All moved in and exploring the local routes for running

So we are in the new house!

Kyle and I had a week off of work to sort ALL THE THINGS and while we definitely could have done with another week (or month) off, we got so much done. As I sold my flat furnished (and Kyle was moving from his mum’s house), we didn’t have a huge amount of furniture to move in with so it was a real timing act for certain items we bought before we actually moved in, like the bed and the sofa.

The bed arrived a couple of days after we moved in (which meant sleeping on several duvets for the first couple of nights – not particularly comfy!) and that was a HUGE feat to get it upstairs. Normally the delivery people would help you get things in and to the room you want it, but during this pandemic era they now just leave it at the doorstep.

Of course we understand this but it makes for tough work for just the two of us to get a super king size mattress up the rather narrow stairs. And we can’t ask for help from our family because we’re now isolating from them… so things are a lot harder.

It took us over 40 minutes to get the mattress up the stairs and honestly we weren’t sure it was going to happen. It took all our strength to pivot, pivot, PIVOT that bad boy. Whhhy did we order super king size?? But our bedroom is quite a big size and as Kyle is quite tall it seemed like a nice indulgence. We had not considered actually getting it into the bedroom though.

Likewise the sofa was another drama. This time the delivery men went above and beyond what they were technically allowed to do and helped us actually get it in.

We stood awkwardly back while they heaved to and fro to get the sofa in to our living room. It wouldn’t go through the door so in the end (after trying all the angles) they took our living room window off and got it through there.

THANK GOD. We were so grateful and sent them away with lots of biscuits.

So between cleaning, unpacking, buying and constructing furniture and organising our life, I have also been doing a bit of exploring on my runs. It is SO cool to have a whole new area to run round. Though it does mean my running has become less about switching off and more about being super alert with my surroundings and working out distances and where to go. It’s been great though.

We’re kind of living in the centre of Portsmouth as an area (not central city, just the central geography of the island if you get what I mean) so I have the luxury of heading out in any direction. Previously at my parent’s house this wasn’t really possible to do because of their location, so I’d always just head out in one of two directions most of the time.

And what’s lovely is the sea is just 1.5 miles away to the east of us, and Southsea is just over 2 miles to the south of us. So I’m still so close to the sea. While I’m definitely a land creature, I’ve always lived by the sea and just love being near to it. The possibilities of running and walking are just endless and I’m so excited. Kyle and I adore Southsea – it has very special memories for us throughout our relationship, and so to be so close to it (and all the incredible restaurants) is just so exciting to us. Unfortunately of course the coronavirus has meant that we can’t actually enjoy those restaurants at the moment, but hopefully in time…

This week was my highest mileage week in a while (almost 40 miles) and my running has been going so well (TOUCH WOOD). On Saturday I ran 18 miles and it went so well! I felt strong, had no niggles or issues and enjoyed it immensely. I had a vague route in mind and was able to run along Southsea seafront, along to Eastney and then followed the Portsmouth Coastal Marathon route up to the Farlington Marshes  and run round there. So it was a really interesting and, at times, very scenic route.

But it was hot. Of course I hadn’t gone  out super early and probably went out in the peak of the day’s heat but that’s just how I roll. I didn’t take any water with me (of course I didn’t, because I’m an idiot)… Though to be fair, I knew I could run back to the house to get some water and Kyle said he’d walk out to me to give me some if I rang him. Where we live is literally central to the route, so it would have been only 2 miles or less for me to get back. But being stubborn, I just pushed through. It was the final two miles when I was like “OK now I am THIRSTY”.

And Kyle, being the incredible human he is, had tracked me on his phone (not the entire run I must stress, he’s not a weirdo ha) and was standing outside our house with Alfie and a glass of ice cold water. Oh my god, that water was SO needed. I was so grateful!

The next day my legs felt tired but good! And Kyle and I enjoyed a gentle 3 mile run after a lovely lie in. Kyle does not enjoy running in the heat at all (whereas I can endure it) so he didn’t quite have my enthusiasm, but it was nice to FINALLY be able to run together. I mean, running aside, it’s nice to finally be together at all. This week has been so so lovely.

Do you enjoy running in new places?

Are the routes round you hilly or flat?

Have you had any moving in drama?

One final long run before the next chapter

So Kyle and I have finally moved out!

Even during this crazy lockdown Covid-19 era, we managed to sell my flat and move into our newly bought home. There’s still a lot to do and a lot to buy (allllllll the furniture) but we are super happy.

It was a busy day on Saturday packing everything into the van my parents got. I didn’t bring any of the furniture from my flat home as I sold furnished (which was what I wanted to do because I want to start fresh with Kyle) so it was just things like clothes, crockery and homeware like that… which is still a lot of stuff! But few items that were “big” other than a dining table, outdoor table and chairs and my bike (ha!). We dropped everything off at the house, then headed home again.

It was my mum’s birthday on the Sunday so it seemed like a nice last day with my family. Then Monday I’ll move out properly. It also helped keep Kyle and my family separate during the moving in process as he moved his things Sunday. (Alfie will of course be coming but once we’re a bit more settled so it’s not so disruptive for him).

On the Saturday I was able to do one last long run before we moved which was just so lovely. My long run route is a route I’ve been doing for so long. I can easily add bits on, take bits off and get anywhere from 6 miles to 20 miles. It goes all along the coast from Hill Head, Lee-On-Solent to Stokes Bay. I just love it. It’s super flat which helps 😉

I ran 15 miles and while it was super windy it was a lovely run. I tried to soak it all in and appreciate it. I’m sure I’ll find runs just as good in my new home – the coastline will just be slightly different.

Running, amazingly, has been going so well recently. I’m really chuffed about this because while there are no races to train for and no pressures, I’d hate to not have the ability to run right now. The freedom and the mental breather it provides is just so helpful right now in this time of uncertainty and restraint.

I haven’t been doing any sort of formal training or sessions, but this is hardly any different to my usual way of running! I’ve kept to around 15-16 miles as my long run and this has been a nice length for me. I don’t know how long it will be until races are back of course, as no one does, so it does feel weird not having anything in the horizon but for now I’m happy.

And now onto a review of a new protein range from MyProtein that sounded very intriguing: their Keto Blend. It’s been created to have a keto-friendly ratio of macronutrients for anyone on the keto diet, which is quite a strict low carb high fat diet. Now I will stress, I’m neither keto nor on any sort of diet but I do love MyProtein’s Whey Protein (I have it every day in my porridge). So I was happy to give this a go!

I tried their Strawberry & Vanilla flavour and their Chocolate & Caramel flavour.

I tried the Strawberry & Vanilla in my porridge and as a drink. As a drink (I mixed with semi-skimmed milk) and it was just like a strawberry milkshake. It mixed well and was lovely and smooth. Both flavours were great in porridge too.

No issues in how it mixed and made my porridge taste lovely and subtly sweet (not overwhelmingly so).

So the blend contains 60% fat, 35% protein and 5% carbs. One scoop (25g) contains around 115 calories and about 10g of protein. They also do a Coffee Walnut flavour. So not too shabby! A nice way to get some extra fat and protein into the diet.

Now back to sorting and unpacking!

Do you have a favourite long run route?

Do you enjoy sorting out things for your home? I’m a big fan of organising!

Do you have protein powder in your diet?

Moving out!

I’ve become terrible at updating my blog it seems.

It’s weird because you’d think I’d have a lot more time during this whole lockdown business than usual. But actually it’s been something I’ve let slip. Working from home and seemingly being on my laptop a lot more throughout the day makes me less inclined to continue this into the evening. Whereas previously at work I’d have meetings with real life people and I wouldn’t be quite so anchored to my screen, I wouldn’t mind so much.

But enough excuses. I have some exciting news. Kyle and I will be moving out in a week! The selling of my flat and the purchasing of our new property is going through on Friday. We are so excited! We are very lucky that our chain is short and things have gone very smoothly. It also helps that my flat is empty – as I’ve been living with my parents for the past THREE YEARS. Jesus, that long eh!

Moving house is stressful enough but during a pandemic is somewhat more problematic. We had visions of borrowing Kyle’s dad’s van and him helping us out, but we can’t do that as we need to keep the people we involve to the very few. Kyle’s mum (who is separated from his dad) and my parents will be helping us, but then we go back in to lockdown mode – the parents passing the baton to Kyle and I. So instead of being isolated from each other, Kyle and I will be isolating from our parents. It’s all very strange.

We obviously can’t go out and have a look at sofas or furniture… meaning we have very little to take with us. We are going to be ordering a bed and luckily where we’re getting it from takes 2-6 days delivery so it’s a fine timing game really. Whenever the bed gets delivered we’ll be moving in properly.

There’s a lot to buy and sort out and we’ve taken a week off to do what we can but realistically it’s going to be a bit of a hollow shell for a bit while lockdown is still going on. And that’s OK. We’ve been waiting patiently for this day to come and in whatever format, we’ll take it. It does feel rather formal though… like some crazy arranged marriage where Kyle and I have been hidden away from each other and then we’ll be handed over by the parents and then left to it.

Well, anyway it’s very exciting. It’s good stress at least. We’re both lucky enough to be working from home during this time so the key is getting Internet sorted ASAP during our week off and then we can crack back into work straight away. What’s also nice is that us being at home all the time means Alfie can settle without being left alone for long stretches. We can look after him and give him lots of attention to minimise the stress for him. Though he won’ t be moving in till the major moving stress has gone.

Speaking of Alfie, he’s been looking very scruffy during lockdown and as soon as the groomers were allowed to work again we got Alfie in and tidied up.

He looks like a puppy! Though to be honest, he does look like one of those celebrities who’s had a bit of work done to their face to look ten years younger but with their neck giving their true age away… 

Alfie has a lot of saggy skin round his neck which I swear was never there before. My little dog, growing older 🙁

During this lockdown period I’ve really enjoyed the time I’ve had with my parents. It’s been like a last hurrah with living with them.  We’ve gotten into a good routine of weekend fun. We have a takeaway Friday night together. My dad and I watch a film or two. And Sunday we always have a more elaborate family meal.

We’ve had roast dinners, pulled pork, gammon and a delicious steak meal. It’s been lovely to be WFH with my dad in the other room also WFH. We’ve gone for walks, cooked together, spent lots of quality time together. I’ll miss them when I move out. But I am ready! (Again!)

Looking forward to finding new run routes, new Alfie walks, new takeaways, new local shops… a new local parkrun (Southsea) and a new coastal area to walk round. And of course, being able to see Kyle every day IN REAL LIFE and starting our life properly together 🙂

How’s your lockdown going?

When did you last move house?

A run to stand two metres apart

How’s lockdown been treating you? For me, it’s a funny one.

While my daily life is quite easy and, dare I say, somewhat relaxed, there are other parts which are uncomfortably hard and frustrating.

So the easy stuff is that I have my job with my full salary and I’m working from home. Working from home is admittedly quite nice. I don’t get up stupidly early for the gym anymore, so I get more sleep. I can go for a nice leisurely walk in the sunshine before work or during my lunchbreak and listen to a podcast. I can be in the comfort of my own home with zero commute stress.

I can wear leggings all day every day. I can wash my hair less and NO ONE CARES. Granted, it’s likely no one cared previously but Zoom calls are very forgiving so I feel more comfortable letting my hair get just that bit more greasy than I ordinarily would.

On this side note, by washing my hair less it appears to now needs to be washed less – if that makes sense? I’ve done a bit of reading on this front and apparently after an initial period, your hair adjusts to the change of hair washing and becomes greasy less quickly than before. Something about washing stripping your hair of its natural oils I believe. Where I would wash my hair every other day pre-lockdown, I can now get away with washing it every four days. It’s incredibly freeing. Washing and blow-drying my hair is such a chore.

Anyway, WFH isn’t bad at all. I have a solid routine, I can get my work done easily and it feels incredible to switch the laptop off and be like “OK now I can chill” IMMEDIATELY. My dad is at home as well so it’s not like I have no company. And Alfie of course.

(By the way, how much are dogs just LOVING this period? It’s like happiness 24/7 for them now).

The hard part is not seeing Kyle. I won’t harp on with all the reasons why as it’s fairly obvious, but it’s tough. And it’s tougher when you see people who aren’t following the rules and the temptation to be the same and have the same “who cares” mentality. But we know this won’t last forever and when people are literally dying and key workers are doing so much in such tough conditions it feels like a finger up to them by taking the situation so flippantly. We can look back at this time and know we did our part to help “flatten the curve”.

But we did decide to just slightly push the boundaries and meet-up…

We planned to run to a half-way location between us both so we could stand 2 metres away from each other and chat face-to-face IN PERSON. FaceTime, Zoom and phone calls are all well and good, but seeing someone in the flesh is irreplaceable.

So we both left our respective houses as the same time on Saturday morning and ran to each other, about eight miles for us both. It’s funny because our half-way spot is actually work, but we chose a nearby layby – classy eh!

My run was good. I listened to a podcast and just gently made my way there.

We arrived pretty much around the same time and then sat on some grass (slightly hidden it must be said) two metres from each other and just chatted about fluff and nonsense, but both enjoying it immensely.

Then Kyle’s mum picked him up. This was also nice as I got to speak to her as well – I miss Kyle’s whole family, they’re just such lovely people.

Then I turned and headed back the way I came. I felt lighter but heavier all at once.

I decided to stop about just less than a mile from my house to walk back as I was quite happy with 15 miles for the day rather than 16. My legs were tired and there’s no real need for me to be pushing the distances right now. I don’t want to get injured during this time! Running is a vital part of my sanity and happiness right now. A stable in all the change.

How is lockdown treating you?

Are you separated from someone significant?

Missing The Gym? Here Are 10 Ways You Can Work Out During Lockdown

A few years ago I don’t think I’d ever think this but… damn I’m missing the gym. While it’s not up there with running, it is definitely something I enjoy doing on a weekly basis. And with the whole lockdown coronavirus crisis going to the gym seems like a distant memory (rightly so).

I’ve been trying to motivate myself into home workouts and it’s been going OK but nothing beats the gym to get you fully in the zone. However I hope this post might help spur you into action if you need it.

Photo by Polina Tankilevitch from Pexels

During the pandemic, you might feel as though you’re missing the gym or doing your usual exercise classes with all of your friends. But don’t worry! There are so many ways that you can still workout whilst still maintaining social distancing and not breaking the government’s quarantine rules. No matter how much spare time you have or what equipment you own, you’ll easily be able to find an activity that suits you.

But if you don’t know where to start, this process could be daunting. To assist with this, here are 10 methods you can use to help you stay active. Complementing a healthy diet (whether you opt to use a range of diet shakes or change up what you eat), it will ensure you’re on the path to success!

Yoga

First up on the list is the tranquil and relaxing activity that is yoga. An activity that’s been around for over 5,000 years, yoga is a wonderful way to work out your body, whilst soothing and calming the mind. Particularly ideal during this time, you can learn yoga poses either through a virtual tutorial or by using a step-by-step guide.

There are so many physical benefits that come with yoga, including increased muscle flexibility and tone, improved cardio and circulatory health and enhanced athletic performance. An activity that anyone of all ages can do, you can safely do yoga in the comfort of your home – all you need is a yoga mat and an adequate space to do it in.

Skipping

Skipping isn’t just for children – it’s a high-intensity workout that can help you burn fat and promote weight loss. Of course, the number of calories that you lose will depend on the intensity of the workout and your weight initially. But if you aim for an accelerated 10-minute session, you could burn up to 110 calories – which will only go up with the longer that you do it for.

What’s great about this activity is that it only requires a skipping rope, some outdoor space and the motivation to keep it up!

Dance

If you’re looking for a unique way to work out, then maybe a dance session is more up your street. By dedicating 30 minutes each night to dancing you can lose hundreds of calories, tone muscles and increase your stamina – all whilst having some fun.

Plus, by doing a dance session, you’ll spend some of your energy, meaning that you’ll be able to sleep better each night. Whether you dance freestyle or use an online video, you’ll feel fabulous after dancing to your favourite music. You could also get your little ones involved – an extraordinary way of keeping them busy whilst expelling some of their energy!

Running 

You might think that you can’t go running during the lockdown. But as long as you only do this once a day and maintain social distancing, then there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy a running session each day. Running is one of the best ways to lose some weight and exercise your body – plus it’s something that everyone, no matter what their age can enjoy.

With so much incredible scenery and countryside around this country, there’s ample opportunity to put on your running shoes and head out. It’s not just good for the body, however. Going out for a run is the ultimate opportunity to clear your mind and reset your batteries.

Walking

If running or jogging isn’t your forte, then perhaps head out on a long walk each day. Still a great way to exercise, walking long distances reduces the risk of heart disease, improves high blood pressure and strengthens the bones.

Incredibly important, especially during this time, it also gives you a chance to get away from the four walls of your house – even if it’s just for an hour or two. 

Virtual Aerobics

If you used to love going to your weekly aerobics class, then you’re probably missing it throughout lockdown. But don’t fret – there is a solution. There are now aerobics classes that you can enjoy virtually. Whether you’re a novice or you’ve been going to aerobics classes for years there is a free video online for you.

Alternatively, there are also subscription classes that you could join that would provide you with the right equipment and professional tutoring – for those looking for something a little more intense and less wallet-friendly.

Obstacle Courses

Ok, so this might sound a little crazy – but it’s an efficient and simple way of working out from the comfort of your own garden. By setting up an obstacle course with items that you have at home (for example, a hula hoop, slide and beanbag) you’ll be able to get some exercise in, without having to worry about working out with others around you.

It’s also something that your kids will love to do or your dog (if you have one) will undoubtedly take an interest in!

Hula Hooping

Yet again, you might be thinking that hula hooping is just a playground activity. But it can actually be an awesome way of working out. There are several key benefits of exercising with a hula hoop, including the fact that it:

  • Is a great ab exercise that keeps your core strong.
  • Can burn as much fat as a workout on a treadmill.
  • Strengthens your heart and back.
  • Increases endorphins.

Grab the Weights!

Whether you already have weights at home or you order some off the internet, it’s a fantastic way to work out. Although many people think that the main goal of weight lifting is to build muscle mass and bulk up so that you resemble something out of a competition, there are so many more benefits that people don’t realise.

These include boosting metabolism, strengthening bones, improving posture and maintaining weight loss. It’s also one of the easiest sports to do, as it only requires limited equipment.

Housework and Gardening

Ok, so you might be thinking – this isn’t a sport? But doing housework and gardening is a wonderful way to work out your body whilst being at home during the lockdown. For example, did you know that you can burn approximately 170 calories per hour by dusting and up to 190 calories by scrubbing? In terms of gardening, not only will you work out your body, but you’ll also be able to enjoy the fresh air. 

Although you might not be tempted to do the housework or gardening during this time as you won’t be having visitors around until the lockdown is lifted, it’s the perfect opportunity to do this. Not only will it keep you physically productive but will keep your brain active – plus it’s so much better than just sitting around and watching TV all day.

Final Thoughts

So, there you go! Those are 10 simple ways that you can work out during the lockdown. What exercise or activity you choose to do, of course, is up to you and what you prefer. But whichever you choose, it will ensure that you’re keeping active, maintaining a good level of exercise and assisting your wellbeing.

Just make sure, however, as aforementioned that whichever activity you do, this is done alongside maintaining a healthy diet – otherwise all of your exercise goes to waste the moment you start to eat unhealthily or increase the size of your portions – something that’s very easy to do at the moment with everyone having to remain inside!

Have you been doing any home workouts?

Do you miss the gym?