Tag Archives: fitness

100th parkrun Completed!

I haven’t written on my blog for months!  Since May 2016, in fact.  Sorry, life got in the way a little.  I’ll catch up with everything that has happened in the 2nd half of 2016 over the next couple of weeks, I hope.

First though, I completed my 100th parkrun this morning!!!   I ran in the heavy rain and hail with the wind blowing it horizontal on Christmas Eve and then ran Christmas Day parkrun just so I could do the 100th one this year.  It’s been a long time coming, I’ve been doing parkrun since August 2013 but took about 3 months off earlier this year while it was cold and wet and couldn’t be bothered to get out of bed, lol.


Over the past few months, Adam has decided that he’d rather volunteer than run (his dad is now volunteering as the photographer most weeks) so he needs to do another 15 parkruns to get his 100.  He’s well on his way to his volunteer 25 t-shirt though.


Goal Getting in 2016

This year I’m not going to just set goals, I’m going to get them too.  I’ve split my goals down into different categories and have also looked back on 2015 to see what I have achieved in those categories too.

Fitness and Wellbeing

After getting to my goal weight with Weight Watchers in 2014, I have now maintained my goal weight (within 3 lbs) for 17 months.  At my weigh-in on Thursday (New Year’s Eve) I was 1.5 lbs over my goal weight but that is OK.  In January, I am going to re-gain my goal weight.  I am going to get back down to my original goal weight, which is 5 lbs lighter than my current goal weight, by my birthday in September.  I know that is a long time but it took me 9 months to lose the final 3.5 lbs to get to my current goal weight and it is a timed goal.

As we all know, the weight on the scale/BMI really isn’t a good indicator of good health so I’m also setting myself a body fat percentage goal.  My weighing scales have the option to measure body fat and whilst I know they aren’t exactly accurate, they aren’t too bad.  My current body fat is 30.3%.  According to most of the information I have found online, I am within the normal range of 26-32% for women.  However, a healthy range is 20-25% and I would love to get down there.  Initially though, I am going to aim for 29.0%

For my fitness goals, my main focus is getting my strength back to where it was at the beginning of 2015, especially in my upper body following my shoulder injury in January.  Pre-injury, I had got up to using 8kg dumbbells for shoulder presses and 10kg for rows.  Unfortunately, I am now back down to 3 to 4 kg.  Although I have still been able to work my legs, due to the shoulder I am not able to lift as much for the deadlift or squat as I used to but this is slowly going back up and I lifted 20kg for the deadlift for the first time in over a year in December 🙂

Of course, I am also going to be focusing on running.  I managed to complete the parkrun (5km) in under 30 minutes in February 2015 but haven’t managed to do it since.  In fact, I think my average time for 2015 is around the 32 minute mark.  This year, my initial goal will be to get back under 33 minutes for 5km, then 32 minutes, 31 minutes and finally back under 30 minutes.  Adam and I will also be taking part in the York 10k run, York 10 mile and, the big one, the Disneyland Paris Half Marathon 😀  I’m so excited!


During 2015, my husband and I started having date night once a week while Adam is at his youth group on a Thursday evening.  This has meant that we have made time for us away from everything at home.  This is going to continue in 2016.


I have some finance and business goals but they are, at the moment, private.

Adventure/exploration – where did I go and where do I want to go?

In 2015 we went back to Disney World.  We love it there and have never had a bad experience.  As it was Adam’s 21st birthday and he wanted to go, we went.  In 2016, we are going to Disneyland Paris – the half marathon is there so it has to be done.

Learning and Growth

Personal development has become a big thing for me over the past few months.  In 2016, I am going to read at least one book for personal development e.g. The Seven Decisions, Go Pro – 7 Steps to Becoming a Network Marketing Professional, Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway.  I will also listen to personal development CDs in my car (when my son isn’t in it – he insists on the radio).  I am going to get back to reading in general too with a goal of reading at least 50 books in 2016.


During 2015, I ran 6 events with Adam to raise money for charity.  I also use easyfundraising.org.uk to claim donations when shopping online and will continue to do this in 2016.  I have also donated 10% of my Tupperware sales and 10% of my Forever Living Products sales in August.

I also volunteered at parkrun 3 times in 2015.  I am going to increase that to at least 4 times in 2016.  Much as I love taking part in parkrun, I know that it is only possible because people come out and volunteer instead of run.  I think I need to give back.  It isn’t just about raising and giving money, it’s about giving time too.

So, those are some of my goals for 2016.  What are yours?  Did you achieve what you wanted to in 2015 or are some of your goals rolling over into 2016?

One month down…

So we have waved goodbye to January and I have completed nearly 4 weeks of exercise planning and, in most cases, doing.  Here is my review of the month.

My goal was to concentrate on my fitness and get back in to good habits/attend the gym regularly.  For the most part I set my goals for the week and reviewed them on a weekly basis with a blog for each week – Week 1; Week 2; Week 3.  I have been keeping a record of all my exercise on both dailymile.com and SparkPeople.com.  According to SparkPeople, I completed over 1,000 minutes of exercise in January, that’s over 16 hours!  According to Daily Mile, I have completed over 16 hours of exercise in the past 4 weeks however, these figures do not include the first week in January but do include this week.

January training - daily mile

As a breakdown, I spent the following time on the following activities:

Running – 5k 101 training plan – 1 hour 26 minutes; 10.06km at an average pace of 8m 32s /km
Swimming – using swimfit.com’s Get Toned programme – 41 minutes; 1.75km
Gym/PT sessions – 3 hours
Karate training – 4.5 hours
Walking – I record these when I walk to work as it is 3 miles each way, I only record the walk to work and not the walk home – 16 hours 19 minutes; 34.84km

I have only lost 1/4lb this month and my body fat percentage has stayed the same.  However, my bust/chest has gone down by 1/4″, my waist is down 3/4″ and my thighs are down 1/4″.  Everything else has stayed the same 😀

I am pleased with my progress so far as the goal was to get back into regular exercise after slacking for a good couple of months.  I’m also enjoying my training sessions which is half the battle.

Goal for February?  Get back on track with nutrition as well as exercise.  First goal – drink more water!

Back to Fitness – Week 3

I had a plan for last week. I knew that snow was a possibility so planned my week’s exercise accordingly. So, what did I do?

Monday – walked to work
Tuesday – gym: run – the week 1 run was deleted off my iPod so I had to do 5k 101 week 2 (2.5 min run, 2.5 min walk x5), followed by some strength training
Wednesday – walked to work and home again; karate training 🙂
Thursday – gym: run – went back to 5k 101 week 1 as I had found week 2 quite hard (2 min run, 3 min walk x4); went through my husband’s strength training programme with him
Friday – walked to work
Saturday – heavy snowfall overnight so I walked to work, hard going until I got to the main road
Sunday – rest day

The plan for this week (28 Jan – 3 Feb) was 2x swimming, 1 personal training session, 1 5k training session and 1 karate session. I am not going to meet that goal as things have changed so I need to amend my timings and decide what I can do when instead.

That’s all for this week’s update. Hopefully more next week.

Back to Fitness 2013 – Week 2

I had a plan last week, really I did, but you know what they say about plans; they are subject to change.  I was going to go swimming twice, to the gym twice, to karate and walk to work once.  Well, I went swimming once, to the gym once and walked to work 4 times.  I still managed to get in over 300 minutes of cardio exercise and strength training during my gym work-out.

Oh, I nearly forgot, I also went to karate for a fantastic back to basics session.  We ran through all the strikes and blocks (both basic and advanced techniques) and all four basic kicks.  My bum and thighs didn’t half hurt the next day when I was doing my training session with my trainer the next day.

With snow here this week, exercise is going to take a dip again this week but I will be going to the gym tomorrow and Thursday and will probably walk to work on Wednesday and Friday; as well as more karate 😀

Back to Fitness – Week 1

It was back to school for my son this week which meant I was back in the gym for the first time in a couple of months. I’d let things slide in November and December between our surprise Disney trip for my son and getting ready for Christmas but I am determined to get back in the swing of things over the next few months.

I have, once again, signed up for the Swimathon (5,000m challenge) at the end of April and the Run for All 10k in York at the beginning of August. When registration opens, I will also be entering the Race for Life during the Summer. So, hopefully training for these events will keep me on track especially as I am now a member of a gym and, unless it snows and I can’t get to the gym, I can’t use the weather as an excuse for not getting my training runs in.

So, on to my review of the past week. I had planned to exercise Monday to Friday and then have Saturday and Sunday off. However, that didn’t quite pan out. I went swimming on Monday for the first time since I finished the Swimathon last April! It wasn’t bad – 22 lengths in 13 minutes. I am following swimfit.com’s Get Toned programme and Monday was session 1.

On Tuesday I had a 1 hour training session with a personal trainer. Fantastic! Thank you to my husband who bought me 10 PT sessions for Christmas. The downside to having a PT session as my first session back in the gym? I really ached on Wednesday.

Wednesday started with a walk to work (5km) and a walk home. I then went to a karate training session which, as the first session back after Christmas was a “fitness” session which included a lot of press-ups and crunches as well as the usual strikes, blocks and kicks. We also went through about 9 different katas. Loved the session but ached even more afterwards and getting into some of the low stances with muscles which were already aching from Tuesday’s training was not easy.

I was back in the gym on Thursday and started with a couch to 5k run. I have decided to try the 5k 101 programme and completed week 1 day 1. As I will only be running 1 or 2 days each week it is going to take me longer than 8 weeks to finish the programme but I am hoping that the swimming, karate and PT sessions will help in the long run. As swimming is my first event that is what I will be doing twice a week rather than the running. After the Swimathon, running will take priority although will probably only be twice a week as my karate training is always on a Wednesday and if I not to carry on with PT sessions I have to do those on either Tuesday or Thursday. After my run, I went through some strength training exercises with my husband.

I was hoping to go swimming on Friday but my shoulders were so sore I could hardly rotate them for front crawl so decided to walk to work, and back, instead.

All in all, a good first week. My plan for next week is for more of the same with PT on Thursday instead of Tuesday. Not sure how I’ll manage as the forecast is for snow tonight and tomorrow which means I’ll be walking to work rather than driving so won’t get to the swimming pool. Oh well, we’ll see.

Writing Challenge: New Year’s Resolutions

A new challenge from Daily Post which, as I posted the blog which would have been today’s daily prompt yesterday, I need to be able to complete my week-long post a day challenge.  So, here I am taking part in the writing challenge.

2013 is almost upon us, so what better time to make half-hearted promises to ourselves about things we’ll fail to do within a couple of weeks, because they weren’t all that important anyway? Only this year. This year is different. In this week’s writing challenge, we’re going to get resolute with our resolutions. Yes indeed, it’s time to… resolve! 

You can read more about the Writing Challenge here

I haven’t written New Year’s Resolutions for a long time but I do write my goals for the year after reviewing the goals I set for the previous year.

I couldn’t find a blog for last year’s goals, I slipped up there so can’t review them but I do know that I started the year weighing in at 10st 12lbs (152lbs) on 31 December 2011 but went up to 11 st 1lb (155lbs) in February 2012.  So at my current weight of 11st (154lbs) I am 2lbs heavier than I started last year but 1lb lighter than my heaviest weight through the year.  However, my body measurements are the same now as they were at the end of 2011 so I must have done something right.

I also participated in the York 10k Run for All for the 4th year but did not get a PB as my training was very hit and miss due to not being a member of a gym and the weather being an absolute wash out for most of the summer leading up to my 10k.

I swam the Swimathon 5k and maintained my average time of around 1 hour 50 minutes.

Now, on to my goals for the coming year.

  • End 2013 lighter than I started.  I don’t need to aim for a goal weight, if I can lose enough during the year that I end the year at 10st 13.75lbs then I’ll be very happy.  I’m always heavier at the end of the year due to all the Christmas chocolate, biscuits and cake!  I really should set a goal to be lighter in September than I was last September as that is my lightest time of year.
  • Complete the York 10k Run for All in a time of 1 hour 15 minutes or less
  • Complete the Swimathon in under 1 hour 50 minutes
  • Complete the Race for Life (5k) in under 35 minutes

Plan to achieve goals:

  • I aim to lose 1lb a month as this allows me to have a higher calorie allowance. I have found that if I aim to lose more than this and restrict my calorie allowance to less than this I go off track a lot quicker.
  • Cardio exercise – 250-300 minutes per week to include swimming,running, walking to work and karate.
  • Follow the 10k training programme on http://www.myasics.co.uk for the Run for All 10k or find an alternative programme which works for me.
  • Follow the Fitness training programmes on http://www.swimfit.com for the swimming.
  • Follow a couch to 5k training programme for the Race for Life.
  • Strength training – follow training programme devised by the trainer in the gym after discussion of my goals.
  • I will also be more active on my teams on SparkPeople (especially those I am leader/co-leader of) so that I can give/receive support.
  • I will blog about my diet/fitness goals/achievements at least once a week either on this blog or on SparkPeople, with a link to the blog on my other blogs.

Here’s wishing everyone a fantastic 2013. May you all achieve what you set out to achieve and may all your dreams come true.

Daily Prompt – High Noon

OK, so this was posted on daily post yesterday but as I get my prompts by email and wasn’t on my computer yesterday I missed it.  Never mind, I’m doing it today.  So the prompt for 25th December was:

At noon today, take a pause in what you’re doing or thinking about. Make a note of it, and write a post about it later.

Well, I can’t remember what I was doing at noon yesterday, probably something to do with making the lunch – potatoes, carrots, cabbage, yorkshire puddings…

Anyway, I’m posting this today instead so what was I doing at 12.00 noon?  Well, I was/am planning my new fitness programme for January 2013.  So I was looking up 5k and 10k training programmes so that I can be ready for my 5k Race for Life and 10k Run for All runs in the Summer.  I found some great links and will be trying a couple of podcasts this year:

Being in the UK, I started using the NHS Choices Couch to 5k podcast last year but never actually finished it!  It really enjoyed it so think I will try it again this year http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/c25k/Pages/couch-to-5k.aspx

5k101 from Running Mate is a free podcast which you can get through iTunes http://runningmatemedia.com/5k-101/

I plan to follow one plan before extending the time I can run for and then follow the other couch to 5k plan with a faster interval speed with the goal of completing the 5k faster or going further on my longer runs in preparation for the 10k.

One final thing, on Christmas Eve Daily Post challenged us to blog every day for a week.  I am aiming to do that too, starting today.  Considering my blogging has been very hit and miss recently, wish me luck!

Swimathon 2012

I’ve done it!  I’ve entered this year’s Swimathon 🙂  The email saying that registration was open came yesterday, after I’d finished on the computer for the day, and they are offering half price registration to the first 10,000 full price entrants before the end of January.  Not wanting to miss out, I registered when I got home this afternoon.

Now all I need to do it get the training in so that I can finish in less than 1 hour 52 minutes (last year’s personal best).  To be honest, I’m glad that I now have something to train for as I am rubbish at keeping up an exercise plan without it.  I was back in the pool this morning but only did 60 lengths of a 17m pool so I think I’m going to have to increase my distance somewhat to be ready to swim 5,000m.  I have 16 weeks to go and most training plans are for a period of 8 weeks so that should give me plenty of time to get back on track.

This will also, hopefully, cross 2 of my tasks off my 101 in 1,001 list.

Race for Life – training

I am running the 5k Race for Life on Sunday 19 June 2011 which is 6 weeks (yesterday) as a warm up to my 10k run (Run for All) on Sunday 31 July 2011 (12 weeks yesterday). As mentioned in a previous blog, I am using the Race for Life’s 5k jogging training plan to train for the 5k. As it is a 6 week training plan, with a week that goes from Monday to Sunday, today is DAY 1.

I went to the gym this morning to do the training run on the treadmill. Today’s session was a 30 minute interval session (3 min walk:3 min jog, repeat 5 times). The distance goal was 3.1k. I set my walk:run speeds as 6k/hr:9k/hr and off I went. I can’t say that it was easy as I haven’t done much running training in recent months, due to the Swimathon training, but it wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be either 🙂 Including my cooldown (5 minutes) I covered 4.27km in 35 minutes which is a fair bit further than the 3.1k I was supposed to be aiming for.

The next session is a 20 minute walk/run (2.1k) – 10 minute walk then 10 min jog. I’m not sure I can keep the 9k/hr pace going for 10 minutes but we’ll see. Maybe I’ll reduce it down to 8 or 8.5.