The diary of an amateur runner aged 45½

Start stop start stop start

I’ve finally booked into a 10km on the 14th April so it’s back on with the training plan. My last event was in October and since then I’ve been more stop than start. I started again with a strong January (see my New Year’s Resolution blog as evidence) but seemed to lose a bit of ground again in February. I do know, however that now I’ve booked into a run its full on training once more!!
Last night I planned my training routine into my calendar and then opened a beer to celebrate! Well it was raining!!
Tonight, however is a different matter and although it was raining when I got home from work I changed straight away, donned my trainers, stretched and stepped out!
The aim for tonight was a gentle 3 mile jaunt. We managed 2.2miles as the need for the little boys room called out to my other half.
Secretly pleased at this we headed home. I’m now cooling off and ready for my dinner.
I feel good with tonight’s efforts. 2.2 miles, pace of 10.17/mi and moving time of 22.59mins.
Until tomorrow!

8th March
On my way home from work I know that I am running tonight and although it’s Friday night and the end of the week means I can lack a certain motivation for anything that is not revolving around relaxing, eating and having a tipple. Tonight I am motivated and ready to go!
I was due to run with my other half but he’s not home so I changed, get my trainers on, plug my ear phones in, stretch and leave the house.
I wouldn’t want to run on my own all of the time but I do enjoy it from time to time. It allows me to listen to myself on 2 levels.
1. It gives me head space and time to think about anything I have going on that I haven’t managed to process yet that day and generally to be alone with myself where I don’t have to think about what’s for dinner, work or (sorry kids) but children!
2. When I listen to my body I know how hard I can work. How my breathing and legs feel, when I need to slow up but also when I’m on a hill and need to put my head down and get on! Personally I find this quite therapeutic!

It’s a bit wet tonight and I’m challenged by trying to miss the biggest puddles! Please note that I WAS that child who would avoid stepping on the cracks on paving slabs and still am from time to time. 😁
My route has some hills that have been well worn and it’s getting dark so I push on.
My aim is 3 miles again tonight but at 2.8 I see a familiar figure walking towards me and coming from our local corner shop so I call it a night. With a cheerful hello we walk home together knowing I’ve had a good step out.
2.8 miles , pace of 10.11/mile and moving time 29.03mins.
Roll on Sunday afternoon.

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Eat, sleep, work, cook, clean, repeat.

Where is the time?
As a child, time seemed to go so slowly, primary school seemed to last forever and summer holidays were bathed in hours spent in a playing field or lying in the grass staring up at white fluffy clouds, watching old black and white films on TV, having water fights or being out on my bike!

In my twenties, even when I was working, I seemed to have days that went on for ages, lying about, trying to decide if I should wash up, watch the tele, go out or get out of bed!!

As a 45 year old working mother of 2, I seem to roll from day to day with my week day routine being to get up, make lunches, rush to leave the house to drop at least 1 child off and go to work – obviously I’m very busy and very important at work!! Lunch time I am normally food shopping for the bits I need to stock up or if I’m lucky enough, stretch my legs.
At the end of the day I run out of the door – usually late to pick at least 1 child up, I get home, unpack the shopping and get dinner on (I may have to wash up first depending on last night or if anyone else has done it in the mean time).
I like cooking – most of the time – and feel a certain pleasure in providing – hopefully tasty – nutritional food. Dinner is served (at the table as I believe in family time together at least once a day) and demolished shortly after, with washing up to follow – after the usual discussion from the kids over who doesn’t want to do it! (to be fair, we all take turns at this task but the ‘discussion’ can be amusing or annoying depending on how I’m feeling!).
After dinner is the homework/reading phase of the day while I’m tidying, taking stuff to the kids respective bedrooms, do any banking or paper work that has been avoided for the last week or two and catching up with what ever child I have not had a conversation with yet that day. After that (and if the ironing mountain is not bothering me too much) I may sit down, have a tinker on fb, watch TV, chat to my partner or the kids if they decide to honour me with their presence.

The weekend routine consists of a hopeful lie in, get up, stagger into the kitchen looking like a wild thing with my hair going in all directions, to put the kettle on for a coffee.
After my first sips I am generally able to converse with the world and think about breakfast for everyone. I like to do a nice breakfast on a Saturday if we don’t have anywhere to go. Once demolished and the washing up is completed, we allget dressed and start on homework, while I hover to provide any assistance that maybe required while starting some cleaning or ironing.
This is generally how the rest of the day continues with washing and more cleaning and hopefully meeting up with friends later for a walk and a catch up while the kids play together. This may sound like a mad scramble of daily activities and it basically is!
Welcome to my head and world!!

I was talking to my partner a few months ago about hobbies. I don’t really have any it seems and being a mum is really more than a hobby!! I like to keep fit and healthy (when I’m not breaking the sin of gluttony) but don’t go to a gym or exercise classes, I read from time to time but that’s just about it.

My other half has quite a few interests and hobbies that include, golf, tinkering around with and has built/restored some cars, astronomy, keeping fit/running and most recently a space Xbox game. He doesn’t do these all at the same time but when he does engage with one of his hobbies he gets engrossed into them. I am really glad that he has interests and I can see the pleasure he gets from them but it has been making me think about having an interest or hobby, something I can enjoy doing for me.
Do I have time? Can I find the time? What do I want to do?
Earlier in this year I found myself going through a hard time in my personal and working life, it knocked me around for a good few months and I won’t lie that looking back it affected me more than I care to admit, but I won’t go into that now
I started to re-evaluate the meaning of me! Since the kids came along I, like most mums out there put myself down the pecking order of attention.

So the order currently stands at
1. Children
2. Partner
3. Work
4. The house
5. The cat
6. Other family
7. Friends
8. Me

I’m sure this pecking order is not unusual for a mum in any family and I’m not sure it’s going to change anytime soon.
But I’m asking myself what do I want out of my future? Time for me? head space to think?
An interest that I enjoy and don’t do for someone else might be nice.

I have been putting some thought into this for a few months, trying to think outside of my usually small and shallow box and have come up with the following:
I like singing, I sing with the children, I sing in the shower and car and was in the choir at school!! (Ahhhh, good memories)
I found a Rock Choir and went along for a taster session. This was quite fun, they sing modern songs and harmonise across the group. I enjoyed this but to be honest I am not sure about the weekly commitment and then performances too, so I did not join, but maybe in the future.

I have always wondered if I could be any good at drawing of painting and like the Highland cow paintings that seem to be popping up at the moment.
I found some interesting Google images and bought some cheap canvases and paints and had a go! I am very proud of my effort and plan to have a go at a giraffe soon!

Since my dad passed away a few years ago I went through a phase of wanting to write a book (fiction story) but that never went any further than the first 3 chapters. More recently I now have my blog and anyone who cares to join me on my journey!

I feel like I have been through a defining event in my life that has made me stop and re-prioritise what I want but I haven’t made very many changes other than to the way I think! But is that enough?
It will have to be for now….but…..as the kids grow older and more independent I promise myself to think of me a bit more often!
Starting with a Spa day booked for later this month!

New Year final update

We are just into March and I can honestly say that my challenge was finished a few weeks ago but unfortunately the usual life stuff got in the way to completing my final say on my New Year Resolution challenge!
Well that and I didn’t push as hard in the second half of my resolution month as the first! Subsequently, updating my blog on my progress was less important as the results weren’t as impressive (to me and what I had predicted)

= Basically I was being lazy!!

Letting my convictions fade away as my challenge came to its finale I’m sure is probably quite common, as we all start off very motivated but lose our mojo along the way.
That being said, I have learned a few things along the way and actually, on reflection, I did get a lot out of January’s challenge.

• I lost 7lbs / 3.2kg in weight to bring me down to a comfortable weight and size I am quite happy with 👍
• I managed to stay dry from January 1st until February 2nd and am drinking less since then
• I feel less bloated
• I am eating better on a regular basis and my portion sizes are smaller (apart from when pizza is consumed) • I am running on a regular basis and plan to book into a half marathon in the next few weeks.
So all in all I feel pretty good.

So now for the other side I wish didn’t exist!!
• When I eat chocolate I want to consume a huge amount all in one go…..this has been tested more than once! (I had to do the experiment at least twice to check my findings were accurate and that the first time was not an anomalie)
• One glass of wine and I’m in party mode! (Cheap date I hear you say?…….. but I fall asleep after 2 so not quite so fun!) 😆
• Good or bad……… I have food guilt and for now at least I find myself justifying my less cautious food choices, convincing myself and those around me that I deserve to eat it!! I guess that’s my inner voice keeping me in check but dinner is currently like an episode of ‘Come Dine With Me’, only there’s just 2 of us at the table!

I am glad to have had a month off the booze and from doing this at least twice over last year I find the experience quite liberating and I like that I can choose not to do something and see it through. Plus I feel better in myself so I am rewarded for my efforts.

So my parting bit of advice is to find a goal, a focus or something that inspires you. Set some actions that mean something to you and follow your inspiration, don’t let it get away from you.

Until the next time…..

New Year Resolution Update

1 week and 3 days in…….
I can honestly say that I spent the first 2 days wanting a cheeky drink – but did not and I’ve not been bothered since. I have been very good, making sure I run or walk everyday and being just a little obsessive over my food too!
I have been weighing myself every day, even though I probably shouldn’t, but something draws me to the scales every morning and for me this works and helps to keep me focussed. I feel rewarded if the scales are a bit less but it’s harder if they have gone up which I have also had over the last couple of days too.

Over 7 days I have lost 2lbs…. Yay! I feel less bloated, I have more energy and I feel more confident too. I like this feeling so it’s giving me some mojo to be good.
Since my 7 day weigh in, the last 4 days have been harder. I’ve been tempted – and resisted – to eat more, I noticed my mood change on Wednesday which I know will be my hormones – it’s like – I’m manic and happy, oh no, actually I want to rip someone’s head off but I don’t know why, hang on, I’m feeling upset and want to have a cry now…..I want to pull myself together and have a word with myself and for it to be okay but it is just not that simple …… every bit of positive thinking just didn’t matter. I’m crap at my job, a rubbish person, snappy to anyone around me and when in the middle of it, I am powerless to realise how I am feeling or to do anything about it. This feeling was on repeat throughout the day all of Wednesday. I managed to find my inner voice and realised how I was feeling and I got a better grip on it on Thursday but this was definitely not helpful or good for me.

Until a few years ago I didn’t suffer from PMT….. I realise that this word can strike terror into any self respecting man or woman but I have never suffered from bloating, period paid and the such, so when it came along, rather rudely, including restless leg syndrome, mood swings, hot flushes and longer and heavier periods of up to 3 weeks at the time it was rather a shock!!
After what I think is about 4 years, many sleepless nights, trying natural methods with food, medication and exercise, lots of doc appointments, considering full hysterectomy after looking at and declining the offer of other not so nice sounding medical procedures I am in a holding pattern with small and regular changes to my medication depending on how I am feeling – this is as good as it’s going to get for now and actually I’m doing okay! 🙂

So….back to the point….. weighing myself and seeing the scales go up is hard. I have questioned if I could have done anything different over the last few days and I can honestly say with hand on heart that I could not and would not change anything I’ve done. I’m exercising, which is going to improve my muscle tone, I am recording everything I eat on my Fitbit app so I know I am have a good balance of nutrition, carbs, fat and protein and am under on my calorie count everyday. Water retention fluctuations in my body is one possible answer, that and common sense tells me to be patient, so my sensible and patient head is on! Or….. I can just change my scales until I find some that measure me lighter?! Erm, well I have changed mine but only because one of the feet keep falling off – honest!! I can’t help it if they weigh me a bit lighter??
This morning (taking into account the difference in the old scales), I have been rewarded and the scales have dropped a bit. I am satisfied once more, my dedication rewarded!!

Going through less that 2 weeks of a roller coaster ride is definitely a challenge! I am lucky that my partner has embraced these changes too so I am not doing it on my own (however, slightly annoying that he seems to be finding it easier to lose weight than me!). I have a longer term plan to run another half marathon this year with a 10km in March. I know that running is easier when I am lighter so this is a good incentive for me and from what I achieved last year I know I can do it!
It all sounds very positive and motivating because that is where I am right now and it is much easier to write when you’re feeling positive !
Until the next time……..

Ready, Set, Go!

In the true spirit of new years resolutions I think I may have been overthinking this a little! I want to exercise more and eat less but that feels a bit general and I’m not sure that’s enough for me to stick with it.

Apart from feeling bloated, my clothes getting tighter, having a new year clothing meltdown, heart burn, and knowing I have been doing some serious free range grazing out of my fridge for 2 months; Iwas sat with my partner the other night discussing the merits of us eating better and excercising together when he dropped the bombshell that none of us want to hear from their beloved! “At least the first few pounds will come off pretty quickly” I said, his response was ” Yes it definitely will, I think this is the biggest you’ve been since we’ve been together”!!!! Well, this stopped me dead in my tracks! Now, let’s face it, he was not telling me something I didn’t already know and denial is something I tend to exercise on a regular basis, but I certainly did not want to hear it spoken out loud and definitely not from someone who should see me as a Greek Goddess at all times whether it’s first thing in the morning sporting morning breath or at the end of a slightly boozy night complete with a mascara blotched face!
I turned to see his smiling face excited at the challenge that January was bringing. I asked him to repeat his last comment. A long pause ensued and realisation slowly spread across his face as the attempts at justifying his words fell somewhat short! After a slightly chilly evening and lots of longing and hopeful looks I decided to move on and (plot my revenge) plan for the new year.
So getting back to the reason for my deliberating and over thinking I have decided on my plan of attack.

As far as food is concerned I know where I go wrong. I am either very good or quite bad….. I over eat, I make bad choices for snacks and when I get a takeaway or eat out out my choices are not the healthiest. so …….
1. No chocolate or sweets (no issues avoiding sweets) Cut down on take outs in January and ideally none at all. Keep making dinners as usual but look at healthy alterations and reduce my portion a bit. I have a Fitbit so can track my food to help keep me in line.

For the 2nd part – exercising, I need to jump start myself again as during last summer with my plan for the half marathon I was on it like a car bonnet!
A few years ago I joined a challenge – 21 press ups a day for 21 days – by the end I was easily completing proper full press ups. The results were quite gratifying so I want to do something similar as it worked last time.
2. Exercise at least 3 times a week at the gym or running with a target of running 3 miles by the end of January. (Not forgetting I am overcoming an ankle injury so don’t want to hurt myself again) Complete daily – squats, press ups and abdominals – this will take less than 10 minutes a day.
Walking is an added bonus and I like going for a walks so not an issue there!

So, there I am, I have officially committed myself………what could possibly get in my way!!
But what about results?! Ultimately I’m doing this for a reason……be slimmer, fitter and lighter!
So, I want to loose an average of 2lbs a week and over 5 weeks that will be 10lbs or 4.5kg. Knowing my recent glutteny I think that is realistic for me so here I go……

Day 1 update
I’ve had a good day with my eating and a healthy low fat dinner was ready when I got home – big bonus points as I was really quite hungry! A 2.2 mile walk was completed after dinner and my squats, press-ups and abs excises are now complete!
I can’t say I’m not being challenged already as demonstrate by the 3 Jaffa cakes I ate as a morning snack but I did managed to avoid mugging the pizza delivery man on my walk this evening who had the gaul to park his car and walk past me with 2…..yes 2 large pizza’s right in front of me….all I can say is that I held my breath, averted my eyes and kept walking!!

Until the next time Mr Domino’s man!

I don’t do New Year Resolutions!

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Happy New Year to you all!

I’ve been giving some thought to New Year Resolutions. For the last few years I haven’t committed myself to one. Typically, and like so many others, the promise to eat less, do more exercise, write a book, climb a mountain and generally commit to unrealistic targets is something I decided needed to be a commitment all year round and not only on 1st January; for the main, I’ve not done too badly at all with the highlight of 2018 seeing me complete my first ever half marathon.

I realise that for many this is something they will never do and to others 13 miles is quite a short distance but for me it was about so much more that the run itself.

On a general note I love to eat and have a daily struggle to control my portion sizes – I often fail! So I make more of an effort at other times to compensate, so colleagues around me see a healthy and well balanced person, which isn’t a true reflection of who I am or the struggles I face. I love pizza, wine, bread (which since turning 40 seems to love me a lot less!) pasta, wine and anything that tastes good that isn’t tuna! Oh, and did I mention wine? I am a size 12 for most of the year (not that big I hear you say?!) but I have my own insecurities about how I look or how my clothes fit me and what the weighing scales say. Ultimately, I have to love me, it’s not enough to receive only love from other people.

So, following my half marathon I had visions of entering a 10km run within a month and keeping myself ticking over with a short but regular run 2 to 3 times a week. The reality was that I injured my ankle the end of October (not that I think being uninjured would have really made any difference at all) so I have been ‘resting and recovering’! ……aka sitting and watching more television, eating out more, enjoing every mince pie in sight, eating much more that I should and having a regular glass of wine or pint and through December I have been doing it all in the name of Christmas spirit! I have definitely enjoyed the festive season but even on the run up to Christmas eve I have been feeling more bloated and lethargic with my clothes feeling disinctively tight. So, after a week of denial, commitment to the clock striking 12 and what can only be described as a rather unhappy and genuine new years eve clothing melt down I must don my sensible cap once more as I embark into 2019. (and it appears I’ve fallen into the new years Resolution trap!)

Note to self – remember to change the title!

The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

postI hope over the next few months I can share with you the ups and downs of my life.

I’m a 45 year old mum of 2 children, one of which has become a teenage this year so I am still waiting for the hormone bomb to hit properly!

I think I am pretty normal in that I struggle to eat the right things, exercise enough, get the right balance of work, family, time with my partner and time for me. I’m peri-menopausal and have been through a few trials in the last 3 years to feel as ok as I am right now. I doubt myself on a regular basis and have other challenges around me within aging mum, and an exhusband. 

I am not perfect and have never believed I am but I am trying to do the best I can. 

If you get nothing else from reading this other than to know you are not alone and hopefully have a laugh along the way then that is an achievement in itself!

Thank you for reading. 

April