Mixing it up a bit

Week 6 Jantastic-

I’m half way through Jantastic and still maintaining a 100% record for my chosen targets.  But that’s only half the story as the headline news is I feel fitter and stronger.  Post Jantastic I am hoping to remain committed to 3 runs and 2 bike rides a week to help achieve my goal for a fit and healthy me in 2015.

IMAG0548   IMAG0549

What my week looked like-

Monday 9th Feb

  • Planned: Tread run and body pump class
  • Actual: 45 min pump class

Tuesday 10th Feb

  • Planned: nothing
  • Actual: nothing

Wednesday 11th Feb

  • Planned: nothing
  • Actual: nothing

Thursday 12th Feb

  • Planned: spin class
  • Actual: nothing

Friday 13th Feb

  • Planned: tread run and body pump class
  • Actual: tread run 4.70 miles and 45 min pump class

Saturday 14th Feb

  • Planned: 3 mile run and 10 mile cycle
  • Actual: 3 mile run in 35 min and 10.24 mile cycle in 1 hour and 8 mins

IMAG0532      IMAG0536 IMAG0537     IMAG0539

Sunday 15th Feb

  • Planned: 6 mile cycle and 8 mile run
  • Actual: 6 mile cycle in 42 mins and 8 mile run in 1 hour 42 mins

IMAG0540    IMAG0545   IMAG0547    IMAG0546

Review of the week-

This week had the beginnings of being a brilliant week as I was starting with a body pump class.  But I finished work later than anticipated so only managed pump class.  I missed spin as I had dentist and due to dentist was too late to make the class.   Therefore by Friday morning I had 3 days to fit 5 cardio activities in.  I wasn’t too worried just a matter of mixing it up and being focused on my goal; meet Jantastic targets.

I did the same Friday night session as last two weeks-4.7 mile tread run (last week managed 5 miles) and pump class.  Saturday and Sunday I did one run and one cycle on both days.  Like last weeks long run I pushed myself to run faster at the end.  This time I managed 1 mile faster than the whole run had been so really chuffed with that.  It was really great doing both activities back to back.  I never felt overwhelmed or too tired just right.  In fact I just felt really strong in my legs and lungs.

IMAG0551 IMAG0550

Goals for next week-

My goals last week that I achieved were: two body pump classes, 3 runs incl one 8 mile run and one 10 mile cycle.   The one I didn’t meet was spin class.


This week I hope to achieve the following:

  1. one body pump class and one core conditioning session at home
  2. one spin class
  3. one cycle over 10 miles (c.12-16 miles)
  4. three runs incl one long run of 8 miles

I am feeling fit and fabulous.  Long may this satisfaction from exercise continue.

Humdrum week

Week 5 Jantastic-

I am really pleased I have met all my Jantastic targets this week again; 3 runs including one of 8 miles and 2 bikes.  My 100% record continues.




What my week looked like-

Monday 2nd February

  • Planned-nothing
  • Actual-nothing

Tuesday 3rd February

  • Planned-evening run
  • Actual-nothing.

Wednesday 4th February

  • Planned-tread run and body pump class at gym
  • Actual-bike at gym (15 min-4.8 miles), body pump class then tread run (16 min-3 miles)

Thursday 5th February

  • Planned-spin class
  • Actual-spin class

Friday 6th February

  • Planned-tread run and body pump class at gym
  • Actual-tread run (37 min-5 miles) and body pump class

Saturday 7th February

  • Planned-8 mile run
  • Actual-8 mile run in 1 hour and 40 min

Sunday 8th February

  • Planned-10 mile cycle
  • Actual-nothing

Review of the week-

This week has been a humdrum sort of week.   No amazing achievements and no awful days just humdrum.  Another way to describe this state would be by saying it was uneventful.  I completed 3 runs and 2 bike sessions.  Nothing more and nothing less.

I started the week by taking a rest day on Monday.  I had exercised Thursday to Sunday previous week so thought it best to take a break.  I had the time and opportunity to run on Tuesday evening but didn’t.  I can’t even come up with a reasonable excuse.  I was plain lazy.  This meant on Wednesday I was playing catch up with myself.  I arrived early for body pump to fit a tread run in but the gym was so busy all treads were full.  I had 15 min free time before class so did a session on stationary bike.  The class was good but the lunges almost broke me! At the end I still wanted to fit a run in so decided to stay for 15 mins.  I normally manage 3 miles in 15 mins but my legs were like jelly.  It was over 16 mins before I reached 3 miles.  I pushed myself too much in one day and paid for it with my jelly legs.  I need to remember quality over quantity for fitness sessions next time.  Thursday having learned my lesson I left then gym after spin class.  Friday I did same as last week; run on tread and body pump class.   Had a great tread session clocking up 5 miles in 37 mins.   I felt really strong before my long run on Saturday.  I kept a fairly slow pace for 7.5 miles and then pushed myself for last half mile.


In the evening I had some tightness in my left knee and my legs left a little stiff.  I decided on Sunday not to do my cycle.  I had already met my Jantastic target so it was purely pleasure and leisure going out of for a ride.  My legs felt normal so decided to listen to my body and give them a rest day.

Overall, my week was ok.  I met my Jantastic targets of 3 runs including one of 8 miles.  I managed to increase one of my other runs from 3 to 5 miles and went to two body pump classes.




Goals for next week-

  1. two body pump classes
  2. run three times including one 8 mile long run and 4-5 miles on each other session
  3. one spin class
  4. one 10 mile cycle outside

Bye bye humdrum week!

Going with the flow but not getting flushed away

Week 4 Jantastic-

I met all of my Jantastic targets this week.   But at the start of the week I really never thought I’d make it and contemplated having to use the “joker” on Jantastic.  I was ill for three days and until I woke up on Thursday morning wasn’t making any fitness plans.




What my week looked like-

Monday 26th Jan

  • Planned-lunch time run
  • Actual-no exercise

Tuesday 27th Jan

  • Planned-spin class at gym after work
  • Actual-no exercise

Wednesday 28th Jan

  • Planned-evening run with my running buddies
  • Actual-no exercise

Thursday 29th Jan

  • Planned-lunch time run on tread at gym and spin class at gym after work
  • Actual-30 min spin class followed by 15 min run on tread (2 miles)

Friday 30th Jan

  • Planned-run on tread at gym and body pump class at gym after work
  • Actual-45 min body pump class followed by 23 min run on tread (3 miles)

Saturday 31st Jan

  • Planned-10 mile cycle
  • Actual-10 mile cycle



Sunday 1st Feb

  • Planned-6.5 mile run
  • Actual-6.5 mile run


Review of the week-

This week was about going with the flow.  I was unwell from Sunday evening through to Wednesday night.  I had sore ears, sore neck, sore muscles and sore throat.  I topped myself up with cold/flu plus tablets and didn’t do any exercise.   I looked after myself.  It sounds easy but to be fair I had to be persuaded by my husband to not exercise on Monday and Tuesday.   It was the right decision as my body wasn’t ready and doing it might have prolonged my illness.  By Thursday I felt 100% better and ready to start exercising.  I could have used a “joker” on Jantastic and there is no shame whatsoever for doing this.  But I was determined not to let my 3 day illness flush away all my fantastic progress.  I dug deep and set about meeting my targets.  I took it easy on Thursday and Friday tread runs but also doubled up on Thursday by doing a run after spin.    I am really proud that I met most of my targets this week.  I had set myself some extra ones too; cycle 10 miles and do toning exercises 3 x a week adding more repetitions and weights.  Well, I did cycle 10 miles and did a body pump class but not 3 x a week.  We can’t win them all!

January Progress report-

Four weeks of consistently running 3 x a week and cycling twice a week.

I am now fitting into smaller sized jeans

I feel super motivated and more energetic

I’ve increased my running mileage from 9 miles to around 12-14 miles total per week.

Goals for next week-

February Jantastic has a new target of a long run/cycle or swim per week.  I have chosen to do a long run of 8 miles.  I am hoping to increase the mileage of my other two runs this week too.  I will maintain the 10 mile cycle at the weekend.  Finally I hope to get back to 3 x a week of toning exercises.  Here’s to a fabulous February for everyone!

Practice makes perfect

Week 3 Jantastic

Another successful week for my fitness journey.  See screen shot below:

IMAG0515 IMAG0516

Here is what my week looked like:



  • lunch time run (planned)
  • run in evening 4.13 miles in 48 min 20 sec (actual)


Feedback-the evening run was great.  I only planned  to do 3 miles when I started out but it was going so well I ran an extra mile.  Pace was good too-11 min 42 sec


  • spin class (planned)
  • 40 min spin class and evening toning exercises (actual)


  • evening hill session (planned)
  • no exercise (actual)


  •  non exercise day (planned)
  • no cardio but evening toning exercises (actual)


  • spin class (planned)
  •  4 mile tread run in 30 mins incld speed intervals (actual)

Feedback-I did a 5 min warm up followed by 3 intervals of 3 min at a fast pace and 2 minutes recovery (incline set a 1%).  I followed this with 10 mins on a hill incline 5-6%.  I really enjoyed this session.


  • non exercise day (planned)
  • 6.5 mile cycle (actual)




  • long run  (planned)
  • 6 mile run in 1 hour 16 min 35 sec and evening toning exercises (actual)

Feedback-I was a little disappointed with my pace on this run.  It averaged 12 min 45 sec which is slower than I hoped for.  My last 6 mile run I did in 1 hour 14 min 23 sec (pace 12 min 23 sec).  I can only think my “girl thing” affected it.  I am taking inspiration from professional tennis player Heather Watson who during an interview post getting knocked out of Australian Open she talked about her periods.

Reflections on the week-

I achieved all the targets I set myself this week.  These were 3 runs, 2 bike rides and 3 toning sessions.   I found this week very do able.  I felt relieved that I had finally found a manageable way to fit toning exercises into my life.  The revelation was that it wasn’t through a fitness DVD and it wasn’t doing it pre going to work.  These two conditions like my previous one of going to body pump twice a week were not possible.  I am very committed and motivated with my fitness goals.  But fitness is only one aspect of my life and there are other aspects that also require my time (in no particular order); my full-time social work job, spending time with my children, spending time with my husband, caring for my dog, volunteering, relaxing and doing all the other mundane things like tidying/cleaning etc.  For a fitness schedule to work it needs to fit easily into a person’s life.  This is the “do able” bit as if it’s not realistic it is not going to get done.  This is what I discovered about myself with exercising in the morning.  Yes, this is a very do able thing many people use to help them fit in all their life commitments but this doesn’t work for me.  I could break the reasons down for why this doesn’t work for me but to be fair they mostly relate to I am not a morning person.

Goals for next week-

If something works well don’t make the mistake of changing it too soon.  So, I am going to keep my targets the same as last week; 3 runs, 2 bike rides and 3 toning sessions.  I am planning on increasing my bike ride to 10 miles, increasing the repetitions of the toning exercises and add some weights too.

Let’s do this guys,

It’s the final countdown (cue air guitar solo)- 6 days to go before the big day arrives-Marathon Madness-


7 things I’ve learned since training for my marathon (so far)

  1. Training for a marathon is very consuming-of your time, your energy and your emotions.  It affects the whole family.  A long run for me with my pace (say 20 miles) takes around 4 hours and 15 minutes. That’s half a Sunday!
  2. For marathon training to work you need the full support of everyone in the household.  It’s amazing what encouragement does to your motivation.
  3. You don’t lose weight training for a marathon-you get fitter and stronger but I have not shrunk in size.   This doesn’t bother me in the slightest as I didn’t want to run a marathon to lose weight.  I am running a marathon as I want to push my body both mentally and physically.  The achievement is the end result-completing a marathon. What irritates me is other people making comments about me looking the same as I did pre 16 weeks marathon training.  Get over it losers!
  4. I am more confident than I realised at asking people to sponsor me.  I didn’t think I’d be able to ask people, friends, family and colleagues to sponsor me.  But £513 later I seem to have managed this fairly well.  But what made me manage it successfully was with a BIG help from family especially my dearest husband who collected £165 from his work and my fabulous mother who rallied up her friends and collected £90.
  5. Marathon training pushes your body to many exhilarating highs and dreadful lows.  It is indeed a rollercoaster!!  Sometimes training goes to plan but other times it doesn’t.  On days when things don’t go to plan it can be hard to remind yourself why I signed up for the bloody marathon! I remember one particularly bad training day when I had planned to be out for 20 miles but ran out of water at 15 miles.  I had to push myself really hard to make it from mile 10 up to 15 as I had reached an incredibly low point.  But, in the end, I can look back and feel proud of myself for pushing on despite feeling the constant urge to stop.  Then there are days when everything goes perfectly. On a good day I managed 20 miles in 4 hours 16 minutes. A personal best-4 minutes faster than my previous 20 miles even managing sprinting the last 3 miles.
  6. I am learning more about myself.  I now know I am the type of person who is always looking for the next big thing.   I like having a focus to train on.   I will warn you all now I am already thinking of the Paris Marathon for next year…
  7. I’m not very good at updating my running blog 😦 I can only get better at it

Better late than never

Sunday 3rd February

Last week was the last of my 4 week pre marathon plan.  I have been pretty good for the past previous 5 weeks to run 4 x a week.  However, this week (w/c 28th January) I broke that vow.  I only managed 3 runs 😦

And I did all three runs three days in a row-Friday to Sunday.

Why you wonder?

I couldn’t be arsed. Not the voice, I hear you say, of a marathon runner.  But my voice nonetheless.  I could shower you all with some of my excuses but I’m pretty sure you will have heard them all before. (I’m too tired from work, I’m too busy at work, I’ve too much housework, I’ve got too many other responsibilities like walking the dogs and helping with the kids homework, I will run tomorrow and the handy “I cant think of any more excuses but I’m not running anyway” excuse-sound familiar….)

By Friday 1st February I was determined to run.  I had gotten sick of my own excuses. Plus, to be honest I wanted to run as I like running.  So I did 3 miles at 8pm on Friday night.  Followed by 5 miles on Saturday at 4pm and finally I did my long run of 8 miles on Sunday at 4pm.

So despite a late, late start to my training plan I almost managed my full schedule.  And to top it off I achieved PB in all three of my runs.  

Better late than never, eh.

New Play list:

This week (w/c 28th January) I added some new tracks to my playlist-

  • Rita Ora -Radioactive
  • Matrix and Futurebound-Magnetic eyes
  • Bingo Players-Rattle

Byeee Elena 🙂Image

High Hopes


The New Year brings with it many expectations; lose weight, do more exercise, drink less alcohol or stop smoking to name a few. For me it was about getting into a good fitness level before the start of my marathon training. I had high hopes with my training plan last week. I was very optimistic with my schedule; 4 runs, and 2 body pump classes.

Well my school report would probably read “good” for achieving the 4 runs and a “needs improvement” for the body pump classes.

I am a gym member or at least my direct debit statement appears to remind me of this! I will get back to the gym but last week I just wasn’t ready. However, I did do some strength exercises both days at the weekend (surely half a point for effort given I had to locate my dumbbells from the back of my shed!) The news of the week is that I have embraced home baking. No more microwave porridge for me. Oh no, no ,no. In, with a vengeance is home-made porridge, healthy snacks like apricot and walnut flapjacks or peanut butter on ryvita (ok that’s not home baking but really nice and good for a pre run snack). They are all totally scrumptious.

I’ve impressed myself with my dedication at home baking. My husband has wondered why it has taken me 17 years to locate the kitchen in our house (better late than never my dearest!)

So, on the whole I am definitely pleased I managed all my 4 runs. Last week’s mileage was another week clocking up 15 miles in total. Training plans are important but sometimes life gets in the way. And life is good (sometimes) so an essential element of your training plan is being flexible ( a runner’s best friend I’d say!).

This week my pilates class starts back (yay). In addition to my 4 runs; 1 hill session, 1 easy run, 1 tempo run and 1 long run, I am aiming to also do 2 body pump classes (gulp..again).

So, here’s to great expectations 🙂