Posts Tagged ‘exercise’

Inspired by my favourite online stalker/coven member/bride to be and a new blog which is rather good, called Bare Naked Toes, I have taken up running!

To understand how momentous this is for me you have to understand a few things:

1) I was picked for teams about 3 times in my entire secondary school career, and then only when the games teacher was desperate because other people had the plague or something. We only had about 15 girls in our year. If you wanted to play team sports, you were a shoo in.

2) Whenever I’ve tried running in the past I’ve given up very quickly due to that awful cold air down your throat feeling which I just can’t bear.

3) I’ve done Cancer Research’s Race for Life a few times and on no occasion have I done anything that might reasonably be called ‘training’. I show up on the day, run/jog/walk/crawl/hobble for 45 minutes, get my sweaty picture taken with my medal, and then put away my trainers for another year. (Literally. I’ve lost them. I had to go and buy new ones this week.)

4) When I went through a brief gym phase at university I didn’t run on the treadmills, opting for the cross trainer every time. Even the word ‘treadmill’ seems to imply some kind of torture. Like you’re a hamster, doomed to an eternity of straining for freedom but never moving forward. Or something.

5) I am really, really fucking lazy.

But you know what, I have really surprised myself this week. Ok, so I’ve only done it twice so far, and two runs do not a runner make, but I’ve enjoyed myself a lot and – shock horror – am actually finding myself looking forward to my next run! I was out tonight and was genuinely surprised and a bit gutted when I realised my half hour was over.

I don’t mean to imply that I’ve been doing a full half hour of running of course-I am smart enough to know that almost 30 years of inactivity interspersed with a bit of shredding and zumba cannot be overturned in a day. I’ve got an app for my iPhone called Get Running which is brilliantly simple and effective. It’s one of those C25K programs and takes 9 weeks to complete. Week 1 comprises of three runs where you do one minute of running followed by a minute and a half of walking, repeated 8 times, with a warm up and cool down included too. The beauty of this is that nearly everyone is capable of running for a minute if they know they’re going to be able to slow to a walk at the end of it, even if they’re super unfit or overweight, so it starts you off easy and reels you in. The amount you run increases a little bit each week until the final week where you run for 30 minutes straight. So far I’ve enjoyed the running bits so much that I’ve skipped some of the walks and kept running through them. Enjoyment is a completely unprecedented side effect of running for me…

This is the app:


When you’re in a run the screen shows a little clock but as you’re unlikely to be looking at your phone it doesn’t make much of a difference. You can listen to music and every now and then a nice lady turns down the music and tells you what to do next.

I’d highly recommend giving it a go, even – or particularly – if you’ve tried running before and hated it. You might just surprise yourself…(do get fitted for running shoes first though. My converse did not cut it last week in my fitness class and I was glad to get proper trainers this week.)


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Yesterday I did a class with Fitness4Mums in York’s Rowntree Park. It’s called Pramtastic and they run twice a week; I’m definitely going to go back, though annoyingly one of the sessions clashes with my WW weigh in. I might skive the weigh in a couple of times a month-I figure it’s the only good reason to skive it so my leader can’t mind too much!

It was really fun but my God am I in pain today. I’ve never done so many lunges-the fronts of my thighs are on fire every time I crouch down (which is a lot, what with all the picking up of DD I have to do!) and having to jog was a wake up call about just how unfit I am. I loved it and hated it at the same time and I’m already dreading and simultaneously looking forward to next Thursday! DD didn’t mind it at all as about half the class was with the prams (plenty of opportunity for peekaboo!) and the other half we were just next to them-she actually fell asleep about 20 minutes in though which was ideal. The only thing I’m not sure about is that she normally has a bottle at 11, which is when the class starts, and because it’s in a park there’s nowhere to give it to her. Yesterday was fine as I just got there early and fed her on a bench, but if it’s raining that won’t really be an option. It’s about a 45 minute walk from home so I can’t feed her at home and then set off as she’d be eating so much earlier than she’s supposed to that it would mess up the rest of her day. I’m mulling this one over as I don’t want it to be an issue, so hopefully I can find a solution.

I thoroughly recommend the class though-it is really good to feel that I’m doing something active and taking a bit of control over the flab.


I’m really looking forward to next week’s class!

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Ok, I’m more than a little bit excited about this. Come May we will hopefully (fingers and toes crossed, prayers said, candles lit etc) be moving house and becoming homeowners for the first time. I haven’t written about it because I’m scared of jinxing it, and all the photos I’ve got at the moment are rubbish, but as soon as we’re in I’ll do a virtual tour.

We’ve always lived at my place of work due to the nature of my job in boarding education, so this is the first time since I did my teacher training that I’ll have to commute. The walk would be about 45 minutes, and I reckon the car ride would be about the same in rush hour. My solution was to buy a bike, but not just any bike, oh no…the BEAUTIFUL Bobbin Birdie in sky blue:


Now, I can ride a bike, and learned in the traditional ‘Dad holding on to the back then letting go and scaring child shitless’ method, but I haven’t really ridden one for about 10 years. In fact, since my teacher training, when I use to borrow DH’s old BMX from his teenage years.

I had several concerns.

A) Will I die?
B) Will I kill anyone else on the roads?
C) Will I look glamorous and beautiful at all times?

The nice man in the shop, York’s Cycle Heaven, assured me that a) I’m not especially likely to die, b) if I’m careful I shouldn’t kill anyone else on the roads, and c) I will always look glamorous and beautiful. Ok, he didn’t say the last bit. But of course I will-I’ll be on a Birdie! Even my accessories are gorgeous. Said nice man suggested I get panniers rather than a basket in order to carry my books and files to work, and showed me some very reasonably priced ones. He even managed to keep the glint out of his eye when I decided to buy the hideously expensive but pretty ones and a now totally unnecessary basket because I wanted to pretend to be Audrey Hepburn. Or maybe he’s just used to women with delusions of grandeur and an eye for pastels.


I rode home from the shop in the rain in about 5 minutes, which I thought pretty good for a normal 15 minute walk, and managed to avoid careening into oncoming traffic, stationary car doors opening, pedestrians and other, more professional cyclists. I’m going to practise-a lot-in the school car park and at the local park before I take to the streets proper, but I’m so, so glad I’ve done this. I think it will be great for my health to cycle to and from work come September, and hopefully when I’m a bit more confident I can take DD out on a baby seat too. And I’ll look like Audrey while I’m at it.

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