Sunday Walk: It Seems Spring Hath Sprung

Today was a mix of sunshine and showers, cloudy skies with patches of blue. The Spring flowers are all bravely blossoming here in the Garden of England and it was a delight to discover so many more than this time last week.

 

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Week Six : Say Yes To The Scrunchie

Wow go us! We ran just that little bit further this week, 3.5 miles with more running, shorter intervals and less walking….yay us!! We even jogged a couple of inclines: woot woot!

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This fabulous photo is not mine sadly, it was on the Tonbridge Daily Facebook page*. It captures the stag so wonderfully and the deer are such an intrinsic part of the beauty of running in Knole Park that I hope the photographer Jo Roots will forgive my sharing it here.

Today was week six of the Beginners Joggers and our first rainy run, which given the time of year it seems to me that we have been very lucky so far! We have run in the mist and fog but not rain so I was curious to discover exactly why my son has always enjoyed running in the rain.

This is a single tree taking a slightly more horizontal approach to life before stretching its branches skywards, unfortunately these two photos fail to do its beauty justice though hopefully manage to show its intriguing shape.

The light drizzle didn’t dampen our spirits and the important business of catching up with each other’s half term news was soon underway. So….. the scrunchie! Our top joggers tip comes via one of the girls, who caused her hairdresser to have a mini meltdown!! It would appear that ponytails in hairbands whilst jogging cause too much damage to fine, colour treated hair resulting in a most unfortunate mullet effect! The solution (once the offending mullet had been bobbed) is to wear a scrunchie to hold back those precious locks in a ponytail. So now you know!!

These young deer are jus’ chillin’ in a what appears to be a youth club for young deer only as there were no older deer in sight. The sight of us trundling past at a sharp jog didn’t disturb them in the slightest.

I found running in light drizzle to be rather pleasant as it helped to keep my ready brek glow and sweaty betty face cool although glasses and rain are never a favourite combination. The wet weather eased off leaving us with just grey skies to run under and run we did! Even I managed to achieve this weeks target of eight minutes despite trailing well behind the girls. The progress we have all made in six short weeks is quite amazing really. Naturally despite being in my comfort zone at the back I was never left behind as that is simply not the SLJ way! Last is never least and extra loops allow the faster girls to stay challenged while little short legs me catches up: it’s win, win for everyone.

*The photo of the stag at the beginning of this post was taken by Jo Roots and featured on the Tonbridge Daily Facebook page. 

The Magnet In My Pants

 

I bought a LadyCare Menopause Magnet as I had seen some very encouraging reviews about its effectiveness in easing the symptoms of menopause that I am particularly struggling with: hot flushes, night sweats, insomnia, fatigue, memory lapses, weight and bloating….so attractive ^^ Haha! When you put it all together in a list, it’s a bit daunting and when you are living it, it’s a lot overwhelming and it seemed to me that a small investment in a simple potentially helpful gizmo was well worth a try.

I think I will log any changes or lack thereof as bullet points in an ongoing magnet post rather than multiple blog entries as hopefully it will make tracking any progress easier.

  • First afternoon/ evening: only one particularly strong hot flush;  not settling well or relaxing;  mildly agitated;  fatigued
  • Bedtime: very tired but not dropping off to sleep
  • First night: not a successful first night as only managed to doze lightly with long periods of wakefulness
  • Morning: I feel like pants! Haha! See what I did there!
  • Later… I have woken feeling like I have slept better this morning- first time in forever it seems like!
  • Energy is still hard to come by though hot flushes are less in number and intensity

 

 

 

A Little Early Morning Walk

This morning we had a spot of car trouble so I couldn’t give my youngest daughter her usual lift to the station. I decided to keep her company on the walk and am so glad I did as it was a most enjoyable start to the day! The photos are from my return journey which I took at a more leisurely pace than the walk to the station- I was happy just to take in the early morning quiet and to appreciate my surroundings. I could feel my spirit lifting with every step.

Choices And Changes

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I missed a Fitball class this week. My body and mind felt like lead, moving my limbs was like trying to wade through cold, claggy custard and the deep stresses from the last few days caught up with me to overwhelm and devour my energy. Depression tried to claw its way back into my mind  and erode away my sense of achievement and desire to continue this journey towards a healthy, happy me. I stayed in bed and the day disappeared- this has happened before…but this time there was a difference. Thank goodness.

I was able to practise kindness to self, to allow myself the time I clearly needed to recharge and replenish my inner resources instead of castigating myself in ever increasing circles of recrimination. I nurtured self and took the time I needed as opposed to sinking black despair at having missed a class. I chose to take a positive view rather than falling into bleak negativity. This is real change! This is me being the change I want to see. This change in attitude is as meaningful to my mental health as my exercising is to my physical health. This is holistic progress

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I used the time in the comfort and warmth of my safe and beautiful bed to reflect on the changes and choices I have made since last September. The decision, the positive and deeply personal choice to change my shape, my physical health, my space, my well-being, my happiness has been huge. It has not been a smooth journey, nor has it been easy yet overall the momentum is all forward and like a pebble thrown into a pond the ripple  effect has translated into so much more than an increase in physical health through exercise.

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I have started taking better care of me more often, I have decluttered and taken books, clothes and shoes to charity shops, I have tidied and cleaned, I have gardened… not perfectly, not every day, sometimes not as much as I would have wished for but consistently just that bit more than before. I am proof that one change leads to another and the ripple effect is real

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The Wrong Knickers! Also…What A Fantabulous Run!

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Another cold and misty day for week five of Beginners Joggers and the Park was as stunning as ever. Unfortunately I had left my phone at home so no photos from me today. I found the above photo on line. We set off on a slightly different route so that instead of entering Knole through the Hole In The Wall we climbed over the old steps further along the boundary wall. It is a fun and charming way to enter the Park. I do have a photo of my own (on the left below) from a walk with one of my daughters last Autumn and found another on line to better illustrate the steps.

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I was really anxious this week about keeping up with the girls,  as I had missed last week’s session due to family commitments and had limped out with a pulled muscle the week before. I have also had a really bad time with my IBS playing me up a lot over the last five days so that was another reason for anxiety to play havoc…which in turn makes  unfortunate episodes more likely. It’s a catch 22 situation! So I dosed myself up with Imodium to feel safe enough to not miss out on this weeks Joggers

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IBS had led to me being pretty much housebound for far longer than I care to think about before I embarked on the FODMAP diet, under supervision of a clinical dietitian. It’s a difficult diet to follow, but the benefits have proved to be life changing as without it this journey back to fitness would have been close to impossible. FODMAPs are a collection of short chain carbohydrates and sugar alcohols found in foods naturally or as food additives. FODMAPs include fructose (when in excess of glucose), fructans, galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS), lactose and polyols (eg. sorbitol and mannitol). This regime has seen my symptoms reduce by about 70%- as predicted by my lovely dietitian Emma and so now as long as anxiety can be kept at bay I am mostly good to tally forth from home with confidence.

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http://www.kcl.ac.uk/lsm/research/divisions/dns/projects/fodmaps/faq.aspx has information from King’s College, London about the FODMAP diet.

I knew that the girls had achieved a couple of fabulous four minute runs the week before last whilst I was struggling with my pulled muscle and would surely have built on that in my absence last Wednesday. I was also very aware that, although I had managed to get out and about despite the ravages of flaring IBS, most of my outings over the last seven days were spent walking not jogging. I was worried my stamina had not improved sufficiently to allow me to keep up on my short legs with the lovely ladies!!

Well my stars and whiskers what a run! It was wonderful! Sure enough I did struggle somewhat and fell behind a couple of times, but not for long!  In fact the worst problem I had was not the running it was my knickers!!! Note to self: never wear the wrong knickers jogging! We spend much time discussing the right bra and indeed other bits of kit, but no time talking about knickers! Turns out this is an oversight: heed my advice now…. lacy french knickers are no good for jogging in! Constant wedgie!

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We ran 3.3 miles with intervals starting at four minutes- what progress we have made since starting out five weeks ago when we were running for thirty seconds intervals! We did do a couple of one minute intervals on the inclines but once we were thoroughly warmed up, had done our dynamic stretches we pushed the pace and time up to intervals of five, six and then….nine and then….ten minutes. Way to go girls! We shared a Hi Five moment as flushed with success and only slightly breathless we celebrated our achievement. As it turns out the target interval for this week was six minutes so we truly spanked that this week! Hehe! SLJ FTW!!

A Few More Snowdrops 

Today’s jaunt revealed a few more snowdrops. There are dramatically fewer than this time last year which is a shame as I love them so. It was a struggle to leave the house this afternoon but I am glad I managed it as discovering these little brave lovelies lifted my mood. The grey skies reflect the gloomy bleakness of depression that is trying to reclaim me so finding beauty along my walk helps to keep the blackness at bay.

A further boost to mood occurred when I spotted my first crocus and a couple of iris blooms- beautiful! Unfortunately I couldn’t get close enough to take my own photo as it was in someone’s garden so I found one as similar as possible on the good old internet

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