Wednesday, April 10, 2013
We have been here a year now and Im still working on bits of the house doing this and that, changing it slowly. My latest plan (and discovery) is Annie Sloan paint to cover the nasty pine staircase to Toms loft. I'm a little wary of starting the stairs without practising first so I have a smaller project to cut my teeth on! This afternoon I bought from a junk shop an old wooden 2 panel screen. Under the loft stairs there are some built in shelves which are crammed packed with games and Christmas decs..... because its open and because anyone visiting has to pass it to go to the bathroom I'm very aware its an eyesore - not for much longer! The screen with be Annie Sloaned and possibly collaged and stencilled, and used as a practise run before I start on the staircase. Watch this space. I will do a 'before' photo tomorrow. I also bought a mad wooden cat in the junk shop..... again photos tomorrow in daylight.
So I do actually have something to share today! Because of being felled by a horrendous ear infection (finished work on the day before good Friday for 2 weeks all excited about all the crafting I was going to do, woke up in agony in early hours of Good Friday and have been floored ever since) I have not yet managed anything these hols - yet!! but I did make a couple of shadow frames for the bedroom during my week of Flu mid March. (yes the ear infection took a big hold probably because I went back to work too soon when not recovered from the flu......we live and learn). These are plain unfinished Wilko 12x12 box frames, washed with white acrylic and filled with lots of different pattern papers punched into hearts in one and made into a giant patchwork heart in the other. This is not the best quality photo as it was taken with my iPod, but you get the idea. I will photo them properly before hanging them and upload better images.
I also make a memory book for a colleague who is going off to be a kids rep for Thomson. I took a photo of everyone holding up a message for her, like this:
and put them all in a hand made and decorated spiral bound journal, with an envelope section at the back where I stored all the original messages. We gave it to her on her last day, then all went out for a meal and took photo of us on the night out. We then all came back here and made Mojitos and got quite merry! and i printed off the night out photos and stuck them all into her book. Like these ones:
Sadly I was a numpty and neglected to take a single photo of the actual book *sigh*
So thats my crafting highlights!! I hope to make full use of feeling a bit better tomorrow and friday to get some art actually made. I was in a local craft shop today inquiring about a Gelli plate, and have ordered some Derwent Inktense blocks this week to have a play with. I'm slowly getting my crafting groove on....
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Friday, October 05, 2012
Saturday, September 22, 2012
Then I had kates 'art journal with lyrics' to do:
So - that was a very productive weekend! And its only saturday night, and I have all day Sunday to get cracking on making my new collaboration project - a pairs journal - and also to make a piece of mail art!
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Well ok not really. But mega frustration at my laptop which needs a trip to the hospital for a new cooling fan, which means right in the most creative month of my life i have limited access to resources and internet.... Its not too bad but any printing is out and photos are not as good but at least i can use my phone for that! And to blog.
Little share today of the 8x8 wedding canvas i have made for one of the zumba girls. I have made her a menu board as well but the pics of that are on the laptop *sigh* as are the better ones of the canvas. But at least i did take one with my phone.
Saturday, July 21, 2012
- make one 3' x 1'2" mixed media canvas
- make two 10" x 12" mixed media canvas boards
- make a menu planner from a 12x16" clip frame
- make an 8x8 commemorative wedding canvas
- customise one pair of hi-tops
- write a blog post for the first time in 5 months (oops)
I have many theories. But the best one and probably the one that is most true - I am no longer stressed by 'life'. Many of the little things that wore me out and shriveled my creativity every day have been removed. Now in my life, I have a lovely house that has felt like our HOME since the day we bought it (the previous house was never a home). My husband and youngest son are happy and settled (the space here, the fact we can all have friends over whenever and its not a problem, the calmness, the room to breathe!). I have my own room in which to work (where I can shut the door on the mess on my desk). I have a job I love (although more on that at another time). I have a whole new social life thanks to the Zumba girls. I am fit, healthy and happy and enjoying life. Don't get me wrong i was not unhappy - but we were not in a good place for the last few years and the longer it went on, the more it dragged you down - even the eternal optimist in me was becoming a cynic. But now I no longer feel like I'm just plodding on till the day things will be better - because now they are. Life is good.
I am suddenly full of ideas and eager to start projects and just as eager to finish them. Here are just a few of the things I have made this week:
I also have lots of photos of the house to share - the 'after' photos. Will save that for over the next few days/weeks! Its good to be back.
Friday, February 03, 2012
Thursday evening we got stuck into the work. Plinthy thing in front room has been demolished and removed, there's a bit of plastering to be done to make the wall nice again, and I will need to totally repaper the chimney breast - but only the actual chimney breast, a nice feature wallpaper will do lovely - seen a nice Laura Ashley one and as its only going to take 2 rolls I might just be able to afford to do it without needing a second mortgage... I do need to take a piece of the existing paper with me when choosing though to ensure they go together OK.Once the plinthy thing was demolished we swept and removed all the plaster dust we had created, and dusted down from top to bottom (I took the curtains down before we did any work so they wouldn't get dusty, and left them out for the previous owner). I need to strip the wallpaper from the chimney breast and then its ready for the re-plastering, putting on the new paper and then putting in the fireplace. Then - I can paint! only the woodwork in there needs doing right now, so not a great deal of work from me required for this room. Once its all finished the new carpet goes in.
We took the hoover, brush and dusters to the top of the house and started to work down over: sweeping, dusting and hoovering. Took a while in the loft, as the backing from the old carpet had totally disintegrated into a heavy dust, and we lifted the old paper underlay and gave it a very thorough sweep out and dust down. Then we did the loft staircase and then the landing carpet under the loft stairs where we had made quite a bit of mess while cleaning the loft stairs..... and then started on the back bedroom and realised it was after 9pm and time to go home for the night. I also decided tonight that we need a skip at the new house to get rid of all the stuff that's now in the yard, both what we have removed from the house and what was left from before.
Previous owner came and took his washing machine away last night and also promised me some boxes for packing! That will be a great help.
So today is a day away from the house as I'm working and then we are off out for our little family meal tonight to celebrate mine and Toms birthdays properly. Back to it tomorrow first thing....
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
So yes - right now I need to keep a journal of new houseness and so this is it!
The house is 1930's end terraced pair of flats converted into a single house. I knew as soon as I went in I wanted it. The rooms are not huge, but there's plenty of them. It has no garden but does have a yard with some mature shrubs and trees. The layout of the rooms is so good - whoever converted it did a terrific job. Downstairs there is a living room to the front, an L shaped dining room (was 2 rooms knocked into one), and a long galley kitchen extension to the rear. There are 2 good size double bedrooms and a smaller bedroom (workroom!!) on the first floor, plus a sizeable bathroom over the kitchen. Ultimately however - the selling point for all of us was the loft room. It runs the length and width of the house, is in 2 sections with an arch between, 2 velux windows and a proper staircase. It will be the most wonderful room for Tom.
I have had my camera in my bag all day and was too busy thinking up plans to take any photos so that will have to wait till Thursday morning now! (edited to add - photos now taken and added to post!)
Jamie and his pal Chris went down there tonight and pulled up the carpets in the living room, bathroom, front bedroom and loft, plus the warped laminate from the back bedroom. They also removed the wall shelving from my workroom, and carried out the very large CRT TV that was left in the loft!! My workroom has laminate flooring, the dining room, hall and kitchen have laminate flooring - all perfectly fine. The stair carpet needs replacing too - that needs pulling up as well, not sure why I decided not to have them do that too tonight, but theres plenty time!
The living room and hall stairs and landing are wallpapered and its fairly new and perfectly ok. The rest of the house needs work. All the bedrooms need painting. The bathroom needs painting and possibly a new loo in.
The living room has a bay window. It has no fireplace on the chimney breast and a plinthy thing that used to have the sky box and DVD on, as the TV was attached to the chimney breast wall. Plinthy thing is bricks, needs knocking out, and I want a fireplace put back in. I may need to remove paper from chimney breast and replace with different paper as the holes from the TV mount are large and high up and not going to be covered by the fireplace.... but thats ok - it can be a 'feature' wall....
In the dining room there is a cubby where the old fireplace was - again the previous owners had a TV on the wall - and the old fire cavity was left as a feature with lights and sockets in and a shelf for the DVD/wii.... It will eventually need the sockets taken out and the hole blocked up and plastered - but that will also require the removal of the (paintable) wallpaper on the chimney breast and thence the whole room needing repapered. For now - I am painting the walls and putting a couple of Ikea Billy bookcases in front of the hole..... problem solved - or at least temporarily hidden from view. In the end of the L shape I have planned 'the nook' - my space to sit with a coffee and a good book.... the flooring in here is a really rather lovely aged wood effect laminate.
The kitchen is an Ikea kitchen. There is and integrated under bench fridge and freezer in the kitchen. There is no room for Doris (our American side by side fridge freezer) - options available were to rip out integrated fridge and freezer and chop bench and put Doris in space, or do away with Doris (eeek!) - neither of which I wanted to do..... LUCKILY the alcove on the dining room side of the kitchen door is big enough to accommodate Doris! So I now not only have a huge side by side fridge freezer - but a small under bench fridge and freezer as well. There is also an integrated washing machine in the kitchen. I do not need this, the previous owner is coming back for it. He has left me the dishwasher instead! I am very happy!!!
The bathroom was a sticky point. It was carpeted. Not only was it carpeted on the floor, but up the side of the large raised corner bath, and on the steps that take you up to the bath *shudder* carpets in bathrooms - no! It has of course now been pulled up - tomorrow the floor will be attacked with lots of cleaner and a fair whack of bleach to remove the smell you always get under a carpet round a loo where blokes live.... The walls are an interesting colour. If I'm being kind I'd call it 'nutmeg brown' if I'm not, well its very apt for a room containing a toilet is all Im saying...
The main front bedroom has a bay window that echos the bay in the living room. There are also built in wardrobes to the alcove and completely covering the chimney breast with an area to put the bed between the wardrobes. I wasn't too sure about them in the dark last night and wanted them out. A better look today and Im actually ok with them - its the spare room not our room - but the insides need a coat of white paint on the internal walls as they are not lined and I want them brightened and made cleaner inside - they will be USED wardrobes for the long items such as my long dresses, and also Petes many suits and shoes for his 'other job'. There is a drawer/cupboard unit built into the bay. This is lined and is fab. A coat of paint and a new carpet and a bit of repair to the blinds in here and we have a comfy and attractive guest room and somewhere to keep Petes singing equipment too! and a ready made huffy bed for those times when its needed..... *ahem*
The back bedroom is actually a little smaller than the front but its just a whole lot nicer. It was a smaller room but has has a good 3-4 foot extra added to it in the remodelling when the flats were converted originally. So now it has 2 windows, and they face south, so a warm and light and sunny room! Slight issue - the ivy that covers one end of the house is encroaching on one of the windows - and even worse its coming in through the air brick - eeeek! triffid!! The ivy is being removed asap.... *shudder* The walls will be painted, a nice new carpet will be laid and the bedroom door replaced as its got glass panels in it and that's no good for Peter who hates even a tiny light glow from a socket.... and this will be our room.
The small room is actually not that small, you could fit a double bed in, but not much else. Its also an L shape - and better still behind the door there is plenty of space for shelving so no inch of the room will be wasted. It is the ONLY room in the house that retains the original picture rail for which I'm both sad (they are all gone *sob*) and glad (its MY room and I've got the rail woohoo!) It has perfectly ok laminate flooring already in, but it hasn't seen a paintbrush for many a long year. With some scrubbing, TLC, a shed load of filler and lots of fresh paint it will be the PERFECT workroom. I have planned it to the last centimetre.
And so we come to the loft. Its big. Its currently an alarming shade of deep pinky red that makes you feel you are inside a large mouth about to be swallowed. With added graffiti in black marker (predominantly Oasis song lyrics.....) and a hand painted silhouette image of the Beatles. Its an oblong room divided across the middle by an archway, thus separating the 'sleeping' side of the room from the 'living' side of the room. Tom is having a sofa bed and a couple of bean bags so he can chill with his pals and watch his TV and play on the xbox in his living side, and a bed and wardrobe in the sleeping side (and also his desk and PC for homework!). It needs a scrub, new flooring (still undecided on carpet or laminate....) and a bloody good coat of paint or 5.
The hall has the same laminate down as in the dining room. The hall is long and narrow but perfectly formed. There are 2 apertures to the front as once there were 2 front doors. one is filled with a panel, one a door. It is planned for some time in the future to remove the panel, brick up the old door frame and make it into a small window, plus put in a new super smart front door and a canopy over the door, and railings on the top of the small wall. For now - a colourful striped rug and a couple of ikea shoe cabinets will look wonderful. There is a large understair cupboard which is the only cupboard in the house apart from the airing cupboard in the bathroom!!
So that's my initial thoughts on the house after owning it for one day. I'm pretty sure they wont change further (maybe slightly, but nothing VASTLY different now) - they have varied many times today until coming to settle on the above. Now: the hard work starts....
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
I have been threatening to share some cruise photos since we got back. So here they are:
Friday, September 23, 2011
So last time I had completed W6.1 of the Couch to 5K running plan and was looking forward to doing 6.2. Week 6 is a blur now - I remember I did it and I have the logs on Nike+ showing me that it was Wednesday, a sunny day and I had a big smiley face - but can I remember the actual run?? nope! I guess it was uneventful and went ok then!! For the record it was 2 x 10 min runs with a 3 min walk in the middle. Simples. 6.3 though - theres another kettle of fish - remember that one quite clearly! It was a 25min run - no walking *GASP* it was also a cold day and the rain started a bit and blew sideways at me resulting in a very cold and painful ear. I decided during this run that I needed new kit and needed it fast. I completed the run fine by the way *high five*
So - shopping spree at the weekend followed. Trying to be good and not overspend, I went to Sports Direct to buy a pair of long tights and a jacket. I got them - and also a long sleeved top and a new cap.... slightly more than went for but very nice kit. The jacket is Addidas Climastorm so is windproof as well as showerproof. And its blue, not stupid girly PINK! like everything else in sports direct womens running dept was. I bought a mans hat so I could have the black and blue one instead of PINK! on it (really hideous Barbie pink....) and the long tights only have the PINK! inside the waistband so no one will see it, and are black with a reflective trim everywhere else. The long sleeved top unfortunately was only available it either ALL Barbie PINK! with 2 black side panels - or black with PINK! side panels - went for the black one with the least PINK! Its only going to show when I run wearing only the long sleeved top - put the jacket over the top and hideous PINK! is gone.
So - after a re-jig of the coming weeks schedule to accommodate a haircut on Wed afternoon (cant run after having my hair done!! never get it to look that nice myself so have to make the most of it LOL) I planned my week 7 to run on Sunday, Tuesday and Friday.
Sunday I got up, set off and did week 7.1. In my new jacket and cap, but with my usual cropped joggers and Tshirt on. Jacket brill - in fact I got too warm, might not be cold enough for that yet! Cap also brill, although am going to have to think about adding flaps to stop the wind blowing in my ears - it hurts a bit!! 7.1 run was a 25min non stop run - again managed it fine, although was quite tired by the end.
As I wasn't working Tuesday this week, on Sunday night I decided I was booking myself a cinema ticket and going to Newcastle on an early bus Tuesday morning, returning in time for Tom finishing school at 3.45pm - so my run was put off till Tuesday afternoon about 4pm, and I went to class to be weighed on the Monday evening instead of on Tues morning as I have been doing. After what I know was a good week where I counted my syns carefully and ate only free foods - I weighed in at 2lb heavier than last week! I really wasn't a happy bunny. In fact I'd go so far as to say I was pissed off. Every other time I've had a gain I have known there was a reason. This time there isn't one. I might have weighed heavier because it was later in the day and not 9.30am, I may have been retaining fluid, who knows - but I was pissed off. And a bit grumpy. Actually a LOT grumpy!
Tuesday morning I'm up and at 'em and on the 8.30am bus to Newcastle armed with a list of shops to visit and my booking reference for the cinema. Its only 3.50 a seat on Tuesdays at The Gate in Newcastle - I had booked for The Inbetweeners movie at 11.30am.
Bus journey was uneventful but busy, full of students. I arrived in the town at 9.30 - only to be greeted with a text from my mam saying she was poorly and needed me to collect a prescription for her..... I rang and explained I was in Newcastle and had cinema tickets booked and wouldnt be back till after 3 was that ok, it was. So i then rushed around the shops to get everything I needed before the film as now there wouldnt be time afterwards to do anything but get a bus straight back to Blyth. I went to start Fitness - which is Petes fave shop - and was only wanting a pair of shorts to wear OVER my running tights because they are - well - tight!! and I felt a bit exposed.... I got a lovely pair in the sale. trouble is I also got a short sleved top (turquoise - LUSH!) and a pair of running gloves (essential really) and a new sports bra..... ooops. Still - I did really need a new bra - the one I was wearing was a cup size too small and only a level 3, and so required the wearing of a second bra under it! NOW I only need the one - its the correct size, and its a level 4 - and was billed as the top selling bra for running. It also wasnt as expensive as other places.
So the movie was fabulous and I laughed so hard I snorted more than once - sitting on my own in the premiere seats at the back...anyway - after the movie I dashed back to Lakeland and bought a box of jam jars (on the list!!) and then leapt on the first bus back to Blyth. On arrival back in Blyth I leapt off the bus and briskly walked to the doctors - it was now 10 to 3 and I had to get prescription, fill it, and deliver it to Mam and be home by 3.45. Queue in docs - 5 mins later have script and am dashing across to chemist by mams. Queue in chemist - 10 mins later they tell me they DONT HAVE the medication on the script and if its needed today I have to go to main Boots store... I take the script back and dash across Blyth to Lloyds (nearer to mams than other Boots!) - queue in Lloyds.... 10 mins later they give me filled prescription yay! So its now 20 past 3 - so i dash back across Blyth to mams, deliver prescription, mix her one of the rehydration sachets, make sure she has the anti sickness meds - and have to dash right across to the other side of Blyth to be home for Tom - I arrive home at 3.44! knackered and with sore feet and achey legs. And of course NOW I have to go for a run..... well as you can imagine - even a warm calm day, wearing my nice new turquoise short sleeved top and level 4 bra, and even running a totally new route couldn't make me go faster or indeed keep me going right to the end - I managed 20 mins of the 25 running and walked the rest. I also think that choosing that moment to actually run a different route was a bad idea as I couldn't really pace myself very well and went off to fast - and was concerned about crossing roads, and trying to decide where to go in my head etc and so not really concentrating on my breathing. I also stupidly routed it so I was running uphill back home - and it killed me. But at least I did go - and did try!! and was pleased with the new sports bra and top!!!
So today was 7.3. Another 25min run. Weather isn't wonderful today, bit windy and quite cool - so decided to try out the long running tights and shorts combo with my long sleeved top (aka PINK!) Wasn't feeling too bad this morning despite have a couple of Amarettos last night (thats another story - bet theres no weight loss for me on monday *sigh*) I took my phone as well and used the runkeeper app again - as long as I have somewhere to safely keep my phone it works great and I like having the accuracy of the GPS tracking my speed and distance. It was tough going I have to admit - I wasn't at all sure I was going to make it to the 25 mins again - but gave myself a stern talking too and pushed on till the voice said it was over. I got waaaaay too hot with the long tights and long sleeved top on, but it was too cold to go out in a short sleeved one before you were running - cant win!! I could however have easily managed with cropped pants on.
So - here I am at the end of week 7 with only 2 more weeks to go till the end of the program - very tired, quite confused over how much/little to wear at this time of year, and looking forward to week 8 and it being stress free. Yeah right....
Monday, September 12, 2011
So today I was supposed to be running C25K W6.1. I say supposed to be, because I haven't run today. BUT!! I'm not skipping a day, oh no. I'm not letting as little thing like a hurricane stop me from completing my planned run. I did it YESTERDAY instead. The weather man was kind enough to give us plenty warning of the hurricane this time, so I went out Sunday morning for my run as I really did not fancy running in 85 mph winds.... It's not quite at 85mph yet, but its exceedingly blustery out there, much windier than yesterday morning when I did 6.1
Week 6 is again 3 different sessions. Day 1 was what the voice (btw the female runner who talks to you during the NHS podcasts is called Laura - but I much prefer referring to her as 'the voice' - its far more Big Brother) calls 'consolidating what we have already achieved' and consists of 5 min warm up walk, 5 min run, 3 min walk, 8 min run, 3 min walk, 5 min run, 5 min cool down walk. I thought I might feel like I was being too easy on myself - after running for a full 20 mins without stopping on Friday - but it didn't! It wasn't hard as such, but no way was it a walk in the park. The added wind factor meant it was quite tough going and my speed was slow. I also changed the last run to 8 mins instead of 5..... because I wanted to run a bit further, burn some more calories, and improve my average pace a bit. Also - because despite the fact my legs were still feeling Fridays 20 min run - I was enjoying myself and wasn't ready to stop.
Hang on a mo - rewind a little..... 2 things about this blog post are setting off a warning light in my brain. 1- I had the weekend free with no running scheduled, but because I heard about todays wind I ran EARLY. and 2- The voice told me to stop and I ran on for 3 more mins because I wanted to. ALERT!! 7 weeks ago I would have blown off the Monday session and just missed it, no biggie right? so what if it would have upset my whole running schedule. And as for running longer than I need to? ppffffffft - like I would have ever even run! and I certainly wouldn't have done more lengths at the pool or walked an extra KM 'just because'. That's 2 big changes in attitude to exercise right there. MASSIVE.
Could this be one of the plans of the program or is this just a useful side effect? I would hesitate to say I'm addicted to running - but I think I am addicted to the results of the running. I like the feeling after I have run (endorphins - cant whack 'em) and what has been achieved by running. I like the fact I have burned calories, worked my muscles, burned some fat, added to my fitness, achieved another goal by completing the session. That's it - I'm an achievement junkie! Moving my run forward because I cant wait till the next hit...... doing that extra little bit more running than I should, for that extra 'self satisfaction' high...... quite a scary thought. Long may it last!
While reading another unrelated running based article today I stumbled across this link to
Mark Remy's Rules to Run By - 10 mins and several hearty chuckles later I now want to read the book... so have ordered it, and his other book - a runners field guide, from Amazon. Ok who IS this imposter pretending to be me and what have you done with the real me??!!
Just to end today - here's a BRAND NEW running song - think this might just have to be adopted as the theme tune for my running journey - thank you Matt.
Friday, September 09, 2011
Today I want to share my continuing running journal, and then over the weekend I will upload some holiday pics and info.
So - as we jetted off on holiday I had completed week 4 for the first time, not enjoyed it and decided to repeat the week if possible while I was on the ship. I am pleased to report I managed to complete 2 more week 4 runs on board, one on the Saturday afternoon and one on the following Monday. I also swam in the sea on the Saturday, did laps in the pool on Monday and more laps in the pool on Wednesday morning - making sure I was down early and ready for the pool opening so there was only me in it!
My first run on the treadmill went really well, I had forgotten just how much easier it is in a nice air-conditioned gym with no wind/rain/blazing sunshine/holes in the ground/dogs/cyclists.... anyway - it went well, I felt good. Run 2 wasn't quite as successful because I left my iPod in the cabin and so had no podcast to tell me when to run and when to walk! So I did the 5 min warm up walk timing myself with the clock on the treadmill, then started running, and forgot I was only running for 5 mins and managed to run for 10 instead. I did complete the full amount of time needed for the run, but not in the correct order LOL. Its that damn 'its easier on a treadmill' thing - I was so enjoying myself running along that I just forgot to stop!
We flew home on the Thursday and I did the final repeated run of week 4 on the Saturday - boy was it hard going. I felt like I was dragging legs of lead about and the wind and the open air suddenly seemed very hard work. I was still very tired after our weeks cruise though, so even though it felt hard I decided I had to now be ready for week 5.
So we come to Monday this week and I began week 5. Its a funny week this one as its the first time you do a different run for each session. Day 1 is to run 3 x 5mins. I wasn't particularly looking forward to it after feeling like I had dragged myself round on the last session - and I was pleasantly surprised to find I not only found it quite easy, but I thoroughly enjoyed it as well! This made me look forward to Wednesdays run.
Wednesday was back to work day, and I had to pop into Blyth to pick up a few things straight after work before heading back home, so I didn't get to run till about 1.30pm. I will have to get used to running about this time as my running plan is now to run every Mon/Wed/Fri to leave weekends free, and I'm working mornings - so midday running it will be! Anyway, back to W5.2. This session was to run for 2 x 8mins. It was fab! I really enjoyed the run and found that I appreciated only having to walk the recovery once between the 2 longer runs. By the end of the second 8mins my legs were feeling it and I didn't feel i could have gone on much longer - but was so pleased with how it went. I also recorded my fastest time so far of just under 6mins per km for the running sections.
W5.3 was scheduled for today. The dreaded 20 mins of continuous running...... I had to pop to work this morning, then to the post office, before coming home to go for my run. I admit I was apprehensive, and yes despite me saying I believed in the program after week 3 - still a bit sceptical. 20 mins seemed an awful long time to run for someone who just 6 weeks ago could barely run to the end of the street, and probably wouldn't have even tried. I walked the usual brisk 5min warm up and got myself into a position where the first few mins running would be with the wind behind me and on the slight decline so I could adjust my pace and not get too puffed out early on, and get myself into the groove before having to run into the wind and on an incline. I am amazed and delighted to say I managed the whole 20 mins without a problem. I don't think I could have gone on much longer mind you - when the voice said times up I was very much ready to stop! But I was beaming from ear to ear as well. It felt amazing! amazing to know I had ran, continuously, for a full 20 mins, amazing I had not had a stitch, or had to stop, and truly amazing I hadn't even really had to push hard at the end to keep going - which makes me feel good about tackling the longer runs that are coming over the next 4 weeks.
I'm still a bit gobsmacked. I actually ran non stop for 20 mins. And it wasn't a shabby average speed either - I was doing 6min KMs - which is bang on target for a 30 min 5K which is the desired result of this program! I may have to keep pinching myself just to make sure I haven't actually dreamed it.
Something else I have learned today is that I'm ready for the long runs mentally. I am starting to find the stop/starting recovery walks between runs frustrating. I recover faster than the time it gives you and I'm itching to get running again. Next week might feel like a bit of a step back as week 6 session are again 3 different planned runs, and are returning to the walk/run/walk/run format. However I now have complete and utter faith in the program so will not be deviating from the plans - I want to be running that 30 min 5k at the end of this and so another week of building up fitness and stamina will help - roll on Monday for W6.1!
oh - and Aldi - please can you get your lovely cheap running kit in really soon? I need long running pants and a long sleeved top and jacket before it gets too cold!!
Monday, August 22, 2011
Day 2 was easier than day 3. I did day 2 on Saturday, got up and out early as we had an appointment with the estate agent at 10.30am over in Ashington to get Nanas house on the market. I had much the same time as with day one - the first 3 mins was hard, the next 5 and 3 were not too bad, and then the final 5 I managed but felt very glad when it was over!
Day 3 - not so good. I ran this morning, again early as we had somewhere to be by 11. I wasn't feeling too good, as I had an upset tum and felt rather washed out. First 3 mins were again torture! however this time I also got a very tight chest and wheezed my way through the last 60 seconds of it. The first 5 min run I managed - slightly less wheezy but still very tight chested and a bit uncomfortable and I didn't feel like I had recovered well when it was time to run again. Second 3 min run felt like my lungs were going to burst - I just couldn't seem to get enough air in. I started for feel sick and light headed and the sweat was pouring out of me. Thankfully the voice intervened and said it was time to walk so i slowed right down and practised the really deep breathing thing - you know the pushing your stomach out when you breathe in thing that's supposed to help with stitch - and that seemed to help me recover faster and better than previously. The final 5 mins loomed and I really thought I was going to fail today as I couldn't see how I could run any more feeling like that - however its amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it and I ran the full 5 mins - lungs on fire, legs of lead, head starting to spin and about the throw in the towel when the voice said it was time to walk again. My cool down walk was very slow - looking at the run graph on Nike running - I actually managed to run my fastest mile during the second half of todays session (irony!!) - but I walked the slowest I've ever walked in the 5 min cool down!
The rest of the day hasn't been too good. We went to meet Petes Mam and Dad for coffee at The Boardwalk on Whitley Bay sea front at 11am, which was nice but it was very sunny, I didnt have a hat and I started to feel really queasy while there. We popped home for lunch and had baked spuds with tuna and salad - as soon as I ate I felt even worse. We had a few things to pick up for our hols this afternoon and went to Boundary Mills and The Great Outdoors at Shiremoor, having yet another coffee in the cafe there. I also opted for a ginger biscuit to see if it would help settle the queasy tum! So I have spend most of the day feeling sickly, light headed and spinny, achy and tired and by 5pm was so achy sore and shaky had to go to bed for an hours lie down in a cool and darkened room. I also looked an awful shade of yellowy grey. I guess I'm a bit off colour - its either a little bit of a bug or I've eaten something that hasn't agreed with me. As I type this I have to say I feel and look quite a bit better but then I have been sat down for the last 2 hours watching TV and relaxing. I'm still sore and I have hurt my shoulder/neck quite a bit on my right side, I think because when I was running I was really tensed up tightly because of the wheezy chest soreness - and have strained a muscle or 2.
So I'm quite glad that I managed to run this morning considering. And bloody delighted I managed to complete and not give in. It has made me decide to repeat week 4 though. I know this morning was not a normal run to base the decision to progress or repeat on - and without doing another week 4 session I have no idea how I am coping now. I do however know the previous sessions were very hard, and the thought of running for longer than 5 mins is too daunting right now - so I think I should do at least one more week 4 session when I feel less grotty to really judge, with the possibility of repeating the whole week. I am also going to have the rest of this week off to make sure whatever it is get well out of my system, so the next run will probably be Saturday morning. I'm hoping this will prove to be a comfortable run, so I am ready to move on to week 5 the following Monday, but if it is still feeling hard then I shall repeat another wk 4 session and another until I feel ready.
I think I may have been pushing it a bit running every other day instead of 3 times a week. It's not a huge acceleration of the program but as everyone keeps saying rest days are important and I'm not taking the required number of them when doing day on/day off. I am at where I wanted to be by the time we went on hols but pushing on a bit, so am happy with that however I'm quite relieved that I can now go back to running the 3 times a week and having a 2 day break every week. Once I am back to work and the kids are back to school I shall be running in a routine of mon/wed/fri and having the weekend free.
On a completely different note - I have succumbed to pinterest. I don't know how I have managed to hold out so long - really I don't know how I resisted! its such a fab fab thing. But it is also a total and complete time suck. I am a lost cause already...... you can find my pins here
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Week 4 sessions are a 5m walk to warm up as usual - then 3m run, 1m30s recovery, 5m run, 2m30s recovery then repeat - thatsTWICE as much running (16m in total!!) and only HALF the recovery!!
Half way through the first 3m run I thought I was going to die. It was hot, I had started off with the 'uphill' route (its a slight incline - but you can tell) and possibly gone off a little bit too fast. I adjusted my pace and pushed on to the end, and was thankful to find I recovered ok in the very short 1m30s recovery walk. Then the voice is telling me to run again - and this time its for 5 mins non stop. I had reached the level bit of path now and also ran onto the field at the end - running on the field can be a bit harder as the grass is getting a bit long, the track isn't that clearly defined and I sometimes fall in a hole, but today it helped as its much softer on your knees than than the hard path, and I was concentrating on not falling in a hole or tripping in the grass so the 5 mins went by quite quick! 2m30s recovery was great and I was ready to run again. Back on the path on the downhill section - turn half way and come back uphill - so half way through I really thought that was it - my lungs felt fit to burst and my legs felt like lead. I again adjusted my pace and concentrated on breathing properly and made it to the end of the 3mins. 90 secs recovery was NOT enough this time and I was still huffing by the time the voice instructed me to run once more - I was back on the field, on the level at the start and at about 2m30s I hit path again with a gentle decline, and I really checked my pace and concentrated on breathing and didn't feel as bad but when it came I was most definitely ready for her to tell me the 5 mins was up and to stop running.
So this session was hard. However lets not dwell on that - the important thing here is I DID IT!! I ran for 5 mins - not once but twice. I ran for a total of 16 mins in the session. I did not quit, I managed to do it all. Yay for me. I didn't HAVE to stop, but yes I wanted to!! - but I didn't stop and I ran right to the end of the session - I might hurt like hell now and feel like a wrung out dish colth but I DID IT!! Ok enough of the self-congratulation....
Roll on Saturday when I get to torture myself with W4.2 all over again....
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
So - week 3.2 AND week 3.3 done. I ran 3.2 on Sunday morning and 3.3 this morning. Pretty uneventful sessions these. I don't know why I was so worried about running for 3 mins - seriously it hasn't been hard at all. On Sunday I even ran on another 1m30s instead of stopping at the 3m during the last split. I don't know why it certainly wasn't necessary, I just felt like it. I didn't much feel like it this morning as I have a sore tooth (the new filling from 2 weeks back giving me some strife) and so had a headache and very grumpy face - but I was desperate to get out there and get running and get week 3 under my belt. I enjoyed running - I beat the downpour by going out at 8.15am in a sporadic drizzle (pleased I did looking out there now - its heaving it down) and forgot about the pain in the tooth for a while. I did get drenched walking to the weigh in and then to the dentist though. But the silver lining is that I wore my Nike+ and so know that I burned off an extra 345 calories for today, just brisk walking - even if I did get a soaking.
The dentist shaved a bit off the filling - she said it was a bit high, and every time I bite I'm causing the gum around and underneath to get bruised - that's why its taken a while to get worse. I have a prescription for a course of AntiB's as a 'just in case' but she thinks it will settle down itself in a couple of days. I can't take the tablets without checking with Renal Services anyway - but its good to know I can get them quick if it should continue to hurt - not fancying toothache while on the cruise!!
So - rest day tomorrow (well - vibro toning and rest anyway LOL) and Tom and I are off out with Karen and Erin again - this time the sprogs are going to see a movie and Karen and I are going to be ladies that lunch (and shop, and drink coffee) in the Metrocentre. And then C25K week 4 begins on Thursday.
OMG week 4.... I listened to the start of the week 4 podcast while in the dentists waiting room and startled the other folks in room with my gasp of dismay - 3min run with 90 sec recovery then 5 min run with 2m30s recovery - and repeat. EEEEEK! its going to be tough!! lots more running AND lots less recovery time! but I'm very much looking forward to it! How different from the end of week 2 when 3min runs seemed beyond me and I was dreading it, this week I'm raring to get out there and try! Roll on Thursday - I just hope it's dry!
Saturday, August 13, 2011
my faves of those 5 are:
Ruby on her swing - shes a Gorjuss girl - i love these stamps they are so sweet without being too cutesy and twee.
And also this one which is on SU! cardstock - the first time I have tried it with the pens:
This totally adorable Pure Innocence one that my lovely friend Joanne stamped and sent me (she did all of those in the main pic actually, except for ruby which is my stamp) - I have to find this stamp and buy it - totally LOVE it!! I found a few Pure Innocence images for sale in digi download format so purchased a couple - but the little brolly one wasn't among them sadly! I can feel a new obsession coming on....
Im at a crop today so I will take my pens and some more stamped images and sit and practise colouring in all afternoon - bliss!
Friday, August 12, 2011
Today was week 3 session 1. I said I was dreading and I was - not dreading running but dreading failing. I really didn't want to find that I couldn't run the 3 mins. I was more than up for the run, really looking forward to getting out there, the rest days are good and there for a reason but I spend the whole day wishing I could go out and run! That's NOT normal I'm sure. Well its certainly not normal for this couch potato. I even went out yesterday and bought a second pair of cropped joggers and a T-shirt so I have 2 sets to run in - I'm finding it a bit stressful making sure my kit is washed, dry and ready to go with all this rain!! No worries now - one to wear and one to be drying..... Anyway - back to W3.1....
Week 3 sessions consist of 5 min walking warm up - then 2 reps of 90 secs running - 90 secs walking recover - 3 mins running - 3 mins walking recovery.
The session didn't start well. The weather was ok as I was getting ready to go but I was out and walking when the rain started - not quite to the end of the street, but still into my warm up - so I nipped back for my hat. Then as I was on my way for the second time a van stopped me and asked for directions - arggh! so that was another 30 seconds I hadn't walked and the clock was ticking and the voice was going to tell me to run quite soon and I was no where near my track and still in the streets. So I jogged to the start of the track where I run up and down. Probably not the best thing to do considering I was going to be running for longer during the session but I was determined to get back on track - no pun intended. I got about 30 seconds walking recovery before the voice was telling me to do my first 90 secs. I managed that fine, and noticed during the recovery that I was ready to run again way before the 90 secs was up. Then it was time to run for 3 mins..... Off I went, keeping to a steady pace, not too fast not too slow, and trying not to think too hard about how much time had passed. The voice told me when I was at 1.30 secs and I thought - great - I'm ok - but was waiting for the fire in the lungs or the burn in the legs. Neither came and as I completed the 3 mins I had the biggest smile on my face - delight at having done it when I was so sure I would fail. That smile lasted the rest of the session through another 90 sec run and recovery and the second 3min run (I must have looked completely manic to the dog walkers out there!). I even felt I maybe could have ran a bit more - I'm not saying it was EASY!! but it didn't feel like it was a struggle. I was concentrating on managing my breathing, keeping my rise and fall to a minimum and keeping my pace steady, and it does all help to keep you going. And I felt fantastic coming home and being able to report I had done it!
Today has been a bit of a turning point for me. While I was not lacking in enthusiasm or determination - I was a bit sceptical about the program and also my own ability. It's not that I wanted to fail, I desperately didn't! but I thought I was going to no matter how hard I tried today. I am so glad I was wrong.
I now have a little more faith in the program and a little more self belief. It's all good.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Enough about the dog. Todays run was week 2 sesh 3. It was absolutely chucking it down most of the day and I waited and waited and waited till I couldn't wait any longer and had just resolved to get wet when the rain eased off at last, so off I went about 3.30pm. It was easier today, even when the wind was in my face it was easier. I enjoyed it much more as it was cooler - just a nice temp for running. And because I figured out how to use the Nike+ the other night I now know that I covered a total of 4.22k during my session and I burned a total of 247 calories.
I had a bit of a tizz with the iPod during the warm up and inadvertently ff'd to week 3. I somehow managed to fumble it back to where it had been in the week 2 podcast and got it back in the armband just as she was telling me to start running, but I know I didn't walk as fast as I normally do in those first 5 mins while I tried to sort it out. Didn't seem to matter though as I was fine. I have noticed that I barely ache now after a run. There's not a single twinge in my legs tonight, that has to mean I'm ready to move on to week 3. Tomorrow is a recovery day, then back at it on Friday.
I was still a couple of minutes away from home when the podcast finished after the cool down so I had a sneaky listen to the start of week 3 to see what I will be doing. 3 minute runs!!! Panicking about that - 90 seconds is one thing - but 3 mins??? eeeek! am I ready for 3 mins?? I have followed the program to the letter, so if it works I should be able to manage it right? I'm not confident at ALL. I guess I will find out on Friday.....
Tuesday, August 09, 2011
So - Here we are in week 2 with session number 2. I actually did this run on Monday morning but what with one thing and another haven't got round to sharing it till now.
I went out nice and early, about 8.30am. Tom and I were off out for the day with friends so had to get out and run, back, bathed, breakfasted and ready before 11am. This run was waaaaaaaaaaaaay harder today than any others. I managed fine and completed it, but the last 90 second run I thought my lungs were going to burst, I was so ready for it to end when it did. I'm thinking that 2 glasses of wine the night before were not conducive to a good session!! Perversely I did still enjoy it despite the fire in the lungs. What's that all about then? I'm sure 3 weeks ago if something was painful I'd have just said 'sod that' and not done it again. Instead I'm raring to go with session 3 and have week 2 under my belt! So much so that I even made the hubby go for a walk on Monday evening with me. And because I had spent a little time reading how to actually work the Nike+ on Monday afternoon - I was able to time/track our walk as being 2.6m long and burning 211 calories. I'm looking forward to using it tomorrow for W2.3. I wore it this morning when I went to be weighed and was delighted to be told I had burned 109 calories in my walk to and from the Sports centre. I was less delighted that I had actually put on 1.5lb when I got weighed however. There are a few theories as to why this has happened. There's the 'muscle weighs more than fat' theory, the 'muscle retains water to protect itself' theory - and my own personal fave: the 'I ate far too much food last week' theory. Running makes me hungry. last week I think the only time I wasn't shoving food in my mouth was when I was sleeping or at the dentist. I wasn't really bad - I went for free foods mostly and was aware and counted the foods that were not free - but you just can't eat your own body weight in pasta and NOT gain a little. So its a new week this week, lets see if I can control the voracious appetite better!! I mean - its not like I'm running marathons or anything - I don't NEED to refuel THAT much.
Anyway - enough of the running, here are some photos of what we did on Monday when we went out with friends. We had our feet fishied! Me, Tom, Karen and Erin went to Feet Sensations in Old Eldon square in the Toon and had a 30 min fish pedicure each. I was worried about Tom (and his hyper sensitive feet) not behaving, making a scene by shrieking and generally showing us all up..... I'm delighted to report he behaved beautifully - as did Erin, two model children. It was actually Karen that squealed her way through it.......
here's a few photos - before the feet went in...
Erin is bravest and puts hers in first...
Not to be outdone Tom quickly follows.....
and they soon settle down to an enjoyable 30mins of fishie feet!
I loved it - it did feel a bit odd at first, especially when they squeezed between your toes or wriggled against your foot, but I'd most definitely do it again!
For some reason the 'covered in beeeeeeees!' Eddie Izzard sketch comes to mind whenever I look at these photos!!
Sunday, August 07, 2011
Obviously this is my own interpretation, you may have other ideas!