Monday, June 27, 2011

Changed my mind

Think I'd rather be motivated by this photo - my first triathlon!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

End of week 1

I've had a good week. Not everything went to plan, but I adapted and feel like I've put in a good effort.

I've completed all three Up & Running sessions, done my fitness test, had one weights' workout and a lovely long walk. I wanted to do more weights, but ended up with two days work and couldn't quite fit it in.

I used my long walk this morning to assess how my body was feeling. A few tired muscles, mostly butt and thighs, but nothing that feels strained or injured.

I've just made a point of reading my motivations again - and must remember to do this frequently.

This photo of me 6 years ago at age 40 helps with the motivation too!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


I've done my first fitness test (results on the sidebar) and the results were somewhat better than I expected for most parts. My sit and reach was awful - I've obviously lost a lot of flexibility.

Have also done my first U&R workout and a good weights session this morning. The body is tired but feeling pretty good. I'm working for the next two days, so workouts will be at 6am!

The photo below shows you the wonderful gym I worked out in this morning.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The training plan

Warning: lists below!

Sunday is planning day, and what better way to spend a wet Sunday afternoon than creating a suite of new spreadsheets?

Sometimes my geekdom just goes into overdrive.

Having lost so much of my hard-won gym fitness, I'm treating this as a new start. So, rather than bring out the very challenging "bus programme" my trainer wrote for me before we ran away, I'm taking a back to basics approach.

Tomorrow I'm going to do a fitness test. This involves:
  • weight
  • 1km time test (which I'll do on Tuesday as part of the first Up & Running day)
  • number of push-ups per minute (I'm going to allow myself the girly version. Mainly because I suck at push-up. Particularly since the whole "cartwheel your bike and smash your shoulder" incident)
  • how long I can hold a wall sit
  • how long I can hold a plank (or bridge, or whatever you call it)
  • my sit-and-reach distance in cm
I'll put the results on here and then repeat the test every four weeks. Should be interesting to compare the start, half-way and finish points of the eight week Up & Running course.

My training for the next eight weeks will look like this:
  • Up and Running training: Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday
  • resistance training: Monday, Wednesday and Friday
  • rest: Sunday
I have a nice set of gym equipment that travels with me in the bus. It consists of hand weights (the cool dial-up ones so you only have one set gives you different weights), a skipping rope, a yoga mat, a Swiss ball and a BOSU.

For resistance training I'll do a sort of "whole body" routine that I can vary as my fitness increase by adding extra weight or more challenging variations. The basic workout entails:
  • tricep dip
  • bent row
  • military press
  • chest press
  • squat
  • reverse crunch
  • Romanian deadlift
  • alternating Superwoman
  • toe raise
Feels nice to have a plan again.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

It just keeps getting better

There are so many things we love about our new lifestyle.

And I've just found another one.

I can commit to planning my weeks (the next eight) around my exercise, not shoe-horning exercise into a packed working/sleeping/living schedule.

We have no major work commitments over the next couple of months, apart from some writing work for me which is pretty flexible. We're staying in a lovely little town with quiet, flat streets and very little traffic - therefore no traffic pollution either. And there's even a room here I can use for weight-training when the weather is wet (I have my handweights etc with me).

So everything is in place, I just have to make sure I keep my head in order too.

With so much free time I could just make vague plans about when I'll exercise. But I know enough about myself to know that won't work.

Sunday evenings will be used to plan for the week ahead. I've already decided Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday will be my Up & Running days, so I'll need to decide what else I'll do that week - weight training, cycling, hiking, etc. I'm aiming for four hours of planned exercise each week; it would be very easy to miss that target without sufficient planning. There are plenty of beautiful walks around here we haven't done yet - and that way Craig is included in some of the exercise too.

We're expecting to leave Whitianga around 20 July, so then I'll just have to adapt the plan. Because we don't know where we'll be heading - another thing we love about our lifestyle!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Body check

How is my body feeling at the moment? When we start the first week of the training plan next week, am I going to feel the lack of regular exercise?

Craig and I went for a bit of a walk today. Not to the local beach or even to the pub for a drink (although we did that later). We walked into New Chums Beach (other blog post here), which takes about 20 minutes each way.

It's not a difficult walk, but does offer a few challenges: wet feet, rock hopping, mud scrambling, up over a little hill and plenty of sand walking.

So, how does my body feel tonight? Well, ankles are a bit sore and I'm a little tired from all that lovely fresh air, but at no stage did I find it too difficult.

I feel like my general fitness is pretty good. But that doesn't mean next week isn't going to hurt.

The reward for our walk.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


I need to get back in the water habit.

I used to be really good at it, but that seems to have slipped away. When I had an office job I always had a water bottle sitting on my desk, but you can't do that working at the pack house - it's a food handling area so you can only have a drink on your breaks. And then we'd usually just have time to slurp down a cup of tea before the next session - of up to two and a half hours (so you don't want to drink too much anyway because then you have to get someone to cover for you while you go pee).

Pack house work is finished now, so that excuse is gone. I try to drink plenty of water in the morning and up to early evening, then ease off a bit. Otherwise I'm up too often during the night. Yet another balancing act!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Why am I doing the Up & Running online course?

I want to run 5km, just once in my life. Even if that’s the only time I do it, I want to know I can.

I want to feel strong and slim again.

I know how good regular exercise makes me feel. I want that feeling again. I need something to help me get back in the habit.

I want to be fit enough to do whatever I want. Climb a mountain (OK, a little one), kayak or ride for a couple of hours, go to a Zumba class or do a physically demanding job. Whatever it is, I don’t want to be held back by not being in shape.

I want to lose 20kg. The running course is part of the commitment I’m making to weight loss.

I want to be proud of how I look.

Starting summary

My weight this morning was 91.8kg. Not very flash, particularly as it means I've put on 5kg in 3 months!

My highest ever recorded weight was 132.5kg in April 2005 and my lowest was 76kg in December 2006. Over the last four years my weight has slowly crept up and I have spent most of the last 2 years in the high 80s/low 90s.

September 2007

I have done no regular exercise since November. I have also only worked for 3 months out of the last 10 - that work has been quite physical, so that may have helped my fitness a little.

It has been very hard for me to put any really effort into getting back to a healthy weight. There are lots of reasons for this, not least that my life is so much happier now. But I really do need to do this - if only so I can stop thinking about it all the time!

As Anne (who has a private blog) recently said 'Remember how good slim felt?'

Saturday, June 11, 2011


It's not something I've ever been very good at - balance. In fact, the other day I tripped over a ledge about 2cm high and fell arse over tit. Got great bruises on my knees to prove it.

But the other balance I've been thinking about is exercise vs. food. In the past three years I've spent an absolute fortune on gyms, personal trainers and private fitness studios. All so I could be fit - and exactly the same weight as when I started.

Training really hard lets me get away with eating and drinking too much.

That's not very balanced.

I don't want to tip the balance too far the other way. Just ease off a bit on the food and drink, add in the new running course - should all be good!

Wednesday, June 08, 2011


Two and a half years since I wrote the last post on this blog (about retiring from running), and I'm about to embark on a running course!

Lots of reasons for this - and for writing about it here.

I've always felt I let running beat me. Did I hate it because I sucked at it, or did I suck at it because I hated it?

I've tried running again a few times since then. When we went to Outward Bound in June 2009, we had to be able to run 3km in 25 minutes, so I tried to build up to running that far. Trouble is, I can walk it in that time, so I never really had to push myself.

Have tried to do the Couch to 5K thing a couple of times too, but always fizzled out after a couple of weeks.

Now I've signed up for Up & Running, an online running course designed specifically for women. I'm going to track my progress here - not tell you what the course involves as such (because that would be giving it away), but how I'm feeling about it.

And why am I going to write about it here? This blog charted some pretty major changes in my life.

There's a job to finish.