Week Two…. Progress Is Made!

Yes, Yes, Yes! It’s true! We have all made progress and it’s awesome! Believe me I do not use that word lightly as despite teenspeak influence upon my vocabulary I still reserve the word ‘awesome’ for those occasions that truly warrant it.

The park was beautiful in the early morning sun, here and there little bits of leftover snow lingered but mostly it was just crisp frost decorating the grounds.

It was lovely to see the girls again and we stepped out lightheartedly catching up on each others snow news etc. Our coach talked to us about gait this week – like all the SLJ coaches she is inspiring, encouraging, supportive and knowledgeable and is keen to get us into good habits right from the start. Good gait can make all the difference in improving the run whilst caring for hips and knees, which is very relevant to an old crock like me who is starting to discover aches and pains in a previously fairly well behaved body! We were given a little aide-memoire to help remind us of the key points: Talking M-P-H!

Talking: this refers to the correct relaxed running pace that allows enough breath spare to talk, and therefore one that is sustainable and thus building stamina. Too fast a pace is simply unsustainable and ends in uncomfortable puffing (or in my case panting collapse hehe!) A relaxed pace is not only physically manageable, but also encouraging mentally as it makes everything achievable- which is a tremendous boost to this beginner!

M: is for mid-foot strike as opposed to landing on either toes or heels with each step and thus avoiding damaging jarring to hip and knee joints. It also seemed to help speed and smoothness of running as we then pushed off from our hind foot more efficiently.

P: is for parallel feet running along parallel lines as if on railway tracks, without allowing knees to knock in, or ankles to kick out.

H: is for using our arms to help move us forward by drive the elbow back at ninety degrees and then swinging forward as if hammering a nail into an imaginary wall. We keep our arms along the same parallel as our feet, as allowing them to swing in front of us reduces pace and arms are surprisingly helpful in aiding forward momentum.

2017-01-18-10-36-12

A tip shared by my coach on the previous course I started but was unable to complete was to keep the hands relaxed by imagining holding an egg as this means tension doesn’t build up in the shoulders whilst running.

Our pace was definitely relaxed as we talked away the miles, comparing notes on many and varied subjects including the remarkable uses for toothpaste! I guess you had to be there as it sounds a little odd now but rest assured we had a splendid time and the miles just flew by.

2017-01-18-10-37-38

After our cooldown walk we were excited to be informed that we had chalked up another three miles AND doubled our shortest running intervals from thirty to sixty seconds, with mostly intervals of one and half minutes mixed with two minute ones…. our longest was two and half minutes so it was high fives all round!!

Can’t wait for next week!

Advertisements

FABBALLous Fitball!

Heavens to Betsy! Sam delivered a great workout today! A hi-met fitball session…what fun! I just love how every week this class is so different from the previous one. We started with a circuit to warm up, which was quite a laugh- particularly the one that involved a resistance band just under our knees…as Sam humourously pointed out it was rather like having your knickers round your knees! Hehe!

It also included using wobble boards as stepping stones so I was pleased I have been putting my one at home to good use instead of leaving it in the box.Image result for wobble board

Weights, balls, bands, wobble boards and cushions… All the toys were out and it was a great start to the class. Everyone was happy, warm and gently glowing!

The main body of the workout was challenging- I worked up such a ‘glow’ I steamed my glasses up!!!! It’s refreshing to have a sweat on due entirely to exercise rather than menopausal hormones and I was thrilled when Sam came over to compliment the progress I have made since starting last September- yay me! This back to fit journey is really starting to show results which is simply fabballous!

So it was a very happy bunny who went off home to shower and continue practising the wobble board… in fact before you know it I will be doing this every day:-

Image result for wobble board

 

Banana Pancakes

 

Related image

What a beautiful thing banana pancakes are! And how lucky am I to have a daughter make me a delicious healthy breakfast to come home to after a little homework run by yours truly??!!

The recipe was adapted slightly from one found on a lovely food blog, Simply Delicious, and the link to that is: http://simply-delicious-food.com/easy-healthy-banana-oat-pancakes/

These pancakes are quick and easy, flourless and sugar free as well as scrummy so it’s win, win all round!

2 bananas

2 eggs

1/2 cup rolled oats (she used 3 dessert spoons of oats as we don’t have a measuring cup)

[we added couple of dessert spoons of Lidl’s Cereal Topping: Milled Linseed with Pumpkin Seeds, Gojii Berries, Chai Seeds]

1/2 tsp baking powder ( we didn’t have any and they were fine without)

pinch of salt and a dash of vanilla essence

frozen berries to make a fruit compote to top the pancakes

Mix the ingredients together until it is as smooth as you want it, leave to stand for 10-20 minutes (or basically as long as you can stand to wait) so that the mixture thickens slightly. Use this time to prepare the frozen berry compote ( or chop your fresh fruit) to top the pancake  with. We just heated up a generous amount of frozen berries and mashed/bashed them up a bit in the pan (very technical haha!) and added a little water. Heat a non-stick frying pan and then drop a large spoonful of mixture and fry each side until golden brown. Serve topped with a dollop of the berry compote and proceed to give your taste buds an absolute treat!!!

Scrumptious!

 

 

“Banana Pancakes”

Can’t you see that it’s just raining?
Ain’t no need to go outside…But, baby, you hardly even notice
When I try to show you this
Song is meant to keep you
From doing what you’re supposed to.
Waking up too early
Maybe we can sleep in
Make you banana pancakes
Pretend like it’s the weekend nowAnd we could pretend it all the time
Can’t you see that it’s just raining?
There ain’t no need to go outsideBut just maybe, like a ukulele
Momma made a baby
Really don’t mind the practice
’cause you’re my little lady
Lady, lady, love me
’cause I love to lay here lazy
We could close the curtains
Pretend like there’s no world outside

And we could pretend it all the time
Can’t you see that it’s just raining?
There ain’t no need to go outside

Ain’t no need, ain’t no need, mmm, mmm,
Can’t you see, can’t you see?
Rain all day, and I don’t mind

But the telephone is singing
Ringing
It’s too early
Don’t pick it up
We don’t need to
We got everything
We need right here
And everything we need is enough
Just so easy
When the whole world fits inside of your arms
Do we really need to pay attention to the alarm?
Wake up slow, mmm mm, wake up slow

But, baby, you hardly even notice
When I try to show you this
Song is meant to keep ya
From doing what you’re supposed to
Waking up too early
Maybe we can sleep in
Make you banana pancakes
Pretend like it’s the weekend now

And we could pretend it all the time
Can’t you see that it’s just raining?
There ain’t no need to go outside
Ain’t no need, ain’t no need
Rain all day, and I really, really, really don’t mind
Can’t you see, can’t you see?
You gotta wake up slow

Today I Went Jogging; NB: I Am Not A Runner….Or Am I?

Today was the first session for my second attempt at the SLJ Beginners Course. I was unable to complete the course last September as I had to step out due to demands on my time from family and some personal health issues- now resolved thank goodness. For some reason I had worked myself into a fine old tizzy and was more anxious second time around than I was last year. Seriously….why was I so worried? The welcome was as warm and open as ever it was last September and naturally I was not alone in my anxious state… my fellow beginners were equally dubious about what that they had signed up for.

Our coach Hazel was immediately reassuring and swiftly gained our confidence as she led us off to the ‘Hole In The Wall’ entrance to Knole Park

Image result for hole in the wall knole park

The warm up walk was reassuringly easy and a great ‘nerve settler’ and there was just enough breath to spare as we introduced ourselves and generally jelled as a group, a few knee high steps raised body temperature sufficiently for this menopausal member to strip off a layer before we even reached the first hill! The advice to dress for the second mile of your run is sooooo spot on!!

Our walk up the hill was made more interesting with just the right amount of challenge as we formed a single line, with the person at the back striding forward to overtake fellow groupies to take the front spot, this process was repeated in turn until the crest of the hill was achieved and we all had a lovely, healthy glow! A few moving stretches and then we were ready to start the business of the day: jogging!!

 

dsc_0068

The deer don’t take any notice as we start our first little 30 second jog, alternating with walking so that an impressive amount of ground is covered almost without us noticing. The park is stunning, the sun is shining, the temperature crisp and exhilarating, the company is great and the experience is quite simply wonderful! We trot up and down dale, around the boundaries of the majestic house and its inner grounds, through woodland and open spaces: it is all beautiful and feeds the soul.

 

Now that we are on the home stretch and nicely warmed up we run for two minutes straight and remarkably no one is collapsing and we all share a high five moment as we celebrate our achievement! We return to Hollybush thrilled with the information we have just run and walked three miles…. yay for us!

On a personal note I have managed to exceed my daily fitbit targets with over 10,000 steps and 76 active minutes before its even lunchtime! Now that, my dears, is a result!!

First Fitball Class Of 2017- Shout Out For SLJ!

Fabulous! What an absolute delight to see friends from last term and welcome a new face to the group! The class itself was- as ever- fun, fun, fun and the routine, for all that it was ‘old skool fitball’ was fresh and enjoyable, with just enough challenge to ensure a sense of achievement was felt by all (judging by the smiles and flushed, happy faces!) It still amazes me that such simple exercises, with often such small movements, can raise heartbeat, body temperature and be seriously effective, whilst always allowing flexibility to address individual needs such as back or shoulder pain, a sprained ankle, recent childbirth….!

Full disclosure here: one of the reasons I walked away on air was not just because the class was awesome! I was floating on endorphin’s AND an absolute boost to my confidence and determination to stay on this #backtofit journey due to observations from our lovely leader Sam and one of my new found chums at Fitball!!! They both affirmed my weight loss is noticeable and I can’t express fully how THRILLED I was and how unashamedly I asked them to repeat this fantasitcal and encouraging news! It is one thing to feel that you are changing shape and losing weight but nothing replaces compliments from others!

 

Image result for walking on air

Tomorrow Is Another Day

Sometimes, when the bleak, black, all encompassing void swoops in for an unwelcome visit, it’s tricky to hold onto a realistic sense of perspective.

Image result for bleak black cloud

I am aware I am unwell physically, but recovering nicely- albeit with a stupid and irritating cough so…. was it genuine reason or flakey, scaredy, anxious reason that stepped in to stop me from attending the first run of the year with the new SLJ season beginners? The void has claimed me somewhat, and bronchitis has supplied a welcome alibi for avoidant behaviour, which I am well aware is one of my markers for mental ill health.

Image result for compassion

I wish to process it differently this time, to be kind, to be compassionate to self as I would so easily to others. I wish to be the change within the challenging times, as well as the rather more fun, positive ones. The change I have referred to previously is easy (or at least easier and more tangible) when the going is good, the mood is positive and inspirational intentions fuel my actions- the challenge is to find a path that maintains momentum whilst compassionately allowing for the missteps upon the way.

Image result for compassion

Over the holiday season there have been good days, bad days and indifferent days and there has been a dramatic variation in levels of activity achieved- frankly sometimes it has been shite….yet within this period I have also managed my best day ever in terms of steps/active minutes/ h2o/ consistent activity through nine/twenty four hours.

Image result for compassion

Tomorrow is FitBall Class and I love that class so much! So I missed a run yesterday? Yes, I am a little sad with myself, but in all honesty my chest is tight and my cough is troublesome, so a little self compassion allows that tomorrow is indeed another day and Wednesdays run is still waiting to embrace me.

Image result for fitball

Image result for running

Fitball, Funball….Fabball!!!

Image result for fitballImage result for fitball

Who knew that such a simple item combined with simple movements could have such an impact whilst being so much fun? I signed up for a fitball class with SLJ, without really knowing much about it all…and by that I genuinely mean nothing at all… so I googled…

Image result for fitballImage result for fitballImage result for fitball

Oh my stars and whiskers! The first class was awesome!! I was so anxious and uncertain as I walked into the studio for my first class, despite having already experienced the warm, all embracing welcome of the Ladies  at SLJ.

That first class was some little while ago now, as I am somewhat behind in putting some of my experiences since September 2016 into words, but the impact and memory is as fresh today as the day it happened… what a class to have as my introduction to Fitball!! It was AWESOME! The theme of the class revolved around the UK gold medals won at the Olympics 2016- it was innovative, challenging, interesting and above all FUN! I loved it!

Image result for fitball  Image result for fitball

Every week delivers a challenging, fresh workout with a central target core theme, it’s fun, it’s fabulous and it’s flexible with easy adaptations to suit individual needs- so that any one from new mothers to menopausal women, from the lithe and fit to the aspiring yet abysmally unfit can participate: all will benefit!

I have been amazed that each week is different to the last, and that whilst the movements have frequently been quite small the difference to me has been huge! I am changing shape and it’s great!!!!

Image result for fitball       Image result for fitball

Image result for fitball

Image result for fitball  Image result for fitballImage result for fitballImage result for fitballImage result for fitball