And back.

Yup. Back to the gym today. I’m not really that pious enough to be at the gym on a bank holiday monday, but I didn’t have any invites elsewhere and I’ve eaten WAY too much the last few days. I feel crap, I’m covered in spots and refeeding from the L2B ride is no longer a valid excuse. So, gym. 

I’m a bit confused really without having a set routine or event goal to dictate my gym time. Going it alone for the first time since joining really, which is potentially a big waste of time. I had a good, long and satisfying work out today but I don’t usually get two hours in a lowly habitated gym so I can’t set today as much of a precedent. I don’t really want to go back to the weights regime I was at before christmas. Results, yes, but it got boring and leg day isn’t an option at the moment as I’ve still got some real issues with the spaz leg following previously documented bike fail fall. Cycling on a gym bike is now beyond comical to me. I still hate squats. 

So new plan is whole body weights, bit of cardio and more core work than previously. Anyone have any good core moves/workouts? The less crunches the better. 

Must get organised. 

Tags: gym fitness lazy

My Tips for riding L2B

  • Train. Train more than you think you need to. Then more.
  • Hydrate for several days beforehand and throughout.
  • If you have the choice and want to go on a mountain bike, don’t.
  • Don’t GPS yourself. It’s always longer than they said it would be.
  • Power gels are your friend. Your vile tasting, mouth numbing friend.
  • Don’t attack the hills, just try to get along with them quietly.
  • Someone will always try to beat you. Let them past, they are actually battling themselves. 
  • Ignore that last statement and relish in every single sucker that you beat!
  • Crisps, snickers, sports drinks, fudge and jelly beans are your friends. 
  • See above power gel statement.
  • Try to enjoy the view from the top of Ditchling, even though you just want to finish. 
  • Be sure to make big whheeeeeeeeeee noises all the way on that descent into Brighton. 
  • Try not to hate that guy on the fold up commuters’ bike who overtakes you in the last mile to the beach. He’ll get his. Smug twat.
  • You may not feel like dinner. Eat it anyway. 
  • You are likely to pee in an unpleasant fashion for a day or so, due to said power gels, sports drinks and hydration issues.
  • You may well put on a couple of kilos in the days after. That is all the extra awesome in you. And water retention.
  • Don’t stay at The Albion if it’s avoidable.
  • If you can arrange a lift home for you and your bike, do it. And pay handsomely for it. It will be worth it. 
  • Go with friends. You will need them. And maybe hate one or two of them by the end of it, but it’s nice to share the memories. 

L2B. Done.

Well, that was it. 60ish miles on Saturday 26th April with this motley crew as assembled above- I’m the fat one in the orange. 

What an amazing day, some as expected, some not so much. We started out in light rain for about ten minutes then were blessed with slightly overcast and not too warm weather for the rest of the day. Being on mountain bikes my compatriots and I ended up in the last sweeper group which meant a late finish but plenty of breaks and frankly, a very high sense of achievement. Riding a mountain bike along that much road is not the easy option. 

Did myself in a bit on the first major hill which saved the day for me in a roundabout way, thanks to B from our chaperone team giving me some much needed lessons about how to ride my bike properly and pace myself more realistically. He was amazingly helpful and comforting and his kind words and advice made the difference for me to make it up in the group a little bit for the second half of the ride. 

I can’t quite believe I managed it. And I can’t quite believe that I’m not a cripple today. Slightly sore in the legs, hands and er, saddle region but nothing too limiting. Cycling really is amazing exercise. I didn’t do enough training but that ‘not enough’ has improved my fitness so much, I will be keeping it up but also going back to my gym habit and hopefully some more running. Last Saturday will definitely be a motivation point for me to remember next time I think I don’t have the juice to run up that little slope around Abbey Fields. It is also motivation to get to grips with my body once more. I managed that about 2 stone overweight. Imagine how much more I could do without carrying the extra baggage!

So there we are, mission complete. I think the next challenge can wait a while. 

One Day to Go

Yeah, so, like a dickhead I fell off my bike last night, in a reasonably spectacular fashion.

For ‘spectacular’ see ‘stupid’ :-(

Been worried about drinking on the go as I don’t think the group are going to be too friendly about me stopping every twenty minutes for a drink so thought I’d practice getting the water out. Heavy ass handle bars on my heavy ass bike+my general inexperience+lack of co-ordination=flying fat girl. 

Thankfully I was up on a cycle path and stacked straight into a grass bank, which meant getting banged up with a softish landing rather than skinning my right flank on pavement and seriously damaging myself. 

Pride wounds abound however, what a fucking idiot with two days to go. Feel very stiff and sore in the leg today, bruised landing points and a nagging calf ache that I’m hoping will ease with a little ride out for supplies this morning. 

Lesson learned, I will stop to drink if I need to and catch up, and I will take extra special care to not fall off. 

Idiot. 

one week to go

Recent efforts have been on cycling after I somehow got shamed talked into signing up for a London to Brighton ride. 

Those three training months have shot by like a svelte and jaunty cheetah, however my training levels are still in the back with the sloths wondering if there is any more coffee. Yes there was a chest infection and an unavoidable weekend with inlaws and more time to visit my Nan and plenty of other reasons but at the moment it is apparent that I should have made up for a lot more of those missed weekends with wet wednesday nights than I did. 

I made 18 miles last weekend, with a fair amount of footfall up the minor hilly bits and felt like crap for two days afterwards, which is not encouraging. What is encouraging is that by sharing my reservations, I have discovered power gels and given up calorie counting for a little while. Don’t be cycincised by the hype people, The Bonk exists.

58 miles is a long ass way, and I’m kind of frightened. Mostly frightened of looking a fat lazy tool infront of many a work superior. Frightened also of doing myself a mischief. Frightened of letting down my sponsors and yes, frightened of the South Bastard Downs. 

On the plus side, I can pretty comfortably bang out ten miles these days and my derrière is now desensitised to the stabbing butt bone pain of being in the saddle. And the skinny young blonde thing also on team has trained less than I have so maybe all isn’t lost. That’s a nice way of saying maybe I will come second to last. Maybe. 

But there’s nothing for it really, we’re going, so Good Friday is starting for me with a planned 20 miles around the estuary coast of this end of Essex starting with Mersea. 

BTW if you feel for my plight, or have a pound you would only otherwise spend on sinful activity, why not sponsor me by clicking here

Tonight it was wet and windy. I was tired and grumpy from work and my ears were stinging from coming home in the cold.
I got in, I got changed, I sneaked a spoonful of peanut butter and I went out in the cold dark wet for a run.

If I achieve nothing else in 2014 I am satisfied with this victory over my own laziness.

something I wrote a while ago on my page, all of it still true!

jenwithpinktoes:

  1. They will give you free water every few miles, there’s no need to carry any
  2. 26.2 miles is actually 42KM, 138336 feet or 46112 yards. It’s a really long way.
  3. Take your best friend with you, they will cheer you on, say funny stuff and share in your achievement
  4. You are not going to do it in…

A year on.

Yeah, it’s a year this month since I joined the gym, I thought a little reflection might be in order. 

Well I’ve learned plenty and am doing nothing like the work outs I started with a year ago. I never splashed out on the personal training sessions or anything, I just watched, and I read and I researched and more than anything I tried. I tried new stuff, old stuff, strength camp stuff, yoga stuff. I did mixed cardio and light resistance high reps. I did high intensity interval training. I did body weight stuff, I ran, I lifted, I jogged, I inclined. 

Now, a year on, I have a much better handle on my diet which is a big part of everything but I have to confess, this has only been in full force the last couple of months. According to the scales my weight went way up then back down again but my clothes fit better, I can walk up that bitch of a hill after work every night without stopping (or sometimes even noticing) and after a couple of billion squats I’m starting to see signs of having some kind of butt. Yay. My road running is still pretty much shit, due to achey knees and a frankly poor attitude to going out after work. It’s too cold/hot/humid/rainy. You know how it goes. I have much less pain from my duff foot-leg-hip combo too which is a massive plus, and a motivator as if I lay off the workouts I start to feel the old twinges pretty quickly.

I’ve learned that a work out doesn’t wipe out the after effects of a pizza and that a good play list is essential to success.

I’ve learned that I hate HIIT and exercise bikes.

I’ve learned I can get through a lot more body weight exercises than I thought I could and that crunches are for pussies.

I’ve learned that squats are amazing and no matter how daft you look, you should do them. 

My biggest lesson right now, and the one I will carry with me into year two is that if you can lift a weight through more than 6 reps, you need to be lifting more weight. Because you wont get bulky, you wont suddenly hulk out overnight, and you wont look like a dude. You will get stronger, and you will see much faster improvement than you imagine. Maybe not for everyone but I also feel physically better after a good weights session, much more so than after a similar cardio session. 

So onward we go. I could have done better but I still feel I’ve done well. I don’t have a work out buddy any more (though The Boy is often in attendance at the same gym at the same time) and although the camaraderie was nice it’s maybe better this way. Get in and get on then get out. 

My September 2014 goals? To be running a comfortable two miles outside, to have mastered deadlifts and to have the kind of ass one would expect from 1000+ squats a month. No more weight or size goals, that just makes me too sad. I’ve even taken some undies shots to monitor my progress and no, I’m not going to post them until I have some more flattering ‘after’ shots!

Interesting evidence in the water battle.

I always tell myself oh water retention, muscle repair and all that when I have an unfair unexpected gain or no loss. Not sure I’ve ever believed it. 

Recent consultation of the MFP masses gave the advice that my sodium was high and my carbs were low and maybe my work outs weren’t that effective. The general advice- eat a little more, worry a little less, lift a little heavier. 

What. Ever. 

So Friday I had a big fat beef sandwich (granary, naturally) AND a yum yum or two. Such decadence! I stated within my new higher allowance, didn’t work out and hated myself a little bit but only a little bit. 

Friday night I must have got up five times to pee. At least. Like, racehorse pees. 

Saturday weigh in, 3/4 of a kilo down. Not seen a loss like this months, was thrilled because yeah, I’ve been doing it right, I deserve a result. Saturday I proteined up for breakfast then forgot about anything else and had a low blood sugar slump grump at the boyfriend around lunch. We ate. We went to the gym. I traded in my big sets of low weights for the 5x5 routine- 5 sets of 5 reps at a weight that makes 5 reps a struggle. Totally strange and a wake up on how easy I have been taking it recently. Mr being there also really helped as he dragged me over to try the assisted dips/chin ups thing that I’ve always had the fear of. I also have zero upper body strength so this could do me some good, and now I can do it and enjoy it so yay for that. 

Squats, lunges, planks and and a 2k run, it felt good and we went out for ribs to celebrate recharge. 

This morning, I hurt in the shoulders and I’m 1.1kg up on yesterday. Do I hate myself? No. Do I think that is all due to one rack of ribs that the boy had to finish and a load of chips? No. 

That’s water, flooding my muscles for repair and it will go again. I’m doing this right, and today I feel great. It’s a little victory I felt like sharing. 

A harsh truth, lightly told. I like it.