Mileage counter

Thursday, 29 April 2010

My First Competition Win and a Strength Workout

I don't know how people with full time jobs keep up with their training and blogging! I've been so rushed since I started work, I can't wait for it to go down to my contracted hours. When is it Sunday...? Too far away!

I got home last night and Mike and I got straight into a strength workout... if I'd have sat down that would have been it!

DB Clean and Press 8.5kg 2 x 8
Negative pull-ups then chin-ups p x 2, c x 3
DB Bench Press 8.5kg 2 x 10
DB Curl 7.5kg 1 x 8, 1 x 7
BB Wrist Curls 22kg 30
BB Reverse Wrist Curls 12kg 30

So glad to get that done and out of the way! I've lost a lot of motivation with being so tired lately, I hope it comes back when I get used to it and get my hours where they should be! Mind you... I was motivated to box but Mike split his knuckle so we couldn't go... I had to deal with the most obnoxious, rude, horrible delivery man in the morning at work, yuck! He should have stayed at home, he'd broken down on the way so was already grumpy. Then he didn't help get the stuff out of the truck which he was supposed to do (he just sat in the cab waiting...they're supposed to help move it all) so he was parked for too long and was already late and then got a parking ticket... karma? Anyway, after he had yelled at me for the parking ticket and muttered about how bad the job was I could have really gone and hit some bags! I was shaking when I got back in the store.. I can't deal with people like that!! I was thinking of clever comebacks I could have said to him all morning after he'd left... Why is it thy don't come in your head at the right time haha!

A few of you asked for a bit more information about Seed, I'm not sure why I didn't post a link actually... silly me! You can visit the website here, it's being updated at the moment but it still has lots of information on it and you can read an article about one of the co-founders here who just got a really well deserved MBE! I'm so proud of her she really deserves it, all of them deserve one actually, they put so many hours and care into the charity and it helps so many people, myself included.

The basic work of the charity is the self help group, the sufferers and carers group and a carers workshop which they run fairly regularly. I think it's really great that they provide so much help for the carers too as it's easy to forget how much an eating disorder can affect the people close to the person suffering with one.

After the horrible delivery man yesterday I did get home to some good news! I won my first competition!! It totally made my day! I won Robin's Earth Day giveaway!! I am soon to be the proud owner of an arm pocket! Now I have somewhere to put my camera on runs so you can expect a lot more pictures in the future :-) I'm so excited to try it out!

When I logged on to my email to send Robin my address I had another email waiting for me, I have been included on a list for the 50 best blogs for serious runners! That was pretty cool :-) I don't really look at myself too much as a runner, more a boxer who runs, and loves to run! I'm so chuffed to be included on the list, go check it out here, there are some other great blogs on there too!

Well I'm swiftly running out of time before another day at work! I best go get myself ready, I nearly missed my bus yesterday, it went past the top of the street I was walking down and was going to a stop about 200-300 metres away!! I decided to run and hope for the best... Somehow I made it... All this running is paying off in more ways than one haha

Hope everyone has a great day!

Monday, 26 April 2010

Interval Time

Mike and I went to the track to do our intervals today, when we got there there was a school PE class going on so we waited for them to finish.. They were doing 800s too, there was a really speedy kid who got a 3.01 on his last interval and was soo far ahead of the rest of the group. When they were done we got on with our training.

5 x 800m, 400m RI, prescribed pace of 3.47 per interval.

1 mile warm up @ 9.30 pace
1 - 3.38
2 - 3.43
3 - 3.45
4 - 3.47
5 - 3.43
400m cool down

After that we did some chin-ups and push-ups I did 5 chin-ups and 35 push-ups. We found a convenient bar to do our pull-ups from, glad we got them out of the way this morning... I can't see myself doing anything else tonight, I'm knackered!

Did I mention I'm on the board of trustees now for Seed? The eating disorder charity I've mentioned a few times before? Well it's the AGM tomorrow night which will be the first meeting I attend as a trustee, very exciting! I hope I can be part of lots of exciting developments with the charity.

Right I'm off to finish watching Glee... Even though it's a Madonna episode and I cannot stand her blehhh!

Sunday, 25 April 2010

9 Miles and All Sorts!

Whew it's been a while since I got a blog post in! It's been a pretty busy week, I've been out of the house 7.30-6.30 every day which has taken its toll! I'll be glad when my hours go down to my usual shifts, I just haven't had the time or energy to do everything I usually do! Like reading my blogs every day, I've missed that a lot! And I've had very little energy for my usual workout schedule! I just need to get my body and mind used to working and when it goes down to my usual hours figure out a schedule that works.. I'm hoping it will be a bit better next week!

Mike has been awesome though, making me a packup everyday and cooking my tea! He made me a gorgeous mushroom pasta dish, made the sauce from scratch. He even made a porcini mushroom stock to flavour the sauce with. Now that I can get used to! I had to snap some pics to show you all. I've just saved the best... the rest weren't great... guess I was too impatient to tuck in!

I can't remember when I did this workout... I think it might have been Thursday... Anyway we did minute drills and a core workout... I'm not sure why they're called minute drills since the different exercises only last 30s each!

Minute drills
30s burpees
30s alternate stance screw shots
30s jumping jacks
30s burpees with variation (180 degrees, tuck jump, max height)
30s jumping jacks
30s high knee dumbell press

x 5 rounds

Partner workout, one person did ab roll-outs whilst the other did a core move for however long it took the ab-roll-out person to finish. I can't remember what core moves we did anymore! The roll-outs were done from 10 down to 1 so it got easier and faster towards the end... This was one of the toughest core workouts I've ever done!! So painfull!!

Dismal Weekly Totals
Miles - 3.1
Push-ups - 65
Chin-ups - 0
Pull-ups - 0
Neck Exercises - 0
Isometric Punches - 0
Wrist Curls - 0
Core - 2

Ohhh man they are bad!! I'm embarrassed to write them on the blog :-( Bas Rutten saved me on the core and push-ups! Ha ha he really was to the rescue this week!

Today is the start of a new week! I'm working the same hours as last week Tuesday-Saturday but hopefully I won't be as tired this week! I am looking forward to going down to my contracted hours though! I worked a 44 hour week last week with travel time and breaks on top of that and going from nothing to that was tough! (My contracted hours are 26 - that will seem a breeze after the first few weeks I think) I've appreciated today a lot though! Time to run, to spend time with Mike, to read my blogs, to write a post... All the things I was taking for granted while I was looking for a job! I'm totally apprehensive about next week though, the manager is on holiday and I will be the most senior member of staff there and I still feel like I have too much to learn to be in charge haha! Hopefully I remember enough to get me through without having to ring the other stores up too often!! Eesh!

Right, enough work talk! Today I ran a good 9 miles. I felt fairly strong for most of it but the last 3 miles were hard, I was breathing fairly heavy! I still had something in me to finish strong and got the negative splits I was aiming for! I was supposed to run at HMP+20 today which since my 5k on Tuesday is 9.21, I ended up averaging 9.15 per mile. I don't know what my heart rate was because the monitor needs a new battery.

9 miles in 1:23:21

Mile 1 - 9.31
Mile 2 - 9.30
Mile 3 - 9.25
Mile 4 - 9.19
Mile 5 - 9.19
Mile 6 - 9.15
Mile 7 - 9.15
Mile 8 - 9.11
Mile 9 - 8.35

I'm getting there with this negative split business! Pretty happy with my last mile too, when I ran 10 I had next to nothing left in the tank at the end but I managed to push out a strong final mile, even though it's not as long a distance I feel like I'm improving my endurance, and I didn't feel quite so shocking afterwards this time either! Hurrah!

I'm going to leave you with some animal pics and pics of our garden, Mike, his mum and her husband sorted it all out, cut the grass neatened it up aaaand they gave us a rather awesome hammock..

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

New Gym and New Job

Mike and I went to the new gym for the first time last night, the training times are pretty late so we pretty much got home ate tea and crashed! I also had my first day at my new job today, I'm really behind on reading all my favourite blogs which makes me sad! I'll be round to say hi soon!

So, the new gym! The training seems pretty good and we got to spar yipeee! Sadly though, we went in our boxing boots so when everyone went out for a 5 mile run we had to skip... I'd pick running over skipping any day of the week so I was gutted! At least we know for next time, take trainers!

There was another girl very close to my weight and similar experience to me so I got some good sparring. Only problem was after the coach saw me on the bags he asked me to go light on her and I ended up going a bit too light on her in the first round and I wasn't throwing enough punches.. I always worry when I have to go light on people cause I don't want to hurt someone who isn't ready for that level.. This girl didn't really need me to go too light on her though which I didn't realise at first. The first round I just took all her shots on my gloves, and she threw a lot! I've never had anyone come flying at me like that before haha, she tired quickly because she threw too much but it was good to be bullied. Now I know that I can block shots when someone comes out like that and that I don't clam up. The second round I still wasn't as busy as I could have been but I continued to block most of her shots and get some good ones in myself. The coach told me in the third round to up it a bit so I did! The third round was definately my best, I threw a lot of good shots and controlled the ring but she did land some good shots too, she threw a lot of hooks which were landing well for her so I had a sore ear at the end haha!

All in all the sparring was competetive and I think we could get a lot out of each other! It seemed like the coach underestimated her as I heard him say to her afterwards that he'd never seen her spar like that! Maybe having another girl to spar with was what she needed to be more competetive and bring out her best. Here's the training we did;

Skipping 30 mins! Damn not bringing trainers!!
Heavy bag 8 x 2 mins 30s rest
Sparring 3 x 2 mins
Cool down 10 mins

I enjoyed it apart from the skipping! The training finished at 9.30 so although I had all the good intentions to write my blog straight away and share my training with you I crashed as soon as I got in!

I had my first day at the new job today. It went pretty well, there was a lot to take in but nothing too hard. I enjoyed the job but I did have a major gripe about it. I was asked to be there at 8.30am until 6pm but I am only paid from 9-5.30... I didn't say anything today because the other manager is in the same position and it's not up to her it's the head office who's saying that but I am not happy about it and I'm not working an extra hour for free every day. I was out from 7.30am and didn't get home until 7, that's almost 12 hours I'm out and to only be paid for 7.5 hours is really frustrating... I'm not sure what to do about it... If anyone has any ideas or suggestions or advice I would really welcome them!

I ate half of my chocolate pulsin pre workout disc on the bus on the way home, it was pretty nice and wasn't too heavy on my stomach before I went out and run a 5k time trial!! The run was soo bloody hard! Even though Mike came with me for some moral support and company I felt sick from mile 1.3 onwards! I think I started a bit fast but that's always my problem! My legs felt bad on the run cause I'd had tough sparring the night before and been on my feet all day.. I absolutely could not believe it when I beat my old 3 mile time, 3 miles in 24.20! 13 seconds off my old time :D aaand that's my new years goal for 3 miles ticked off so maybe I can go for under 24...

Anyway... here are my stats!

3.1 miles in 25.08 average pace 8.06 average HR 179 max HR 190

Mile 1 8.02 HR 169
Mile 2 8.22 HR 183
Mile 3 7.58 HR 185
0.1 .47.58 HR 189

Right I'm off to try and catch up on all my blogs! Hope everyone is good!

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Bas Rutten to the Rescue!

Mike and I just had some good news, I'm super excited! We have found a new gym :-) Mike has been on the phone to the trainer and all being well lift wise we will be going to train there tomorrow!! I'm really, really excited! They run a mini bus service too which is great for us since we don't drive, for 50p they will pick us up, how good is that! And there is a girl there close to my weight so I will probably have a girl to spar with, I hope they put me in with the lads too though so I get lots of different partners!

We had a surprisingly busy morning today! On busy days good old Bas Rutten comes out in audio form to shout our workout at us! It makes it so much easier to train when you don't have to think too much about it! We did his all round workout which is just under half an hour of intense bag work, squat jumps, push-ups, core work (check 1 for the week!), neck work and some tuck jumps thrown in for good rest! I did 65 push-ups in total... my arms feel like jelly hehe

I had a big baking session today, as well as baking apple buns recipe here, I made the chocolate raspberry cookies from Veganomicon, I love that cookbook! Instead of raspberry flavour for the cookies I made them with a ginger preserve and made chocolate ginger cookies. I'm going to enjoy these in my lunch box in my first week at my new job!

Since the animal pics seemed to go down well yesterday I took a few more today :-)
Sleepy cat

Tia reading my blog haha

My two favourite boys!

How's everyone's core work going? Check out Laura's latest plank time.. hungover.. She has a stronger stomach than me! Hope everyone enjoyed their weekend!

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Weekly Totals and a New Addition to our Furbaby Family!

I was planning on doing my core workout after my 10 miler yesterday but as I mentioned I had some stomach problems and I was just really tired so I decided to postpone it to today!

Mike and I did 15 minutes of him shouting out exercises and me doing as I was told haha I like it that way though, I don't have to think about it haha... I'll try and remember what we did...

Leg raises
2 minute plank
Side Plank (with bounce)
Sit-ups with a twist
1 minute ab wheel hold
Crunch holds

I'm pretty sure I forgot a few exercises but you get the gist! I've not tested my max plank again yet but I nearly dropped before 2 minutes... It's so hard after the leg raises!! Bahh I hate leg raises...but that means they must work so I must keep doing them haha

Weekly Totals
Miles - 19.3
Push-ups - 61
Chin-ups - 13
Pull-ups - 3
Neck Exercises - 0
Isometric Punches - 0
Wrist Curls - 0
Core - 2

I'm still not doing as many chin-ups and push-ups as I'd like, I really need to get into better routine with them but I'm not sure how, maybe I should try doing them first thing... I've seen on some other blogs people doing them first thing and it seems to work for them! Maybe doing a few sets of 10 most mornings would be the way forward.... Must try it this week!

In other news, Mike's dad dropped off our new rabbit! Meet Scooby!

He was their rabbit but they got a cat and the rabbit doesn't get much attention anymore and they didn't really want him anymore so he's ours now :) I love rabbits so we didn't have to think much about having him! He's very sweet and has made friends with the guinea pigs already, he seems to like Grace a lot!

Here's some more pics from today, animals and some BBQ pics... didn't take enough BBQ pics really!

The table, salad, sauces and green tea! Yum!

Cooking away

Trudy likes the shade

Getting Scooby out for cuddles

Just chillin'
Tia was very interested in her new friend.. and a bit scared... wimpy cat!

Trudy made a little dug out

Gracie with her favourite garden treat: dandelion leaves!

Nom, nom, nom...

Scooby likes Gracie!

I love our little animal family! Hope everyone's having a great weekend, and enjoying the sunshine!

Friday, 16 April 2010

Double Digits

Yesterday was such a busy day! I had a job interview in the morning, it lasted 1hr 20 and I think it went well. The job is really cool, I hope I get it!! I'm not sure when I'll find out, the lady had a lot of people to interview and said there might be a second round... I feel quietly confident, I know I could do the job, I just hope someone with lots more experience didn't turn up after me!

EDIT! I just got a phonecall.... I got the job!! I will be an assistant manager at Holland And Barrett, I'm going to get lots of training about all the natural supplements and sports products they do which is really interesting to me :-) So excited! I've been unemployed way too long, it will be great to get into work! The only downside is it will probably take a little while for me to find my fitness rhythm again and figure out when I find it best to train when I'm working but that will come with time! :D yay!

After my interview I got home, ate lunch and we went straight to a course, Coaching and Mentoring. The course was just awful... and I have two more 4 hr sessions!! From the syllabus I expected something like sports coaching and the type of mentoring I'm going to be doing with Mind. It was all corporate mentoring and coaching. And it was done in such a school classroom style, it felt really oppressive and the information just didn't seem useful. I didn't agree with a lot of the things he was teaching and on several occaisions he had really obvious grammatical errors on the slide show... I'm not saying I'm grammatically perfect, especially in my blog posts because I don't always check them thoroughly but come on - if you're leading a course you should have checked your course material! I'm dreading the next two weeks, seriously considering not going back... It could get better though, maybe? Who knows, I hope so!! They need a better description in the prospectus haha

When we got home from the course we were soo tired! We ate tea and sat down for a bit before getting some push-ups and chin-ups done. I was really concentrating on the chin-ups from dead hang so Mike was giving me a little support so I could get the full range of movement, I think I'm improving, I wish I'd started from dead hang in the beginning though, I have so much catch up to do now! I got 10 Chin-ups and 35 push-ups done, some of the push-ups on the dreaded handles!

Today I ran 10 miles!! My first double digit run, it was tough! A lot tougher than 8 was, I got pretty dehydrated too, I need to start taking water on my longer runs I can't get enough in me now! The run was a relaxed run at no specific pace according to my plan so I just went on how I felt, I was going to go on HR and keep it in a comfortable zone but something went wrong with the heart rate readings, think it needs a new battery... it was telling me my HR was in the low 90s for a lot of the run... I know that's not right! So I'll just give you the mile times!

10 miles in 1:35:43 average pace 9.35

Mile 1 9.36
Mile 2 9.37
Mile 3 9.32
Mile 4 8.54
Mile 5 8.58
Mile 6 10.11
Mile 7 10.12
Mile 8 9.41
Mile 9 9.33
Mile 10 9.25

The wierd time differences between miles 4-5 and 6-7 were down to wind on the bridge, it was clearly helping me in miles 4-5 but it was pushing me back in miles 6-7... they were tough miles, I just wasn't close enough to the end to not be bothered by the wind, 3-4 miles seemed so far at that point!

I felt so poorly after the run, I had the worst stomach cramps and for the first time after running had no appetite what so ever. I felt really sick and I thought I was going to be sick several times! I had to force down a bowl of cereal cause we had to go out as soon as I'd showered... Not nice! Anyone have any tips or ideas for how to avoid the tummy troubles after running? I hope it was just a bad day and not to do with the distance increase because that will make the half marathon training pretty grim!

Well I'm off now to refuel with a takeaway at Mike's Mums, it's her birthday tomorrow so we're off to celebrate!

By the way, head over to Marcia and Karyn's blogs and wish them luck for Boston on Monday!! They are going to be awesome :D

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

5 Mile Mishap

So I set out for my 5 mile tempo run before lunch, I was supposed to be running at mid tempo pace for all 5 miles which for me is 8.43... I did not feel confident I could do it so I decided to start slow and build up the pace hoping to finish faster than an 8.43 pace and therefore balance my pace out. Mike's garmin is usually set to lap every mile so in my head I had the rough paces planned out per mile and I knew I could calculate if I was on target as I went along the run.

I started off at a 9.15ish pace and was hoping to be at about 8.50 for mile 2, I then sped up to an 8.30 pace coming up to mile 3. I was wondering why is this so hard. My heart felt like it was going to beat out of my chest, it was going at 189bpm and it was so hard to run at an 8.30 pace, I didn't understand it. I felt really dizzy so I hit pause cause it just wasn't going right. I got fed up and reset the garmin because I though eff this I'm just going home I felt so awful. I started looking up the run on the garmin to see if I could figure out what was going on and then I realised. Mike had turned the lap setting off on his interval run. I was running a 6.55 pace at my fastest. No wonder I felt awful, I've never run a 6.55 pace before!! And it was telling me I was running an 8.32 pace while the data on the garmin training centre shows that at the time I thought I was doing an 8.32 I was actually in the low 7m/m pace for quite a long time. My pace was all skewed because it was accounting for my slow warm up mile.

After realising this was why the run wasn't going to plan I felt a bit better. I sucked it up and decided to finish the 5 miles. I don't like quitting without a good reason... once I'd gotten over my, why isn't this working out strop anyway!

So I still don't know if I could have run the correct pace because I had a rest in the middle while I tried to figure out why I felt like I was going to pass out!! Honestly, when technology goes wrong it really throws you hah!
Here's my stats - no splits for obvious reasons haha

Part 1
2.83 miles in 24.08 average pace 8.32, average HR 176, max 189

Part 2
2.22 miles in 18.57 average pace 8.32, average HR 183, max 188

5.05 miles in 43.05
Would have been a PR if I hadn't had to stop in the middle to figure out what was going on.. but it took me a while so I certainly got my HR down which allowed me to carry on.

By the way, I added an about me section and a blog roll today. Please let me know if I've missed you off the blog roll or if you would like to be added :-)

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Workout Capacity 101 Before Breakfast...!

Remember the Natural Balance bars I reviewed, the Nakd and Trek bars? Well the lovely people at Natural Balance have put me on the news part of their website, how exciting :-) go check it out here!

Yesterday I ran intervals (no HR data as Mike was wearing his garmin.. I so want my own!!)

Warm up 1 mile @9.45
1600m (7.53) 7.31
400m RI
1600m (7.53) 7.44
400m RI
800m (3.49) 3.45
Cool Down 400m

Those intervals were tough! My legs felt so heavy in the last 800m, I think it's my own fault, I paced myself too fast for all the repeats, though I got closer each time (the time I was supposed to run is in brackets)! I couldn't believe how much harder they were than my last interval workout when I did 400m repeats. I cut the cool down short as I'm trying to save my legs so I can do all my planned workouts this week. My knees were ok but they felt a bit sore and stiff afterwards. I iced them as planned after the run but they still felt a bit stiff last night, hopefully they will be ok tomorrow for my tempo, I don't think they're injured I think they're just a bit sensitive.

When I got home from my run I had a package from pulsin with a few discs to try. It was too late to try the pre-workout snacks but I had half the protein disc after my lunch. Unfortunately all the discs contained soy so Mike couldn't try any. This was the biggest downside to them, especially as it was just soy lecithin so they could have used sunflower lecithin to allow people with soy allergies to enjoy them too, one of the discs had both in! I noticed cause I got excited thinking Mike could try it but then we saw the dreaded soya! Other than the soy the discs had good ingredients. The protein sport disc had a nice chocolatey taste and a nice texture with protein crispies similar to the trek bars. The disc had 15g of protein and just over 200 calories, not bad!

The discs they sent

We did some bodyweight strength before tea, we did core, push-ups, pull-ups and chin-ups. We did our core moves in our rest periods for the push-ups and pull-ups. I did tempo push-ups, 3 seconds going down and 2 seconds going up. For the pull-ups and chin-ups I did the 3 second hold at the top, middle and bottom. In the rest for the push-ups we did 60s isometric holds which is going to make up the core challenge sample workout 3!
10 wide hand push-ups
ab wheel hold 60s
5 normal hand push-ups
plank 60s
2 diamond push-ups
crunch hold 60s
3 knuckle push-ups
leg raise 60s
7 wide hand push-ups
L side plank 60s
4 normal hand push-ups
R side plank 60s

Then on to the pull-up/chin-up sets

normal grip chin-up
30 crunches
normal grip pull-up
30 crunches
close grip chin-up
30 crunches
close grip pull-up
30 crunches
wide grip chin-up
30 crunches
wide grip pull-up
30 crunches

And done for the day!

Sample Core Workout 3

This is a challenging workout just using isometric holds, I think all the moves are on the core work page except the ab wheel hold which is just a hold as you would be in the lower position of the ab wheel move. Choose how long you hold the exercises for, just under your max so you can finish the workout.

ab wheel hold
rest 30s
rest 30s
crunch hold
rest 30s
leg raise
rest 30s
L side plank
rest 30s
R side plank
rest 2 minutes and repeat the circuit.

How is everyone's core challenge going? Let me know how you're doing :-)

I was going to publish this post last night but I was experiencing some technical difficulties with my photo editor, as in, we had to reformat the computer and lost the program and I couldn't for the life of me get it to reinstall! I asked Mike to try to make sure I wasn't doing something daft but he couldn't get it to work either so I've downloaded picasa now. I've just used it and it seems pretty good, Mike had to help me a bit, I'm pretty rubbish when it comes to figuring out technology!

Oh yeah, check out our set up to get the CD player to work on the laptop... It's not going to last much longer!

We had a mega busy day today so we got up early to get our workout in before breakfast. Let me tell you, workout capacity 101 before breakfast is very unpleasant! I felt so sick and I was a bit dizzy afterwards, tough workouts on a totally empty stomach are not good! The workout went like this (this is a modified version);

5 chair dips
10 band slams
15 burpees
20 star jumps

x 10 rounds

I finished in 16.35 - tough stuff! In hindsight I wish I'd worn the heart rate monitor to see what my heart rate actually was, it felt high!

We were busy today as we were volunteering at the university, we had to get two buses each way so it's almost 2 hours of travel even though it would be about 15-20 minutes in a car... I wish one of us drove! We experienced two bad bus drivers today, we ran for a bus and just as we got there he pulled away not letting us on and leaving us in the cold and rain to get drenched waiting 30 minutes for another bus, they are supposed to be every 10 minutes but that's English public transport for you... Another bus driver wouldn't let a man on because he'd started the engine going, he then proceeded to stay there with the engine going not moving because he couldn't back out of the bay. It would have been no problem at all to let that man get on, the mind boggles, people can be so selfish!

Whew what a long post! Hope everyone's had a great day!

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Hill Race Video and a Boxing Workout

Remember my first race, the hill run? The running club posted some videos to youtube! They aren't great quality and you'll not want to watch the whole of video 1 (they managed to film a man erm relieving himself by the side of the did they not notice and edit that out..really!).. oh I just realised the screen shot at the beginning of video one is the man weeing!!! What?? How strange.. They must have known it was there!!!

Anyway in video one you can see everyone start, Mike appears around 40 seconds in overtaking people on the outside in navy trousers and a dark grey hoody (you can spot both of us a mile off cause we're the ones not in proper running gear!) and you can see me from around 50 seconds onwards pretty much at the back! At 1.30 in it goes to the finish line, skip to around 6.30 to see Mike finish then go to video 2, you can see me in the distance from around 3.50. Unfortunately it doesn't show any of the race in between the start and finish, there were people taking pictures though so I'm hoping to find them on the net somewhere..

Hope you enjoyed the videos!

For todays workout we did some boxing. We used the Bas Rutten track when we were on the heavy bag, the rounds were 2 minutes and on the exercise/shadow boxing rounds we did 30s exercise 30s shadow boxing x 2. In between rounds we had 1 minute rest. It went like this;

  • Burpees/Shadow Boxing
  • Heavy Bag
  • Mountain Climbers/Shadow Boxing
  • Heavy Bag
  • Medicine Ball Burpees/Shadow Boxing
  • Heavy Bag
  • High Knee Dumbell Press/Shadow Boxing
  • Heavy Bag

Then we did the circuit from a few days ago, 20 seconds on each station then 1 minute rest before repeating the circuit.
  • Burpees
  • Shrugs (10kg in each hand)
  • Push-ups
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Upright Rows (10kg barbell)
  • High Knee Dumbell Press
  • Chair Dips
  • Lunges
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Dumbell Punches
  • Leg Raises
  • Clean and Push Press (10kg barbell)
  • V-ups
I was tired after that lot! I have a nice relaxing night with a pot of green tea and a Mike planned! Hope everyone has had a nice Sunday, and hope all the racers today had good runs, looking forward to the recaps!

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Charity Races and the London Marathon

Did anyone in the UK watch the Dispatches on the London Marathon last night? It just clarified what I was talking about a few weeks ago about most of the charity races. Not enough goes to the charity.

The London Marathon charge people who win ballot places £32, but they charge charities upwards of £350! They make so much profit from the charities, they make over £600,000 from ballot places alone how can they justify making so much from the charities on top of that, bear in mind that they also get huge sponsorship deals from large corporations. The London marathon also gets reduced rates for staging the event as it's a charity, policing it costs £400,000 and London Marathon only pay the police £52,000 as it is a charity event. On top of that, councils close areas for free or very reduced costs £80,000 normal cost down to £5000 in Tower Hamlets. A 10km race in London going past the main landmarks costs £400,000 to run, if it only costs this for a 10km race not being subsidised as it is not a charity race how can the London Marathon justify it's huge profits masked as running costs. The London Marathon 'charity' make £18 million profit, out of that there are £12 million unspecified outgoings... Some staff salaries are £240,000-£250,000 per annum, double the highest paid staff in other large charities.

There is also unfairness in the choice of charities being let in to the event with the larger, more well known charities being given the cheaper golden bond places. Smaller charities are simply not considered for these places. It is not publicised which charities have golden bond places and how many they hold it is all very secretive. Strange for a charitable organisation...

A more expensive solution is offered for smaller charities, 4 'free' places for £5000-£8500s worth of advertising via banners on the London Marathon website. Usually this type of net advertisement is based on page views and not by flat rates as used by Real Buzz (aka the London Marathon.. unoficially...). Over half the money raised for those charities goes to London Marathon and not to the charities.

It is cheaper for British charities to fly people to New York to run the New York Marathon than it is to get them into the London Marathon.

The London Marathon have a monopoly and stop any other marathons in London, even half marathons in London. A half marathon organised by the same company which runs the 10km race mentioned earlier was forced to cancel as London Marathon claimed a breach in copywrite.

Their finances are sketchy too, as well as the 12million pounds worth of unexplained outgoings, the London Marathon charitable trust is incosistent by £4million in how much money they have given out in grants. Most of which has not actually been given out yet, 14 million pounds worth of grants have been awarded but not given out, many dating back as early as 2004. Last year only 55% of what they pledged in grants was actually given out. Furthermore, they give money to local authorities - why? There is an unexplained £4 million to given London boroughs with no guidance from the Marathon comittee as to what the expect the boroughs to accomplish with the money.

They saved the most shocking statistic for last. For every £6000 they received less than £1 went to charity.

It really grates on me because I think if I'm raising money for charity I'd want it all to go to the charity not to a business making profit out of people's hard work and kindness. I don't want people out of pocket but I don't believe they should be making a profit from money people think is going to charity. I have avoided several charity races because out of the entry fee none of it, or barely any of it goes to the charity and I don't think it's right. I know a lot of the charities which have places in the London Marathon can make a great deal of money through it and because of that they are acheiving good but I do not see why they feel the need to make so much profit.

For fairness sake you can read what the London Marathon had to say about the documentary here.

I know I will always choose races like the Humber Bridge Half, I will pay my entry fee myself and then I can raise money for a charity which is really close to my heart and all the sponsorship money I raise will go directly to the charity. I actually tried to set up a Justgiving account for the charity I'm supporting in my upcoming half but Justgiving charge charities £15 a month for the privelege to be on their site (as well as 5% of all sponsor money), and this charity is a small local charity which can't afford that. I don't even know if I'd make them enough to break even if they set up that account, I was so shocked at them charging £180 per annum, they don't tell that to the public, only to the charities. But that's another rant and I'm sure you've heard enough for today!

Weekly Totals
Miles - 14
Push-ups - 126 (16 weighted)
Chin-ups - 14
Pull-ups - 17
Neck Exercises - 1
Isometric Punches - 0
Wrist Curls - 1
Core - 2

Not bad totals this week, got my two core workouts in... actually I'm really happy I've got some support on this core challenge, it's been really motivating for me, thanks guys!

Hope everyone's enjoying the weekend, it's been gorgeous sunshine over here today, I hope it stays sunny tomorrow!

Friday, 9 April 2010

Bodyweight Strength Day

Well, today I had intervals planned but I didn't do them. I was all dressed in my running gear at the door and I decided it was a bad idea, my knees felt bad to walk on and although I really didn't want to miss a workout I really don't want to injure myself and put myself out for any long period of time so I decided to play it safe. I think it was the right descision, my knees are still feeling sore tonight.

Since I wasn't doing my running I decided to get some push-ups, pull-ups and chin-ups done. The push-ups were done with varying hand positions, wide, normal, close and knuckle and the chin/pull-ups were done as negative holds, jump up to the top hold at the top for 3 seconds, middle for 3 seconds and bottom for 3 seconds. I did;

38 Push-ups
8 Chin-ups
8 Pull-ups

Core Challenge Sample Workout 2
Ab Roll-Outs
Complete 5 sets of ab roll-outs either standing to a wall or kneeling. Choose the reps according to how it feels for you - just past when you feel the burn! If you don't have an ab wheel you can use a dumbell with the weights loose and hands either side of the weights.

If you don't have the equipment for ab roll-outs here is an alternative circuit (if you don't have a medicine ball you can use small handweights instead)!

Sit-ups with medicine ball
Side bends
Russian Twists

Complete the circuit 3-5 times and remember to stretch afterwards. Be prepared to lower the reps as the weights will probably make you more sore than a bodyweight core circuit... They do for me anyway! Remember to stretch out afterwards!

Hope everyone's enjoying the first week! Just want to do a quick shout out to Lauren who got a 3.30 plank on her first timed try! Only stopped by her socks slipping - something which always gets me too, I never remember to take them off! Check out her first core post!

By the way... I finally joined Twitter to see what all the fuss is about.. no idea what to do on it yet haha, is anyone else on it? My user name is BoxRunEat.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

8 Fun Miles and a Strength Fail!

Yesterday I decided to go on a nice long run and just enjoy it! I've been very concerned with my pacing lately and I don't think it's good to be too obsessive about it, especially when I'm not always managing what I set out to do I end up feeling really down about it when things don't work out. I decided to ignore my pace for the run and go on heart rate. I aimed to start slow and keep my heart rate below 175 for the most of the run and then finish my last mile strong. This seemed to work really well, I was so surprised when I got home and looked at my pace, my average pace was 9.17, a lot faster than I thought I had gone. I still had quite a bit of energy at the end too, if I wasn't worried about increasing my mileage too quickly I would have gone for another mile or two! My average heart rate including the last faster mile was 173 so I was happy with that too, hopefully some more runs like this will help build my aerobic fitness and endurance.

8 miles in 1:14:16
Mile 1 - 9.50 HR 156
Mile 2 - 9.15 HR 171
Mile 3 - 9.02 HR 175
Mile 4 - 9.05 HR 175
Mile 5 - 9.16 HR 174
Mile 6 - 9.35 HR 175
Mile 7 - 9.40 HR 175
Mile 8 - 8.33 HR 183

It rained the whole run yesterday, which I actually welcomed a bit, it was nice and cooling and refreshing! The weather today is just beautiful though, if my knees weren't achey I would have gone and done my intervals today... I bet it's raining again tomorrow haha. Speaking of my knees, I think they're aching cause I didn't manage to ice them yesterday, they felt good after the run but they got really stiff last night.. I must remember to ice my knees after running it really seems to help. I didn't do them yesterday cause just as I was about to sit down to my lunch and some ice packs my mum rung and said she was outside with my gran and grandad and was it ok to come in for a bit so I put lunch on hold and said of course! It was my grandad's first meeting with Tia, she liked him and sat on his knee the whole time they were here :-) cute!

Today I had a bit of a failed strength workout :( I started with a deadlift which didn't feel bad at the time, in fact I felt like I could have gone a lot heavier but apparently it completely fried my body and I had no strength what so ever in the other exercises.

Deadlift 40kg 2 x 6
DB Clean and Press
10kg 1 x 3, 1 x 1
Pull-ups Negatives 1 x 2
Chin-ups Negatives 1 x 2
Weighted Push-ups 5kg 2 x 8
DB Curl 7kg 2 x 8
BB Wrist Curls 22kg 30
BB Reverse Wrist Curls
12kg 30
Neck Curls
10kg 40

I did that workout in the morning and in the early evening I got some bodyweight work done including core to get my two in this week! I did a circuit consisting of

2 x pull-up/chin-up
1 x close push-up (2 sets) - 6 x normal push-up (2 sets) - 8 x wide push-up
(1 set)
10 x standing ab roll-outs to a wall

x 5 rounds

My arms are killing me now!! No more work today! We were going to do some yoga after the circuit but we ended up tidying our workout/junk room a bit... it needed doing! Tada!

Makeshift punchbag stand - not bought a ceiling hook yet!

Weights, skipping rope, resistance bands, deck of cards with workouts on

gloves, headguards, pads, gumshields

Core challenge update. The following people are signed up, it's not too late to join in if you want to! Anne had the great idea of using a logo if you are participating, I had Mike help me make one read make me one...

Anne Marie

Oh and I had a heart shaped plum which I had to take a picture of...

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Boxing Workout and First Sample Core Routine

Yesterday morning Mike and I did a boxing workout. It was tough!! You would think 1 minute rounds with 1 minute rests would be really easy. It's not! You go so all out in the rounds, more than you could in a 2 or 3 minute round so it's really intense, every punch is a power punch and you don't break between combos, I was gasping for air in between the rounds and my legs felt like jelly in the later rounds! Fun stuff!

10 x 1 minute rounds/1 minute rest

We then did a circuit, 20 seconds on each station then 1 minute rest before repeating the circuit.
  • Burpees
  • Shrugs (10kg in each hand)
  • Push-ups
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Upright Rows (10kg barbell)
  • High Knee Dumbell Press
  • Chair Dips
  • Lunges
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Dumbell Punches
  • Leg Raises
  • Clean and Push Press (10kg barbell)
  • V-ups
I was so sore all evening after this workout, way sorer than I felt I should be given the amount of work! (circuit included 15 push-ups)

Don't forget to sign up to the core challenge here. Here's my first sample routine.
  • Leg raises
  • Crunches
  • Sit-ups with a twist
  • Alternate knee to elbow
Run through the circuit 3-5 times, take some rest between the circuits if needed. Finish the workout with a max plank, don't worry if it's nowhere near your fresh max plank time, my max planks at the end of core routines tend to be a lot less than if I were fresh.

By the way, there's a Nuun giveaway here at Barefoot Angie B's blog, it looks good, go check it out!

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Core Challenge

A few comments on my plank post got me thinking about core work and it's a really important part of training. It helps with balance, stability and power, virtually all athletic movements involve and use the core muscles and therefore it is vital we strengthen it. Now I've been slacking a bit in my core work, I haven't always managed the two workouts I try to do per week, so, I thought about doing a challenge for one month, starting this week and ending on May 2nd. I thought we could have a weekly check in, say if everyone comments on my weekly total post to say how they've been getting on on the Saturday then on Sunday I can post an update on everyone. If you're up for it, the challenge is to do core twice a week for one month, I'll post some exercise ideas but you're free to do what suits you. Also I thought to show improvement we could all test our plank holds at the beginning of the month and aim to improve our times over the month, that means I have to get more than 3.33... now that is a daunting idea!

The reps you do for each exercise shown below should be done bearing your own ability in mind. You should perform the exercises until it you feel a good burn around your midsection and then a little more but not to failure. I didn't want to put specific reps for each exercise because what works for me won't be right for everyone so do reps which are challenging for you!

One of the best core moves is the ab rollout, you can start by doing them on your knees and progress over time to doing them from standing. The idea is to work your way up to being able to do it from standing to pretty being flat on the floor and back up again without a wall to help... That's a very advanced variation that can sometimes take years to acheive. Neither Mike or I can do that yet so we use some of the variations shown below, standing to a wall and kneeling.

Kneeling roll-outs (not to a wall if you can)

Standing roll-outs to a wall (make sure to put a cushion, or something soft on your wall so you don't ruin the paintwork..speaking from experience unfortunately!)

Another way we like to train our core is to pick and mix to create a circuit and try to continually work for 15-20 minutes. If that is too long don't worry, shorten it to a time that is something that challenges you but don't injure yourself.

Here's some of our favourite exercises to choose from but feel free to add your own!

Leg Raises
Start low, hold for 10 seconds then raise and hold again, then repeat, lower down holding each phase as well. You can also slowly move one leg in and alternate between for a variation on the leg raise. It's much more challenging if you don't sit on your hands.. not sure why! Also from the leg raise hold you can circle your legs slowly in both directions (not pictured).

Hanging Leg Raises
These are tough! Done from a pull-up bar start from a 90 degree hang and raise your legs to 90 degrees, try to keep your legs straight.

Captain's Chair
Start again from a 90 degree hang on the pull-up bar and raise your legs up with your knees bent.

Hanging Knees to Elbow
Again start by hanging with arms at 90 degrees and then bring your knees up to your elbows.

Try to keep your bum down and body straight

Side Plank
This can also be done with a little movement to good effect, you bob your hips up and down, aim for high reps.

As well as doing these fast you can do high tension holds, hold the pose in the second picture for 10 seconds, release and repeat until you feel it.

Sit-ups with a Twist
These are good for getting the side core muscles.

Sit-ups with Medicine Ball
...or home made sandbag in my case, this is around 10kg but choose a weight accordingly.

Russian Twist
Put a fairly challenging weight on a dumbbell and starting from the middle position turn to each side with the weight. Beware of the weights coming loose on this one if you have dumbbells with twist on locks as they can work themselves loose. Also remember to lift with your legs and not your back to get it up to the starting position.

Side Bends
Again use a challenging weight, be careful to lift with your legs and not back. Once in position slide the weight down your leg keeping your free arm by your side or touching your ear, whichever is more comfortable.

I find these pretty tough but they're good!

Alternate Knees to Elbow
Bring your elbows to alternate knees

Post Core Stretch
I think this is a yoga move but I can't remember what it's called! Anyway do as I say and not as I do and try and remember to do this, I guarantee you'll feel better for it the next day! I forgot yesterday and doing these pictures hurt like hell!

Now since it's a comptetition there will be a small prize, an ab wheel, and if you already have an ab wheel I'll think of something else since I haven't bought it yet! To enter in to the prize draw you must complete two core workouts a week, starting this week, Monday the 5th of April and ending Sunday the 2nd May. From everyone who completes two core workouts a week I'll pick a winner randomly at the end of the challenge. Please comment on this post to enter and I would appreciate you posting on your blogs if you're participating then hopefully more people might be interested in getting involved. Don't worry if you don't have a blog though, you can still join in! So bring on the super strong cores we're all going to get!

Edited to add, for people who want it, I'll post two sample core workouts a week then you can do those if you want to!