2014 Goals and progress

So I was thinking about whether or not to keep this blog going, post Celtman 2013 partial success (glass half-full)…I never quite got round to a full rundown of the event itself, that might still come. Sufficed to say I decided that this year I need to concentrate on business, so I’m not going to be doing anywhere near the same amount of training. However, I do fancy focusing in on technique, speed, strength and skill stuff, so that when I come back next year (2015) to attempt Celtman again I’ll be a better athlete to start with. Well that’s the plan and as a result I decided to keep the blog going.

I’m going to use it slightly differently this time (less pictures). Each Sunday I’m going to plan out what I’m doing swim, bike, run wise so that it’s down in black and white and I’m committed to it. The second reason for doing this is it means I don’t have to think about it again. Efficiency is very important this year as I’m setting up a new portraiture studio and I don’t want to spend time humming and ha-ing over training, so it’s all going to be sorted out on Sunday and then just go on with…again that’s the plan.

I’m going to keep track of all my progress on a spreadsheet on Google Drive. If you want to join me follow the link and I’ll add a page for you and we can all do it together.

This week’s training plan is pretty simples…swim session on Monday morning is going to be all about setting times, 25m, 100m, 1000m, and Wednesday will be lots of drills with 10x100m thrown in for fun. Bike is going to be an hour on the rollers (first time for 9 months so wish me luck) and then out and back to Abington (I’ve forgot how far it is) on Saturday. Run is going to be similar to swim. Tuesday is going to be setting 1km and 5km times in the meadows in Edinburgh and then finding a 10km loop for Sunday and putting down times. If anyone wants to join me just send me a message on FB. I’ll add the link to the bottom of the page.

The final thing I’m going to add to the blog is food! Last year I totally came off the rails, diet wise, and now I have to sort my shit out…for lack of a better expression. My lovely sister sent me ‘The Feed Zone Cookbook‘ for Christmas so each week I’m going to experiment with two recipes, one breakfast, one dinner. This week it’s going to be Quinoa and Berries for breakfast. Quinoa is my nemesis…I never get it right, it always ends up like soup (I also have a slight issue with quinoa looking like giant sperm. Weird? I know!). However, I love the idea of it, so I am going to persevere! The second recipe is going to be Pork Green Chilli, for purely practical reasons. My father raised three pigs over the summer and as a result we currently have over 150kg of pork in our freezer, might as well use it 😉

I’ll let you know how it goes. If anyone has any great programmes/blogs/people they are following (in a non stalker-y way) let me know on the FB. I’d also love to hear any tips on training and cooking that you have, so give me shout!

Useful links:

The Greater the Obstacle Facebook page.

The Feed Zone Cookbook

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6 months of progress pictures

Why exercise isn’t about weight loss…

I know a race report is due but I’m waiting for my times from Celtman before I write it up properly, as is my want, I had nothing more than my watch on so I’ve no real idea of how long it took me to do anything…other than the bike taking 3hours longer than planned, but that’s a sad story for another day. I’m also going to do one reflecting on my training in regards to my performance, but for now I thought I’d better do the final progress shot and a quick (well you know me I’m prone to waffling…just re-read this its a massive ramble) reflection on why I took them in the first place.

So why did I take them? Back in December I spoke to a couple of personal trainers and gyms about possible business link ups (I’m a photographer in the real world). I wanted to do before and after pictures of their clients, but for various reasons this never quite got off the ground. However it did make me think that I needed a guinea pig/model who was prepared to be the first. So when it came to doing the blog I had a thought why not me? Then a friend said that she really liked progress pictures in fitness blogs and that was all the push I needed.

There were also practical reasons for the pictures as when you undertake a training programme it is important to monitor what you are doing to make sure you’re not pushing too hard or putting too much stress on your system. This includes getting enough to eat because it is too easy to not realise when upping the amount of time your spending training, particularly on the bike. I know quite a few folk who seem to constantly be picking up viruses and struggling with injures and ***WARNING OPINION*** I believe that loosing too much weight (not eating enough), not doing enough strength stuff and most of all not listening to your body is a real issue. Therefore the pictures combined with the measurements were to make sure I wasn’t loosing too much weight…turns out I had no reason to worry as what has always been true with me has continued. I don’t really loose weight I just get denser.

Finally, and possibly the most important reason as far as I’m concerned is the ideological argument. I’m sick to death hearing about weight loss. I have been inundated with adverts for this exercise trick, weight loss miracle and that fad diet since I started the blog, Facebook etc and I loathe it with a vengeance. This may sound odd coming from someone posting pictures of themselves in their pants on the internet, but this is and has never been about getting skinny. I know lots of people will say I didn’t start off massive (it has been said already), but that’s my first bug bare. Judging yourself against other people. There is no point. I’m never going to be model skinny I’m just not built that way. I’m athletic, by that I mean fairly solid, I’m never going to be that light. 75kg is the weight I usually sit at. I have bigger hands than most of the guys I know (my lovely little sister refers to them as my mole-mits and makes digging motions…charming I know) and I also remember knocking a good few guys on their arses in my late teens as part of my early rugby career, so delicate and ladylike are not qualities usually associated with me, but I accepted that a long time ago. My build has allowed me to do lots of different things, be fairly good a lots of things and keep me pretty safe traveling the world, often by myself, so maybe I’m lucky or maybe that’s just the way we should all see ourselves. Look for the positive.

Stop comparing ourselves to fictional people in the media and advertising. They are only there to make you feel shit about yourself so you buy the pointless crap in the pursuit of something that has no real value. I can feel myself getting angrier and angrier as this turns into a full out rant, so I’m going to trail off there and come back to my original topic, but if anyone wants to hear my 2000+word rant on the fatuous superficial nature modern society (I’m pretty sure no one does) add a comment at the end LOL…

…now what was I talking about oh yes why I took the progress pictures. 1. Demonstrate the benefit of before and after pictures. Check! 2. To keep healthy. Check! 3. Not everyone is model shaped. Check (sort of)! 4. Oh yes I remember…even with lots of hard f***ing work change is slow, its difficult and weight loss is a piss poor indicator of progress. As I feel is proven by the pictures. Keep in mind that for large parts of the process I was training towards 15 hours a week including 2-3 weights sessions . Did I get massive? Not particularly. Did I loose weight? Not particularly.

So what did I get out of it I hear you ask…I got leaner. I got stronger. I got happier. I got more confident (okay maybe not one of my issues). I got strong enough to stay on my bike for 11hours (though at times during that period I wished I wasn’t). I got the sense that I am physically able to do everything I want to be able to do. And that’s what it’s all about for me. Being able to do stuff. Not looking a certain way. Any physical changes have been a by product.

So take away message is doing stuff is good! Not doing stuff is bad. Weight loss is a shit indicator of fitness. Exercise and fitness makes you happy. Judging yourself against other people is a recipe for making yourself unhappy. Weights don’t make you massive. I have an opinion on everything LOL

And to finish here’s the pictures from the beginning 😉

DISCLAIMER: In no way should anything I’ve done or said or written be taken as good advice. I have no professional experience in the heath and wellbeing sector and an unhealthy disregard for what people regard as good training and competing practices. So anything you do is all on you :D x

On the road again!

Yipeee! No snow and sunshine! Finally out on the bike today…no more rollers! I was like a kid in a candy store and got very over excited and did 121km on the bike. The most I’ve ever done on a bike ever. Still got another 80km to find in the next 3 months, and I should probably go out with more than one bottle of water and one of diluting juice. Nutrition fail! Thought my porridge in the morning did me well. 4517kCal burned OMG! No bonking just a really sore back which was leftover from Thursday’s gym session.

Map

A wee hill on the way back from Moffat. The Beeftub is such fun!

I sometimes wonder what it would be like to train without hills, but then I think I would get bored. Fabulous day. Here’s hoping I can walk/run tomorrow!

Landscape

The view from the top of the hill at the Beeftub outside Moffat on the way home.

Girl on left looking down the valley.

Happy Girl at the top of the hill…mostly downhill from here on.

Have you eaten?

This was meant to be a post reflecting how week -2 went, but it has turned in to something else. Thanks to my idiocy.

So long story short I leaned lots last night, some of it I already knew, but some of it is new.

First thing I learned was: If you have been wearing heels all day, and you’re out of practice, your lower back might be very tired, so when it comes to doing things like swinging kettle bells, it may feel like your top and bottom halves are held together by old string (and I mean the frayed, brittle stuff). FAIL

Solution: Flat shoes tomorrow and see if it makes a difference.

Second lesson (I knew this one already, but it never seems to stop me repeating it): 2 pieces of toast for breakfast and a sachet of instant porridge for lunch will not sustain you for a whole day on your feet followed by a training session. Result blood sugar dropping through the floor resulting in; stupidity (left phone at work), followed by lack of coordination (couldn’t manage to swing the kettle bells), followed by depression (I wanted to sit down on the mats in the gym and cry by 5.30pm), finished by more stupidity (I only worked out the reason when I was driving home).

Solution: EAT more you muppet!

Third lesson (I’m also aware of this): I get far to easily aggravated when I can’t do something I know I should be able to do (see kettle bell reference).

Solution: Learn previous 2 lessons and chill out…like that’s going to happen.

So yesterday’s lessons are wear flat shoes and eat more…let see if I manage it today.