• Cancer Shmancer

    On Father’s Day I participated in my local Race for Life to support Cancer Research UK. It was in Bath and I had decided months ago, when the registrations opened I would do it and I had plenty of time to train for it, even though it’s only a 5K, to give me a chance to finish faster than the last one I did.

    Then all the house stuff happened. I didn’t train as much as I’d wanted. I knew I wouldn’t beat my time. I worried about it being in Bath because crap, that is a very hilly place. My everyday life became more stressful and the race was the furthest thing from my mind the closer it got.

    But that’s okay!

    Life isn’t perfect. Things will happen. Did I let any of that stuff stop me from taking part? No! Do I wish I could have gone a bit faster? Trained a bit more (on hills)? Sure. But in the end, it didn’t matter. I went and I jogged and I mostly walked up the steep hills – my poor ankles are still unhappy about that! – and I finished just a few minutes after I did last time.

    And I’ve raised over £500 so far for Cancer Research UK, so they can continue to support those with cancer and try to find better treatments and hopefully a cure.

    I'm in pink!

    I’m in pink!

    I am not a people person, I hate crowds… Everyone always asks afterwards “Did you have fun?” and I laugh. No, I didn’t have fun, I’m not there to have fun! Two of my grandparents had lung cancer and I lost them both. The Race for Life, for me, isn’t about having fun, my idea of fun isn’t to run a 5K! But I’m able to do it, so I do because there are people right now all over the world with cancer, who can’t. More and more people are beating cancer now – great news! But the people helping to make that possible still need funding and help so that people can continue to beat it.

    There’s still time to donate and help me reach my fundraising goal. My body is still aching, 3 days later, from the hills and stress I put my body through to do it. It was worth every second and every penny I got from sponsorship to know that the actions of one person can make a difference, no matter how small.


  • I’ll be back

    Last week I got knocked down by a nasty cold while at Chevron 8.1 (a post on that coming soon!) and that meant my training had to be pushed back until I felt better. June is rapidly approaching – is it really mid-April already?! – so I can’t procrastinate any longer. Thankfully I’m feeling better now, just a lingering cough to contend with, so tomorrow I am back to regular and proper exercise and meal planning.

    Eek! :)

    The plan for the next 9 weeks is this:

    • Strength training 2x a week
    • Cardio 1x a week
    • Running (Couch25K) 3x a week

    I’m kind of diving into the deep end a bit, but it will be slow to start and I’ll build up as I go. Unfortunately as we have packed all our DVDs away in boxes, I’m resorting to either Xbox Fitness or YouTube for my workouts! But I’m going to persevere. I want to beat my last time, so I have to get my head in the game!

    In my food shop today I bought a lot of fresh fruit and veg. We never eat enough fruit so I’m making it my mission to get more fruit!

    I made a few new dishes this weekend, too. I was going to make fresh pico de gallo, but changed it to guacamole at the last minute. Guacamole is something I’ve never been able to do properly when following a recipe for it, but funnily enough I managed to make a pretty good version of it this weekend without even trying! So we’ve been snacking on fresh guac and tortillas.

    mexicanfood

    I made tostadas tonight, I even did the tortillas myself (not from scratch, mind… just cooking them). I’m really concentrating on not having gluten, and less dairy, right now. I’ve let my food slip in the past few months and felt crap for it.

    And on a last note: Today is my 9 year anniversary! I moved to the UK 9 years ago today… it certainly doesn’t feel that long, but at the same time it feels like I’ve been here forever. That’s what happens when you find your home I guess! :)

    Have a happy Monday tomorrow <3


  • Holiday Haze

    Remember earlier in the year when I was doing Insanity? My knee and shin just can’t take it and I had to stop a week into the second month. I can handle the first month okay, but the second does some damage and even when I modify I just can’t do it properly. So I had to stop.

    That was the second week of February.

    I’m ashamed to admit that since then I have only worked out once – the day before we went on holiday. I went swimming a couple of times while we were away, too, but in all honesty they weren’t the laps I’d do if I was doing it for exercise.

    Yes, it’s been over a month since I’ve properly exercised regularly. Believe me, I’m feeling it!

    Now that we are back I am starting to think about what my work out routine will be for the next 2 months. I signed up for the Race For Life to raise money for Cancer Research earlier this year (you can find out more and sponsor me here!) so I need to start running again (I haven’t run for a very long time, so I’ll need to train again).

    I have about 13 weeks before my event, so looks like I’ll be doing Couch to 5K or something similar, along with cycling/walking and some strength training to slowly strengthen my knee again and get back to where I feel good.

    Holidays are nice and necessary to recharge and get away from the every day stress, but it’s the returning to a normal schedule that always does me in! Once I’m back at work on Monday I’m sure it will soon feel like I never left.


  • Teaching and Learning: Patience

    It’s important to take a step back sometimes. Back in January we booked a holiday for March, having not gone away since June last year it was much needed and we were both desperate for some time away to rest and relax somewhere warm after a stressful winter at work for both of us.

    Between January and March a lot more happened. We decided to move house this year. We found what can only be described as the perfect family home (in my opinion anyway!). And in order to procure that home? We need to sell our existing house. Everything hinges on us selling (and hopefully quickly) – so no pressure or anything.

    And in the middle of all this we go on holiday. To be fair, with all the stress of getting the house ready to sell and how much thought and worry goes into things we can’t even control our holiday couldn’t come at a better time. I can easily say I was getting a bit lost in my own head.

    So we went on holiday, to Fuerteventura, and it was lovely and warm and sunny and quiet and very relaxing. We slept a lot. We ate too much (damn you all inclusive!). We laid by the pool and on the beach. We walked into the town of Corralejo where I managed to find the only Mexican restaurant (and we ate there twice. It was delicious!).

    It helped. There were still times I worried about everything. Hubby described it like rocks. The ones we can’t do anything about are big boulders and need to be left alone. We can concentrate on the smaller, more manageable rocks until we have the tools to break up the bigger ones and do something about them. Makes sense, and helps a little, but sometimes I still stress about the things I can’t control that need to happen for us to move forward to the future we want.

    I just keep reminding myself that if it’s meant to be everything will fall into place. And if, for some reason everything doesn’t fall into place this time it’s for a good reason and something better will come along.

    I think it’s life trying to teach me patience. I’ve never been a really patient person when I make up my mind and decide I want something I normally want it to happen then and there! Having to wait for things to happen that I can’t do anything about? It’s hard, but I’m learning a good lesson.

    This situation isn’t something I can control, I can only do a small part within the overall picture. But I’m hopeful that things work out the way we’d like and have faith that whatever happens, it will be the best thing for us.


  • Ways to Love Yourself: The Physical

    Physically challenging acts make me feel really proud:

    • Being able to run longer or faster than I have before.
    • Doing more of an Insanity workout and pushing myself harder.
    • Holding plank longer than I have before.
    • Doing more push ups than I could previously.
    • Using heavier weights that I couldn’t use before.

    Seeing and feeling a difference in my body as a result of these challenges makes me feel strong and proud. I’m learning that my body can do things I never thought it could do, have faith in my own abilities, and to love my body and what it can do for me – what it continues to do for me every day I wake up and continue to live.

    I’m currently doing my second full round of Insanity. I just started Month 2 and remembered just how much I need to push myself. With bad knees and sore legs, it’s hard. But when I find myself able to do more than I could before, and that even after 2 years I find it a little bit easier this time around than the first time, I find my heart swelling with pride and love for myself and what I can accomplish when I motivate myself.

    Of course it helps that part of that motivation is getting a week of rest and relaxation on the beach in Fuerteventura next month!  :)

    It also helps knowing that I won’t be doing Insanity again this year but changing things up after my holiday. I’ll be running again, which I haven’t done for a few years, and am looking forward to the challenge coupled with the physical and emotional release running gives me.

    *Source: en-route-to-healthy.tumblr.com

    My motivation for running this year? I’ll be doing a Race for Life in June, helping to raise funds for Cancer Research UK. You can read more about why I’m doing this and donate here.

    Then it will be cycling and some other challenges. The more I find my body can do physically, the more confident I am in myself. I am strong. I am alive. This body may have a bit more fat than it should, it may be a bit weaker than it should be in places, but if I take proper care of it, it will take proper care of me.

    The more I exercise and move, the more I find I can love myself and be proud of who I am.

    Of course, exercise gives a plethora of side effects that are good for you too. More energy, mood boosting, more confidence, motivation to do more. It’s all good :)