I’ve had a bit of a mixed experience when it comes to exercise this weekend.
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Firstly, I went to my normal spinning class on Friday despite me not being that keen on the music now that there’s a new instructor. When the class started, she announced that she’d be doing a couple of extra tracks at the end of the normal class but gave people the option of leaving after the timetabled 45mins. I firmly decided “No! It’s Friday night. I’d only planned on doing the normal 45mins. At soon as possible, I’m out of here!”.
However, as the class progressed, I started to think, “I’m here now, so I might as well do a little bit extra. It’s early on a Friday evening after all so I still have the rest of the weekend to do other stuff.” To my own surprise, I stayed and worked really hard for the extra 13mins. I left feeling very pleased with myself.
On Saturday morning, I was back to Parkrun after a break of a couple of weeks. I was running it with two of my cousins – one of whom left her house at 4:45am to drive 140miles to take part (yes she is a bit mental but we love her!). It was a nice sunny but cold morning so I was thinking it was going to be a lovely run. However, about 1mile in to the 3mile course, my hip-flexor started to pull. I tried to ignore it and focus on my music thinking that as I got into my stride a bit more it would probably loosen up a bit. It didn’t. By about mile 2 it was really hurting and all I wanted to do was to stop and walk. But I didn’t. It took a lot of positive thinking to keep me going including: the amazing challenge completed by Davina McCall for Sport Relief that I’d watched a programme about last week (Davina: Beyond Breaking Point). If she could keep going for all than distance, I could manage to complete a 5km run; all those who managed to complete the Coventry Half Marathon last week; and thinking about writing this blog post! Despite my hip being sore and this having the knock-on effect of making my lower back sore from my altered gait, I managed to keep running all the way around and still run a little bit faster over the last 100 yards (not my usual sprint finish but hey). I was surprised, and not a little proud, that I managed to dig-in mentally and keep going. Even more surprisingly, when I checked my time this morning, it was actually only 47 seconds slower than my PB!!
During the run, and reflecting on my mental attitude towards it post-run, I started thinking about how the mind-set needed to complete a physical challenge is mirrored in the challenge of losing and maintaining weight: sometimes it is unexpectedly hard to keep going and obstacles that are not of your own making can slow you down. But if you keep a positive mental attitude, dig in and keep going, you can achieve your goals.
Thanks for reading.
PS How do you keep going when the going gets tough?
Last week I was on half term holiday following an extremely challenging and emotionally draining 6 weeks.
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On Sunday, I woke up nice and early, had a nice lie in whilst finishing my book and thought to myself ‘I really can’t be bothered to go to the gym today. I just want to have a lazy day and enjoy the last day of the holidays’. I even voiced this thought to Mr FFF who replied smugly ‘Well. I don’t really need to go ’cause I did an 8 mile run yesterday’.
Yet, it wasn’t his gloating that made me change my mind.
I got to thinking about how I haven’t had a great week food and exercise wise (although I do feel lovely and relaxed) and how good it had made me feel to make the healthy choice when faced with a weight loss dilemma on Saturday night. I also thought about how I’d feel if I didn’t go to the gym (guilty; annoyed; that I’d wasted my day) compared to how I’d feel if I went (virtuous; smug).
So, I chose not to ‘Wait until after my weigh in on Monday and then get back on track’: I got up, got my workout gear on and went to the gym.
And you know what? It really did feel good 🙂
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So it’s half-term week and I thought that I’d use the extra time to increase the amount of exercise I’m doing. I’ve already taken part in my first parkrun event and now tonight I’m going to step things up another gear with a new Zumba class.
If you’ve never tried Zumba before, you ought to find a class and give it a go. It is a dance-based exercise class based on Latin/Salsa/Merengue/Cha Cha dance steps. It’s great fun and a great work out that’s easy to adapt for different fitness levels. I used to regularly attend Zumba classes at my old gym. However, on joining my current gym they didn’t run any at a time to suit me. But now they’ve started a new class and it’s on right before the Body Pump class I’ve been attending for the past 6/7 weeks.
I didn’t want to give up the Body Pump class as Mr FFF has been enjoying going to that with me, but I do really want to take up Zumba again. So I’ve decided to go to both. This will not only earn me more activity points and boost my weight loss, but it will also increase my stamina and overall cardio fitness. And I’m pretty certain to sleep well tonight!
Wish me luck!
Despite it being the first day of the half term holidays yesterday, I dragged my weary backside out of bed and went and took part in my first parkrun event in a bid to help me move more and boost my weight loss.
The weather had been shocking over the previous 24hours with howling wind and rain. I’d been half hoping that the rain was going to be torrential as there’s no way I was going to attempt it in that weather. But the other half of me really wanted to have a go and I found myself lying in bed yesterday morning, listening to the very strong winds and hoping that the rain held off. It did mainly: there were a couple of showers but I was already at the park by then.
My main aim for the run this week was to actually do it and not be bothered if I didn’t manage to run all the way around as I’ve not run properly in several years. However, when we got there, I decided that as I’m reasonably fit and can cope with 45min spinning classes, there was no reason why I shouldn’t be able to run all the way round if I paced myself. So I went for it and was delighted with my time of 33min 12sec.
What was even more surprising was that I really enjoyed it and I can’t wait for next week’s run!
Parkrun events are free and held all over the world. If you fancy taking part why not checkout http://www.parkrun.com/ or http://www.parkrun.org.uk/
Well, I’ve taken the plunge. In an effort to bank a few more activity points prior to going out with my work mates on Saturday night, I’ve registered for parkrun and plan to take part in my first one this Saturday morning!
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If you’ve never heard of it before, parkrun is an organisation that arranges free, 5km runs across the country (and indeed the world!) every week. Your time is recorded and logged online so that you can track how you’re improving.
I must say, I’m a little apprehensive: I’ve never been a massive fan of running and I haven’t run at all since September. And even then I was only doing 1 mile daily. However, I’m reasonably fit and I hope that being in competition with myself will help to spur me on to make this a weekly occurrence and so give my exercise and weight loss a boost.
PS – If you’re interested in taking part in a parkrun event, take a look at their website http://www.parkrun.org.uk/