Thursday, 22 September 2011


Image: pixtawan /

I was catching up on several weeks of the MarathonTalk podcast while I was on holiday and there was a great section about setting goals.  The context was putting together a five year plan, but for now, given that I'm still on the injury bench, I've decided to be a bit more short term about it and set some goals up to the end of this year.

So here we go:

Next three weeks
To increase my calf stretch to 10cm on each leg.  This is the shortest stretch measurement of normal range of movement.  There are a couple of reasons that this is my initial goal,  Firstly because my physio has told me that if we can't get rid of the pain (my heel still hurts) then I'll need to think about going for scans etc.  My next physio appointment is on 10th October and I want to do everything possible to get my calf muscles stretched out by then.  If it's still not good, then at least I'll know that I've made every effort and will let the NHS do its thing.  The other (secret) reason for achieving this goal is because I'm (secretly) convinced that my physio will tell me that I can run again if I do it.

In order to achieve this I need to do as much stretching as possible (hourly!) and also need to do my strengthening exercises (2 x 15 reps three times daily).  I also now have some Superfeet orthotics which should help support my arches and take the pressure off my heel.  Keep your fingers crossed everyone!

To end of 2011
My main goal is to hit my interim goal weight of 11st5lb.  This is the top end of a healthy BMI for my height.  Not sure that I agree with BMI as a measurement, but it'll do for now, as I've got to aim for something.  This means that I need to lose an average of 1.6lb per week between now and the end of the year.  I think that this is challenging, but possible.  There are a few obvious reasons for this goal.  Firstly because I've been banging on about it for ages.  But also because the less I weigh (within normal healthy limits of course!) the less impact will go through my heel whenever I run.  There's no doubt that the fact that I'm overweight has been a contributory factor in my injury, so I need to get this sorted out if I want to continue running long term.

In order to achieve this weight loss, I've put a little exercise plan together.  Essentially I'll be swimming Monday, Wednesday & Friday in the mornings (after dog walking and before work) and going to the gym those same evenings straight from work.  This fits in well with my dog care on those days.  Tuesday and Thursday I look after Murdoch, so they'll be rest days, with dog walking as some gentle exercise.  On Saturday the plan is to rest up and maybe have a little fun! Sunday is a longer gym session.

I will also be taking more care with my food intake - no use exercising if you're going to go home and stuff yourself full of crisps. Or wine. Or chocolate.  Or pie. Mmmmmmmm pie....... *ahem* sorry drifted off for a moment there.

My other (secret) goal is to have started running again by the end of the year. Don't care about distance or speed, just want to be able to run!  Especially as in a couple of weeks I'll know whether I got lucky in the London Marathon ballot.............

Monday, 19 September 2011

The Curious Incident of the Dog under the Duvet

From the archives.  I used to write Facebook notes about some of the mutt's more comedic exploits.  This one is from June 2007........

More dog related happenings this week.

On Wednesday the idiotic creature hurled himself forward so hard on his rope (whilst tied to a tree in the garden) that he has lost his voice. As I write this his bark is starting to come back a bit but it's been a quiet couple of days.

Then yesterday, he was rolling around under the duvet (this pastime seems to be the height of fun for him, giving rise to all manor of happy growly noises). I lent over to lift the duvet off him, but unfortunately he chose that moment to rear up from under the duvet and nutted me. Seriously it hurt so much that I cried a little bit.

I now have a small egg shaped lump on my forehead and look like a Klingon warrior. Nice.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Four reasons to love holidaying in Madeira

I'm back from my holiday! And didn't I have a lovely time? Yes, yes I did.

I'd heartily recommend Madeira to anyone.  Especially a slightly plump thirtysomething that likes to lie in the sun.  There are several reasons for this.

1.  It is very sunny. We had pretty much 28c sunny weather every day. Verrrrry nice.
2.  98% of the other tourists there are retired which means that..
3.  Even if you're a bit fat, you still look better in a bikini than the vast majority of the other people there and...
4.  Even if you don't, it doesn't matter, it's not like you're on the pull; they are all pensioners!

There's nothing like lying in the sun surrounded by many old people (bless them) to make you feel like a glamorous young thing.

Unfortunately I got back to reality with a bump this morning when I weighed myself and discovered I gained 6lb over the course of the holiday.  Oops.  I mainly blame the amount of wine that I drank.  Much more than usual, but I was on holiday so I'm not going to beat myself up over it.

Back on track - I plan to lose that weight over the next couple of weeks and then full speed ahead. 

Saturday, 10 September 2011

From Madeira with love

I was supposed to weigh in on Tuesday but unfortunately I didn't. The good news is that I didn't weigh myself because I'm on holiday!

I landed in Madeira with B on Monday and have been having a wonderful time ever since. It's a beautiful island, although not one to come to if you're after crazy drunken adventures. B and I have lowered the average tourist age by about two decades just by turning up.

We've been on a jeep safari which included a great offroad section. In fact even the roads here are pretty crazy. They don't tend to zig zag up the hills and mountains - they tend to go straight up! We also did a sailboat tour (with no sailing, just motor unfortunately) where we saw a quite large group of pilot whales which was awesome.

Other than that we've just been wandering about the place and lazing in the sun, either at the nearby lido (it's seawater! There are fishes in there!) or at the hotel pool. I've really been getting the sun into my bones which is exactly what I needed after a pretty stressful year so far.

See you on the flipside x