Saturday 13 April 2013

Hello Stranger...

Ooops, It really has been a while since I came on here... but a few of you have been emailing to check I am OK.

The short answer is Yes Thank You.  I am doing grand. =D

The long answer is Aye. Great! I have been pretty busy lately trying to get fit again. Too busy to spend much time on the world wide web.  The good news is that it is paying off.....

I have been using My Fitness Pal as my motivation, as I know once I start to loose weight then I will be able to regain some Bike Fitness, which will help me be able to get back out and ride through all these bitter winds.

When starting with My Fitness Pal, I realised just how bad my diet could be.  I have never been one for eating a lot of fruit, but my diet was generally OK, a healthy breakfast and a homemade evening meal, full of veggies etc.  My main problem areas were lunchtimes at work and the evenings that we had the "easier" meal options.

At work I would just grab a jam sandwich until I got home, then I would maybe make another sandwich or some toast. It was just too much bread!  The second problem would be the nights neither of us wanted to cook, so out would come the simple options, like fajitas, enchiladas, pasta-bakes etc.... I was flabbergasted by the calorific values.  If I was still exercising regularly I know these would be absolutely fine as we fill them full of veggies and protein.... but as it was, I just wasn't using as much as I was putting in.

Anyway, by the end of February I had lost half a stone due to watching my calorie intake.  I don't see it as being on a diet.  I am just eating more sensible sized portions and watching my snacking habits and I am definitely not depriving myself of my favourite treats.  If I don't have enough calories left to eat a treat I will go out and earn them, either through a ride, walk or a run - or failing that just save it for the following day when I may have used more calories.

By the end of March another half a stone had come off and it is definitely more noticeable how fitter I am. I am still far from where I was this time last year (or anywhere near my target weight) but I am doing things realistically and sensibly and once Spring has finally sprung I think it will be much easier to shed the final few pounds when I can get out and do longer rides.

In general I am now doing about 2-3 rides a week and 2-3 runs a week with maybe one or two walks thrown in for good measure, so I am definitely moving more than I had been for a while.

Sadly though, very few of these rides have been outside, due to the abysmal weather and continued strong winds but I am getting some good Turbo sessions in, which are really doing my stamina good as I am trying to maintain a good cadence throughout and build strength in my legs and lungs. Can't wait to get out there on a warm sunny day and see all my good work pay off. =D

So that was my news.... I apologise for neglecting this blog or keeping up with everyone elses.  Hope you are all well.

Thursday 31 January 2013

January - another month and a new incentive.

So, the New Year pretty much started in the same way that the last few months have been, with the weather and my idleness getting the better of me1

I was still managing to get out and do 2 runs a week but I really lacked any motivation to ride.  I then had a severe ear infection and even the runs had to stop.  By the time I was well again I was climbing the walls.  For the first time in a long time I actually wanted to get out and do something. In fact I wanted to ride!

So, we got ready. It was bitter out so we had to really wrap up. I was looking forward to getting out there though. For the first time in ages I was doing it for fun, not fitness. It was so cold that I needed overshoes over my winter boots - the wind was bitter. We went out. Within minutes I was exhausted. I could hardly make it up the hill to get out of the village. Was it the cold wind? Was I still harbouring germs?

No! I knew exactly what it was.... I have allowed myself to get really unfit again.... and FAT!

I only managed about 5miles that day. My legs just wouldn't spin. I got home. Frustrated. I had finally hit rock bottom.  For pretty much most of 2012 I had let all my hard work of the previous years slip away, mainly due to the weather.... but I should never have let it get the better of me.

Now I'm back to Day one.  I need to get fit! I like to ride my bike. I would like to be able to just get on and ride when I want without it being a huge effort again.

So for the last 11 days I have been making a concerted effort to get fit again.  I have joined MyFitnessPal and am now logging my calorie intake.  Not really to keep track of calories; more to pay attention to what I eat and see what junk I put in my body.  It's a real eye opener. Even though overall my diet isn't too bad.... it is those foods that I love; my comfort foods, ie, cakes, biscuits that I have to keep an eye on. I will not cut them out completely. I will just have them as little treats now and again. Not every day!

It has also motivated me to get active again, as you can earn extra calories by exercising.  So far, since then I have made sure that I have done at least one form of exercise a day.  In the last 11days there have been 3runs, 3 turbo sessions, 1 road ride and 5 very brisk walks.  Lets really hope that this time around.... my motivation will stick.

Watch this space... or follow me at MyFitnessPal

Tuesday 1 January 2013

December Round Up.

As ever.... I am a little late with this blog post... but after such an abysmal November things perked up slightly in December.

Last month I set myself a little challenge of forgetting about the miles and just trying to do 5 x 30mins of exercise a week.

For the first two weeks I did this.... mainly by running and doing a few 30min sessions on the turbo, but then Christmas and a busy time at work kinda got in the way and only three sessions a week were managed. Still at least I did something. =D

Here are the not-so-fabulous stats...

5 x 30 min turbo sessions and 2 short and very windy road rides covering 48.45 miles

12 running activities(including one very tedious half hour running on the spot) covering 31.96 miles

Not the greatest of mileage totals.... but hey I am actually getting out there again.

Here's to a great 2013 to everyone. x

Sunday 2 December 2012

A new goal following a pathetic November

Thank you all for the positive thoughts at the start of he month. It is really was nice to have your support and encouragement.

Sadly though, my knees and the weather have continued hindering my mileage.  In fact, last month I actually had three weeks with no running and very little cycling.  For the first couple of weeks in November I only managed to muster up one short ride per week.  Nothing amazing - a 10 mile gentle pootle with Mother the first week and a 11 mile turbo session the following week, as the weather was just too plain miserable to go out. 

The next week I didn't manage a ride at all.  Life just got in the way, what with the VeloCake Cyclocross Race taking up my weekend.  Sadly, no, due to commitments of having to work that event I didn't enter it myself - and by the time I had finished my duties at the registration (giving race licences back etc) - the course had been dismantled and everyone was waiting to lock the gates.  Ah well, it really was a fab event - even if I didn't get to take Ted out for a play.

Friday 2 November 2012

Another abysmal month

So, October has been and gone and so has most of my motivation.

Yet again the weather has put me off riding pretty much altogether and I can't muster up any incentive to get on the trainer.  So, last month I managed the grand total of 5 rides and covered a measly 64.4 miles.

In all honesty  I just am not feeling like riding any more ... the weather is beyond rubbish, the terrain round here is just too uppy downy and if I go too far a field I will have to contend with too many longer hills, so I just have to stick with the routes I know... but I know them too well so they are tiresome!

I did have a week off work last month and I planned to get out on my bike at least 3 times that week... I managed 2 rides.... but then sadly disaster struck.

Sunday 30 September 2012

In a slump - not the greatest of months...

This month has been another poor month for cycling as I only managed to muster up 80.12 miles. The start of the month was good as I had a lovely ride to Newlyn with Ali and Amy followed by one inspired by my hero Alberto Contador when he won the Vuelta.  =D

Since then though, I have practically stayed off the bike - apart from an occasional short 2-3 mile ride behind Mikey whilst he was running and the very odd ten milers to meet him from work.

I have basically lost motivation to ride now completely.  When I do I am literally forcing myself to do it and usually when I get home I haven't enjoyed it at all. 

There's just nothing left to inspire me;  I hate that I have overused all the local routes so they are becoming very tiresome.  I hate the fact that, if and when, I do try to go further afield, that I then have to contend with longer draggier hills.  I hate the fact that bloody tourists and end-to-enders keep stealing my Queen of the Mountains on Strava - and when I say stealing  I mean blowing my personal bests out of the water. I also hate the weather and that soddin' never-ending headwind.

So as you can see... I am currently in a slump. I want to ride my bike. I love riding my bike. But nothing is motivating me to get out there. Today I even pushed out 6miles on the turbo just so I got half an hour done on the bike and so I don't loose the legs and put on too much weight. 

In fact, if it wasn't for the running.... I would now be the size of a house again.

Please someone inspire me to get back out there.... failing that, I may just have to sell a bike and buy a nice shiny new one to encourage me to ride.

Monday 10 September 2012

(Couch to) 5k!

This weekend I hit another milestone in my running progress, when me and Mum ran non-stop for 40mins!

We didn't expect to do so well, as the weather was muggy and we'd both had busy days and weren't feeling the greatest... but we just kept plodding along and when we finished 40 mins later... we were even more  ecstatic to find we had managed to do 5k!

I'm so happy! Its odd to think that in under 6mths we have gone from never running - and unable to run for a minute - to running for 40mins.  I'd like to say it's getting comfortable.... but it really isn't.  It's as difficult as it used to be and I always hate the first 10-15 mins- it's like torture - but after 15 mins I find it easier to ignore the pain, esp if I have my iPod on for distraction.

Over the last few weeks, there's been a few breaks from the normal running routine, including a super run in Bruge with Mikey.  Before Bruge me and Mum had been running for 25mins slowly-but-non-stop and averaging a pace of 12.5.  However, with Mikey things were slightly different. He wasn't verbally telling me to run faster, but without Mum, I instinctively and unconsciously did.  It felt comfortable in the short term but I burnt out quicker and had to go back to intervals; just so I had chance to catch my breath. Unsurprisingly, our running pace was considerably quicker.... averaging around an 11minute mile.  Despite being tougher and having sore feet for days after, it was such good fun running around such a beautiful (and flat) city.  I even managed to get a course record on a Strava Segment. 

On our return, I went back to running with Mum and in mid August we completed the Couch to 5k programme! We weren't achieving the 5k - but we were running for 30 mins non-stop. Quite an achievement. =D

As the weather hotted up in late August it started playing havoc with our running.  More often or not it was too hot to run.  Also the humidity really affected my lungs, leaving me quite asthmatic and breathless, making running difficult as I struggled for oxygen.  Anyway we persevered. Often having to do interval runs instead of one big run.... but either way were were still running and feeling the benefits.

During Ali and Amy's holiday in Cornwall, they joined me and Mikey on a run.  Again the pace was a tad faster than I am used to, in fact I had to stop after only 4 minutes.  I thought it was due to the fact that we were chatting as we ran... but when uploading the run, I realised that it was because our running pace had been 10.5.  As the other three are the stronger runners, they kindly let me dictate the pace, etc, so after a short breather... 2mins we did another 4min run. This time at a more reasonable11.2 - which is still faster than my usual pace.  We finished with a 10 min jog at a similar pace.  It was really good fun being with other runners. I'd have liked to have done more running with them, but sadly it wasn't to be so.  I particularly enjoyed having more experienced runners to give me a few tips. =D 

Anyway, that's my running news.... who'da thunk I would still be doing this running malarkey? And who the hella woulda thunked I would ever be able to run 5k!