Tag Archives: training

Biscuits are Important!

Never underestimate the importance of a biscuit during a pivotal moment of life…

I went on a training walk this morning, around 8 or so miles. On my return, I had a fig roll. It wasn’t an ordinary fig roll, but the last in a very significant pack. This was the pack that I bought on the morning of New Year’s Eve – the day that Dad passed away.

There’s a standing joke in my family, that I always deal with any situation by providing food. Probably true. Anyway, in December, I had debated whether to take jaffa cakes or fig rolls over to Dad. I knew he loved both & though he was barely able to eat at all, he never turned down a bite of cake or biscuit. So, I plumped for fig rolls and headed over.

I never thought that he’d never see them. I envisaged bounding in to his room… “hi Dad, I’ve got you some fig rolls”…

Anyway, it was today, almost 3 months on, we opened the pack. So insignificant and significant at the same time.

The grief becomes less constant, but more powerful. Rather than a perpetual ache, it swings between normality & all consuming sinking.

If, by walking & walking & walking, we can raise any amount of money that could help another family through this, or to fund a Parkinson’s specialist Nurse, or can help to fund research in to symptom management, well, anything would make it all so worth it.

Each & every donation helps to top up the team pot. We are hoping to not just reach our fundraising target, but to obliterate it. If you are able to help us to do this here, we will be so thankful. Every pound really does help. Thank you all so much! xx

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September, Time for a Change…?!

I literally cannot believe that September is here already. I’m sure that Summer has really only just begun, but, thinking about it, Summer has been (mostly) full of long & wonderful days.

September still, as it always has, marks a new start for me, a time for change. Thanks to my brief career in teaching, I am functional only through an academic calendar. I still feel the ‘fear’ that I know all teachers around the country are feeling this week. I STILL get the nightmares about forgetting to have planned a lesson, forgotten resources, waiting to teach the class that you really can’t stand… I don’t think I’ll ever be able to use a ‘real’ calendar. And, anyway, what’s wrong with that? I love the feel of a new beginning along with the browning of the leaves, the chill in the air and the all important run up to Christmas.

This September, in particular, feels most important to me. It suddenly struck me, this morning, that my little girl will be heading off to big girl school next September. That’s only one year left. Big deal, I hear you say, well, it is a big deal to me. Don’t get me wrong, she has great fun at nursery and will be starting her new preschool class there this week. She’s very excited (& actually, I’m excited too, to get some time back to work). But there it is… work…

I’m tired of work, of being self-employed, of having an entire business on my shoulders. Tired of dealing with emails, deadlines, schedules, accounts, marketing, making, complaints, mistakes, listings, photographs. Tired of sitting up late in to the night trying to get orders finished or sitting with my bastard of a kiln, who, really is actually quite good, but in desperate need of a service and new elements, so again, my fault really, because that’s another thing that I’m in charge of. I’m tired of balancing all of that with looking after a small person, who, over the summer has had very limited time away from me. So we’re walking, playing, making stuff, cooking, building, searching, hunting, painting. I’m tired of also having to balance all the other, normal day to day stuff too, the laundry (how the hell do we ALWAYS have a whole laundry box, with just 3 of us?), the cooking, the cleaning, the shopping, the gardening, the tidying, the fixing that needs doing, the bill sorting, the endless list of paperwork that is always in need of sorting. Did I mention that I also have another job too? This one doesn’t even pay as it’s a voluntary position, burning the candle from all ends, maybe?! Yet, by not having a ‘real’ 9-5job, I’m apparently not doing anything… *insert anger face*

One thing I’m not at all tired of though, is my new life. My new ability to be able to eat well, keep fit and ENJOY it. Really, since January (when I first started to change my life), everything has got better. I feel as though I’ve found something that I am meant to enjoy. After recently joining a local gym, I’m even more excited about keeping fit. Firstly, I am amazed that I am able to walk in to a gym. These places have scared the bejeezus out of me, always. Now, it is like my church. It is the one place I can go & do whatever I want to do, for however long I want to do it and I don’t have to worry about/think about anything else. I can be totally, 100% selfish about my time there & it is great. I’m learning new techniques, using new equipment & it feels awesome. Don’t get me wrong, I still feel weird walking in there & I totally don’t know what I’m doing most of the time, but I figure I’ll get there, right?!

Anyway, so September is a month of change, a month of possibilities and the mark of the beginning. I know that I have just one year left to make some massive, huge and scary decisions. Decisions like, WHAT do I actually want to DO with my life?! I reckon my free-pass expires when P starts school, so I’ve got 52weeks to figure out what I’ll do with myself come next September. I can’t return to teaching, it was never my job soulmate. In all honestly, I can’t keep plugging at my business, whilst it has brought in a miniscule (more or less none) bit of money over the last few years, it is too taxing, it is too 24/7 and, 5 and a half years of working long hours for nothing takes it’s toll. I suspect that fish is dead in the water, but it’s hard to actually let go, to admit defeat, to call it a failure.

I’ve made a decision to cool it this year with my business. I worked tirelessly last Christmas, pulling 18hour days, 7 days a week, for 2 months up to Christmas. I sure didn’t make a fortune from that, but it did mean that by the time Christmas day rolled around, I was finished. Christmas last year made me realise that I was missing all of the good bits, missing watching my little girl get excited about Christmas. I missed ME getting excited about Christmas. For the first time in EVER, we took our decorations down before the end of the year – I was so sick of it all!

I’ve become too used to working from home, so a ‘real job’ scares me. I’ve got too used to working for myself, so the thought of having to answer to someone makes me, well, a bit cross. I’ve got too used to being my own boss, how do I adjust to not randomly making jam inbetween orders? But, you know, the bills don’t pay themselves, right? So I have to do something. I’m not sure that I’ve got the strength or the energy to set up or run another business, or even a franchise of a business, in order to continue working from home. Boy, this is tricky… I’ve also got more crazy decisions to make regarding schooling for P – that’s a whole other blog post right there.

So, I’ve made a decision. I’ve decided that this year, 2014-15 is for me. I am going to take some time to find out what I want to do, I’m going to look in to new jobs and training courses, I’m going to take lots of time to figure out what (if anything) I’m good at and what I enjoy. I’m going to take this time to spend more rewarding time with my girl. Rather than juggling orders and emails whilst telling her to sit down and watch Frozen for the 100th time, we’re going to go out, explore & enjoy her last year before she embarks on a whole lifetime of learning and new experiences. I might even find a rekindled love for my business after a decent break! So, yes, I “won’t be doing anything” as I still won’t have that 9-5 job for a while, but you know what, I’m OK with that & if anyone else isn’t, then it doesn’t matter, because that’s not my problem!


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Freeletics – High Intensity Workouts

Good grief! Now THIS gives you a workout!


I totally stumbled across freeletics, by chance, on twitter. It is a free workout plan that can be accessed via an app on your phone – at least, that’s how I use it. The basis of freeletics is that you can complete various high intensity plans using nothing more than your own bodyweight – no high cost equipment, win win!

Don’t make the assumption that by not using weights, resistance bands, or any machines, that it will be a walk in the park. It WILL try to kill you!!

I’m relatively new to fitness still, only really starting in January of this year, so I’m certainly not one of the crazy fit, flexible, beautifully toned & ripped people that you see doing the exercise demos on the app. So maybe it is tough work for me and my fitness level – BUT, the beauty of these types of workouts is that you get out what you put in. There are hard and easy versions of each move & the only restriction is your own ability – you can go as fast or as slow as you like (looking at my scores up there, I’m pretty freaking slow!!).

The planned workouts are pretty bloody evil. Don’t expect to be able to walk/move/breathe for a little while after doing one (p.s. you will also be feeling the pain the day after!). There are also ‘Max’ workouts, which I love – this is essentially you against you, trying to beat yourself to do more sit ups or squats, etc. There are leader-boards available to view and you can get your friends to sign up too, for added competition.

There is a premium service available – this is obviously one that requires payment, but it is apparently tailored to your needs. I’ve not tried this, so I can’t comment on it, but the free app version is great!

Search ‘freeletics’ in your app store and feel free to add me if you can find me (I’m the slow one, at the bottom!) Who wants a squat-off?! 😉

*This is not a sponsored post, I just loved the app!*

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Race for Life – 5K of pink

Had you told me in January that I would be running a 5k race for life in June, I’d have laughed at you and shaken my head. I’m not a runner, I don’t do any distance running…

photo 3 (2)Since maybe March-time, I’ve been attempting to be able to run a 5K race. Up until 2 days before the race, the longest I had ever run for was a 4minute burst, using the race for life training plan.

The Friday before race day, I decided to shove myself out the door, abandoning the interval jogging scheme & just see how long I could run for without stopping. I was hoping to be able to run for 5k, but to be honest, I didn’t really expect to be able to go for longer than the 4 minutes I had achieved previously.

I managed just over 5K, non-stop in 39:42 – not bad, for a non-running tortoise!

On race day (Sunday 15th June), I headed down to the park – we (my sister & I) were running the Hastings race for life, around Alexandra Park – a beautiful place to run, gorgeous rose gardens, lovely trees. We met up with one of my sister’s work-mates & joined the sea of pink to start the run.

Parts of the run were very busy, so there were patches when we had to walk a bit, but as the race progressed, it thinned out a bit, so it was easier to move around and keep going.

I’m not gonna lie, the last km was TOUGH! I was definitely slowing down, but still going  – we went in for a nice sprint finish at the end & scored a time of 35:57! Pretty good for only my second ever 5k run!

At the end of the race, we were given a bottle of water, a medal & a chocolate chip brioche (the last of the two were very quickly adopted by my little lady, who had been waving at me from the sidelines at various race points.

So, would I do it again? Yup. Was it hard? Oh yes. Would I recommend running it? Definitely. Honestly, if I can do it, anyone can (& you get to feel smug for the rest of the day & eat lots of food!).

Fancy dropping us a sponsor for our hard work and helping us to kick cancer’s butt? Well, that would be just amazing, thanks! Our just giving page is here:


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