It’s been a while…..

Well…. I’m sorry that it’s been over a month, my blogging friends!  But life has been very busy.  I’ve got behind with emails and other correspondence too – so it’s not just you!

My weight continued to fluctuate, but with a steady increase and I FINALLY found the motivation to get back on the gravy train and this is now my third week of back-to-back 2-day fasting, which seems to really give my body a jolt.  I wanted to be under 11 stone on my birthday, which is tomorrow, but today the scales registered at 11.1 and a half.  Today is also the second fast day and from experience I am not expecting to hit the magic ten-stone something by tomorrow, not even if I go for a run – which I am loathe to do on a second consecutive fasting day – purely because I have “nothing in the tank” and I don’t want to feel even more of a failure.

The pressure I have myself under is immense.  When I was maintaining my weight from October to December under the ten stone mark, I was very trappy – “I’ll never allow myself to slip back into bad habits….”, “I’ll never eat crap again”, “I’ll never allow myself to be fat again”.  Whilst loads of people are telling me that I’m not fat and that I look fine, I know that I now have a wardrobe full of jeans that are too tight on my hips and thighs and I know that I am not happy being eleven stone anything.  

Looking back, I do think that 9 stone 13 was just a little too low for me.  Whilst it was GREAT to fit into a pair of size 8 jeans, when I look at photos, I was starting to look all sinewy and bony and it didn’t suit me.  A few extra pounds and I looked a lot better, so this time, my revised target weight is 10:5…. with a view to fluctuating under by a couple of pounds.  This will open up a lot more of the jeans but just keeps me at the tip of looking slim, but not scrawny.  

This has been an embarrassing learning curve for me.  I took my eye off the ball at Christmas and my willpower failed me.  I wasn’t ready to relax and should have remained vigilant over the festive season.  Things will be a LOT different this year.  These feelings of shame and embarrassment are really not worth all those goodies and treats that I have been stuffing.

My running has suffered.  Hard to explain but the extra weight feels like I am running carrying a bag of potatoes.  My speed and stamina have dropped off the scale and whilst I still enjoy it, there is now a sense of trepidation when I set out – a fear that within a kilometre or so my body will be screaming at me to stop.  Yes, I could push through this but there is a niggling voice that says “You’re heavier and not as fit.  Stop, you big fat heifer!” yet last year when I was in the zone, I was able to push through and remain positive.  

I WILL get there… I just have to shut that nasty little voice up……

Shhhhhh…..

Keep it under your hat but I seem to have found some resolve and determination and am back on the dieting train.  It’s only been five days but that’s the longest I’ve stuck to “dieting” since Christmas so I’m cautiously hopeful that I can do it.  Yesterday was my “run-iversary” (327 miles in that year!)  so this time last year I was in the zone and stuck to it religiously, although I hadn’t yet found the delights of 5:2 fasting, which didn’t start until July.  Coupled with the fact that I’m now a month off my 51st birthday, I want to be as light as I can be on that day, with the time allowed!!  On the days I don’t run, I’ve taken to brisk walking a lap or two around the estate… anything from 2 to 5km, depending on time available.

In the meantime, I ran a park run accompanying a dragon, which was fun!  A girl from our running club borrowed the suit (which completed the London marathon last month, powered by a different human!) to raise money for asthma.  5km was a challenge for her as her previous longest distance in it had been 3km, so I ran with her and uttered lots of supportive and helpful comments.  And she made it… well done, Cat!

Riding has continued to be brillliant, shame the same can’t be said about the weather which has been wet and windy, so not much riding…. but what we’ve fitted in has been FAB.  Albi continues to be a total star and we’re coming on in leaps and bounds.

Joey is coming home for the summer, on a part-lease with the junior employer family.

When a few more pounds are gone, the self-loathing will cease…. and lots of pairs of jeans will re-become available to me!!!!

Good times…..

Fresh from hacking out three times over the Easter weekend, I ran with the club on Monday night.  Felt a bit tired, but I’d eaten crap (think easter eggs and hot cross buns!) all day so it served me right.  Also the “5km” route turned out to be nearer 7.  

Saturday’s park run was brilliant as it was Kathy Ling’s (“70 at 70”) 70th run so the press were there and her club were all marshalling (and there was CAKE!!!)  I was a little slower as a bout of stitch forced me to walk for a while.  In the end, I turned out to be not as slow as I’d thought as I was only a minute behind last week’s time…. and I felt sure I was going to be 4 or 5 minutes slower.

I didn’t ride in the week as it was a short one and the weather was pants when I was free but Dom and I managed to get a two-hour one in between rain showers on Sunday.  We met pigs for the first time and the boys were VERY brave…. I was so proud of Albi… well, Jack too as he can be afraid of his own shadow!

Yesterday Jack and Joey had their teeth done by the lovely vet, Kate and I decided that rather than running with the group, I’d go out on my own as I was feeling tired and wasn’t sure whether I’d give up.  In the event I ran just over 5km, so considering I went out with a negative attitude, I’m pleased with that.

This morning I took Albi and then Joe out for an identical route…. short but speedy.  It was great fun and both boys got a sweat on and needed a hose down afterwards.  I am calling it “interval training”…. short, sharp bouts of horse “sprinting”.  I may ache tomorrow!!!

Ups and downs…..

So this post is a little overdue but I’ve had a busy week (for me!)

It all started on Thursday 10th – I had the running club’s AGM in the evening so no Thursday evening run.  Work on Friday morning then usual horse stuff in the afternoon.  Saturday we drove down to Greater London to visit family and see my son in a show (it was FAB!)  He’d grown a beard for the part and I thought it really suited him.  Shame it’s gone now….

Image

Sunday we had some essential field stuff to do and then I put the horses onto their summer grazing, which means I don’t have to go through the faff of hard-feeding and haying them daily.  They were VERY happy to get onto that lush spring grass.

So no running all weekend *sigh*

Monday night I didn’t feel in the right mindset to run so I skipped the sesh, then read about it on FB afterwards and it sounded like a blast, so I instantly regretted not going.

Tuesday we drove down to Swindon to help my youngest daughter and her lovely boyfriend move house.  And the car broke!!  At the moment we are still playing financial “catch-up” from having to pay for the other half of Albi (soon to be remedied when we get paid next Thursday!) so I went into a tailspin of panic.  We have some other financial stuff going on in the background which is a bit of a worry, but I’m taking the bull by the horns and sorting it so at least I still feel in control of it, rather than it controlling me.  We couldn’t work out whether the battery had died or whether the starter motor had gone.  We were on the verge of jump-starting it and getting it to Halfords to buy a new battery when it suddenly wouldn’t jump-start so I called out the recovery people (who were brilliant and arrived in about 15 minutes) and he tested the battery and said there was nothing wrong with it.  Phew…. lucky break there.  If we’d bought a new battery, we wouldn’t have been able to afford a new starter motor.  The recovery guy got us bump-started and we drove – very carefully – the 90 miles home, terrified that we’d stall the car.  But we made it.  Dom had a look and pronounced that it was too complicated to replace himself so I started to really accept that I might have to start running the 11-mile round trip to check the horses daily.  Not so bad on the flat but in Bridgnorth there are some killer hills to incorporate in that distance too!!!  Anyway, the Gods were smiling as we were able to bump start the car yet again the next morning and drive to buy a new starter motor and then Dom was a total star and replaced it in less than an hour!  I cried with relief!!  I spent the afternoon joyfully poo-picking and grooming the boys….

On Wednesday evening I felt I needed to rid myself of tension so I took myself out for a 10km run around town, which was hugely enjoyable and I felt like I had reset my head.

Thursday evening I helped our employers throw a supper party for 8.

Friday I fasted for the first time in weeks so I felt good and self-righteous!  Dom and and I had our first hack out together this year – Jack was a little on his toes but Albi was a total star.

And yesterday I went to Telford park run and managed to finish within 20 seconds of the PB I set last November so I was dead chuffed with that.  Did a flying sprint finish too (OK it’s downhill but who cares!)

 

Happy Easter everyone!

 

 

ANOTHER good week!!!

Well after my high from Thursday, I just went from strength to strength last week!  Went out again on Sunday and felt great doing a 6+km run and then a lovely lady posted on my running club’s Facebook page.  She asked “Is there anyone who runs 5k in around 35 mins as I can’t do it in under 30?” and I felt like my prayers had been answered!  I replied “Yes!  Meeeee!” and thus we ran together Monday night.  And for the first time I ran up ALL the hills and although I got stitch for a while because of a little bit of talking (which buggered up my breathing rhythm), I felt BRILLIANT!!!  In fact, I felt so good, I went out again on Tuesday night and did the same route, but in reverse… and from the car, which made it 6km again…. and I still managed to run up all the hills, which I was dead chuffed about.  So if you realise what I’ve just typed, I ran three times in three days….  and felt GREAT!

Tuesday was a brilliant day all round actually – the sun shone and in the morning I hacked Albi out for the first time completely solo.  And then in the afternoon I took Joey in the school…. so I rode TWO horses and then did a run in the evening…. My FitBit went into overdrive!

Thursday night I joined the running club again for a run along the golf course, beside the river – a route that is new to me and highly enjoyable.  The loop was supposed to be 5km but ended up actually being 6.  But still a good run.

Friday and today my legs have felt really tired so I’ve taken it easy.  Hoping to do a 5km tomorrow and then back with the club on Monday night.  I’ve been good and stuck to my diet this week (although not had such a good day today) and I’ve lost 3lbs this week, despite a rather yummy indian takeaway on Wednesday evening – yummm….

I think I really HAVE turned that corner…. things are on the up!

Are things finally on the up?

Well I just HAD to come here and tell you because today I finally….. FINALLY had what I would describe as a good and proper run! I’ve been trying and failing to re-lose a few pounds but I’ve trying to do it quickly, in that I’ve been setting myself a low daily calorie target and only lasting two or three days before I give up. I don’t have that determination that I had last year and it’s driving me MAD that I can’t find it again….. Anyhoo over the weekend I had a sensible conversation with Dom and we came to the conclusion that perhaps the better way to go forward is to allow myself more calories and to try to lose the weight over a longer period of time, slower – maybe just a pound a week for a month or so. It IS only a few pounds after all and it’s not like my clothes aren’t fitting so what is the rush? Well, it’s Thursday and I’ve stuck to it for four days now so in my mind it’s going well! 

Went running on Tuesday but felt really heavy and tired so I only managed 4km in a very average time for me. Today I REALLY fancied some wholemeal toast with peanut butter and honey so I said to myself “Jane! You wanna eat it, you gotta earn it!” So I planned my route with about five possible ways of finishing it – ranging from 4 to 10km – and I’d see how I was feeling as I went and then decide which finish to go for. Today it went well…. so well that when Endomondo told me I’d completed 4km in 24 minutes, I realised that today my speed was back too and that if I shifted it for the next km, I might be in with a chance of beating my 5km personal best. So I DID shift it – for a whole kilometre – and achieved that 5th one in 5 minutes and 58 seconds (usually ranges from 6.45 to 7.30!) AND I did indeed beat my PB, by 18 seconds…. and that was set back in November!! I was so delighted to have done this that I decided to go long and ran the 10km finish…. earning myself 850 calories credit – more than enough for that toast and toppings, which was absolutely delicious.

Just back from the yard and surprised to find that my legs aren’t even feeling tired – normally after a run I do feel it going up and down the slopes poo-picking but today I feel great.

So…. I won’t count my chickens but today has definitely been a GOOD day. My Fitbit target is 10,000 steps daily. I usually average around 12,500 but today – so far – I’ve done 21,700+ 

Perhaps I’ve turned a corner today and things will be different in future…. fingers crossed…..

Plateau!

Well I don’t really have a lot to report for March so far.  I seem to be at a stalemate with my weight.  Every Monday I start off on a new quest to lose the excess half stone I am still carrying…. and then I sabotage my efforts at some point and it all goes to pot again.  The one thing I do know is that if I cut down on my food, my running suffers….  if I’m stuffing lots of carbs I am more energised to run so it is a bit of an emotional see-saw for me at the moment.  I hit my first hundred miles this month so I’m not doing TOO badly!

The other major thing that happened for me this month was a big upset and change of circumstances meant that I had to find the money to buy out Albi’s other co-owner so I am his sole mummy again now….

 

Image 

So I’ve been busy re-starting him after the winter off to mature and so far he’s been a complete angel.  Yesterday I reintroduced clicker training to him and he was focussed and attentive.  I’m expecting big things from this little lad……

 

Gadgets and Gizmo’s…..

Well it’s not been a bad old week.  Last Thursday I struggled with the 10km at the running club.  I ran too fast trying to keep up for the first 5km and said I would drop out at the halfway mark.  I also got stitch so I told them to run on and dropped down to a walk.  As they disappeared out of sight, I gave myself a talking to and decided that I would do the full run…. so I did.  In the dark, on my own.  They were surprised to see me rock up at the end though!

On Saturday I went to Telford to do the 5km park run.  Now this should be SO easy for me as 5km is now a “short” run to me but I found it really hard again.  I think I get into this headset when I’m running in company that I have to keep up and end up exhausting myself.

Tuesday I went out solo during the day and managed a commendable 7.5km with no problems.

In the meantime I ordered and received a Fitbit One.  I’ve been after one of these for ages but funds wouldn’t allow, but finally we could allow one in the budget and I’m really enjoying seeing all these stats appear on screen as the gadget syncs to my pc.

I also ordered a little digital metronome which I can clip onto my collar and will hopefully keep me running at a steady pace.  And some arm lights for when I DO feel like joining the running club in the evening.

The really good news is that the horrible woman at my yard has finally moved off so I’ve got the place to myself now.  Got to pay an extra £30 a month now but SO worth it!!

Tentative thoughts about thirteen miles……

Well I didn’t do the park run this weekend because it was their first birthday and I had volunteered to be a marshall!  This involved being “Marshall number one” – a very short role as it is a section that they don’t repeat again.  So I got my phone out and video’d them as they all pounded past…. with my left hand pointing to “direct” them…..  And then I pootled to the finish and took on my second role as “Finish Tokens” – handing out one to each finisher.  We had 246, which was a nice number.  My third role of the day had involved some prior planning as I’d baked some flapjacks and chocolate fridge cake…. so they were offered to all finishers (and marshalls!!!)

20140215_083345

Then on Sunday I decided to do a long run.  I pre-planned a 10k around town but the sun was shining and I was “in the zone” so I just kept going and ended up running my fir 15km…. a new PB distance!  My legs felt very fizzy and heavy for the rest of the day and although I walked for a good five minutes when I’d finished AND did some really long, slow stretches, I did feel some muscle soreness for the rest of Sunday.  Also, weirdly my back was aching…. but that could be related to the new shoes.  I was dreading getting up Monday morning but surprisingly I felt absolutely fine…..  no soreness and just a residual fatigue in my legs.  So, retrospectively, I was really pleased with all that and have decided to take the plunge and sign up for a half-marathon in September.  15km is the equivalent of 9.4 miles, so only another 3.6 to add onto that distance then!

Then Monday to Wednesday my eating went downhill and Wednesday was a particularly bad “carb-stuffing” day.  Yesterday I decided that I need to re-gain that control so I fasted and feel a lot better for it today.  Lost 3lbs of water too so not so bloated!  The dilemma I have is that I do seem to be able to run better when I have eaten lots of carbs…..

Plan is 10km with the running club tonight and then 5km park run on Saturday, followed by another 5km with the running club on Monday.

An embarrassment with the new shoes – and a tiresome bout of stitch!

Well I didn’t get to run over the weekend due to the atrocious weather. So I headed out with the running club on Monday evening to do 5km. Only I had another blighted attempt as I got a horrible stitch around the 3km mark and it just would NOT shift, despite all my usual “moves”. So in the end I just had to walk. Thankfully the back pacer walked with me – she’d done 14 miles on Sunday so was glad to have an especially light 5km. I tried running again after a bit and it just came back as strong so we walked on. Then I tried again and it didn’t get any worse so I just tolerated it until we were back. The muscle was still sore the next morning! Grrrr…..

I also came to the conclusion that the new running shoes were just a tad too small. Thankfully they came with a 30-day exchange guarantee so I was able to return the 6.5’s for the 7’s and they got “test-driven” this morning in brilliant sunshine! I downloaded an app onto the new phone called “Runzi” which has a cadence monitor, in the form of a clicking metronome as part of it’s services. Now from reviewing my runs on Endomondo, I do tend to run a bit erratically….. I seem to start off quick but then flag as the miles pass. So I looked for something that could keep me consistent and I thought that a regular click in my ear might do the job. So I tested it out this morning and I actually found that having to run constantly in time to the click was very soothing. I got into a good rhythm and actually ran faster than I have of late.  Now the rest of the app doesn’t really appeal to me so I’ve decided that I’m going to buy a small metronome from Amazon….

www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00DJ1HKCS/ref=s9_simh_gw_p267_d0_i2?pf_rd_m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=0G78NYNX3PSHW2AW8CTM&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=455344027&pf_rd_i=468294

This one has an earphone jack so I won’t be “clicking” as I run past people!!! It also has a volume control…. useful when I’m running on pavements beside busy roads and it is small enough to either go in a pocket or clip onto my top without being intrusive. And it means that I can revert to using Endomondo on my phone. And the bigger size shoes were FAB.

I was VERY lucky to receive a gift from my bezzie bud some months ago now, in the form of a £50 voucher for John Lewis!!! Thankfully they don’t have an expiry date and I have been umming and aahing about what to buy for a while. Anyway, after much internet research, I’ve finally decided to put it towards a Fitbit One. As you know, I love data, lists and analysis so I will be in my element looking at all the daily information that THAT will provide me!!

I’m having a fasting day today…. I have been feeling very bloated and sluggish for the past week or so and I can feel that old habits are starting to re-surface so I’ve taken myself to task and will cut down on the carbs again. As much as they help with the running, they really do make me feel rather vile when they build up…. despite how lovely they can taste! I’m replacing them with fruit and veg for a few days as a kind of de-tox. I’ll know when they’ve been “purged” from my system because my tummy will be flatter and I’ll start feeling less sluggish…. this time last year I was overweight and ignorant, ignoring what my body was telling me. Sometimes a little knowledge is a real pain in the butt!