IONA72's SparkPeople Blog IONA72's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community It's been some time...... since I was last here! <em>382</em> No excuses really, just got myself in a bit of a flunk. <em>24</em> <BR> I'm ready to celebrate the festive season, well almost ready, and then get back on track. I'm really looking forward to making a new start and drawing up some goals for 2015. <em>312</em> <BR> Thank you to all my friends who continue to support me, you are all great and I really appreciate your kindness. <em>220</em> <em>247</em> I am pretty sure without this community... Sat, 20 Dec 2014 06:58:18 EST March I am about a quarter of the way through another 100 Day Challenge, so far it's going well. Today I was up early for the 8 - 4 shift at work. I stopped for groceries on the way home, did some laundry and a little bit of tidying up then made dinner. Later whilst catching up on a few blogs I follow, I realised I had not had any exercise. Had it not been for the challenge I would have found it quite easy to shrug and say "oh well" but I could not let myself start the new month with failure. So de... Sat, 1 Mar 2014 18:34:40 EST Carefree I remember the days when I didn't analyse what I was eating. If I fancied chocolate I ate it, dinner wasn't complete without dessert, and dessert didn't mean fruit or fat free yogurt. Knowledge is a powerful tool and I'm much happier being aware of what I'm eating and the effect it has on my body, but sometimes I REALLY miss the old days! Sat, 12 Oct 2013 15:21:42 EST Staying on track We have passed the half way point of August....already I know! <em>40</em> <BR> I am confident I can meet my goal of at least 1500 fitness minutes. <BR> This past week I have been slacking a little, putting off my exercise and not logging food. Today I forced myself to run; I could easily have stopped at 20 mins but I pushed it up to 45 mins. I realised when I got back that I don't want to be a slacker, I like my exercise and I certainly don't want any weight to creep back on. <em>192</e... Sun, 18 Aug 2013 14:48:23 EST August Goals 1) Exceed 1500 fitness minutes this month <BR> 2) Continue my ST at home (thanks Going-Strong for the inspiration) <link><BR>ING%2DSTRONG </link> <BR> 3) Get my calorie intake under control <BR> <BR> Small steps towards the bigger goal. Wed, 31 Jul 2013 15:57:29 EST Running frustrations I have been a little frustrated with my running lately. I know I have not been doing enough since I came back from Tenerife, but even so, my pace is rubbish. My 5K time is anything from 4-8 minutes slower than last year, don't even ask about 10K. I am trying to tell myself that pace is not the be all and end all, but some days I can't be convinced. At the weekend I really could not run for more than 2 or 3 minutes before stopping to walk. Today I went to the coastal walkway to run (flat and a... Mon, 22 Jul 2013 09:17:43 EST Hello, I'm back! After taking a few weeks break from SP people it is good to be back again. I like to feel that this is where I am accountable to myself and where I will get lots of support and encouragement from people who feel the same. <BR> I feel I should be back armed with a whole new set of goals and strategies, but really all I'm hoping to achieve is healthy living at a sensible, sustainable weight. <BR> I know what I want and I know what it takes to get there, it is more of a battle getting myself fo... Tue, 2 Jul 2013 03:29:04 EST Not feeling it Lately I have been feeling a little out of sorts. Not sure why but just not my usual self. I have not done much running and my only exercise is walking the dog and even those minutes have not been added to my tracker. <BR> So....I have decided to take a little break until July. I have a week away next week to relax in the sun and recharge my batteries and prepare myself for the second half of the year, then I will be setting some goals and getting back into gear. Mon, 10 Jun 2013 03:27:25 EST Tees Barrage 10K We were very lucky to have such a lovely day for the race today, bright and sunny but not too hot with just enough breeze to stay comfortable. I ran the first couple of kms without walking then did 3 mins run, 40 secs walk. This is what I have used in my last few runs and it worked well. As this is a riverside run, it is very flat. Apart from running up and over a couple of bridges, there are no steep sections to interfere with my timings. <BR> The field is limited to 500 entrants and I thin... Wed, 8 May 2013 03:29:47 EST 2013 starts here. After being ill since New Years day, today I'm finally beginning to feel better. We had a morning at the beach with the dog to blow away the cob-webs and walked for an hour or so. This afternoon I have been catching up on laundry and doing a little knitting, still working on my socks, but knitting in the round is slow going for me. I can't wait to cast on my chunky sweater. <BR> We have had lovely family meal together this evening, full of all the stuff we should not be eating!! So it feels ... Sun, 6 Jan 2013 16:14:58 EST Todays 10K race. The race....hmmmm... not too sure I enjoyed it that much. For starters I slept in, somehow set my alarm half an hour later than I intended. Not the best start. I got to my car park before the road closures so that was fine but the footpath to access to the race venue had been fenced off. A lot of unhappy people as no-one had told us about this, but we worked out how navigate around the fencing so no big deal in the end. The weather was sunny and a little too warm, I really was sweating after ... Sun, 2 Sep 2012 14:58:14 EST Summer start over It has been 12 days since my last run and even longer since I was last at the pool. I have been laid low by a cold and a cough and feeling pretty yuk. I'm still not 100% but I'm desperate to get my running shoes on again. After work tomorrow I'm going to try a slow 5K or so. <BR> A friend at work has signed up for a HM in Sept and a full marathon next May and is full of enthusiasm for her training. All we talk about lately is running, it's great! It's really making me wonder if I could actua... Tue, 26 Jun 2012 16:54:39 EST Coastal walkway A lovely sunny morning, although rather cool, took me to the coastal walkway. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Just a nice easy 7km run without a hill in sight. Not too many people out so pretty much had the place to myself at times. This is the first time on this route but I will certainly come again, I love to be near the sea. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> I only saw two others runners, one on the... Wed, 16 May 2012 08:47:17 EST A week of 2 races. Two races in the same week isn't really ideal, but for me these two have been great. On Monday I did the Tees Barrage 10K with great weather conditions after a wet and cold few weeks preceding the race. I know I have a tendency to start out too quickly so I tried to be aware of this for the first few kilometres. As it turned out the start took us along a fairly narrow cycle path so there was not much option but to run with the pack. Once we crossed the bridge the racers began to space out and... Sun, 13 May 2012 10:38:36 EST Pre-race rest day Tomorrow is my first race this year, not doing many this year and can you believe that the first two are in the same week! 10K tomorrow then 5K next Sunday. After that nothing planned until Sept. I'm feeling slightly nervous, I haven't done 10k for a while, most of my runs are between 6 and 8K. Hopefully adrenalin can carry me for 2 more! The weather forecast looks ok, cool but dry with rain after lunch. We start at 10.30 so I hope that is accurate. <BR> Just having a rest day today. We drov... Sun, 6 May 2012 09:42:40 EST Feeling good Well the Easter weekend is pretty much over and feel I got through it without too much eating trauma. Biggest downfall was the birthday party on Saturday, large buffet, delicious desserts and no driving to prevent the drinking. However it was a one off and it was lovely to see extended family members... so no regrets. <BR> Yesterday we had a family meal at home but I stuck to my plan and only had a tiny slice of dessert and one glass of wine. <BR> I got some new running clothes last week and... Mon, 9 Apr 2012 11:40:07 EST Lessons of the week I have succeeded in tracking my food from Monday to Friday so I'm feeling very pleased with myself today. Especially so since I will complete my 100 Day Exercise Challenge on Sunday too. <BR> Looking back over the week I have noticed how my choices have taken subtle changes as the days progress. These, I realised, are the basic rules of weight loss but as I haven't been very focused on what I eat for quite some time, it has taken a few days to get back "into the zone". <BR> Most obvious lesso... Fri, 6 Apr 2012 15:30:11 EST April ambitions I have just realised that I did not log in yesterday thus breaking my streak. So today being the first of the month seems like a good time to take stock and make some goals for the coming months. On the fitness front I'm doing okay, daily dog walking, swimming once a week and running twice a week. But there is always room for improvement and I need to add more strength training to my routine and get out on my bike now the weather is improving. My biggest downfall is definitely on how much I e... Sun, 1 Apr 2012 15:23:39 EST Riverside Run Usually my runs all start from home. If I go north it means an uphill finish, frankly some days I really can't bear the thought of that. If I go south it means running along main roads and enduring the traffic noise. mostly that doesn't bother me, just need to turn the ipod up loud. Today I needed a change so I drove to the riverside to run where there is a good amount of pedestrian walkway. It was a lovely sunny day, although somewhat spoilt by a cold wind which seemed stronger by the river ... Mon, 5 Mar 2012 08:14:29 EST Update Not a bad start to the year with exercise but I really need to make some changes to my eating habits. My good intentions do not make it through to the end of the day. Still some Christmas goodies in the house tempting me. However college is back now so the girls are getting back to routine which I find makes life a lot more manageable! I have a milestone birthday this year, so I really want this to be a year where I can make significant progress in my quest for healthy living. Mon, 9 Jan 2012 18:48:16 EST Ready for 2012 Updated my Spark page, set my fitness goal at 20,000 minutes. <em>344</em> <BR> Started drinking water more regularly. <em>194</em> <BR> Re-started the 100 day challenge. <em>249</em> <BR> Sent off my application for the first 10K race of the year. <em>312</em> <BR> Determined to track my food again. <em>267</em> <BR> Now just the small matter of the Christmas chocolates to deal with!!! <em>493</em> Fri, 30 Dec 2011 15:31:30 EST Wednesday What a beautiful day here in NE England. Bright blue skies, warm sunshine and a gorgeous array of autumn colours. Watching the high level aircraft head north to cross the Atlantic, it is one of the few days I don't wish I was on one. If you are still suffering in the snow, I commiserate....but as far as I'm can keep it! Wed, 2 Nov 2011 05:24:17 EST Day 48/100 - Struggling through Had a really tough week up to today. Lots of emotional strain meaning I lost a bit of sleep. Then on Thursday I developed a sore/stiff neck. Not sure what happened either lifting bags of garden rubbish or too much iPad! It's worse in the morning and a lot easier by evening! <BR> I managed to get out and run today without it bothering me too much. I got another nasty blister on my toe. This is caused by a developing bunion which twists the big toe on impact, this ageing process is not so good... Sun, 9 Oct 2011 18:28:12 EST Day 32/100 "Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will." Mahatma Gandhi. <BR> <BR> I like feeling my physical strength. I can do things that always used to be called "mans work", I like to be active and independent. <BR> But I also want to have "indomitable will" so I'm working on that this week. Fri, 23 Sep 2011 17:26:21 EST Day 25/100 One quarter done. I can't believe how quickly 25 days has passed. It's feeling great to be motivated to exercise every day, even though, I have not lost one pound...can you believe it! <BR> <em>12</em> <BR> The days are getting noticeably shorter now so that's adding a bit more of a challenge to anything I do outside. I'm just going to have to do some planning. I am a shift worker but since the down-turn in the economy, our working hours have been changed. <BR> <em>24</em> <BR> A lot of the time I work du... Fri, 16 Sep 2011 03:59:51 EST Day 18/100 NSV For longer than I care to admit, I have not been using the food tracker. I either start with breakfast and get no further or I just avoid it completely. I know this is a mistake because when I first joined here I used it all the time and it made a big difference, not only to how much I ate, but also what I ate and my whole attitude to eating. <BR> Today I filled it in for the whole day ~ yay ~ my big NSV ( non-scale victory)!! <BR> Now I'll admit I did not meet all the nutrition goals but I d... Fri, 9 Sep 2011 18:03:05 EST Day 13/100. 10K Race <img src=""> <BR> <BR> The day started with ideal weather conditions for running, cool and overcast. By the time we reached the venue the sun was breaking through and it was rather warm. Being a higher proportion of men in the race, my girls were most amused at the warm up where the instructor finished off with a Zumba track. At least they all gave it a go. Pity we didn't get any photographs. <BR> I had forgotten what it's like to start ... Sun, 4 Sep 2011 15:54:22 EST Day 11/100 No scale movement I decided instead of getting weighed each week I will get weighed on every tenth day of my 100 day challenge. <BR> <em>193</em> <BR> After the first 10 days I have not lost anything! I am fine with this though because I know my eating has been better and I have been exercising every day. I can tell by my clothes that things are going in the right direction and I feel motivated at the start of this new month to really make a big effort to keep things going. Today was the 50th birthday of a ... Fri, 2 Sep 2011 16:25:51 EST Day 5/100. What happened to the "girls" I have noticed that since I have been running more regularly my bras don't fit so well. In actual fact what I mean is there is no longer enough to fill the bra! Today I went shopping for some new stuff and had to buy A cup. Goodness knows what I will be buying when I lose the next 10 pounds or so? However on the plus size I got some new trousers in a UK size 12. This has not happened for years, even decades. I admit they probably would not be comfortable to sit in for very long, but I got the... Sat, 27 Aug 2011 14:10:45 EST Day 3/100 I have been pleased with my eating today, finding it quite easy to say no to the ice cream and the cookies I'm being offered. I'm aware though that it's always easy at the beginning and I must remember this determination as the days progress. <BR> Water intake has exceeded the recommendation...yay. <BR> I have walked for 40 minutes today and had hoped to run this evening but family life, cooking and shopping kind of got there first and it gets darker so much sooner now. No more runs at 10PM. ... Thu, 25 Aug 2011 18:01:20 EST Day 1/100 I have stepped on the scales today and gone up to 162 pounds since my last check. My goal for the challenge is 148. That works out at a loss of about a pound a week, which in theory is perfectly achievable. I don't remember the last time I was in the 140's. <BR> Today has been good, sensible eating, drinking lots of water and out early this morning for exercise. I finish work at 8 pm and will take another walk when I get home and do some stretches before bed. <BR> Bring on day 2! Tue, 23 Aug 2011 13:06:19 EST 100 Day Challenge I have joined the 100 Day Challenge team, so "day one" will be tomorrow and by the end of November I hope to be fitter and healthier, and of course lighter on the scale and smaller on the tape! <BR> I will be getting my eating sorted out - after a summer of taking my eye off the goal. <BR> I will drink my 8 glasses of water each day, not too difficult, almost doing it. <BR> Keep up my exercise, primarily running and swimming and daily stretches. <BR> <BR> More to follow as the weeks progres... Mon, 22 Aug 2011 17:12:18 EST Today I liked... The beautiful sunrise, not a cloud in the sky, lovely start to the day (although it wasn't long before the clouds were back). <BR> <BR> Being busier at work, the hours flew by. <BR> <BR> Eating a tasty chicken salad for dinner. <BR> <BR> Taking a walk with my girls, we had some laughs. <BR> <BR> Visiting a local refurbished gym and pool, very tempted to join. <BR> <BR> Running 5 miles, at a slower pace, which made it so much easier. <BR> <BR> Enjoying a small glass of wine and an hour o... Wed, 17 Aug 2011 18:00:35 EST Fairly Fast Five After resting my knee for a few days I decided today to take a short run to see how it felt. I put the GPS on my App for timing but didn't bother with the voice coach as it was just going to be "see how it feels" type of run. <BR> I have a known 5k route which goes to the local supermarket and back and I know by heart where the markers for each kilometer are. So I knew I was running at pretty much my normal pace. At 5k my time was 27.35 which, believe it or not, is the quickest I have ever d... Sun, 14 Aug 2011 17:53:00 EST Get a grip. Yesterday I felt that my eating was getting a little out of control. However on reflection this morning, I realised that the day on the whole had been okay, it was just a couple of hours in the evening which let me down. Bad choices at dinner time, drinking soda instead of water and letting my family tempt me with chocolate while watching TV. <BR> So today I resolved to do better and track my food again - which I have not been doing for a while. Breakfast was good, lunch was okay, then daught... Tue, 9 Aug 2011 15:17:32 EST New playlist Had a better run today, weather was cool and overcast with a little breeze, ideal running conditions. Managed about 5 miles in 50 minutes which is an average pace for me. Hoping I can step it up a little next month to get a PB at my next race. <BR> <BR> I made a new playlist today and really enjoyed it. What do you think? <BR> <BR> Good Vibrations The Beach Boys <BR> London Calling The Clash <BR> Enter Sandman Metallica <BR> Walk This Way Areosmith <BR> The Boys of Summer Don Henley <BR> He... Sun, 7 Aug 2011 15:36:07 EST Post race blues Since my PB time for 10K a couple of weeks ago, my running has felt a bit of a struggle. <em>39</em> <BR> I'm not sure if this is a physical or mental issue. I have another race in Sept and would love to feel the high of a good result again. <BR> Lately I have had to stop and walk, sometimes 3 or 4 times during each run. That was not happening before the race, it's quite frustrating. Last night I did about 4.5 miles and it was better but I still had a little walking in there. <BR> <em>311... Sun, 17 Jul 2011 17:46:06 EST checking in I'm really pleased with how much exercise I have done this week, it would be great to sustain such levels, but life and family tend to interrupt! If only I could get my eating patterns organised too. Shift work plays havoc with my meal planning, eating at the wrong time, not tracking and therefore usually eating more than is necessary. I think being aware is the first step to dealing with this and I will be making a big effort next week to eat more considerately. <BR> Emotionally, things are ... Sun, 10 Jul 2011 11:38:27 EST Observations and a question First the question for others runners - Do you run looking straight ahead or are you looking down towards the ground and does it even matter? I start out trying to look ahead but constantly find my chin virtually on my chest. <BR> <BR> Observations <BR> <BR> Running is preferable to household chores <em>38</em> <BR> <BR> It's a lot easier to get 8 glasses of water down on running days <em>194</em> <BR> <BR> Hills are hard, especially into wind <em>198</em> <BR> <BR> Don'... Fri, 20 May 2011 07:31:08 EST On track with my fitness minutes I set a target of 14000 fitness minutes for this year and noticed today that I'm at 7014. I'm pleased to make the halfway mark a little early. Just hope I can sustain this pace for the rest of the year and the weather does not hinder me through autumn and winter. My gym has been taken over, a management buy out, and prices have risen considerably. I'm wondering whether I will renew my membership in summer. I do love the gym but don't get there as often as I would like. Perhaps I should shop a... Wed, 18 May 2011 17:16:31 EST Great 5K result I got up early today to eat a light breakfast a couple of hours before the race got under way. There is nothing worse than that "glugging" feeling when you run. I had time to take my dog for a walk, a good warm up to get me in the mood. Back home and plenty of time to get ready, or so I thought. Suddenly it was time to go, I didn't have my number pinned on and forgot to put my chip on my shoe. When I opened the envelope it was a totally different chip and I was temporarily perplexed on how it... Sun, 15 May 2011 15:55:50 EST Feeling Philosophical I'm feeling ready for a good race on Sunday and perhaps even a PB! Whatever the time, I will be pleased to get round without having to walk. There is a slight change to the route this year. We will be running pitch side at the football stadium from the players tunnel so we get the view of the stadium that players see each game, pretty cool, I'm excited. <em>131</em> <BR> <BR> Today was the day for the scales and still no change. Although I would like to shift some more weight, I'm not too w... Fri, 13 May 2011 05:14:58 EST 10k Race <img src=""> <BR> The Tees Barrage was the starting point of the 10K race I did on Monday. It was a great course, mainly flat and running alongside the river. Fantastic weather conditions, sunny but with a cool breeze. It was a little chilly waiting for the start with the wind coming off the river, but once we got going it was perfect. I did much better than expected, not having to walk at all. My daughter who was running with me had a pr... Wed, 4 May 2011 06:02:22 EST A glass of wine Saturday night often means a glass or two of wine. This week I was taxi driver for the kids and their friends so that meant no drinking for me. I did feel a little ticked off but I don't mind taking my turn. Waking up early this morning I felt pretty good, my back felt ok and no alcohol induced headache! I decided that whilst everyone else was still in bed I would go out for a run before it was time to go to work. It was a lovely morning, sunny but fresh not too warm for running. There were h... Sun, 17 Apr 2011 10:43:47 EST Took a walk today A day of April showers today, blustery and fresh, just as spring should be! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Had a walk to the nature reserve and saw the first Cowslips of the year. <BR> My dog had a lovely time, I think he must have been smelling rabbits! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Decided to run today and go to the gym tomorrow. I was pleased to do 5.5kms,... Mon, 11 Apr 2011 16:27:29 EST Moving Forward It amazes me that whilst I'm stuck at a plateau, my weight does not budge at all, either up or down. Just the same number every time I step on the scale. Although this is frustrating, I'm grateful not to be gaining and thankful that I weigh less than I did this time last year. <em>193</em> <BR> Despite this, I'm feeling pretty positive at the moment. My target mileage for walking has been 10 miles for quite some time, but these last few weeks I have almost doubled that. So I have increased m... Sun, 10 Apr 2011 16:52:58 EST Out running again. After two months of not running I finally ventured out today. My ankles have been feeling better this past week and my 10K is only weeks away now. It's make or break time. I did one of my short routes, about 2 miles, which takes me right past the local pub. Lots of people were sitting outside and the smell of barbeque was torture. It was weird to go running without any "devices" I didn't time my run, I didn't log distance I didn't even take music. It was good just to run for the pleasure of i... Sun, 27 Mar 2011 16:59:31 EST A Better Week Although not planned that way, I have had a few days of eating little and often. <BR> <em>289</em> <BR> This has mainly come about from being at work where I have had a few short breaks rather than one long one. I must say I have felt pretty good on it, but I'm not sure what I will see when I get the scales out tomorrow. Exercise has been good this week too. Still not running as I can still feel twinges in my lower leg but have done other stuff, and today I walked for 2 hours! <em>313</em>... Thu, 10 Feb 2011 16:13:10 EST Weigh day woes. Today is Friday, so it is my day for getting weighed. It was hardly a surprise to find I had not lost any weight. I have been good with exercise, but last week was not good for eating and I skipped the scales last Friday. Just couldn't seem to get my head in the zone, snacking between meals, cookies with coffee, birthday cake at work (on 3 days)! I was eating large meals when I knew I should be having smaller portions and less calorific choices. This week has been much better. We did eat out ... Fri, 4 Feb 2011 04:44:12 EST Not my best run. I had a whole load of stuff to do today, so I knew if I didn't run in the morning, I probably would not get round to it. <BR> So I got my gear on, set up the coaching app on my phone and set off. I had to stop straight away because I had no music playing even though I had set my playlist to go. So I fiddled about with that, got music playing and set off again. Then I lost the GPS signal so all the recordings stopped. I stopped again, re-set the whole thing and off I went. After about the firs... Sun, 23 Jan 2011 11:24:39 EST