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 anything 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 cases needed help. 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!

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!

Morning routine getting into the fitness groove.

body confidence, running, weight loss

I stopped going to the gym because I wanted to save the money and the puppy meant that I was just wasting money. I had to walk him twice a day so I wasn’t going to the gym at all.

But I missed it. I was going 3 times a week after work. My local Nuffield gym has a pool so I could pick and choose my activity.

So last week I decided that it was too hot to run, I mean it practically hit 40 degrees which was super uncomfortable. And I was making excuses not to run. It’s too hot, I am not in the mood etc.

So I rejoined my gym.

Getting back in the fitness groove

I now have to get up at 6.30am walk the dog and head straight to the gym. Where I do a 30-35 minute work out. I don’t want to leave the house at 7am I normally leave it at 8 so it’s been a struggle.

Me looking sharp on the way to the gym

But I have done it.

I have had too.

When I get to work I feel good. My body sometimes aches and I have silly minor injuries like blisters from the rowing machine but I just need to find my gloves and I will be good.

It only been a week but I am already looking forward to the gym. My body is happy and I have already started feeling the difference.

My routine

  • Get up
  • Clean teeth and wash up
  • Walk pooch
  • Walk to the gym
  • Run for 15-20 minutes ( this will increase)
  • 5 minutes on the rowing machine ( need to wok on those bingo wings)
  • 10 minutes on the cycling machine
  • Wash up
  • Head to work
  • Eat breakfast
  • Work

That’s pretty much it.

Rookie mistakes

I made a few mistakes when I restarted going to the gym. I lost my lock so I left my locker open. This made me paranoid the whole time. But the worse thing I forgot was to bring a fresh set of clothes.

Luckily the supermarket opened at 8am so I ran across and bought a dress but it was annoying.

but I look forward to my breakfast

I have been eating a healthier breakfast of Greek yogurt, fresh fruit a sprinkling of granola and some honey. I love it. I know that too much fruit isn’t great but it’s good for my skin as well as my health.

I am looking forward to my healthier body, my running fitness. My toned stomach and with just over 6 weeks to go I need to stop putting it off and just do it.

Here is too just doing it!

Couch to 5k my journey and tips from someone who is struggling!

confidence, Fitness, running, weight loss

I have said before that if I have an idea I can do something it’s because I can. This has always been my approach to life. You would think that this would mean that I am highly successful and motivated.

Ha ha

Nope

So when I decided to run I thought I can run 5k. Don’t get me started on the half marathon farce. I started couch to 5k had two bad runs and gave up.

Oh I can do anything can I?

In my head I ran 3k which was good enough for me. So this time my end game is 21K which is so bloody far I cant truly focus on it.

So because I started couch to 5k last time I knew that I didn’t have to start from the very beginning. I could run 5minutes fine so I started from week 5.

Beginning

Which was a perfect place to start. If you are a beginner please please start from the beginning.

All you need to start is

  • Good running shoes ( go get fitted)
  • A phone that you can down load the app onto
  • The app
  • Headphones
  • A pocket you can zip away your phone
  • Keys to get into your house
  • Money in case you are desperate for a drink or a bus ride home!

That’s it. Nothing fancy. Oh ladies please get a sports bra!

Don’t beat yourself up

What I have learned from last time is that if you don’t make it. Just repeat it till you do!

I have stayed on week five for 3 weeks now. Monday I ran for 20 minutes straight and I was fine, I could have run further but I was so happy. Wednesday is was a 5minute, 8 minutes, 5minute run and I was a hot mess.

Yes it’s hot but that redness is not sunburn. I have SPF on, that redness is my heart pounding so fast! I was sweaty and my knees felt weak!

Heart rate was 151!

Did I feel good after, yes after my shower. It put a little doubt in my head. But I will push on to week six day 2. I have too. You have to. Pushing yourself is part of it.

If I don’t complete my next run I will just go back to the start of the week until I can complete it.

The NHS app is great. I love Laura, her voice is soothing and encouraging! She is getting me through it even if I do swear at her when I think I only have a minute to go and she tells me I am half way through. Sorry Laura.

Now I am in a good place.

I am visualising completing the 5k and moving onto the 10K. I am visualing my training up to run the 21K. It will be a great accomplishment for me.

Guilt behind the diet: confessions of a chubby bride

body confidence, Fitness, health, weight loss

Everyone who has ever started a diet, cleanse or trying to be healthier is always struck by guilt. Guilt of want bad foods. Guilt of eating bad foods. Guilt of the scales for tipping over when we know we have been a bit naughty.

So as you can guess I really really didn’t want to put this picture up! But guess what this is me. Fat going over my running leggings and a belly over hanging. Now before you say I don’t look too bad you need to remember. I have excess fat over my vital organs. This is bad and unhealthy and frankly needs to go.

Being over weight isn’t about looking good or bad it’s actually just bad for you and if I don’t get fit now, then when. Plus I am unhappy so I need to do this!

Guilt is your enemy

It makes you feel like you have failed and so don’t want to try when actually you should just keep going.

Cheat days, treats these are negative words that can make you want to give up when you have been trying so hard.

Working out what your relationship with food is so important! I am emotional eater if I am upset or angry then I crave chocolate. And a little chocolate isn’t bad but I am a compulsive eater who isn’t good with portion control.

Stuck in a rut

The other problem with diets is getting stuck in a rut and convenience. There are no healthy option take always where I live. So you start off well. Putting healthy veg in your fridge. Looking at fat percentage in your mince etc.

But then you start eating the same thing all the time.

I have my go to meals that are no brainers but it’s the snacking that causes issues I love fruit but shouldn’t it be sliced and put in my gin and tonic?

An apple is delicious but it is not, nor will ever be, a bar of chocolate!

So when you fill up your fridge make sure you put things in it that you actually want to eat rather than because someone told you too.

Kale will never be my friend

Chocolate will always be my wayward friend, I will never let go of them completely. We have to much history, too many good times!

But I need to get real and focus.

Running is helping, I am more proactive to eat better after a run or long walk

But I am not giving up

I am not going to make myself feel bad if I eat 4 Bakewell tarts. I am a compulsive eater. I keep telling you this. I would have eaten all 6 but I gave 2 away.

Being negative is never going to help. Being self deprecating doesn’t motivate you to lose weight. Guilt doesn’t make you feel better.

I want to do this

I am going to do this!

Bad maths equals a half marathon

body confidence, Fitness, health, weight loss

So I entered a half marathon.

I can run 5k so training for just over 10k shouldn’t be a problem.

Except a half marathon isn’t 10k or even 13k, its 21k which is bloody far.

I signed up because I couldn’t convert the bloody Kilometres to miles.

never

But its for charity and I have signed up for it and also got my colleagues to sign up for it too so there is no going back!

I have no doubts I can do this as I have 5 months till the race. 4 months till the wedding. This is going to help me shift some weight, tone up and lose my bingo wings.

I like running I did some last year. I had more energy felt better and was physically fitter. Then we had a long hot summer which was basically a no go. My awesome little sister is a marathon runner, she has done London and Paris. She loves it and its hopefully going to give me some tips.

Preparation

I have already been to the running shop to source some proper trainers as this is going to be hell on my legs and my old adidas need a rest as they can’t keep up with long distance. I am learning a lot about running support. The best shoes the best cloths. Guys if your legs brush or touch when you run then cover then up. My Primark bras have been replaced with proper supportive sports bars. I keep them for short runs.

I am going to keep you updates every Sunday on what I have been up to. If I have lost any weight, my inches (ahhh) but the thing is I think that by sharing it with you it will encourage me to commit to the run, commit to the weight loss and finally get my shit into gear.

Arse in gear

How long have I been engaged? 2 years and I still at the same weight as I was? Well I have lost 4lbs but that’s in two years which is shocking.

I need to loose an entire stone.

That is 14lbs. I will be so happy when I do. My belly fold won’t have to snuggle on top of each other when I tie my shoes. I will be drinking more water and eating less sugar.

so even though I started this challenge due to a mathematical error….. I am happy about it.

The right kit

My healthcare means that I get discounts on healthy things like trainers, Gym, Apple Watch so I can track things.

I took full advantage!

Investing in trainers is definitely important but I will go into that later on!

Are you a runner?

Have you done a half marathon? Any advice please leave in the comments!

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https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/CraftyArts