Observations at the gym

After my annoying experience on Monday with She Who Did Not Show, I started thinking about what else has been bothering me at the gym lately (hey why stop at one moan after all! Winking smile).

I’m not a complete gym newbie by any means. Before getting into running I used to go to the gym four times a week before work…not classes, just the gym. How I managed to maintain motivation I have no idea as now I can barely stay on a cross trainer for more than six minutes. But anyway, I have (sort of) recently re-joined a gym in order to get involved with the different classes, such as body pump, circuits and spin.


I think with going to the gym it’s easier to be bugged by fellow gym goers because you’re in one place for a lengthy period of time. Whereas in running, you can, er, run away from people who are annoying you. Does that make sense?

So here we go:

1) Smug spin lady, just because you can almost peddle yourself off the spin bike does not mean you’re the best at spin. No need to look so smug because you don’t have a drop of sweat on you. I think you’ve missed the point. There’s a resistance dial on the bike: please acquaint yourself with it.

2) Sweaty man, heard of a towel?

3) It is never acceptable to wear a boob tube playsuit at the gym. Especially at 6.30am in the morning.

4) Walking on the treadmill while using your phone is pointless (and dangerous?).

5) Spin instructor, please stop shouting excessively loud. I can hear you over the music. In fact, the guys lifting weights at the back of the gym with ear phones on can hear you too.

6) Scary overly-muscular man, please don’t goad the instructor to work us harder. I’m finding the workout tough enough. No I don’t want to do sprints on the toughest resistance.

7) Pump instructor, please give me chance to at least grab my new set of weights before you jump into the next routine.


7) Lateness. It’s rude. It’s your job as an instructor to be there on time – preferably before the start so we don’t have to watch you setting everything up while it’s eating into our allocated class time.

Maybe I have the world’s worst gym? Potentially. I do pay peanuts in comparison to some places. Maybe I’m used to having space in my working out zone…who knows. Really not much of the above truly bothers me (apart from the lateness – that does get my goat). I guess it makes things more interesting to be able to people watch while you’re dying sweating working out.

On a more bright note…check out my blueberry plant!

Blueberry plant

There are actual blueberries on it. You’re probably thinking, “yeah duh, it’s a blueberry plant, big deal”. But seriously this is a monumental thing for me. I pretty much kill anything plant-like. Not intentionally…well, I just sort of forget to water things. It’s all the way in the back garden…I’m tired…I can’t be bothered…

But my lovely husband Ben has been looking after it and giving it some TLC and voila! Blueberries ahoy! OK so I can’t take credit for this obviously, but I’m still chuffed. I haven’t tried one yet but when I do I’m hoping it will be bursting with vibrant flavour and antioxidants Open-mouthed smile

What are your annoyances at the gym? Am I being over-sensitive and/or mean?

What funny observations have you had of people working out, or people in general? I see the funniest sites on my commute to work – women actually doing their make up in the car for instance.

Do you grow any of your own vegetables and/or fruit? In an ideal world I’d be like Jamie Oliver, planting my own produce and whipping up meals using the fruits of my labour. Ha.

Spinning fail

I was so mad Monday morning. I didn’t mention it in my last post as I wanted to just focus on the great weekend I’d enjoyed and not bring down the mood.

Sunday night I decided ‘oh what the hell’ I’d get up early Monday morning to do spin. I don’t want to do too much running this week as I want my body to have a little running-rest. So I thought I’d do spin instead. I’d rather just get it done in the morning because then it’s done and dusted and I’m up early to get on with the housework. I also booked circuits afterwards. Then I could chill later feeling smug.

So I got up at 5.40am on my day off to make this class. I got there for the 6.30am start feeling good to go. I was then informed that the instructor hadn’t turned up or bothered to ring to explain why.


I almost cried. I was so annoyed. The instructor who told me the news explained she couldn’t take the class either as she wasn’t trained. I think she could see how annoyed I was. I mean, seriously, I COULD HAVE STILL BEEN IN BED!

But she was lovely and did a legs, bums and tums (LBT) class for us instead. Not spinning, but better than the elliptical machine I’d be eyeing dubiously as I realised I’d be there for an hour before circuits.

LBT and circuits seriously did a number on my behind (there’s a sentence I never thought I’d type) as I ached a lot the next day. Circuits involved a lot of burpees (the work of the devil), press-ups, squats, planks…all those crazy things I haven’t really been doing for quite a while and LBT was just a whole load of lower body-related pain.

So this week is all about pump, circuits and spin. I think my next run will be Parkrun. This feels quite strange but it’s nice to be mixing things up.

Speaking of mixing things up [now this is quite boring but for a simple person like me this is crazy]… At the weekend in Essex I had my usual oatmeal for breakfast but ‘normal’ people don’t drink almond milk (normal –> mainstream/non-allergic/non-intolerant) and I wasn’t carting almond milk with me to Ben’s dad’s, I had whatever milk that was available.


[I might have taken my own chia seeds with me to Essex, shhh I know this is sad]

I had whole milk. I haven’t had whole milk in forever. Before almond milk I used to drink/use skimmed. God forbid I chose *whispers* full fat milk. But now I’m not fussed. I know that fat isn’t the devil (burpees are – we covered that, right?). I only choose almond milk because it makes oatmeal taste so damn good and it also means Ben doesn’t drink it so we never have stock control issues Winking smile

Let me tell you, people, if you’ve never put whole milk in oatmeal you are missing out. Creamy, thick, delicious…heavenly! Definitely be recreating this at home (and still doesn’t cause stock control issues as Ben prefers skimmed – everybody’s happy!)

Actually one of my friends said to me that she puts cream in her oatmeal if she has it. I’m not sure I could handle that much creaminess in my stomach so early in the day – but I am intrigued I must admit…

Has anything really annoyed you recently? Go on, have a rant. It feels so good afterwards Winking smile

What recipe/concoction have you found surprisingly yummy lately?

What’s your workout hell? Burpees. Every. Single. Time.

Week’s Workouts

Howdy, howdy! Hope you had a great weekend. Ours was nice and quiet, which was definitely needed after last week’s London adventures.

Maybe it’s the sunshine pouring through my bedroom window or maybe I’m changing but honestly I never sleep in anymore. Obviously I can’t during the week due to that annoying but rather essential thing called work, but at the weekend I’ve been known to snooze in until 9am. OK that’s not a huge lie-in, but since university I haven’t been able to sleep later than that unless I went crazy with a late night. These days my lie-ins don’t go past 8am, but quite frequently I’m awake by 7am. Well, I’ll have to see when the lovely sunny mornings disappear I guess.

So this week gone has been crazy in terms of varied workouts for me. Who am I?? Previously I would just run five times a week. Not even a sneaky core or stretching session. Ergo, I got injured. But things are a-changing!

Monday: body pump


In case you weren’t aware of what that might look like Winking smile

This kicked my butt. Literally I was an achy mess after this. My puny muscles quivered in pain.

Tuesday: for some inexplicable reason I thought running five miles would be a good idea the next morning. Just to ‘shake out’. I was running 30 seconds to one minute slower than normal. But I finished it and felt good.

Wednesday: rest

Thursday: running club in the evening (eight miles off-road). It felt tough but I felt like I was back on form. I’m definitely aware that my speed has diminished slightly. I’m still speedier than I was months ago, but definitely not top form like I was during the height of my races.

Friday: spinning. I was nervous about doing spinning in the morning considering I ran the night before. However, apart from being a bit tired I was fine. So much less stress on my legs. And I felt great for the day.


Yep that’s a spinning bike

However, spinning was TOUGH. Jeeze I am so out of practice. The demon guy that was running the session was like “Come on! Push it harder! Get those RPMs to 125” and I was spinning as fast as my little legs could go and only reaching at most 110. Sweat literally poured off of me. One girl next to me was on fire. I was pretty sure she was going to cycle that bike off it’s stand if she wasn’t careful. Teacher’s pet.

Just shows really that you can be good at one thing and suck at something else. Fitness is not a universal thing. It can be very specific to the sport or workout you choose.

Saturday: Parkrun (5k informal race). I was nervous about it beforehand and did a little warm-up (new thing, let’s actually warm-up before racing. Well done, Anna). But once we got going it was fine. We were on the slightly harder course (only three laps with a hill, rather than a flat five lap course) so I knew PBing was very unlikely. However, I did beat my previous time for this course from a few weeks ago.


I came second girl and 20th overall (out of 142). Not bad! And the best part was that I enjoyed it. It was tough and I felt the burn, but it felt like a normal run. No discomfort or twinges or feeling held back. The only thing holding me back was my stamina and running ability.

And check out Mr Volunteer doing his thing as he’s still sadly out of the game Sad smile


Time-keeping – a very pressurised job

Ben was keeping the time of the runners finishing. Quite an important job, I think you’ll agree. I did try and bribe him to give me a good time. Haha, so joking. He wouldn’t be that nice to me!

Sunday: long run. Did I mention I’ve got a half marathon in about three weeks? 18th August Cheddar Gorge Half Marathon. We signed up to it ages ago. Anyway, this is not a race to even consider getting a good time for. We’re talking 1,600ft elevation. It’s on a gorge. It’s off-road. Help.

For the Reading Half Marathon (way back in March) I didn’t take any gels or fuel because I didn’t need them. I felt fine. However, for this half marathon it’s not just a simple road race. It’s hilly like you wouldn’t believe. So I plan on taking a gel at mile six as I know it’s going to be intense. This run on Sunday was therefore to practice what having a gel on a run would be like. I’ve never tried gels before and wasn’t even certain it would sit well with me <—never try something new on race day, always practice beforehand!

Long run survival guide

Long-run survival guide (my water bottle collapses – I love it)

My plan was to run 13 miles but make sure I do a route that if at 11-12 I felt tired I could cut it short.


For whatever reason, the big Running God in the sky smiled down on me and I had a brilliant run (even notched on the .1 because it would be rude not to). Whether it was because I made sure I ran at a nice easy pace, or the gel at mile six, or just because it wasn’t so blinking hot: it was a great run. One of those highly coveted runs.

Like I said, I took the gel at mile six. Apart from the texture (like warm weird yogurt…yuck) it was fine and I honestly think it helped speed me up. The only annoying thing was despite passing a million bins before taking the damn thing, there wasn’t a bin in sight after taking it for like a mile, which meant I had to carry the empty sticky packet for a while.

Anyway, I felt brilliant after the run. After eating a big bowl of oatmeal, I quickly headed out (yes, before showering. I’m disgusting) in search of ice to have a nice ice bath. I went to four shops and they had nothing. I did buy apples though so not a complete fail Open-mouthed smile

Later I then had body pump again. I am crazy I know. But it seems Sundays are the only really good time for me to do pump (as I only managed on Monday as I had a day off). Strangely it was fine! Obviously afterwards I was quite tired and after finding ice (woohoo!) promptly went home to have an ice bath and do nothing all day. Fabulous!

So this week has been a great mix of running, spinning and pump. Alongside this I’ve tried to do my stretches and strengthening exercises three times a week. I won’t be aiming for two pump sessions a week but I definitely want to do one pump and one spin and only run four times a week.

How’s your weekend been?

What workouts have you been doing?

What’s your favourite gym class to do? I really want to try kettle bells soon but it’s always on a Saturday which is an issue for my long run the next day.

What’s your experience with gels?

Trying new things

Happy Wednesday! Hope you’re week is going well and the sunshine (if you’re lucky enough to have it) is keeping you smiling. Or at least stopping you from crying tears of frustration on realising that it is, in fact, only Wednesday Winking smile

I’m excited to announce that I have joined a gym. I know, I know, exciting stuff (ha). I have made the executive decision to balance things out properly with my running. I have been doing stretches and yoga poses in the morning but to be completely honest… it’s just a bit half hearted.

I just can’t motivate myself to do a proper session on my own. Seriously, at home there’s way more exciting things to do. Eat food, watch TV, stare at the wall. I need someone to kick my butt into gear and force me to do these things. So I joined my very local gym (open 24/7 – imagine, I could go to the gym at 3am. Why would I want to?? No idea). And the gym has loads of classes!


Don’t worry, I don’t actually do this. I use Twitter Winking smile

OK I suppose I could creep into the actual gym if I felt so inclined but really I want to go to a class, be shouted out to do this and that, and then leave sweaty.

I’m so keen to get into pump and kettle bells for the strength improvement (read: INJURY PREVENTION). And spin to work my cardio without pounding the pavements all. The. Time.

Speaking of balancing out the running – on Tuesday morning I actually went for a BIKE RIDE. Yep, I set out with my little helmet on and gave myself an hour to basically cycle as far as I could (with getting back in time to get ready for work). I managed 12.8 miles!


I actually have no idea how good or rubbish this is as I know nothing about cycling. After Googling a bit I think there is some consensus that cycling to running has a 3:1 ratio of miles. So my 12ish miles = 4ish miles running. Which makes kind of sense as it didn’t feel too tough a workout (though my butt hurt like you wouldn’t believe – seriously need to think about some better padding).

But moving away from fitness, I thought I’d share some tasty meals I’ve been trying lately in line with What I Ate Wednesday (thanks Jenn!).


So for breakfast…come on, of course it hasn’t changed. Even in the blazing heat we’ve had I’ll sit there sweating eating my piping hot bowl of almond milk oatmeal.


For lunch, at work I take in a zillion boxes of food. I’m like box lady.


It’s all good. Takes me ages to get through it all. I love it. Bloody pain when I get home and have to wash everything up though…

Dinners have been good. I’ve been trying new things. I’m the girl who swore she hated sausages.


But not chicken sausages! I love them! For this meal there’s only two but I split them in half to make sure I cook them properly (paranoid). I had cauliflower cream cheese mash with this and two eggs. Don’t get me started on how devastated I was when that second egg’s yolk popped.

I’ve also still been loving Skippy kangaroo burgers.


I had one with fried mushrooms and onions, and sweet potato and zucchini fries with salad. Love this so much.

And stir-fries are popular quick meal too.


Chicken, cashew nuts, loads of random stir-fry veg and zucchini noodles (and my stir-fry sauce). All I did for the noodles was use a peeler on a washed zucchini. No cooking, nothing. Plonk the stir-fry on top when it’s ready and enjoy.

And the usual million apples as snacks and cake. Always cake Open-mouthed smile

What new things have you been trying recently? Any new found loves?

Cycling: lover or a hater?

How do ensure your workouts are balanced? I have been so bad at this recently…

Do you go to the gym or do you prefer home/outdoor workouts?