Monday 29 November 2010

Snow Excuses

With the arrival of Pete's parents on Thursday came a few days off of exercising (well I wasn't going to star jump around the living room while they read the paper), and a weekend of pre-Christmas indulgence. This included a huge tin of chocolate biscuits (Cadbury's, no less); bottles of wine with dinner; hot chocolate in the local cafe, etc... the list goes on. After they'd gone, I also had a lunch out with the school Mums, which involved more wine and also, profiteroles.

This early festive naughtiness was capped off yesterday with our first snow of this winter, which put a stop to the vague plans I had to get out on my bike. It also left us unable to get to the supermarket before lunch, so we had to raid the freezer for sausages and frozen chips.

In front of our house

More snow is forecast for the next few days, so I won't be getting out much, but yes, I have to concede that this is no excuse for not doing my DVD. I can't let Jillian down any longer. Meanwhile, although inconvenient, the snow is quite pretty.

I love a snow-covered tree

Monday 22 November 2010

Level 2

After 6 consecutive days of doing level 1 of Jillian Michaels' shred (and 9 days altogether) I decided it was time to up the ante and try level 2. So on Sunday I did. Yikes! I was definitely more sweaty than after level 1! It's still quite do-able, but there are a few sections I have to modify because they just hurt.

I'm definitely getting more toned, and it fits into my daily routine quite easily. After taking Robbie to school, Emma and I come home and she watches while I get all sweaty and achey, and she joins in with some of the exercises, until she gets bored. We sort of have fun, but I think I'd rather be running.

My fitness mat in my 'home gym'

Thursday 18 November 2010

2 long weeks...

Usually spending a large amount of money on running accessories is enough to put a smile on my face, but this was not the case today. I had an appointment with Ms Physio this morning. She had decided that since a long period of rest had not improved my foot situation, it was time to try something else. So she ordered me some orthotics, which I picked up today.

They are to be inserted into my trainers to change the position of my feet, to take the pressure off of the heel. I tried them on, and they felt pretty uncomfortable. They feel really bulky just under the arch. So my instructions are to break them in over the next couple of weeks. I have to get my feet used to them on a frustratingly gradual basis - 1 hour wearing them today; 2 hours tomorrow etc. This is because the change in my feet's position will affect the mechanics of how I run and walk.

Look how thick they are!

Eventually, I should get u
sed to wearing them so that I don't notice them anymore (hopefully), and then - and only then - I might be ready to try a run. So I've got an appointment in 2 weeks' time, to see how I get on with them.

I can't believe I've got to wait another 2 weeks! To be honest, I wasn't expecting to start running straight away, especially as I still get some pain in my heel even without running. But 2 more weeks! By then it'll be 12 weeks since I first got the pain (or as Pete put it, a quarter of the year!!!!). Horrendous.

Meanwhile, I've been doing Jillian's shred, and I've managed 5 consecutive days this week. I also had a 6-mile bike ride, so I'm keeping thi
ngs ticking over. I know the bright pink insoles look really cool in my trainers - I just hope the expensive, uncomfortable things work.


Monday 15 November 2010

Pigging out

Not the healthiest weekend. On Friday morning I chose to concentrate on a bit of Christmas shopping instead of going for a cycle. The shops are already getting busy, so I want to avoid having to go too often in December - I hate crowds.

Then that evening I had a babyshower to attend. It was with my Jog Scotland group, who I haven't seen for a couple of months, since I haven't been running. Two of the running ladies are pregnant, and we had a fun evening of games, chat, red wine, sausage rolls, pizza and cupcakes.

Then on Saturday I was working all day, so no time for exercise, and in the evening we had friends round for board games, pizza and beer. On Sunday, the opportunity for a rare lie-in was somewhat more appealing than a bike ride, so I missed out again.

After that I was feeling like a right lazy, greedy piggy, so in the afternoon, I managed to fit in 30 mins with Jillian Michaels and her DVD while Pete took the kids out. It was a relief to do some exercise at last. It wasn't the best session though, as I started jumping around shortly after a delicious and very filling lunch of sausage and bean stew. I don't think I did my digestion any favours there.

A new recipe we'll definitely have again!

This morning I am back on track having got up at 6.30am to do 30 mins of Pilates, and after taking Robbie to school, I came back and did the Jillian Michaels again. I know I'm going to enjoy indulging in plenty of great food and drink at Christmas, so I need to keep on top of things a bit until then, running or no running!

Thursday 11 November 2010

Lacking inspiration

I've been feeling a bit uninspired about blogging this week. The distinct lack of running has made it increasingly difficult to contribute to a blog with the word 'runner' in its title. I haven't done any running at all since the last post - I have been very sensible, well done me - but I haven't been sitting on the sofa eating chocolate all week.

While I wait for my foot to stop mucking about and behave itself, I've been sticking to the cycling and the DVDs. My short term goal is to do at least 30 mins of structured exercise a day, and in the long term, I'm hoping to tone things up a bit, and improve my balance and core stability. This should hopefully help to prevent injury when I get back to running (but I won't hold my breath).

On Sunday I wrote out a plan for the week, and I've more or less stuck to it. I'm mixing pilates; Jillian Michael's cardio, strength and abs routine; and cycling. Although I'm not as aerobically fit as I was when I was running regularly, I think I have noticed a bit more definition in my biceps- yay! No doubt the six-pack will be making an appearance soon...

My busy exercise diary!

And yesterday I went to see Ms Physio to break the news that the foot pain is back. She has decided that the next step is to order a pair of orthotic inserts for my trainers. They'll arrive next week, and then I suppose I'll try running again. I'm not feeling too optimistic though. I can't imagine it'll be as simple as that...

I'm not too upset about the lack of running at the moment. I'm trying to see it as an opportunity to do other things, and to give my body a break from its various running injuries. I'm hoping that if I keep up the other stuff, I really can tone some muscles up and build my core strength, which will all make me fitter overall. On the other hand, if Ms Physio does give me permission for a run next week, I'll be out there like a shot!

Thursday 4 November 2010

Staying in with a DVD

Since my foot started playing up again, I have done NO running. Yes it's back to the old cross-training, as I wait for the heel to heal. I've enjoyed all the cycling I've been doing, and it's close to running in the sense that you get to enjoy fresh air and scenery, and it's aerobically good. But it's harder to fit into my week. It's dark in the mornings and evenings now and I haven't got lights. Even if I did, it feels too dangerous.

So I've come up with a new plan! DVDs! On Monday morning I woke up early and couldn't get my ipod to work. I stomped off to the living room in a bad mood, and did a bit of web-surfing in the dark and quiet. Then it came to me that I could fit in a 30-minute work out quite easily at that time, before anyone else gets up. Unfortunately the only fitness material I had was on VHS, and although our video still works, it's all pretty old and I've done them to death.

A quick look at Amazon, and I'd ordered a strength and cardio DVD. I wanted something to do straight away though, so I headed to the shops, and got a pilates DVD. I haven't done pilates before, but my core stability is frankly an embarrassment, so I thought it'd be good for me.

On Tuesday morning, my alarm went off in the darkness. I felt really tired, but dragged myself up and did 40 minutes of engaging-my-trunk type stuff. I was sweating away when I noticed the clock in the living room said 6.05am. What? I'd set my alarm for 6.30am. In my second dopey moment in the last 2 weeks, I realised I hadn't changed the time on my mobile phone when the clocks went back at the weekend. Doh. I'd got up an hour earlier than intended! Still, plenty of time to cool down and shower afterwards...

I was a bit concerned about whether the workout was challenging enough. That was until I woke up on Wednesday with the aching abs from hell. Yikes! All sorts of funny muscles have been screaming at me!

So in a run-free few days, I've done over 10 miles of cycling, 30 mins of pilates, and 30 mins of 'cardio-pump' (whatever that is). I'm thinking about a cheeky 3-mile run soon, just to keep my hand in. The foot feels ok most of the time, but I'm pretty sure it'll start hurting again if I start running again. Even so, I think if it's going to hurt anyway, I might as well keep my fitness up with a bit of running. Right? Right?

Any recommendations for DVDs? Should I try a run? Suggestions and advice gratefully accepted (but not necessarily adhered to...)