About Me

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Wife (to Shaun), Mother (to Danni), Dog walker of Archie the JRX, improving cyclist, reformed gym bunny, broken runner Collector of exercise DVDs & equipment. Cake is my weakness together with cider (Westons only thanks)and brandy. Noisy spectator of running & cycling events. Owner of Tribby the campervan

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Fitness - what's improved & what still needs work as I hit 50!

Not long now until we enter 2017 - the year I get to celebrate my 50th birthday.   I'm hoping to be a fitter, slimmer and healthier version so here's some observations on where I am and what needs working on.

When I first started at Boxercise I could barely do a single burpee, in fact because of the shinsplint situation I had to go to the lowest impact I could.   Two years later I can now do about 15 without stopping, proper ones, although by the time we get to 10 it ain't pretty and form goes out the window so I'd like to improve that next year.

Mountain climbers make me want to puke.    I can do about 8 each rep but my stomach starts to talking to my head and then I can't do any more.   Would be nice to get to 10.

Push ups are still a major fail - I'd really hoped I would be off my knees this year but it just isn't happening.  I'll keep trying in the hope that 2017 will see me on my toes for at least 1 full push up.   I've also got to perfect tricep push ups,   They're getting better (on my knees).

Claire introduced us to Turkish Get Ups at Kettlebells last week - that definitely needs work.   I can't even get it right without the weight, let alone adding a kettlebell.

I've started to swing a heavier bell - I started on 4kg but a few weeks ago I picked up a 5kg and used that for some moves.   4kg is too low for some of the presses, although add in lots of repetitions and the muscles are screaming.

More core work, sometimes I struggle with my balance but I'm not sure whether some of that is down to my feet and the overpronation.   Even if my core is engaged I'm still wobbling all over the place and my foot is overworking!!

One the bike hill climbing has improved slightly.   I'm less likely to get off unless I totally miscalculate.   Cycling in the Grampians (Australia) this year taught me quite a lot, although grinding up a mountain is a bit different to some of the short, sharp hills in Sussex.   Visualising the smell of the eucalyptus in the early morning sun helps.  I've just found out this visualisation also helps to reduce my blood pressure - even though the nurse taking it thought a little strange!

Good luck to everyone in 2017 - thanks for reading during the last year.

Saturday, 17 December 2016

2016 - What A Year!

2016 will certainly be one to remember - I wonder whether 2017 will match it.

We kicked off the year with our 3 week trip to the land of Aus which certainly didn't disappoint.  Wish we done it earlier and had Danni with us but circumstances got in the way.  It certainly was a trip of a lifetime and we will certainly be going back to see some more!  Have a look back through the #AussieAdventure to see what we got up.    Everyone asks me what was the one single highlight - I suppose it has to be climbing Sydney Harbour Bridge but honestly each element of the trip was a highlight - cycling in the Grampians, the wildlife, city life, the food, the wine (OMG the wine!), watching the Tour Down Under and seeing Richie Porte win at Willunga Hill.
The Bridge Climb

The Wine

The food

The Grampian Mountain cycling

The wildlife

Richie Porte smashing Willunga Hill, TDU

Spending 2 weeks with these gorgeous people
We've had some lovely Tribby Trips, even the ones with the dire weather.
My favourite view of the year - Canterbury C&C Club site
Tribby is more or less closed up now.  I've removed all the upholstery and soft furnishings and they're now piled up in the empty bedroom!

The Tribby trips have had an impact on the cycling, which is a massive frustration.   The weather has also had a major effect - it's either been too wet or too windy.  I have though increased my furthest distance which was a goal for this year.  My longest ride should've been the Davina Big Sussex Bike Ride but I didn't quite make that because of the weather.   My new distance is 54 miles (88 km) so maybe next year's Davina or another sportive will crack the 60 mile furthest distance I'd have preferred.
Safety talk by Davina herself

I was enjoying it - honest!  It had just started to spit with rain at this point

Had to give in and put on a waterproof jacket

This year saw me gain my cycling battle scars with my first road spill.
One chilly morning riding with Nik & Amanda

Ruined my expensive arm warmers

and ruined my right knee

The next morning

Feeling sorry for myself
Still smiling though - at the top of Bitch (The Dyke) Hill
Luckily not badly damaged but enough to make me wary of going out alone.   I've ridden more solo rides this year, including the 54 miler.  I've ridden up a mountain (in Australia), although you won't find it on Strava as I didn't have my tech with me!  I know if it's not on Strava it never happened, but I have the photo to prove it and the memory.

This year I've finally started to lose some of the 2.5 stone I gained by joining Slimming World.  Todate I've lost 13lb (just under a stone).  It's surprising what a difference those few pounds are making.  Sometimes it's hard to stay on plan, especially when we've been away in Tribby - I do like my treats like a glass or two of wine with dinner and a coffee and cake mid-morning.  Sometimes life has to be about living.   At least with Slimming World I know if I stick to the plan I can lose so I haven't beaten myself up if I've slipped for a couple of days.   The run up to Christmas could be difficult but I just have to be sensible.   Another stone at least to go - I'll be happy at 9 and a half!

2017 is building up to being an exciting year - with my 50th in April and Danni's 21st.  We've already booked a holiday that I've wanted to do many years.  Not as exciting as going to Australia but Crete has sat on the "to do" list for too many years.   Lots of plans coming together - walk the Samaria Gorge, the Palace of Knossos, enjoy the Greek food and we've even upgraded our room with our own swim up pool.