Friday, 30 August 2013

Still love to run!

Well I'm still enjoying this running lark, in fact I've found a whole new enthusiasm for it and I have to say it's entirely thanks to Mr SG taking the time to get out there with us, encourage us and show us that we can actually do more than we think and that it's just our mindset that tells us we can't or that we need to stop and walk.
Last night was intended to be our first speed work session but the wind was so strong that we had to change our plans and head to a sheltered area for a regular run. As it turned out the forest wasn't actually as sheltered as we had thought it would be and we were fighting wind for pretty much all the run - I don't know what's worse, a head wind or blinkin cross winds. If I wasn't running head down and leaning forward because of the head wind I was being thrown to the side perilously close to huge ditches by the cross winds.
I'm quite pleased with the run though, I did stop a couple of times to catch my breath because the winds coupled with the steep hills had me struggling to breathe a bit despite having taken my inhaler but we ended up running a 5.45k circuit mainly uphill and on forest trails that were quite loose underfoot.

I know I was supposed to be recording my food intake but so far I haven't gotten around to it. The scales claim I have put on 2lb this week so I think I would definitely benefit from a food journal to see exactly where I'm going wrong - I just forget to do these things.
I am cooking from scratch now though, gone are the pies, chips, fry ups etc etc replaced with fish, chicken, veggies, pasta etc and I always have my favourite salad mixed and ready in the fridge.
This salad is so simple, it's just chopped cucumber, Tomato & Onion splashed with vinegar and black pepper and then left in the fridge - I sometimes add a fat free vinaigrette instead of regular vinegar.
What makes this particular batch so scrumptious though is that I grew it all myself!

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

I love running!

Last Sunday Mr SG aka Mr trainer man, decided that we needed to complete the full 10k that day just to see where we are with training. Leanne and I were pretty mortified at the thought of it especially as we'd had literally no notice and Mr trainer man had his work cut out to even get us and our humongous negative attitudes to the start.
The thing I really hate when running - other than hills - is having to run so far one way and then turn round and run back, I get so negative when I know how far I have left until the finish, I much prefer a circuit. But this 10k trial was an out and back and I really wasn't looking forward to it, in fact I had butterflies all the way there and pretty much felt sick at the thought of it.
We started out ok, in fact for the first half I felt fine, my GPS had lost signal so I had to reset it 1.5k in but it soon picked it back up, I even coped well with the hills.
The return journey was a different story though. I was well aware of how far we had to go to get to the car and the hills were bloody awful, in fact I could have thrown myself on the floor just to get out of them at one point. The good thing (I begrudgingly admit it's good) about Mr trainer man is that he takes none of my nonsense and our conversations usually go along the lines of :

(ME) "I'm gonna throw up"
(MTM) "You can still run while throwing up"

(ME) "I need to stop"
(MTM) "Do you? DO YOU REALLY?" (screaming in my ear)

(ME) "I can't breathe" (incidentally I DO have asthma)
(MTM) "Quit talking then"

(ME) "My legs hurt"
(MTM) "They're still attached to your body so keep running"

(ME) "My feet have gone numb"
(MTM) "Then you can't feel any pain can you so KEEP RUNNING!"

As you can see there's no way MTM is going to let me walk and actually I've now given up trying to, there's just no point and his attitude is rubbing off on me, I am so much more confident in my abilities.
We ran that 10k in a time that we're hoping for on the day - 1hour and 15 minutes - well chuffed.
At the end of it I got severe cramp in my right foot and by the time we'd driven home my foot felt like it was broken I really couldn't move it or walk on it, it was so painful. It was pretty much ok the next day but I'd like to know what caused it.

Todays run was a quick 2 mile in the forest which included a hell of alot of hills, in fact I'd say 70% of it was hills. We stopped once at the halfway mark but only because the road wouldn't let us go any further (we'd intended to do a circuit) so we had to turn round and run back.
Leanne and I managed to run all the hills without stopping but one in particular was a real marker for us as we've never managed to do it without stopping. We did today :)

I never thought I'd say this but I actually enjoy running now.
Leanne is doing really well, she's often in front of me a fair way as she can't keep to my slower pace especially uphill but she's learning to run through her stitches and I think she's going to do a fabulous time on the day of the run..................with her gazelle like gait ........................and her effortless running.........................and controlled breathing. No, I'm not jealous! OK maybe a little but I'm so pleased for her too :)

Thursday, 22 August 2013


Our last run was Monday night and consisted of a 2 mile run followed by a 4 mile bike ride, it may not sound alot but let me tell you were running in a head wind and I have never struggled with 2 miles as much as I did that night.
As much as I love running the windfarm because it's quiet and there's no traffic, it's completely open land and so when the wind picks up it really picks up.
By the end of the 2 miles I could have cried, in fact I could have cried halfway round when I desperately wanted to stop but knew I'd hate myself for it if I did. No way did I want to get on the bikes after that torture but Mr SG got us going and motivated and I have to admit I much prefer cycling to running.

No actual stops but you can see where I slowed down completely because I wanted to give up. A measly 74 calories burned.

Yes, I did stop twice, but in my defence I stopped to help Leanne as she was really struggling with a couple of the inclines. Leanne finds running much easier than cycling whereas it's the other way round for me.
Still only burned 129 calories though.

I guess I should start journalling my eating habits here to stay accountable. I've not been good with the snacks of late and I think I'm actually going to lose this 'Dietbet' challenge - I'll be gutted if I do but unless I have lost 4lb tomorrow (no way) and 4lb next week then I'm not going to make it.
My actual meals have been healthy and I try to eat a healthy snack twice a day so that I can regulate my blood sugar as I seem to get the collywobbles mid day and crave something sugary until the shaking stops - I'm trying to avoid getting to that point.
But once I sit down at night all I want to do is eat chocolate and the thought of not having something to sit down to of an evening terrifies me. It's strange but I'm content all day if I know I have a bar of chocolate to eat at night, if I know I haven't got one on the other hand I stress and feel worried about it all day.
When I first started Dietbet I thought I had a handle on the sweet tooth because I controlled it quite easily - or so I thought. The sweet tooth hadn't gone away I'd just masked it and it was so easy to slip back into the habit again.
So as of today I'm going to log every morsel that I eat which means I'll probably have to start blogging at night as I'll most certainly have forgotten by the next day.

Sunday, 18 August 2013


Tonight we decided to go for a bike ride instead of running - Leanne has bought herself a brand new , bike and was eager to try it out.
I secretly hoped that maybe Mr SG would struggle a bit more with cycling than he does with running, sounds awful I know but there has to be something he's not good at and none of us had really biked seriously for years, I used to cycle alot as a kid and I also used to cycle to work and back every day (a good 7 miles each way) so I started out with what I now know to be an unrealistic view on how easy it would be.
Rather than being naff Mr SG tootled along at top speed, effortlessly sailing past Leanne and I - even up the hills despite his bike being stuck in 3rd gear.
Leanne and I were peddling madly in 1st or 2nd gear to get up the hills while Mr SG just bloody well glided along. I figured I would get my own back on the downhill slope, stuck my bike in 6th gear and peddled as fast as my legs would bloody well peddle - Mr SG sailed past me in his 3rd gear - bloody gutted or what.
Our first time out and we only managed 5k but we're looking forward to a mini run tomorrow night followed by 6k on the bike.

That high peak was me peddling like mad down a hill.

Calories 223 Kcal
Weight Loss 5.9 g
Carbohydrate 112 Kcal (50%)
Fat 112 Kcal (50%)

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Wind farm running

Tonights run was at Camster wind farm again. We took a look at the map of it before we ran and figured we'd be doing a run down and turning back after a while, there was nothing that hinted on what kind of mileage it would be so we just relied on my Bryton sport to tell us.
Once we got running though we kind of just kept going, I have this mental hatred of running for a while then turning round and going back the same way - it does my head in, so I was actually ok with continuing all the way round despite not having a clue as to how far it would be.
It was a good 3.5k into the run before I stopped, my feet had gone numb and I just had to loosen the laces but Mr SG knew it was a mental thing too and literally forced me to get back up and run again. The conversation went something along the lines of
"I have to stop, my feet are numb"
"Well you won't feel any pain then will you, now get up and run"
I guess it did the trick, he got me up and got me going again. I did have a couple more stops with ridiculous excuses but Mr SG knows it's all in my head and not only did I continue to run but he even got me to sprint at the end.

The first spike drop looks like a stop but it was actually when we had to go through a cattle gate so doesn't count as a stop.

Leanne seemed to have an even better run, I tried to match her gait at one point but it was useless, she seems to run so effortless.
I'm still astounded that Mr SG can run without breaking a sweat and without a change in his breathing - the man isn't human!

Friday, 16 August 2013

Penelope Pittstop versus me.

Mr SG took us out running again! Thankfully he took pity on me and agreed to just do 2 miles, we even headed out to Camster wind farm for the first time for the run - it's so nice to run on a track and not have to worry about traffic.

I managed the first mile without stopping but we hit an incline on the way back and straight away my mind started telling me I couldn't do it and I stopped - just like that!
Mr SG got me going again but then he realised he'd dropped his tshirt way back and he had to go back for it. He left me with instructions to keep going but I couldn't drown out the idiot in my head insisting that I needed to walk and so my GPS shows exactly what happened.

It's interesting to see that Leanne has the same running style as her dad - effortless basically, kind of Penelope Pitstopish is how it looks though not quite so extravagant obviously. Whereas I run more like ..... well...

Leanne & Mr SG running style.

My running style.

I was annoyed with myself for all the stopping because it's all my head, I had no need to stop I wasn't knackered, I wasn't struggling to breathe and I wasn't puking.
I need to work on my mental attitude!

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Personal trainer

Remember in my last post when I said that Mr SG was going to go running with us - well last night he followed through with that threat promise.
I was happily ensconced on the sofa in PJ's watching RHOC while Leanne was happy in her PJ's too. Mr SG told us it was time to get changed for running which kind of had me in a panic and reeling off excuse after excuse as to why I couldn't run that night - Leanne was slightly more resigned to the idea of having to do it.
Maybe I should just clarify at this point that Mr SG is 11 years older than me, he is a heavy smoker, has COPD and scarring to the sole of his foot that hurts when he walks. He was athletic as a youngster and is a builder now but running for any length of time is something completely different and it was that knowledge that actually made me agree to his plan - basically I wanted to shut him up.
Leanne and I usually pick our runs with care, it's all hills here so most of the time we avoid the steepest longest ones unless we're wanting the extra work.
Mr SG on the other hand drove us to Loch Shebster at the foot of the steepest longest bloody hill possible and I realised I'd mis judged him when our complaints of the steepness of it were met with "Quit complaining, it'll be all downhill on the way back".
Within 1/2k of this hill I was reaching for the inhaler, I kid you not it was ridiculously hard. I trundled along waiting for Mr SG to give up - nothing! waited for him to struggle to breathe - nothing!
By the time we finally got to the top of the hill I was ready for turning round but nope Mr SG wanted us to go further. He bolstered me along explaining my defeatest attitude, he kept me motivated and he didn't let me give in to the many crappy excuses I was reeling off. I can run while I'm sick, it won't kill me - apparantly!
Finally he let us turn round and the notion of heading back to the car and the downhill run was severely shattered by the knowledge that we'd just run downhill so we had another hill to conquer first.
I hate hills!
By the time we made if back to the car - 7k later - Mr SG had hardly broken a sweat and his breathing was perfectly normal - in fact he happily chattered away while running.
Leanne and I were bloody gobsmacked, seems he really can put his money where his mouth is.
Mr TG is now our trainer and has even agreed to enter the 10k with us - this means that a) he'll keep me going when my head wants me to stop and b) Leanne will be able to run off at her own pace which is much faster than mine.

So I learned that I should never under estimate Mr SG - he's awesome!

You can see the spikes drop where I kept sneaking in a stop, once Mr SG cottoned on to what I was doing though he eventually managed to get me to stop.

56 minutes - not a great time but I know it'll improve.

Exercise Distance 6.99 km 
Uphill Distance 3.42 km
Downhill Distance 3.57 km

Calories 269 Kcal
Weight Loss 10.1 g
Carbohydrate 135 Kcal (50%)
Fat 135 Kcal (50%)

Monday, 12 August 2013

Things are not looking hopeful!

Is a crap run better than no run at all? On the one hand at least we got out there and did some running but on the other hand we walked many times for a minute or so a time.
We started well and cleared the first mile at a decent pace but then Leanne got stitch and I started feeling like I was going to throw up - it was all down hill from there.

We even got my husband to drop us off near the forest at the 3 mile marker and to follow us slowly in the car back to the main road - he thinks our attempt was so poor that he's now insisting that he's coming with us to run tomorrow. Obviously he tried to make it sound like a good thing but it actually sounded very much like a punishment lol.
The thing is my hubby is naturally quite fit as he's a builder BUT he's a heavy smoker, suffers from COPD and has a scar under foot that makes him limp - you could be forgiven for wondering why the heck he feels he'll be of any help at running but the annoying thing is that despite his conditions he'll definitely be able to run the pants off my daughter and I.
You may also wonder why the need to even help us improve and ordinarily I would have told him where to shove his "help" (he helped me when I originally started running, it wasn't a pleasant experience) but Leanne and I have a 10k booked in September and if we carry on in our current manner we'll be walking the whole thing.
Drastic times and all that!

Today was a disappointment for me in other ways too. I was due to start a new round of Insanity, I totally believed that my back was recovered enough to do it and that it would actually benefit from the stretches that Shaun T puts us through, unfortunately my back is actually not recovered enough and so I had to admit that to attempt something as extreme as Insanity would be an insane decision. I have a new start date of 19th August so I have everything crossed for that.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Reasons to run

Running with dogs has its downsides as well as its upsides. There's the obvious upsides such as company and safety when running lonely lanes or forest tracks but there's also the added bonus of effectively having a large dog pull you at times when you would otherwise have given in and walked - this also has the added bonus of improving running speed when not running with the dogs.
However the real downside as we've found out the last few times running is that we have to pull over for every single car on the lanes, all the stopping makes it harder and harder to get going again. If we run without the dogs then we don't need to stop as we can run far to the side but it's impossible when with the dogs, I think I'm going to have come up with some different running areas but it's going to mean driving to them first.
Todays GPS results show just how erratic our runs are

I can't believe how unfit I felt during this run, 5 weeks off has left me right back at square one which is a bit of a worry as we only have a few weeks left before our next 10k run.
At times when I'm worrying about being fit enough or am feeling despondent about not being able to run as well as I want to I try to remind myself of all the other awesome reasons for running.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Running with a GPS

Today was my first attempt at running since I slipped a disc in my back 4 weeks ago, when I say 'running' I use the term loosely because it was more of a dog walk spattered with bouts of jogging / running but at least I was back out there.
I don't really know why I bothered taking my GPS watch with me because it wasn't really needed but I'm finally trying to get used to how to use the thing to help me train efficiently and that means understanding the info it records.
Seriously though, even though I'm a visual person and prefer graphs and charts to text this information is all double dutch to me

I didn't realise while I was out that the GPS had either stopped receiving a signal or I accidentally turned it off (don't think I did though) so it only recorded 2/3rds of the run.
Guess it's going to take a while to understand what it all means.

'Dietbet' is up and running and is still open for newbies if you fancy joining in. There's a $25 (£16) stake but if you manage to lose 4% of your total weight in the 28days the challenge runs for then you'll make that back and more as you'll share a stake in the total pot - which currently stands at $8425.00.

Last night I needed to use up a cabbage that I'd cut from the veggie plot and my initial thought was Cabbage and Leek as I love it but I realised I didn't have Leeks so I had to improvise (which means make it up as I went along). I diced a whole Onion (also grown on the plot) and cooked that along with diced red pepper, garlic and Black peppercorns, then added the parboiled shredded cabbage, covered it and left it to cook away. I should have taken a photo but forget but let me tell you it was bloomin gorgeous!