Have I turned a corner?

Since my last post back in February, my life has been pretty hectic.  In March I went back to University as I am currently completing a year long course to convert from a nurse to become a health visitor.  My life has been consumed by study and essay writing!  So I’m counting down the months until life returns to normal.

In August I had a few weeks annual leave and my fiancé and I went to Bulgaria for a week.  I was desperately dieting prior to going as I have major hang ups about my chubby legs! My weight dropped a few pounds to just under nine stone, but I still felt self conscious of my legs and insisted on sitting around the pool in board shorts!

Anyway, while I was there I felt super crap about myself as there were women parading around with their super toned bodies wearing thongs! So, I have decided that I am fed up with feeling like this and I am now ultra motivated to do something about it.  On my honeymoon next year, I don’t want to be wearing my board shorts.  I want to wear bikini bottoms (not a thong!) and be able to walk around confidently! I want toned legs….

So, upon return from holiday I started doing pilates (check out blogilates.com).  I am currently working through the beginners calendar and jeez does it hurt! The first week I did it six days in a row and it felt like every muscle in my body was hurting!  Last week I started jogging again on my treadmill too. Hooray!  I ditched C25K earlier in the year and decided that this time I didn’t want to use it.  I felt too pressured by it.  This time I wanted to go with my body, stop giving myself a hard time and just enjoy jogging.

So that’s what I’ve been doing. I set the treadmill for thirty minutes (4 mph) and then record my jogging times on my phone. Last week I started jogging at intervals of 8,5,5 minutes and on 27th August managed 11,5,4,3 (23 mins). Then yesterday I jogged for 20 minutes, walked for 2, then jogged for 8 minutes!!!! I really don’t know how I have done that as I’ve only been back on the treadmill for two weeks. All I can put this down to is the pilates? Has working on my core strength complimented the jogging?

When I was doing the C25K I was really hung up on my breathing. In fact I felt like an asthmatic and was starting to wonder if I had sports induced asthma.  But, breathing doesn’t seem to be a problem now either.  I feel like I am breathing deeper from lungs and maintaining a steady rhythm.

So, is this the pilates? Or is this psychological because I have stopped giving myself a hard time?

I’m looking forward to my next run early in the week. If I don’t manage to jog for longer, I’m not going to beat myself up about it. The good thing is that I’m doing something good for my body. That’s all that matters.

Couch to 10k – Week 4

This week has been hard…

Week 4 Day 1:
Repeat 11 times: jog 2 minutes and walk 3 minutes

Day 2:
Repeat 9 times: jog 2 minutes and walk 3 minutes

Day 3:
Repeat 10 times: jog 2 minutes and walk 3 minutes

On day one I felt motivated and initially strong, but started flagging towards the end.

Day two felt really difficult. I didn’t feel motivated to jog and my legs felt like lead weights.

Day three (today) I overindulged on a Chinese buffet lunch and again didn’t feel like jogging. My legs felt ok but breathing was difficult in the last fifteen seconds of each jog.

But, I did it! I’m pleased to have finished another week.

I have noticed that mental attitude seems to play a huge part with running. If you feel negative, it feels more like a struggle. I admire all you long distance runners out there, because not only are you physically strong, you must also have amazing mental endurance.

So, I would be interested to know, what do you do to maintain a positive mental attitude to your running?


Couch to 10k – Week 2

Week two is now complete!

This week was one and a half minutes jogging and two minutes walking for twenty minutes plus five minute warm up and cool down. On Thursday I managed to add on an extra four minute jog .

On Saturday I had spent five hours doing housework so was already tired when I got the treadmill. I completed the programme although wasn’t 100% motivated to do it that day. I tried to jog for an extra four minutes at the end, but my energy stores were depleted and only managed two minutes.

I am still taking it slow, jogging at 4mph and walking slowly at 3.3mph to recover. But, I noticed each time I completed a session I had only covered a distance of approximately two miles which is hardly 10k!

So, I decided to try another 10k phone app on my third run of the week.  The new app had me jogging/walking for a total of 46 minutes instead of 30. This included five minute warm up and cool down. Week 2 day 3 on the new app suggested running for one minute and walking for 4 minutes repeated eight times. I had been jogging for one and a half minutes with the other app, so decided that I would adapt this one and jog for one and a half minutes instead, which equalled a total of twelve minutes jogging. I added another three minutes on the end and it took me up to a distance of three miles.

Completed it with success and noticed a slight improvement in my breathing. I have also noticed that recovery time seems to be getting quicker and muscular aches are not so bad as week one.

I have also decided to keep a personal photo log of my body and have taken pictures of myself in shorts this week and last. I am doing this as a visual aid to inspire me to keep going. It’s not a pretty sight! I definitely won’t be posting these pictures! But, I recommend giving it a try, because it certainly makes you realise that there is work to be done on your body!

Can’t wait to start week three on Tuesday!


Week 1 Day 3 (Couch to 10k)

Well, week one is now complete! Hooray!

Day 3 was the same one minute jogging / one and a half minute walking schedule. I set the treadmill to 1% incline which apparently helps when transferring from treadmill to road (don’t know if that’s true).

At the end of the workout I still had a little energy left and decided to jog for as long as I could. I started off jogging at 4mph and managed to jog for four minutes but I had to drop the speed to 3.7mph for the last two minutes as my breathing my becoming ragged.

Breathing when jogging has always been a concern. Will this improve with fitness?

There’s no doubt that exercise improves the mood and is a great stress reliever. I definitely feel calmer, content and enthused to start week two!


Couch to 10k (Week 1 Day 2)

My legs are aching today, but despite the mild discomfort I have been looking forward to my run.

I met some friends for lunch, one of whom I had not seen for twenty years and funnily enough we used to go jogging together when we were about thirteen! It’s usually quite difficult to eat healthily when eating out, but luckily it was a Harvester and I opted for a grilled chicken breast, jacket potato and salad.

After a lovely afternoon reminiscing I headed home to complete day two of the Couch to 10k app, which was actually the same jog/ walk times as day one.

Despite the ache in my muscles, I finished it without too much bother and added on another twenty minutes 8% incline walk, which I could really feel pulling through my entire leg.

I’m feeling really exhilarated and excited about this whole running thing, but I don’t believe that I will ever be able to run 10k!

Tomorrow will be a rest day, but I’m so looking forward to the final day of week one on Tuesday!


Couch to 10k (Week 1 Day 1)

It has been six months since I last went to they gym. As a result, my weight has crept up.  I have put on 10lb in eight weeks over Christmas! Arghh!

I feel so uncomfortable in my skin that I decided that it is time to take action and have bought myself a treadmill. Don’t get me wrong, I am not overweight, in fact my BMI is healthy, but my body lacks tone.  Some muscular definition in my legs would be great, but I find it hard to believe that my legs could ever tone up!

So, yesterday I started the Couch to 10k app, which consisted of a five minute warm up and then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for 20 minutes. I’ve realised that I have failed at my previous attempts to run because I try to run too fast and burn myself out quickly, so I kept a slow pace. Running at 4mph and walking at 3.5mph.

I’m ridiculously unfit because I was huffing, puffing and could feel it in my legs by time I had finished! But, I am happy to have taken this step. I really hope I can stick to it.  I really cannot imagine being able to run 10k. That would be a huge achievement for me!

Anyway, today I met a friend for lunch. We went to La Tasca for tapas, which unfortunately doesn’t feature in my healthy eating plan.  So, I decided to hop back on the treadmill for a fairly easy incline walk which turned into a little jog at the end! I actually managed to jog for five minutes!

To all you hardcore runners out there, I know five minutes is nothing, but for me it’s a big deal!!!

So tomorrow is day two of the Couch to 10k app and you know what…. I can’t wait!!!!