Tag Archives: fitness

beating the winter weather aka turbo training!

10 Apr

Lately the weather here has been pretty Jekyll and Hyde.  When the weather doesn’t look as beautiful as this…

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(both taken on a recent walk just a week ago) we are suffering high winds and sideways rain/sleet.  So the only way to train in a civilised manner is to set my road bike up on the turbo trainer.  I’m loving my foldable Turbo trainer.  Super easy to set up for a total novice like me and folds away when you’re not using it.  Or if you’re like me you just leave your bike set up in front of the telly for days on end!

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One thing i was surprised about using a turbo trainer is just how much harder it is than road cycling – not only is the resistance harder but you don’t get the joys of stopping occasionally to free wheel down hills for a bit.  I can still only cycle on the first few settings.  I’m sure i can already feel the benefit though.  I’ve looked up some free videos on YouTube which have been great and I’ve also tried some tough interval sessions.

Having said all that i can’t wait for the sunshine to come back as there really is no substitute for getting out there in the fresh air (and stopping for cake and tea along the way!).  So tonight i’m setting out the cycle kit and i’m going to sleep with my fingers crossed.  I promise i’m not always a fair weather cyclist but when the winds get over 30mph the warmth and dryness of the car do look awfully tempting.

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(almost) wordless New Year’s Eve recap

1 Jan

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I hope you all had a wonderful New Year’s Eve.  Wishing you a healthy and happy 2013!

Dawn X

Christmas cupcakes and Tabata training

9 Dec

In my world cupcakes and Tabata training go together like cheese & wine (or Sunday and roast dinner).  If you don’t agree let me tell you now – you are wrong.

At my work this week we had a craft/culinary competition based on the theme of Christmas trees.  Naturally I stalked Pinterest for several evenings before deciding on attempting Martha Stewart’s Christmas Tree Cupcakes.  Here is the making of…

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I placed my sponge mixture into ice cream cones and my mini cupcake mould.  I used my own tried and tested recipe (read: much easier recipe) than hers but i’m sure it would have come out much the same.

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I attached each cone shaped cake to a mini cupcake and then attempted to ice with buttercream to make them look like snowy Christmas trees.  I added silver balls for extra Christmassyness (and that is a real word). Here is the end result:

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They weren’t terrible, and people recognised them for what they were supposed to be, but Martha Stewart I am not!!  For some reason most of them had a bit of a lean on.  Safe to say i didn’t win any prizes – they are some seriously talented people at my work and i’m going to have to spend the whole of 2013 practising if i’m going to win anything next year.

To burn off all those calories from my cook’s treats (you know – licking out the bowl, sucking the icing out of the icing bag…) i did two Fitnessista workout videos today.  The Six Pack in a Sweater workout and this Tabata workout.  Both of which seriously got my sweat on!  I reckon my abs are going to be sore tomorrow.  If you’ve never heard of Tabata it’s a type of interval training – you only work out for 4 minutes (plus warm up and cool down) but it’s supposed to singe those calories and the after burn continues for quite a while meaning i’m burning more calories as i type this right now.  Awesome.

If you haven’t checked out Gina’s blog or her YouTube channel i urge you to do so now – there’s something for everyone and she is soooo lovely.

On a side note i’ve noticed from my stats that i’ve got quite a lot of people checking in from my home town on a daily basis.  So either my sister is going overboard on checking my blog or i’ve got some new friendly faces watching!!  So this is a big hello to all my fellow donkeys!

cycling with Victoria Pendleton

10 Oct

I did it!!!!  Last Sunday i took park in Cycletta at Tatton Park in Cheshire.  Cycletta is a series of cycling events round the country designed to get women on their bikes “for fitness and for fun”.  You have the choice of doing a 40k or 50k distance.  As I’d never done a cycling event before i chose the 40k distance which took us through lots of beautiful Cheshire countryside.

the start line, that’s me in the middle

The event itself was really well organised but it was super cold to start off with which i wasn’t prepared for.  All sorts of levels and cyclists take part (I even spied a woman on an electric bike – gotta say i was jealous!).  I of course took my beautiful new(ish) road bike.  Victoria Pendleton (the Olympic Gold medal cyclist) took part and at the end we all got the chance to meet her. She was very patient and lovely given the huge amount of women that queued up for the chance to have a pic taken with her.  I actually got ridiculously excited before meeting her…i’m pretty much a super fan.  She looks so pleased to be meeting me huh?!?  I got my bib signed by her too.

I need to master helmet hair!!

By the way it’s pretty much impossible to look good next to her so i didn’t even try.  Don’t judge me!

I cycled the race with a friend who i hadn’t seen or caught up with in ages so we took the course at a fairly leisurely rate and chatted most of the way, filling our pockets with sweets at the feed stations (that’s what you’re supposed to do right?).  I broke away for about the last three miles and raced them which was sooooo much fun.

The goodie bag we all got at the end was amazing.  It included a cloth rucksack, lots of free samples, two magazines and a loaf of bread (not pictured below).  There were also free massages, manicures and helmet hair rescue stations for all participants.

That evening we stayed in Liverpool at a place called Base2Stay.  Base2Stay is a hybrid hotel/apartment.  I’m definitely a fan of renting an apartment rather than staying in a hotel when i’m staying in cities.  The staff at Base2Stay were super accommodating and housed our bikes for us.  The bathroom in our room was so massive i had to get a photo.  I mean there were two sinks!!  What the?!?!?!

this picture does not do it justice – there’s a huge rainforest type shower hidden in the corner

And yes i am that easily pleased.

So i know i’ve said this in like, thirteen other posts but i’ve soooo got the cycling bug now.  It’s so much more fun than running (although still doing that a bit due to impending Great South Run in two and a half weeks!).  I even own a little collection of padded lycra shorts that i would never have dreamed of owning (let alone admitted to owning) just six months ago.

Roll on more cycling events!!!  There’s one more Cycletta event left this year so if you’re interested check out the Cycletta website.  I would if i could but i’ll definitely be signing up for 2013.

what a wonderful week

19 Jul

I have had such an amazing 7 days…

It started with my lil’ sisters wedding last Friday.  What a gorgeous and relaxed day we had.  Congratulations to the new Mrs Amy.  This is the beautiful dress i got to wear

 

 

This dress is from BHLDN, the wedding arm of Anthropologie.  It is A-MAZ-ING.  Ali’s dress was from the same shop.  Stunning.

Next up we paid a very flying visit to London to see Paul Simon play at Hyde Park.  If you’ve never been to the Hard Rock Calling festival then you should definitely put it on your list of things to do.  Those who reside in dear old blighty will know the weather hasn’t been kind to us recently but the lovely festival organisers wood chipped everything so not only was there no mud but the whole place smelt pine fresh!  Paul Simon was INCREDIBLE.  His set was more than two hours long and his guest list was as long as your arm.  Totally worth getting up at stupid o’clock Sunday and Monday to see him.  I love him even more now i’ve seen him live.

Then we had my gorgeous hubby’s birthday which culminated in a lovely meal by the beach (albeit a wet and windy beach) with lots of our friends.

I’m off out for my fourth meal of the week tonight (pizza in case you were wondering).  Then i think as of this weekend its clean eating and lots of exercise for me.  I had an MRI scan on Monday and the scariest part was that they have to weigh you first!  Eeep! Having not weighed myself for about six months i had a bit of a shock.  But hey ho i’m injured – that’s my excuse and i’m sticking to it.

Let me put all this into perspective for you – this time last year my husband had just been diagnosed with cancer.  I’d had to leave him at the hospital to go home and pack his bag for a medical flight to the UK.  Now we get to fly off at our leisure to do the things we really want to do.  This makes me very smiley!!!

I had the MRI results today – i’m still digesting those and what they mean for me so that will be another blog post.

I hope you’re all having equally wonderful weeks!

 

sitting on the sidelines

27 Jun

Tonight i watched my touch rugby team play in our local league.  Unfortunately we lost again, haven’t won a game yet but still plenty of time.  It’s pretty depressing having to stand on the sidelines once again as i’m still injured but hopefully next week i might get some practice in and see how i go.  I have this massive, ridic unsexy knee support that i plan to wear.  If nothing else it will get me some sympathy (or raise a laugh)!!!

My exercise this week has mostly been out walking (in the rain) looking for this gorgeous little dude…

OK he doesn’t look that gorgeous in the photo, i mean what cat sleeps like that?!?  Coco that’s who.  He’s been gone 10 days now and is very, very much missed.  Hopefully he’s just off on some exciting adventure and will saunter back through the door very soon.  He’s microchipped so should he turn up at a vets or a shelter we would get a call.  Cross your fingers for us.

Plans for the weekend – got to step it up a bit on the fitness front.  My marathon (as part of a relay … stop choking on your coffee) is coming up fast so i really need to get past this injury.  In short that means i am going for a run this weekend although it maybe a short one it will be a run!  I am also planning on starting Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred.  I will be sporting the knee brace for that one too!

What are your plans for the weekend?  Inspire me!

the power of magnets

21 Jun

So my knee is slowly but surely healing.  I know you’ve been awake at night these last five weeks wondering how i’m bearing up so thought i’d give you an update!  I’ve got full range of motion but still some soreness round the sides and there’s still much cursing and swearing if i accidentally twist my knee.  I’ve been trying out the Homedics iHeal which gives off Pulsed Electro Magnetic Field waves (yeah those things) and is supposed to help soft tissue damage heal 30% faster.  It’s one of those things that’s hard to measure as you never know if you would’ve gotten better anyway but i reckon it can’t do any harm.  If anyone else has used this device let me know how you got on.

It’s been a lot longer recovery than i first anticipated but i’ve not felt as bad as i imagined, in fact (whisper it) i’ve even enjoyed having a bit of time off.  I’ve kept up with Pilates and Yoga, and i’m slowly increasing my walking and cycling, tomorrow i’m even hoping to go for a short run.  Best of all i didn’t immediately turn into a big fat heifer the moment i stopped running (or at least no-one has told me that I have).

In other news this little cutie has gone off for a wander and i haven’t seen him since Monday morning.

I desperately want him to come home as i miss him so much 😦 .  Wish us luck finding him.