 5.5 miles I think - with no further food. 

It just goes to show the total difference in our attitude to food.  He wasn't hungry when we left, so didn't bother with food.  I on the other hand, was busy thinking "but what if I get hungry?  Or feel faint?  Or run out of energy?"  I'm sure I've said this before, but I seem to have an innate fear of getting hungry, and being anything less that fully fuelled.  It's not the first time I've noticed the difference in our attitudes either - when we went surfing a couple of weeks ago, we did the same - breakfast, then got to the beach about noon.  His natural reaction is to get kitted up and go straight in and worry about food afterwards, where my instinct is to go get a bacon roll for "lunch" first, just in case I feel hungry later.  I think maybe I have a lot I could learn.

In the meantime, I feel like I need to pull my socks up.  Not that he has commented at all on my weight or eating (and in fact, although I have put a couple of lbs on over Christmas, he's not known me long enough to notice anything changing - most of the damage was done pre-November when we met), and I know he likes me as I am, but damnit, I refuse to be outclassed by my bloke on this!  I can't lose a stone in a month - I'm not built like that, and I'm looking for a more long-term loss anyway - but I can make the effort and the committment.

On that note, I've been pretty on it this week.  The tracker's near anough at neutral - points allocation plus activity points used, but no more - which is something I haven't seen in a very long time.  I've worked (out) hard this week, which my slightly creaky muscles bear testament too.  The scales aren't doing much so far (which is annoying since they showed me under 13 st on Monday, but not since), but that's a phenomenon I've dealt with before - it often takes a week to 10 days for consistent effort to show up on the scales for me, so as long as I know I'm being honest, I think I'll be fine.

And in the spirit of Love Cat - here's how the week looked activity-wise:
  • Friday - rest (looooooong day at work)
  • Saturday - 30 min run
  • Sunday - 5.5 mile brisk walk
  • Monday - Body Balance (but no run due to another loooooong day .... boooooo)
  • Tuesday - climbing
  • Wednesday - 45 min run
  • Thursday (today) - probably rest
Scales report tomorrow!

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Day 5: From A High Angle

With half-marathon training ongoing, this is a large chunk of my life at the moment:

Had a good run this evening - slow, but steady and strong ... or so I thought. Then I got home and tracked my run and found it was my fastest to date for the length I did - not too shabby. So a good run, and my trainers seem to have settled too - 45 mins and my almost healed blisters were only mildly sensitive at the end - result! - Posted from my iPhone

Up, Up, Up!

I went climbing last night, and I survived.  Holy crap though, it's good exercise!!  After just 2 runs up the wall, I was feeling (am feeling it now, in fact) in my arms and shoulders.

The 2 hour session last night mostly revolved around learning the basics - the three things we will be tested on at the end of next week: fitting the harness, tying your rope and belaying.

The harness bit is easy - just a case of being systamatic with tightening everything and taking care to tuck everything in out the way.  However, when it came to the knots I was having such a dozy moment.  The one they teach is something call a Re-threaded Figure of Eight knot, and I could not get it the first time she showed me.  Or the second.  Seriouly - everyone else had tied the whole thing and the stop knot too, before I worked out which way round I was meant to be looping the rope at the start. 

A funny thing happened after that though - where everyone else followed her instructions straight off to tie it the first time, they then couldn't remember it when they tried to repeat it, whereas once I finally wrapped my head around the process, I was able to re-tie it straight away, neatly, and with prompts.  Very odd.

After that, we actually headed down to the climbing walls to learn belaying and actually try everything out.  It was absolutely heaving last night, so we had a bit of trouble actually finding two ropes together to work on.  There were only 6 people in my group, so we split into 3's to practice - one to climb, one to belay, and one person standing aside at a time. 

I decided to have routine my klutzy moment at this point - as I was letting my partner back down after she'd reached the top of the wall, I lost concentration just as she got back to floor-level, and let my guide hand ride up with the rope, instead of slipping it through, and manage to wedge the soft skin between my thumb and first finger into the belay device - ouch!  Luckily, the instructor saw what happened and grabbed the rope to stop the skin getting trapped any further, and we managed to work it back out without breaking the skin too much - just a bit bruised and saw.  I certainly won't be making that mistake again in a hurry!

All in all, it seemed like a productive evening.  We didn't get to play on the bouldering walls this session, and in fact, I was a climb short of everyone else, as the two girls I was partnered with were a bit slow and I was last to climb in our little threesome, so we ran out of time before my last go, but there'll be plenty more time for that in the future.  In truth, I found last night quite mentally taxing, as it was.  Because it was so busy, we couldn't go on the wall that our instructor would have preferred, which was the grade 4 routes (some of the easiest).  Instead, we were on grade 5a and 5c's, which suddenly seemed like quite a step-up from the taster session.  I did go straight up to the top both times, but the grips were noticably smaller and I couldn't quite stick to a single route on the way up (or more precisely, I probably could of, but my nerve failed me a little bit to push myself that hard).

Interestingly, when we were back in the classroom at the end of the session, someone asked the instructor whether all climbers are thin, or if you get thin when you climb.  She said it was a bit of both - good climbers tend to be on the slim side, because they're more agile and have a better strength to weight ratio.  But generally, people who get the bug and keep climbing will tend to lose weight, and mostly because of what a good workout it is. 

As it was, one of the girls did me a favour on the way out - I was feeling a bit shaky as I left, and saw the basket of home-made flapjacks and tiffin on the counter at the exit.  I was debating whether to get one (the instructor having just told me how lovely they were) when one of my classmates laughingly said "you'll put back on everything you've just taken off climbing!).  And that exactly what I needed to hear at that second.  She was totally right. 

I realised afterwards, that what I really wanted was a drink (I thought I'd put a bottle of water in my bag to take, but it must have fallen out in the car), and the shaking was more due to adrenaline than hunger / exhaustion.  So I'm glad I didn't have the flapjack.

In fact, yesterday was good for eats.  Please scales, show my some love this week!

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Day 4: Green

In my opinion, there is not enough green in the winter. In fact, there's often not enough colour at all. I'm a colour junkie. FACT. the brighter, the zingier, the better. So I took today's prompt - a photo of something green - as a chance to inject a little colour into the proceedings. Courtesy of the tulips on our dining room table:

- Posted from my iPhone

Climbing The Walls

Oh boy, did yesterday turn into a long day.  I managed to get to Body Balance at lunchtime, and it feels so good to be back doing that, but the plan sort of derailed after that.

It was one of those days where, at 5pm you think you'll be leaving fairly shortly, and then you're still somehow sat at your desk at 8pm.  Even when I did leave, I had a pile of work in my bag that needed checking before this morning, so I had another 2 hours to do when I got home.

Sadly, that meant the run got bumped, which I find really frustrating.  I suppose the thing I must bear in mind is that the end of January was always going to be tough because of how busy work gets, and so really I've done well to get in as many runs as I have, especially with the trainer re-fit happening as well.  I'm glad I managed to at least get my Body Balance class in though - even since last week, I can feel a little (teeny) bit of my strength and flexibility returning from before Christmas.  Now I've got into yoga and pilates, I'm intrigued to see how much I can improve my flexibility and strength, and I love how chilled out I feel afterwards.  If I had more time (and money!), I'd be really keen to fit more of this into my week - perhaps even try Bikram yoga, but it's probably a bit of a push at the moment.

Talking of busy and trying new things, what I do get to do tonight is climbing!  I booked myself onto a beginner's course before Christmas, at Undercover Rock in Bristol, and suddenly it's come whistling around in my diary.  I really enjoyed the taster session that I did at the end of November, but I still have a bit of a fear of heights and falling, so I'm currently viewing tonight with equal parts fear and excitement.  Although I went with friends last time, I'll be venturing out solo tonight, as my friends didn't want to do the course.  The centre was super-friendly last time, so I don't think it will be a problem (and as we all know, I love meeting new people), and I've deliberately booked on the course run by the instructor I had last time as she was lovely, so hopefully it will all be good fun.

I think the one thing that really appeals about climbing is that is such a good strength workout.  I loathe weight training, and will do a lot of things to avoid it, even though I know it's great for strength, posture, toning and metabolism.  Circuits makes it bearable, because it mixes it all up with cardio and combo moves, and flips between free weights and body weight exercises, but it is ultimately still hell on earth.  The couple of times I've tried any type of climbing activity, I've found that you're still getting that strength and toning work-out, and a touch of cardio, but all mixed up in the pursuit of something more fun (conquering the wall) and with lots of strategic elements to think about too.  I also like that you can make climbing as technical or easy as you like, and that for me, it will be a little bit about conquering a fear uneasiness of heights and falling, and pushing my (klutzy) self a little bit outside my comfort zone.

Due to a lack of run and excess of work yesterday, eating was a little bit hit and miss, but largely right.  I'd eaten a bit extra late afternoon, thinking I was fueling for a run (otherwise I tend to be running on empty if I run after work and before dinner), but then ended up staying so long I got hungry again and had to grab another little something.  I did manage to keep the damage to a minimum though, as dinner was already being cooked when I finally got home, so I occupied myself with shifting a bit more work while it was being done, rather than snacking.

So far this week, I think I'm doing ok on the eating front, and there'll be some exercise to show for it too, so I'm very hopeful that this will be the week I reverse the recent trend and start losing slowly instead of it creeping on.