Hello Again!

Wow, it’s been a long time. It seems that life just continues to get in the way of blogging. I started writing this post on the 30th of May and good ol’ WordPress promptly lost most of it… it’s taken until now to get round to finishing. Recently I’ve found myself thinking of lots of things I’d like to share so I think it’s time to get back on the horse. Its been so long though, I think it’s time for a little catch up first. And I’d love to hear from you guys as to whats going on with you?

Going back a little further than the last 2 months, I started working a bit more in January. I used to do 2.5 days of seeing patients and another half day was admin time. It felt like a really great balance as I did 2 full days and friday afternoon, but I’d go in on friday morning to get some work done and keep my admin up to date. Because we are generally understaffed and workloads are getting greater all the time, I offered to increase to 3 full days of seeing patients and do my admin from home (because I don’t have or want childcare for the extra time the admin would require.) I have full access to my desktop from home but it means I’m squeezing paperwork in at home in Bea’s nap times or usually at night, and its really tipped the balance in a negative way. My work days are way busier because I’m trying to pack extra in, I’m staying later and still have stuff to do at home. And that ends up just making everything feel worse. At the moment we still need it at work, but I’m thinking all the time about whether to change things back.

The house is also being a bit of a mental drain, if not a physical one. We started one of our main bedrooms back in January – stripping the walls ready for the mammoth job of replacing the wooden windows, re-plastering, putting a new (old) fireplace in and then getting to the fun part of actually decorating and filling it. Its going to be a playroom for Bea and then in the future will become her big girl bedroom when we need the nursery again. Its been somewhat of a false start however as we have been messed about by the company we ordered our windows from and as I write they are promising they will be fitted next week. Funnily enough, I’ve heard that one before from these guys, more than once, but I’m not going to write any more about it otherwise I am likely to swear. A lot.

We have also got another super exciting house project on the go but that one deserves a whole post of it’s own. ;)

I finally started doing some exercise recently, well in January. I found a running buddy, my friend Meriel, and she basically kicked my behind into making it out of the front door for a change. Being brutally honest I have done pretty much no exercise since Bea was born (another blog post in the making,) and there have been lapses when life didn’t allow or I lost my motivation, but I’m pretty proud that over all, I feel like I can call myself a runner now. I get out at least twice a week and my ‘minutes per kilometre’ number is falling all the time. More than anything the regular exercise has actually made me crave more. I miss it when I don’t have opportunity and I feel good when I have managed to do something, even if it’s a short run. High fives all round!

I’m feeling pretty sad I’ve let things slip around here, partly because I miss the posts I wrote about Bea – the last one was when she was 11 months – almost 12 months ago now and she’s turning into a little rock star. I guess part of the reason I don’t get time to post is that I prefer to focus on her fully, but I miss documenting all her little changes and cuteness. Despite the odd very trying day (hello toddler tantrums!) motherhood is still the best adventure I ever embarked upon.

So I’m going to leave it there, because I want to write more, be here more, and if I waffle on much longer I won’t manage another post!

Now what have you been doing so far this year?

Rebecca
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How to Run [For people who hate running...]

This afternoon’s post is by the legendary Penny from Bad Penny Says. Usually our new music guru, she also happens to be a fully qualified personal trainer and after all the talk lately about keeping healthy and happy her choice of topic is very apt. In the summer months I enjoy running, there’s nothing like it to clear the head, but I have so many friends who say ‘I just can’t run…‘ Well, let Penny show you how…

I have lost count of the number of clients who come to me and speak in wistful tones about how they’d love to be able to run, but they’ll never be able to. They gaze enviously at joggers in the park and gym-bunnies on treadmills, as if these people are a different breed to them, magically gifted with winged feet/ lungs that don’t burn just 20 seconds into a run around the block. As if, as foetuses, these people simply laced up their shoes one day and ran out of the womb.

Stop the madness! I am here to bust these myths wide open. If your body is capable of walking to the shops, you should be able to run. And once you get into it, the sky’s the limit. Running is a weapon with which you can fight obesity, depression, anxiety, it strengthens your cardiovascular system and it frees your mind. You too could be one of those people who other people gaze wistfully at. I promise. Tried it before and hated it? Don’t worry – there are tricks you can use to cheat the system. This is how you get into running, when you think you can‘t run:

1. SLOW IT DOWN. This is the biggest mistake I see people making. Running should not be fast – not at first. It should be very, very slow. The best way to start out is to walk for 5-10 minutes, gradually increasing your pace until you’re walking at such a speed that it starts to feel a little uncomfortable. Then – without increasing your speed – lift your feet between steps. Congratulations. You are running. Doesn’t it feel easier than walking really, really fast? Good.

2. BREAK IT DOWN. Rome was not built in a day. Running is a learning process for your body, which needs to get fitter in order to be able to do what your brain is asking of it. Remember that burning chest feeling you get when you run for the bus? If you get that, you’re doing too much too soon. Once you’ve mastered the slow run (see above), try interspersing 1 minute runs with 2 minute walks. Repeat 5 times, with a 5 minute walk to warm up and cool down either side, and you have a 25 minutes of excellent running activity, all done by you, the supposed non-runner. Well done!

3. KEEP IT UP. Consistency is the key to progress. Aim to get your running practice in 2-3 times a week. If you only manage to grab 15 minutes here and there, that’s just fine and dandy too, and we‘ve established above that it doesn‘t have to be especially strenuous. The main thing is that you do it – no excuses, no putting it off until tomorrow. Write it in your diary if you have to, stick it on the fridge, leave your trainers by the front door in the morning – whatever it takes. As you get more confident, increase the length of your running intervals, and reduce the walking. See how much further you can go. Feels good, doesn’t it? You couldn’t do any of this a few weeks ago, and now you can. Feel proud.

The biggest running myth of all is that you should feel completely knackered by the end of your runs. If you’re doing it properly, you should feel energised and invigorated. If you find you’re becoming exhausted to the point where you lose motivation and start skipping sessions, then you’re running too fast or for too long. Really. Take it down a notch. There’s no point running yourself into injury – you’re doing this because you want to care for your body, not punish it.

Finally, the common sense stuff. Learn some stretches to cool down with, and make sure you’ve got trainers with a reasonable support in them. Keep hydrated. If you’ve got any existing medical issues that you’re worried may be aggravated by high impact exercise, then get your doctor’s approval before starting out.

Over to you! Do you love running? Then tell us how you got your mojo…

PS Find Penny on her blog Bad Penny Says, or @TokaiPenny.

*All images taken from Rebecca’s Pinterest account and originally uploaded by users so without source credit.