Archive | fitness RSS feed for this section

Thirteen

20 Sep

This has been a pretty rubbish week for a multitude of reasons. When you have a bad week exercise can really help and for me in most cases it really does fix many issues.

This week though exercise was off the agenda until I put my Turkey cold behind me. So finally on Saturday morning Tracey and I hit the gym. It felt good to be playing with some weights and doing some circuits. I’m really feeling the kettle bell swings today.

It was also back to long run Sundays. Royal Parks Half Marathon is only 3 weeks away. The plan was to do an early morning run and be done long before lunch but we all know what happens to the best laid plans…

The rest of this post will be picture heavy. Enjoy.

After a very full on Saturday with an early start and a very late finish I decided to scrap  my proposed start time of 8.30am and let myself sleep in until my body and rested. The run had to be done though.

I woke up close around 9ish. Had green tea and breakkie but something in my mind was just not clicking. I felt too heavy, mentally, to get up and go. The thought of going out made me feel like crying.

I finally left the house around 11ish.  Headphones on, sexy new leggings on, brain not on.

image

Sad face but sexy leggings

Got a quarter mile down the road and my leggings were too big and falling down. Went home and changed.

I got 3 miles before I stopped and was ready to give up until my a little fairy sent me some fantastic encouragement. After reading her words I pushed on through to Bromley.

image

Missed my turning got lost, gave up the will to run fast haha

image

No idea where I was but I know I didn't plan stairs

These steps were not part of the plan…but at this point there was no longer a plan.

Just keep running…

image

Something about this barbed wire being a metaphor for how trapped I felt this week

Barbed wire summing up how trapped I felt in my own mind.

image

Shirland station... I on the right road

Keep running… ooh a station I was meant to be at. I was on track again.

image

All the lolz in my dirty mind. But also a visual representation of my running. SLOW

Double entendre. Dirty minds will get this!!! Also, I’m slow.

image

I got to Croydon Road eventually but missed another turning and ended up going about half a mile in the wrong direction. Almost ended up in West Norwood.

image

The cheaters route

The 54 goes past my house….how easy it would have been to jump on it.

But then….. a miracle occurred

image

Home strait?

I saw a sign for where I was actually going. HOOOOOOME 4 miles.

image

Lost again

This was my “lost again” face. I don’t know where I was and Google maps was being useless. It was also around here that I realised I only had 30% battery and I was still at least 3 miles from home.

image

I finally know where I am

My last photo from the run to save my battery. I finally knew where I was and how to get home (not by jumping on the bus).

Made it to the house and was greeted with a high five from Chris. Weyhey!
image

Blurry pic of me eating a spoonful of peanut butter, because I can!

So my final run time was 2.40.

image

I’m not sure how I’ll do in Royal Parks but I know it will be a better run than today. Also I still got my fastest 10miles in today at 1 hour 54 mins. So yaaaay.

I’m going to have a nap now but I’ll leave you with this, the whole time I was out, it wasn’t my body stopping me, it was my brain. I can and will do anything I put mind to even if my mind doesn’t want to.

image

Advertisements

Mid September Update

17 Sep

So I’m back off the injury train and got back to running last week. Impressively on my first run back I managed to run my fastest 3 miles in a couple of years.

image

3 miles in 30 mins running negative splits.  Perhaps those few weeks away from running were what I needed.

That run was followed by an epic Tuesday night run with Run Dem Crew Party Pacers. A 4 mile run that ended with the last mile belting out karaoke tunes from the 90s and our childhoods. Simply fantastic.

image

I’ve also bought myself an ab wheel. It is ridiculously hard to use but I’m trying to get a few reps in every day. If anyone has any handy tips to help, please pass them on.

The end of the week was spent on a long weekend in Turkey. I was conscious of how easy it is to eat crap when on holiday so I promised myself I wouldn’t be too hard on me but actually when it came to eating and staying sugar free I did alright.

I was constantly drinking water so I had no need for ice creams or the like. The food out there was all pretty fresh and grilled most of the time. No sweets or desserts. It wasn’t hard at all. I did drink though but I’m not gonna hold it against me haha.

The highlight of the trip for me was a boat trip we went on where I jumped from the deck into the beautiful sea which was so clear I could see my feet when I looked down. It was amazing.

You can watch me jump here.

This time last year I went to Barcelona and was probably a good couple of stone heavier. I wore a pink swim suit that at the time I looked ok in but I wasn’t super happy when I saw the pics. I wore it again this year and was so pleased with the little differences. The bra part fit so much better, I was much more secure,  my tummy and thighs are smaller. I haven’t dropped half my body weight but I was really pleased by these little differences that show the hard work is paying off.

image

So now we’re back and when I stepped on the scales I was a few lbs up but this has dropped up over the past few days and I’m back to where I was.

A few of us have set up a small support group. The aim is to lose 10% of our current weight by New Years Eve. That’s 24lbs. The first goal is 5%/12 lbs. Which incidentally will be my 40lb mark so there will be a big celebration there. Pandora charms galore.

In the mean time,  the Royal Parks half marathon is just weeks away. All my long runs will be half marathon distance between now and then and I’ll be working on getting my pace right so I can aim for my personal best.

Final thoughts; thanks so much for all the support on my last post about exercise and harassment. I’ve not yet heard back from Glassmill since my meeting there but hope to have an update and outcome soon.

To those of you who shared with me your own stories of harrasement whilst exercising, thank you and please don’t ever be afraid to speak up.

X

The Joy of Crossfit

21 Aug

I love it when my friends send me emails saying “let’s do this”. As long as I don’t see a giant price tag I have a tendancy to just say yes and suffer the consequences later (see me running the London Marathon in 2013).

So in July Claudette sent me a Groupon link to a 30 day trial of Crossfit at the Royal Docks Crossfit Gym in Custom House for £30. Well with a bargain like that, how could I say no.

image

For those that don’t know, Crossfit is a brand of fitness which incorporated HiiT, Olympic lifting, power lifting, calisthenics and various other techniques to give an all round work out and help you get fitter and stronger.

Watch some of the videos on YouTube. It is hardcore.  Also check out this super inspirational story. super inspiration

I am not a strong person. I can’t do push ups or pull ups and I hate burpees with a passion so I wasn’t sure how well I’d do in these sessions but if you don’t try you don’t know.

The aim was to take full advantage of the sessions by going three times a week, which was the maximum allowed on the deal.

We started on a Friday evening with a mandatory intro session which included a warm up, an explanation of the move we would be using that day. This was then followed by a strength building segment and then the Workout of the day (WOD). The session ended with a stabilisation session. All sessions ran in this format and the WOD would always be posted up on a board so you knew right away what you were in for.

I was really impressed with how the coaches taught the sessions. If ever I was struggling they would be right there on hand to either sharpen my technique or give me an adjustment to help make it easier but just as effective.

David and Bart were the main coaches and their enthusiasm for teaching the sessions really helped when I was struggling or not really feeling it. Everyone was greeted with a high five and a big smile.

The hardest parts of the sessions were the WOD’s. It would be a circuit of anything up to 30 mins and would involved the technique learnt in the session, HiiT and bodyweight excerises generally for as many rounds/reps as possible or AMRAP. I must say there is an acronym for everything in Crossfit lol.

I feel these circuits are designed to push you to the limit. Many times at the end of the session I’d just want to collapse on the floor and sleep to recover, the doms were hell but I knew it was worth it.

Over the 4 weeks I found myself getting stronger. By the last week I found my burpees were much more controlled and weren’t as awful. I still can’t do a pull up but I found myself hanging from a bar at least being able to lift my legs up higher.

My biggest challenge during the sessions was in my third week when they introduced me to box jumps. I’ve always been in awe of people who can jump up on boxes with what looks like minimal effort. I could never do that. The box was 20 inches high, just over 1.5 feet. I looked at it and braced myself and tried to jump.  My feet barely left the ground. I just ended up with my knees slamming onto the box very hard.

It didn’t even hurt but in that moment I felt defeated. My mind was clearly in the wrong place that day. David rushed over to check I was ok and I just teared up.  He pretty much told me to fix up, albeit in a very kind way. Still can’t believe I cried. 😦

We sorted me out a shorter platform using weight plates. It wasn’t that much shorter but it was manageable and I completed the work out. I felt so useless.  I wasn’t special or the only one using a shorter platform but I was super hard on myself.

I wrote a very sorrowful facebook post that evening and im very grateful to the encouragement my friends showed me.

Next session I was in a better place and I don’t think it was a coincident that the whole session seemed to be focused around box jumps. I used the proper box, at the prescribed height and towards the end of the session I even added an extra plate which I think gave me an extra 2 inches. I did 110 box jumps by my calculations.

This was my face at the end of the session.

image

Once again I proved to myself I can do anything I put my mind to.

It showed me that as well as a strong body, I need a strong mind and being in the right place mentally is so important. In my last session we did box jumps again and I stacked it very early on but because my mind was right I was able to just get up and carry on. The bruise is very sore now though.

I would have loved to carry on but full membership is just too expensive for me at the moment at over £100 a month it would be too much of a push right now. I’ll be back as soon as I can afford it.

Here is a link to the Groupon deal for anyone interested. It’s closed for the moment but hopefully they’ll run the offer again. It is fully worth it.

David and Bart, I’ll see you guys again soon.

Sabotage!

29 Jul

20130729-111307.jpg

What is Self-Sabotage?

Behaviour is said to be self-sabotaging when it creates problems and interferes with long-standing goals.

The most common self-sabotaging behaviours are procrastination, self-medication with drugs or alcohol, comfort eating in the face of weight concerns, and self-injury such as cutting.

These acts may seem helpful in the moment, but ultimately undermine us, especially when we engage in them repeatedly.

That is all.

20130729-111317.jpg

Battles and wars!

16 Jul

Lets not talk about my last blog post and the epic failure of that challenge I set myself.

Let’s talk about a different challenge I set myself and succeeded at!

Back in May I tweeted about White Collar Boxing and the fact that I was going to train for 9 weeks and then get in the ring.

Since then I have trained so, so hard. Three times a week I hit up the gym in Star Lane and trained with some of London’s finest boxing trainers and fighters.

I was the tallest and heaviest lady so I did wonder if they would need to match me up with a guy but they found a “close” match for me. At least based on ability.

We were both rubbish haha.

Training consisted of hot evenings in a boxing gym in East London, shadow boxing, practise against the bags. Core work galore. As the weather for hotter the sessions got harder. There were times I would come out of a session wanting to cry from the intensity. Feeling sick and tired, but perseverance is the key.

Having been matched with my opponent we no longer partnered up in any of the sessions. She was a nice enough lady but in total honest her style baffled me. She struggled to find her natural stance as orthodox or south paw. I felt like she jumped in to her punches, not thinking them through, just reacting to my height and weight. It worried me.

It seemed to me that boxing should be about control and thought. Not just hitting the person in front of you.

I found that I felt much slower than her as I was thinking about my moves and where I could hit her. (she may have been thinking this too but obviously I’m not in her brain.

20130716-183256.jpg

Fight night arrived and fight music chosen, I rocked up to the Troxy in East London in suddenly felt very nervous. Even though I had 100% improved over the weeks, I was still very basic in my training. I don’t think the word Novice covered. But I had to believe!

I was very lucky that a friend of mine and an experience MMA fighter and trainer was acting as corner man to one of the other fighters, so I took advantage of him and he became my corner man too. He warmed me up, took me through techniques and gave me the belief.

I was due to fight at 8.40pm and once the event had started I took some time out to watch some of the friends I had made during training take on their opponents. Having all the fighters come from one pool meant it was hard to pick sides in but some cases I had really bonded with one of the fighters so my allegiances were clear in my cheering.

If I’m honest I don’t really remember too much of the fight. I was in the zone. There are photos of me looking like I’m ready to end someone. Chris had found me the perfect song enter the ring to. It started of with Gangnam Style and then went in to a grime mix. I had someone message me saying that track made them sit up and take notice.

20130716-183402.jpg

So Round one went by in a flash. The mantra was to get the first hit. I don’t know if I did. I remember I knocked her off balance though. Then she knocked me off balance. That might have been round two.

20130716-183521.jpg

Round two I was a mess. She had me up! I just remember feeling really angry towards her and I forgot all my training. Then during a flurry of her punches I heard the ref call for a stop, but she got one more hit in. This p*ssed me off no end, so I saw red and then punched her. All I heard was lots of boos and then the ref put my in my corner counted to 8 and told me not to do it again, I knew I had done wrong. I was so angry with myself.

On to round 3, I felt more in control, the advice my corner man gave me was to jab, jab, jab. That’s what I tried to do. I think I got a few more hits in and she seemed a bit more on the run.

The fight ended and She was declared the winner. I was so disappointed, mainly in myself. I should not have lost control like I did. Where did all my tactics go? I was in tears, but tears of anger.

I got back up to the changing room and to be honest, every one seemed surprised I lost. I had the skills to win but I let emotion take over.

But the love I got from everyone when I went to meet them after was immense. I had a great turn out of family and friends.

I didn’t win my fight but I’m bang on a rematch. I also feel that this is something I might just be good at. I loved the training and I loved being in the ring.

So now that the initial part of this challenge is out of the way, what’s next.

More training!

Goals don’t stop after just one phase. Next up between now and the end of the year is another half and full marathon, to begin to get a real handle on this boxing thing. Not to mention some half naked prancing around at Notting Hill carnival just weeks away.

I didn’t win the battle but the war ain’t over just yet!

20130716-183650.jpg

Foodage 23 May 2013

23 May

Here’s the food! Yum (maybe)

20130523-204528.jpg

Empty porridge bowl. Sorry. Scot oats, banana and blueberries made with water

20130523-204635.jpg
Lunch: tuna and baked sweet potato with salad and low fat dressing

20130523-204721.jpg
Yogurt for sweet treat

20130523-204747.jpg

Morning Snacks. Only had some of the peas

20130523-204731.jpg
Afternoon snack before home time

20130523-204741.jpg
Dinner: grilled haddock and veg. Was gonna do couscous but I’m lazy

Over and out

Accountability

23 May

So, I have a confession to make.

I eat. I eat a lot. Mostly I eat good food. Whole grains, high protein, low carbs etc., etc. but sometimes, more often than I should, especially when snacks are involved, I eat poop.

We all know the saying “Abs are made in the kitchen and not the gym” and so really I cant be surprised that I’m not getting the 100% results that I want when I am not putting in 100%.

And yes putting in 100% all of the time is hard but damn it if I want to be fitter and healthier and no longer overweight then I need to work hard at it.

So I was thinking back to the reasons I started this blog. I knew that if I put it out there and made it public then I would be accountable for what I was doing. People would look at my blog and be like, “hey, she is working hard” or “boo, she isn’t putting in the effort”. I rave a lot about the exercise and sport I undertake but not the food I eat.

Therefore, in the interest of transparency I am going to trial something for a couple of weeks.
Once a day in the evening I will post up pictures of the food I have eaten through out the day. And maybe a little description of what it is (in case you can’t tell).

I do a lot of my eating in secret!

I AM A SECRET BINGE EATER. I binge. I can’t eat just one biscuit. I have to have 5 or 6 or more. I went and brought an M and S wrap the other day, one of their summer ploughman’s sausage rolls, then went to costa and got a Belgium chocolate tiffin, I ate all of those before I got on the train back to work.. When I got to Kings Cross I went to Leon and bought a halloumi burger and some popcorn. That was my lunch on Tuesday! Everyone saw me eat the halloumi burger, no one knew about the stuff before.

I have food issues. Maybe I should see someone about it. What is really going on here? Why do I sabotage myself like this? Who knows? Anyway the buck stops with me, so yeah starting this evening a daily blog post of my foodage.

Lemme know what you think 🙂

Mama said knock you out!

21 May

So in my perpetual quest to get fit or die trying, I have taken up a new sport.

Sitting on the train a few weeks ago, reading me free Metro newspaper and I came across an ad looking for competitors for a new round of White Collar Boxing. Basically, a bunch of office workers beating each other up! Talk about fight club.

They train you up for 12 weeks and at the end you get in the ring to have a nice little punch up. Exciting or what.

Now the running has calmed down for a few months, I have a bit of time to add in some extra body work. This seemed perfect. My dad used to box in the army and reading this advert took my back to childhood when he used to try and teach us the moves – and a couple of weeks ago he did the same thing when I told him I was starting training.

Now in my second week of training. I’ve got my gloves and my boots and I’m suffering from the worst DOMS (delayed onset of muscle soreness) ever.

The classes are 1 hour up to 4 times a week and minimum 2 times a week at Trad TKO boxing gym in East London They are pretty intense. Lot’s of shadow boxing, using the bags and core work. Skipping!! Something else that takes me back to my childhood. That shizz is hard! I’m really sweating with each session but I feel like I might be getting the hang of the basics. A lot of work to be done though.

So far I’m loving it. I’m the biggest (height and weight wise) girl in the group, so I am apprehensive about how they will match me up, but we’ll soon see I’m sure. Hopefully I’ll be able to drop some more weight with this as well. I even met and had my photo taken with a prize fighter (Wadi Camacho).

20130521-163002.jpg

I’m looking forward to the 12th July when I will step in to the ring and show everyone what I have learnt.

Feeling totally disillusioned with my weight loss at the moment. It’s just not happening.

Need to get back on track and eat well but the past few weeks it’s been so hard. I’m tired of watching what I eat. Feeling guilty for having something indulgent then eating more and then feeling more guilt.

I wonder if it’s even possible to drop this last two stone and do I really want to? Cos surely if I did, I would have.. Wouldn’t I?

My progress over the past 6 months and longer even has been super slow. My body has changed a lot but my weight is just staying the same. I’ve had a couple of suggestions that this is just where my body wants to be and with out starving myself part of me does wonder what will it take to get in to the medically healthy weight range.

Having not taken the Weightwatchers plan seriously for the past couple of months, I have considered taking a break from it. Re-establishing my mojo, seeing that I can do on my own and then taking it from there. But I know I would miss the support of my leader and fellow weightwatchers. Made a great bunch of friends in that lot. There is also pressure on me though, lots of people in the group have seen my success and I was to admit I feel a bit disillusioned and then left I can imagine the response. Not my burden to bear perhaps but I feel it is.

Until the scales start moving down again I will just have to focus on those non-scale victories. Hope I continue to tone up and get healthier.

Work on increasing strength, agility and stamina. I will become the fittest I have been, even if I’m not the slimmest. This isn’t a quick fix trip down the road, it’s a mammoth road trip and the journey is going to take me a long, long way from home and a long time to get there. I need to make sure the vehicle is up to the job.

Ain’t nothing but a (grey)hound dog!

15 May

So, just before the marathon I was running my 5k runs in 27 mins. Since then I haven’t quite gotten the speed back in my legs.
It is definitely time for me to start pushing myself so within Run Dem Crew I have moved up from Fast Hares to Greyhounds.

Hare pace is about 10/10.5min miles – which it felt like I was doing easily. I was leading the groups and we seemed to be getting faster.
Greyhound feels so much faster than that at 8-9min miles.
The definition of a greyhound on the RDC website is:

Greyhounds: 8-9 min/miles

You own a lot of Lycra but like to take your runs at a slightly more leisurely pace than our Cheetah friends. You take in the sights as you run with a nice sprint finish at the end just to make everyone know that you could out run a Cheetah if the need be. Your family think you are a bit odd but appreciate the effort needed to run a 4hr marathon or a sub 50 minute 10k. You’ll never forget the early days in the park when your heart was about to jump out of your chest, but now you can’t imagine life without running a solid 6 miles on a Tuesday night.

Right now I still feel like my heart is about to jump out of my chest.

My first week in Greyhounds I wanted to cry. It was my first proper run after the Marathon. We did bridges and about 5.5 miles. The crew helped me out. I can do the distance and I can pretty much do the speed but it is such a challenge.

I haven’t felt like this in such a long time. It leaves me feeling unsure, inadequate and lacking confidence. I’m used to be upfront and I hate feeling like I might be slowing the pack down.

My second run, last night was still very tough but felt just a little easier than that first week. We ran to the Emirates which was mostly uphill and I think that was what I found the hardest. I was at the back of the pack again but I did it. I never know if people are just being polite but everyone assured me I was running really strong.

Coming back downhill was much easier but I gave myself food for thought on the mind over matter stuff.

Up until the last mile I knew the route and then we diverted away from it on to a path unknown by me. Because of this I found that last mile really hard even though I was feeling quite good until that point. But as soon as we got to the part of the route I knew again I was off again. Ready for a sprint finish.

What I’m also learning is that at the end of the run I’m not on the floor and I’m recovering pretty darn quick which means I can definitely give more. I just need to gain the confidence and belief and if I want to start running my marathons in under 5 hours then I need to be getting the speed in.

This weekend is the Nike/Elle We Own the Night women’s 10k race in Victoria Park. I am hoping for a PB in this race. I am desperate to run it in under 1hour. Even if it is 59mins59seconds. J Im going to be running with my usual ladies and I’m sure we will push each other to success! 6.2miles of amazingness!

20130515-164225.jpg

I did it!

14 May

20130514-152345.jpg

What can I say.
So much yet so little has happened since my last update.

I ran a fricking a marathon. What a journey it was.

6 months ago I hadn’t run more than 10k. I cant believe how quickly the tide has turned.

What started as a journey for me to lose weight has turned in to what in which all I want to do is better myself and try new things.

When I signed up for the Marathon I was faced with two daunting tasks. Raising £2000 for my chosen charity and actually running the marathon.
So many people have encouraged and help me do both these things with such amazing success. I barely recognise the person I have become.

So many times people thought I was being blasé about the amount of miles I was running each week, but it was only because it was normal because I was training with an amazing bunch of people/

Run Dem Crew has spoilt me. They made me feel that the impossible is possible and that its no biggy. If I could run this marathon then it cant be a big deal. Because I’m the safe person. I don’t really push my boundaries. I quit a lot. I get scared.

On the 21st April I ran a marathon! It was hard but it was also the best fun I have ever had in my life. I got cramp at mile 16 and it stayed with me the whole time. I cried for 2 miles, but at mile 18 I got over it. The pain was there but damn it I had a race to run and failure was not an option. I chucked my desired time out of the window. If you look at the pictures of me on Marathon foto, I am beaming in all of them.

Seeing my family at mile 11 and mile 19 was just what I needed both times. Mum had chips on hand and yumyum!

Hearing people call your name as you “zoom” past them is just amazing. I felt like everyone who called my name had come out to cheer me on personally. Its really keeps you going.

There was epicness at Mile 21 which was the bestest blur of my life. When probably about 100 members of Run Dem Crew cheered us runners through with drums, chocolate and love.
I saw a video where I almost fell to the floor with the explosion of love I felt.

I wouldn’t have gotten through it at all if it wasn’t for Be! I partner in marathon crime who really pushed me when I needed it. We ran miles and miles together in the run up and sang our way for every mile point on the day. To any one who heard two crazy girls belting out “I’ve got 20 more miles to go” So Solid, 21 seconds stylee at the mile points, that was us!

I completed my first marathon, The London Marathon in 5 hours, 38 minutes and 22 seconds. Thank you all for believing in me and supporting me. Giving me hugs and cheers and love

With that now under my belt I’m already signed up for the Bournemouth marathon in October. I really want to prove to myself that I can get under 5 hours.

20130514-152403.jpg