C25K

March: this month I will…

Is it just me? I cannot believe we are already in March, where has the last three months gone? I mean I am absolutely longing for sunshine, flip flops, bbqs and balmy Sunday afternoons walking along by the seafront. I literally cannot wait! But I still can’t get my head around the fact that it is March. It’s quite frightening how quickly the year goes. And it also reminded me of some of my plans for this year that have gone by the wayside, so there are some things that I need to get back on track with…. and that has inspired this little blog post.

So, this month I WILL…….

1. Get back on track with C25K. As many of you who follow this blog will know, I started C25K at the start of February and completed the first week, and started the second. Then I managed to strain a muscle and was advised to take a break. And then it was half term so I was unable to get the time to start again. Well, we’ve got another 4 weeks until the kids break up for Easter so I am determined to start again this week – and this time do the whole lot outdoors. So tomorrow I am going to start C25K from the very beginning again and make sure I manage at least the first 4 weeks. And then I will just have to find the time to go when the kids are off.

2. Crack on with another little side project I have going on. Can’t say too much about this one, but its something I have been meaning to do for a long time. It’s one of those things that I am just not sure how to actually start though. But I can’t keep putting it off, I need to take action!

3. Remember to do my toning exercises – every day! No excuses! I’m trying to do a few moves to tone up my bum, tum and upper arms and apparently the key is to do them every day. It only takes 15 min so I need to make the time!

4. Blitz our wardrobes ready for summer. A massive clear out. We have too much stuff!

5. Clean the oven……… meh!

Okay I have declared them all here so that means I have to do them! Starting with the exercises…… after I’ve persuaded myself to move off the sofa!

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Cutting the string – the exercise blip

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Hello lovely blog readers!

Just a quick Cutting the String update for you.

Unfortunately exercise has been firmly off the agenda since last week as I managed to sustain a leg injury during my first outdoor run. My left thigh/hip has been very painful off and on since and I was advised to rest it completely before starting exercise again. So unfortunately I am now behind on C25K. However, I fully intend to get back to it once half term is out of the way (23rd Feb) and will re-start week 2. I am confident that I will be able to get back on track with C25K, and hopefully wont sustain any more injuries.

That said I have still been doing a little resistance training on my upper body with my at home weights, and I can definitely notice a difference in the shape of my upper body now. I really need to work on building my upper body strength too (I have none!) so that’s going to be another goal. During half term I am going to try and aim for plenty of walking, taking the kids to the park etc. My mum and I took them swimming for a few hours this morning too. I am also going to try and do some core exercises as that really is my biggest problem area.

In terms of food we have been firmly on the wagon. We had friends over for dinner Tuesday night and rather than order a takeaway which is what we would have normally done, hubby opted to cook Chinese from scratch so we could control the ingredients. He cooked with olive oil instead of peanut oil, and made sure the meats used were lean. It was absolutely delicious and I am in no doubt that it was much healthier than the takeaway version!

It’s Valentines day tomorrow – we are having a lovely family day and plan to take the kids out for lunch, probably to Toby Carvery so we can load up on protein and veggies. And instead of following up with a curry like we usually would on Valentines Day, we have bought in stuff for a homemade salad for dinner. Now that’s dedication! We do love a curry!

Overall am feeling quite positive about this week and we are both hoping for another lb or two off!

Cutting the String – First outdoor run!

Okay first off let me say, running outdoors is NOTHING like running indoors on a treadmill or like running on the spot. I don’t know why I ever thought it was, but there literally is no substitute for running in the fresh air…. but….. it is harder – MUCH harder!

So today I decided to brave my public and actually do Week 2 Day 2 of C25K in front of other human beings. I opted to go straight from the school run as I knew if I went home first it would be that much harder to get out again, and I needed to clear my head after a particularly difficult morning with my son.

Hubby, ever ensuring my safety, insisted I run somewhere where there are plenty of people around and so I headed to Capstone Park which is a hop, skip and a jump from home. It has a large lake in the middle, with a good path all the way around so I would be able to run laps around it. There are always plenty of dog walkers, fishermen and other people nearby.

For those non-local readers here it is:

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And here is me pre-run, feeling confident…….

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Oh my god who was I kidding?! By the time the third session of 90sec of running hit I was ready to admit defeat and go back to the car. My chest was burning, my nose was streaming and my calves felt like they had been run over by a bulldozer. All the previous C25K sessions had seemed a doddle compared to this.

The old me, the lazy, fat and unfit me (and don’t get me wrong I am still fat and pretty damn unfit) would have given in then, there is no question of it. And I can be pretty confident that if I had then I possibly would not have tried going running outside again, and perhaps may have given up on the idea altogether.

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Two things spurred me on. The first is the fact that I have published my intentions on here, on Facebook and on Twitter. Everyone knows that I intend to lose weight and get fit and hopefully run the Race for Life this year. Admitting defeat to myself is one thing, but having to admit defeat to everyone else – well that’s just not an option.

Secondly – To quote Mean Girls (god I still love that film!), “I’m a pusher”. I push everyone around me to do the very best they can for themselves, especially my poor kids, but sometimes I forget to push myself, especially when it comes to my health. So for possibly the first time ever, I pushed through the pain and focused on not giving up. I’m not sure where it came from, but even just making the decision not to give up gave me more energy. And I bloody well did it, I finished it!

I’m paying for it now still, my legs are still aching like mad, my chest still feels like I’ve got a slight stitch, but it was worth it. I feel like I have overcome a massive hurdle.

I’m not telling you all this because I think I am something special, or because I think I deserve a load of praise or anything. I’m telling you this because I don’t want you to give up. On anything. I don’t just mean diet or exercise, but whatever you are striving for, just don’t give up on it. It is probably closer than you think. And I am sharing this with you because I am bloody proud of myself too!

Just a couple more pics – “I did it”!

c25kw2d2 post-run

Cutting the String – C25k Week 1 DONE!

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Hey my lovelies!

Just a quick update to let you know that I have officially completed Week One of C25K. I have done sessions on Monday, Wednesday and today (Sunday) owing to a busy end of the week.

I am hoping to do week two at least 4 times next week, fingers crossed life doesn’t get in the way too much.

Week One has been great actually. Surprisingly I have enjoyed the way C25k works, its not too much in one go and I feel pretty fresh and energised after – the endorphins are definitely doing their thing! The muscles aren’t hurting as much and although hot and resembling a beetroot (my face matching my hair!), I am not as out of breath as I thought I would be.

So here is me, a big thumbs up for Week One!

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Keep following my blog for my updates – either on Facebook, WordPress or Twitter #Iamrunning

Cutting the String – C25K Day One is my bitch!

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Hello lovelies!

Just a quick update to let you know that after a delayed start (was supposed to start last week but life and headaches got in the way!) I officially did Day 1 of C25K today.

This may not seem like a big deal to many people, I mean running 8 minutes is nothing compared to what serious runners do, but I am not a serious runner. In fact I’m not much of a serious anything.

For anyone who doesn’t know my backstory, I am a severely unfit relatively obese 30-something. I am not a fan of exercising anything other than my mouth and opinions. I haven’t done any structured exercise in nearly two years, but in my mission to cut the string of yoyo dieting and improve both my physical and mental health, I am embarking on a new lifestyle.

Honestly, I thought Day 1 of C25K would be a killer. When I used to go to the gym I much preferred anything other than the treadmill. My legs always used to ache after 30 seconds and my chest would burn. However, I have to admit that C25K today was actually very manageable and quite enjoyable. It started with a 5-minute warm up brisk walk, followed by alternating 60 seconds of jogging with 90 seconds of brisk walking. The 60 seconds of jogging was just enough to start feeling it and then the 90 seconds was a perfect recovery time. At no point did I feel overstretched or unable to carry on. In fact, I have to admit I feel really energised now – must be the endorphins – and elated that I actually completed it!

I have to do a minimum of 2 more runs at this level this week before I can move up a level, and they advise to leave a rest day in-between so I plan to do my next session on Wednesday and am looking forward to it already!

The app is brilliant, the podcast tells you exactly when you need to start and stop running and can be used over the top of your own playlist. With this in mind I am going to set up a new “running” playlist full of upbeat tracks this afternoon!

Edited to add: I am currently doing these at home (walking and jogging on the spot) until it gets a little warmer and I work up the courage to run in public!

Watch this space for more C25K updates!

C25K – getting ready to run!

Beautiful young woman runner in a green forest.

Disclaimer: this picture isn’t me – I just wish it was!

At the end of 2014 I decided that I wanted to do more to raise money for charity. Like most families, the bastard C-word (cancer, not the other!) has been responsible for more than a few tears shed. I also wanted to achieve a few personal goals in 2015, one of which is to run – actually RUN – the Race for Life. Actually I have to admit I have never done the R4L at all, but if I do it, I want to run it. So this year I have pledged to do the R4L Muddy Run which is in July to raise money for Cancer Research. I would also like to do “Run or Dye”, again to raise money for charity.

I can hear the laughter from here – specially from my dad! This more than a little plump 30-something whose idea of fitness is getting up to change the tv channel, wants to run to raise money for charity. Wouldn’t I be better off doing a charity cake-eat or something? Well probably yes, and it sounds easier and tastier! But do you know what? This year I am sacking off everything that is easy. I’m up for the challenge!

Those of you that follow my Cutting the String blog posts will now that I am also on a mission to finally shake off years of yo-yo dieting and get, and keep, the weight off for good this time. So what better accompaniment to my new healthier lifestyle than to start running? I’ll tell you what though, the very idea of just starting running scares the shit out of me! How on earth do you get to the point where you can run beyond 30 seconds without collapsing in a heap? A few of my friends have used the C25K plan, short for “Couch to 5k”, which is a programme advocated by the NHS designed to help people to get moving. (More information here: http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/c25k/Pages/couch-to-5k-plan.aspx)

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The idea is to alternate walking with bursts of running starting at 60 seconds, and gradually increasing so that after 9 weeks you are able to run for 30 minutes at a time. The idea is to run three times a week with rest days in between, which can also be used for strength and flex exercises which apparently help improve your strength and flexibility which will in turn improve your running.

It sounds almost too good to be true, but I am willing to give it a try! There is a free App which I am in the process of downloading – if you get the NHS one there are no annoying “paid for” add on adverts to keep interrupting you. There are built in countdown timers to help you if you are outside rather than on a treadmill, plus the options to add your own playlist of music in. (More App info here: http://www.nhs.uk/change4life/pages/couch-to-5k.aspx).

So that’s the plan! Wish me luck and look out for my regular updates!