After the Marathon

Fitness, running

This was my first half marathon so do excuse me for the drama that is about to entail.

So as I crossed that finish line and spent up all of my reserves I saw Gavin. Standing in front of me with a can of Coke in one hand and Frank our frenchie in the other.

I was so exhausted.

Physically

Mentally

Not sure I was functioning probably.

The finish

When I finished there were helpers holding out bananas medals and water.

I think there were also sweets but I had already eaten too many and needed sustenance.

I took the banana and said that I needed a wee. I hadn’t gone on the run but I was really afraid I would never get up again.

I had no faith in my legs any more, they were like jelly and I couldn’t trust them!

But they still held me up. Gav took a picture of me on the podium

And I struggled to get up and even more to get down. I have never been this tired in my life.

Ever

I was happy that I had done it but I had no want to ever do it again. 10K yes nothing any further!

Then we sat down and waited for Jacqui to finish. She is almost 60 and said she would walk it but ended up jogging most of it.

The whole team was brilliant I was proud of us all.

It was another hours wait but it gave me time to rest.

I took of my shoes and feared the blisters and bruises that were fewer than I imagined. Two tiny blisters and one black toe. Not bad for a 2 day old pair of trainers. They looked after my feet well.

When jacqui joined us we all joked and laughed and then went for lunch.

We were all starving but when it came to eating we all stumbled.

Our legs and bodies where aching and we struggled to stand up with our muscles so taught.

I had a pint of doombar and was feeling sleepy.

I threw a jumper on to keep warm and just wanted to sleep.

Heading home

When we got in I ran a bath and Gav watched me get in in case needed help getting in and out. I had a drink, watched @annaedit on YouTube and let the water get cold.

I had put Epsom salts in the bath to soothe my muscles and struggled to lower myself down.

I also kept my medal with me!

I was shattered so put on a movie and rested till bed time.

Recovery

My feet were sore but not painful.

My toe went a bit black so I will probably loose a nail.

But no other injuries,

Movement was hard and for two days I had still legs and struggled with stairs.

When I mean struggled I mean I was afraid I would fall down the stairs. I had to psych myself up every time I went up stairs. Long distances were also a no no.

I had no speed and no power.

But after day 4 I felt human again. There is a park run next Saturday so I may try that out and see if I have improved at all!

My medal is at work where it shall remain.

I don’t want to run that far again but I am already looking up 10Ks for next year. A half marathon will need some actual training I think!

lessons learned!

Half Marathon my first run

Fitness, Personal Experience, running

Yesterday’s blog was about prep! Today I am updating you on the race, I was too tired yesterday! I was surprisingly calm when I arrived for my first Half Marathon. Because we were a group we got to talk and laugh.

I forgot to tape my knees which was silly

I went to get my name and my boss had given my married name. This is the first time I had been called Mrs Townsend at an even which was strange. It didn’t bother me but I did think Dana PAYET was running!

We were lucky

The rain had miraculously stopped but there was still a chill in the air. I decided to set myself a target or 2hr45 as a best and 3hrs I would be happy with! I read that an average half marathon runner normally run it in 2hrs30 but I hadn’t put enough training in to get that score.

We had to fill out our incase of emergency and attach our numbers to the front of our tops. We waited at the back of the queue and I tried to stay behind my 3 hour pacer but I lost them.

So I just started going. Because of the rain the crowds were a bit thin on the ground but the cheering was lovely. I just put my head down and focused on my pace. I didn’t want to go too fast too soon.

Getting into the zone

I ran without music, and it was fine. Because my longerst run was 8k I wanted to give myself a task of no walking until I hit 10K. There was a drink station at 9k6 so I did rest before. But I kept it up. There was a nasty hill that we had to run up but the park bit of the run was lovely.

I just got into the zone of running and it was fine.

Then we ran through the fields. This road was gorgeous, nice tarmac and beautiful winding path. The 2hr45 pacers caught me up and I found new strength to run with them. The fields were so gorgeous I wanted to take a photo but I didn’t want to stop so I kept going. Then right before we turned left I had to walk for a bit.

It’s October and we were surrounded by pumpkins. I managed a quick shot and then ran on.

Pushing yourself is not the same as punishing yourself.

Then we went through a muddy lake Forrest area and it was so pretty and my second favourite part of the run. I was shattered so there was more walking then running at this point. But the group I was in was doing the same. Pushing yourself is not the same as punishing yourself! I had moments of struggle and after an hour and a half I realised I didn’t want to run for much longer. So I quickened my pace and walked less.

We had to go through streets which had people cheering us on which was nice and encouraged me to run at these points. My foot was aching and when I walked I limped so it was easier to run. As I turned the corner I saw my husband and dog cheering me on. I passed him my cap and a single tear ran down my face. We were at mile 9 and I was still running!

That’s me blowing him a kiss but it doesn’t look like it. I was very focused. Having loved ones to support you makes the run.

It got narrow and muddy but I just kept going I had to!

I caught up with Jay and he kept telling me to run when I didn’t want to. So I ran off a fair distance so I could rest to my time table not his. Running is personal and when I just had two miles left I was totally spent. Plus I beat him which made me feel great!

So I kept going.

I ran when I could and walked to take the edge off. My foot was so sore and walking made me limp so walking was only an option for a few paces.

When I saw that finish line through the fence nothing could stop me.

I just wanted it to be over!

I was so tired so I pushed through and ran.

I ran to the end. The announcement said the time was 2.45 so I ran a bit faster!

I wanted to hit my target!

And I did!

2.45.19 and I was happy!

13 miles 21kilometers I did it.

I was so tired but I did it. Gav and Frank being there filled me with such joy!

That was my elation.

It lasted about 1 minute until I was tired again!

It felt good to know that I can push myself but I needed more training!

That will have to be an update in my next blog!! Right now I need more rest!

Morning of my first half Marathon

Fitness, running

Woke at 6am

Ate a banana and hopped in the shower!

My clothes were all laid out the night before but I still did a last minute panic. It’s torrential rain outside and although an Uber is picking me up I don’t want to get too wet too soon.

I have Vaselined everywhere that my skin will rub. Paying more attention to my feet. My trainers are just a few days old so I am going to destroy my feet today. Rookie mistake I know.

I have had a pint of water and I am ready to go. There will be water on the way so I am not worried about dehydration. I don’t want to Pee to much on the routes but I know I may.

The nerves are kicking in.

If I struggle I am not going to punish myself I will push myself to run the first two hours straight and walk if I have to.

I will trust my body and energise with the gels!

Wish me good luck!

I brought plastic ponchos for the wait in the rain. I have my world zombie day hoodie on to keep me warm and a rain mac which I don’t want to through away.

My hair is tied back already and I am wearing a peaked cap, this is something I can also throw away. I feel very wasteful right now.

I have eaten a granola bar for energy and the pockets of my running top have my gels in them. As well as a few tissues and my phone.

The event prefers no headphones as the course loops back on itself. So my longest run ( also in the rain) I tried without headphones. I was so worried about slipping that it was fine to run without music. So hopefully today will be fine.

It’s raining

Massive drops of water, even if it does clear up it is still going to be a muddy run.

I am nervous now.

I am layered for the cold and the wet but the chill is creeping in.

My Uber should be pulling in now. I will be one of the first in my group to arrive and I wish I wasn’t. I wish they would all be there as I have no idea what to expect.

Today is miserable.

I will keep you updated!

Fitness update three weeks since I joined the gym, getting up early

body confidence, confidence, Fitness, weight loss

So I thought if you are not too bored of this newbieish gym goer then you may like to read this.

I am actually on my fourth week now and I am loving it. I am loving the feeling of improving my body. Every time I go I push myself and improve. The results are immediate in so far as the next time I go I can do it. When people say that fitness is all in your head they mean it. Because every time I think I can’t do it, the next visit I can!

I recently watch Jamie Genevieve fitness vlog and she said this gem of wisdom

” No one ever regrets going to the gym”

And she is right. I feel good when I leave the gym. I have energy that lasts me till about 3.30 and then I flag a little. My body looks better.

I feel better!

I still have work to do and a few more patches of skin to tone but I am happy about my body. I just need to keep it up.

Early mornings

I love my bed so much, so getting up early, like 5.45am is pretty god damn early.

I look like crap but yesterday even the sun wanted to go back to bed!!

But I have found that I need a gym buddy! I miss Jon laughing at me and introducing me to new exercises and machines. I asked Gav if he would join again but he doesn’t fancy it!

So I aim to go 3-4 times a week and so far I have done it! But I have to go early. Yesterday I came home and had a quick run around the park with Frank and he loved it!

I have to get up

I have to go

But when I get there I love it and it’s worth it. Most of the time I say I am definitely going the next morning. Then that morning I decide whether or not to hit the snooze button.

So this is my little update for my gym fitness. I hate getting up early but the benifits are paying of. I need the motivation of the gym and the support of my gym buddies. I have also started running back from the gym. Not a massive distance but I will lengthen it each week.

There is a park run on Saturday and I should really see if I can do it.

But we will see!

Gym nightmare: my forgetfulness is becoming an issue!

Fitness, weight loss

So this week I have been pretty crap! Went to the gym on Monday did a good workout mixing everything up and then I left my trainers at the gym.

I am generally forgetful but they are bright pink and I normally check my locker!

Not good

So I didn’t go to the gym Tuesday or Wednesday and realised that I needed a gym buddy. Someone to motivate me to go, to challenge me to push myself.

And just to turn up at the bloody gym.

So I set my alarm for 5.30 and went to the gym.

5.30 is an ungodly hour.

It was still twilighty, that’s how early it was and I had to dig out my old Adidas trainers so I could work out.

My face was like thunder when I hit the gym. But I turned up worked out and my body is a lot less sore this time.

We tried a few different machines!

this was I found a little scary as I challenged myself with the weights. Jon is taking them off for me! I don’t think I got heavier then 60k but next time I will.

It was a challenge.

I have forgotten my towel a few times.

My day clothes

But loosing my trainers really annoyed me.

My forgetfulness is pissing me off but I have so many things on my mind it’s not going to change any time soon!

Don’t get stuck in a fitness rut: Gym tips I still need to listen to!

Advice, body confidence, Fitness, Uncategorised, weight loss

I used to go to the gym 3 times a week which looking back wasn’t great but something is definitely better than nothing!

But I was stuck in a rut!

When they ask to introduce you say yes!

I never went upstairs and I never really explored the machines when I should have. Gyms always ask you if you want a walk through and actually you should take them up on that offer!

I should have walked round and learned about all the machines.

I also should have walked round and understood that I need more than a few exercises to see results!

Don’t get stuck in a rut

This is what Jon taught me. He said when you come to the gym there will always be a certain amount of people who are there all the time but you never see a difference in them.

This is because they don’t change up their routine enough. They get stuck in a fitness rut of comfortable exercise and can’t get out of it.

Now there is no harm in this. Maintaining your weight and fitness is important but unless they change up there routines and add different elements to it there body it going to stay the same.

I am a hundred percent guilty of this. I am definitely a creature of habit. I like the running, rowing and bikes. I may through in a different machine if I am feeling brave like the CrossFit or step machine but most of the time that it’s.

Plus I run home.

So my muscles are doing the same thing all the time which means although they are getting stronger and I mean a bit more toned I haven’t seen that much difference.

I didn’t want muscled arms so I stayed away from weights.

Now I want to introduce them into my routine. On Monday I did bicep curls and upped my weights each time. This will help work on my arms and bingo wings which I do need.

You need to do a bit of everything if you want to see improvements.

I am still working on a fitness plan that I can follow without being a slave to it!

Preparation is key

Pack your bag the night before! If I don’t do this I waste 5-10 minutes every morning when I could be at the gym. I have forgotten my locker key, towel (twice) shoes, you name it.

My skincare and shower bag now live permanently in my bag so I have to get them out on weekends.

When it’s hot it’s easy as I can just pack a dress! But as it’s a little cooler this week I have to focus on outfits.

If you are showering at home the. This doesn’t apply to you but I go straight to the gym then to work! Preparation is key to this and here is where I really need to listen to my own advice. I need to plan my outfits and check I have my towel with me!

Gym tips

I can’t give you any real fitness advice because I am just starting out and it would be wrong to do so! So if someone talks about your fitness at the gym listen to them. Ask for advice book a PT everyso often.

Keep it fresh!

Also you don’t want it to become boring! You need to challenge yourself! Up your game each time. But mostly you need to do this for the right reasons. You need to do this for you, not to get in your wedding dress, not to look Instagram ready.

Do it for you

I am doing it for me. The goal was my wedding but I want this to continue for my body to be a healthy happy place.

Survival of the fittest, well just give me time and more training!

body confidence, Fitness, Uncategorised, weight loss

I did it! Jon survived my whining for 5 days straight. I literally upped my game so much. My weights got heavier on all fronts.

I ache all over.

I can sleep so I am not too worried.

I am taking the weekend off and starting again next week. I aim to do a minimum of three visits this week but I hope I fit in more.

Fluidity is key

I am going to miss having instruction from someone who knows what they are doing and give me advise and just tell me what to do. Yes, I know I can pay someone £40 a n to do this but I cant afford it. Instead I am going to try and write out a plan of machines and exercise reps that I can do. This won’t be a rigid plan just an idea of say 6 ideas I can do per session.

I have learned so much about muscles and strength training. My bingo wings are still there but I can feel them tightening. I need to work on my diet a bit more and keep up with all the ab exercises and arm training.

I also need to get back to my running and training for the half marathon.

Now I have ventured upstairs in the gym I can use the machine that have gradient training and work on my rhythm, breathing and stamina. I also need to start running home from work. Now that its cooler I don’t have an excuse.

Perhaps now that I am more focused on my health and fitness, I will actually start to see results.

With running the main thing I noticed was just how my fitness improved. I have less energy in the evenings ( I am a lazy toad after all) but by training in the morning I have been fine. Work has been full on this week so I really haven’t stopped.

I am working Saturday but I am just doing wedding planning on Sunday.

The strange thing is I am looking forward to my gym session on Monday I just hope I am confident enough to tackle the weights by myself. I wont be able to do any of the barbells as I do need someone to spot me but I can definitely can do the bicep curls and other bits.

5 days of fitness

Next week I will just try to go as much as I can and focus a bit more on my diet!

I can do this

I can get nice and healthy for me, for my body and be proud of myself on my wedding day.

But more importantly, if I ever end up in a horror movie I can do a pull up to get away from the baddie!

Thank you for joining me on this challenge. As you can tell even though I am tired, my body is sore I really enjoyed it.

Thank you Jon! You are a super star.

Day 5 a friendship ruined

body confidence, Fitness, weight loss

Kidding. There is no drama. My body from top to toe is taught like a bow string.

I am tired and was bit grumpy today.

Biceps

We started on my bingo wings again! I started on a 4Kilo and worked my way up to an 8. Jon encourages me to push till I can’t left any more.

I had to lie back and push them to the ceiling. My last weights were a little too heavy and I managed to push and relieve them twice but the third time I lost control and have a small brusir in my chest to prove it.

Then I tackled the barbell again. Hands ina different place push up. Again I struggled but I did more then last time.

Calves

My carves are strong and defined but Jons are puny and he needed to work in them. So this time we used the weight machine to push and strengthen our carves. It burned so much I thought my skin was melting but they recovered quickly.

He asked me so it was my fault.

Some bingo wing pulls machine. Pulling towards myself and working on my arms. It didn’t feel like I was doing much but apparently it does.

I enjoyed this one until he told me I should stretch my body. I had to jump up and hang like a monkey!

Abs again

It was my choice. Plank for 1 minutes I managed 15seconds and giggled through the rest of it!

then I had to lie down and pull my legs up! I hate this bit but I did well compared to last time.

Then I had to lift my feet, twist my body and tap a weight either side. Again I wasn’t great but I had improved since last time.

Then we finished with him showing me how to use the ski pully machine which was fun!

5 days of gym over

Was it worth it, of course!

My body hates me at the moment and it is making it know my reminding me of every muscle in my body.

It’s sore.

I could sleep straight after work I am that tired but it is not just the gym it’s work as well!

My body will thank me! As it already is starting to look better.

My knowledge of my body and the gym machines has been all thanks to Jon. He has been patient, challenged me and also laughed a lot at my incompetence!

I am not a flexible, agile nor strong person but our friendship survived thank god!!

Pull ups I will defeat you, just maybe not today

body confidence, confidence, Fitness, weight loss

I was late

This is not good

I also forgot my towel which resulted in a very awkward towel and a very damp journey to work.

I also didn’t turn on my Apple workout so I have no stats for today which pissed me off.

Today was a challenge but I was ready for it!

more squats

I had to do kettle bell squats. I can’t do squats as we all know but I just can’t bend low enough. I had already warmed up with some dumbbell squats so I think Jon was just punishing me for yesterday’s lame attempt.

He made me do a weird thing where I had to tuck my elbows in and push a big barbell from my forehead up and then behind my head whilst lying down.

It was weird and I was slightly afraid of dropping it on my face and breaking my glasses. I didn’t really like it but it worked on my bingo wings so I was happy to try.

The ropes

He made me bounce a 5 kilo medicine ball over my head then on each side of me. The coordination guru in my was obviously amazing at this. Or not. But I could barely lift the 10 k ball. So I tried and have massive room for improvement.

I am still confused how I can pick up certain weights in some shapes but not in others!

Is it just me?

Jon forced me to try the ropes which I couldn’t do in the light ones but was fine with the heavier ones. Again why is that!

Finally we finished

Although it makes me a bit sad when we leave because I am getting into the rhythm of going to the gym.

I also had to do pull ups.

I told you guys I can’t do this, and it’s an aim of mine to be able to do it with me. I do find the women in the gym inspiring. There bodies are amazing and you know it’s hard work rather than just good genes, starving yourself or help from the knife.

So the pull ups! It was okay yes I was assisted. Yes I struggled but I did 3 reps of 10.

One day I will do ten by myself for now I am in training.

I am really enjoying learning.

I do need to push myself a bit harder but to me that is all about the learning curve.

Happy gym day

5 Day Gym Challenge Will I Survive Day 1

body confidence, confidence, Fitness, Personal Experience, weight loss

My work wifehas challenged me to five days of gym, well five mornings

So I dutifullyexcepted I have no reasons not too. It is still pretty muggy in England at themoment so I don’t really want to lay in bed for and extra ten minutes, thenanother five.

Snooze button loves me did I mention it?

I am doing it but will I survive it?

Day 1

Day one he was late.

So I hopped on my favourite machine the rowing machine. Now out of all the activities I do this appears to burn the fewest calories but I like it. I like how rhythmic it is and how I try and burn more calories every minute. I normally do 5 minutes straight and move on to the next machine.

Today was no different, plus he still hadn’t turned up. So I did two minutes running whilst I waited.

I have never ventured upstairs in my gym before and it turns out this is where the more hardcore gymers fester. With their ripped abs and veiny necks, I wondered if I was in the right place. This apparently is where I would be trimming and toning this week.

He thought he would burn up all my Mars ice creams in ten minutes on this hellish machine that you have to run and with each step you move the machine. You add your drag and decide how long a break you get. It was so hard I walked most of it. Five minutes of this was not pleasant but I didn’t push myself hard enough so tomorrow I will have to try harder.

The machine from hell

Weights

Then he got me on the dumbbells . I am the biggest joke there is. The awesome lady next to me was pumping 8s so I was like, she looks strong I recon I can handle a 6. Nope,I have no upper body strength. So I wanted 4 and found I could not do that either there wasn’t a 3 so I tried the 2. And do you know what.

I struggled

But I did it.

The awesome warrior lady smiled at me and picked up a ten in each hand and smiledback proudly with my 2s!

I did thepush up on the bench exercise (so technical) and the reps where you bring themout to the side. My bingo wings are upset I am trying to reduce them. Tomorrow Iwill go up to a 3!

Legs a hoy

Then I tried the bar weight. The pole is 20kg and oh my got did I struggle. I couldn’t even add anything to it. Jon had to hold it the whole time in case I crushed myself. I also got the giggle a lot with this exercise, mainly because I am week. Tomorrow I am going to lift it from the floor. I can’t wait.

Covering up half my body is not what I want!

That was sarcasm.

Last implement of the day was a squat machine. Where you sit like a pregnant ladyand push a lot of weight. Finally, something I could do with ease. My legs haveall my strength. They are toned and muscular. Yes I have a wee bit off wobbleat the top but who cares. I love them and my bum. It’s a good bum.

It’s my stomach I am at war with. These exercises are going to be good for me. Today I feel energised and only a little sore. I probably won’t wake up feeling this ecstatic.

Oh and my Apple watch decided to pause so missed the majority of my exercise. Grrr. Still today is another day. Catch you tomorrow. Hopefully I will learn a few more gymwords so this can be a wee bit educational rather than me and my weakling body.

So I survived day one ….See you tomorrow

Dana