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. 

Monday, 11 April 2011

Week Nine

Weeks until Mad Monk: 6
This Week's Weight Loss: 2lbs
Total Weight Loss: 11.5lbs
This Week's Training Activities: Walking, Jogging, Dancing, Screaming at Mcfly

Hi all, another late blog entry after a very crazy mad week. I have a slight confession, I haven't done any running this week. I have felt absolutely awful but life & lack of sleep have got in the way!  But, Sunday morning, I pushed myself to do a 25 minute run for the first time in over a week & it made me realise that maybe that week off from running did me good. I am covering miles at a quicker pace & i'm flippin chuffed with myself. 

So, Monday I felt completely run down & Tuesday I felt exactly the same. I didn't see the point of pushing my body to do a huge run when I felt as if I was coming down with something. So I had a play on the wii instead, I must've spent about 40 minutes dancing which burnt the exact same amount of calories. Wednesday was a pretty crazy day, myself & my amazing friend were confirmed on the guestlist for the Mcfly Afterparty. So we spent about 5 hours on our feet dancing first at the concert then at the afterparty. Absolutely mad! Here's a couple of piccies:
 The Gig!

The Afterparty!

I think its safe to say on Wednesday night I burnt a hell of a lot of calories & had lots of fun too! As you can imagine, it was very hard getting up on Thursday morning & I ended up living on energy drinks & coffee for the next couple of days. As you can see, I was still trying to catch up on sleep on Saturday (think the cat loved it though)...

Although exercise was low on my agenda this week, I had a great week food wise & tried not to snack. If I felt hungry, I kept myself busy instead, mainly by sleeping! I was really pleased when the scales showed that I had lost another 2 pounds. I am so close to my weight target now, its pretty unbelievable. I've had so many lovely comments about the photo in my last blog entry too. 
I also tried on my summer clothes yesterday. The rule with my shorts was if I could take them off without unfastening anything, they had to go. Problem is that rule applied to all of my size 16 shorts from last year. Oops! Looks like i'll be going shopping before my holidays. 

So, Week Nine. The plan! I will most definitely be fitting in the three runs this week. I've already completed one yesterday morning which I really enjoyed. The weather was beautiful, it was peaceful & I really got into a good pace. Its mad to think I'm nearly running 3 miles now, I just need to somehow do another 3 by Mad Monk. I still need to go swimming! I'm just finding it hard to find the time to go. Maybe next week once things at work have calmed down I might try to go! I will hopefully be doing some more dancing on the Wii too. I definitely recommend 'Lets Dance' if you haven't got it.

Again, a reminder that if you haven't sponsored me yet, please do. For all those who sponsor me I am currently looking into sending you a little thank you gift after I've completed Mad Monk. Speaking of thank you's, I just want to say to all who are currently supporting & backing me in all this how lucky I feel to have you all. I can't believe the amount of people who will be attending on the day to cheer me on. I really appreciate it. Thank you.


Monday, 4 April 2011

Week Eight

This Week's Weight Loss: 1lbs
Total Weight Loss: 9.5lbs
This Week's Training Activities: Walking, Jogging, Gardening

Hi all,

Apologies for the very late blog entry, the past few days have most definitely flown by! I can't believe we're on Week 8 has been & gone! Part of me feels that I've come a long way from Week 1, another part of me is screaming that I'm most definitely still not ready for Mad Monk. Thank God I still have 7 weeks to go!  Last weekend, I did my longest run without stopping (20 minutes). I was quite nervous about it but once I'd found my pace I really enjoyed it & was really proud of myself. Then for some reason I hit a brick wall, training went back down to running for short periods of time & I really struggled on Monday. I don't think it helped that I'd been gardening & my legs felt as if they were lead but it really put me in a low mood for a few days. I honestly thought that somehow I'd gone backwards. How could I have done 20 minutes of running without stopping & then 2 days later struggle doing 10 minutes of running?  I even put off my run on Wednesday because I felt so down about it. But after speaking to the boyfriend, he made me realise that unless I stayed positive I would never achieve anything! Ofcourse it never passed my mind that I wasn't going to Mad Monk, I want to do this for my family plus I've raised an amazing amount of money for the Stroke Association. The very next day I got back out running & even though I really struggled with it again, some little cheeky kids even decided to have a race with me. The little buggers! I came last apparently, I had been running for about 20 minutes by then, mind. But I'm still going & on Saturday morning, I made myself very proud by running 4 kilometres (2 & a half miles) without stopping. It took me 35 minutes but i'm nearly at the 5k milestone. I was chuffed & it really meant a lot that I've inspired other people to start running as well. I had a lovely message from my friend, Debbie to say she's started the couch to 5k programme now. Two other friends have also told me they are also going to start. If you're sitting there right now thinking you'd like to give it a go, do it! Even if you don't think you're a runner! At school, we had an annual 1 mile fun run around the school. I used to think it was a complete waste of time for people like me who couldn't run. Now I'm running 2 & a half miles without stopping, its mad! If you need a reason to run, sign up to a charity event. Race for Life is coming up soon as well as plenty of other events. Don't think about it, just do it!  If you'd told me 3 years ago, i'd be doing this, I would've thought you were mad! Actually, scrap that! If you'd told me 9 weeks ago I'd be running 2 & a half miles I would've laughed at you. So it just shows anyone can do it, even if you're are overweight. This picture just makes me realise how far i've come in the last few years.

So the week continues with more running! I know every week I keep promising to go swimming & I will eventually. Its finding the time to go! Today I'm going to be honest & say I will not be going for a run tonight. My weekend has included too much eating/drinking & not enough sleeping so I'm feeling pretty shattered & I don't want to push it by going for a 25 minute run & exhausting myself. So I will be resting (maybe a bit of Dancing on the Wii if I feel upto it) so i'm prepared for a run on Tuesday & all the dancing & screaming I will be doing on Wednesday evening at the Mcfly concert (Me? Excited? Nooo!!! Okay, maybe just a little bit!) 

I promise that this Friday there will be a Week 9 update & Mcfly photos if you're extremely lucky (because screaming over 4 beautiful men counts as training for a 10k assault course!) See you soon! x

PS: If you haven't sponsored me already, do it!!!!  Surely the picture shows how far i've come & how much I want to do this in memory of my grandparents! Thank you :)

Friday, 25 March 2011

Week Seven

This Week's Weight Loss: 0lbs
Total Weight Loss: 8.5lbs
This Week's Training Activities: Walking, Jogging, Sightseeing & general busyness!

Another week passes & I haven't lost any weight! Then again, I did lose 3lbs last week so I suppose I'm okay about it.

The week started off with a weekend in London. We both had an absolutely amazing time! The weather was beautiful, our hotel was lovely, the boyfriend loved his tour around Lords & hated the London Eye but we really enjoyed ourselves. Due to the weather, we ended up walking most of the time & racked up an amazing 41,000 steps on the pedometer. We worked out that we walked about 16 miles. I was also pretty chuffed after looking at a few photos of myself with the sights of London. I think my actual words, 'Bloody Hell! I look tiny!'  I was 15 stone at my heaviest & wearing size 16 clothes. Although I have lost a lot of weight in the past 18 months, my mind still seems to think I'm this whale of a person (even though size 16 is most definitely not a whale size. It just made me look even shorter & stubbier than ever!) I still look at size 12 clothes wondering whether it'll fit. Anyway, here's a few piccies of London to share with you...

Me & the Lord's Pavillion. (Very exciting for a cricket geek!)

Me on the London Eye.
This was taken by the boyfriend one handed, the other hand was clutching the bench. The wuss!

Anyway, on to training talk! This week hasn't been the greatest week for training. With all the walking that we did at the weekend, I've tried to take it easy. I've currently completed 2 runs from Week 5 of the NHS to 5k podcast. My running record is now 8 minutes non-stop. This will hopefully be jumping to 20 minutes tomorrow when I do my 3rd run of the week. I've also changed my running route so I run to another park the other side of my area. It's really helped me to keep focused, I think if I was doing 8 minutes running circuits around my local park I'd be completely bored. With the clocks going forward this weekend I'm also hoping to start swimming now the weather has improved. My nearest swimming pool is a 15 minute walk away which is really helpful! So hopefully in my next entry, I will have swimming in my training activities.

Eating hasn't been so good this week. I've been feeling very fed up lately & have resorted to eating. Well, mainly snacking on lots of naughty things! This week we've had homemade chocolate muffins & carrot cake hanging around the house & colleagues at work have been bringing in lots of treats too! I really need to stop caving into temptation!! Whilst I'm being very honest, my decision to give up bread for lent was broken at the weekend. I accidentally ordered bread & butter pudding whilst I was in London. I made Chris promise me that he'd help me avoid eating anything with bread. But neither of us noticed what I'd done until I was half way through my pudding. Oops! How silly am I?

I've had another brilliant week fundraising. The boyfriend's colleagues have sponsored me £50.00 in total which brings the full total up to just below £250.00. Absolutely amazing!!! I'm chuffed! So the target has been moved again up to £300! Remember, I'm also putting handbags up for auction on EBay to raise more money for the Stroke Association too. If you've got a bag you've hardly used, why not donate it to the handbag auction? Training and raising money has been such an amazing thing to do so far. Its brought back a lot of lovely memories about my grandparents & its lovely that I'm back in contact with some family members that I haven't spoken to for a while.

Thanks so much to everyone for reading this. See you next week :)

Friday, 18 March 2011

Week Six

This Week's Weight Loss: 3lbs
Total Weight Loss: 8.5lbs
This Week's Training Activities: Walking, Jogging & general busyness!

This week has been busy, busy, busy! I feel as if I haven't sat down at all this week! I've been really pleased with my diet this week, I've treated myself a few times (I've had a little piece of my carrot cake for elevenses everyday) this week but I haven't gone from one extreme to the other. I've just been more aware about what I'm eating, how much and how hungry I feel. It seems to have worked! The weight has fallen off me this week & I think I may be very close to going down a dress size. My clothes are starting to get baggy! 

This week on my NHS couch to 5k training I've been running for 5 minutes non stop. It's an absolute miracle for me! Each session, I am now running for a total of 16 minutes. That's basically half of the podcast! It's mad to think that I'm running double the time I was in week 1! I've actually started to feel like a proper jogger too! On Sunday, I joined the other joggers in my local park in the freezing & drizzly weather & on Tuesday, I decided to go for it & run on the pavement next to the main road. That's right, I actually went public with my jogging! God knows what they drivers & pedestrians thought but I thought I must've looked proper cool! I'll be taking my third run of the week tonight as I didn't have chance last night. Then hopefully by the end of Week Seven I will be running for a total of 20 minutes non stop. Yes, I am very worried! I'm also hopefully going to try & find time to go swimming next week. Well, that's if the weather ever warms up! 

Week 2 of giving up bread has gone well. I'm starting to become addicted to Ryvitas. The whole idea of giving up bread was to have a variety of different lunches. So far I've had jacket potato one day & ryvitas the rest. It's been far too cold this week for salad! I'm thinking maybe the huge weight loss is due to not eating bread. We'll see what happens though. 

The boyfriend & I are off to London this weekend. The main reason is to see the Ashes Urn at the Lord's Cricket Ground, I bought the tour tickets for his birthday present last year! We're really excited and planning to walk everywhere to save money and burn calories. We're going to be proper tourists & see all the sights! I'm thinking the diet may be forgotten about over this time but we'll see. I really fancy trying a sushi restaurant whilst we're there. 

I'm sorry there's not much more to report on this week! Hopefully I'll get chance next week to give the handbag auction a big push! I haven't had chance to do much marketing for it this week & my page has had a serious lack of sponsors too! If you still haven't sponsored me, please do! This is all for the Stroke Association. If it was for myself, there would be no way on earth that I'd be training on a Friday evening! 

Have a lovely weekend! 

Friday, 11 March 2011

Week Five

This Week's Weight Loss: 1lb
Total Weight Loss: 5.5lbs
This Week's Training Activities: Walking, Jogging & Housework!

A very bad week! Well, that's what I thought anyway! I keep saying on my blog that next week I will try to be healthier and then I go and give in to temptation. We spent the weekend in Suffolk visiting Chris' parents and celebrating his school friend's birthday. I felt as if I had a bread overload - bacon sarnies, crumpets, toast, hot dogs, burgers. Not the greatest start to the week. Maybe I was unconsciously trying to fit my 7 week consumption of bread into one weekend ready to give it up for lent. I don't know but I most definitely felt bloated by Sunday evening and then I gave in to a Indian Takeaway after a very long drive home. Remember that Sumo picture from last week? There was most probably some resemblance on Sunday night. I also decided to try & make a carrot cake at the beginning of the week which was absolutely beautiful & have been scoffing that throughout the week. I was so nervous about weigh in this morning because I really thought I had put on all the weight that I had lost but thankfully I have lost a pound. I have actually lost weight! My excitement at 6.30am was not appreciated by my grumpy boyfriend!

I've found myself completely bored of the exercise bike this week. It's so dull and I can't seem to focus for long before finding some excuse to get off it so I've been looking into other ways to exercise. The weather has been beautiful this week, cold but still lovely & sunny so I've been finding myself walking a lot more. I had a long walk around my favourite park during my lunch break on Tuesday. I enjoyed it so much that I'm planning to run there on Sunday morning. Speaking of running, I'm still doing well with my couch to 5k podcast. I'm now running for 3 minutes without stopping or feeling too tired which is a personal record. I don't think I've ever run for that long! I'm feeling a little worried about next week's podcast as it's running for 5 minutes so I'm going to hopefully going to fit in a 4th run on the Week 3 podcast tonight before badminton. I'm also looking into swimming, zumba and even getting a personal trainer although we're a little strapped for cash at the moment so I may have to wait until pay day. 

As announced in last week's entry I have decided to give up bread for lent this year & its going well. I've had some lovely lunches this week including jacket potato, salad, ryvitas & pasta salad. I've enjoyed them all. I even managed to avoid the garlic bread I cooked for the blokey the other night which is very unlike me. I think the one i'm really going to struggle with is not eating pizza but so far, so good! 

I think that's all to report on this week. Don't forget to read my handbag auction post, I've already received my first donation (thank you Debbie!) Thank you for all your donations so far! I'm still completely blown away by your generosity. I'm hoping for a huge weight loss next week, I want to get to my half a stone target weight loss next week & I'm starting off with fitness Friday today. No naughty snacks as of yet & an evening of running & badminton. I'm actually looking forward to it! 

See you next week! 

PS: Forgot to add my excuse about the Army day assault course. Took my tracksuit ready to have a go at it to find it was a little too extreme for me. I was right to back out of it, someone broke their collarbone taking part. Good choice by Becki!

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Handbag Auction!

Hi everyone,

Its an early post from me this week. Don't worry though I will be giving up a full update on my week as usual on Friday/Saturday.

The main reason for this post is that I've been thinking of other ways I can fund raise to raise as much money as I can for the Stroke Association ready for my upcoming 10k assault course. I've designed a poster for my partner to put up at his school to get his colleagues to sponsor me (if you would like one for your workplace, let me know!), I'm also hoping to do a cake sale & sell my cakes for £1 each.  However a colleague of mine explained that a friend of hers had a handbag auction & raised a lot of money for charity.

So, how does a handbag auction work? Well, every female tends to have at least one handbag they've hardly used sitting at the back of the wardrobe. If those handbags were donated to me, I could post them on EBay & all money raised would go straight to the Stroke Association & that dusty handbag could find a lovely new home. If I can get enough people interested, I will happily spend a weekend cleaning the bags and adding them on EBay to raise some extra cash for the Stroke Association.

If you'd be happy to donate me a handbag, please let me know. I'll let you know if I get enough of a response so you can get friends and family involved too!

Thanks :)

Friday, 4 March 2011

Week Four

This Week's Weight Loss: 0lbs
Total Weight Loss: 4.5lbs
This Week's Training Activities: Exercise Bike, Walking, Jogging & walking up 18 flights of stairs!

So, wow! What a week! Thank you so much to all my readers who have already got me to my £100.00 target so early on. There's still another 11 weeks until Mad Monk so I can't imagine how much can be raised for the Stroke Association with your generosity. I'm trying to think up other ways I can raise a bit more money. So far the only idea I've come up with is a cake sale at work seeing as all my creations seem to go down a treat. If anyone has any other ideas on how I can raise more money at work I'd really appreciate them.

With all the donations coming in it's really helped me focus on exercising. There's been a few days this week where I haven't really felt like training due to the miserable, cold weather. I'd be much happier with a takeaway curry watching Hollyoaks in front of the fire but i've stuck with it & trained 6 days out of 7 this week which i'm really pleased with. Week 2 of the NHS couch to 5k podcast is completed and I can successfully jog for 90 seconds without collapsing. I was really proud of myself until today when I had my lunchtime walk, I saw two elderly men jog past me looking nowhere near as red and out of breath as I usually do. It reminded me that I've still got a very long way to go until I'm ready for a 10k assault course. Speaking of assault courses, we've got the Army coming into work next week to show students that the army 'isn't just about Afghanistan' (Yeah, right!) Anyway, they've got an obstacle course with the chance to win an iPad for the fastest male and female. My lovely colleagues have ofcourse, put my name forward to have a go. I highly doubt that i'll be winning that iPad but I'm pretty sure there will be photos in my next blog!

As you can see above its been another week of no weight loss despite all my exercise and sticking to my limit of 1200 calories a day. In frustration I am currently munching on a Curly Wurly (the lowest calorie chocolate bar, mind!). I've been told that this is due to me building muscle and muscle is apparently heavier than fat. Does that mean I am doomed to be overweight all my life? In 11 weeks time rather than looking thinner, my muscles will be so heavy, I'll be looking more like this:

I guess at least it means I'll be able to float across the River Derwent rather than swim.
Anyway, I'm hoping once the warmer weather eventually comes I will finally get rid of my winter blubber & lose at least a few pounds. I have also decided to give up bread for lent just to see how that helps. I think I'm really going to miss my sandwiches for my lunch but I'm intrigued on whether it will help me feel less bloated.

For all those currently reading my blog who haven't sponsored me yet, you know where my online sponsor page is & if you don't then shame on you! (Pssst! Its If for any reason you'd rather give/send me the money, just leave me a comment or let me know & I'll put you on my sponsor form instead. Your donations have really help keep me going this week so thank you so much, I really do appreciate it! :) 

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Week Three

This Week's Weight Loss: 0lbs
Total Weight Loss: 4.5lbs
This Week's Training Activities: Exercise Bike, Walking, Jogging & walking up 18 flights of stairs!

Another week done & although I haven't lost any weight this time, I'm feeling okay about it. I've worked really hard on exercising and i've found it's made me feel constantly hungry.  I completed my three runs this week using the Couch to 5k podcast. It's amazing having a personal trainer in your ear the whole time and it's really motivated me. I've found a lovely park just around the corner from where I live so I've been doing circuits around there. Its really helped with chilling me out especially on Thursday when I came home to my other half getting angry over DIY. I'm already looking forward to starting Week 2 of the podcast tomorrow where I'll be running for 90 seconds at a time. Not a lot, I know but when you've never run before jogging for just 1 minute is a massive breakthrough.

As I mentioned previously I've felt really hungry this week and I've been mainly craving sugar. I've felt really naughty! If anyone has any tips on how I can avoid this, I'd really appreciate it. I'm thinking about eating a little healthy snack everytime I start feeling peckish, hopefully then I won't be constantly craving chocolate & cakes all the time. It doesn't help that everyone at work seems to have a birthday at the moment which means there's always cakes sitting in the office waiting to be eaten. Today is definitely the start of a good healthy week. First test is a takeaway with the girls tonight, most definitely need to choose the healthiest!

Yesterday, me & the blokey had a very rare day off together. We decided to be healthy & go for a lovely walk at Carsington Water & try out some geocaching. Half an hour in, we had a very epic fail. I fell in the mud nearly face first. The blokey said he was laughing in the toilet as a little child had done exactly the same & was being told off by his dad. Its not something you expect a 20 something woman to do. Maybe it was a sign that Friday should've been a rest day...

After that we decided to stick to something a little less messy & do some retail therapy at an Designer Outlet nearby. I treated myself to a new running jacket and trainer socks to keep me motivated and to reward myself for completing my first week of jogging. The blokey said he knew something had changed as we spent more time in the sports shops than Gap, M&S & Bench.

Just a reminder why i'm putting myself through all this. For my Nan & Grandad & the Stroke Association. I've nearly been training for a month now which is a miracle for me. If you can spare any money at all I'd really appreciate it. You can sponsor me online here! I got a lovely text from my cousin, Nat a few days ago to say it was a brilliant thing I was doing & the family were behind me. It really meant a lot and definitely spurred me on. :)

So, here's to week 4 & if you can spare any money, please visit & sponsor me! x

Friday, 18 February 2011

Week Two

This Week's Weight Loss: 2lbs
Total Weight Loss: 4.5lbs
This Week's Training Activities: Exercise Bike, Walking & walking up 18 flights of stairs!

This week has passed by quite uneventful compared to last week. I've kept to my exercise regime which I'm very proud of myself for, it's currently at the point where if I have a rest day and haven't done any form of exercise I feel a little guilty about it. But I'm feeling a lot fitter already, a few weeks ago after sitting on the exercise bike for a minute I was getting out of breath, I can now cycle for about 10 minutes without struggling at all. 
I even managed to get my best time on the stairs this morning, 2 minutes & 14 seconds!

On Monday I went a bit OTT on the exercise front. I walked about 5 miles in all as well as doing 20 minutes on the exercise bike. I ended up in bed by 9.30pm but it hasn't seemed to stop me and after a rest day on Tuesday, I've felt better than ever. 

Food temptation has been a pain, I treated myself to a bag of maltesers on Monday seeing as I wasn't expecting anything off the boyfriend on Valentine's Day (I was correct to expect that!) and I've been baking for special occasions. I made Banana Muffins for my other half's lunch box on Valentine's Day (luckily I hate bananas so I was able to ignore those sitting in our house). I also made some amazing smarties cookies for a work colleague's birthday. I have to admit I did help myself to one of those but I'm very pleased that it was only one, usually when I bake I end up eating a pile. Everyone enjoyed my cookies so much I'm baking some more for my friends and family for the weekend. Hopefully I can ignore that batch too so everyone else can eat them!

Now the evenings are getting lighter and I'm feeling a bit fitter, I'm hoping to start running after work. My exercise plan will hopefully ensure I'm doing a little bit of exercise nearly everyday. I'm also joining Badminton Club tonight, I'm not particularly good at it but at least it gets me running around and burning a few more calories.

Week 3's Exercise Plan:
Saturday - NHS Couch to 5k Podcast
Sunday - Rest Day
Monday - Walking up stairs,  25 mins on Exercise Bike
Tuesday - NHS Couch to 5k Podcast
Wednesday - Walking up stairs, 25 mins of Exercise Bike
Thursday - NHS Couch to 5k Podcast
Friday - (Visiting somewhere nice) Walking

I still need to stress that I am doing all of this for the Stroke Association as my family have a history of strokes. This training & Mad Monk is all in memory of my Nan & Grandad who passed away a few years ago, both due to strokes. I want to ensure that if anyone else in my family suffers a stroke that they will get the best treatment possible with help from the money I've raised. This link should tell you a little more about where your money will go if you would like to sponsor me. I would also really appreciate you passing on the link to my blog to your friends and family. I would love to get as much support as possible doing this as I am completely petrified about it.

Thanks :) x