All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy…

Well, my training went a bit off the rails this weekend, but who can blame someone for wanting a couple of beers with friends once in a while, huh?  Saturday is usually my pakrun/pump day, but I didn’t make either.  Why, you ask, narrowing your eyes and throwing a side-eye my way?  Simple.  I was hungover.

Friday night was the one year anniversary of a writing group I’m a part of.  Anniversaries are for one thing: drinking.  Now, it was a themed night, and the theme was ‘moral decay’.  I took that to mean ‘dress like a ho’ and I gave it my all.

Total number of party guests that decided to follow the theme: 2

Far left: me. Far right: the ONLY OTHER PERSON TO MAKE AN EFFORT TO DRESS UP!

So I spent the night teetering about in trashy 6-inch heeled boots and a rubber dress whilst everyone else lounged comfortably in sensible, non-ho clothes.  Awesome.

Anyway, I didn’t get home until just before three, so I decided after 8 straight days of working out I had earned a rest day.  And it was great.  I slept in, ate loads and topped it off with a play at His Majesty’s Theatre.

Roll around Sunday.  I also slept in today.  Until the afternoon, which is unheard of for me.  I told myself I would do some form of exercise today, but the longer I languished in bed, the less likely that idea seemed.  After lunch, however, with the sun out and the energy of instant noodles soaring through my body, I thought ‘Ugh, screw it, I’ll go’.

I set off not knowing how far I would run.  Initially I was thinking 5 miles, but it was such a nice day I just kept going.  My hip was giving me a bit of bother and the knee still isn’t 100%, but I just felt happy on the go.  When I eventually checked my Garmin and noticed I’d gone 5.5 miles, I decided it was time to turn back.  And who wouldn’t be in the mood for running here?

Pure stunnin', ken?

Turning onto my street I saw I’d run over 11 miles, my longest run at 28 so far!  Having not planned for a long run, I was glad I’d tucked a cheeky tenner into my phone-carrier arm-strap thing, and ran past my front door, round the corner, and straight to the Tesco Local that I know has good fridges (because poorly chilled beverages piss me off).  The sight of pure heaven?  Witness:

Excessive?

So that’ll be my longest run before my first half marathon, which is exactly two weeks away now.  Feeling confident I’ll manage the distance as I felt strong (but thirsty) after my run today, and have a realistic goal of coming in under 2:15, although sub 2:00 is like my holy grail!  I guess I’m starting what is known in the biz as ‘taper time’, apart from my 10 mile race next Sunday.

Hope everyone else’s training is going well, and that you’ve been balancing all of your hard work with some hard play!  😉

Hasta luego.

100 Push Ups Challenge

After my fist-pumping-the-air-in-my-living-room celebration for doing 40 push ups in a row, I decided I needed some sort of master plan to get to my goal of 50.  Some kind of routine (because I’m a sucker for routine).  After creeping on loads of other fitness blogs this 100 Push Ups Challenge kept reappearing so I decided to check it out.  And it looks alright!  I mean, I probably wont be able to bust 100 push ups out in one go, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction. You know, up.

So I decided to start on Week 3, middle column.  Day One: Demolished!

Boom.

Dripping With Sweat.

I know this is ‘technically’ a running blog (though my rants and other such things make it into posts frequently), but running is not my only exercise honey (as anyone who has peeked at my training record will have noticed).  I love Les Mills classes (Body Pump, Body Combat, etc.) because the music is really motivating, and I really feel like I’m pushing myself.  And who am I kidding, meeting up with fellow workout freaks for a cheeky early evening bitch is cathartic.  But the one class that makes me feel totally used?  Spin.

Spin is a Monday and Wednesday thing.  Twice a week is enough, for sure.  I always know I’m working hard when the veins in my hands go all ‘Madonna’ and every time I exhale, I sprinkle the ground in front of me with droplets of sweat.  I sweat, ladies and gentlemen, like recovering sex addict in a brothel.  I actually worry sometimes that I’ll run out of sweat and my brain will rattle away in my skull and I’ll step off the stationary bike with brain damage.  THAT much.

So what about you guys?  Are you soak-your-shirt sweaters, or refined, lightly perspiring beauties?

Man Push-ups!

My definition of ‘man push-up’ is a push up with no knees on the ground.  The way push-ups should be.  Like a cross between planking and having sex (grunting included).  My record of man push-ups in a row was set about a year ago, before my operations, when my upper body strength was at its most ‘hardcore’ for a while.  My record was 40.

Now I haven’t really done the ‘How Many Man Push-ups Can I Do In A Row’ test for a while.  I cracked out 20 in Australia, when I had a contest with my brother and my dad.  I went first, so I stopped at 20, since I totally underestimated my competition.  My brother struggled into first with a painful looking 30, but we were both destroyed by our 61 (now 62) year old dad, who threw in an extra 5 just for show.  Sick.

Tonight, it was time for a check-up.  I was not confident, especially after a pull-up attempt at a local park involved me hanging lifelessly from a bar in front of a family with small kids staring at my total inability to lift my own bodyweight.  My boyfriend had to help me up, and I let myself down gently in a slow, controlled movement.  This will be how I build strength.  Anyway, the point is, I had I feeling I was going to suck hard.

The result?  I hit my record of 40! Admitedly the final five were pretty shady, but I’m stoked.  The colour of beetroot and able to feel my heartbeat in my eyeball, but stoked!

Next goal?  50.

Snow: I Hate You

Just in case it wasn’t clear from the title, it snowed overnight.  And I hate snow.  While it has some kind of Jedi Mind Power over some fully grown, adult people I become ashamed to refer to as ‘friends’, within me it ignites a rage so powerful, I am amazed it doesn’t simply thaw within a 1 mile radius of my body.  Why do I hate snow?  Because when people walk on it, it becomes compacted snow.  Which basically means ice.  Which basically means I end up ass-over-feet and covered in blood.

Yesterday I went for a back, neck and shoulder massage.  It was relaxing.  It was also sunny and cloudless when I walked into the salon for my treatment.  When I left?  Snow.  All of the relaxing powers of a woman digging her oiled up elbow into my back for 45 minutes DESTROYED COMPLETELY by my voyage home through blizzard conditions.  Upon arrival at my front door, enraged and dripping with snow (because that sneaky shit turns into water when it lands on your jacket/hair/face), I took this photo of the outdoor conditions:

Snow/Sleet

The only saving grace throughout this experience was the fact that it was not lying on the ground.  So I go to bed expecting to get a semi-decent ‘long’ run in tomorrow (but not as long as I had hoped because knee is still niggly and I don’t want to push it too much).

Mother Nature:  HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA. No.

This morning, from my kitchen window:

Excuse the Nutella jar on the windowsill. And the streaky windows that clearly need a good scrub.

Not exactly South Pole conditions, but not ideal either.  So I left it until lunchtime to brave the cold air for a run, hoping that the awesome power of the sun would melt the snow and ice away by then.

It didn’t.  At least not completely.  About 50% of my run involved my trainers getting enough purchase so as not to make me paranoid about ending up in a human pretzel on the ground, but the other half?  Slippy.  Managed 6.5 miles with minimal knee trouble, but I was not fast.  Still, it cancelled out my indulgent dinner….

Now when I was young, I lived in Indonesia for about 4 years.  Religiously, I would eat Indomie chicken flavour instant noodles at least 4 nights a week (think Ramen noodles or Super noodles, only tasty).  Often more.  They are, without a doubt, the most awesome fast-snack food one could wish for.  Over Christmas and New Year, in Australia, I spotted some in a supermarket, and pretty much ate at least 2 packets a day.  And today?  I had a serious hankering.  And I knew where I could get release.  Enter Spice of Asia, just off George Street: home of delicious foodstuffs from my childhood.  I hadn’t been in ages (I used to make weekly visits because I used to live, handily, on George Street), but they still charge £1 for 4 packs of Indomie.  Total bargain.  I’m still convinced, as well, that I’m their only white customer.  Anyway, I present to you some of my swag:

Sex for my tongue

So today, after my run, and after foam rolling the crap out of my legs (and making unintelligible sounds/sobs for the duration), I cooked up some retro grub:

Shit just got real

So overall, a fairly pitiful training week, but one marred by having to travel to Glasgow for a day, and also by my knee playing up.  This is probably my own fault for stopping the foam roller stuff and stretching as soon as the trouble started to clear up.  Because I refused to accept that it was one of those ‘maintenance issues’ that it so clearly is.  Bummer.

Foot Fetishists, Turn Back Now!

Let’s get one thing out in the open:  my feet have never been things of beauty.  For one, they’re totally deformed.  I’m pretty sure my little toe is missing bones, and it kinds of hangs lifelessly up on the side of my foot.  It doesn’t even touch the ground when I stand.  It’s nasty.  My feet, because of the amount of time they spend in trainers when I’m at the gym, are also totally calloused.  I secretly openly enjoy using nail clippers to cut off chunks of hard, dead skin after a shower.  It’s the same rush when you have a giant blackhead to squeeze – super satisfying.  So you can see that my feet didn’t have the best start.

But running has destroyed them.

Blisters, crunched/crumbling toenails, blood appearing from seemingly invisible sources – the works!  The following photo is my feet on a good, ‘just been attended to’ day:

Lookin' good!

And things look set to get worse.  Not long now until my first 10 mile race, followed by my first half marathon!  I think I’ll have to treat myself to a pedicure afterwards.

In other news, my knees are still holding up, though I feel occasional niggles.  No pain though, which is what my physio told me I had to stop for, so I’ll just keep on truckin’.

Anyway, to balance the sorry sight of my retarded, used feet, here are some flowers my boyfriend’s mum got me for my birthday/Valentine’s Day (since she assumed (correctly) that her son would not get me any).  They’re really colourful and cheerful.  I love getting fresh flowers, especially since it rarely happens.

(Hint to boyfriend if he actually reads my blog!!!!)

Fresh flowers on birthdays should be mandatory.

Go Go Gadget Smartphone Video: Desperate Dude Seeks Paid Company on Valentine’s Day in Abedeen

So this one time, at the cinema, some guy comes up to me and my boyfriend and starts chatting away.  At first we were both thinking ‘who the hell is this guy?!’, but we eventually realized it was a guy that lives in my block of flats that I had been speaking to about getting in touch with his landlord for money the landlord owed me for roof work to the building.  Anyway, this guy normally seems pretty antisocial, so we chatted to him a bit.  He mentioned that he had reason to believe that the Ground Floor flat used to be a brothel (way low rent, obviously), but the police shut it down.  This seemed plausible, as there were foreign chicks of all descriptions that seemed to be there for short periods of time who could never give me details of their landlord and were sometimes wandering the hallway in a silk nightie (not a good look).

But it would seem someone is up to no good yet again!

Tonight, when my boyfriend came round to spend time with his gorgeous girlfriend on Valentine’s Day, he happened to arrive at the front door just as two scantily clad ladies were buzzed in.  They didn’t notice him, but he noticed that they went into ‘the ho flat’ (as we have affectionately nick-named it).  Being nosy, he eavesdropped, and gathered that the 2 women had removed their clothes and were posing for photos.  The woman that had let them in said, “That one’s going on the internet.” and they chatted about their boobs.  He also heard that someone was due at 10 o’clock, but that they weren’t sure if he would turn up.

Now, obviously when my boyfriend eventually made it upstairs (and was super late) he explained his reasons for being tardy, and the conversation ended a little something like this:

Me: So some guy is meant to be turning up in like 5 minutes?

Boyfriend: Yeah.

Me: Do you wanna go down and wait for him to arrive?

Boyfriend (smiling): Yeah.

Me: I’ll video it!

And so we did.

First Run on the Wrong Side of 28

I thought after my long run yesterday I’d take the legs out today to ‘flush them out’, especially since I looked out of my window and saw this:

Too sunny NOT to run...

 

So I head out, and since I feel good I run down to the beach.  Unfortunately, as soon as I got there, the rain began, the freezing wind picked up, my left hip started hurting, and the blisters on my feet from yesterday became REALLY obvious.  So after 7.11 miles, I get home, look out of my window, and witness this:

Unpleasant to the max.

And just now, as I type this, merely 10 minutes after getting in, what is going on?  I’m being bathed in sunlight through the window.  Typical.

Last Run on the Right Side of 27!

And it was a good one. Make no mistake, I feel like a Vegas hooker after Charlie Sheen has been in town, but I am really pleased with today’s run for a couple of reasons.

The first reason is that this is the second longest run I’ve ever done.  In my life!  10.14 miles, to be exact (Thank you sweet Garmin).  I have a 10 mile race and a half marathon coming up next month, and finally getting a run in the double figures has given me a bit of a confidence boost because a.) I know I can run the distance and b.) I didn’t feel like I was going to suffer from a cardiac event!

The second reason is that I have been a 10k girl for years.  It is a distance I have been comfortable with and I know how to pace myself well through one.  I have attempted a Long Slow Distance run a couple of times before, but always start out too quickly and tire myself out.  Today I was religious about checking my pace, and managed to stay around the 9:30/mile speed for the most part.  Not too fast to exhaust me, but not too slow (in my eyes, anyway) to feel like there was no effort.

The final reason I am pleased with today’s run?  Well, it will have helped work off the mexican food and beer from last night.  Oh, and this:

Enormous lemon "cupcake"

In case anyone is interested, I wouldn’t recommend beer, mexican and cake for a meal before a long run.

As far as birthday celebrations went, everyone tried to hold in their anger at sucking hard at indoor crazy golf (I came second by ONE MEASLY STROKE!).  Then there was a meal before gathering at a friend’s house to watch some humorous documentaries and inflate balloons with helium (one of my gifts).

One of the most uplifting presents I've ever received. (Har har)

I’d like to point out that the stripey dress I’m wearing isn’t the only article of non-workout clothes I own, I just really like it.  Anyway, everyone was really into the balloons.  And when I say everyone, I mostly mean my friend Liell.

Balloons!

I also got a very swanky new headband, which I wore on my run today, a scarf, and then this afternoon my friend Grant and his brother, Bruce, came round bearing even more gifts: A book by Nick Cave (THE Nick Cave, I didn’t even know he wrote books!  I’m ashamed that as an English Teacher I didn’t know that!), and some trashy scratch cards.  I’ll let you know if I’m a millionaire next time….

Bitchin' Style

Swag!

Over and Out!

Aberdeen parkrun 11.2.12

I was booked into step class this morning as I wanted to make sure me knees (still not 100%, but still a total improvement to 2 weeks ago – plus my physio had advised I keep going if there’s no pain) had plenty of rest for my ‘planned’ long slow run tomorrow, but ended up cancelling my booking and hitting parkrun again.  I say ‘planned’ (in regards to my long run) as it’s my birthday weekend (birthday is on Monday but doing stuff with friends tonight), so my run depends largely on my behavior tonight.  My longest run this year has been nearly 8.5 miles, so I wanted a minimum of 9 (but hopefully 10) tomorrow.  I have a friend who might come with me, but again, depends on how he feels.  Plus a 10k is the most he has run in his life, but he’s come far in the month or two that he has been taking running a bit more seriously.

Anyway, the two of us ended up at parkrun this morning before Body Pump.  It was cold, but dry and there wasn’t really any wind.  Perfection!  We both smashed our last parkrun attempts, coming in at 25:08 (me) and 25:09 (Grant).  A wee bit to go before I’m pulling in sub-23’s again, but slow improvements, so I’m pleased.  I was especially thrilled at my time as about 100 metres into the run I realized that my shoelaces had come undone on my right trainer.  But, like a champ, I willed myself to ignore it and only stop of it became totally unmanageable to run in (it very nearly did).

Three weeks to go before my first ever 10 mile race (which is why I’d like to have confidence that I can run that distance after this weekend) and four weeks until my first half marathon.  It’s right about now that I’m thinking: you total spoon, what were you thinking?  10k is your distance, woman!  But then I push those thoughts to the back of my mind and think of beer.  Thinking of beer gets me through some pretty tough situations.

Untied Laces: another foot shot for all the foot fetishists out there. x x x