Lost my fitness. Need to get it back

An update

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I haven’t posted for ages.  I haven’t done much to justify any writing. I still do a few sessions in the gym but not doing many classes.  Part of the reason behind this is that I started a new job as a youth worker in January and I’m doing a mix of days and evenings ( which include weekends) so I have no consistent routine.  Plus winter makes me hibernate ( I really think I’m a bear ) so now the weather is improving , of sorts , I’m getting back to it slowly.  I did sign up last year for the Newport half marathon, and it was scheduled for March this year, but believe it or not, it snowed and it was cancelled.  I was secretly pleased as due to problems with my knee ( more on that later ) I hadn’t done any training.  I asked for a refund as I knew I wouldn’t feel like doing it in a few weeks time when they  rescheduled and as luck would have it the 2nd date was cancelled too as it bloody well snowed again!!!!! I know people were gutted when it was cancelled completely, but I knew I would feel awful on the day knowing I should be running it.  To make myself feel part of the running community again,  I signed up as a volunteer  for the Newport Marathon.  It was the first one held in my home town and I wanted to be part of it.  My first role was meant to be bag drop and although I would be part of it, it felt like I would  miss lots of the action.  But luck was on my side again and they changed me to water stations at the last minute and it was fab.  I was on mile 24 so seen all the runners at one of the hardest points and I cheered them on until I went hoarse.  Such a great atmosphere and such a well organised event that I enjoyed being part of.

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No that is not my stomach under there, its my waist belt and lots of layers.

So since then I have done a few gym sessions with my daughter and a few sessions in my garage but nothing to write home about.  I am afraid to go back to my running club as I know I am so unfit.  I had decided on Saturday that I would take a parcel up to the post office and run back home to judge my fitness level…. OMG nightmare!!!!!  I was literally dying, completely out of breath and couldn’t seem to coordinate my steps.  When I came home, I looked in the mirror and I was literally purple.  It was the same look when I FIRST started running and I wanted to cry.  I checked my Strava app hoping it would tell me I had ran a long way to justify the beetroot face, but it told me I had ran 1.8 miles!!!!!!  That was all, a poxy 1.8 miles.

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I am sobbing at this news

Well at least  know I am going to have to try harder to complete my dreams of running a marathon one day.  The good news was that my knee held out for this run .  You see I have had a problem where my knee feels like it is going to give out on me when I run and it aches a lot.  I had an operation on it years ago to remove some floating bone and cartilage and every now and again it plays up.  I had an MRI scan recently and it showed I have a small cyst inside my knee,  but nothing will be done until it causes me problems.  So when it aches I strap it up and carry on.

Sometimes I wish I had a partner that enjoys the gym and running like I do as I think it would motivate me more but hubby is not interested.  We cant have everything can we? lol. Some of the people from the running club have offered to train with me so I may take them up on this soon. So for me its back to running club this week to try and get my fitness up  as I have signed up the  young people I work, with for the Subway 5k run.  They think I’m super-fit as they know I do all these different activities, so I cant disappoint them now can I?

Will let you know of my progress.

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Did my fastest 10k!!!!!

As you all know by now, my fitness is always up and down but I have been going to the gym regularly and I decided that even though I love the gym, its running that tones me the most.  So my friend Gillian convinced me to enter a 10k and build up to a half marathon again. So we entered the Cardiff 10k.

As my friends and family all know, I have a love for Nike products so I bought a new running vest, running shorts and the new Mo Farah Nike trainers that had just been released. I really think he added his magic to them lol.

 

IMG_0764It was forecast rain and rain it bloody well did.  It helped to be honest as I love running in the rain but Gill wasn’t as impressed. Unfortunately we couldn’t wear headphones so my running app wasn’t telling me how we were doing so we just ran like we normally do and just relying on my Apple watch. This turned out to be a good thing as we got to the end and we had done it in 57 minutes and 56 seconds….. my fastest yet!!!!!! So chuffed,

 

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The Mo Farah trainers helped.
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The magic trainers

Its a really nice medal too as some I have had in the past have been the same medal with a new ribbon with the date on!!! I’m getting a little collection so may need a medal rack soon.

This fast speed (for me anyway) has motivated me to enter the Newport half marathon next March. Ive just come back from my holidays and just signed up for it so training begins this week……watch this space for my progress.

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An update on my fitness routine

 

In a previous post I mentioned that I had joined a new gym, so I thought I would let you know how its  going and basically tell you that I’m addicted  to it lol.  On an average week I do five classes and they are all different so that they work different parts of my body.  One of my favourite classes is called Tabata and even though I do this on 2 days a week, they are with different trainers so a completely different intensity. The one on a Sunday we call boot camp as its very hardcore and the trainer is the same guy that did my personal training so he knows how far he can push me……and bloody hell he does work me to the limit, I sweat buckets!!! This Sunday however he was off and we had a different trainer that didn’t push as hard, so after the class a few of us that are runners, went for a 2 mile run so we felt like we had done something.

Another class I enjoy is called MMA, which sounds extreme, but is basically boxing circuits. We partner up and we take it in turns to hit the pads for a minute, lunge up and down the room for another minute then repeat 10 times. Then we have to kick the pads that our partner is holding up high, not great for me with my little legs, then side squat up and down the room.  My poor legs are burning by the end of it.

Running has taken a bit of a back seat due to being in the gym 5 days a week, but spinning is meant to help strengthen the legs so this week I’m getting back to running as I have a 10K coming up soon.  And to be honest I do enjoy running as I tend to switch off from everything, whereas high intensity classes I need to concentrate on more.

So how has all this training affected my fitness???? Well I have gained muscles in my arms, my abs are starting to show (which I love) but my legs are looking chunkier due to muscles getting bigger !!!! So I’m going back to running more often and cutting down the weighted squats and lunges as I don’t want muscular thighs, just toned ones.  And running did tone them nicely.

So that’s it….I love the gym but I love the way running tones my legs so I’m sticking with more of that I think.

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Anyone for kombucha?

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I’m always browsing online and will try out all the new and no so new products that claim to keep the body healthy.  The one I make in the summer is kombucha.

For those who haven’t heard of it, it’s basically a fermented drink made of black tea and sugar. It is fermented with a colony of bacteria and yeast known as a SCOBY

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looks disgusting

Kombucha is sold ready-made in many health food shops and trendy cafes but I have never tried them, so I have no idea if mine tastes the same.  But I really wanted to make my own so I bought my first scoby of eBay and gave it a go.  Once you make your first batch you keep the scoby and a cup of the liquid ready for the next batch so you never need to buy the scoby again,  And the good news is that they breed…..not literally but you will find baby scobys attaching to the main one, which means as they grow bigger you can pass them onto family and friends that want to give it a go.  Except that all my family and friends already think I’m weird for being vegan, so drinking a liquid made from a piece of rubberlike substance just confirms it.

So basically all I did was boil a kettle full of water and in a big bowl put in 6 teabags (any brand will do but they have to contain caffeine) and 170g of ordinary sugar.  Add the water and let the tea stand until it becomes lukewarm. Then I poured this into a big glass jar which you can pick up in any bargain shop. Then I added the scoby and a cup of the liquid from the previous batch.

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Let this mixture sit for about 7 to 10 days (the warmer the room, the quicker it ferments) so maybe try the taste every few days until its something you like.  It should taste sweet and not taste of tea.  When you are happy with the taste then pour it into smaller bottles and add flavours if you like.  I have tried a few but my favourite is to add blueberries to the bottles and this will flavour it. These are the bottles I use and they are from Ikea.  I  ‘burb’ the bottles every few days as the gas does tend to build up. I then store these in the fridge and they last for ages.  I usually have a glass of it just before breakfast.

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Don’t forget to save the scoby for the next batch and some of the liquid.  Then all you will need is teabags and sugar and you are ready to start again.  Look at the health benefits you get from something so simple and it’s got to be worth a try.  Just be warned that husbands (or maybe just mine) will moan about a vingerlike smell in the kitchen if the product ferments for too long.  But apparently you can use it as a salad dressing, though I haven’t tried this yet.

Let me know if anyone else makes kombucha and if you have any other tricks or tips for it

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The Running Granny is back!!

runspiration2Back with a vengeance too.  I haven’t  posted a lot because i think people don’t  want to read my daily life but I’ve realised that I read a lot of blog posts and it’s always about their general day to day stuff. I always enjoy reading them too, so I thought if they do it then so can I.

So just to catch you all up with my life over the past few months, I am back to running regular and back to the gym to tone up.  I have a new running partner named Gillian and we try to do at least a four mile run a couple of times a week. Its really nice having someone that runs about the same speed as me (slow) and we have a good old gossip and moan about partners and kids along the way, so its a good stress relief too lol.  It turned out that Gill hadn’t long joined a new gym in our area and she booked me in for a free spin session. OMG . I had never done spin before but I was hooked from the start.  I may of cheated a tiny bit by turning down the resistance slightly, but with the dim lighting and the brilliant music, I gave it my all and to be blunt……I sweated like a pig!!

The gym membership is really cheap as there is no pool or sauna there but as I’m not a great swimmer I can live without it, or even pay to use the local pool if I feel like it.  I still held off from paying a membership for a couple of weeks though as they were asking for a joining fee on top , but then I had an email to say no fee if I joined now.  So now I’m a full member.  As you may know from previous posts, I was with another gym but I just didn’t like the way it was run. There were hardly any staff around to help you and any classes were in the corner of the gym rather than in another room. Not great for me I’m afraid.  But this one feels like one big family.  There’s plenty of staff and they treat you like friends and make the classes fun.  Exactly what I want.

So with running and fitness back on track (thanks to my personal trainer for pointing out what I need to improve on ) I’ll tell you about my beautiful granddaughter Scarlett . She turned 3 in March and is just amazing. Her counting is great, she recognises all her numbers and knows her colours and shapes too. I really can’t remember if my 3 children did the same at her age, but I know for a fact that when I worked in a nursery, most of the children didn’t recognise numbers, so I’m very proud of her.  She starts nursery as a rising 3 this week so I’m hoping her teachers will be impressed by her too.  She is lucky to have parents that spend a lot of time with her and encourage her to do things and I think that helps.IMG_0284

I usually have Scarlett on a Sunday and we do usual grandparent stuff like the park and Funky Monkeys, but this week as her parents were away in London for Toycon ( my son Evan is a model maker)  I had her to stay for 4 days.  I was lucky that she is so forward and can tell you what she want, which made life easier, but she still  managed to get up at 6.45 every morning no matter what time she went to bed at night.  And as soon as she was up she needed entertaining, so I’m pretty much knackered this week, but it was worth it.

So there you have it.  I’m back!!!!!  So expect more posts from me on a more regular basis as I will keep you up to date with my plans for running as I know I want to get back to doing some more half marathons. Watch this space,

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My favourite tea.

As I’m lucky enough to have 3 children, it means I’m also lucky enough to have lots of presents from them too.  The one I’m blogging about today is from Tea People, a fab company that not only produce great tea, but also help rebuild schools in their native India and sees at least 50% of its net profits help the social enterprise to educate underprivileged children in the tea growing regions.

I absolutely love tea and my kitchen is full of different varieties but this company seemed a bit different. For example, who would of thought that Japanese green tea with roasted rice would go together ( Genmaicha Popcorn Tea) . It was great.

They are loose leaf, which I like as it always feels like you are having a proper cup of tea when using a strainer instead of a teabag, but the company do sell empty tea bags so you  can make your own from the loose leaf if that’s what you prefer.The only one I haven’t tried yet is the Moroccan Mint as I have never been keen on a tea that tastes of polo mints lol but I will soon.

Take a look at their website teapeople.co.uk and get your tea fix as well as helping underprivileged children too.

 

 

 

First run of 2017

I was motivated last night to start back up running.  I have been swimming a few times and also been to the gym but I’ve realised that the only thing that makes me happy, reduces my stress after a bad day, and tones my chubby thighs is running.  So last night I planned to run along the canal today….it’s my favourite place.  And to spur me along my hubby said he will come too. This is unbelievable as he is certainly not a runner.

So this morning it looked like great weather.  It was a bit chilly but also sunny so I was looking forward to it.  I had my usual breakfast of porridge and banana an hour before and I got dressed in my running gear….I was so motivated.  We walked out of the house and then we slipped!!!! Yep there was black ice at the top of the driveway 😦 We carried on walking hoping it was just the odd patch, but no, we just kept on slipping. So we made our way back to the house and I jumped straight on my treadmill.

And what a great run I had.  I don’t usually run that well on the treadmill, but this time it felt so easy.  I had my music blaring and I think it was a mixture of sunshine through the window and rock music that made it so good. I did my 5k in exactly 30 mins so I know I’m not too far off my goal and that made me happy.  I would of liked to have gone for longer but I had work in the afternoon so I did my squats and had a shower.

I was still buzzing from a great run so I even walked up to work, did my little 4 hour shift then jogged home!!!! Yay go me. I feel like I’m ready to get back to training regularly as I’m not as unfit as I thought I would be after not doing it for a while.  I’m going to run for the next few weeks and if everything goes ok, I might sign up for the Newport half marathon.  We will see lol

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My new baby :)

We have a new addition to our family. Welcome to Frankie.

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Look how cute I am

He is a French bulldog and he is 5 months old.  I had a gorgeous greyhound before Frankie, who sadly passed away and I was heartbroken. I never wanted another dog but I missed being out walking a dog and having a companion about the place. My hubby, Andy, is not too keen on the mess dogs leave ( hair, food and poo etc lol) so was reluctant but he has always wanted a french bulldog. I wasn’t keen on the breed but after lots of research we agreed that’s what we wanted. And so the search began.

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Frankie aged 4 months

We fell in love with him as soon as we seen him and he looked like a Frankie from the beginning.  And he has settled in so quickly.  Its like he has always been here.  I am used to training dogs and I have also had to train Andy not to spoil him lol.

Our granddaughter Scarlett absolutely loves him but he likes to chase her toes so it’s like a mad house here sometimes.

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Stop chasing my toes Frankie

 

I am so glad he is part of our family and he is so worth it.

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Vegan protein 

For the past few years I have used protein shakes.  My favourite company for these are http://www.theproteinworks.com/

They have lots of flavours and I have done a past review when I used the whey protein. However now that I’m vegan I have had to change products. I am now using these,
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I had previously bought an unflavoured pea protein and to mix it up I decided to try out the new syrups on offer . Basically they flavour the protein and they have lots of different choices. Ideal for someone like me who gets bored of the same flavour. I also bought the choc silk protein as even though I have given up chocolate ( it’s hard to find decent vegan chocolate) I still need to curb my craving. This does it perfectly and as usual, it tastes amazing.

I’m not back to the gym or running as much as I should be but hopefully I’ll be back to it soon and will then try more of the different syrups on offer.

Use my code KM84430 to get free protein and try them out. Let me know what you think.

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Vegan goodie boxes 

I love receiving these boxes every month as it’s packed with things I never usually buy for myself. 

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January box

I pay £10 a month ( plus p&p) but the value of the items always exceed this so I’m happy . They tend to have a mixture of sweet and savory items and most of the products are not usually in local supermarkets. Sometimes a lip balm or candle can be included so it’s  like a present to myself every month haha.

They are well worth the money and can be found at 

https://www.thevegankind.com/

Check them out.