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 http://www.justgiving.com/Suzanne-Fontaine0 )

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!