Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Back to circuits

After a 6-week break I returned to circuits tonight for an hour of fun, laughter, and a bit of a workout. Apparently today is National Fitness Day and One-Hit Wonder day, so the music was all one-hit wonders. I never knew Eye of the Tiger was a one-hit wonder!  

We did 3 mins of exercise and 1 min rest before moving around the circuit. The 3 mins comprised 12 reps to start, 10 s rest, then as many reps as possible to failure followed by another 10 s rest, until the 3 mins were up. I managed a full 3 mins of throwing a medicine ball and running after it, trx rows, deep squats, and clean and press. Everything else I found hard, but I will get better.

Now I need to get back into running. Less than 2 weeks to my 10 K race and I still can't run 5 K, plus I've not run for 10 days.

Friday, 20 September 2019

Relaxing, Sog style

I've done quite a lot of Scouting this week, spending 3 of 5 weekday evenings in my uniform (2 Cub nights and the AGM). A friend asked me this week if I every slowed down or had time to relax, and I can see where she is coming from as I do seem to always be doing something! But it is better to be running around busy and meeting people than sat at home in front of the TV being unsociable and drinking wine alone.

Talking of drinking wine, I am off to see my parents later and I can't wait as the last time I saw them was at Easter for my birthday. Dad wasn't well after that visit, but his recent operation should have put him right again, so it will be good to catch up, over a couple of glasses of wine. It will also give me some much needed relaxation time, as mum and dad's house is so tranquil, with a lovely garden to sit out in. And I get to cuddle Holly cat, who secretly loves me because I feed her toast under the table. (Her love for me is secret because openly she pretends to hate me by running away and not letting me pick her up.)

This weekend I am also catching up with friends who live in New Zealand but are back for a few weeks to visit family and friends. We are all meeting up at my sister's house, which should be great fun with lots of chat and (more) wine.

I'll need a weekend to recover after all these visits!

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Hurricane Humberto

This afternoon, our friends who live in Bermuda posted photos on social media of their preparations for Hurricane Humberto, which is gathering strength and heading their way. They have brought all the garden furrniture inside, closed all the shutters, and have started on the champagne. I guess if my home , and potentially life, were in danger I might decide to drink all the wine too. In solidarity with them, I went out and bought a bottle of cava to drink while catching up with Celebrity Masterchef.

I am enjoying tonight's episode of Celebrity Masterchef, because Greg Rutherford is being told off by Dillion Whyte for "going too big". I've never heard of this Dillion chap before but he seems really nice and a bit of a dark horse in the cooking department I reckon. Not too sure about Martha Reeves and the French lady, they do seem a bit inept (not seen the end yet!), although they were thrown in at the deep end and told to cook lobster and make fresh pasta, and I couldn't do that. I do want to make gnocchi though, and I think I might try next weekend when I have time spare.

I can't make gnocchi this weekend because we are visiting my parents. My dad should be well recovered from his operation and it will be lovely to catch up because we've not seen each other since my birthday at Easter. I'm also going to meet up with my friend Jo who lives in New Zealand but is visiting the UK for a few weeks. This will be our first of two get-togethers, which is a real treat!

R is away tonight in Wales, and I've just finished watching Celebrity Masterchef, so now I'm catching up with Taskmaster without him. I will be in trouble!

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Blog streak fail

I missed a day blogging yesterday so there goes the winning streak. I completely forgot about it as I was at Cubs, and when I got home we caught up with Taskmaster.

Other than work, that was Monday.

Today I am back in Scout uniform ready for the Group AGM. R is stepping down as Group Scout Leader tonight so I am going along for moral support and to heckle him if he looks sad. And I like signing the ancient book they haul out for this occasion.

We are back debating cat vs dog at home. I had a look at Vizlas, which look perfect even though they will destroy the house and need a ton of walking. And they cost loads, whereas cats are cheap and don't need walking (although might still destroy the house).

Sunday, 15 September 2019

Falling over and injuring myself

I'm feeling a bit battered today! This morning I woke early to R's loud snoring, with a bit of a hangover after the previous night's antics! I decided to have a lie on our new outdoor sofa, and it was so lovely to be outside, wrapped in a blanket, cup of tea in hand as the world woke up.

I had told my friend Liz I would support her this morning. She was leading a walk as part of the Bedfordshire Walking Festival, from Stotfold Mill to a few of the other local mills (there are a lot near us) and ancient Churches (eg, St Guthlac's in Astwick, one of only 11 dedicated to this saint in the UK). The weather was amazing, we were so lucky. Unfortunately, while talking to Liz about a new housing development about to be built on farmland (very contentious!), I lost my footing at the side of the lane and had a fall. I'm 42, but despite the fact I am not at all elderly I do fall quite frequently. Anyway, trying not to make a fuss I insisted I was OK and we carried on. About 5 minutes later at our next mill stop, one of the other walkers handed me some first aid supplies and whispered "you are bleeding quite badly from you arm". So I patched myself up! The other walkers were all lovely and I think quite entertained by my antics!

When we arrived at St Guthlac's, my friend Kate was there with homemade lemonade! It was so lovely to have a rest and learn about the ancient church. I had a wander around the graveyard too as there is a tomb that I love which is covered in skulls.

The walk home was interesting as we learnt about Stotfold Common and Liz got some old maps out, and I love looking at old maps! I didn't fall over again and had stopped bleeding by the time I got home, to be chastised by R for being clumsy and warned that I wouldn't be allowed out on my own again.

After a fantastic roast dinner cooked by R (such a treat!), I set to tackling the front garden. We have a low-level bin war with our adjoining neighbour, whereby they like to leave their bins on our property line and I like to move them. Yesterday I took action since they are on holiday and bought some plants and a planter. Now we have a lovely arrangement of grasses and herbs in the spot they like to place their bins (which is on our property). I weighted the planter down with bricks so they can't shove it over (as they have done with a heavy wooden bench we have out front for bin protection). I've taken photos to prove the planters are on our property and to show what they look like, then we will see what happens when they return from their holidays.

Today I attacked our hedge on the other side of the front door, which I like to keep well trimmed but couldn't touch for ages because we had birds nesting inside it. (No comments about well-trimmed bushes please.) The birds have fledged and aren't living inside anymore (they have relocated to another hedge nearby and are noisy blighters) so I decided to do my twice yearly hedge hack. I also swept and weeded, and I'm really pleased with how tidy everything looks. I did manage to gouge my other arm that wasn't injured from the walk fall on a branch (there is nothing sharper than a freshly cut hedge, or perhaps a baby's nails). But no blood was spilt.

My next task is to find out how to procure a Brittany Spaniel, which we have identified as our family dog of choice (we want an athletic dog that can run). Ideally I would like to get a rescue dog, but R is adamant if we are getting a dog it has to be suited to our family and young enough so we can train it. I dont know how you get dogs. I know about cats, they generally turn up in my experience, but if not you contact a local rescue and choose one, if you're lucky you can even pick a colour. Cats are cats, dogs are complicated.

Saturday, 14 September 2019

I did a quiz

Today I went to a quiz to raise funds for our town's Christmas lights. Our Christmas lights are still quite a new addition to the town but do look lovely. The quiz was christmas themed and, as someone who ignores christmas until 2 weeks before because I have a child who's birthday is 10 days before christmas, I was slightly irritated by Cliff Richard on loop and the christmas jumpers. But, it was fun, we drew the first round and then drank lots of wine and our quiz skills went downhill, but overall we came 8th. From the bottom. Or top. Actually not sure. But we didn't win.

The people who won didn't win anything as far as I remember (I don't remember much!). The people who lost won a wooden spoon, I remember that part.

One of our team members won a raffle prize. They were right at the end though so the choices weren't great. All the wine had gone, as had some padded coat hangers and a hebe growing in a reindeer. She ended up with a bundle of Paddington Bear books, which I thought was quite a nice prize.

I love living  in a small town and having events like this to go to.

Football was good this week; it was a home match so we had to help set up. We had also been asked not to drive to help the tight parking situation, so I borrowed R's electric scooter and N went on her Segway. N won girl of the game to, which was super!

Friday, 13 September 2019

The Great Model Railway Challenge

When I was growing up, some weekends were spent visiting model railway exhibitions around the north of England. My dad was massively into trains and model railways. He had plans for a model railway around the garden, and made renovations in the attic space for an indoor model railway. We just liked playing with the trains, but dad was quite serious about it. I remember one Saturday dad went off to see some chap who lived in Abbey Village in Lancashire, who had a model railway in his garden. Me and my sister went along too, and spent the whole time on one of those push and pull engines going up and down the garden.

There's a new series just started on Channel 5 called The Great Model Railway Challenge. It came on after the cricket highlights and, thinking no member of my family would want to watch the programme, I scrambled to find the remote to switch over. But no, R wanted to actually watch the programme, so now here I am reliving my childhood. I sent my dad a message to let him know the programme was on, and he's decamped to the kitchen to watch on his own, while mum gets the comfy sofa for Gardeners' World. The best part of the whole programme is that one of the team comprises biochemists: they are the most glamorous team! If you want some alternative uses for hair gel and love a geek, this programme is for you.

Our garden furniture finally arrived today, the new garden room is complete at last. Fortunately tomorrow is set to be great weather so we can get outside and make the most of it. I spent a fair proportion of my afternoon putting the set together, so worked late into the evening on said furniture wrapped in a blanket. I love working outside! I will be out in the garden all next week if weather permits.

Sunday, 8 September 2019

Fat bottomed girls

I wanted to run-walk 10K again this morning, in preparation for Standalone 10K at the beginning of October. But when I woke up my ankle was doing a weird clicky thing and was quite painful. Sense prevailed and I opted for a bike ride instead, which would tick the "calorie burn" box but not cause further ankle injury.

I quite enjoyed the bike ride, once I'd pumped the tyres up and found gloves (it was 6 degrees this morning!). I had to push the bike up 2 hills, which tells me I need to work on fitness and gear changing. But overall it was good, and I managed over 13 miles in 1 hour 25 mins, which is roughly how fast my husband can run that distance. Maybe next time he can run alongside me and push me up the hills.

After a magnificant roast pork dinner (if I do say so myself) it was time to head to the pub for a Cub planning meeting. Every new term I have a dread feeling about Cubs, but meeting back up with the other leaders is just what I need to get my passion for Scouting going again. We came up with some fun ideas so hopefully the children will enjoy the term.

This evening we've booked flights for our cruise next year, which is one more job ticked off that list. I want to sort out car parking next, and possibly a hotel room for the night before because our outbound flight is very early!

Saturday, 7 September 2019

Football and shopping

This morning started very early with a 9 am KO in Dunstable for N's first football match of the season. I don't like driving to Luton or Dunstable, but setting off a good 30 mins before I needed to meant the traffic was minimal and I didn't have any problems in the one-way system. I even avoided driving through Luton!

The girls did lose their match quite badly, but it's our first time playing 9 vs 9, with the offside rule, and with new team members, so we are not too despondent. Plus under 12 girls football is not competitive yet, so the score will not be recorded, just in our minds.

After the match I had a lovely sleep to catch up on the lost hours from this morning, then I was cruelly awakened and dragged to Tesco to do a big shop. Every so often R likes to visit an actual store to see what's around, but really I think it's so he can buy lots of snacks and browse old tech. N bagged herself new jeans because she's cute and smiles all the time.

R wanted tapas for dinner because we are all missing being on holiday, so I made tortilla, pork belly, chicken wings, and patatas bravas and drank two holiday beers that we brought home.

Thursday, 5 September 2019

Always thinking about my dinner

R is out with work this evening (another leaving do). I've had to cancel my plans to play netball with my friends so I can take C to Explorers. I could abandon the boy and make him walk there but it starts to go dark at 8 pm now and he probably wouldn't go if I wasn't there to make him. Instead, I went for another hateful run before dinner.

Pondering again why I put myself through something I don't enjoy, but I am thinking of that cat we (me and the kids) want, and the more important fact that I am obese and need to become less obese and more healthy, so I went out and ran for a bit. I decided to see if I could actually run 1 mile without stopping for a walk. I can be very stubborn so I managed this with a bit of mind games with myself. It helps that I know exactly how far a mile is from my house and that I run a short loop, which means I am heading home again quite soon after leaving. The mile was completed in 10 minutes, which is good I guess, except for the chest pain and wheezing afterwards. I had a few minutes walk to recover, then decided to have another go at another mile. Except, as I ran past the end of my road, I remembered about my dinner waiting for me, so I lost focus and stopped for another walk. I shouldn't make myself tasty dinners before going for a run. But, I completed 2.78 miles in total (walking and running), then went home and scoffed pasta and ragu and felt amazing.

Of course now I want to go for another run to work off the pasta, but that's not happening tonight.

I had a little success today in my quest to stalk Richard Herring, a comedian who became famous in the 90s. I am sure everyone knows who he is since I did and I cannot remember plots of films I saw last week. Anyway, my quest began a few months ago when R and I saw him at a local parkrun (both turning simultaneously to look at each other and mouth "we know him"). It's not our usual parkrun so we didn't know if it was his first time or if he was a regular, or if he lived nearby or was "just visiting". After a bit of googling and stalking of the race results we discovered it was indeed his first time running and that he lives locally. R---who came second in the parkrun because he is fast and annoying---tweeted Richard some congratulations and received a cheerful reply back, which made me determined to somehow achieve this greatness also. Since then I have read his blog, Warming Up, every day (he has blogged daily for 15 years) and he has inspired my return to daily blogging too (5 days in a row; I will not break any records).

Anyway, today Richard posted on Facebook that his show had been voted the number 1 show at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, to which I replied with congratulations but that the article had stated the list was subjective and in no particular order. Of course he replied to my cheeky comment and I now feel slightly more famous than I was this morning---and, more importantly, back on an equal footing with R. I am determined we shall all become great running friends. I just need to do a bit more stalking of social media and maybe crack this running thing again so I can compete at parkrun instead of giving up and walking to the finish, while thinking about breakfast.

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

I really hate running

I used to love running.

Back in 2011 when I first started running properly (and not just to the pub when it was raining) I was almost good at it too. I lost about 4 stone in weight, set personal bests at 1 mile to marathon distances, became a UK Athletics Leader in Running Fitness, helped lots of other people get good at running, and even ended up in Runners World to showcase how great I was at running to lose weight.

But then I got lazy again (post London Marathon) and slowly the weight crept back on and I got slower and slower, and now I am a fat mess who hates running and does it solely for the calorie burn.

Tonight I went for another run since I have this blasted 10K race in 4 weeks and I can't run that far yet. I ran 2.7 miles and did a run-walk strategy that I used to use on my beginners: 2 minutes walking then 3 minutes running, repeated several times until I'd been out for 30 minutes. It's a slow pace but the aim is to increase the time I can run before I need a break.

A few weeks ago I actually ran a 5K without stopping so if I can just be consistent then I might just crack this.

Same with the daily blog.

I started today trying not to troll an old Uni friend, who overnight (possibly after wine) had posted a ridiculous statement as a Facebook status (it was about back-to-school photos). My husband told me to leave alone but I couldn't resist. She called me "my dear" in her reply so I don't know who trolled who, but I felt slightly better for called her out for being an idiot.

Work happened a bit more today, but not as much as it should have. I'm really missing the laptop the office lent me to use because it allows me to lounge on the sofa and work instead of sitting at a proper desk like a proper worker. But, I get a refurbished one tomorrow so I might become productive again!

I was productive at Cub organisation though; I am attempting to sort out a mobile planetarium visit for our Cubs this term. Our Scout Hut isn't wide enough to fit it inside so I am trying to find a local hall that I can borrow for free. I had a fairly successful chat with a Town Councillor today so I just need to write a letter and hopefully I will get lucky. Maybe I should be doing that now...

Sunday, 1 September 2019

Catching up

It's been a long time since I wrote a blog post but I thought I would dust off this blog and use it for my day-to-day musings.

It's a day since we got back from our summer holiday, a cruise around the Mediterranean on Sapphire Princess. (I'll write about that holiday on my cruise blog at some point.) I gained quite a few lbs during the 2 weeks so I now need to work on losing that, and more. I'm fairly sure not drinking 15 cocktails a day will help. I've been given an incentive by R: if I lose 2 stone we can have a cat. I am aiming for a New Year cat but we will see what I can achieve before then.

Today is Sunday so I've got a slow-roast lamb shoulder in the oven on low. Looking forward to that with some fresh vegetables and roast potatoes. Before then I have a load of ironing from holiday to do and another load to wash.

OMG, Roast lamb was so good!

Coming back from holiday always makes me reassess and reorganise myself, so yesterday I had a clear out of some old clothes and a tidy up of my wardrobe, and the kitchen too. Feels good to know where everything is again. I need to persuade C and N to do the same now.

Later this afternoon I want to run-walk a 10K because I have a race at the beginning of October so I need a starting point. I'll edit this post later once I've done that.

EDIT: Sunday lunch was delicious and I ran-walked 6.75 miles!

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