Monday, 6 June 2011

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

I just want to say a massive thank you to everyone again for your kind words and donations! I'm still collecting money but I'm thinking the final total may be over £800 which is absolutely mind blowing.

I've also been nominated by the Stroke Association as 'Fundraiser of the month'. I was absolutely stunned when I received the email and wouldn't have been made possible if it wasn't for everyone.

I will eventually get round to thanking everyone personally, I've been very busy on my next project - decorating our lounge which seems to be taking forever. As soon as its all done & I've collected everyone's money & have the final total, I'll be in touch.

Thank you again! I really do appreciate it!

Monday, 23 May 2011

Mad Monk - Done!

Time taken to complete Mad Monk: 01:33:12 (My target was to complete it in 2 hours!)
Amount of cuts & bruises gained from Mad Monk: Too many to count!
Amount of calories eaten after completing Mad Monk: Thousands - Sausage Rolls, Pizza, Garlic Bread, Roast Beef Dinner, Snickers, Profiteroles & Easter Egg!

So, after so many months of talking about training and annoying people to donate to the Stroke Association, its all over and I'm so relieved! I've been on the edge for the whole week worrying about Mad Monk, not sure what to expect and reminding myself that its all for the charity!

Sunday morning, I was actually quite calm! Chris was absolutely brilliant and so supportive before I had to head to the start line at 9.45am for the warm up.
The Warm Up
The warm up was pretty intense & I was shattered before I had even passed the start line. One minute I was doing Jumping Jacks and press ups, the next the horn had gone before I had time to get my breath back.

Off we go...

That's when it hit me how far I'd come! A few years ago, I would've been on the floor hyperventilating from just doing that warm up. Now I was off on a 10k run & swim with obstacles randomly placed on the route too! I ended up lagging at the back not wanting to push myself too far as I knew I had a long way to go. It wasn't long before the whole group had left me behind & I was jogging at a slow pace on my own. I've been so used to having my ipod playing & listening to music so it was really strange having to cope with my own thoughts as I was running along. I kept on repeating the same thing over again, '£700!' and the stewards were brilliant at giving me a good push too!

The first obstacle I hit was the 10 foot tall cargo nets. It wasn't that bad climbing them, it was the getting over that I seem to struggle with. My fingers are covered in carpet burns, I have cuts all over them too & I'm sure a few of the bruises on my legs were caused by falling down them too.

A few metres after the cargo net was the mud slide or as my dad called it, the dust slide.
The Mud Slide

The Mud Slide was basically a 100ft nearly vertical hill that you had to climb with a rope. Most definitely the obstacle I struggled with the most. I was hyperventilating both times I did it wondering how I was going to continue. But I managed it!

Next on the lap was the hills. Each lap, we had to run up a hill then run down then run back up it and back down. Not the best fun after you've just done the Mud Slide!
Down the hill I come!

As soon as the mud slide & hills were done, I have to admit the rest of the lap felt easy compared to that!

The next main obstacle was swimming across the River Derwent. It was most definitely the part I'd been most dreading after all the teasing I'd had. "Look out for the water rats", "Hope you don't get leeches covering your legs when you come out of the river", "Make sure you don't get any used condoms in your hair", etc, etc. It was absolutely freezing though but luckily I had my cheering squad shouting me on. Although I could hear my dad finding it all absolutely hilarious!
So pleased I'm nearly at the end!

Running when you're shivering cold and soaking wet is not the most fun i've ever had & yet again I had to keep on saying to myself "£700."
Off I go again now feeling very cold & wet!

The last part of the lap was the assault course arena. Climbing hay stacks, going over & under, crawling under nets and trying to get over a huge wall I have to admit also broke me.
Climbing the Hay Stack Wall
According to Chris whilst I was trying to get over the huge wall, I looked like I was about to burst into tears and he really didn't think I'd be able to do another lap. The huge sign ahead of me read 'Quit' when I finally got a leg up from a lovely steward over the wall but it didn't even cross my mind. I knew i'd be absolutely devastated if I hadn't managed the 10k so off I went again for another lap. I stuck my thumbs up to Chris to let him know I was ok and even though my dad tried to talk me out of doing another lap, I just shouted back 'I have to do another lap, i've made £700!' 

I nearly did the second lap as quick as the first, I was only a couple of minutes slower. As soon as the mud slide & hills were done, I knew i'd nearly done it & managed to run most of the lap to the finish line. Imagine my surprise to find that my cheering squad were no where to be found. Luckily Lou had nipped to the loo & noticed I'd finished. When she called them they were taking a leisurely walk back to the finish line expecting me to be ages yet which explains why there are no photos of me finishing!

I was muddy, I was cold, I was shattered & I was & still am covered in bruises & cuts but I did it & I'm never, ever doing anything like it again! Thank you to everyone who has sponsored me & sent me good luck messages! It has meant so much to me & I don't think I would've been able to have done it without your support! I've been completely overwhelmed with how everyone has been behind me with this from the start, I honestly didn't think i'd do it! 

I'd also like to say thank you for my cheering squad for pushing me throughout the 10k at random points of the race. Thank you so much Chris, Mum, Dad, Carly & Lou for being absolutely amazing & supportive!

The current total that I've raised for the Stroke Association is £745.00 and all in memory of my Nan & Grandad. Amazing! I really hope they are proud of what I've done & its been a fitting tribute to them.

Thank you again everyone!

Friday, 20 May 2011

Week Fifteen - The Final Countdown!

Days until Mad Monk: 2!
This Week's Weight Loss: 2lbs (Yay!!)
This Week's Training Activities: Wii Fit & Jogging

Well, this is it now! Mad Monk is not far away! I can't believe how quickly the week has flown by, its been a busy one so I am most definitely physically and emotionally shattered. I've burst into tears at least 3 times this week because i'm so nervous about it all. I just want to do everyone proud now especially my nan & grandad! 

Again, I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has sponsored me however big or small, its really meant a lot to me that you've all thought of me. I'd like to add a huge thank you to my Uncle Tony & all his family for their generosity. This week I nearly collapsed in shock when I received an email from JustGiving telling me that they had donated £150! Amazing!

I've received my timing chip & vest number in the post this week which makes it all the more real. Apparently over 600 people are taking part. Eeek! I was not expecting so many! It actually makes me more nervous as there's going to be so many there taking it seriously then there's me, huffing & puffing away after running a couple of miles! But i'm just going to do the best I can, keep on thinking of why i'm doing it & push myself to get it over with as soon as possible so I can have a large alcoholic drink & a huge piece of chocolate cake in a pub! 

I also received a lovely Good Luck card off the girls from the Stroke Association, East Midlands branch yesterday which has made me feel a lot better about things. I sent them an email back thanking them & hopefully brightening up their day with the amazing news of what I've currently raised. As soon as I hear a reply from them, i'll post it on here. 

If you'd like to come down & watch myself and many others torturing themselves on Sunday, please feel free to come down. It sounds like it could be a brilliant family day with a BBQ, cake stall, bouncy castles, face painting, etc. It all kicks off at the Rugby Club in Darley Park at 10.00am. 

Thank you again for all your support & generosity the past few months, I am completely overwhelmed and am so appreciative. Hopefully there will be an aftermath blog entry on Sunday night...if I survive!


Friday, 13 May 2011

Week Fourteen

Days until Mad Monk: 9!
This Week's Weight Loss: 0 (Gained 2lbs. I'm assuming its muscle rather than fat!)
This Week's Training Activities: Back into the routine - Jogging, Wii Fit, Zumba, Caveman Circuits, Walking
I am about to say something that I have never ever been able to say before. I have done some form of exercise everyday this week even burning over 500 calories somedays. Wow! Yes, i've been a lot more hungry but i've been very careful about what I eat. So I was a bit miffed to get on the scales & find i've gained 2 pounds this week. My clothes are feeling pretty loose so i'm assuming its muscle but still, its so frustrating when I was so close to being an ideal BMI weight and I feel like i'm going backwards.
Anyway, weight gain is not important right now because in 9 days time! Argh!!
On Saturday, I went for my usual run in the pouring rain and got completely soaked. I don't know whether it's the routes around where I live but I feel completely bored of running. I'm finding the NHS podcast a little monotonous as well now. So this weekend i'm going to make sure I have a playlist of songs to listen to when I go for my run & see if that helps things.
On Sunday, I decided to get an old Wii game out called 'EA Sports Active', I used it about twice a year ago & gave up because I was far too unfit for it but I've been really enjoying it & its a lot more challenging compared to the Wii Fit. I've also ordered Wii Fit Plus & Zumba for the Wii. Zumba came on Thursday and i can't believe how energetic it is. I can't wait to try it out properly!
In my lunch breaks this week I've been going for a 3 & a half mile walk around the park where I'll be doing Mad Monk to get used to the surroundings. Hopefully on Sunday i'll try & have a walk around the actual route so i've got a good idea of what i'm doing & how steep it actually is.
So my week has been spent alternating running and the Wii. I also accepted my lovely friend, Debbie's invitation to try out 'Caveman Circuits' at her gym. I thought it would be a bit of fun which it most definitely was but it was flippin hard work! It even included squatting whilst having Debbie on my back. I'm still aching now but it most definitely made me feel more prepared for next Sunday! I have to be honest though, i'm absolutely shattered! Exercising so much plus having a very stressful week has completely knocked me for six and i'll most probably be doing the same again next week!
So with 9 days to go, i'd love to hear how you think I should prepare for this. Should I rest? Should I continue exercising next week? Should I drink more? Should I eat more? I have no idea. All i know is that when I do Mad Monk next Sunday I'm not going to win it or do it in a silly time like 45 minutes but I'm going to do my best and remind myself why i'm stupidly having a swim in the River Derwent.
I'm so close to my £500 target for the Stroke Association now. I'm currently at £475 and with my last week before the race coming up, last minute donations would be very much appreciated. Please let me know if you're planning on popping up to Darley Park next weekend too! It'd great to see you all there and you can even laugh at me running round the circuit dripping wet from my first dip in the River Derwent.
Again, thank you to all those who have sponsored me so far. Your money is going to a very good cause all in memory of my Grandparents. Apparently in Nottingham city centre this week the stroke association were doing blood pressure checks which is the type of thing i'm really pleased the money is going towards. Hopefully these free checks will stop strokes before they actually happen.
Thank you everyone! :) 

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Week Thirteen

Weeks until Mad Monk: 2 & a little bit!
This Week's Weight Loss: I haven't weighed myself through fear! I will edit tomorrow morning if I summon up the courage!
This Week's Training Activities: Back into the routine - Jogging & aching badly from British Military Fitness

Hi all,

As promised there were no excuses this week. Well except when I got rather drunk on Saturday night & made an absolute moron of myself. It was so bad I even texted my mother telling her that my friend liked another friend's willy! Embarrassing isn't the word, I was mortified with myself! On the positive side it has pushed me completely into a new health kick.
Alcohol!? Not for me thank you very much! 
Takeaways? Pah! I'll do a home-made curry! 
I've even started looking forward to running again. My first run after a few weeks rest was hard, really hard and I was frustrated with myself that I'd gone backwards rather than forwards. It didn't help that it was baking hot either! I really hope the sun isn't shining on the day of Mad Monk, warm & cloudy will do me very nicely please! 

After my last entry I have most definitely admitted defeat when it comes to British Military Fitness. I was aching for days on end. The pain was so bad, I couldn't get a good night's sleep as every time I moved, it hurt! I'm looking forward to doing a few different things next week though, I'm going to something called 'Caveman Circuits' with a friend. I have no idea what its all about, I've just been warned that it will hurt. I've also won a free session with a Personal Trainer which I'm hoping to arrange after work tonight. I'm hoping it will put me in the right frame of mind ready for Mad Monk. I'm actually & surprisingly looking forward to both!

My current total on Just Giving is a mind blowing £454.00! I'm so amazed seeing as my first target was £150. To be so close to getting £500 for the Stroke Association makes these past 13 weeks worth it! I'd like to thank everyone who has been generous this week especially my dad's colleagues. A special mention to Neil Vaughan who has donated £50! Words can't describe how much I appreciate all the support i've had. To get to £500 before the 22 May would be unbelievable so if you're reading this & you still haven't sponsored me, please do it! Even if it is just £1, I would really appreciate it! If you'd prefer to do if offline, just let me know, I'll happily put your details down on my sponsor form. 

Finally, seeing as I added one of my latest motivation songs to get me all pumped up and motivated. I thought i'd do the same again this week, this one is a little bit cheesy but I love it! Enjoy x


Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Week Eleven/Twelve

Weeks until Mad Monk: 3 & a half!
This Week's Weight Loss: Don't ask!
This Week's Training Activities: Does eating Easter eggs count?

I'd like to start this blog with excuses - my computer broke, i've broken all my fingers therefore I can't type & I've twisted my ankle so I haven't been able to do any exercise. Sadly, none of them are true and i'm going to be honest with you...I've been lazy. Too lazy to update you lovely generous people, too lazy to go for a run but more than able to jump in my car & drive thru a certain fast food restaurant which begins with a big, yellow 'M'. I feel very ashamed and as you can see, it's taken me a while to pluck up the courage to be honest with you. In all honesty, i think i got a little overexcited about having a few days off so I have binge eaten & relaxed like you wouldn't believe! But now i'm motivated, i'm totally ready for this, i can do it... or maybe I can't! Argh! I have officially begun to panic! Last week I found something that I didn't want to see, the route & obstacles for Mad Monk 2011. The route looks huge enough apart from the fact that I will have to do it 2, yes, 2 times on the day! Myself and my colleague both nearly burst into tears as soon as we saw it. 

So I've been doing some motivation work for the last few days trying to get my mind focused and ready for the last few weeks until I'm standing at the start line in anticipation.
Your donations have been amazing and I can't believe i'm at £300. There's still a few friends and family members that haven't sponsored me so I've moved my target up to an unbelievable £500. If I get to that target I'll do the flippin' course a 3rd time, it'll be worth it. So if you're one of those people who haven't sponsored me yet. Do it! Do it now! Even if you can only afford a £1, that'll do me fine. 
I'd really like to say another huge thank you to my Uncle Tony's business partner, David for the £50 donation. It came at the most amazing time, a few moments after i'd seen the course for the first time and it completely reminded me why i'm doing this which brings me on to this...

Readers, I'd like to introduce you to the people who I'm doing Mad Monk in memory of, my Nan & Grandad. I love this photo as they're both smiling. My nan was always such a happy person and used to make me laugh. My grandad could be a right grumpy bugger when he wanted to be, just like me & my dad! (Love you really dad!) It makes me smile remembering them and I really hope that where ever they are now, they are proud i'm doing this. Here's a couple more photos of me & my nan that really helped to motivate me again...


I have also found my motivation tune which I think is amazing. Whether or not you're a Foo Fighters fan, it's worth having a listen. I most definitely will be listening to this to get me pumped up and ready for my training now. 

Not bad eh?
So today I did my first bout of training for quite a few days. As i'm getting a little bored of the running I decided to try out the British Military Fitness app on my iPhone. I chose to do a low intensity 30 minute cardio & muscular minute workout. Low intensity! If that was low intensity, i'm Kate Middleton. I got told off by my boyfriend (before you ask, his name isn't William) for pushing myself too hard. I can safely say my thighs have never felt that pain before. I think I might actually hate British Military Fitness, its evil! I've been told never to do it again & to stick with running or the wii fit! I'm most definitely happy to do that! I'm going to do as i'm told and hopefully I might go swimming this week too. 

Anyway, hope you all had a lovely Easter and enjoy the long weekend coming up! I'm off my soak my very sore thighs. No excuses next week! :)

Monday, 18 April 2011

Week Ten

Weeks until Mad Monk: 5
This Week's Weight Loss: 0 (Gained 1lb!)
Total Weight Loss: 10.5lbs
This Week's Training Activities: Walking & Jogging

Apologies for yet another late blog entry. With the sun currently shining, I've been making the most of the weather so it's been a pretty busy weekend.

I'll keep this update short & sweet as there's not really much to report on this week. I managed to do my 3 runs this week & although it was hard work I have managed to improve my time and distance each time. Its made me realise how focused I have to be to do my run. My first run of the week turned out to be a bit of a nightmare. It was a really warm day so I had to shove my iPod down my bra as I didn't have any pockets in my shorts. Halfway through my run, my iPod fell out, my hairband decided to slip off and I got pins & needles. Argh! Concentration went right out the window and I really struggled to keep up the pace. Needless to say that was a run I wasn't too proud of but I'm glad it happened sooner rather than later. I would hate it if those things actually happened to me on the day. 

After last week's brilliant effort trying to eat healthy, I failed pretty badly this week. I have no idea what was happening but all I seemed to crave was junk food. I completely fell off the rails. It made me wonder if trying to stop myself from eating all those things last week made me crave more this week. It just goes to show you should always have a little bit of what you fancy. 

So it's been a week of learning this week. I can't believe i'm at Week 10 now with 5 weeks to go. Its complete madness! I don't feel prepared at all. I feel as if I need to do more apart from running 5k 3 times a week to get my stamina up. If I had a bit of money I'd consider a personal trainer but with home improvements coming first, money is a bit tight at the moment. A friend has recommended the British Military Fitness app for my iPhone so I'll try that out but if anyone else can think of any other training I should be doing, i'd really appreciate it. I have to be honest, i'm starting to get a bit bored of just running, i'd love to mix it up a bit!

Don't forget to keep on sponsoring me, it's getting closer & I have been training for 10 weeks, it's not like i'm going to be backing out now! or if you would prefer me to put your name down on my sponsor form, let me know!

Thank you.