Featured

First blog post

I am an unfit couch lover

Advertisements

When I was younger I was fit. I was sporty. I would swim for 21 hours a week, go to the gym for 10 hours and I would go to school. I competed most weekends. I could beat most people. I used to go rowing, I used to play squash, badminton, go horse riding. I could ski.

Then I dislocated my knee on a trampoline. I had surgery and lots and lots of physio. Although I continued to swim, I was no longer competing. I wasn’t training as I used to and then life took over.

I became unfit, I became fat, I became the exact opposite to what I used to be.

Whilst I still watched a lot of sport, I no longer participated. I would still swim occasionally, I would have random bursts of going to the gym and then life would happen again and I didn’t get to go. It’s impossible to go to the gym when you have children to look after during the day, a husband (now ex) who worked away a lot and a part time evening job. There simply wasn’t the time to do all the things I used to enjoy doing.

Anyway, life has changed. I now have two fabulous boys who love sport. I am single and I don’t work evenings. Yes, my time is very limited as I am ‘mums taxi’ for the boys, or I am cooking the tea, getting them to do homework or practise their instruments. I’m doing the washing, I’m putting them to bed. I am basically, just a very busy, working, exhausted, single mum.

However, I have a secret. I am an unfit couch lover. If I ever do have that half an hour of peace, I love to sit on my sofa and watch T.V. I love to eat junk food. I am happy… or am I?

Maybe something is going to change.

post

Always charge your phone before running

It had been far too long.

I’d planned a few ‘runs’ over the past couple of weeks but life took over and they just didn’t happen.

So on Monday, I lay in my nice warm bed and decided to run. I really should have looked out of the window first. Had I have done so, I’d have seen frost and ice and a very cold looking village. Anyone with an ounce of sense would have taken the children to school, possibly wearing their pyjamas beneath their clothes and gone straight home and climbed straight back in to bed with a packet of chocolate biscuits for company.

Instead, I had a nice warm shower and put on my trusty tracksuit bottoms and tshirt. Then I decided the air was a bit chilly and I might need sleeves, so put a hoody on too.

So, I took the children to school and walked to what I now affectionately call my “running field”

I follow the app and off I go. The cold air was burning my lungs and I’d forgotten just how unfit I was. I kept going though. I did look around me and wonder how long it would be before somebody found me if I did keel over. It would serve me right for being a complete, overweight, unfit, wobbly, mess trying to fool myself that I can actually run. But, I kept going. My hands were so cold and I spent many minutes thinking longingly of my nice, warm bed.

My app dings and tells me I’m an awesome runner and that I’m halfway there. A

Minute later and I check my phone. The battery has completely drained. I could have stood in that freezing field and cried. It was just then, one of the super fit, Wolf runner elite ran past me. She looked amazing. She was actually running (not running/walking), ear phones in, said “morning” Coherently and not a red face in sight. I feel a little despondent as I will never be as fit or as graceful as that but at least I’m doing more than I would be had I been in my nice warm bed.

So, after my mini panic about the map my run app not working, I decide to turn around and run back the way I came. At least I knew I was doing the correct distance.

Anyway, I got home and sat. I was exhausted. I was far too exhausted to go up to bed so I sat down in the lounge and ate chocolate biscuits.

Words failed me

Last week my 8 year old and I went to complete week 2, day 3 of my running app.

We went off on my now usual route of a track around the perimeter of a field. I knew my son was competitive, I know I’m competitive, I hadn’t considered the impact this would have on the run. When the app said “run” the small child ran like someone had shouted “free sweets”! So obviously, I then had to run like someone had shouted “free sweets” too. I was fully expecting to be exhausted at the end of our first “running” section but I surprised myself. We walked for two minutes and then ran again. However, this time it was harder. We were running up a slight incline (I really can’t call it a hill) and the child decided he was going to talk. Not only was he going to talk but he was going to expect responses.

We were running along together and it was nice to have a little person along side.

It was really pleasant to spend time just the two of us.

Until…

We were on a running section. We were running along quite happily when a lady with three large dogs came towards us. Her dogs weren’t on leads. Two of her dogs ran to my son and jumped at him. He doesn’t like dogs and his natural instinct was to run. The dogs chased him, jumping up at him and terrifying him. I told him to stand still and looked to the lady, expecting her to control her dogs. She didn’t. She couldn’t. Instead, she left her dogs off the lead and shouted at us. She shouted at my son and told him he wasn’t behaving correctly. She said we had chosen the wrong place to run if we didn’t like dogs and that we shouldn’t be running in the field. Then she tried to justify the dogs behaviour saying they were only young. I was so shocked that she had the audacity to say this, plus I was out of breath from running, that I couldn’t formulate a polite response. I got my son and walked away from her.

Then I became angry. How dare she speak to my son like that. How dare she blame him for her dogs being unruly and out of control. How dare she shout at us for being in a public space. How dare she try to justify it by saying her dogs were young. Her dogs may have been young but they were huge and for a child, they must have been terrifying. Surely it’s polite and common sense and decency to put your dogs on their lead if they are approaching children. I know that my 8 year old isn’t going to attack or hurt your dog, if he was, he would be put on a lead, however, we don’t know that your dog isn’t going to hurt and attack my son, therefore put him on a lead.

We had met many dog walkers on our run, some dogs were off leads and took no notice of us, others were on leads and were kept under control. All of the owners had been pleasant and said a friendly “hello”.

After we had met with this lady and her dogs, my son held on to my hand and wouldn’t leave my side. I encouraged him to run again and we did. We approached another lady with dogs. My son froze. The lady in the distance, saw us coming, called her dogs, put them on their leads and walked past us. I thanked her. She said she’d prefer to put them on their leads as although they are well behaved some people don’t feel comfortable around dogs and that no dog should be trusted around children. I was so grateful to this lady for being a responsible dog owner that I thanked her again. And again. And again. Until it got a little awkward and embarrassing and I really couldn’t thank her for a seventh time.

We returned home and I was cross. I was cross that lady had behaved like that. I was cross that I hadn’t defended my son and I was cross that she felt we were the ones in the wrong. Speaking to friends who are dog owners, every one of them said that dogs should be on leads when around children in public spaces.

It’s taken me over a week to write this as I didn’t want to write it when I was angry. I’m still annoyed now but hopefully the experience won’t deter my son from joining me again.

Forgot one of the momentous occasions

So on Thursday something happened. Something that I didn’t think would happen. But before I divulge any further let me tell you about my day.

I’d been to work and come home ready to run. My neighbour got held up at work so I decided to go on my own.

Off I went with my couch to 5k app, my MapMyRun app and Spotify.

As I was doing my warm up walk I was thinking about my friends who do proper running. The ones who share their Run stats and their average time is 4 minutes per km. I don’t think I’ll ever get as fast as they are, but that’s ok. I’m still not built for running and never will be but at least I’m doing more than I was when I was just sitting on the couch eating chocolate.

Anyway, the app says run, so I do. It hurts my shins but I don’t give up. I’m running along the main road and people are driving past me but I don’t care. I actually don’t care. I might look a complete wally but I’m out there and I’m exercising and raising my heart rate and I’m actually doing something that (unless I actually die from running which is highly possible) is good for me.

I enter the field. The track goes around the perimeter of this field and then you can go off to another village if you wish or continue around the field. Usually I go halfway (time wise, not distance) and then turn around and head home. This time I turned right instead of heading straight on and decided I would do the entire perimeter of the field.

What on earth was I thinking?

Actually I had some very random thoughts pop into my head whilst I was walking/running.

Here are some of them:

1) Why do my shins hurt so much? Maybe it is my shoes…

2) What should running shoes look like?

3) How the on earth do people do this?

4) How big is this sodding field?

5) Does running make you poo more?

6) What happens when you need a poo half way round?

7) Is it acceptable to do a poo in the bushes?

8) Why does someone walking a dog always speak to you when you are exhausted and incapable of speaking?

9) How do you get your MapMyRun to say average 4 minutes when mine says 10minutes?

11) If I fall asleep under a bush (a different one to the one I proposed pooing under) would anyone find me?

12) how did it get dark so quickly?

13) Why does the chip shop smell so delicious?

So it’s getting dark and the lights of the village are moving further away from me. I can see the lights of the football field my children are playing on and for a split second wonder if I should just burst through the hedges, collapse on the pitch and demand that someone drives me home. Then I realise that I’m not actually that dramatic and continue on my way.

The problem is, it’s getting dark very quickly. I’m beginning to think there’s an equinox. I’m also on the wrong side of the flipping field.

My app has told me to do my cool down walk – at the risk of being dramatic, I don’t have time to walk so I run again. I do 4 more minutes of running. Then I look at how far I have travelled. It’s almost 4km. How did that happen? I finally emerge from the field and start to walk home.

Now this may sound really silly but I looked at my MapMyRun app and it had a nice loop on the map section. If I walk the same way home, it will just become a line so I weave off between bungalows and houses and little alleyways. Now my map looks like a proper runners map. As I approach home my app says I have reached 4.6km. I’m so close to covering 5km that I walk past my house and go off around the block. I arrive back at my house with 0.10km to go. So I continue last again, have a quick walk to the end of the road and boom! I’ve done it! I have actually covered 5k. Ok so I didn’t run the entire distance but a few weeks ago I never even thought I could do it. Now I just have to increase my running time and I may just about be able to complete the mud run my children want to do in April.

Ouch

Ouch my shins hurt.

They hurt before I went out but I still went.

More importantly I went out in the middle of the day. It wasn’t something I was particularly comfortable with but I will struggle to find the time later in the week and after defying my app yesterday I thought I’d better go.

So off I went. I had just finished the first run when someone stopped me for directions. Seriously, this is messing with my MapMyRun app.

Anyway, I hit the country lane and there was another person there. A dog walker. I tried to ignore them but I was so paranoid about my fat wobbly bits and my bright red face, I had to turn around and go in a different direction. I was doing ok, running with a cold isn’t great and my lungs were burning but I did have that sense of achievement. So, I’m minding my own business and I see two other dog walkers coming towards me. I’m an even redder, sweatier mess than earlier so I turn around again and carry on. Fortunately it’s the cool down five minute walk so it’s not too bad.

Just as I can see my house I meet a friend. She’s a super fit sporty one (one of the elite Wolf Run members club) and gave me words of encouragement. They meant so much.

I’m now on the sofa, watching bake off and eating a mars bar.

When the app says run

I woke up in the middle of the night. My knee was hurting. It was hurting so much I couldn’t get back to sleep so I reached for my phone to have a look at what was going on in the world. I was horrified at what I saw on my screen. My couch to 5k app told me I should run today.

What my app didn’t know was that I was in the middle of falling apart. My knee hurt and I had my man flu back. My nose was blocked, my ears were blocked, my eyes hurt and no amount of olbass oil was going to remedy that. All I really wanted to do was stay in bed and read, only I didn’t have the energy.

In the end I got up. It wasn’t even 7am on a Sunday but I was up. I decided to be productive and catch up on Corrie.

Then I had a bit of a sort out and decided that actually I could manage a run after all. I text my neighbour, she was mowing her lawn. I looked at my lawn. Yep, I should mow mine too. There was a cat at the bottom of the garden and it looked like a lion creeping through the jungle.

So I set about mowing my lawn. My lawn mower was not designed for jungle like conditions. I got out the Strimmer. What an absolute disaster! Have you ever accidentally strimmed a slug? It’s not an activity I’d recommend.

Once I’d given up on trying to get my lawn mowed I decided it was about time I moved the 8 paving slabs that have been on the grass for months. I moved 7 of them. I literally could not lift the last one. I was totally exhausted by the end of all of this so had a shower and cooked my tea.

Sorry app but the run will have to wait until another day.

All by myself

I was sitting on the stairs, reading Facebook and contemplating doing something I never, thought I’d ever do.

Going running alone.

I see these people going off on their own, their music on and they look so cool.

Don’t worry, I know I don’t look cool. I’m definitely not a cool kind of person.

However, I did go off on my own.

I completed day 4 of my couch to 5k all, all by myself!

I decided to go the way my neighbour and I went last time, only I got my timings wrong and had to run in public. There were cars going past me but my app had shouted run, so run I did.

Today’s session was a 5 minute walk, 4 lots of 1.5 minute run and 2 minute walk, 2 lots of 1 minute run and 1 minute walk followed by a 5 minute cool down walk. I actually completed it too. On my own! I’m feeling rather liberated. It’s a similar feeling to when I went by myself to see Dismal Land the Banksy exhibition a few years ago. I actually felt like I’d achieved something.

Anyway, I’m now in bed and my legs ache. It’s actually quite a nice feeling.

Should I or shouldn’t I?

It has been a while since I last did any form of exercise. On Saturday I had man flu. I didn’t even go to watch the rugby and even the promise of fishcake and chips from the chippy at half time couldn’t convince me that I wanted to do anything but sit on my sofa and watch tv. So that’s what I did. I sat there all day and ate the chocolates I’d bought for a friends sons birthday, then I ate my children’s sweets and chocolate too. It was sooooooo good.

I promised myself I’d do something on Sunday instead. Well that went a bit wrong too as my eldest came down with boy flu. It’s like man flu only not quite as pathetic. However, he missed playing rugby and obviously I couldn’t drag him out running and as a single parent, I can’t leave him at home either. So instead if exercising my parents came over and we had a roast dinner followed by the most calorific, but delicious sponge puddings.

Monday morning came and I had to make a decision. Do I continue going to Slimming World or do I try to do this weight loss and fitness thing on my own, thus saving myself money and time. I decided to go until Christmas. I’d convinced someone to come along with me so I had to go. Only, that person didn’t actually make it. So I went on my own. I stood on the scales (after doing the obligatory wee on the way in, to try to shed a little last minute weight), mentally justifying the millions of syns I’d eaten over the weekend. 1.5lbs on. I scurried out with my tail between my legs and went to the supermarket. Leaving the supermarket I clutched gleefully to my tiger bread baguette and packet of crisps and thought “f@*# it”!

The child with boy flu hadn’t been to school so again, we couldn’t go out running. So I did what any self respecting unfit couch love would do and put the children to bed, made myself a chip baguette and watched Emmerdale.

So now it’s Tuesday evening. The children are with their dad. Perfect time to get out there and do day 4 of my app.

Only I’ve had a really long day at work. The children got FIFA 18 yesterday and I really want to have a go on it as I didn’t get a look in yesterday and they’re not here to laugh at my ineptitude…. but I should go for a run. I’ve text the nextdoor neighbour. She can’t do it tonight. Do I go on my own……..