Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Bug Run Review :)

Since the kids have been on their 6 week Summer holidays I must admit the running has been very sporadic to say the very least and I have been desperately trying to get my running mojo back, but with 3 kids, (2 starting different schools) it hasnt been easy, but try I did and managed to get some sort of fitness back in time to sign up for the Bug Runs 10k in Speke Hall, Liverpool, and *holds hands up* it was a forced sign up, I didnt feel ready, but it was a sign up before I changed my mind and do you know I am SO glad I did it! FULL RACE REVIEW on http://letsfightthis.blogspot.com/p/race-reviews_2693.html

Friday, 15 July 2011

Operation Butterfly

Recently at Slimming World Kate our consultant asked us to take 5 minutes and think about where we wanted to be by the end of the summer holidays (see told you I listen Kate !!)

Little did she realise it reminded me of something I'd always wished for and hoped for way back when I was in school.

I have always struggled with my weight, and every summer holidays, I dreamt about coming back after the 6 weeks holiday looking fab and gorgeous, like a butterly emerging from a cocoon, but then time went on, and the weeks past, start of new term and I was still in the same position.

Something has been stirred again, and this year as the summer holidays are fast approaching Operation Butterfly has been born.

I have my food plan in place, I have my exercise plan in place, and even have 5 free exercise classes & gym sessions at Fitness First to fit in.

Goals are:

lose 1 stone,

get my 10% award

gold fitness award

7 weeks from now - the butterfly will finally emerge :)

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Saying goodbye to the Marathon :(

It is with a heavy heart that I have made the decision to not take part in the Liverpool Marathon 2011 - and I have to be honest .......I'm totally GUTTED :(

Ive been losing weight steadily for the past 2 yrs and to date have lost 4.5 stone but still have about another 3 (ish) to go, and yes running is great for toning up but, on my long runs I was feeling that I wasnt 'fueled' enough to last the distance.

With me only starting Slimming World recently I dont feel confident enough to make the decisions on running diet yet, and yes in theory as per the earlier post it will be good to do the protein/carb days when I am in the swing of things but for this year and time ticking by I dont feel that I had the time to suss out the diet without having a negative effect on the diet as in eating the wrong things, but then I couldnt afford to have the running taking a knock because of lack of energy (if that makes sense?)

Now that the pressure is off I have the time to take stock of the diet, I know what I need to eat to fuel runs and I know the Slimming World plan, all I need to cross reference to maximise both.

Plus there is the heat ... I dont know if its the spare weight I have or just me, but I go down like a sack of spuds in the heat as it is without running in it, and have noticed a couple of times when Im running home from work its a real struggle

next up is family, pure practicalities kick in, if both hubby and myself are doing the same run then we need someone to look after the kids, plus there is all the long training runs, I did mine on a Saturday, hubby did his on Sunday = no family time,

Running is something that I have only just recently discovered first hand, spectator yes, participating only since March and is something that I want to fall in love with for many years, and dont want to put the pressure on so much that I dont enjoy it in the first 6 months

I feel sometimes that Im using them as a cop out and making excuses but they genuinely aren't

just the place where I am in my life at the moment. Its not over by any means and this is being treated like an obstacle that needs to be overcome.

And overcome it will be, I am not saying no, im just re-adjusting, yes A marathon will happen, it wont be the Liverpool one this year but it will happen, I still have a 5K and 10k in the diary, and a half marathon in August, so for the remainder of the year is being spent on ME, losing the remainder of the weight and building up my base fitness, ready to train over winter for a spring Marathon, hubby can train during the summer months when its hot and I can train over the winter months when it's nice and cold - but watch this space IT WILL HAPPEN just needed a little tweeking around the edges

I remember Kate, my Slimming World consultant explaining (see I do listen lol ) about the journey we are all on, you can either take the direct route or the scenic route, unfortunatly, in this case Ive had to take a diversion but the destination is always the same , healthy living, healthy diet, healthy fitness - all in moderation

So to all those runners embarking on the 'Long and Winding Road' my hat is off to you, and I have so much respect for you all, I will still be there cheering you all on - saving my biggest cheer for my hero hubby.

Good luck to you all x x x x

Monday, 20 June 2011

Post Race Euphoria - time to get back to business

So, the races are done, for the moment, we have one more in the diary but it is a few weeks off. So now is the time to get back to business. Back to planning meals and training schedules, tweaking and trying to be a 'good' as possible. We've been discussing Protein/Carb balances a bit recently, via text! It's so hard to know in some ways. SO many diets promote low carb, high protein regimes. But that is no good if you're trying to train for longer distance runs, or even if you just run regularly - you need plenty of carbs to keep the energy levels high enough to be able to keep running harder for longer. I am an obsessive reader of fitness magazines, and every month every one has a new idea of a new balance, a new way to eat.... Carbs before, protein after working out. Protein before, carbs after. No carbs afer 7pm. No supplements and all fresh and natural v loads of supplements and meal replacement shakes. CONFUSING??? Oh yes!!
So, after some deliberation, I concluded that really you just need to get a good balance. Nice low GI healthy low fat carbs (veggies, rice, cous cous etc), plenty of lean low fat proteins (fish, chicken, nuts, yogherts, beans) and tons of veggies, salads and pulses. Not rocket science, meat or fish and three veg perhaps!!
For me, that means actually eating more proteins. I am a carb-aholic, so I'd like to swop some of the carbs (bread??!!) for more fish and pulses in what I eat - that is the goal for the next week or so!!
Training? Well, that is all on track. A few runs (intervals, and longer runs), a couple of gym sessions (mainly strength based weights with cardio after) and swims, and on Monday evenings, Yoga with Patricia - who is 80 years old and fitter & more flexible than the 20 years old students in the classes!!

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Croxteth Park 10k

Instead of doing seperate race reviews, we decided on a joint review, 1st timer V's Elite !( Elite???!!! Hardly, it was only my 5th 10K!) to share the different experiences.

My Race day started OK - despite having the worst nights sleep ever - had my standard porridge (slightly more than my Slimming World allowance - sorry Kate !!) but stuck to the same breakfast - remembering the rules of not doing anything new on race day.....

I got up nice and early to have my usual bowl of museli with banana, seed mix and raisins with a coffee, then just before I set off to the park, about 2hrs before the race I had a small bowl of plain yoghurt with honey

Then we were off.......

I met Claire at Croxteth Park Hall and then the nerves kicked in and I started having sneeky peeks at all the other runners trying to suss out how fit/fast they all were and trying to figure out where I'd come - I did the warm up run - talking 10 to the dozen - visited the bathroom...............and again.........and again .......and (you get the picture!)

Although Ive met friends at other races before, this was different, It was great to do a warm up jog (something I mean to do but usually fail at), and standing in the start-up crowd chatting with Andrea was great ! The crowds at the hall were small compared to my 'usual' races, the atmosphere was relaxed and friendly, and there were no queues for the toilets at all - Bonus !!!

I must admit my nerves had gone at the start and suddenly after the start everybody started whissing past me - aaaggghhhhhhh - so what did I do ?? - after all the preparation - and talks from hubby ( who is a seasoned runner was getting antsy watching from the sidelines rather than being involved) - I did the fatal mistake, panicked and started off too fast trying to keep up with the pack, breathing went AWOL and took until about 2k to sort it out again...... (same thing happened to me, but realise THIS time that it will always do that, so instead of letting it put me off, I just went with the erratic breathing and wobbly legs for 2k until I calmed down and settled into the run). -

But we did it I finished whoop whoop go me !! I beat my training PB by 6 minutes (I somehow beat my PB by very nearly 5 min and got a SUB 55 mins time !!! I have to put this down to weight training - legs of iron and a relaxed start).

Here is the photo to prove it !!!!

The course was a surprise. I assumed that it being a park race that it would be on paths - I bimbled down the paths only to find myself running on trail tracks and across fields - good job it wasnt raining ! - this was probably ok for me because of being a beginner im not stuck to just one style of running - and because of where I live and where Im doing my normal training runs Im up hill and down dale as it is )I did worry about dirtying my trainers though - Im such a girl running lol !!)

Im not usually not a fan at all of anything remotely 'off road'. The park-y trails were fine, really nice actually and the fields were a surprise (note to self - find route map before run). In the end I wound up enjoying the field tracks, they were a bit uneven in places (I did stumble once, and there was a bit of an obstruction at one gate) but thankfully it had not rained enough recently to make them slippy at all. The views were nice, it felt nice to be out in the countryside a bit, and although it felt a bit narrow in places with not much passing space at times it did ensure I paced myself a bit. The race marshals were encouraging, they clearly indicated where we should be running and there were plenty of them, the signage was clear, and saw all the km markers (does not always happen).

The only thing I was worried about was coming last (I knew she wouldnt, and she didnt!). and to be honest I think I should have concentrated on my own game rather than what everybody else was doing and worrying about people watching me - I think I just need to boost my confidence in my running and my abilities.

Yes it was my first 10k running - but have been on the sidelines as a spectator for many years, and I personally thought it was extremely well organised, water at 5k, timings and photos were up on the website really quickly - I have a special thanks to the marshals who were brilliant and really encouraging - especially the one who told me to pretend it was a steeplechase when I asked him if he was having a laugh expecting me to get over a sty at about 7k (whoever you are you made me chuckle !)

This was a fab race to do and it'll go in my diary to do agaim, just need to remember to get trail shoes if it rains next year - there was even a free post-race massage available from Gina (of Mossley Hill Athletics!)

So BIG THANK YOU'S to Bug Runs for making my first 10k a really great day - and in the words of Arnie - 'I'll be back' - LOVED IT - thank you x x

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Because you're Amazing !!!

I have been going great guns over the past year with my weight loss, I have been tracking my calories on my fitness pal and if I do say so myself have been doing brilliantly and have lost 4.5 stone but now am finding myself struggling to lose any more (I have about another 3 to lose )

The thing with calories is that they are in everything, and everything you pick up has the calorific value on the side so that they are easily checked and recorded, the issue I have found with that is, you are allocated a certain amount of calories per day, and it doesnt matter if you eat X amount of calories in fruit and veg or solid chocolate as long as you record the calories, it is up to you to make the right decisions on what is best way to use your calories to maximum results and if you havent been 'taught' the right choices then you arent going to get the correct nutritional needs, especially with the training side coming in.

So I've found myself floundering a bit and feel like im going to need the support of a group or run the risk of going off the rails. I looked at all of the usual suspects and found Slimming World to be the best to fit in with 'real life', it teaches all of the fundemental food rules (which are the standard, fresh fruit and veg and lean protein).
The beauty of this is that Slimming World have the 3 plans to choose from and can be adapted depending on your daily needs and requirements.

The Green Plan - higher level of carbohydrates, limited protein

The Original Plan - Higher level of protein, limited carbohydrates

The Extra Easy - Mixture of both protein and Carbs

For the majority of the time I stick to the Extra Easy and find that this fits in REALLY easy with family life and I dont eat anything different to the rest of the family (to look at anyway- I have quorn sausages instead of 'normal' ones) - I have 3 children - 2 of which are girls and I have a real problem with them having any future body issues and dont want them going through what I have been going through, I really dont want them to see mummy eating something different to the rest of the family.

But its great in that as time goes on and I get closer to the marathon and up my long runs Im going to have to 'up' the amount of protein for muscle repair, which is where the Original plan comes in and closer still when I'm carbo loading is where the Green plan comes in, so in theory I can get to the marathon, still losing weight, and sticking to the plan.

It also helps that the group I've found is great with a really friendly consultant - Kate - who is always at the end of a text to talk you down from a (Non Quorn) sausage butty ! - Im really lucky to have found the group and each week come home really fired up full of hints and tips

Looking forward to sharing this journey with you as well as my training schedule - all part of the big picture, weight loss and training all ready to come together - yipeeeee cant wait so excited x

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Going gets tough

Ive also signed up for the Croxteth 10k on Sunday - must have had a moment of madness lol - I know I can run 8.5 miles and the 10k is only 6 (and a bit) miles - but I went out today and couldnt even manage 2 ?? - my breathing was all over the place, felt like I was going so slow I was nearly going backwards.

I had such a tizzy with myself on the way back to the car, whole mix of angry with myself, frustrated, crying, wanting to give it all up - all of the above.

Spoke to hubby who has done loads of running and apparently everybody has days like this, when its a struggle and you want to give it up but you just have to accept it - try and power on through and if it doesnt work accept that today it isnt happening and put it behind you.

I tried but it just wasn't happening so it is time to accept, deal with and move on .

This wouldnt be a problem if i didnt have the 10k on Sunday, my FIRST 10k race, and to be honest its making me doubt my ability to finish on Sunday.

Postive thinking, and onwards and upwards - I CAN DO THIS !!!!!!

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Working up to Croxteth Park and Mersey Tunnel 10k runs for Alzheimer's Research

Well, I signed up for a couple of 10k races, and decided to make them my charity runs for the spring. I lost my Granny to Alzheimer's, and it is a really traumatic condition, especially for the loved ones of the sufferer, watching my mum and Grandad go through so much pain was terrible. So, I'm doing what I can to help - just £100 funds a day of research, so I'd like to at least get that much, hopefully a lot more!


So - training for it. Well, I kept things up ok in Egypt doing a specific strength training program, classes and the 'Quick-Slim' program at STEP center, Giza, Cairo.
In Miami I did a few morning boardwalk runs (very very enjoyable!!).

I also went along to Ironflower Fitness for a 'Cheerfit' class, with instructor Tiffany (see pic below), which was really great fun.
The Studios are really amazing, and the girls there were so welcoming and friendly!!
I've done a few sessions since I got home, but not actually run 10k since the crazy seaside run in January, so this morning I went out for 1 hour 12 mins, and cracked 12k, so I should be ok next Sunday!! I've not been eating particularly well since Miami, the dreary British weather is not inspiring, so I'm starting afresh with a new summer work/training/study /healthy living program on June 1st!!

Please help me raise money and awareness of Alzheimer's, it can affect anyone, and it is truely devastating.

THANKS - together we are stronger, together we can achieve anything.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Sorry, sorry and sorry again

WOW how long has it been ? and the longer that time has gone on the more things have happened and the more I have to let you know about and then I get all in a muddle trying to remember them all - I will write them all down and do a post on each of them probably not in the right order though - but me up to date in a nutshell is..... still training........diet good........toe hurt........toe doesnt hurt.........still training ....... oh with a bit of life juggled in along the way as the running/training season hots up there will be more posts and will bring you up to date... its one of those things though, been plodding along through the winter miserable months ready to emerge in the summer a beautiful toned, lean machine butterfly .......and I am ........until I wake up ! lol

Until next time - keep healthy x x

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Name change and cruise report

So, I'm going for a profile name change.... @joedannysgirl74 is now @claireM74
The cruise??!!! It was amazing, and provided the best workout ever - dancing for 7 hours a night!!! Since coming back I've been so tired it's hard to focus, BUT I feel so inspired by all the love I encountered and all the great people I met that I feel more determined than ever to keep it all up! I've already been for one training session - circuits!! I ache today!! I am setting new goals, a few 10k races over the summer to see me through the final stages of my studies. Hoping to get to teach a few sessions in the gym as well, I need instrctors to go on holiday so I can get their classes!!!
I'll keep updating! Together we can do anything!

Sunday, 13 February 2011

So much to catch up with !

So since the last time I posted so much has happened, I have revised my training schedule - and have made a commitment to myself although I havent signed on the dotted line yet !

The Liverpool Marathon is back for the first time for 20 years and have made the ultimate decision to run/jog/walk round. more on the cause that I will be running for at a later date - not that I am skipping over the reason - but it is a cause that has touched the people of Merseyside and continues to - so for that reason it will have its own posting.

I also tried Zumba - eermmmm I'll let you know how that went when I stop laughing - So funny lol !

I will be posting every few days - If Im doing the marathon - then you are all doing it in spirit with me !!

keep you posted x

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Just a quick one !

So just a quick on as a recap - I looked into joining a running club because I did enjoy the company of going out with hubby but he has his own training to do - but due to other commitments it was hard to find a club that fitted into family life - so after a quick search I found on Amazon a series of programs for MP3 download so I have 8 weeks to a 10k pride of place on my MP3 ready to rock n roll come Monday, followed by a half marathon program and a full marathon to finish with so depending on how training goes (and how my nerves hold up) would bring me nicely to the week before the Liverpool Marathon so Plan of action is to see how it goes and make a decision on the Marathon in a few months - I'll let you know how I get on - Wish me luck - eeeeekkkk :)

Monday, 31 January 2011

I DID IT !!!!

Finally Ive managed to complete the 5k on the road !! -

Ive had the route mapped out for a while and have been edging closer and closer to finishing it all the way ...... and today I DID IT !!!!! and I felt fantastic and actually (and never thought id say it) felt that I could go on.

oh and on a funny note .... remember last post of treadmill not working - hubbys friend came round to have a look at it and ......it was a coathanger stuck in the motor lol - works fine now ! pity I prefer the open road (another thing I never thought Id say!) so I can see a treadmill coming to an ebay near you in the very near future !

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Doing it the old fashioned way

Why is it as soon as you come back fighting something comes up to test you ?? - I was back up on the treadmill going great guns and it broke :( never to return again....... so what did I do? (apart from nearly flying off the back lol) I got off and put a plan of action in place..... as you know hubby has done many many years running so Im off out on the open road... plus I figured that if I am going to reach my goals for this year of a 10k, half marathon and possibly *whispers* a full marathon then I will need to do proper 'real life' running.

So Hubbys day off work up and ready to rock and roll 1.5 times around the park is 5k dropped the kids off and it snowed, and snowed and then to top it off .....it sleeted, I thought we would be able to have the morning in the cafe, but NO I was cold, and wet but I did it 45 minutes walk/running - and do you know what I WAS ECSTATIC ! It felt totally different to the treadmill and the next day my legs ached in places I never knew could ache but Ive got the bug - since this I have been out again different route still 5k and did it in 36minutes ! a WHOLE 6 MINUTES FASTER !!!!!

Bring on the challenges !