Another lyric to start my blog off…
Apologies, I have been a little AWOL here lately apart from a few pix of mud-fest trail running. But, my training is still going to plan, although I have taken a wee break (as in foot off the gas slightly) these past few weeks. Man-flu scuppered me w/c 27th March and then a family trip to Edinburgh last week, but I actually feel better for listening to my body and taking the rest I needed – a lesson that took a long while to learn.
My runner friend in Edinburgh was nursing an injury too – so we just gossiped, drank wine and espresso martinis…. which was bliss. My husband said we had done that for 8 hours of my Edinburgh trip (not in one sitting can I add) – ha ha… oh well…. that’s my last bit of booze for a while. GULP.
Note…it was another stark reminder that I need to get some acupuncture booked in and some better sleep to boost my immune system against the dreaded nursery bugs, a constant battle for me.
Fitness wise though, I have had a few gentle runs, STEP and cycling though to keep me ticking over, but with 13 months to go I need to get my serious game plan head on for China.
Running: Still ‘Jeffing’ – but I’ve started to run the first few miles, then ‘jeff’ the rest. This I am enjoying although I know its not recommended by the great man… so my next run, possibly tomorrow or Weds will go back to the original Jeff plan. I have noticed how much stronger I feel in the running segments and mentally strong and focussed with the Great Wall challenge. I have entered the Run 1000 miles challenge in Trail Magazine too… I have a bit to catch up on, well, quite a lot to catch up on…some people are already into 250 miles plus for the year. I have yet to hit 100 so have my work cut out. BUT, nothing is impossible.
STEP: This is still happening and I god-damn love it. It leaves me in a total sweaty mess but my heart rate is still in the desired range for my age group – so I am happy with that.
Cycling: Husband has ‘done-up’ some bikes and we went for a test drive a few weeks ago – it was beautiful sunshine all day, then the clouds burst over us on our half hour trip out. Yesterday didn’t go to plan either as at 3.5 miles in the pedal fell off his bike. So back to the garage for fixing! However, it was a gorgeous day here yesterday and we all enjoyed it, hoping this pushes the hubster to finally put the cigarettes down again. ‘Nuff with the nagging.
- Arms: toning my ‘thigh’ arms, I have been advised by another runner friend that swimming is the best way to do this, so I am planning on another dip in the pool this week so that will be perfect. Plus I have on order the elastic workout bands that offer resistance to tone and strengthen muscle.
- Workouts with FRIENDS: I have a hill repeats session booked in April with my friend Steve who runs marathons with a surfboard…. should be interesting. I also have a training session in June with my pal Howard who runs running breaks in Morocco and the Lake District. He is a fell runner and I think training with him will be such a good experience, I’ve told him to put me through my paces with no mercy… gulp. I will also be swimming with my friend Charlotte when the lido opens in Cirencester next month…however there may be a few more cocktails involved with that… who knows… most likely though ha ha.
All in all, I am still very excited and I believe I have convinced a few other of my Twitter friends to come and run to China, one is a definite and two are ‘most likely’s’ – will be great to share this experience with other like-minded nutcases.
Hope all your training is going well, and you are enjoying the beautiful sunshine.
The events this week in London have been truly mortifying. My thoughts and condolences go to the victims families… there’s no logical thought behind why someone would want to commit a crime like that. Just seems a pointless waste of life… and another reminder to us all that life truly is too short to waste on not aiming for your dreams, to live every moment…
One of the Buddhism quotes I saw today gave me a kick in my big old butt…
‘Not everyone will understand your journey. That’s okay. You’re here to live your life, not to make everyone understand’.
It reminded me of a conversation I had years ago, when I was asked if I felt that the 4 years I spent in Hong Kong were a waste of time… Seriously I was asked this… why on earth would anyone think that was a waste of time is beyond me. They couldn’t comprehend leaving the area in which we had been born and raised and experiencing something else, I do appreciate that it was completely different to even another European culture.
They are happy in that ‘safe’ life, that’s cool for them, but I wasn’t, I needed to spread my wings and fly… I still feel that now, that urge. I feel so totally lucky that I have a husband who likes to travel as much as I do, its made me appreciate different cultures and made me into a very different person, independent and open-minded. Always free-spirited.
Since deciding on running the Great Wall marathon, I’ve started to feel a bit like my old-self from 20 odd years ago.. the girl who packed a rucksack and left for another country half way around the world. I’m returning to me it feels…. but with a 44 year old head on that body.
Behind the scenes I am working away and creating – which makes me very happy too. With goals set, I am a different person, nothing can hold me back right now.. that crazy, invincible feeling.. or just plain crazy who knows. I’m in a very happy place though, this decision was 100% right, I’m super excited… Most of all I hope I can pass all this onto my daughter.. to teach her to break free of comfort zones and to experience everything she wants to …. by next year, 4 years old, she would’ve been to so many countries including the USA and China… what a lucky little girl!
Lastly what can we take from this week? Well for sure not being held back by fear, of other people, or nasty tongues wagging… there’s plenty of those out there. Or even your own self-restricting set of beliefs, that can be even more damaging. Charge ahead. Always.
Apologies if you now have an awful song in your head… but I have to share my latest training addition to my overall training plan for the Great Wall of China marathon.
I have a new training buddy… Cher! That’s right… Cher has been dusted off and brought back to my living room for her 40 minute step aerobic routine back from the dark ages of the early 90’s.
Doing the routine on my new step this morning, I could remember the entire sequence near enough, the bits where Cher starts singing and joking, to where she goes quiet later in the routine (obviously knackered). I religiously worked out to this ‘video’ back in the day, which was nearly every day for months on end – my legs were like Arnies.
Dad had made me an aerobic step out of wood and I used that, it worked perfectly well, and was still going strong when I left home in 1992, wonder what ever happened to it?
Keli Roberts is the step instructor in the video with Cher as one of the group, she is still in the fitness industry and I am sure I have a ten minute kickboxing boot-camp DVD of hers lurking in my drawer that I will have to dig out.
There are three levels you can workout to, those who want a low impact version (no step), intermediate (regular step & moves) and advanced (higher step, adding repulsion to some moves to make it more of a challenge) and I was impressed with how much I kept up with it… sweating like a pig by halfway I managed the intermediate level (like my pal Cher), but without the black lace, wig and ruffles which she adorns in the video. Interestingly enough there is a heart rate check at midpoint in the video and I was bang on in the middle for my age range, so very pleased with that.
Its 40 minutes of fun, and the bad hair and outfits are just superb… I shall be doing this again and incorporate this as a regular feature of my training plan – those thousands of steps on the Great Wall are not going to be walked by themselves and the more I get my legs used to this exercise the less pain I am hoping to feel on the Wall. May be a step warm up / run combo might be called for.
So a big thank you goes to Cher for turning back time this morning for me, wonder if she still does step herself? Or has it been relegated to the loft with her gold discs and Oscar statue.
Now… where’s that Jane Fonda DVD…
Its been years since I watched the Shawshank Redemption and its no shocker to say how much I thoroughly enjoyed it when I popped it on the other night.
Stephen King, to me, is one of the greatest modern American authors. I am not a great reader by any means, but there has always been something about his work, his imagination, that has resonated with me. The Shawshank Redemption in my opinion, is one of his greatest stories, and the words ‘Get busy living, or get busy dying’ stuck with me long after I watched the film.
How many of us go through each day, without actually enjoying it? On the hamster wheel with work and home life/housework and another day has passed, just like any other. All of us deserve more than this – we are more than our jobs, titles, or anything else that we have been labelled with.
Which brings me onto the reason for this post, finally! Recently I placed another order of coffee pods, the order previous to that hadn’t been that long ago and made me take stock of how much coffee I was actually drinking on a daily basis. Eep, it worked out to be 6 cups (or sometimes more) a day. Not good!
Reason that I have been reaching for my standard black Americano is that I am constantly ‘knackered’, dragging myself to bed as soon as I can, lacking motivation for anything and we all know this level of caffeine will disturb sleep patterns (and god knows what other health issues).
But its not just caffeine I’ve been reaching for, its been sugar and salt too to give me energy – and unfortunately all this has piled on half a stone since this time last year, n matter how many miles I have run, you just can’t outrun a bad diet…
Now I am training hard for the Great Wall marathon, I decided to do a bit of research to combat this fatigue and fell upon Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome…
Adrenal Fatigue is a decrease in the adrenal glands’ ability to carry out this normal function. It is commonly caused by chronic stress from any source (including emotional, physical, mental, or environmental) that exceeds the body’s capacity to adjust appropriately to the demands placed on it by the stress.
Well I could very well fall into this category… looking at the symptoms, I tick every box.
- Difficulty getting up in the morning
- Inability to handle stress
- Regular and unexplained fatigue
- Cravings for salty foods
- Mild depression
- Overuse of stimulants like caffeine
- A weak immune system (4 colds in 2017 alone)
Whether I have Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome or not I don’t know but I decided to check out how to battle it. It can’t hurt, as the treatment is healthy lifestyle changes rather than anything drastic.
First things first I decided to focus on two areas this week rather than overwhelm myself with the lot;
Caffeine: I have cut back on my cup of Joe. Just having 3 a day, and drinking more water and herbal tea. I’ve noticed the benefits of this after only 2 days in – feeling more awake and better within myself (emotionally).
Sleep: My daughter is nearly three and mostly sleeps in with us even after we have plastered her bedroom with Frozen posters and millions of toys! She has a habit of kicking out and mostly all night I will get kicked in the back, chest or face! So I normally get a very interrupted nights sleep. This has got to stop, for our sakes and for hers. So slowly trying to get her back in her own bed now. With my husband on nights I tend to do the most childcare out of the two of us, and just need some space to myself even at night in bed.
So onwards and upwards – I have been swapping out some of my go-to bad food ‘crisps and chocolate’ for better, healthier, options. Not looking at calorie content at the moment but choices, so been eating nuts, boiled eggs, hummus rather and will continue on with this…
Lastly, in prep for the Great Wall I have ordered a new aerobic step – the old one I finally found in the garage and managed to crush and break in the garage door (long story) so as soon as this arrives I will dig out my old Cher aerobic step routine which I did religiously back in the day! I actually can’t wait. Old Skool!
Hope you are doing well with your training and enjoying Spring as it seems to have finally arrived 🙂
Hey guys – I’ve started vlogging my Great Wall training .. would appreciate any constructive feedback please if you could take a moment to watch … ❤