fitness

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”!

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Charlotte’s Belly Blitz – First attempt!

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It’s taken me a while to blog about the Belly Blitz that I did this morning – in part because its taken me a little while to recover!

Oh my GOD, I had no idea quite how hard some of it would be!

First of all I have to say, I love the intro the DVD, the trainers that work with Charlotte are both motivating but also relatable, as is Charlotte herself. She doesn’t speak too much (good if you don’t like the Geordie accent!) but when she does its to remind you to push through the pain (as opposed to Richard Callendar of The Biggest Loser – who just laughs when she says she is in pain!).

The warm up is easy to follow, gets the blood following and muscles warm as it should, and is followed by standard stretches.

The actual training programme is split into 12 x 3-minute rounds of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) each focusing on different areas, everything from boxing moves to squats to push ups. Don’t be fooled into thinking its easy – Charlotte makes it look easy but some of the moves are killer! Luckily the third trainer, David Souter offers some lower impact “beginners” versions which I found myself following at times. Hopefully with practise I will be able to move onto the regular workouts which Richard and Charlotte were demonstrating.

The 3-minute bursts mean that just as the pain gets really difficult its time to move on, and you have around a minute to recover whilst the routine for the next round is demonstrated.

I did the Belly Blitz straight after Day 2 of C25K today, possibly maybe why I found it tough going, but then Charlotte didn’t achieve that figure by having a nap after a bit of exercise so there is no way I will. I managed the warm up, cool down and four of the 3-minute rounds before I decided to call it a day for today. The beauty of the short rounds is that you can pick and choose what round you want to do, so you can practise a specific round over and over if you need to. Obviously it is recommended that you always do the warm up and cool downs as well.

There is also a ten-minute section called “Extra Abs”. I did start the section, but it is literally all crunches albeit different types and after the first five minutes I couldn’t face any more.

Clearly I have a LONG way to go to master Charlotte’s Belly Blitz, but from the way my muscles felt today it is clearly good exercise and will offer some results. There is also an “Eating Plan” section for anyone interested, although I plan to continue with my current one.

Keep your eyes peeled for further updates!

Cutting the String – 3 min Belly Blitz!

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It’s here it’s here!!!

Mr Postman bought me my copy of that lass from Geordie Shore’s new workout DVD – “Charlotte’s 3 minute Belly Blitz”.

I have to admit I am easily taken in by weight loss and fitness DVDs – but apparently Charlotte’s is the most popular one in the UK. My belly looks a lot like the “before” picture used on the packaging, so as far as I’m concerned it’s got to be worth a go!

I’m starting tomorrow so check back here to make sure I’m still alive after …. and for my review!

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!